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Group by Group Initiative

This is how we’ve been doing initiative for the last few months. It’s fast and it gives a varied result with a lot of back & forth instead of first all on one side go, then all on the other side goes. Best of all, your parry goes immediately into your own attack.

The light first strike is negated if the place is already lit, or if no-one or both have light. In that case, home turf goes first (so monsters, in a dungeon, or player characters, if defending their home).

Let’s say there are these three groups:

and Mike and Wendy are hanging in the back rank, blasting.

Here we’d have Terry’s skeleton go first, then Terry, then Cecilia, then Cecilia’s skeleton, then Felix, then that skeleton, then the wight, then Doris, then Mike and Wendy, and then back around in a seamless loop.

A huge advantage to not having to roll for initiative is that it really blends up exploration and fighting more seamlessly. It’s not “now we’re in the fighting minigame”, it’s mixed up with talking, pulling levers or whatever. Chopping your sword is an action like any other action.

When people wanna do things out of order, don’t shut that down, but just do the “When you…” key phrase. “While Wendy is starting that spell, Terry, a skeleton is slashing at you with a shamshir, what do you do?” Keeping the fight actions diegetic takes a li’l bit of extra time but can also make things clearer or more visceral.