A random stray thought while sleep-deprived over on my private Discord server for my gaming group had me asking if you could reverse the order of initiative in GURPS and what it would ultimately mean. This led to a couple of other thoughts and I’ve just kind of tossed them all down here. Do note that I’ve talked about this before: Reordering Initiative.
Reverse Initiative Order
The combat system works normally except that the slowest (i.e., those with the lowest Basic Speed) go first, with the firstest (i.e., those with the highest Basic Speed) being able to interrupt it at any point before their own order in the initiative. This lets them react to things slower combatants do as if they had performed a Wait maneuver.
Initiative Based on Perception
Instead of Basic Speed being based on DX + HT, base it instead on just Perception. So you could say Basic Speed is equal to Perception / 2. Optionally, you could use DX + Perception / 2. A lot of other systems don’t just use raw physical speed and agility and physical grit to determine Basic Speed like GURPS does and instead rely on their perceptions or awareness.
Extra Attacks for High Initiative
One thing some systems like to do is give extra attacks or maneuvers with extra Basic Speed. GURPS
flat out makes it so that this is an advantage. One thing GURPS
does do is that if everyone
has something then it’s a feature and thus worth no points. So how can we use that to give combatants more attacks or actions? Well, Rapid Strike is something anyone can do to garner a second attack – what if we reduce the penalty and/or give extra attacks for everyone as long as their Basic Speed is high? So something like “At 5.00 Basic Speed you can use Rapid Strike taking a -6 to your rolls for an extra attack, at 10.00 Basic Speed you can reduce the penalty to -3 for two
attacks or get three
attacks at -6 to your roll, at 15.00 Basic Speed you reduce the penalty to -1 for two
attacks, -3 for three
attacks, or get four
attacks at -6…” and so on.
Picking Over the Bones
I have no idea how these would work – theoretically, they are sound. If someone uses them in a game please let me know how they played out, what went wrong, what could be tweaked, etc.
What sort of things have you experimented with in your own games as far as who goes first in combat? Any fails? Any wins? How did they work out? Anything you’d share with your fellow GMs?