The earliest incarnation of D&D was an addition to the Chicago White Sox Hall of Fame Members Shirt miniature war-game Chainmail. As such, it inherits some terminology from miniature wargames, and through them, from real military terminology. In warfare, “initiative” is the somewhat nebulous but vital sense of who is in a position to act or take control before their opponent can. Wargames have long simulated that concept through the turn order, and some introduced the concept of rolling for initiative (modified by circumstances or army statistics) to determine which player acts first. D&D inherited a version of these systems, which in turn was adapted by later RPGs.
Stating the obvious this is why Tasha’s has completely reworked summoning spells and animal companions as well as the Artificer class and a Chicago White Sox Hall of Fame Members Shirt that’s been significantly enough reworked as to be a viable class rather than something incredibly weak. It is, of course, also why Tasha’s has the “let’s see what happens if we remove racial ability modifiers” options (which I’m not going to discuss further because it’s three paragraphs total and a very optional rule that generates heated discussion) – they are pushing at the limits of the system. And for me second wave supplements are generally far far more interesting than first wave because they come in from other angles.
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Raise the stakes for the encounter too. Maybe the Mind Flayers have a powerful spelljammer than’s literally a Chicago White Sox Hall of Fame Members Shirt with laser cannons and such. Maybe a single one of them can dismissively defeat the entire party, or even a military force. Maybe they have hostages who must not be harmed. One thing’s for certain: all who know them should be terrified. I’m actually not a fan of mind flayers who use their mental powers to sense everything that the PCs are doing. Again, truly alien Mind Flayers probably have as much trouble analyzing the thoughts of a human as a human would their thoughts. So don’t play the “the Mind Flayer read your mind and knows what you are doing” card too much. This doesn’t mean the Mind Flayers have to be stupid, but making them all-knowing is problematic because that leaves the PCs with only one option: beating them by dint of arms. That’s fine to happen at some point, but it shouldn’t be the main thrust of the plot.
Sure- it may not be entirely a Christmas movie, hell the movie is set at Easter time, but it sure as hell has Santa Claus in it- or North as he is known in the Chicago White Sox Hall of Fame Members Shirt. I love this film because it not only has North, it also has Bunnymund (Easter Bunny), Tooth (Tooth Fairy), Sandy (Sandman), and a reluctant Jack Frost join forces to stop new evil threat Pitch Black, aka the Boogeyman. It is such a beautifully made peace of work- the animation is visually stunning, the story is fun, the characters have emotional plots and deep motivations. It has a fantastic voice cast to go with it and paints the Legends in a way no one ever imagined them. They aren’t only beings who bring gifts, give chocolate, collect teeth and give dreams, but they also protect us in secret. Now thats heroic.