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D&D 5e Player Reference Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

A compact Player Reference for 5e Players. See more at

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

d20 Rolls

Rolls of the 20-sided die determine success or failure. Characters with natural abilities, talents, or magical aids have modi­fiers which increase the odds of success. Negative modifiers like weakne­­sses, diffic­­ul­ties, or curses decrease the chances.
Init­­ia­tive At the beginning of combat, each character rolls a d20 to determine their turn order in the fight. Add DEX. PHB 189
Attack Melee, ranged, and spell attacks rely on a d20 roll. See “Attack” this page for details.
Ability Check (Skill Check) The GM may ask a player to roll to determine whether their character can accomplish a task. Add relevant Ability and Profic­iency modifiers. PHB 173
Saving Throw (Save) In a dangerous situation, the GM may require the player to roll a d20 to try to avoid damage. Add relevant modifiers. PHB 179
Adva­ntage & Disadv­ant­age
Circum­sta­nces, skills, or the DM’s ruling may grant Adva­­ntage or Disa­­dva­­ntage on a d20 roll. In this case, roll two d20 and use the higher or lower result as approp­riate. PHB 173
Insp­ira­tion Awarded by the GM, Inspir­ation allows a player to confer on a d20 roll of their choice, including another player’s. PHB 125
Rolling & Modify­ing The number on the face of the die is the “natural” result to which modifiers are applied. For clarity, report the result as “16 plus 3 is 19” or as “modified 19” so the table knows you’ve included the modifiers. If you roll a natural 1 or 20 during an attack, announce this “critical” miss or hit. PHB 7

Combat Rounds

Battles and other time-s­ens­itive activities occur in Rounds. A Round represents 6 seconds of game time. During a Round, each combatant gets a Turn to move and act. Each Round’s Turns occur simult­ane­ously in the game world, but are resolved in Initi­ative Order by the players. PHB 189
Surp­rise Surpr­ised combatants cannot act in the first round of combat. PHB 189
Init­iat­ive Combatants roll a d20 DEX check to determine order of turns in a round. Add relevant modifi­er(s). PHB 189
Round Begins
Turns All combatants take their turns in initiative order. PHB 189
Repeat Repeat rounds until victory, defeat, parley or retreat.


Some spells require Concen­tration to maintain effect. If the caster takes Damage during concen­tra­tion, they must make a Saving Throw (DC 10 or half the damage, whichever is higher) in order to maintain the spell. PHB 203

Damage Types

Acid Corrosive compounds.
Bludgeoning Blunt force.
Cold Ice or magical chill
Fire Intense heat.
Force Magical wallop.
Lightning Electrical shock.
Necrotic Withering curse.
Piercing Puncture wounds.
Poison Toxins and venom.
Psychic Mental anguish.
Radiant Divine light.
Slashing Cutting wounds.
Thunder Concussive impact.
Immu­nity No damage. PHB 197
Resistance ½ damage
Vulnerability 2x damage


Identify your target to the table.
Roll a d20. During an Attack roll, 1 always fails, and 20 always succeeds.
Add modif­iers. PHB 194
Armor Class
If the modified result is ≥ target’s Armor Class (AC) the attack hits the target.
Roll Damage Dice and add modif­iers. The target’s HP are reduced, factoring resist­ances and vulner­abi­lities.
Spell Attack
PHB 205
Many spells count as attacks. The caster rolls d20 + Spell­casting Ability Modifier + Profi­ciency Bonus to hit vs AC.
Ranged Attack
PHB 195
E.g. Range 150/600:
➛0-150 ft Roll normally. ➛151-600 ft roll with . ➛601 ft+ Out of range.
(If a foe is within 5 ft, roll with .)
Protective Cover PHB 196
½ Cover
Grants +2 to AC and DEX saves
¾ Cover
Grants +5 to AC and DEX saves
Full Cover
Cannot be directly targeted, but might be hit by Area of Effect.
Improvised Weapons
Do 1d4 damage, range 20/60. If an improvised weapon resembles an actual weapon, the GM may rule it can be treated as such, including bonuses.

Damage & Healing

Hit Points The relative threat of imminent death or incapacity to a creature. PHB 196 At zero HP a character is unco­nsc­ious. PHB 197
Hit Dice represent toughness and daily ability to recover from harm. When you take a Short Rest, you can spend Hit Dice to recover hit points. PHB 12
Armor Class indicates how difficult a creature is to hit due to armor, dodging and parrying skills, and other factors. Higher numbers are better. PHB 145
Damage Rolls determine how much damage an attack inflicts. Deadlier attacks use more or larger dice. Critical hits (20s) roll double dice. PHB 196
Heal­ing is the recovery of Hit Points accomp­lished through rest, spells, or potions. PHB 197
Short Rest is an hour rest during which characters can heal using remaining Hit Dice. PHB 186
Long Rest Once per day, 8-hour rest when the character heals: all Hit Points restored, and ½ max number of Hit Dice are restored (minimum 1). PHB 186
Instant Death If a hit reduces a PC below 0 HP to -1 × max hit points, they suffer instant death. PHB 197
Death Saving Throw When a character starts a turn with 0 HP, they make an unmodified saving throw of DC 10. 3 fails before 3 successes is fatal, 3 successes renders them Stable at 0 HP. PHB 197
Temp­orary Hit Points are conferred by some abilities and magic, and are always lost first. PHB 198
Knoc­kout When reducing a creature to 0 HP, a melee attacker may elect to render it Uncon­scious rather than kill it. PHB 198


This cheat sheet is available as a two-page PDF. Find it and other RPG resources at

Actions in Combat

Move your Speed, in 1 or more segments
1 Action from the list below
1 minor free action: e.g., speak, open a door PHB 199
1 Bonus Action, if available
1 Reac­tion, triggered on another’s turn
a distance up to your Speed. PHB 181
In addition to moving, perform one of the following Acti­ons:
Spell with casting time of 1 round. PHB 192
your modified Speed to double your total distance moved. PHB 192
by rolling attack vs. target’s STR or DEX. if target has 2-hand grip. Larger combatant size gets . DMG 271
Dis- engage
rom melee without inviting an Attack of Opport­­un­i­ty. PHB 192
attacks for the turn. Attack­ers roll at . Also gain to any DEX rolls for the turn. PHB 192
First Aid
Stabi­lize a 0 HP creature. PHB 197
Grap- ple
use an Attack to seize and control a creature. Roll STR vs. target’s Athle­tics or Acrob­atics. Escape by winning Athle­tics or Acrob­atics contest vs. the grappler’s STR. PHB 195
an ally with an action or attack, granting them on their roll. PHB 192
by making a Stea­lth check. PHB 177
a specific action to execute when you perceive a stated tri­g­ge­r. PHB 193
for an item. May require a Perc­­ept­­ion or Inve­­sti­­ga­t­ion check. PHB 193
use an Attack to push creature 5 ft away or knock it Prone. PHB 195
an item. May require a roll. PHB 193
After your Action, you may:
additional distance, if you have remaining Speed. PHB 181
Bonus Action
Take one if available. PHB 189
Taken instantly, even out of turn. Triggered by an event. PHB 190
Two- Weapon Fighting
With a light melee weapon in each hand, use a Bonus Action to hit with the second weapon. Bonuses do not apply, only penalties. PHB 195

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