Over at The Art of the Near TPK, Gregor talks about his take on 4e initiative. The post reminded me of an initiative variant I've thought about using.
There's no more rolling for initiative. The characters all take their turns in whatever order, then the monsters. You can ready actions and what not, but that has no effect on when you take your next turn. There's no delaying, since both groups go in whatever order they want. There's a clean up phase for the party as a whole after the party's turn, and one for the monsters. Durations key off those end points.
The nifty thing is that it takes care of any weird complexity with delaying and durations. Let's say an NPC monk dazes the paladin, and the daze lasts until the monsters' next clean-up phase. It's clear that the paladin is going to lose his next turn. He can't delay to avoid it (not that you can in 4e, but we had to put in some semi-convoluted rules to make sure that worked out).
OTOH, if the cleric has a spell that can end the daze, you don't need to deal with the complexity of delaying to make that happen. On the party's turn, the cleric just goes before the paladin.
As Gregor points out in his post, that allows for a lot more teamwork and coordination on both sides of the screen.
Anyway, rolling for initiative was too popular for me to get this, or any of the other, changes I had in mind for 4e.
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