Initiative is an ability check.

From what I understand, a DM may ask his players to use Passive scores for ability checks and/or use them for his NPCs (ex: Passive Perception).

Is Passive Initiative something that can be used by a DM, by RAW ?


1 Answer 1


It's called the "Initiative Score"

Yes, there are passive initiative checks. See DMG, page 270, "Initiative Variants":

Initiative Score
With this optional rule, creature don't roll initiative at the start of combat. Instead, each creature has an initiative score, which is a passive Dexterity check: 10 + Dexterity modifier.

Jack of all trades and Remarkable athlete will add one-half proficiency to this passive ability score.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast it does rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/46796 \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ I assume Swashbuckler would have charisma added here as well? \$\endgroup\$
    – Baergren
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ And of course, if you have advantage to Initiative checks, you'd add a +5 in there. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gael L
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Jeremy Crawford, one of the 5e designers, recently recommended using Initiative Score for monsters but keeping rolling for players as another option. For some groups, this is the best of both worlds. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2018 at 15:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Yakk, that is the default. The section on rolling initiative says to group similar monsters. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2018 at 17:26

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