A Combat Pacing System

This combat pacing system is designed to let faster people act a little faster, by not only acting first but acting more often. It also introduces some variability in the ordering of actions, such that slower people can sometimes get the drop on faster people.

In this system a combat "round" is about three seconds long (taking a page from FUDGE: it is actually π seconds long - that's why they call it a combat round). During this time, each character has a number of turns equal to half his Basic Speed, rounding all fractions up. These are treated as normal GURPS combat turns for the actions you can take.

At the beginning of each round, make a roll vs. 2 × Basic Speed. The margin of success is the initiative step you first act on. Treat the margin of failure as first acting on a negative initiative step. Start from the highest initiative step and begin counting down in integer increments. Characters with multiple turns per round can get their additional turns every additional 24 / Basic Speed initiative steps (rounded up). This is called the character's action period.

Basic SpeedAction Period

If two people act on the same initiative step, roll a contest of DX to see who gets to act first.

If you wait, you can delay taking your turn until the initiative step when you would have gotten your next turn. At that point, your first turn was lost and you begin with your second turn (which you can still spend waiting, if you like). If you wait and act, you do not get your next turn until your action period has passed from the time you acted. If you spend your last turn for the combat round waiting, you can delay your action until any subsequent initiative step, but you loose your turn if you do not act before the beginning of the next combat round.

Example: Anne-Marie is fighting Billy Bob. Anne-Marie has a Basic Speed of 6.25, Billy Bob has a Basic Speed of 5.00. Anne-Marie gets 4 turns every combat round, and has an action period of 4. Billy Bob gets 3 turns every combat round, and has an action period of 5.

Round 1: Anne-Marie rolls a 13 for initiative, failing by 1. Billy Bob rolls a 9, succeeding by one. Billy Bob goes first, on initiative step 1. Anne-Marie acts next, on initiative step -1. Then Billy Bob gets his second turn on initiative step -4, Anne-Marie gets her second turn on initiative step -5, and both of them get their third turns on initiative step -9. Finally, Anne-Marie gets her last turn on initiative step -13.

Round 2: Anne-Marie rolls a 7 for initiative, succeeding by 5. Billy Bob rolls a 10, making his initiative roll exactly. Anne-Marie gets two turns before Billy Bob gets to act once - first on initiative step 5, then on initiative step 1 (not suprizingly, she chooses to all-out attack on her first turn). Then Billy Bob goes on initiative step 0. Anne-Marie goes on -3, Billy Bob on -5, Anne-Marie again on -7, and Billy Bob on -10.

Round 3: Anne-Marie rolls an 11 for initiative, succeeding by 2. Billy Bob rolls a 10 again, making his initiative roll exactly. Anne-Marie would normally get to go first, on initiative step 2, but she has something tricky in mind. She waits. Billy Bob goes on 0, and Anne-Marie decides to take her turn on initiative step 0 as well. They now must make a contest of DX to decide who gets to act first. Since Anne-Marie took her turn on initiative step 0, she does not get another one until initiative step -4. Then Billy Bob goes on step -5, Anne-Marie on step -8, Billy Bob on step -10, and Anne-Marie on step -12.

Movement in the combat pacing system: If you get more than three turns per round, you can only take a full move on three of them. If you want, you can split up your movement between different turns, but you cannot move more than if you took three full move actions. If you have two turns per round, you can take a third turn after your normal Action Period, but you can only take a move action, and you can only do this if you took a move action on one of your previous two turns this round. If you have one turn per round and you took a move action, you can take two more turns where you only take move actions with an action step of 12.

Rate of Fire in the combat pacing system: Firearms and muscle powered weapons with an ROF of one present no problems, you can use them every turn (unless you are interrupted by reloading or something similar). Semi-automatic firearms can also be fired at their full ROF every turn. However, full auto firearms and energy weapons are typically limited by the mechanics of the gun, the cooling system, or the power supply rather than the character's reflexes. For these weapons, no one can take more than three attack actions that use the weapon's full ROF. If desired, the full ROF can be split up among two or more turns, but no more shots can be fired in one round than if you took three attack actions at full ROF.

Chartacters with two or fewer turns per round can continue to fire for a third turn if they are using a fully automatic weapon on autofire at full ROF and if they continue to attack the same target they were firing at in one of their previous turns this round. For characters with one turn per action, they can get two more turns of autofire at full ROF with an Action Period of 12.

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