Ok, I think I can answer these. I'm playing around a little bit with exactly what phases I need and what to call them. I think I need a Declare Action phase, a Make Roll Phase, and a Resolve Action phase. The thing that makes this a little tricky is that everyone moves from the Declare Action phase to the Make Roll phase, but not everyone move into the Resolve Action phase. Only those who win their opposed rolls get an action.
I'd like to make a suggestion to do this a different way, but since I'm not familiar with the game I might be way off. If so, feel free to ignore me
I was thinking that there might be a way to reduce it to two phases, like you had mentioned earlier. In the first phase the combatants declare their action and you add them to the appropriate groupings. Then I can write a script that will collect all of the dice rolls from the different combatants so that when you proceed to the next phase it will show a dialog like the manual initiative dialog that allows you to either enter the rolls by manually or to have IT roll them automatically. Once the rolls are entered IT should be able to determine who goes into the determine action phase. Of course keeping the three phases also works and is a good start on seeing what should be done as a next step.
One thing that would really rock would be the ability to create sub-groups within the same encounter. In FUDGE, you kind of create "zones", and the whole group is divided up into smaller groups.
A really simple example would be 2 PC's fighting 3 bandits. PC 1 and Bandits 1 & 2 may be one group, and PC 2 and Bandit 2 would be the other. It would be great to be able to differentiate who is combating whom within the encounter window.
Phergus was playing a game called Dragon Quest(I think) that had a similar mechanic. He tried to keep the combatant groups in their own phases, but I don't know if that worked very well for him. A simpler way to do this might be to define wait states that number the groups then assign each combatant to the proper group. (I know, it's a bit of a hack). The advantage of this is that it is very easy to set the value. It is just an Alt-group-number
key press or a simple click on the wait state toolbar. It will also make it very easy to tell which combatants are in which group. You can use icons and/or background colors to keep them separate. This won't interfere with your stunned state either since it can be made to look different as well, or you can remove those combatants from the action phase by dragging it out.
1. Since the system is more loose and less defined than say, 3.5, I just need the first part to keep track of who has declared. I won't need to enter anything in at this point. What I was hoping for was to put all of the combatants into the Declare Action phase, and once they declare, I can click on them and they would move to the Make Roll phase. Everyone moves from the Declare Action phase to the Make Roll phase.
Instead of moving them between the phases, which can get a bit tedious you could just leave all of the combatants in both phases and then only remove the combatants from the third. It will save you a repetitive step which would probably just slow you down.
2. The Declare Action phase is determined bythe Reflex Attribute, and the combatants declare in order from slowest to fastest. A roll isn't used for this. Since there aren't that many degrees of difference in FUDGE, this is where it would be nice to be able to differentiate the different subgroups (maybe by color coding them or something). In my PC's VS Bandit example, the first group compares their Reflexes to determine their order for declaring action, and the 2nd group compares their Reflexes to determine their order for declaring action. There are other factors that can contribute to Reflexes, like the Quick Reflexes Gift, so those might be all combined in a separate field to give the character an "initiative" score for the declaration phase. Basically, this first phase is just to help me make sure I don't miss anyone's actions. For large combats it might be nice to have a notes section where I could just jot down a quick note, like "attacking wolf 4" or something.
Do you need the combatants sorted by group and then by reflex (all of group on in reflex order then all of group 2 in reflex order) or just by reflex (all combatants in reflex order)? How do you resolve ties in reflex? It is possible to have the modifiers to reflex automatically added in by defining your gifts with the proper modifiers.
3. For now, I can sort all of the combatants by their base "initiative" score manually for the Declare Action phase, since no rolling is involved. The main thing that would be helpful for this phase would be a way to group combatants within the same phase, so it's easier to remember who is fighting whom.
See my comments above about groupings.
4. Dragging and dropping is fine for what we need. It would be nice if in the first phase (Declare Action) that the combatants moved into the Make Roll phase once I clicked through them. I would still need to move whomever wins their opposed rolls into the Resolve Action phase manually. One thing that would be great though, will be when MT's chat and IT are linked together. That way, when the players make their rolls in MT, IT would take the rolls and apply the modifiers. What makes FUDGE a little tricky is that a character's ODF (Offensive Damage Factor) has several variables in it, namely which weapon they are using and the combat stance they are taking. Scale is also a factor as well. At some point it would be awesome to have IT figure all of this out and determine who moves to the Resolve Action phase automatically.
Init tool can do all of this, but it might take awhile to get all of the scripts working.
While this would speed things up, combat is already much faster than 3.5, so automation isn't quite as necessary. It would be great, but as I'm just learning this tool and tweaking my system, I'd rather take it slow for now and just develop my IT setup on the assumption that I'm entering all the information manually. IT will basically be just helping to keep the phases organized for now. Then I can worry about scripting and implementing automation and modifiers.
That is always a good approach. It lets you get something working and then try it out to figure what feature you need next.
One quick question, you mentioned that FUDGE dice are in IT, but I don't know how to find them? If they aren't it would be great if they were added. Phergus helped me create a table to simulate a 4dF roll. At some point, it would be great to have MT and IT make actual 4dF rolls. There are also some cases in FUDGE where you might want to make a *dF.1 roll, which is basically an open-ended single die roll. The way that roll works is: You roll a single dF. If a + or - comes up, you roll again (if you foll a blank, it's considered a Fair result and you stop rolling). If you match your first roll, you roll again. You keep rolling until your rolls stop matching. So a roll of ++-, would be a Great (+2) result. A roll of blank would be a Fair Result. I would like to implement this type of roll for certain situations, so it would be great if that type of roll could be automated. For now, I can do it manually in MT.
They are accessed the same way you would access them in a MT macro; #df where the # is the number of times to roll the dice. The result is calculated to be rollDice(times, 3) - (2 * times)