If anyone hasn't heard, some big game designers of D&D were let go by WotC and they are now working on their own version of what they think D&D should be. Its called 13th Age. Pretty interesting stuff that includes gridless combat, zero gear tracking, more story-oriented mechanics, and a neat combat mechanic called the Escalation Die!
After the first round of combat, the Escalation Die (a d6 and the larger the better) is placed in the center of the table. Starting in round 2 the die has the '1' placed face up. This is the bonus the PCs gain to all attacks. This increases by one each round until a max of 6 is reached in round 7. Now in 13th Age this is balanced by monsters having special attack(s) that trigger when the escalation die hits a certain number(s). If I recall correctly dragons in 13th Age do gain the escalation die bonus lol.
So there was a decent thread on ENWorld here (I'm Liquidsabre btw) that we came up with a way to balance the escalation die for use in other games such as D&D 4e, Pathfinder, or really any game for that matter. Instead of having the escalation die only apply to PCs it would apply to all creatures and would aid in speeding up combats. Just an interesting idea I thought I'd share.