We use a modified system of EI rules for combat and surprise. I have always treated initiative as slightly more a ‘solid’ stat than the standard EI rules given in Apocrypha Now and WFRP2.
We use the natural (I) without rolling at the beginning of every combat, or rolling for any bonuses. Then we follow the basic idea of dividing (I) by number of attacks to determine the order. Modifier for winning and charging are treated as normal for the following round
If characters are surprised, I don’t see them standing around completely useless for 10 seconds. The surprised characters make an (I) test, with any modifiers that could help in context (sixth sense, acute hearing, knowledge of the enemy etc). If they fail, they are surprised and start the fighting at (I) -D6x10 to a minimum of 0 (at which point they must miss this round, only parrying and dodging). Even if successful, they lose (I) -10. All surprised characters must of course take actions to draw their weapons, ready shields as normal. The following round then continues as normal.
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