Alternate Initiative System

As anyone who’s been playing Dungeons & Dragons long enough knows, there’s more than one way to get into a fight.

Mike Mearls introduces an alternative initiative system, inspired by AD&D and the journey to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the birthplace of D&D, for Gary Con 2017. While the initiative rules in fifth edition D&D are great for keeping the action moving and being easy to use at the table, the Greyhawk initiative variant takes a different approach. These rules add complexity, but with the goal of introducing more drama to combat.

Download Greyhawk Initiative PDF

Matt’s Mearls:

Roll each round and lowest goes first.

Ranged = d4
Melee = d8
Spell = d12
Anything else = d6

+d8 to swap gear
+d8 for bonus action
+d6 to move and do something.


Roll each round and lowest goes first.

Melee = Hit Dice
Ranged = Hit Dice
Spell = d8 + spell level
Cantrips = d4
Anything Else = d6

Move = +d6
Bonus Action = +d4
Swap Gear = +d8


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