member, 81 posts
Sat 22 Jun 2019
at 14:16
Savage Worlds PbP Combat
 I am about to enter combat for the first time for the Savage Worlds (ETU) game I am running. Are there any experienced SW GM's who have a good set up for handling PbP combat? Right now I am simply drawing the cards for the players and having them act/post in order. But that removes a lot of the options that make SW combat so exciting. No using bennies to draw a new card- unless I let them draw their own cards next time. No holding actions or supporting. I really want to keep as much of the combat mechanics in tact as possible without slowing the game down too much.

Any suggestions?
 subscriber, 102 posts
Sat 22 Jun 2019
at 14:55
Savage Worlds PbP Combat
I do a lot of SW on site and first [reference to other game removed].

Second to tackle this particular problem I've seen it done four ways:

1)  Everyone draws their own cards (prompted by the Gamemaster).  So the first thing in every combat is a purely OOC post where you draw your card.  The GM then makes another post, putting everyone in order, and everyone posts in turn.

Then, as you take your actions, you end your action by drawing your card for the next round, like it's the last thing you do and add to your combat post.  This in turn lets the GM organize all of that into the next round and the cycle repeats until combat ends.

Pros:  Takes all the headache off the GM to remember who has initiative enhancing edges, facilitates mechanics like use a benny to redraw a card, etc.

Cons:  Delays resolution, you have to wait for everyone to post.  This isn't such a bad thing if yours is a slower paced game.

2) GM draws all initiative cards.  You get what you get.

Pros:  Easier for players, game moves noticeably faster.  I don't say this as a negative criticism but some GMs hate it when players make any more rolls than are absolutely necessary and this helps them curb that.

Cons:  More on the GM, effects of initiative modifying abilities or mechanics likely to be overlooked.

3) Hybrid method:  The GM pulls all cards on the first round just to get things going, and then expects the players to pull them as they go past that.  Rarely used but I've seen it.  I think it's not used that much because you get none of the benefits and all of the drawbacks at the same time plus it confuses people.

4) Hardcore method:  I have seen this only once, but some mathematically astute people are quick to point out that using the dice roller is not the same thing as using an actual deck of cards due to the inherent "replacement" for lack of a better word of cards already drawn.  So in this case, the GM actually kept a physical deck of cards at home and physically shuffled and drew from it and simply informed us of the results to preserve the probabilities the game is based on.  This however is surely an absolute pain in the rear end.

This message was last edited by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 17:27, Sat 22 June 2019.

 supporter, 602 posts
Sat 22 Jun 2019
at 17:57
Savage Worlds PbP Combat
The way I've most often seen it done is to just have the GM draw and post results (either using a deck at home or by using the site's RNG to draw all the cards at once and then going down the list as combat progresses), but not individual results.  Instead they draw for the extras as a group, and then individually for any enemy wildcards, and then for the players as a group.

This breaks the combat turn down into 3 phases essentially, anyone acting before the PC's, the PC's acting, then anyone after.  Some mechanics can be preserved, such as quick or level headed effecting the entire group draw (which makes them more useful vs traditional play to be fair), but most are thrown out to keep things FFF in this particular medium.

Irregardless of the system, anything that stops someone from posting when it's convenient for them due to having to wait on someone else to post (such as when having to post in a specific combat order) will bog things down in most cases and make everything take longer which is usually not good for the long term success of PbP games.
 member, 1572 posts
Sun 23 Jun 2019
at 00:55
Savage Worlds PbP Combat
The way I run initiative, for any system on pbp, is to have players post their plan and rolls. I say "their plan" because in essence, they are only stating their intent for the round.

Once the players post their intended actions (and I do encourage a few "if-then" statements within reason) and make a post detailing how it all played out.

It usually only matters who acts faster when one side dies that round, and few other rare cases. Therefore, when it does happen that it matters, I do the initiative and the winner goes first. Ties or even sometimes almost-a-tie, and I'll call it a simultaneous event.

This method minimizes posts per round, and generally feels more "real." It also minimizes initiative worries, yet keeps a place for initiative mechanics to still matter and make a difference in outcomes.