Interruptions / reactions



How do you handle an interrupting action by a player outside of the turn order?

Last Saturday I ran my first ICRPG session; the only real sticking point that came up for me as GM was how to adjudicate interrupting actions. For example: The party is scaling a brutal cliff face.

Turn Order:
Warrior (lowest down the face)
Mage (2nd lowest)
Hunter (at the top)
Bard (near the top)

On their turn, the Mage’s fingerhold slips and they fall off the edge of the clifface they are gripping to (2nd failed check in a row).
How does the Warrior PC’s desired reaction to catch the Mage’s outstretched arm as they tumble past work?
Does the Warrior act out of turn (maybe as a hard Check)?
Do they wait til the order gets to the them (and not worry about the 10-20 second round finishing beforehand)?
Does the Warrior not have any chance to react (seems mean)?

If it was PC vs monster reaction, an initiative roll solves it easily. When it’s a consequence of the world, how woul you adjudicate a valid desire to act out of turn?


I would let players act out of turn and return to turn order after that.


If it makes sense in the fiction: interrupt your turn, acknowledge what the player said, then ask the other players if they want to do something as well (very important!), and then adjudicate according to the rules, the context, and your judgment!

Otherwise, if you think that the player might be missing vital information or is in no position to act: acknowledge what the player said, tell him that he cannot act because of the reason that you will proceed to explain, and then ask all of your players what they want to do. Gather all of their reply (you never adjudicate until everybody has declared an action) and then you adjudicate.

What do you think about this? :smiley:


My gut says to allow for out of turn actions on a difficult room target and the cost of the PCs next turn (a bit like a snap action in Stars Without Number).

Anyone tried this?

Edit: too hasty on my read of your reply @BlazingPolyhedron!

I like your suggestion; essentially have all players take their turns acting and then adjudicate them all together along with the world (or monsters if they are involved) - I think this is the way!

I’ve wanted to try combat resolution as a single event (rather than initiative based resolution) in my sci-fi game but, with psychic powers, suppressing fire, high tech fuckery and d&d action economy to worry about I’ve shied away from it. I think it could work in this system though with the simple maths and streamlining - I think ICRPG is my new home :grin:


Hey, everything above sounds good. Here’s how I have done it: first I have them make a dexterity check to see if they’re fast enough to react. If so I let them take the reaction, But then when their turn comes around, I give them half movement so basically they only have a move left or an action left but not both.


Thanks for the replies - much appreciated!


I think you’ve gotten good advice here.

I would only advise you to resist the urge to overoperationalize when a player wants to act out of turn. Trust the narrative and your own ability to keep it on course, regardless of the rules system. This is where the nuanced act of game mastery is really demonstrated as art more than science.


I’d totally let one PC act out of turn to attempt to catch the falling character, and thereby forgo their future action. Remember, turn order is a tool to make your life as a GM easier; it is not a cage to limit creative and satisfying action.