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Initiative and Space Combat
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Daemoro
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:43 pm    Post subject: Initiative and Space Combat Reply with quote

I've done some searching and I ran into the same problem that I always do here: there is SOOOO much information it is difficult to parse through.

I am running my first starship battle this week (unless the PCs go off chasing squirrels..... again) and it seemed to me that in a multi crew ship that initiative shouldn't be based off one characters Perception skill. In my groups case the highest skill is their Doctor. He won't be manning any station on the ship other than emergency repairs or patching up a wounded PC.

It just seemed to me that on a multi-person ship that initiative should run through the captain/pilot because everything is dependent on the decisions made by one of those two people.

Also is it really dependent on Perception or would another skill be viable to use in its place for these situations? The newish Pathfinder 2nd Edition added a rule for initiative based on what your character is actually doing that really makes sense to me.

I am considering just asking the players which skill should be used and why just to see what they come up with. Yes they will try to justify using their highest skill but I will do the same for the enemies.

Any thoughts or guidance on this would be greatly appreciated.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question for discussion. I try to have PC ships where everyone has something to do so no one is left out of the action, but it still does make sense to give the Initiative on the pilot/captain regardless of Perception die codes in the group.

One option is to just make have the pilot/captain use their Perception, the same with NPCs on enemy ships. Since Initiative in RAW is based on an attribute and not a skill, it has been suggested here to instead use the Mechanical attribute of the character rolling Initiative, the same with enemy ships of the NPC you roll for. As an other option, I posted a house rule for a derived Initiative stat that is mostly based on PER+DEX of the character the Initiative is being rolled for on each side (and to determine turn order within each side). Perception and Dexterity are both still applicable to flying spaceships.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, if the doc isn't involved in anything there, then he shouldn't be rolling his PER for what the group does...
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2020 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should the non pilots actually roll initiative for the piloting/combat aspect.

I can see a shield operator being part of that, and the gunner, so it cn depend on the crew and crew position.

But I had a character once acting as the team medic, I basically manned the medical bay, I rolled the highest intiative due to a 3D+2 to my perception, the group won.

However after the session we all wondered how could the medical officer's initiative be relevant for the space combat/chase in this case, and we actually drew a blank. we decoded on only the actual "combatelement" personell would roll as a group, even if this for the scene left somone out of the immiate action.
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Daemoro
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2020 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. It's nice to hear that my thinking isn't completely foreign on this topic.

Game is later today, we will see how it goes.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2020 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mamatried wrote:
Should the non pilots actually roll initiative for the piloting/combat aspect.

I can see a shield operator being part of that, and the gunner, so it cn depend on the crew and crew position.

But I had a character once acting as the team medic, I basically manned the medical bay, I rolled the highest intiative due to a 3D+2 to my perception, the group won.

However after the session we all wondered how could the medical officer's initiative be relevant for the space combat/chase in this case, and we actually drew a blank. we decoded on only the actual "combatelement" personell would roll as a group, even if this for the scene left somone out of the immiate action.


I would be ok with limiting it to those just in the cockpit/gun turrets.
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