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Ways to improve Initiative?


Advice


Barring the obvious "increase your Dex" and "take Improved Initiative". are there any good ways to increase your Initiative rolls?

I ask because that seems to be the one overbearing weakness of my current character. He's a good combatant...when he gets to attack. With only a +2 Dex mod and without Improved Initiative, a bad roll is a bad roll, period.

I'd also prefer not to multiclass to get a Compsognathus familiar or anything like that.

So, magic items, other Feats that may do something else as well, anything besides those two?


Reactionary Trait - +2 Initiative
Dusty Rose Prism (Cracked) - +1 Initiative (500 GP)

Silver Crusade

Dueling Enchant.

Andoran

You could get the wizard in the party to cast anticipate peril (Ultimate Magic) on you. It gives you a bonus to the next initiative check you make within 1 min/caster level equal to the caster level of the spell (max +5). It's only a first level spell, so depending on your level, the wizard might not mind shelling a few first level spells out for you.

If that's not an option, you could always buy a wand of it. It'd be expensive, since you want a caster level of 5 rather than 1, but it'd accomplish what you wanted and save you a feat. (You'd have to spend ranks in UMD though).


If you have the charisma and feat space, pick up Eldritch Heritage and the Arcane bloodline. The first ability will (should) give you the arcane bond ability. There are familiars that increase your Initiative +4, such as the Greensting Scorpion.

No multiclass needed. Just Skill Focus (Any Knowledge) a Charisma of 13 or highter, being 3rd level or highter and of course the first Eldritch Heritage feat choosing the Arcane Bloodline. :)

Of course... writing that out, it does seem like a little bit to do.


Marthian wrote:

Reactionary Trait - +2 Initiative

Dusty Rose Prism (Cracked) - +1 Initiative (500 GP)

Traits are a bit too late in the game for my char, but I'll keep it in mind for when I make a new one, for sure.

The Ioun Stone is a good option, thanks for pointing it out. Extremely affordable too.

Elamdri wrote:
Dueling Enchant.

Does that work on fists?

Though I could probably just have a new Temple Sword made and make sure I have that in hand.

NeoSeraphi wrote:

You could get the wizard in the party to cast anticipate peril (Ultimate Magic) on you. It gives you a bonus to the next initiative check you make within 1 min/caster level equal to the caster level of the spell (max +5). It's only a first level spell, so depending on your level, the wizard might not mind shelling a few first level spells out for you.

If that's not an option, you could always buy a wand of it. It'd be expensive, since you want a caster level of 5 rather than 1, but it'd accomplish what you wanted and save you a feat. (You'd have to spend ranks in UMD though).

I'll keep that in mind. Our Bard or Sorcerer might jump on that actually. The former is dedicated to party buffing and the latter loves anything that raises Initiative.

Third Mind wrote:

If you have the charisma and feat space, pick up Eldritch Heritage and the Arcane bloodline. The first ability will (should) give you the arcane bond ability. There are familiars that increase your Initiative +4, such as the Greensting Scorpion.

No multiclass needed. Just Skill Focus (Any Knowledge) a Charisma of 13 or highter, being 3rd level or highter and of course the first Eldritch Heritage feat choosing the Arcane Bloodline. :)

Of course... writing that out, it does seem like a little bit to do.

Oof. That's definitely...different, but if I was gonna use a Feat (much less two!) it would be on Improved Initiative flat.

I'm playing a Monk by the by, sorry if I didn't specify sooner.

Andoran

Initiative is one of those luck-based rolls. There's really not that many ways to ensure that you're going to go first without surprising your enemy.

To be honest, that's probably a better way for you to approach this than trying to buff your initiative. Employ guerilla tactics. Attempt to start fights before they get started. If you're interacting with soldiers and you feel that something's about to go down, get the first punch in. If your ranger spots a group of bandits setting up an ambush, try and create a loud noise to draw them to you and them ambush them yourselves.

I know surprise rounds are well beyond the scope of daily occurrences, but if your GM rewards strategic, intelligent play then you should be able to make this work at least some of the time.


for my elf rogue i figured out what his initiative bonuses would eventually be when he is level 12

+7 dex
+4 improved initiative
+2 reactionary trait
+2 elf racial alternative
+4 familiar (rogues can get a familiar as an advanced rogue talent)
+4 metal gauntlet +1 with dueling enchant

so +23 initiative eventually. not sure if you could add anything else to that though.


If your GM allows 3rd party feats, you will probably get the most mileage from Battlefield Intuition

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/3rd-party-feats/4-winds-fantasy-gaming/combat -feats/battlefield-intuition-combat

add your WIS mod AND your DEX mod to INIT.


Take the Demonic Obedience feat and choose Deskari as your demon lord. It gives you a +4 on initiative and all saves as long as you stand in a swarm.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/demonic-obedience


Sir Gavvin wrote:

If your GM allows 3rd party feats, you will probably get the most mileage from Battlefield Intuition

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/3rd-party-feats/4-winds-fantasy-gaming/combat -feats/battlefield-intuition-combat

add your WIS mod AND your DEX mod to INIT.

Oooh, that's nice.

johnlocke90 wrote:

Take the Demonic Obedience feat and choose Deskari as your demon lord. It gives you a +4 on initiative and all saves as long as you stand in a swarm.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/demonic-obedience

Would that not require me to become Chaotic Evil?

Thus ruining my class as a whole?


if youre rich you can try ROD OF ALERTNESS; +1 light mace that also gives you +1 to initiative, lots of other abilities and a hefty pricetag of 85,000

searched my UE pdf for the word initiative, this was the only other magic item that came up which wasnt already mentioned (Ioun stone and dueling enchantment)


Ranger's favored terrain gives an initiative bonus, and you can get that through the rogue talent Terrain Mastery as well.

Silver Crusade

If you dip two levels into inquisitor, you get your Wisdom Mod to Initiative.


Rynjin wrote:
Sir Gavvin wrote:

If your GM allows 3rd party feats, you will probably get the most mileage from Battlefield Intuition

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/3rd-party-feats/4-winds-fantasy-gaming/combat -feats/battlefield-intuition-combat

add your WIS mod AND your DEX mod to INIT.

Oooh, that's nice.

johnlocke90 wrote:

Take the Demonic Obedience feat and choose Deskari as your demon lord. It gives you a +4 on initiative and all saves as long as you stand in a swarm.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/demonic-obedience

Would that not require me to become Chaotic Evil?

Thus ruining my class as a whole?

You actually don't lose anything as a monk by becoming Chaotic Evil. You just can't take anymore monk levels. Also, you can be chaotic neutral or neutral evil. If you are really committed to continuing to leveling a monk you can go martial artist archetype. No alignment requirement. Thus allowing you to go chaotic evil.


not recalling how many different ways there are to do this, but as someone pointed out, init is a luck stat, you have to roll a d20, then plus your bonus. You've been looking at how to get the bonus, but there are ways to get 2 rolls on the d20, which arguably can make a huge difference. Rolled another 4? Try again, 80% chance the next roll will be better, and on average 6 better.


johnlocke90 wrote:

You actually don't lose anything as a monk by becoming Chaotic Evil. You just can't take anymore monk levels. Also, you can be chaotic neutral or neutral evil. If you are really committed to continuing to leveling a monk you can go martial artist archetype. No alignment requirement. Thus allowing you to go chaotic evil.

This is for an established character, chaotic evil doesn't fit into his personality nor his playstyle even if I could swap from Drunken Master of Many Styles. And I'm sticking with Monk all the way to 20, or at least for a significant portion for the way there.

I am, however, building an Undead Lord right now, so maybe that'll work for him.

Now if there were some DEVILISH version (Sun Xiao is Lawful Evil) that'd work out too.

rangerjeff wrote:
not recalling how many different ways there are to do this, but as someone pointed out, init is a luck stat, you have to roll a d20, then plus your bonus. You've been looking at how to get the bonus, but there are ways to get 2 rolls on the d20, which arguably can make a huge difference. Rolled another 4? Try again, 80% chance the next roll will be better, and on average 6 better.

Quite true. I'll start looking up some of those that don't require another class. I'm pretty sure there are some.

Thanks for the suggestions guys.

Shadow Lodge

If you don't like to jump through as many hoops as with Arcane bloodline and do not wish to have your Initiative bonus be reliant on a small dinosaur, then Improved Eldritch Heritage (dreamspun) can get you this nifty ability:

Combat Precognition (Su): Your insight into the future grants you an advantage in combat. At 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter, you gain a +1 insight bonus on initiative checks.

There. We've run out of options.


+4 Feat Improved Ini
+1 Ion stone
+1 to +3 via Belt of DEX +2 to +6

With +2 from your base DEX you can get a +9 to ini with an investment of ~17k gold and a feat (imp. ini, ion stone and belt +4). From my experience this is more than enough (more is only important if you are a rogue specialized on the "first hit") for most characters.


Quote:


I'd also prefer not to multiclass to get a Compsognathus familiar or anything like that.

Wait, how could you not want to have a dinosaur?

You could get it without multiclassing actually, all you need is the Eldritch Heritage feat with Arcane bloodline and you get a -2 ECL Familiar.


Threeshades wrote:
Quote:


I'd also prefer not to multiclass to get a Compsognathus familiar or anything like that.

Wait, how could you not want to have a dinosaur?

You could get it without multiclassing actually, all you need is the Eldritch Heritage feat with Arcane bloodline and you get a -2 ECL Familiar.

Because our Sorcerer would call me a copycat and try to cast Stone Call on me or something.

He crushed 9 puppies last week, and ever since he's been on a hair trigger.


Do you have a good bluff skill? Try to convince him it's not a compsognathus, but a procompsognathus. Or put it in a feather coat and tell him its a chicken.

Wait does your campaign use featherless dinosaurs or the more up to date feathered version?

You could also get a Dodo or greensting scorpion familiar. Or for a slightly lower bonus to initiative (only +2) a rhamphorhynchus.


Threeshades wrote:

Do you have a good bluff skill? Try to convince him it's not a compsognathus, but a procompsognathus. Or put it in a feather coat and tell him its a chicken.

Wait does your campaign use featherless dinosaurs or the more up to date feathered version?

I'm no good at Bluff.

My character is the human lie detector though. I decided to go Snake Style and figured "Eh. Might well get ALL the Sense Motive" so I'm at level 4 with +22.

Lie to Me: Golarion Edition

Anyway, as to the second part, I honestly have no clue. Are they feathery or scaly in Serpent's Skull?

But yeah, like I said before, if I was gonna burn a Feat (two in this case) for Initiative, it would be just to get Improved Initiative for the same bonus. Sun Xiao would probably end up forgetting it existed and accidentally getting it killed or forget to feed it anyway.


I might have ninja edited something there.

He's a monk with (presumably) high wisdom it would be very out of character to forget about a living creature he is responsible for.


Threeshades wrote:

I might have ninja edited something there.

He's a monk with (presumably) high wisdom it would be very out of character to forget about a living creature he is responsible for.

He's also a Drunken Master.

And he's not just drunk INSIDE of combat.

But he probably would still remember.

I just don't wanna pet.

Silver Crusade

Rynjin wrote:
He crushed 9 puppies last week, and ever since he's been on a hair trigger.

HEY! You tell him to stop channeling my wizards! I have that level of character depravity trademarked!


Elamdri wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
He crushed 9 puppies last week, and ever since he's been on a hair trigger.
HEY! You tell him to stop channeling my wizards! I have that level of character depravity trademarked!

Well, they DID attack us.

So he dropped a ton of gravel on them.

He rolled a 23 for Initiative, so we played it off as the rest of us walking down the street having a conversation and he just went "DOOOOOOOOOOOOGSSSSS!" and cast Stone Call on all of them.

Shadow Lodge

I know you're not willing to dip, but a level of Oracle(Time Mystery) would get you the Temporal Celerity revelation, which lets you roll twice and take either one for initiative. I've never done the math, but I'm pretty sure it averages out to being a bigger bonus to initiative than pretty much anything else you can get. If your GM will houserule a version of the ring of revelation that doesn't require you to already qualify for the revelation, you won't even have to dip.


Sesharan wrote:
I know you're not willing to dip, but a level of Oracle(Time Mystery) would get you the Temporal Celerity revelation, which lets you roll twice and take either one for initiative. I've never done the math, but I'm pretty sure it averages out to being a bigger bonus to initiative than pretty much anything else you can get. If your GM will houserule a version of the ring of revelation that doesn't require you to already qualify for the revelation, you won't even have to dip.

Question for another character, does an Oracle make a good Necromancer?

Because that would be good for my planned Undead lord if the Oracle can do similar.


Rynjin wrote:
Sesharan wrote:
I know you're not willing to dip, but a level of Oracle(Time Mystery) would get you the Temporal Celerity revelation, which lets you roll twice and take either one for initiative. I've never done the math, but I'm pretty sure it averages out to being a bigger bonus to initiative than pretty much anything else you can get. If your GM will houserule a version of the ring of revelation that doesn't require you to already qualify for the revelation, you won't even have to dip.

Question for another character, does an Oracle make a good Necromancer?

Because that would be good for my planned Undead lord if the Oracle can do similar.

Oracles are good for necromancy due to the fact they can grab juju zombies with animate dead and they have charisma for any competing charisma checks. Downside is they can't get the feat Command Undead.

Shadow Lodge

Rynjin wrote:


Question for another character, does an Oracle make a good Necromancer?

Because that would be good for my planned Undead lord if the Oracle can do similar.

About as good as a cleric, in general. The problem is that a lot of Necromancer-style spells like Animate and Create Undead are spells that you're really not going to cast every day (or even every other), so they aren't great choices for a spontaneous spellcaster. The Bones mystery is pretty good though, and gives you Animate Dead as a bonus spell, with some nice Necromance-y revelations. Personally I would say it fails to beat out an Undead Lord cleric, but mostly because I like the corpse companion.


Well my initial plan was to multiclass Undead Lord and Undead Bloodline Sorcerer, possibly going into Mystic Theurge later.

Would snagging one level of Bones Oracle (and snagging either Raise the Dead or Death Touch most likely) spread me too thin?

Though I could drop the Mystic Theurge idea entirely and be a Black Blood Bones Mystery Oracle/Undead Lord.

That might be cool.

Silver Crusade

Sesharan wrote:
I know you're not willing to dip, but a level of Oracle(Time Mystery) would get you the Temporal Celerity revelation, which lets you roll twice and take either one for initiative. I've never done the math, but I'm pretty sure it averages out to being a bigger bonus to initiative than pretty much anything else you can get. If your GM will houserule a version of the ring of revelation that doesn't require you to already qualify for the revelation, you won't even have to dip.

Battle Oracle gets the War Sight revelation, which does pretty much the same thing.

Also, there's an Extra Trait feat you could take to get two more traits than you already have. You could pick up Reactionary or one of the other init boosting traits that way.

Shadow Lodge

Rynjin wrote:

Well my initial plan was to multiclass Undead Lord and Undead Bloodline Sorcerer, possibly going into Mystic Theurge later.

Would snagging one level of Bones Oracle (and snagging either Raise the Dead or Death Touch most likely) spread me too thin?

Though I could drop the Mystic Theurge idea entirely and be a Black Blood Bones Mystery Oracle/Undead Lord.

That might be cool.

Well, if you're wanting to do a necromantic Mystic Theurge, I would more highly recommend just going straight Oracle/Sorcerer. You'd have a single casting stat and better spell progression. Really, the problem you're going to run into with a necromancer is the same as any other caster- Every level of spellcasting that you drop is going to hurt. It depends on what you want to do with your character, but dipping hurts spellcasters quite a bit.


Bones oracles can command undead.

And, once per (PFS) adventure, you can re-roll a d20 (initiative if you want) if you have the T-shirt or battle screen!

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