## Rounds?

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Ok i've been playing for a while but im still not sure on the following.

1)a round lenght start on the person who rolls the Hightest Init and ends on the start of whoever starts the next round?

the reason i ask if spells last minutes, so 1 minute is equal to 10 rounds so does that mean every time every goes that knocks one round off or am i just not getting how this works? FYI i hate spells but to be a better GM im trying to get a better handle on on everything works
A round of combat is generally 6 to 10 seconds. You decide how long you want them to be. But you already have the right idea... x number of rounds makes a minute of the spell duration. 6 second combat round means 10 rounds per minute, 10 second round makes 6 per minute. Unless there's a situation that really depends on super-accurate time tracking, I wouldn't worry about having it figured down to the second.
If you want to be precise about it, there's essentially a fluid overlap between all the different turns, and the durations just measure how far something is from its start point in the initiative.  For example, if I cast a spell that lasts for 5 rounds on my turn, it ends 5 rounds later on my turn.  If the person just after me in the initiative order cast exactly the same spell with exactly the same duration, it wouldn't end until their turn, shortly after the spell that I cast.

There's a bit of a dichotomy at work, since on one hand, you need to have everyone take turns one after the other because otherwise it would be mechanically impossible to play the game, but on the other hand, you're doing that as a rough representation of something that's supposed to be happening in real time, where everyone does things all at once.

Consider, as another example, fighter 1 and fighter 2 both charging a hydra.  In the game mechanics, fighter 1 (who got a higher initiative) runs up and swings his sword, performing all his actions before fighter 2 gets a chance to do anything.  But in the physical situation that the game mechanics are emulating, fighter 2 would already have started moving before fighter 1 got more than a step or two towards the enemy, and their turns actually overlap.  There are a few special things, like attacks of opportunity, thrown in to break up the strict initiative order and make it seem a bit more natural.

Basically, 1 round has passed for a particular person or effect when it gets back to that same turn in the initiative order, while things happening on different initiatives do the same for their own timing.  There isn't a universal "end of round." for everyone.

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StevenO
Joined Dec 1969
Ok i've been playing for a while but im still not sure on the following.

1)a round lenght start on the person who rolls the Hightest Init and ends on the start of whoever starts the next round?

the reason i ask if spells last minutes, so 1 minute is equal to 10 rounds so does that mean every time every goes that knocks one round off or am i just not getting how this works? FYI i hate spells but to be a better GM im trying to get a better handle on on everything works

The length of a "round" is from the time a character acts until the next time that character has the opportunity to act.  A "round" lasts from initiative count X to initiative count X even if the actual initiative scores are all over the place.

I'll mention that once combat starts (you have an initiative order) there is NO begining or end of "the round" because rounds are always counted from when they start.  Think of your place in initiative as being a spoke on a wheel.  There may be a "first spoke" but a "round" is always one trip around the wheel.

When it comes to minute durations it is generally accepted that 10 rounds = one minute.  During combat most spells measured in minutes will last the duration of an encounter although you could run into problems if the spell is still "up" when the group runs into the next fight.  Outside of combat you, the DM, have a lot more control over how long it will take to do something so you have better control of how long the spell will last.

Now which spell is giving you all the trouble???  I know 3.5 knocked a lot of buff spells down to rounds or minutes per level and if a group is using those they may try to power through things before the spells duration expires.  When they do that you can stay in "combat rounds" but need to be aware of how long other actions will take to subtract that from the spell's duration.

StevenO
Joined Dec 1969
Something else just occured to me.  Remember that in 3.x you only roll initiative ONCE during a fight.  You DO NOT roll initiative each "round" which can lead to a lot of headaches when you start looking at "rounds".  I don't want to go into all the details but if you get stunned for "one round" after you've gone it is completely meaningless if that "round" ends before it even affects you.

Slagger mentions casting a spell with a 5 round duration lasting until your turn 5 rounds later.  That is NOT entirely accurate.  If you cast that 5 round spell at initiative count 18 and later use something like delay or ready which will drop (or potentially improve) your initiative count that 5 round duration still ends on initiative count 18 instead of whatever your current initiative would be.  The reason for this is to prevent potential abuse by having something that lasts say one round get to affect everyone TWICE because you choose to drop your initiative before going again.  If something lasts "until the end of your next turn" choosing to use Delay when your next turn comes up does NOT extend that duration until you actually choose to act.

Slagger mentions casting a spell with a 5 round duration lasting until your turn 5 rounds later.  That is NOT entirely accurate.  If you cast that 5 round spell at initiative count 18 and later use something like delay or ready which will drop (or potentially improve) your initiative count that 5 round duration still ends on initiative count 18 instead of whatever your current initiative would be.

Yes, this is correct.  My response didn't cover the more complicated situation of changing initiative, since we seem to be handling just the basic idea to begin with.  If you change your place in the initiative order, those effects still work off your original initiative position.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.