Initiative & Options

A character's base initiative modifier is determined by:  Dexterity modifier + Wisdom modifier

At the beginning of combat this total is added to the roll of 1d20 to determine the order that each character's actions take place during combat, with higher initiatives going first followed by lower rolls.  Any ties are either assumed to take place at exactly the same time or, if such a simultaneous action would be impossible, then each party rolls 1d20 again as a tiebreaker.

Characters with higher initiatives may hold their actions until later in the round.

Option:  Round-by-Round Initiative
Instead of rolling initiative once at the beginning of combat, and using the same initiative order every round, you may choose instead to re-roll each round.  This gives characters a chance to do better if they've gotten stuck with a bad initiative on the first roll.

Option:  Speed Modifier
This alternation is intended for use with round-by-round initiative.  With this variation the speed of an action in combat also takes character size and weapon size, or spell level into account.  It generally means that more powerful techniques take more time to pull off in combat and can be thwarted more readily.

Under this option the character's base initiative modifier has different, additional modifiers applied from round to round as well.

Before initiative is rolled in a given round each player should declare what action their character is taking that has most negative modifier according to the charts below.  A different action may be taken when initiative comes, but it must have a modifier lower than the initiative modifier initially used.

Action Involves
Non-combat actions
Combat using fists or natural weapons
Light weapons ( < 4lbs. for medium-size characters)
Medium weapons ( 4-6lbs. for medium-size characters)
Heavy weapons ( >6lbs. for medium-size characters)
+/-2 per
Size category of the character applies to all melee attacks and most ranged weapons:
-2 per size category above medium or +2 per size category below medium.
-1 per
Spells: -1 per spell level
+1 per
Magical bonuses from relevant equipment are also used as initiative modifiers.