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How to calculate Initiative in DnD 5E

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It’s all fun until everyone starts arguing about who gets which role. This would hold true for Dungeons & Dragons combat if not for the initiative to determine who goes when and how.

There are some things you should keep in mind when calculating initiative

  1. An Initiative Bonus is equal to your Dexterity Modifier and any bonuses from feats or classes. These bonuses will be listed.
  2. If two players have the same initiative, they can decide between themselves who takes the initiative. The DM determines who takes the initiative for monsters with tie-in initiative.
  3. Your DM might use Dexterity Tiebreakers instead. This means that when there is a tie, you compare your dexterity scores. The winner of the tie wins. However, further ties require you to roll d20s. If your DM allows, you can also roll d20s.
  4. When initiative is called, every creature acts in the order of highest to lowest initiative.

These are some of the many ways that your DM could take initiative:

Standard: Each creature takes initiative when they begin combat. They do this by rolling 1d20, adding their initiative bonus to it, and that determines which order each creature will act for the remainder of combat.

These are the initiative variants that can be found on page 267 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

Initiative Score: Each creature uses 10 + its Initiative bonus to determine the order in which they will fight.

Side Initiative: When combat starts, each side (party, monsters and villains, as well as other groups involved in combat) rolls a 20 with no modifiers. Re-rolling is allowed on ties. After each creature has taken a , initiative moves to the next side.

Speed factor: Each round starts with a choice of an action. Based on their actions (see Dungeon Master’s Guide, pg. For a table, see Dungeon Master’s Guide pg. 271). Then apply penalties and bonuses to their rolls depending upon the action they choose. Each creature takes initiative, rolls the dice, and then takes their turn. They are limited in what they can do, depending on what action they choose. You then start a new round, and you do it again.

There are many ways that your DM could create initiative at home, but these are the official ways to decide who gets to fight first. For now, you can roll initiative!

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