Dice-based initiative

I don’t pretend to know. I just play pretend.

For use with Into the Odd and its descendants like Electric Bastionland and Cairn. Inspired by this thing from Mike Mearls.

In combat, all sides act at the same time. If you failed your DEX save to not be surprised, you miss the first turn. 

Each combatant states what they intend to do and grabs the indicated die:

  • Attack = weapon’s damage die
  • Cast a spell = d12
  • Retreat = d4 or d12, see below
  • Simple action = d6
  • Complex action = d10

All dice are rolled at the same time. The GM then calls initiative, starting at initiative 1 and then ascending. When they call a number rolled, that action occurs (the attack hits, the spell is cast, the action happens). 

When an attack action occurs, deal the damage already rolled to the chosen target. (Note: If playing Cairn or Electric Bastionland, the dealt damage increases to the higher roll when another attack action occurs later in the round.)

A retreating combatant must choose a hasty (d4) or sure (d12) retreat. When the initiative of a hasty retreat is called, that combatant must make a DEX save. If they fail, they are still in the combat. A sure retreat occurs without a chance of failure when its initiative is called.

Optional: If a combatant is moving as part of their action, increase the die roll by 2 for the purpose of initiative (it does not increase damage rolled).

One thought on “Dice-based initiative

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.