I've recently been toying with some rule modifications to 5e's Initiative rules in an attempt to resolve the rule/reality inconsistency where a player "gets the jump" on a monster, but the monster is able to act first via a Reaction.
The rule changes I'm considering is the following:
A creature cannot use its Reaction before the start of its first turn.
Note that this is not a modification to Surprise rules. This rule would apply any time that Initiative is rolled.
Clearly this will add greater emphasis on rolling well for Initiative. However, for the sake of completeness, I'd like to know if there are there any larger balance ramifications that might occur under this change?
For context and clarification:
The following is the intent of the change:
- Deliver on the thematic of being the "first to draw" in combat; i.e., support the intuitive understanding that Initiative defines which creatures are quickest to act.
- Deliver on my players' desire to feel like they can surprise their opponents without needing to roll for stealth.
Here's how the rules apply to monsters:
- In my campaign, each player and monster has their own Initiative score that's determined with a roll at the start of combat.
- This rule will apply to all creatures, meaning that the rules can be used against the player characters.