Unknown Armies: Berkeley
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Initiative is a game-simulation contrivance to help the GM determine when things happen in combat. Generally speaking, when a fight or emergency happens, people just say what they’re doing, and the GM resolves those actions in whatever action seems most sensible. There are times — a lot of times, actually — when one person wants to get their action done before another. Both of you try to grab the wad of cash off the poker table, or you try to slam the door before he gets out, or she wants to stab you before you jump behind the desk.
In those cases, if it seems like it could be a tie, you compare whatever you’re rolling to perform the action. Typically it’s an ability like Struggle or Dodge, or a substituting identity. If she has Struggle 20% and you have Dodge 40%, you jumped behind the desk before she could stick you. If you both roll Fitness to grab the cash off the table, and both get successes, you can resolve the tie by looking at whose Fitness ability is higher, unless one of you had an identity with this feature, and that identity was higher still. So suppose you have Twitchy Paranoid as an identity. (“Of course I locked the goddamn door! I’m a twitchy para- noid!”) It’s rated at 60% and has this feature. Any time there’s a panic situation and you’re seeing whose ability or identity goes off first, you act as if your rating was 60%. It’s only for timing, but it doesn’t matter if that’s Struggle or Dodge or Pursuit. You’re fast off the mark.