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What is Initiative?

If you play AD&D, your character will undoubtedly get involved in combat. Often. As a raw beginner, you'll probably be most concerned with survival. But after a battle or two, you may begin to wonder just how your friendly (or not so friendly) DM determines who gets to act in what order during a fight.

In AD&D, this is resolved through initiative. The DM may roll this number himself, or may have each of the players do it every round... it depends a lot on the DM and the particular situation. Sometimes, the DM may simplify it by ruling that the players strike, then the monsters, etc. For a more realistic resolution, individual initiative rolls are made. Each character rolls a ten sided die (d10), with lower numbers being better. Extremely quick, agile characters (those with very high dexterity scores), may get a bonus to their roll; also, magical items and spells may influence things. Then, depending on how complicated the task is that you're trying to accomplish (a simple attack versus a time-consuming spell), all actions take place, lowest numbers first. In the event of a tie, actions are assumed to take place simultaneously



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