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.
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
on a d20 roll. In this case, roll two d20 and use the higher or lower result as appropriate. PHB 173
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
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
combatants cannot act in the first round of combat. PHB 189
Combatants roll a d20 DEX check to determine order of turns in a round. Add relevant modifier(s). PHB 189
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
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.
No damage. PHB 197
Identify your target to the table.
Roll a d20. During an Attack roll, 1 always fails, and 20 always succeeds.
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.
Many spells count as attacks. The caster rolls d20 + Spellcasting Ability Modifier + Proficiency Bonus to hit vs AC.
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 .)
Grants +2 to AC and DEX saves
Grants +5 to AC and DEX saves
Cannot be directly targeted, but might be hit by Area of Effect.
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
The relative threat of imminent death or incapacity to a creature. PHB 196
At zero HP a character is unconscious. PHB 197
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
indicates how difficult a creature is to hit due to armor, dodging and parrying skills, and other factors. Higher numbers are better. PHB 145
determine how much damage an attack inflicts. Deadlier attacks use more or larger dice. Critical hits (20s) roll double dice. PHB 196
is the recovery of Hit Points
accomplished through rest, spells, or potions. PHB 197
is an hour rest during which characters can heal using remaining Hit Dice. PHB 186
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
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
When reducing a creature to 0 HP, a melee attacker may elect to render it Unconscious
rather than kill it. PHB 198
Actions in Combat
in 1 or more segments
from the list below
1 minor free action
: e.g., speak, open a door PHB 199
1 Bonus Action
, if available
, triggered on another’s turn
a distance up to your Speed. PHB 181
In addition to moving, perform one of the following Actions:
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
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
use an Attack
to seize and control a creature. Roll STR vs. target’s Athletics
or Acrobatics. Escape
by winning Athletics
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
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
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