Combat Initiative Rules

1. At the start of combat, all players and NPCs role 1d10 to determine their starting inititative. All situational modifiers are applied at this time (surprise, terrain, haste/slow, etc.).

2. Starting with the lowest initiative number first, the round begins.

3. When a player’s turn comes up, a one-minute timer is flipped, and the player must decide what action their character will take before the timer is done.

4. If a player fails to decide on an action, it is assumed that the character assumes a fully defensive position for the duration of the round.

5. If the action includes adding initiative points, the character’s action begins during their starting initiative slot, but does not resolve until the appropriate initiative slot. For example: Sid rolls a 5 for initiative and decides to cast a Fireball, which has a casting time of 3. The spellcasting starts during initiative slot 5, but does not resolve until slot 8. If Sid is hit anytime during slots 5 through 8, she loses her spell.

6. Once an action is ready to execute, the player makes all necessary rolls and resolves all consequences of the action.

7. All actions that happen during the same initiative slot resolve simultaneously. For example: Shade and an Owl both act during initiative slot 2, and they both attack each other. The Owl rolls first and does enough damage to kill Shade. Shade rolls second and does 1 point of damage. Even though it seems like the Owl killed Shade before he had a chance to act, because the actions resolve simultaneously, Shade still does 1 point of damage to the Owl before he is delivered a mortal blow.

8. A player may decide to delay their action until the end of the round. All end-of-round actions resolve simultaneously, with the exception of spellcasting, which resolves in order based on casting time.

NOTE: The DM may also use an initiative-based system outside of combat in order to limit confusion about the order of character’s decisions and actions.

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Combat Initiative Rules

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