|In the Optional System, the Team with the Edge gets to act first.|
The problem is establishing which Team gets that honour.
During last week's recap of our first playtest session of High Plains Samurai, I mentioned the need for initiative in the game. On the surface, the idea sounds simple and viable because the majority of initiative rules in RPGs involve a dice roll and since the Optional System is a dice-rolling machine, this shouldn't be a big deal, right?
Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. I had no idea how wrong that theory was.
Let's start by explaining how turn order works in Killshot, the original and only published version involving the Optional System. The main characters, AKA assassins, pretty much always go first. Because it is a game of strategy and planning, players must set a plan in motion and will likely always go first. That works for a realistic and tactical game like Killshot, but it's shit in a martial arts clone. It provides a near automatic victory for the heroes assisted by their bonus options, Pass reactions, and everything else. The only other means to force heroes to go next involves villains and thugs applying triggers before the fight scene begins, but that can get old and tired after a while. And what if the heroes set down a trigger designed to go off when the thugs' trigger activates, huh? It can potentially reach ridiculous heights.