Yesterday, I mentioned pre-rolling initiative as a way of getting into combat easier.
Today, I’m going even further: don’t roll initiative at all.
Seriously. A lot of encounters don’t really need it.
The characters who would act instantly or who come into something prepared do their thing, and the monster does a thing. You know your rogue with the Alert feat is going to get something off before the monster, and probably the dex-y ranger. The hulking paladin in heavy armor probably won’t get something off until after the monster. It really is a lot easier than it might seem at first glance to eyeball turns for a single round.
It really can be fun to keep things a bit loose until it’s absolutely necessary to drop into initiative order. It keeps the narrative flow going and the pace up, and it feels like the players are making the split-second decisions that their characters would.
Seriously: if you’ve never run a quick encounter without stopping to take initiative, you owe it to yourself to at least try it once.
Quiet day in the DM’s Internet world today! Just a few things for y’all:
The Hydra’s Alehouse – Dyson’s Dodecahedron
Encyclopaedia Formulae Arcana – E – DMsGuild – $5.95
Character Creation Questionnaire – DMsGuild – PWYW
Eberron: Oracle of War: Salvage Bases and Missions – DMsGuild – $9.95
Dwarven Door Puzzles – DMsGuild – $4.99
Now get out there and tell a story!