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     Volleyball Initiative is a tweak of the well-known Elective Initiative method, used to decide who-goes-when in combat and other scenes where the order of action matters. This works best in games where each character has a simple “action” or more to spend each round of combat. The name reflects the act of passing a volleyball, which may be either passed to one’s own team or the opposition.

     To start, the character who starts the conflict takes the first action. If their target (friend, foe or self!) has an action, that target must go next. If not, the acting character bumps it to anyone else with an action. Once everyone has spent their last action, a new round begins, and everyone gets their action(s) back. The last one to act gets to choose anyone, including themselves, to start off the new round.

     This encourages a change of tactics from elective initiative, making fight sequences less predictable and pile-ons less-effective. It still dispenses with tedious tracking of initiative numbers, keeps players on their toes, and favors interesting choices over fickle dice. Volleyball Initiative may be a poor fit for games with complex initiative and action rules, but it is an excellent tweak for more robust engines, such as early versions of D&D and its many old-school kin.

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This text is also the entirety of the method, downloading the pdf gets you a fancier version with some hand-drawn art. Please show support with money and/or a 5-star rating.



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VolleyBall_Initiative.pdf 417 kB

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