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.
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”.
“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.