Death may Die
“Initiative” is a fancy gamer jargon way of saying “who goes first.” Given the less rank-structure of the game, Rank is no longer a feature of determining who goes first. Instead, use the rules for using Sixth Sense as an initiative mechanism.
However, there are a number of additional ways initiative can shift in the heat of the moment.
Magenta assumes a “us then you” approach to initiative – everybody on one “side” goes first, then everybody on the other “side” goes. You may use this (although some of the following rules may need adaptation), but these rules assume you’re using “free for all” initiative. In this system, everybody is in the same “pool” – actions will be interspersed between every “side” based on Initiative results.
Breaking ties in Initiative will be much more significant since you might have two opponents with the same Sixth Sense result. In this case, the following steps can act as tie breakers.
- Agreement. Two people acting on the same Sixth Sense result may opt for an order between them. This is perfectly allowable, and should be encouraged between teammates.
- Order of Mind, from highest to lowest (a further tie break between Minds of the same value is to look at how many Mind Points each character has left).
- Order of Strata, from highest to lowest (a further tie break between Strata is to use Standing).
- Coin flip or die roll. If all else fails, randomly select the order of actions.
Risk and Breeze
If Risking or Breezing initiative then you’re attempting to gain the ability to act a second time. You may not perform the same task twice in a round (shooting the same gun, running, etc.), but you may perform two different actions. Your first set of actions occurs at one result, and the second at the other. Note that even if you are attempting Rapid Planning, you must Breeze or Risk both results to act twice.
You may perform up to your full allotment of actions at either time, but remember that you may not take the same action twice. Thus, if you move in the faster action, you may only move again in the slower one if you have movement left.
If you botch, not only does it cost you an Attribute Point, you do not act in the round at all. You’ve gotten horrendously confused and/or tangled up in your actions, and spend your round in a state of uselessness.
Spending a round taking stock of the situation can allow someone to get a better handle on the situation. A character may spend an action to assess his current situation. This gives him the ability to react to what he knows is there, and react to what he doesn’t know.
On the following round, he may spend a point of Drive to use the higher result of Plan or Sixth Sense for initiative. He may do so every round thereafter until he stops spending Drive. On the round he stops spending drive, he must spend another action in order to resume the active planning state.
Preparing for Encounters
You may perform this planning operation prior to battle if you are aware of the fight coming. However, you still have to spend a point of Drive per round.
You cannot spend a round in the middle of battle drawing up conditional operational action plans. However, if you have Planning Expert the cost for maintaining rapid planning is reduced. On the first round of combat (for a planned encounter), the round after you spend an action taking stock, or any round where you spent drive to improve your initiative the previous round, the improved initiative result costs nothing. Thus, you only pay for every other round.
If it is a planned encounter, you do not need to take an action to take stock before getting the improved initiative. Indeed, if you only take improved initiative every other round, you never have to pay for it during a planned encounter.
Retinue and followers don’t always act as quickly as you. (On the other hand, they might be quicker.) You can make up the difference by using Lead. This requires a point of Clout at the beginning of the round (when initiative is determined). If successful, you can assist up to the total number of people you can lead (normally one, but more if you have Impressive Leader). However, other than moving this is the only action you get in a round.
Those who you do talk through the round act on the higher of your initiative or their own. You may do this while doing Rapid Planning, meaning feet-on-the-ground coordination with active operational oversight can allow you to rapidly react to any scenario.