[RPG] delay the turn to the end of a round, by not rolling for initiative


I am a Cleric and the main healer in the party. I've noticed that often it can be quite helpful for me to have my turn towards the end of the round rather than at the beginning, but I tend to come up at the beginning because I have a high Dexterity score.

It can help quite a bit coming up later in the round in our campaign. Most of the time we take steady damage (which is fine) but at other times we get very sharp bursts of damage because of a house-rule on critical damage. So, being at the end of the round means that I can work out if anyone needs emergency healing right from the outset of a battle. This happens naturally sometimes because I roll low on initiative, but I want a more reliable approach.

So, to cut the long story short, can I refuse to roll for initiative and instead take my turn right at the end, after all others have had theirs?

Is there anything in the literature supporting or preventing this from happening, or would it have to be a house-rule?

Best Answer

Just skip your first turn

Let's imagine the initiative order is You > Rogue > Enemies > Wizard > Fighter. You want to delay your turn such that the order is Rogue > Enemies > Wizard > Fighter > You. Well, if you take no actions on your first turn in combat, that's functionally equivalent to having the rogue go first and you go last.

Of course, taking absolutely no actions when you have the chance isn't usually a good idea, but this should illustrate why delaying your own initiative probably isn't a good idea either. If you want to save your best healing spells or other limited resources until after a few turns have taken place, just use a cantrip, a weapon, the help action, or take any other action that doesn't consumer resources on your first turn, and save your spell slots for the next round.

The Ready Action is also an option if you want to take an action later but not wait an entire round- say, you want to cast a spell after the enemies' turn but before the wizard. Note that there are some downsides to readying your action, especially if that action is casting a spell, so this is probably only worth it if you have a very specific reason to want to take an action at a very specific specific point in the initiative order. In my experience, readying a spell is only worth it if an enemy could make a save or eliminate a condition on their turn, which is not the case with healing magic.

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