Stop rolling for initiative!

I've been doing it this way for years and years. Everyone rolls a d20, adds, their dexterity and any initiative bonus modifiers they might have, tells me their number, I record it in order and go down the line. After every action, I have to look back at my notes to read the next name on the list. This happens every combat. And it must stop!

From now on, I've decided to go a different way. Instead of initiative rolls, we're just going to go in order of seats. Moving clockwise, whoever is sitting to my immediate left will go first until we get to the person sitting to my immediate right.

So, where do the monsters go? They'll either go first if surprising the PCs or last if they don't.

Too simplistic? Possibly for some, but I think minimizing the hassles of rolling for initiative and keeping track of it is worth the over-simplification. We'll see how it goes. I'll be playtesting it in Saturday's D&D game.

How about you... what do you think? Comment below!

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Authored by Venger Satanis
http://vengersatanis.blogspot.com/

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"Moving clockwise, whoever is sitting to my immediate left will go first until we get to the person sitting to my immediate right.

So, where do the monsters go? They'll either go first if surprising the PCs or last if they don't."

That's how I remember it.

Another cool option is to use the Cortex Plus Heroic initiative system that is simply "narrative" based (as seen in Marvel Heroic Roleplaying).

Players choose who goes first, unless in the current situation a specific character/monster makes more sense to go first. (Ex: Surprise, or one of the players says he draw his sword and attack).

After is turn is complete, this active character passes the ball to the who he wants (another player or the monsters) to go next.

A player can refeuse the turn and pass it to someone else, and wait his turn comes back.

And so one, until every body acted once.

Then the last one of the round has to decide who goes first for the next round.

This system as a couple of benefits.

- It's easy for players to set up their clevers tactics based on turn order or what ever.
- Since player basically choose in which order they wan to go, you don't need to handle Delayed turn and/or Ready actions.
- The players can try to go NOVA by all acting before the opposition, but doing so could result in the opposition acting twice in a row (end of turn than first on the next round).
- The players feels they control the battle, but it's easy for the DM to screw with that control by choosing how much initiative group are present in the opposition.

Sounds cool for small groups where there's only a fight or two per game. But 8 players where there are about 3 - 5 combats each session? I think it would get a little tiresome.