Hard Times in Sol Rasa
The Sol Rasa campaign will utilize the initiative system from Savage Worlds. To help the Game Master keep track of who goes in what order and add a little randomness to the game, we use a single deck of playing cards with both Jokers left in to determine everyone’s initiative.
Deal in characters as follows:
- Every PC is dealt a single card. Any allies under that player’s control act on his initiative card as well.
- Each group of GM characters, such as all zombies, all wolves, and so on, share a card. Exactly which NPC groups or individuals get their own cards is up to the DM. If he wants to break his 30 zombies into 5 groups of 6, that’s fine. The goal is to do whatever makes running the battle as quick and easy as possible. Generally, PC’s and other unique characters get their own card.
- A character with a feat, feature, spell effect, or other initiative modifier equal to or greater than +4 is dealt two cards and keeps the one they desire.
- A character with a feat, feature, spell effect, or other initiative modifier equal to or less than +3 may discard their first drawn card and draw a new card once.
- A character or creature suffering a penalty to initiative from game effect will draw two cards and take the lowest value.
Shuffle the deck after any round in which a Joker was dealt.
Once the cards are dealt, the DM starts the round by counting down from the Ace to the Deuce, with each group resolving its actions when its card comes up.
Ties are resolved by suit order: Spades are first, then
Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs (reverse alphabetical order).
When a player draws a Joker, his character can go whenever he wants in the round, even interrupting another character’s action if he wants. In addition, the player may make one of their rolls at an Advantage during their turn, and they may add 1d6 to any damage rolls!
A hero may choose to wait and see what happens by taking a Hold action. He may then go later in the round if he chooses.
A Held action lasts until it’s used. If a character has a Held card when a new round starts, he’s not dealt in.
If a character is incapacitated while on Hold, he immediately loses his “Hold” status and any remaining actions for the round. If character or creature has an ability to avoid this status. They may trigger it or attempt to use the ability and remain on Hold.
If a character on Hold wants to interrupt an action (including a rival who was also on Hold),
he and the opponent make opposed Dex Checks. Whoever rolls highest goes first. In the rare case of a tie, the actions are simultaneous.
Combat often starts before everyone involved is prepared.
An ambush, a sudden double-cross, or a trap might all give one side in a fight an edge over the other.
When this happens, the side that started the fight is not dealt cards but begins the fight on Hold. Victims of the surprise attack must make Perception checks rolls (DC determined by DM). Those who make it are dealt in as usual. Those who fail get no card in the first round of combat.