Some other initiatives

So, weird, useful and exciting initiative systems. Who's got some?

My current system is bingo calling/chit-pull initiative. I've written everyone's name on a token and pull them out of a bowl (I use numbers for monsters). Totally random, ensures I don't forget anyone, avoids having to roll dice and remembering an order.


  • Write them on blank cards and shuffle them every turn. You can keep AC/HP/effects timers/whatever written directly on it for convenience.
  • Use actual bingo balls. Number everyone.
  • Instead of numbering monsters, just put a star on them. When you pull a star move a monster. Even less paper work.

Declare a leader token. This can be an actual token, or a hat, or a sceptre, or something hard to lose. That person goes first and play proceeds to their left. All enemy NPCs act on the GMs turn. Once a round has finished pass the token to your right.

The player with the least health goes first and play proceeds down the line. The GM calls out "1, 2, 3..."etc and people chime in.

The player willing to take the biggest penalty to all rolls goes first. Like the drama initiative, GM calls out from 6 and goes down. Or some other number appropriate to your system. GM also picks.

All things happen at once. Any actions that would cancel out another are done as contested rolls and the winner gets their way. Damage is simultaneous unless it obviously isn't.

You've got a track of actions, each player places themselves on a spot. Play proceeds top to bottom. On proceeding rounds the players are relocated in reverse order.

A manoeuvre is any non-combat non-magic action, like moving around or rummaging in your pack or pulling a lever.

  1. Reckless Magics -6
  2. Melee attacks
  3. Ranged attacks
  4. Manoeuvre
  5. Risky magics -3
  6. Manoeuvre and melee
  7. Manoeuvre and ranged
  8. Safe magics

In a non-fun game where you don't roll for magic, just do it all on the last one.

Everyone starts with a little token on the shaded slice. Randomly pick who goes first and proceed left-wise for the first moves, after that the person closest to the shaded slice acts first. This can result in multiple actions in a row if they don't jump anyone.

  • Move 5ft - 1 space
  • Attacking moves you spaces according to weapon used (sword is 4, knife is 2, halberd is 5
  • Magic moves you spaces according to the spell (magic missile is probably 4, charm is 1)
  • Misc actions generally take 1 space.

Once you pass the shaded slice you may take no more actions until everyone has passed it. When the new round begins you start with the person closest to the shaded area. Moves continue from where the pieces are.

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Universal Roads & Currencies

The City in the Middle of the Road

Troika is the City in the Middle of the Road, not of Windowless Rooms, nor of Doors. These are different places that one can get to through different means. Troika is reached by those who travel and have no destination. When purpose is abandoned its thick metal walls might loom on the horizon or peek above the trees to guide you to its open gates.

Its gates open on to the million spheres each with a road meandering away to be traveled by citizens with purpose. They step out with a destination in mind and travel until the city is out of sight, arriving where they intend to be and the way back wholly obscured.

To get back to the city is easier than first finding it; walk a road with nothing behind you and nothing ahead. Leave no one behind wishing your return, walk with no purpose, and Troika will open its gates to you again.

Bureau of Universal Exchange

Scattered throughout Troika are the silo-like Bureaus of Universal Exchange. Windowless and towering —either occupied because of these facts or floors and shutters have been welded on— one enters the ground floor to deal with its spider-like proprietors.

You find them hunched beyond tiny portholes and pass through your goods and currencies to be fondled by their hairy little hands. They have an uncanny head for the value of things, they will never confer, you will never get a bargain, they will instantly offer only exactly what it's worth and not a penny more, minus a small handling fee of course. Roll 2d6 to determine the % they add on top that day. Reroll 6s and keep adding them until you stop.

They will exchange anything for the Troikian penny, a brass coin of muddy source. The currency is worth whatever the standard currency of your game is, but only of face value to those who can travel to the city, which, while a large number, is far less than the entirety of the population of the universe.

When bringing them alien currency randomly determine how valuable it is at that exact moment. Roll 2d6 in order. The first is the penny, the second is foreign currency, thus determining the ratio. Always add one in the bureau's favour. They're running a business after all.

If a currency is a step above the base (gold>silver for instance) then just add a zero in its favour.

You can list these for later use if you like, but it's even easier to determine it anew each time. Time and space is unpredictable, change is relative.