That's what surprise rules are for.
Surprise rules do exactly that. A surprised creature cannot use actions or reactions until after their first turn in combat (meanign they just pass). After that, it is combat as usual. What you are trying to bring are the flat-foot rules of 3.x . One that gave great benefit to those with large initiative bonuses. In 5e, ...
IMO the key point here is this one:
Deliver on my players' desire to feel like they can surprise their opponents without needing to roll for stealth.
The whole roll for stealth concept is based on the unfortunate reality that how stealthy one feels may be inaccurate.
The main impact of the change as you've described it would be to remove a lot of ...
I find this change fairly unbalancing as this would effectively nerf quite a few abilities:
Reaction spells (Shield in particular)
Defensive reactions (Rogue's dodge)
Martial Maneuver Reactions
I'll add that that this also nerfs the advantage of achieving surprise. Not that getting surprise would be worse, but because ...
Squishier creatures will be harder to protect
The largest, most general consequence will be that frontliners will have a harder time protecting their squishier allies. In my experience, both PC and enemy groups almost always travel through dangerous areas with tankier melee characters in front and squishier casters and ranged characters in back. Normally, ...
As you mention, rolling well on initiative becomes far more important for the creature.
A partial list of things PCs/NPCs would then not be able to do include:
Reaction spelling (including shield & counter spell)
Some feats (Sentinel for example)
Rogue's Uncanny action
Any reactions / special abilities granted to monsters
Some of ...
I'd like to take a different approach to the other answers here:
Talk to the DM about removing the house rule for Monster critical hits
Monsters already have average damage values, rather than rolling. Average crits wouldn't be substantially different. The party impacts of a player critting are vastly different than a monster.
If a PC crits a monster for ...
Take the Lucky Feat
You can also spend one luck point when an attack roll is made against you. Roll a d20, and then choose whether the attack uses the attacker's roll or yours.
The Lucky feat allows, 3 times per long rest, a player to roll a d20 in addition to any d20s rolled as part of the attack. Afterwards, you get to choose whether your d20 or the ...
Play as a Grave Cleric
The Grave Cleric domain from XGtE (p. 20) has the following ability at level 6:
As a reaction when you or a creature you can see within 30 feet of you suffers a critical hit, you can turn that hit into a normal hit.
This ability has a limited number of uses between long rests but unless you are getting critical hit too often, it ...
It has the property:
While you're wearing it, any critical hit against you becomes a normal
hit. (DMG 150)
It is only classified as uncommon, but it is still a magic item. Depending on how the DM handles that, the difficulty of acquiring one may change. You also need to be proficient in at least medium armor to properly use one.
There are no fair adjustments for this spell in your environment. It is already balanced
The intended effectiveness of Animate Dead is that of a 3rd level spell that scales with the slot used. Its effectiveness is largely around the action economy, and having extra attackers is very good.
Of course you can buff Animate Dead through any number of methods. ...
The rule is not broken in the sense that it meets the definition of an algorithm that I was taught as part of my computer science degree: its a procedure that is followable and always returns a result.
Whether it results in the play experience that you are looking for is not something you can tell without trying it.
We have, therefore, agreed to introduce some randomness in the “aiming” of the spell. You intend to put the center somewhere but, since you’re just human after all, you don’t get it perfect.
Analysis of the consequences:
They get laser-like precision, being able to cast spells that affect the maximum number of enemies and never hit an ally.
One thought, allow them to be invisible, but at a low level they have not ability to interact with the world around them while invisible. For instance, they can walk though doors and walls,but cannot open doors. They can view everything around them, but cannot pick up things.
This forces them to come out of invisibility then once fully visible (whole) they ...
The Bad News
As others have pointed out, Invisible Stalker is a monster and the stat block it uses is just not viable for a PC. You could always start tweaking the different parts of it to try to get something balanced but chances are it would never really pan out and your player would still be far too strong, or so saddled with drawbacks that he can't have ...
Ask the player "why?"
First step to solving these types of issues is asking why they want a thing. If the character wants to be invisible all the time just for the sake of that, just say no. If they like the idea of being able to attack from being hidden or that type of thing then you can help them out.
The Gloomstalker Ranger is invisible in darkness to ...
I told him no right off the bat...But he's extremely insistent about
Just tell the player "no," again; you are allowed to do that as DM
There are a number of reasons for this.
An invisible stalker is an elemental; PCs are humanoids1
The CR of an invisible stalker is 6; it usually takes 2 or 3 PCs of
level 6 to defeat an invisible stalker; the ...
We've been using a variation on this system for some time now and haven't seen many ill-effects from it. In general, the slight power boost it gives players can always be offset by the DM tuning the encounters to be slightly harder, so I don't see that as an issue.
Using it the way EotE describes comes with the danger that Theik describes, allowing wizards ...
Passive arcana checks greatly increases the power of counterspell and removes a layer of strategy from wizard battles.
Information is power. Knowing what spell is being cast without having to spend encounter resources (a reaction) is powerful. The uncertainty of if counterspell will be wasted is one of it's drawbacks. Mitigating this drawback makes ...
Just use a bigger gun
It's a bad idea because of the accuracy penalties, but you can just use a bigger weapon. The rules for firearms state:
The size of a firearm never affects how many hands you need to use to shoot it.
This is errataed by FAQ to specifically ban Medium and Small characters from using too-large firearms. You have been houseruled to ...