It’s all about initiative

20 . . . 19 . . . 18 . . . 17 . . .

We played the third session of our Star Wars campaign the other night and I’m really liking this system more and more.  It plays fast and furious, handling the pulp sci-fi action of the movies as well as can be expected in a d20 game.

Except for the damn initiative.  Talking with one of the players afterwards we both agreed that the 20-plus rounds system, further complicated by the tedious bookkeeping required by actions such as “holding actions/ready actions”, just slows the whole thing down in a real way.

Now I admit this could very well be a GM fault on my own part – other GMs are good at multi-tasking those pesky little rounds while making rolls and moving little plastic mutants around the grid – but I am not.

So I’m looking for options to clean this up.  One I came across is the use of index cards with the names of the heroes and enemies on them, stacked in order of action.  Another is the possibility of making the players responsible for their own initiatives – I would call out the rounds by number and let the players alert me when it was their turn.  Cleans up some bookkeeping on my end but I would still have to count down through all 20 or more rounds.

Any thoughts?  Any GM tricks you’ve used/witnessed in d20 games?