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Thread: "The Duke is ready to hear your case. Roll initiative."

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    "The Duke is ready to hear your case. Roll initiative."

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    Something that strikes me as missing from skill challenges is using a different attribute for initiative depending on the nature of the challenge. I checked through the skill challenge section, and noticed nothing of the sort here- so, no matter what the skill challenge is, each party member rolls for their position in the lineup based on Dex. I would have preferred to see things like using your Int modifier for research challenges, or Cha for social challenges.

    I'm not even sure if implementing this would count as a "house rule", since designing skill challenges is fairly free-form to begin with.

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    Shouldn't you role-play such an encounter?

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    I agree, Valdar. It would have been nice to see such an init priority based on circumstance. It would be very easy to house rule that one. Good call. Perhaps that is one of the minor changes we'll see when 4.5 or 5.0 comes out.
    Last edited by ronpyatt; 06-13-2008 at 06:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Shouldn't you role-play such an encounter?
    Yes, but there are now more complex rules for it than having one player roll a single d20. Now the whole party is involved, so you need to determine who goes first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    Yes, but there are now more complex rules for it than having one player roll a single d20. Now the whole party is involved, so you need to determine who goes first.
    The party is competing for the Duke's attention? Shouldn't they approach such an encounter with a plan of action and follow it. "Well Bill here has the golden lounge, we'll let him do the talking."

    I've never decided such thing with a "single d20 roll". Or ever a bunch of them. I, as the NPC listen to what I'm being told and act on it. Skills in "convince NPC" are the last consideration.

    Frankly rolling initiative to see who goes first would make non combat encounters feel very combat like.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    The party is competing for the Duke's attention? Shouldn't they approach such an encounter with a plan of action and follow it. "Well Bill here has the golden lounge, we'll let him do the talking." .
    Although I understand they were just trying to illustrate the rules. I can see it is a bad example, the PCs most likely will plan ahead before meeting the Duke.

    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Frankly rolling initiative to see who goes first would make non combat encounters feel very combat like.
    I guess it only applies when the whole party is involved. This reminds me a little of "Dogs in the vineyard" Roleplay-Roll-Roleplay-Roll-Roleplay-Roll..

    The initiative may add some fun, the CHA6 guy (PC) may alienate the City Guard Patrol (NPCs) before the rest of the party have a chance to stop him.

    - You know you can't be armed after sunset. (Cityguard)
    - Here, take 5 cp officer, buy yourself some respect and leave us alone. (CHA6)
    - What he meant was .... forget it... can your read us our rights? (CHA16 Paladin)

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    Last edited by Dimthar; 06-14-2008 at 05:08 AM. Reason: English
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    The new system encourages teamwork off the battlefield, so that half or more of the party isn't bored when there's a social encounter. Or a trap to disarm, for that matter. Or whatever else happens off the battlefield.

    And, you do still need to RP, but there is, and always has been, a game mechanic for how good you are at influencing other people. You can find hundreds of pages about this debate on the Wizards boards, so I'll summarize:

    --Game mechanic is bad because it leads to roll-playing.
    --Game mechanic is good because it lets non-charismatic players play charismatic characters.

    Also, the game mechanic is trumped by the encounter description- in the sample encounter, "Intimidate" is an auto-fail, and "Intuition" will tell you that "Intimidate" is an auto-fail, or that "History" might be a choice here.

    And as with combat, initiative is simply there to determine whose actions get processed by the rules engine first, rather than who is actually going first. It's usually all happening simultaneously, although the social encounter will of course be serial. My original point is, when it comes to knowing when to get a word in edgewise in a heated debate, Cha should be more important than Dex for that.

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    Funny, I think that teamwork on the battlefield is not a new thing. Now I know that my background is in 2E, but I'm sure that this should be true in 3.x as well as everything that came before 2E.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cplmac View Post
    Funny, I think that teamwork on the battlefield is not a new thing. Now I know that my background is in 2E, but I'm sure that this should be true in 3.x as well as everything that came before 2E.
    Mistype? We were talking about _off_ the battlefield.

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    Ok, sorry Valdar, I thought you were talking about during battle type encounters. My appologies for not getting a clarification first.

    How do think it would be impacted if there was someone running a character that was actually a henchman of the party's adversary that has "become" part of the party in order to undermine what the party is planning to do, whether on the battlefield or off?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cplmac View Post
    Ok, sorry Valdar, I thought you were talking about during battle type encounters. My appologies for not getting a clarification first.

    How do think it would be impacted if there was someone running a character that was actually a henchman of the party's adversary that has "become" part of the party in order to undermine what the party is planning to do, whether on the battlefield or off?
    Same as before, but I guess I'd probably have people on message boards being all weird about it.
    Last edited by Valdar; 06-13-2008 at 06:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    And as with combat, initiative is simply there to determine whose actions get processed by the rules engine first, rather than who is actually going first. It's usually all happening simultaneously...
    Technically is not true, who goes first affects whether you get the chance to do an action in that round. The monster (or a PC) may not get the chance to take an action before it gets enough damage to put it down. So there is some motivation to go first.

    I believe this is one of the explanations on rolling initiative per round instead per encounter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    ... although the social encounter will of course be serial. My original point is, when it comes to knowing when to get a word in edgewise in a heated debate, Cha should be more important than Dex for that.
    Now that I think more about it, if we see the "DEX STAT" as "Awareness", If your brain is better at processing the events happening around you, that definitely improves stuff like Dodge or Combat reaction (initiative).

    So perhaps WotC were not so wrong on using DEX for the social encounters. DEX may determine how fast I respond to a remark but CHA will determine how good was my response.

    Found this:
    http://forum.rpg.net/archive/index.php/t-239401.html


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    Last edited by Dimthar; 06-13-2008 at 06:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimthar View Post
    Now that I think more about it, if we see the "DEX STAT" as "Awareness", If your brain is better at processing the events happening around you, that definitely improves stuff like Dodge or Combat reaction (initiative).

    So perhaps WotC were not so wrong on using DEX for the social encounters. DEX may determine how fast I respond to a remark but CHA will determine how good was my response.

    Found this:
    http://forum.rpg.net/archive/index.php/t-239401.html

    .
    I'd thought about that, but Wisdom has the lock on that ability everywhere else. Anyway, it's a good enough explanation for keeping things straightforward I guess-

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    Ah, I see. DEX is crucial to speed overall, whether it comes to sensing something socially or in combat. After all, it is the mind/nervous system that reacts. It's decent enough, but I'd like to see it house-ruled with alternate INIT's and in-play to find out.

    Then again, they may have thought that including a special INIT for other circumstances to be more story or roleplay appropriate. If it comes up often enough, and players voice their desire for more INIT's then they might add it later.

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    I have yet to see a social situation that required a roll of intuitive unless it had broken down to a fight. With that said using the Dex in a social situation I am not seeing and image of a quiet and relaxed setting but everyone vying for center stage tripping over each other to speak first. Social events are not combat. I don't think combat rules, including intuitive belong there.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
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