A new supplement details some of the many ways to determine initiative order in Dungeons & Dragons. Traditionally, players roll for initiative at the start of combat in Dungeons & Dragons to determine what order they act in. Players roll a d20 and add their Initiative Bonus, which is almost always tied to their Dexterity score. While Initiative is important in Dungeons & Dragons, some players aren't a fan of the seemingly arbitrary order Initiative spits out, which can mess up strategy or force less armored players to wander into combat before tanks rush into attract the attention of enemies.
Elminster Takes Initiative is a new DMs Guild supplement by Benjamin Eastman and Matt Dunn that runs down some alternative ways to determine Initiative order. These methods are intended to either give players a little more control over their Initiative order or to make Initiative easier to track around a table. Some of the Initiative methods include a Convention Initiative order, a method used when playing TTRPGs at a convention table. Players determine their Initiative scores as usual, but Initiative is determined based on where players are sitting at the table. The player with the highest Initiative goes first, followed by whichever of the two players sitting next to them has a higher Initiative score. Initiative then moves around the table, which also includes the DM.
Other Initiative methods detailed in the supplement include using alternative Ability scores to determine Initiative depending on the circumstances which combat begins, or by using Passive Initiative (which is simply 10 plus Initiative bonus) so that Initiative order for a party is the same ever time. There's also an "Initiative Check" that gives players control of their own Initiative order. Players make an Initiative check based on a DC calculated by a monster's Dexterity score, and those who pass the check can determine which order they act in before the monster makes their first move. Those who fail the Initiatve check can also determine their order of movement, but have to act after the monster takes its turn.
If you're frustrated by Dungeons & Dragons' current Initiative method, you may want to give Elminster Takes Initiative a quick read. The supplement is available for $1 on the DMs Guild.
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