I have a situation in a game that I am DMing, and would like thoughts.
4 Players in a room, one of them, Player A, decides to investigate the cloak hanging on a hook for keys/treasure.
Its a cloaker and it decides to attack Player A, who is basically in the same space and bent over checking the cloak. So, imo, everyone is surprised and it is a hidden creature. (I get hidden from the text of the cloaker saying you cant tell its a monster when its still.)
Everyone rolls init and I give the cloaker an attack on Player A as it bites down on his unsuspecting head.
So Player B has alert feat and has rolled higher in the INIT than the cloaker. So by RAW, he should be able to have his turn before the cloaker. But the common sense here is that if PLayer B went first, he wouldn't know they were in combat.
So I have ruled that Player A is surprised and attacked, then we start INIT. Because letting player B do 6 seconds worth of action makes no sense to me when the cloaker didn't have to do anything but chomp down on Player A's head.
I don't want to simply skip over the Alert Feat, and if Player B was the one messing with the cloaks, then I would just go by init.