Roll for Initiative

Meaning

What does Roll for Initiative mean?

Roll for initiative is a common expression among players of D&D and other tabletop roleplaying games.

It refers to the act of rolling the dice before a fight ensues in a game.

“Rolling for initiative” determines the order in which players act during a fight; it is almost always preferable for characters to act early than late.

Origin

What's the origin of Roll for Initiative?

While the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons didn’t include rolling for initiative in a fight, it was adopted in the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in 1977.

Since then, the DM’s announcement that players should “roll for initiative” has become synonymous with “let the battle begin”.

Spread & Usage

How did Roll for Initiative spread?

“Roll for initiative” has since spread onto other tabletop roleplaying games, as well as MMORPG-s where players use the phrase synonymously to “en garde”.

The expression was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2016.

External resources

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