House Rule: Loose and Lazy Initiative

My last post in the series about the house rules for my campaign The Voyage of The Sky Eagle shares an eerie timing with this post from Cradle of Rabies about Simple Initiative used by Playing D&D with Porn Stars.

The former posts dealt with various kinds of flash backs (minor, major, embarrassing) and telling stories as a method to supplement a Skill Challenge, now I’ll cover initiative.

Rolling for Initiative

  • Each player rolls an individual initiative, and the GM rolls a single initiative for all the monsters.
  • Then all characters, whose initiative is higher, than the monsters, chooses freely in what order, they want to act.
  • Then all the monsters act.
  • Then the remaining characters choose freely in what order, they want to act.

From experience it makes the PCs tougher, since they can optimize their moves better, but it also requires more cooperation from them. They can only use this kind of initiative proper, when working together.

Until End of Next Turn

Notice that this is especially important with powers granting bonuses to allies that lasts until end of next turn. If a player in round one acts before the others activating his power, then his fellows gain the bonus in that round, and if he then chooses to act last in the next round, then his allies gain one more change to benefit from the power. This we consider a legit strategy, and it makes the team work more efficient. It also adds an extra tactical consideration i combat.

Less bookkeeping

Secondly it is a whole lot faster. In each round I just ask those, who act before the monsters to take their turn, and then those who act after the monsters to take their turn. It’s fast, it’s easy and it increases the tactices of the party.


  1. Initiative is rolled
  2. Players with higher value act first
  3. Monsters act
  4. Players with lower value acts lasts
  5. Round ends

Repeat 2-5 as needed.

This rule is also used in my Night’s Dark Terror-campaign.


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