Individual Initiative (Optional Rule)

This method of determining initiative is the same as that given earlier, except that each PC, NPC, and monster involved in the fight rolls and then modifies his own initiative. This gives combat a more realistic feel, but at the expense of quick play.

To players, it may not seem like too much for each to roll a separate initiative die, but consider the difficulties: Imagine a combat between six player characters (each controlled by a player) and five hirelings and henchmen against 16 hobgoblins and five ogres (all of which must be rolled by the DM).

In addition, each die roll must be modified, according to each individual's actions. The resulting rolls make every combat round a major calculation.

This method is not recommended for large-scale combats. It is best used with small battles in which characters on the same side have vastly different speeds.

In the third round of combat, the DM decides to use individual initiatives. Each character is involved in his own fight. Cut off from retreat by fallen rock, the trolls attack. The DM asks the players their intentions.

Harry: "Hit him with my hammer +4!"

Rupert: "Chop him up."

Anne (now in serious trouble): "Cast a burning hands spell."

Each character or monster now rolls 1d10. The rolls and modified results are:

Rath rolls a 2 and is attacking with his hammer (weapon speed 0 instead of 4 due to +4) and is hasted (-2), so his modified initiative is 0.

Rath's troll rolls a 1 and is attacking with natural weapons (+6 modifier) for a total of 7 (1 + 6 = 7).

Rupert rolls a 2 and has a weapon speed of 7 and is hasted (-2) for a modified initiative of 7 (2 + 7 - 2 = 7).

Rupert's troll rolls a 5 and modifies this by +6 for an 11 (5 + 6 = 11).

Delsenora is very unlucky and rolls a 9. Since she is casting a spell, she gains no benefit form the haste spell this round, as the haste enchantment only affects movement. She has a casting time of 1 for a total of 10 (9 + 1 = 10).

The troll fighting Delsenora is very quick and rolls a 1, modified to 7 (1 = 6 = 7).

The order of attacks: Rath (initiative 0) strikes with his hammer. Rupert and the two trolls (attacking Rath and Delsenora, all initiative 7) attack immediately after. Rupert hits. The troll attacking Rath misses, but Delsenora is hit. Delsenora's spell (initiative 10) would normally happen next, but instead it fizzles. Her concentration was ruined by the blow from the troll. Next, Rupert's troll attacks and misses. Because of the haste spell, Rath and Rupert now attack again (in order of initiative), Rath first, then Rupert.

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