Improved initiative stack / thoughts. comments.


Homebrew and House Rules

Liberty's Edge

Anybody let improved initiative stack? I was thinking of allowing it. Seems to me like for the cost of a feat it wouldn’t get unbalanced or to crazy, but I still worry about balance issues.
Anyone allowed it? What happened? Ect……..


yarb wrote:

Anybody let improved initiative stack? I was thinking of allowing it. Seems to me like for the cost of a feat it wouldn’t get unbalanced or to crazy, but I still worry about balance issues.

Anyone allowed it? What happened? Ect……..

Personally, I always find the magnitude of the d20 initiative roll is inversely proportional to the bonus of my initiative modifier.

That being said, a 1st level rogue I have with a 20 dex, Improved Initiative and the Reactionary trait ends up with a +11 Initiative modifier. He does usually go near the beginning of each round.

Liberty's Edge

yarb wrote:

Anybody let improved initiative stack? I was thinking of allowing it. Seems to me like for the cost of a feat it wouldn’t get unbalanced or to crazy, but I still worry about balance issues.

Anyone allowed it? What happened? Ect……..

I would allow it, along with Toughness.


Nazard wrote:
yarb wrote:

Anybody let improved initiative stack? I was thinking of allowing it. Seems to me like for the cost of a feat it wouldn’t get unbalanced or to crazy, but I still worry about balance issues.

Anyone allowed it? What happened? Ect……..

Personally, I always find the magnitude of the d20 initiative roll is inversely proportional to the bonus of my initiative modifier.

That being said, a 1st level rogue I have with a 20 dex, Improved Initiative and the Reactionary trait ends up with a +11 Initiative modifier. He does usually go near the beginning of each round.

How about a Ranger with a decent dex score and improved initiative in his favored terrains? When you start doubling up on FT's the initiative bonuses can get really crazy.

Sovereign Court

I don't see it as an issue. Being able to consistently go towards the top, rather than have drastic swings, ought to be part of the potency of feats.

It would be great to see a feat that allowed you to take 10 on initiative rolls.

Liberty's Edge

Dire Hobbit wrote:


How about a Ranger with a decent dex score and improved initiative in his favored terrains? When you start doubling up on FT's the initiative bonuses can get really crazy.

You're right but you can only go once a turn regardless, it's not so gamebreaking to get the first turn more often than not is it?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
yarb wrote:

Anybody let improved initiative stack? I was thinking of allowing it. Seems to me like for the cost of a feat it wouldn’t get unbalanced or to crazy, but I still worry about balance issues.

Anyone allowed it? What happened? Ect……..

You're the first person in my experience who's even asked that... and my group includes a couple of dedicated cheesemonkeys.

When someone asks me, then I'll decide.


Nothing wrong with wanting to go first in a round, especially if your a rogue, or a polearm monkey with high dex and combat reflexes. Highest dex modifier i've seen so far is in my current group. We have a player with a +15 initiative. +9 dex modifier (with items) +4 for improved initiative and the reactionary trait for another +2. theres nothing RAW saying improved initiative can be taken twice, but nothing really gamebreaking to do so if your group or DM wishes to allow it.

Typically though, once you get past a +10 initiative mod, its just overkill :)


For the record, RAW you cannot take a feat multiple times unless it allows you to under it's special section.

As for houseruling that and letting it stack... I think it would be a bit much. Going first becomes more and more important as time goes on, particularly when dealing with rogues and high level spells.

However, the issue is not really Player vs. creatures, who could also take this and have it stack. The issue would be the disparity between Player A, who takes it three times and has other modifiers to get +22, and Players B, C, and D, with +7, +4, and +2 initiatives. They will never go first, and if the creatures are adjusted to match Player A, will rarely if ever go before the creatures (even if only some of the time).

I wouldn't recommend it.

Liberty's Edge

I don't think it would unbalance things too greatly to allow Improved Initiative to be taken more than once. However, I think it would be more interesting to allow another feat that has Imp Init as a pre-req, similar to the saving throw feats (ie, Iron Will -> Improved Iron Will).

Some ideas:
1/day, reroll initiative
Allow "take 10" on initiative
Roll 2d20 for initiative and take the better one
When you roll <10 on initiative, treat it as if you rolled 10.
etc.


That would definately be my choice too:

Improved Initiative, greater

You have mastered the ability to react when sh*t hits the fan.

Prereqs: Improved Initiative

Benefit: Whenever you need to roll for initiative, roll twice and take the better result.

Sovereign Court

Majuba wrote:
However, the issue is not really Player vs. creatures, who could also take this and have it stack. The issue would be the disparity between Player A, who takes it three times and has other modifiers to get +22, and Players B, C, and D, with +7, +4, and +2 initiatives. They will never go first, and if the creatures are adjusted to match Player A, will rarely if ever go before the creatures (even if only some of the time).

However if the GM is adjusting monsters to beat Player A, just so that opening round, not even the surprise round, allows them to act first, then the GM isn't really doing a very good job at working on encounters.

A player who spends three feats to get a +12 initiative bonus is really chewing away feat slots that, if used well, could stack effects that would be more important than just the opening turn.

As an example, a rogue that spends those feats on II is sucking away vital feat slots for the two weapon fighting tree, vital strike, improved feint, or spring attack trees. So they might be able to consistently open up a battle with a sneak attack on a flat footed enemy, but the next turn their going to be screaming for flanks if they want any hope of continuing to be effective in combat.


Mok wrote:
However if the GM is adjusting monsters to beat Player A, just so that opening round, not even the surprise round, allows them to act first, then the GM isn't really doing a very good job at working on encounters.

+1.

The idea the DMs ought to tailor encounters to counteract PC abilities needs to die like a dretch at a paladin convention.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Caster with +12 Init is for more ugly than anything else.


I would not allow Improved Initiative to stack with itself (we tried this once in 3.0, it wasn't pretty) And if you allowed Toughness to stack a fighter could have a +420 pf by 20th level (not mentioning Con mod and Hit die, Average hit points with a max Con would be 795).

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