So I really like the way that D&D 2e asks for us to determine initiative. Each side (the DM and the players) roll a single d10. The lowest result goes first and that side acts before the other. Now this result can be modified by various situational modifiers (for example being “Slowed” will add 2 to your result) but by and large this is a simpler, and quicker initiative system than was found in 3e.
Now there is a criticism of this initiative method mentioned in the PH:
Some people believe that using a single initiative roll for everyone on the same side is too unrealistic. It is, admittedly, a simplification, a way to keep down the number of die rolls required in a single round, allowing for much faster combat.Cook, 125
The solution to this criticism is to either add complexity to the initiative system by adding additional modifiers or by adding modifiers and having everyone roll individually. Which, to me, misses the point of the simplified initiative system.
We’re looking for speed in combat.
Adding complexity slows down the game and makes combat take longer. This is expressly one of the things that I hate about D&D 3e because combat takes forever.
I’m all for having a caller and allowing the players to decide a strategy each round because, even though it slows things down, it sounds fun to get to strategize with your buddies. But I’m against rolling each round and adding complexity to the initiative sequence.
Cook, David “Zeb,” et al. Player’s Handbook for the AD&D Game. USA: TSR Inc, 1996. pg 116, 125 PRINT