Table 40:

Standard Modifiers to Initiative

On higher ground
Set to receive a charge
Wading or slippery footing
Wading in deep water
Foreign environment*
Hindered (tangled, climbing)
Waiting (Player's Handbook)

* This applies to situations in which the party is in a different environment (swimming underwater without the aid of a ring of free movement, for example).

Everyone in the party who will be involved in the round's action must qualify for the modifier. For example, all members of a party must be on higher ground than the opposition to get the higher ground modifier. The DM should ask each player where his character is standing for clarification.

The side with the lowest modified roll on 1d10 has the initiative and acts first.

Continuing the example above, the DM decides that one initiative roll is sufficient for each group and no modifiers are needed. Although Rath is charging, the orcs and trolls are too busy rearranging their lines to be set to receive his charge. Therefore, the -2 to receive charge is not used.

Harry, rolling for the player characters, gets a 7 on a 10-sided die. The DM rolls a 10. The player characters, having the lowest number, act first.

Delsenora's acid arrow strikes one of the trolls just as Rath takes a swing at the last of the fleeing orcs. A bowshot from Rupert drops another one of the creatures as it takes its position in the second rank. Now the monsters strike back.

The orcs manage to finish forming their line. Enraged by the acid, the lead troll tears into Rath, hurting him badly. The others swarm around him, attempting to tear him limb from limb.

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