No, 2E was crap. A greatsword's reach is so much larger than a daggers that someone who uses one should go before a dagger fighter. Also, there's nothing at all to suggest a low-level spell should be faster than a high-level one.
Exactly! Power word: Kill. It’s one word. Why should it take longer to cast than prestidigitation, which does a boat load of things.
Rather than call it initiative why not give it several functions so it doesn't become a dead skill: call it tactics and have it influenced by wisdom when it is battle related with a syzygy to leadership skills: also, it should provide a positive bonus to defense and attack modifiers. Why not have two initiative scores, tactical initiative that increases a party's initiative with every successful attack with damage done and "individual initiative" that increases based on cover, weapon, size and other advantageous situations.
Party initiative determines in what order an act is declared but individual initiative determines when an act takes place. In this case surprise is just a negative modifier to individual initiative and attack and defense modifiers.
Just as there are adventurers and non-adventurers and just as adventurers may do non-adventuring things (and normal non-adventurers might do brave and adventurous things), so too could there be Adventuring Magic and Ritual Magic. Adventuring Magic mght still not be so quick as some of the guys want it to be but there's always a spontaneous casting feat. Ritual magic might take weeks or even years to complete but the effects would be powerful along the lines of "ok, everyone in the kingdom falls asleep for a hundred years".
Of course if player characters are made richer in general there could be such meta-initiative considerations as "shield wall formations" when hundreds of fighters hold tower shields in conjunct array and march forward with short swords or "phalanx" where hundreds of fighters with eighteen foot long sarrisae (think of Macedon, gentlemen) line up to do battle. In these cases, successful unitary movment is more important than "initiative". Likewise, a party manuever might just be unitary and have little to do with individual initiative.
The simple truth is that certain aspects of D&D (or any TTRPG, for that matter) have tobe abstract in order for the game to be smooth, balanced and easy to play.
On the topic of Intiative:
I would like to see a "Reflex" type skill which reflected your ability to respond to the actions of others. It would be a DEX based skill obviously and provide bonuses to Intiative as well as dodge bonuses to AC (similar to what tumble does now). Perhaps also to Reflex save (although saves maybe rolled into AC so this might be redundant).
Is this supposed to be a joke?
Initiative in SW Saga is a Dexterity skill.
The Half Level bonus to Initiative checks implies that experienced characters are better at acting faster (i.e. thinking less and acting more).
Initiative isn't just how fast I am, it is how fast I can do what I want to do.
I.e. taking in the situation, deciding what to do, and doing it.
Experience DOES matter, therefore having your Initiative improve with level makes sense.
However, having Initiative (being Trained in it anyway) give a bonus to Reflex defense doesn't make sense.
Except when it comes to reacting to changes in the situation (i.e. feinting). If you can't react fast enough to a feint (Initiative check), you are caught off guard, so you lose your Dex to your Reflex Defense.
So Initiative DOES add to your Reflex Defense in that it prevents you from LOSING your Dex to Reflex Defense.
Instead of +11/+6/+1, you had weapons which were faster (which might be +11/+8/+5/+2) and slower (say, for example, +11/+4).
Please read my siggy.
Bloody ****, where's my sig! Anyway, don't try to address individual sentences, address individual ideas. It makes you look like you took the time to understand what the other person is saying.
What he's saying is that being fast (as in, moving fast, running fast, swinging your sword fast) and having a good twich (reflex saves) are different from being about to size up a situation, draw up a plan of attack and start to execute it (initiative).
Which I do if the person who responded to me made an effort. When the reply is incoherent and scattered with blantantly wrong accusations, it makes it difficult to address it as a whole.
That would be true if you actually had time to "draw up a plan of attack". The fact is you have less than 6 seconds to react in a meaningful way. It is pretty much reflex. And I mean reflex in the sense of the fight or flight response. In other words, having an input that the brain has been trained to respond to automatically and as quickly as possible either through training or genetics. Not a twitch reflex that is purely peripheral neuronal components.
You do not have control over your twitch reflexes from a conscious level. They are there to sense and correct body position automatically without needing the delay of relaying the message to the brain. Twitch type reflex is more akin to agility and balance (tumble type skill) than reaction time (intiative and dodging type skill).
Hmm, so because the greatsword is bigger and has greater reach than a dagger, it should go first/be faster? Well, why don't people just use pole arms all the time then, and attack with reach & first, no less? Because they're bloody awkward to use! There is no way a greatsword could match a dagger for speed. And don't forget how cramped some combat areas can be.
If you've ever played football or worked in the manufacturing sector, you know that 6 seconds is plenty of time to draw up a mental plan and then act on it.
Here's a few things to consider about initiative and reflexes. Deer have amazing reflexes, when they are aware or not surprised they can jump arrows shot at them, (two hunters in my family have experienced this first hand). Still, there's the old term "like a deer caught in the head lights..." This really represents surprise, where the mind freezes up and you fail to react in a timely manner.
Having great reflexes and a clear head despite stimuli are two very different things. I think Saga got it right, well at least much better than prior d20.
Hmm, so because the greatsword is bigger and has greater reach than a dagger, it should go first/be faster? Well, why don't people just use pole arms all the time then, and attack with reach & first, no less?
Because they're bloody awkward to use! There is no way a greatsword could match a dagger for speed.
I fail to see how your post addresses anything I've previously stated. All you've done is describe the surprize round, which is dependent on perception (ie. spot and listen). Being surprized means you are "flat-footed", ie. unable to react. At that point it doesn't matter if we are talking about initiative, agility, reflex, or whatever, you don't have a DEX bonus at that point anyway.
Yes. Well, it might not be "faster" but it would certainly go first in most circumstances. If I've got a long stick and you've got a short stick and you come at me from more than a coupe feet away, you're going to get hit first, whether that's from me swinging it at you, or you running into a jab. And if we're in a cramped combat area, that's just less places for you to go to get around my long weapon.
Yes, a dagger might be faster, but in terms of D&D initiative, "faster" doesn't mean anything. Who hits first does.
Faster doesn't mean anything? But it is the ONLY thing that determines who strikes first!
Baloney. Sticks are one thing, swords and daggers are another. First off, a greatsword is heck of a lot heavier than a dagger, therefore affecting how much more graceful the weapon can be wielded. You also forget about how fast an individual is wielding their respective weapons. While you may have better reach than someone using a shorter weapon, it does not guarantee a hit.
Btw, in terms of initiative (for both editions),speed does determine who hits first. In the example about 2e with speed factors, it makes perfect sense, since weapon weight is factored into that.Faster doesn't mean anything? But it is the ONLY thing that determines who strikes first!
It's a really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, REALLY long power word!
Since a theme of 4e is simplifying things then i see no reason to not take something saga did to the next step.
and that included a +1 boost to each of them at 4th level--they changed how that works in Saga and it is very satisfying).
I think they'll do exactly what Saga did and make it a skill.
Reasons using Reflex Defense is bad:
1. Nearly all Nonheroics use armor for reflex defense. Armor shouldn't really make you faster.
2. Reflex Defense (and all Defenses) don't increase with Nonheroic levels. Therefore Nonheroics are gonna fall behind VERY fast.
3. Lots of feats and abilities add to Reflex Defense. The officer's ability to get a Reflex defense by having subordinates around shouldn't make him faster.
However, nonheroic levels do add to skills. And while a Nonheroic 4 having a CR of 1 may seem messed up (since they also have a BAB of +3, 4d4 HD, and +2 on all skill checks) that is balanced by the fact that they get really crappy stats (I think the high stats were 12 and 11 and that included a +1 boost to each of them at 4th level--they changed how that works in Saga and it is very satisfying).