Recently, I just realized that I’ve been doing initiative wrong in 5th edition (from watching the PAX livestream of all things). I have always (even way back in 1st edition!) had my players roll for each combat round, so that the order gets shuffled each round and creates uneasiness and drama. It also allows me to push the enemies’s turn later in the round if things are going bad.
Am I reading the 5th edition PHB right? Only one initiative roll at the beginning of an encounter? Does my old way affect combat balance or mess up any other rules if I keep doing it the old way? Glorious Ron
Thanks for the kind words but I’m not the official Dragon Magazine Sage.
Now his name is Jeremy Crawford and you can find his columns on dnd website. I’m just like a librarian that collects and study designer tweet answers.
Anyway, Yes in 5th edition you roll Initiative at the beginning of an encounter, just to speed up things, but you can be free to use the 1st edition method, it should not break anything, probably slug a little.
Some spell effects will last until next character round so if you score a low initiative and the next round an high initiative the effect will last not so long and could not help at its max potential.
Another advice is to check Dungeon Master Guide p. 270/271 where you can find new initiative options.
Have a great start. sageadvice.