Roleplaying games have largely eschewed this structure in favour of the deeply flawed Sequential round structure. I hope to re-popularize Phased Real-Time rounds.
What is Phased Real-Time Round Structure?PRT breaks a "round" down into phases - typically an orders phase and one or more resolution phases.
Within each phase, there is no concept of "order" or "initiative" as there would be in a Sequential round structure. All operations are considered to happen in real time, as they do in the fiction.
Orders PhaseHere, each player outlines what they choose to do on their turn. In a competitive game, generally speaking there must be some element of secrecy to this phase. Diplomacy, for example, requires the players to write their orders down on paper using a specific (and strictly enforced) syntax. Kriegspiel keeps the staffs of the two sides in separate rooms, where they write orders on paper and hand them to the umpires.
In a cooperative game like D&D, it is hardly necessary to keep the players in the dark as to each other's intentions. Interesting and tense results could be had from enforcing secrecy and non-communication, but in a friendly cooperative game this is not worth the trade-offs. A degree of honesty is required on the part of the DM; they must not alter the orders of the monsters in light of information gleaned during the turn.
What is Sequential Round Structure?
Why Phased Real-Time Round Structure?
How to Switch to Phased Real-Time Round Structure?
- Orders Phase
- DM Hints at Monster/NPC actions
- Players Declare Actions
- Execution Phase
- Interdependent Groups are Identified
- Actions are Resolved Group by Group (using your existing ruleset)