Alternating Initiative (Action)

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Heroic Action Role-Play

This is an alternative to the initiative system described in Actions. It does not involve shots or an initiative roll, instead alternating the initiative back and forth between two (or more) sides. Much of its complexity comes from an attempt to keep Reflexes a relevant attribute. This system makes less difference between action scenes and normal play. Initiative is no longer its own mini-game, simplifying things. It is suited to narrative play where the normal detailed initiative system would break the pacing

Alternating Initiative Table

Reflexes Actions Moves Triggers
1-2 1 0 0
3-4 1 1 0
5-6 1 1 1
7-8 1 1 2
9-10 1 1 3
11-12 1 2 3
13-14 1 2 4
15-16 2 1 4
17-18 2 1 5
19-20 2 2 5
+10 +1 +1 +2

The table is explained in the text below.

Alternating Initiative Turns

First one side takes all their actions, then the other side gains the initiative and perform all their actions. This is called a turn. First one side takes their turn, then the other side. Normally, the heroes act first and the villains second, but see Speed Tests below.

Basic Actions, Actions, and Moves

Normally, each creature on each side has one basic action each round. For this system, however, basic actions have divided up into its two component parts; actions and moves. An action is the part of the basic action when you do something. The move is the movement associated with a basic action. Normally, you get one each of these, making up a normal basic action. With extreme Reflexes values, move and action can sometimes diverge. Actions can be converted to movement (the equivalent of the Full Move, but move actions that are not spent are lost.

Trigger Actions

In addition to this, each character has an allotment of trigger actions. Each turn (and this includes the opponent's part of the turn) you can take this many Trigger Actions. If you take more trigger actions than this, you lose your next turn. The allotment of trigger actions refreshes at the beginning of your turn.

Limit Breaks

Limit Breaks are Actions in this system. You must be focused at the beginning of the turn when you wish to use a Limit Break, and you lose all remaining actions after taking the Limit Break as well as losing your next turn - you cannot take any actions (including trigger actions) until the beginning of the second round after you made the Limit Break.


Some effects in Action have their effects described in rounds. There are no rounds in the alternating initiative system. Instead such effects last until someone on your side performs a Limit Break. In effect, any Limit Break performed by your side ends that round for your side.

Initiative Modifiers

Effects that modify initiative in the normal system instead modify your effective Reflexes in this system.

Speed Tests

Sometimes two or more creatures compete on who can do something first, resolve this with opposed Reflexes rolls. This can bypass the normal order where heroes act first and villains second. The easiest way to adjudicate this is to make a speed test for all involved, and grant the winning creature (not its entire side) and extra turn. If several creatures on the same side tie the speed test, each gets an extra turn. If several creatures in conflict tie on the test, no-one gets an extra turn.