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Frayed Knights 2 - Taking Initiative...Away!

by Dhruin, 2012-11-16 20:41:56

Jay Barnson continues to tinker with the formula for Frayed Knights 2:

In our dice & paper games, with a very large group (at one point we had 11 players – plus a Game Master – which was insane), we had a problem with this system. In an average combat, with people often taking a minute or more on their turn (it sometimes involved looking up the rules), plus bad guys doing their thing, it meant that players were only “playing” once every fifteen or twenty minutes or so. This led to lots of distractions, lots of chatter that in turn slowed down the game, etc. It got especially complicated as players started changing their initiative order to go before or after other players – for example, letting the wizard throw the fireball BEFORE the melee characters charged in to mix things up.

One thing I tried – and really liked – was a change in how the initiative system worked. To keep things simple, I usually had enemies act as a “group” – at least groups of similar opponents. So against a single opponent or a collection of uniform opponents, all that really mattered (as a player) was whether you went before or after the bad guy(s). Really, since you could change your initiative freely  *down* to coordinate your approach with other players, why not just open that up completely and call everybody who goes before the bad guys “group 1,” and everyone who goes after the bad guys “group 2.” And if there were two bad guys going at different initiatives, then the players might be divided into three groups. If more… well, frequently even a group our size would have one empty “group”, which allowed me to regroup enemies and… well, it may sound complicated, but in practice its pretty easy and intuitive.

As a further plus, this kept players more involved in what each other was doing. Suddenly the talk turned to who should go first, and people got a chance to coordinate tactics rather than simply “reacting” when their turn came around. I liked the change. Things were simpler, players were more involved in the game, and tactics were more interesting when players could coordinate their actions as a group.

No, that’s not how initiative works in FK2. I’m just explaining how all this came together. That’s one piece.

Information about

Frayed Knights 2

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development