Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ingenious Initiative System

I suppose it's a good thing I held back my rant the other day about Half Price Books getting greedy. Not that my complaint doesn't hold up (in the long run it does,) but maybe karma paid me back with a couple of decent finds yesterday. The best of which was this baby... an unopened, still shrink-wrapped copy of the Dr. No adventure from Victory Games James Bond RPG. To clarify, the price sticker on the front (since removed) and back sides are from the adventure's life before Half Price. The HP sticker was also easily removed, and its $9.98 price was more than reasonable for this item.

For those of you who've never played it, James over at Grognardia is right when he says that "...its designers and writers really got the world of James Bond and tailored their game to provide it to players and referees alike." One of the most ingenious things to me about the game's mechanics is the initiative system.

The James Bond Initiative System: All characters involved in a chase or combat declare their actions in reverse order of Speed (1-3, based on the sum of Perception and Dexterity), then those actions are executed in order of speed (highest to lowest,) giving faster characters the advantages of knowing what slower characters are going to do, and being able to take their action earlier.

It's honestly the perfect system for any genre where the hero is larger-than-life, and particularly the d30 pulp system I'm developing. Granted, it does make more sense for the Doc Savage/Flash Gordon style hero, and it may not work as well to emulate the style of the Weird Menace or Hardboiled Detective genres. However, as an optional initiative/action, something similar should work rather nicely.

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