The description of each race includes racial traits that are common to members of that race. The following entries appear among the traits of most races.
Every race increases one or more of a character's ability scores.
The age entry notes the age when a member of the race is considered an adult, as well as the race's expected lifespan. This information can help you decide how old your character is at the start of the game. You can choose any age for your character, which could provide an explanation for some of your ability scores. For example, if you play a young or very old character, your age could explain a particularly low Strength or Constitution score, while advanced age could account for a high Intelligence or Wisdom.
Most races have tendencies toward certain alignments, described in this entry. These are not binding for player characters, but considering why your dwarf is chaotic, for example, in defiance of lawful dwarf society can help you better define your character.
Characters of most races are Medium, a size category including creatures that are roughly 4 to 8 feet tall. Members of a few races are Small (between 2 and 4 feet tall), which means that certain rules of the game affect them differently. The most important of these rules is that Small characters have trouble wielding heavy weapons, as explained in Equipment.
Your speed determines how far you can move when traveling ("Adventuring") and fighting ("Combat").
By virtue of your race, your character can speak, read, and write certain languages.
Some races have subraces. Members of a subrace have the traits of the parent race in addition to the traits specified for their subrace. Relationships among subraces vary significantly from race to race and world to world.
As your character goes on adventures and overcomes challenges, he or she gains experience, represented by experience points. A character who reaches a specified experience point total advances in capability. This advancement is called gaining a level.
When your character gains a level, his or her class often grants additional features, as detailed in the class description. Some of these features allow you to increase your ability scores, either increasing two scores by 1 each or increasing one score by 2. You can't increase an ability score above 20. In addition, every character's proficiency bonus increases at certain levels.
Each time you gain a level, you gain 1 additional Hit Die. Roll that Hit Die, add your Constitution modifier to the roll, and add the total to your hit point maximum. Alternatively, you can use the fixed value shown in your class entry, which is the average result of the die roll (rounded up).
When your Constitution modifier increases by 1, your hit point maximum increases by 1 for each level you have attained. For example, if your 7th-level fighter has a Constitution score of 17, when he reaches 8th level, he increases his Constitution score from 17 to 18, thus increasing his Constitution modifier from +3 to +4. His hit point maximum then increases by 8.
The Character Advancement table summarizes the XP you need to advance in levels from level 1 through level 20, and the proficiency bonus for a character of that level. Consult the information in your character's class description to see what other improvements you gain at each level.
|Experience Points||Level||Proficiency Bonus|
Multi-classing allows you to gain levels in multiple classes. Doing so lets you mix the abilities of those classes to realize a character concept that might not be reflected in one of the standard class options.
With this rule, you have the option of gaining a level in a new class whenever you advance in level, instead of gaining a level in your current class. Your levels in all your classes are added together to determine your character level. For example, if you have three levels in wizard and two in fighter, you're a 5th-level character.
As your advance in levels, you might primarily remain a member of your original class with just a few levels in another class, or you might change course entirely, never looking back at the class you left behind. You might even start progressing in a third or fourth class. Compared to a single-class character of the same level, you'll sacrifice some focus in exchange for versatility.
To qualify for a new class, you must meet the ability score prerequisites for both your current class and your new one, as shown in the Multi-classing Prerequisites table. For example, a barbarian who decides to multi-class into the druid class must have both Strength and Wisdom scores of 13 or higher. Without the full training that a beginning character receives, you must be a quick study in your new class, having a natural aptitude that is reflected by higher-than-average ability scores.
|Class||Ability Score Minimum|
|Fighter||Strength 13 and Dexterity 13|
|Monk||Dexterity 13 and Wisdom 13|
|Paladin||Strength 13 and Charisma 13|
|Ranger||Dexterity 13 and Wisdom 13|
The experience point cost to gain a level is always based on your total character level, as shown in the Character Advancement table, not your level in a particular class. So, if you are a cleric 6/fighter 1, you must gain enough XP to reach 8th level before you can take your second level as a fighter or your seventh level as a cleric.
You gain the hit points from your new class as described for levels after 1st. You gain the 1st-level hit points for a class only when you are a 1st-level character.
You add together the Hit Dice granted by all of your classes to form your pool of Hit Dice. If the Hit Dice are the same die type, you can simply pool them together. For example, both the fighter and the paladin have a d10, so if you are a paladin 5/ fighter 5, you have ten d10 Hit Dice. If your classes give you Hit Dice of different types, keep track of them separately. If you are a paladin 5/ cleric 5, for example, you have five d10 Hit Dice and five d8 Hit Dice.
Your proficiency bonus is always based on your total character level, as shown in the Character Advancement table, not your level in a particular class. For example, if you are a fighter 3/ rogue 2, you have the proficiency bonus of a 5th-level character, which is +3.
When you gain your first level in a class other than your initial class, you gain only some of the new class's starting proficiencies, as shown in the Multi-classing Proficiencies table.
|Barbarian||Shields, simple weapons, martial weapons|
|Bard||Light armor, one skill of your choice, one musical instrument of your choice|
|Cleric||Light armor, medium armor, shields|
|Druid||Light armor, medium armor, shields (druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal)|
|Fighter||Light armor, medium armor, shields, simple weapons, martial weapons|
|Monk||Simple weapons, shortswords|
|Paladin||Light armor, medium armor, shields, simple weapons, martial weapons|
|Ranger||Light armor, medium armor, shields, simple weapons, martial weapons, one skill from the class's skill list|
|Rogue||Light armor, one skill from the class's skill list, thieves' tools|
|Warlock||Light armor, simple weapons|
When you gain a new level in a class, you get its features for that level. You don't, however, receive the class's starting equipment, and a few features have additional rules when you're multi-classing: Channel Divinity, Extra Attack, Unarmored Defense, and Spellcasting.
If you already have the Channel Divinity feature and gain a level in a class that also grants the feature, you gain the Channel Divinity effects granted by that class, but getting the feature again doesn't give you an additional use of it. You gain additional uses only when you reach a class level that explicitly grants them to you. For example, if you are a cleric 6/ paladin 4, you can use Channel Divinity twice between rests because you are high enough level in the cleric class to have more uses. Whenever you use the feature, you can choose any of the Channel Divinity effects available to you from your two classes.
If you gain the Extra Attack class feature from more than one class, the features don't add together. You can't make more than two attacks with this feature unless it says you do (as the fighter's version of Extra Attack does). Similarly, the warlock's eldritch invocation Thirsting Blade doesn't give you additional attacks if you also have Extra Attack.
If you already have the Unarmored Defense feature, you can't gain it again from another class.
Your capacity for spellcasting depends partly on your combined levels in all your spellcasting classes and partly on your individual levels in those classes. Once you have the Spellcasting features from more than one class, use the rules below. If you multi-class but have the Spellcasting feature from only one class, you follow the rules as described in that class.
Spells Known and Prepared. You determine what spells you know and can prepare for each class individually, as if you were a single-classed member of that class. If you are a ranger 4/ wizard 3, for example, you know three 1st-level ranger spells based on your levels in the ranger class. As 3rd-level wizard, you know three wizard cantrips, and your spellbook contains ten wizard spells, two of which (the two you gained when you reached 3rd level as a wizard) can be 2nd-level spells. If your Intelligence is 16, you can prepare six wizard spells from your spell book.
Each spell you know and prepare is associated with one of your classes, and you use the spellcasting ability of that class when you cast the spell. Similarly, a spellcasting focus, such as a holy symbol, can be used only for the spells from the class associated with that focus.
Spell Slots.You determine your available spell slots by adding together all your levels in the bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, and wizard classes, and half your levels (rounded down) in the paladin and ranger classes. Use this total to determine your spell slots by consulting the Multi-class Spellcaster table
If you have more than one spellcasting class, this table might give you spell slots of a level that is higher than the spells you know or can prepare. You can use those slots, but only to cast your lower-level spells. If you lower-level spell that you cast, like Burning Hands, has an enhanced effect when cast using a higher-level spell slot, you can use the enhanced effect, even though you don't have any spells of that higher level.
For example, if you are the aforementioned ranger 4/ wizard 3, you count as a 5th-level character when determining your spell slots: you have four 1st-level slots, three 2nd-level ranger spells, and two 3rd-level slots. However, you don't know any 3rd-level spells, nor do you know any 2nd-level ranger spells. You can use the spell slots of those levels to cast the spells you do know - and potentially enhance their effects.
Pact Magic. If you have both the Spellcasting class feature and the Pact magic class features from the warlock class, you can use the spell slots you gain from the Pact Magic feature to cast spells you know or have prepared from classes with the Spellcasting class feature, and you can use the spell slots you gain from the Spellcasting class feature to cast warlock spells you know.
|Spell Slots per Spell Level|
A typical creature in the game world has an alignment, which broadly describes its moral and personal attitudes. Alignment is a combination of two factors: one identifies morality (good, evil, or neutral), and the other describes attitudes toward society and order (lawful, chaotic, or neutral). Thus nine distinct alignments define the possible combinations.
These brief summaries of the nine alignments describe the typical behavior of a creature with that alignment. Individuals might vary significantly from that typical behavior, and few people are perfectly and consistently faithful to the precepts of their alignment.
Lawful good (LG) creatures can be counted on to do the right thing as expected by society. Gold dragons, paladins, and most dwarves are lawful good.
Neutral good (NG) folk do the best they can to help others according to their needs. Many celestials, some cloud giants, and most gnomes are neutral good.
Chaotic good (CG) creatures act as their conscience directs, with little regard for what others expect. Copper dragons, many elves, and unicorns are chaotic good.
Lawful neutral (LN) individuals act in accordance with law, tradition, or personal codes. Many monks and some wizards are lawful neutral.
Neutral (N) is the alignment of those who prefer to steer clear of moral questions and don't take sides, doing what seems best at the time. Lizardfolk, most druids, and many humans are neutral.
Chaotic neutral (CN) creatures follow their whims, holding their personal freedom above all else. Many barbarians and rogues, and some bards are chaotic neutral.
Lawful evil (LE) creatures methodically take what they want, within the limits of a code of tradition, loyalty, or order. Devils, blue dragons, and hobgoblins are lawful evil.
Neutral evil (NE) is the alignment of those who do whatever they can get away with, without compassion or qualms. Many drow, some cloud giants, and goblins are neutral evil.
Chaotic evil (CE) creatures act with arbitrary violence, spurred by their greed, hatred, or bloodlust. Demons, red dragons, and orcs are chaotic evil.
For many thinking creatures, alignment is a moral choice. Humans, dwarves, elves, and other humanoid races can choose whether to follow the paths for good or evil, law or chaos. According to myth, the good-aligned gods who created these races gave them free will to choose their moral paths, knowing that good without free will is slavery.
The evil deities who created other races, though, made those races to serve them. Those races have strong inborn tendencies that match the nature of their gods. Most orcs share the violent, savage nature of the orc gos, and are thus inclined toward evil. Even if an orc chooses a good alignment, it struggles against its innate tendencies for its entire life. (Even half-orcs feel the lingering pull of the orc god's influence.)
Alignment is an essential part of the nature of celestials and fiends. A devil does not choose to be lawful evil, and it doesn't tend toward lawful evil, but rather it is lawful evil in its essence. If it somehow ceased to be lawful evil, it would cease to be a devil.
Most creatures that lack the capacity for rational thought do not have alignments - they are unaligned. Such a creature is incapable of making a moral or ethical choice and acts according to its bestial nature. Sharks are savage predators, for example, but they are not evil; they have no alignment.
Your race indicates the languages your character can speak by default, and your background might give you access to one or more additional languages of your choice. Note these languages on your character sheet.
Choose your languages from the Standard Languages table, or choose one that is common in your campaign. With your GM's permission, you can instead choose a language from the Exotic Languages table or a secret language, such as thieves' cant or the tongue of druids.
Some of these languages are actually families of languages with many dialects. For example, the Primordial language includes the Auran, Aquan, Ignan, and Terran dialects, on for each of the four elemental planes. Creatures that speak different dialects of the same language can communicate with one another.
|Deep Speech||Aboleths, cloakers||-|
Inspiration is a rule the game master can use to reward you for playing your character in a way that's true to his or her personality traits, ideal, bond, and flaw. By using inspiration, you can draw on your personality trait of compassion for the downtrodden to give you an edge in negotiating. Or inspiration can let you call on your bond to the defense of your home village to push past the effect of a spell that has been laid on you.
Your GM can choose to give you inspiration for a variety of reasons. Typically, GMs award it when you play out your personality traits, give in to the drawbacks presented by a flaw or bond, and otherwise portray your character in a compelling way. Your GM will tell you how you can earn inspiration in the game.
You either have inspiration or you don't - you can't stockpile multiple "inspirations" for later use.
If you have inspiration, you can expend it when you make an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check. Spending your inspiration gives you advantage on that roll.
Additionally, if you have inspiration, you can reward another player for good roleplaying, clever thinking, or simply doing something exciting in the game. When another player character does something that really contributes to the story in a fun and interesting way, you can give up your inspiration to give that character inspiration.
Every story has a beginning. Your character's background reveals where you came from, how you became an adventurer, and your place in the world. Your fighter might have been a courageous knight or a grizzled soldier. Your wizard could have been a sage or an artisan. Your rogue might have gotten by as a guild thief or commanded audiences as a jester.
Choosing a background provides you with important story cues about your character's identity. The most important question to ask about your background is what changed? Why did you stop doing whatever your background describes and start adventuring? Where did you get the money to purchase your starting gear, or, if you come from a wealthy background, why don't you have more money? How did you learn the skills of your class? What sets you apart from ordinary people who share your background?
The sample background presented here provides both concrete benefits (features, proficiencies, and languages) and roleplaying suggestions.
Each background gives a character proficiency in two skills (described in Using Ability Scores)
In addition, most backgrounds give a character proficiency with one or more Artisan's Tools, Equipment Kits, Gaming Sets, and General Tools.
If a character would gain the same proficiency from two different sources, he or she can choose a different proficiency of the same kind (skill or tool) instead.
Some backgrounds allow characters to learn additional languages beyond those given by race. See Languages.
Each background provides a package of starting equipment. If you use the optional rule to spend coin on gear, you do not receive the starting equipment from your background.
A background contains suggested personal characteristics based on your background. You can pick characteristics, roll dice to determine them randomly, or use the suggestions as inspiration for characteristics of your own creation.
You might want to tweak some of the features of a background so it better fits your character or the campaign setting. To customize a background, you can replace one feature with any other one, choose any two skills, and choose a total of two tool proficiencies or languages from the sample backgrounds. You can either use the equipment packages from your background or spend coin on gear as described in the Equipment section. (If you spend coin, you can't also take the equipment package suggested for your class.) Finally, choose two personality traits, one ideal, one bond, and one flaw. If you can't find a feature that matches your desired background, work with your GM to create one.
Common coins come in several different denominations based on the relative worth of the metal from which they are made. the three most common coins are th gold piece (GP), the silver piece (SP), and the copper piece (CP).
With one gold piece, a character can buy a bedroll, 50 feet of good rope, or a goat. A skilled (but not exceptional) artisan can earn one gold piece a day. The gold piece is the standard unit of measure for wealth, even if the coin itself is not commonly used. When merchants discuss deals that involve goods or services worth hundreds or thousands of gold pieces, the transactions don't usually involve the exchange of individual coins. Rather, the gold piece is a standard measure of value, and the actual exchange is in gold bars, letters of credit, or valuable goods.
One gold piece is worth 10 silver pieces, the most prevalent coin among commoners. A silver piece buys a laborer's work for half a day, a flask of lamp oil, or a night's rest in a poor inn.
One silver piece is worth ten copper pieces, which are common among laborers and beggars. A single copper piece buys a candle, a torch, or a piece of chalk.
In addition, unusual coins made of other precious metals sometimes appear in treasure hoards. The electrum piece (EP) and the platinum piece (PP) originate from fallen empires and lost kingdoms, and they sometimes arouse suspicion and skepticism when used in transactions. An electrum piece is worth 5 silver pieces, and a platinum piece is worth ten gold pieces.
A standard coin weighs about a third of an ounce, so fifty coins weigh a pound.
|Standard Exchange Rates|
Opportunities about to find treasure, equipment, weapons, armor, and more in dungeons you explore. Normally, you can sell your treasures and trinkets when you return to a town or other settlement, provided that you can find buyers and merchants interested in your loot.
Arms, Armor, and Other Equipment. As a general rule, undamaged weapons, armor, and other equipment fetch half their cost when sold in the market. Weapons and armor used by monsters are rarely in good enough condition to sell.
Magic Items. Selling magic items is problematic. Finding someone to buy a potion or a scroll isn't too hard, but other items are out of the realm of most but the wealthiest nobles. Likewise, aside from a few common magic items, you won't normally come across magic items or spells to purchase. The value of magic is far beyond simple gold and should always be treated as such.
Gems, Jewelry, and Art Objects. These items retain their full value in the marketplace, and you can either trade them in for coin or use them as currency for other transactions. For exceptionally valuable treasures, the GM might require you to find a buyer in a large town or larger community first.
Trade Goods. On the borderlands, many people conduct transactions through barter. Like gems and art objects, trade goods - bars of iron, bags of slat, livestock, and so on - retain their full value in the market and can be used as currency.
Fantasy gaming worlds are a vast tapestry made up of many different cultures, each with its own technology level. For this reason, adventurers have access to a variety of armor types, ranging from leather armor to chain mail to costly plate armor, with several other kinds of armor in between. The Armor table collects the most commonly available types of armor found in the game and separates them into three categories: light armor, medium armor, and heavy armor. Many warriors supplement their armor with a shield.
The Armor table shows the cost, weight, and other properties of the common types of armor worn in fantasy gaming worlds.
Armor Proficiency. Anyone can put on a suit of armor or strap a shield to an arm. Only those proficient in the armor's use know how to wear it effectively, however. Your class gives you proficiency with certain types of armor. If you wear armor that you lack proficiency with, you have disadvantage on any ability check, saving throw, or attack roll that involves Strength or Dexterity, and you can't cast spells.
Armor Class (AC). Armor protects its wearer from attacks. The armor (and shield) you wear determines your base Armor Class.
Heavy Armor. Heavier armor interferes with he wearer's ability to move quickly, stealthily, and freely. If the Armor table shows "Str 13" or "Str 15" in the Strength column for an armor type, the armor reduces the wearer's speed by 10 feet unless the wearer has a Strength score equal to or higher than the listed score.
Stealth. If the Armor table shows "Disadvantage" in the Stealth column, the wearer has Disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks.
Shields. A shield is made from wood or metal and is carried in one hand. Wielding a shield increases your Armor Class by 2. You can benefit from only one shield at a time.
Made from supple and thin materials, light armor favors agile adventurers since it offers some protection without sacrificing mobility. If you wear light armor, you add your Dexterity modifier to the base number from your armor type to determine your Armor Class.
Padded. Padded armor consists of quilted layers of cloth and batting
Leather. The breastplate and shoulder protectors of this armor are made of leather that has been stiffened by being boiled in oil. The rest of the armor is made of softer and more flexible materials.
Studded Leather.Made from tough but flexible leather, studded leather is reinforced with close-set rivets or spikes.
Medium armor offers more protection than light armor, but it also impairs movement more. If you wear medium armor, you add your Dexterity modifier, to a maximum of +2, to the base number from your armor type to determine your Armor Class.
Hide. This crude armor consists of thick furs and pelts. It is commonly worn by barbarian tribes, evil humanoids, and other folk who lack access to the tools and materials needed to create better armor.
Chain Shirt. Made of interlocking metal rings, a chain shirt is worn between layers of clothing or leather. This armor offers modest protection to the wearer's upper body and allows the sound of the rings rubbing against one another to be muffled by outer layers.
Scale Mail. This armor consists of a coat and leggings (and perhaps a separate skirt) of leather covered with overlapping pieces of metal, much like the scales of a fish. The suit includes gauntlets.
Breastplate. This armor consists of a fitted metal chest piece worn with supple leather. Although it leaves the legs and arms relatively unprotected, this armor provides good protection for the wearer's vital organs while leaving the wearer relatively unencumbered.
Half Plate. Half plate consists of shaped metal plates that cover most of the wearer's body. It does not include leg protection beyond simple greaves that are attached with leather straps.
Of all the armor categories, heavy armor offers the best protection. These suits of armor cover the entire body and are designed to stop a wide range of attacks. Only proficient warriors can manage their weight and bulk.
Heavy armor doesn't let you add your Dexterity modifier to your Armor Class, but it also doesn't penalize you if your Dexterity modifier is negative.
Ring Mail. This armor is leather armor with heavy rings sewn into it. The rings help reinforce the armor against blows from swords and axes. Ring mail is inferior to Chain mail, and it's usually worn only by those who can't afford better armor.
Chain Mail. Made of interlocking metal rings, chain mail includes a layer of quilted fabric worn underneath the mail to prevent chafing and to cushion the impact of blows. The suit includes gauntlets.
Splint. This armor is made of narrow vertical strips of metal riveted to a backing of leather that is worn over cloth padding. Flexible chain mail protects the joints.
Plate. Plate consists of shaped, interlocking metal plates that cover the entire body. A suit of plate includes gauntlets, heavy leather boots, a visored helmet, and thick layers of padding underneath the armor. Buckles and straps distribute the weight over the body.
|Armor||Cost||Armor Class (AC)||Strength||Stealth||Weight|
|Padded||5 GP||11 + Dex modifier||-||Disadvantage||8 lb.|
|Leather||10 GP||11 + Dex modifier||-||-||10 lb.|
|Studded leather||45 GP||12 + Dex modifier||-||-||13 lb.|
|Hide||10 GP||12 + Dex modifier (max 2)||-||-||12 lb.|
|Chain shirt||50 GP||13 + Dex modifier (max 2)||-||-||20 lb.|
|Scale mail||50 GP||Disadvantage||45 lb.|
|Breastplate||400 GP||14 + Dex modifier (max 2)||-||-||20 lb.|
|Half plate||750 GP||15 + Dex modifier (max 2)||-||Disadvantage||40 lb.|
|Ring mail||30 GP||14||-||Disadvantage||40 lb.|
|Chain mail||75 GP||16||Str 13||Disadvantage||55 lb.|
|Splint||200 GP||17||Str 15||Disadvantage||60 lb.|
|Plate||1,500 GP||18||Str 15||Disadvantage||65 lb.|
|Shield||10 GP||+2||-||-||6 lb.|
The time it takes to don and doff armor depends on the armor's category.
Don. This is the time it takes to put on armor. You benefit from the armor's AC only if you take the full time to don the suit of armor.
Doff. This is the time it takes to take off armor. If you have help, reduce the time by half.
|Donning and Doffing Armor|
|Light Armor||1 minute||1 minute|
|Medium Armor||5 minutes||1 minute|
|Heavy Armor||10 minutes||5 minutes|
|Shield||1 action||1 action|
Your class grants proficiency in certain weapons, reflecting both the class's focus and the tools you are most likely to use. whether you favor a longsword or a longbow, your weapon and your ability to wield it effectively can mean the difference between life and death while adventuring.
The Weapons table shows the most common weapons used in the fantasy gaming worlds, their price and weight, the damage they deal when they hit, and any special properties they possess. every weapon is classified as either melee or ranged. A melee weapon is used to attack a target within 5 feet of you, whereas a ranged weapon is used to attack a target at a distance.
Your race, class, and feats can grant you proficiency with certain weapons or categories of weapons. The two categories are simple and martial. Most people can use simple weapons with proficiency. These weapons include clubs, maces, and other weapons often found in the hands of commoners. Martial weapons, including swords, axes, and polearms, require more specialized training to use effectively. Most warriors use martial weapons because these weapons put their fighting style and training to best use.
Proficiency with a weapon allows you to add your proficiency bonus to the attack roll for any attack you make with that weapon. If you make an attack roll using a weapon with which you lack proficiency, you do not add your proficiency bonus to the attack roll.
Many weapons have special properties related to their use, as shown in the Weapons table.
You can use a weapon that has the ammunition property to make a ranged attack only if you have ammunition to fire from the weapon. Each time you attack with the weapon,you expend one piece of ammunition. Drawing the ammunition from a quiver, case, or other container is part of the attack (you need a free hand to load a one-handed weapon). At the end of the battle, you can recover half your expended ammunition by taking a minute to search the battlefield.
If you use a weapon that has the ammunition property to make a melee attack, you treat the weapon as an improvised weapon (see Improvised Weapons later in this section). A sling must be loaded to deal any damage when used in this way.
When making an attack with a finesse weapon, you use your choice of your Strength or Dexterity modifier for the attack and damage rolls. You must use the same modifier for both rolls.
Small creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls with heavy weapons. A heavy weapon's size and bulk make it too large for a Small creature to use effectively.
A light weapon is small and easy to handle, making it ideal for use when fighting with two weapons.
Because of the time required to load this weapon, you can fire only one piece of ammunition from it when you use an action, bonus action, or reaction to fire it, regardless of the number of attacks you can normally make.
A weapon that can be used to make a ranged attack has a range in parentheses after the ammunition or thrown property. The range lists two numbers. Te first is the weapon's normal range in feet, and the second indicates the weapon's long range. When attacking a target beyond normal range, you have disadvantage on the attack roll. You can't attack a target beyond the weapon's long range.
This weapon adds 5 feet to your reach when you attack with it, as well as when determining your reach for opportunity attacks with it.
A weapon with the special property has unusual rules governing its use, explained in the weapon's description (see Special Weapons later in this section).
If a weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon to make a ranged attack. If the weapon is a melee weapon, you use the same ability modifier for the attack roll and damage roll that you would use for a melee attack with that weapon. For example, if you throw a handaxe, you use your Strength, but if you throw a dagger, you can use either your Strength or your Dexterity, since the dagger has the finesse property.
This weapon requires two hands when you attack with it.
This weapon can be used with one or two hands. A damage value in parentheses appears with this property - the damage when the weapon is used with two hands to make a melee attack.
Sometimes characters don't have their weapons and have to attack with whatever is at hand. An improvised weapon includes any object you can wield in one or two hands, such as a broken glass, a table leg, a frying pan, a wagon wheel, or a dead goblin.
Often, an improvised weapon is similar to an actual weapon and can be treated as such. For example, a table leg is akin to a club. At the GM's option a character proficient with a weapon can use a similar object as if it were that weapon and use his or her proficiency bonus.
An object that bears no resemblance to a weapon deals 1d4 damage (the GM assigns a damage type appropriate to the object). If a character uses a ranged weapon to make a melee attack, or throws a melee weapon that does not have a thrown property, it also deals 1d4 damage. An improvised thrown weapon has a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet.
Some monsters that have immunity or resistance to nonmagical weapons are susceptible to silver weapons, so cautious adventurers invest extra coin to plate their weapons with silver. You can silver a single weapon or ten pieces of ammunition for 100 GP. This cost represents not only the price of the silver, but the time and expertise needed to add silver to a weapon without making it less effective.
Weapons with special rules are described here.
Lance. You have disadvantage when you use a lance to attack a target within 5 feet of you. Also, a lance requires two hands to wield when you aren't mounted.
Net. A Large or smaller creature hit by a net is Restrained until it is freed. A net has no effect on creatures that are formless, or creatures that are Huge or larger. A creature can use its action to make a DC 10 Strength check, freeing itself or another creature within its reach on a success. Dealing 5 slashing damage to the net (AC 10) also frees the creature without harming it, ending the effect and destroying the net.
When you use an action, bonus action, or reaction to attack with a net, you can make only one attack regardless of the number of attacks you can normally make.
|Simple Melee Weapons|
|Club||1 SP||1d4 bludgeoning||2 lb.||Light|
|Dagger||2 GP||1d4 piercing||1 lb.||Finesse, light, thrown (range 20/60)|
|Greatclub||2 SP||1d8 bludgeoning||10 lb.||Two-handed|
|Handaxe||5 GP||1d6 slashing||2 lb.||light, thrown (range 20/60)|
|Javelin||5 SP||1d6 piercing||2 lb.||Thrown (range 30/120)|
|Light hammer||2 GP||1d4 bludgeoning||2 lb.||light, thrown (range 20/60)|
|Mace||5 GP||1d6 bludgeoning||4 lb.||-|
|Quarterstaff||2 SP||1d6 bludgeoning||4 lb.||Versatile (1d8)|
|Sickle||1 GP||1d4 slashing||2 lb.||light|
|Spear||1 GP||1d6 piercing||3 lb.||Thrown (range 20/60), versatile (1d8)|
|Simple Ranged Weapons|
|Crossbow, light||25 GP||1d8 piercing||5 lb.||Ammunition (range 80/320), loading, two-handed|
|Dart||5 CP||1d4 piercing||1/4 lb.||Finesse, thrown (range 20/60)|
|Shortbow||25 GP||1d6 piercing||2 lb.||Ammunition (range 80/320), two-handed|
|Sling||1 SP||1d4 bludgeoning||-||Ammunition (range 30/120)|
|Martial Melee Weapons|
|Battleaxe||10 GP||1d8 slashing||4 lb.||Versatile (1d10)|
|Flail||10 GP||1d8 bludgeoning||2 lb.||-|
|Glaive||20 GP||1d10 slashing||6 lb.||Heavy, reach, two-handed|
|Greataxe||30 GP||1d12 slashing||7 lb.||Heavy, two-handed|
|Greatsword||50 GP||2d6 slashing||6 lb.||Heavy, two-handed|
|Halberd||20 GP||1d10 slashing||6 lb.||Heavy, reach, two-handed|
|Lance||10 GP||1d12 piercing||6 lb.||Reach, special|
|Longsword||15 GP||1d8 slashing||3 lb.||Versatile (1d10)|
|Maul||10 GP||2d6 bludgeoning||10 lb.||Heavy, two-handed|
|Morningstar||15 GP||1d8 piercing||4 lb.||-|
|Pike||5 GP||1d10 piercing||18 lb.||Heavy, reach, two-handed|
|Rapier||25 GP||1d8 piercing||2 lb.||Finesse|
|Scimitar||25 GP||1d6 slashing||3 lb.||Finesse, light|
|Shortsword||10 GP||1d6 piercing||2 lb.||Finesse, light|
|Trident||5 GP||1d6 piercing||4 lb.||Thrown (range 20/60), versatile (1d8)|
|War pick||5 GP||1d8 piercing||2 lb.||-|
|Warhammer||15 GP||1d8 bludgeoning||2 lb.||Versatile (1d10)|
|Whip||2 GP||1d4 slashing||3 lb.||Finesse, reach|
|Martial Ranged Weapons|
|Blowgun||10 GP||1 piercing||1 lb.||Ammunition (range 25/100), loading|
|Crossbow, hand||75 GP||1d6 piercing||3 lb.||Ammunition (range 30/120), light, loading|
|Crossbow, heavy||50 GP||1d10 piercing||18 lb.||Ammunition (range 100/400), heavy, loading, two-handed|
|Longbow||50 GP||1d8 piercing||2 lb.||Ammunition (range 150/600), heavy, two-handed|
|Net||1 GP||-||3 lb.||Special, thrown (range 5/15)|
When not descending into the depths of the earth, exploring ruins for lost treasures, or waging war against the encroaching darkness, adventurers face more mundane realities. Even in a fantastical world, people require basic necessities such as shelter, sustenance, and clothing. These things cost money, although some lifestyles cost more than others.
Lifestyle expenses provide you with a simple way to account for the cost of living in a fantasy world. They cover your accommodations, food and drink, and all your other necessities. Furthermore, expenses cover the cost of maintaining your equipment so you can be ready when adventure next calls.
At the start of each week or month (your choice), choose a lifestyle from the Expenses table and pay the price to sustain that lifestyle. The prices listed are per day, so if you wish to calculate the cost of your lifestyle over a thirty-day period, multiply the listed price by 30. Your lifestyle might change from one period to the next, based on the funds you have at your disposal, or you might maintain the same lifestyle throughout your character's career.
Your lifestyle choice can have consequences. Maintaining a wealthy lifestyle might help you make contacts with the rich and powerful, though you run the risk of attracting thieves. Likewise, living frugally might help you avoid criminals, but you are unlikely to make powerful connections.
|Aristocratic||10 GP minimum|
Wretched. You live in inhumane conditions. With no place to call home, you shelter wherever you can, sneaking into barns, huddling in old crates, and relying on the good graces of people better off than you. A wretched lifestyle presents abundant dangers. Violence, disease, and hunger follow you wherever you go. Other wretched people covet your armor, weapons, and adventuring gear, which represent a fortune by their standards. You are beneath the notice of most people.
Squalid. You live in a leaky stable, a mud-floored hut just outside town, or a vermin-infested boarding house in the worst part of town. YOu have shelter from the elements, but you live in a desperate often violent environment, in places rife with disease, hunger, and misfortune. You are beneath the notice of most people, and you have few legal protections. Most people at this lifestyle level have suffered some terrible setback. They might be disturbed, marked as exiles, or suffer from disease.
Poor. A poor lifestyle means going without the comforts available in a stable community. Simple food and lodgings, threadbare clothing, and unpredictable conditions result in a sufficient, though probably unpleasant, experience. Your accommodations might be a room in a flophouse or in the common room above a tavern. You benefit from some legal protections, but you still have to contend with violence, crime, and disease. People at this lifestyle level tend to be unskilled laborers, costermongers, peddlers, thieves, mercenaries, and other disreputable types.
Modest. A modest lifestyle keeps you out of the slums and ensures that you can maintain your equipment. You live in an older part of town, renting a room in a boarding house, inn, or temple. You don't go hungry or thirsty, and your living conditions are clean, if simple. Ordinary people living modest lifestyles include soldiers with families, laborers, students, priests, hedge wizards, and the like.
Comfortable. Choosing a comfortable lifestyle means that you can afford nicer clothing and can easily maintain your equipment. You live in a small cottage in a middle-class neighborhood or in a private room at a fine inn. You associate with merchants, skilled tradespeople, and military officers.
Wealthy. Choosing a wealthy lifestyle means living a life of luxury, though you might not have achieved the social status associated with he old money of nobility or royalty. You live a lifestyle comparable to that of a highly successful merchant, a favored servant of the royalty, or the owner of a few small businesses. You have respectable lodgings, usually a spacious home in a good part of town or a comfortable suit in a fine inn. You likely have a small staff of servants.
Aristocratic.You live a life of plenty and comfort. You move in circles populated by the most powerful people in the community. You have excellent lodgings, perhaps a townhouse in the nicest part of town or rooms in the finest inn. You dine at the best restaurants, retain the most skilled and fashionable tailor, and have servants attending to your every need. You receive invitations to social gatherings of the rich and powerful, and spend evenings in the company of politicians, guild leaders, high priests, and nobility. You must also contend with the highest levels of deceit and treachery. The wealthier you are, the greater the chance you will be drawn into political intrigue as a pawn or participant.
The expenses and lifestyles described here assume that you are spending your time between adventures in town, availing yourself of whatever services you can afford - paying for food and shelter, paying townspeople to sharpen your sword and repair your armor, and so on. Some characters, though, might prefer to spend their time away from civilization, sustaining themselves in the wild by hunting, foraging, and repairing their own gear.
Maintaining this kind of lifestyle doesn't require you to spend any coin, but is time-consuming. If you spend your time between adventurers practicing a profession, you can eke out the equivalent of a poor lifestyle. Proficiency in the Survival skill lets you live at the equivalent of a comfortable lifestyle.
The Food, Drink, and Lodging table gives prices for individual food items and a single night's lodging. These prices are included in your total lifestyle expenses.
|Food, Drink, and Lodging|
|Banquet (per person)||10 GP|
|Bread, loaf||2 CP|
|Cheese, hunk||1 SP|
|Inn stay (per day)|
|Meals (per day)|
|Common (pitcher)||2 SP|
|Fine (bottle)||10 GP|
Adventurers can pay nonplayer characters to assist them or act on their behalf in a variety of circumstances. Most such hirelings have fairly ordinary skills, while others are masters of a craft or art, and a few are experts with specialized adventuring skills.
Some of the most basic types of hireling appear on the Services table. Other common hirelings include any of the wide variety of people who inhabit a typical town or city, when the adventurers pay them to perform a specific task. For example, a wizard might pay a carpenter to construct an elaborate chest (and its miniature replica) for use in the Secret Chest spell. A fighter might commission a blacksmith to forge a special sword. A bard might pay a tailor to make exquisite clothing for an upcoming performance in front of the duke.
Other hirelings provide more expert or dangerous services. Mercenary soldiers paid to help the adventurers take on a hobgoblin army are hirelings, as are sages hired to research ancient or esoteric lore. If a high-level adventurer establishes a stronghold of some kind, he or she might hire a whole staff of servants and agents to run the place, from a castellan or steward to menial laborers to keep the stables clean. These hirelings often enjoy a long-term contract that includes a place to live within the stronghold as part of the offered compensation.
|Between towns||3 CP per mile|
|Within a city||1 CP|
|Skilled||2 GP per day|
|Untrained||2 SP per day|
|Messenger||2 CP per mile|
|Road or gate toll||1 CP|
|Ship's passage||1 SP per mile|
Skilled hirelings include anyone hired to perform a service that involves a proficiency (including weapon, tool, or skill): a mercenary, artisan, scribe, and so on. The pay shown is a minimum; some expert hireling require more pay. Untrained hirelings are hired for menial work that requires no particular skill and can include laborers, porters, maids, and similar workers.
People who are able to cast spells don't fall into the category of ordinary hirelings. It might be possible to find someone willing to cast a spell in exchange for coin or favors, but it is rarely easy and no established pay rates exist. As a rule, the higher the level of the desired spell, the harder it is to find someone who can cast it and the more it costs.
Hiring someone to cast a relatively common spell of 1st or 2nd level, such as Cure Wounds or identify, is easy enough in a city or town, and might cost 10 to 50 GP (plus the cost of any expensive material components). Finding someone able and willing to cast a higher-level spell might involve traveling to a large city, perhaps one with a university or prominent temple. Once found, the spellcaster might ask for a service instead of payment - the kind of service that only adventurers can provide, such as retrieving a rare item from a dangerous locale or traversing a monster-infested wilderness to deliver something important to a distant settlement.
A feat represents a talent or an area of expertise that gives a character special capabilities. It embodies training, experience, and abilities beyond what a class provides.
At certain levels, your class gives you the Ability Score Improvement feature. Using the optional feats rule, you can forgo taking that feature to take a feat of your choice instead. You can take each feat only once, unless the feat's description says otherwise.
You must meet any prerequisite specified in a feat to take that feat. If you ever lose a feat's prerequisite, you can't use that feat until you regain the prerequisite. For example, the Grappler feat requires you to have a Strength of 13 or higher. If your Strength is reduced below 13 somehow - perhaps by a withering curse - you can't benefit from the Grappler feat until your Strength is restored.
Six abilities provide a quick description of every creature's physical and mental characteristics:
Is a character muscle-bound and insightful? Brilliant and charming? Nimble and hardy? Ability scores define these qualities - a creature's assets as well as weaknesses.
The three main rolls of the game - the ability check, the saving throw, and the attack roll - rely on the six ability scores. The book's introduction describes the basic rule behind these rolls: roll a d20, add an ability modifier derived from one of the six ability scores, and compare the total to a target number.
Each of a creature's abilities has a score, a number that defines the magnitude of that ability. An ability score is not just a measure of innate capabilities, but also encompasses a creature's training and competence in activities related to that ability.
A score of 10 or 11 is the normal human average, but adventurers and many monsters are a cut above average in most abilities. A score of 18 is the highest that a person usually reaches. Adventures can have scores as high as 20, and monsters and divine beings can have scores as high as 30.
Each ability also has a modifier, derived from the score and ranging from -5 (for an ability score of 1) to +10 (for a score of 30). The Ability Scores and Modifiers table notes ability modifiers for the range of possible ability scores, from 1 to 30.
|Ability Scores and Modifiers|
To determine an ability modifier without consulting the table, subtract 10 from the ability score and then divide the total by 2 (rounded down).
Because ability modifiers affect almost every attack roll, ability check, and saving throw, ability modifiers come up in a play more often than their associated scores.
Sometimes a special ability or spell tells you that you have advantage or disadvantage on an ability check, a saving throw, or an attack roll. When that happens, you roll a second d20 when you make the roll. Use the higher of the two rolls if you have advantage, and use the lower roll if you have disadvantage. For example, and use the lower roll if you have disadvantage. For example, if you have disadvantage and roll a 17 and a 5, you use the 5. If you instead have advantage and roll those numbers, you use the 17.
If multiple situations affect a roll and each one grants advantage or imposes disadvantage on it, you don't roll more than one additional d20. If two favorable situations grant advantage, for example, you still roll only one additional d20.
If circumstances cause a roll to have both advantage and disadvantage, you are considered to have neither of them, and you roll one d20. This is true even if multiple circumstances impose disadvantage and only one grants advantage or vice versa. in such a situation, you have neither advantage nor disadvantage.
When you have advantage or disadvantage and something in the game, such as the halfling's Lucky trait, lets you re-roll the d20, you can re-roll only one of the dice. You choose which one. For example, if a halfling has advantage or disadvantage on an ability check and rolls a 11 and a 13, the halfling could use the Lucky trait to re-roll the 1.
You usually gain advantage or disadvantage through he use of special abilities, actions, or spells. Inspiration can also give a character advantage. The GM can also decide that circumstances influence a roll in one direction or the other and grant advantage or impose disadvantage as a result.
Characters have a proficiency bonus determined by level. Monsters also have this bonus, which is incorporated int heir stat blocks. The bonus is used in the rules on ability checks, saving throws, and attack rolls.
Your proficiency bonus can't be added to a single die roll or other number more than once. For example, if two different rules say you can add your proficiency bonus to a Wisdom saving throw, you nevertheless add the bonus only once when you make the save.
Occasionally, your proficiency bonus might be multiplied or divided (doubled or halved, for example) before you apply it. For example, the rogue's Expertise feature doubles the proficiency bonus for certain ability checks. If a circumstance suggests that your proficiency bonus applies more than once to the same roll, you still add it only once and multiply or divide it only once.
By the same token, if a feature or effect allows you to multiply your proficiency bonus when making an ability check that wouldn't normally benefit from your proficiency bonus, you still don't add the bonus to the check. For that check your proficiency bonus is 0, given the fact that multiplying 0 by any number is still 0. For instance, if you lack proficiency in the History skill, you gain no benefit from a feature that lets you double your proficiency bonus when you make Intelligence (History) checks.
In general, you don't multiply your proficiency bonus for attack rolls or saving throws. If a feature or effect allows you to do so, these same rules apply.
An ability check test a character's or monster's innate talent and training in an effort to overcome a challenge. The GM calls for an ability check when a character or monster attempts an action (other than an attack) that has a chance of failure. When the outcome is uncertain, the dice determine the results.
For every ability check, the GM decides which of the six abilities is relevant to the task at hand and the difficulty of the task, represented by a Difficulty Class. The more difficult a task, the higher its DC. The Typical Difficulty Classes table shows the most common DCs.
|Typical Difficulty Classes|
To make an ability check, roll a d20 and add the relevant ability modifier. As with other d20 rolls, apply bonuses and penalties, and compare the total to the DC. If the total equals or exceeds the DC, the ability check is a success - the creature overcomes the challenge at hand. Otherwise, it's a failure, which means the character or monster makes no progress toward the objective or makes progress combined with a setback determined by the GM.
Sometimes one character's or monster's efforts are directly opposed to another's. This can occur when both of them are trying to do the same thing and only one can succeed, such as attempting to snatch up a magic ring that has fallen on the floor. This situation also applies when one of them is trying to prevent the other one from accomplishing a goal - for example, when a monster tries to force open a door that an adventurer is holding closed. In situations like these, the outcome is determined by a special form of ability check, called a contest.
Both participants in a contest make ability checks appropriate to their efforts. They apply all appropriate bonuses and penalties, but instead of comparing the total to a DC, they compare the totals of their two checks. The participant with the higher check total wins the contest. the character or monster either succeeds at the action or prevents the other one from succeeding.
If the contest results in a tie, the situation remains the same as it was before the contest. Thus, one contestant might win the contest by default. If two characters tie in a contest to snatch a ring off the floor, neither character grabs it. In a contest between a monster trying to open a door and an adventurer trying to keep the door closed, a tie means that the door remains shut.
Each ability covers a broad range of capabilities, including skills that a character or monster can be proficient in. A skill represents a specific aspect of an ability score, and an individual's proficiency in a skill demonstrates a focus on that aspect. (A character's starting skill proficiencies are determined at character creation, and a monster's skill proficiencies appear in the monster's stat block.)
For example, a Dexterity check might reflect a character's attempt to pull off an acrobatic stunt, to palm an object, or to stay hidden. Each of these aspects of Dexterity has an associated skill: Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth, respectively. So a character who has proficiency in the Stealth skill is particularly good at Dexterity checks related to sneaking and hiding.
The skills related to each ability score are shown in the following list. (No skills are related to Constitution.) See an ability's description in the later sections of this section for examples of how to use a skill associated with an ability.
Sometimes, the GM might ask for an ability check using a specific skill - for example, "Make a Wisdom (Perception) check." At other times, a player might ask the GM if proficiency in a particular skill applies to a check. In either case, proficiency in a skill means an individual can add his or her proficiency bonus to ability checks that involve that skill. Without proficiency in the skill, the individual makes a normal ability check.
For example, if a character attempts to climb up a dangerous cliff, the GM might ask for a Strength (Athletics) check. If the character is proficient in Athletics, the character's proficiency bonus is added to the Strength check. If the character lacks that proficiency, he or she just makes a Strength check.
Normally, your proficiency in a skill applies only to a specific kind of ability check. Proficiency in Athletics, for example, usually applies to Strength checks. In some situations, though, your proficiency might reasonably apply to a different kind of check. In such cases the GM might ask for a check using an unusual combination of ability and skill, or you might ask your GM if you can apply a proficiency to a different check. For example, if you have to swim from an offshore island to the mainland, your GM might call for a Constitution check to see if you have the stamina to make it that far. In that case, your GM might allow you to apply your proficiency in Athletics and ask for a Constitution (Athletics) check. So if you're proficient in Athletics, you apply your proficiency bonus to the Constitution check just as you would normally do for a Strength (Athletics) check. Similarly, when your half-orc barbarian uses a display of raw strength to intimidate an enemy, your GM might ask for a Strength (Intimidation) check, even though Intimidation is normally associated with Charisma.
A passive check is a special kind of ability check that doesn't involve any die rolls. Such a check can represent the average result for a task done repeatedly, such as searching for secret doors over and over again, or can be used when the GM wants to secretly determine whether the characters succeed at something without rolling dice, such as noticing a hidden monster.
Here's how to determine a character's total for a passive check:
If the character has advantage on the check, add 5. For disadvantage, subtract 5. The game refers to a passive check total as a score.
For example, if a 1st-level character has a Wisdom of 15 and proficiency in Perception, he or she has a passive Wisdom (Perception) score of 14.
The rules of Hiding in the Dexterity section below rely on passive checks,a s do the exploration rules.
Sometimes two or more characters team up to attempt a task. the character who's leading the effort - or the one with the highest ability modifier - can make an ability check with advantage, reflecting the help provided by the other characters. In combat, this requires the Help action.
A character can only provide help if the task is one that he or she could attempt alone. For example, trying to open a lock requires proficiency with thieves' tools, so a character who lacks that proficiency can't help another character int hat task. Moreover, a character can help only when two or more individuals working together would actually be productive. Some tasks, such as threading a needle, are no easier with help.
When a number of individuals are trying to accomplish something as a group, the GM might ask for a group ability check. In such a situation, the characters who are skilled at a particular task help cover those who aren't.
To make a group ability check, everyone in the group makes the ability check. If at least half the group succeeds, the whole group succeeds. Otherwise, the group fails.
Group checks don't come up very often, and they're most useful when all the characters succeed of fail as a group. For example, when adventurers are navigating a swamp, the GM might call for a group Wisdom (Survival) check to see if the characters can avoid the quicksand, sinkholes, and other natural hazards of the environment. If at least half the group succeeds, the successful characters are able to guide their companions out of danger. Otherwise, the group stumbles into one of these hazards.
Every task that a character or monster might attempt in the game is covered by one of the six abilities. This section explains in more detail what those abilities mean and the ways they are used in the game.
Strength measures bodily power, athletic training, and the extent to which you can exert raw physical force.
A Strength check can model any attempt to lift, push, pull, or break something, to force your body through a space, or to otherwise apply brute force to a situation. The Athletics skill reflects aptitude in certain kinds of Strength checks.
Athletics. Your Strength (Athletics) check covers difficult situations you encounter while climbing, jumping, or swimming. Examples include the following activities:
Other Strength Checks. The GM might also call for a Strength check when you try to accomplish tasks like the following:
You add your Strength modifier to your attack roll and your damage roll when attacking with a melee weapon such as a mace, a battleaxe, or a javelin. You use melee weapons to make melee attacks in hand-to-hand combat, and some of them can be thrown to make a ranged attack.
Your Strength score determines the amount of weight you can bear. The following terms define what you can lift or carry.
Carrying Capacity. Your carrying capacity is your Strength score multiplied by 15. This is the weight (in pounds) that you can carry, which is high enough that most characters don’t usually have to worry about it.
Push, Drag, or Lift. You can push, drag, or lift a weight in pounds up to twice your carrying capacity (or 30 times your Strength score). While pushing or dragging weight in excess of your carrying capacity, your speed drops to 5 feet.
Size and Strength. Larger creatures can bear more weight, whereas Tiny creatures can carry less. For each size category above Medium, double the creature’s carrying capacity and the amount it can push, drag, or lift. For a Tiny creature, halve these weights.
Variant: Encumbrance. The rules for lifting and carrying are intentionally simple. Here is a variant if you are looking for more detailed rules for determining how a character is hindered by the weight of equipment. When you use this variant, ignore the Strength column of the Armor table. If you carry weight in excess of 5 times your Strength score, you are encumbered, which means your speed drops by 10 feet. If you carry weight in excess of 10 times your Strength score, up to your maximum carrying capacity, you are instead heavily encumbered, which means your speed drops by 20 feet and you have disadvantage on ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws that use Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution.
Dexterity measures agility, reflexes, and balance.
A Dexterity check can model any attempt to move nimbly, quickly, or quietly, or to keep from falling on tricky footing. The Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth skills reflect aptitude in certain kinds of Dexterity checks.
Acrobatics. Your Dexterity (Acrobatics) check covers your attempt to stay on your feet in a tricky situation, such as when you’re trying to run across a sheet of ice, balance on a tightrope, or stay upright on a rocking ship’s deck. The GM might also call for a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to see if you can perform acrobatic stunts, including dives, rolls, somersaults, and flips.
Sleight of Hand. Whenever you attempt an act of legerdemain or manual trickery, such as planting something on someone else or concealing an object on your person, make a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check. The GM might also call for a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check to determine whether you can lift a coin purse off another person or slip something out of another person’s pocket.
Stealth. Make a Dexterity (Stealth) check when you attempt to conceal yourself from enemies, slink past guards, slip away without being noticed, or sneak up on someone without being seen or heard.
Other Dexterity Checks. The GM might call for a Dexterity check when you try to accomplish tasks like the following:
You add your Dexterity modifier to your attack roll and your damage roll when attacking with a ranged weapon, such as a sling or a longbow. You can also add your Dexterity modifier to your attack roll and your damage roll when attacking with a melee weapon that has the finesse property, such as a dagger or a rapier.
Depending on the armor you wear, you might add some or all of your Dexterity modifier to your Armor Class.
At the beginning of every combat, you roll initiative by making a Dexterity check. Initiative determines the order of creatures’ turns in combat.
The GM decides when circumstances are appropriate for hiding. When you try to Hide, make a Dexterity (Stealth) check. Until you are discovered or you stop hiding, that check’s total is contested by the Wisdom (Perception) check of any creature that actively searches for signs of your presence. You can’t Hide from a creature that can see you clearly, and you give away your position if you make noise, such as shouting a warning or knocking over a vase. An Invisible creature can always try to Hide. Signs of its passage might still be noticed, and it does have to stay quiet. In combat, most creatures stay alert for signs of danger all around, so if you come out of hiding and approach a creature, it usually sees you. However, under certain circumstances, the GM might allow you to stay hidden as you approach a creature that is distracted, allowing you to gain advantage on an attack roll before you are seen.
Passive Perception. When you Hide, there’s a chance someone will notice you even if they aren’t searching. To determine whether such a creature notices you, the GM compares your Dexterity (Stealth) check with that creature’s passive Wisdom (Perception) score, which equals 10 + the creature’s Wisdom modifier, as well as any other bonuses or penalties. If the creature has advantage, add 5. For disadvantage, subtract 5. For example, if a 1st-level character (with a proficiency bonus of +2) has a Wisdom of 15 (a +2 modifier) and proficiency in Perception, he or she has a passive Wisdom (Perception) of 14.
What Can You See? One of the main factors in determining whether you can find a hidden creature or object is how well you can see in an area, which might be lightly or Heavily Obscured, as explained in The Environment.
Constitution measures health, stamina, and vital force.
Constitution checks are uncommon, and no skills apply to Constitution checks, because the endurance this ability represents is largely passive rather than involving a specific effort on the part of a character or monster. A Constitution check can model your attempt to push beyond normal limits, however. The GM might call for a Constitution check when you try to accomplish tasks like the following:
Your Constitution modifier contributes to your hit points. Typically, you add your Constitution modifier to each Hit Die you roll for your hit points. If your Constitution modifier changes, your hit point maximum changes as well, as though you had the new modifier from 1st level. For example, if you raise your Constitution score when you reach 4th level and your Constitution modifier increases from +1 to +2, you adjust your hit point maximum as though the modifier had always been +2. So you add 3 hit points for your first three levels, and then roll your hit points for 4th level using your new modifier. Or if you’re 7th level and some effect lowers your Constitution score so as to reduce your Constitution modifier by 1, your hit point maximum is reduced by 7.
Intelligence measures mental acuity, accuracy of recall, and the ability to reason.
An Intelligence check comes into play when you need to draw on logic, education, memory, or deductive reasoning. The Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, and Religion skills reflect aptitude in certain kinds of Intelligence checks.
Arcana. Your Intelligence (Arcana) check measures your ability to recall lore about spells, magic items, eldritch symbols, magical traditions, the planes of existence, and the inhabitants of those planes.
History. Your Intelligence (History) check measures your ability to recall lore about historical events, legendary people, ancient kingdoms, past disputes, recent wars, and lost civilizations.
Investigation. When you look around for clues and make deductions based on those clues, you make an Intelligence (Investigation) check. You might deduce the location of a hidden object, discern from the appearance of a wound what kind of weapon dealt it, or determine the weakest point in a tunnel that could cause it to collapse. Poring through ancient scrolls in search of a hidden fragment of knowledge might also call for an Intelligence (Investigation) check.
Nature. Your Intelligence (Nature) check measures your ability to recall lore about terrain, plants and animals, the weather, and natural cycles.
Religion. Your Intelligence (Religion) check measures your ability to recall lore about deities, rites and prayers, religious hierarchies, holy symbols, and the practices of secret cults.
Other Intelligence Checks. The GM might call for an Intelligence check when you try to accomplish tasks like the following:
Wizards use Intelligence as their spellcasting ability, which helps determine the saving throw DCs of spells they cast.
Wisdom reflects how attuned you are to the world around you and represents perceptiveness and intuition.
A Wisdom check might reflect an effort to read body language, understand someone’s feelings, notice things about the environment, or care for an injured person. The Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Perception, and Survival skills reflect aptitude in certain kinds of Wisdom checks.
Animal Handling. When there is any question whether you can calm down a domesticated animal, keep a mount from getting spooked, or intuit an animal’s intentions, the GM might call for a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check. You also make a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check to control your mount when you attempt a risky maneuver.
Insight. Your Wisdom (Insight) check decides whether you can determine the true intentions of a creature, such as when searching out a lie or predicting someone’s next move. Doing so involves gleaning clues from body language, speech habits, and changes in mannerisms.
Medicine. A Wisdom (Medicine) check lets you try to stabilize a dying companion or diagnose an illness.
Perception. Your Wisdom (Perception) check lets you spot, hear, or otherwise detect the presence of something. It measures your general awareness of your surroundings and the keenness of your senses. For example, you might try to hear a conversation through a closed door, eavesdrop under an open window, or hear monsters moving stealthily in the forest. Or you might try to spot things that are obscured or easy to miss, whether they are orcs lying in ambush on a road, thugs hiding in the shadows of an alley, or candlelight under a closed secret door.
Survival. The GM might ask you to make a Wisdom (Survival) check to follow tracks, hunt wild game, guide your group through frozen wastelands, identify signs that owlbears live nearby, predict the weather, or avoid quicksand and other natural hazards.
Other Wisdom Checks. The GM might call for a Wisdom check when you try to accomplish tasks like the following:
Clerics, druids, and rangers use Wisdom as their spellcasting ability, which helps determine the saving throw DCs of spells they cast.
Charisma measures your ability to interact effectively with others. It includes such factors as confidence and eloquence, and it can represent a charming or commanding personality.
A Charisma check might arise when you try to influence or entertain others, when you try to make an impression or tell a convincing lie, or when you are navigating a tricky social situation. The Deception, Intimidation, Performance, and Persuasion skills reflect aptitude in certain kinds of Charisma checks.
Deception. Your Charisma (Deception) check determines whether you can convincingly hide the truth, either verbally or through your actions. This Deception can encompass everything from misleading others through ambiguity to telling outright lies. Typical situations include trying to fast-talk a guard, con a merchant, earn money through gambling, pass yourself off in a disguise, dull someone’s suspicions with false assurances, or maintain a straight face while telling a blatant lie.
Intimidation. When you attempt to influence someone through overt threats, hostile actions, and physical violence, the GM might ask you to make a Charisma (Intimidation) check. Examples include trying to pry information out of a prisoner, convincing street thugs to back down from a confrontation, or using the edge of a broken bottle to convince a sneering vizier to reconsider a decision.
Performance. Your Charisma (Performance) check determines how well you can delight an audience with music, dance, acting, storytelling, or some other form of entertainment.
Persuasion. When you attempt to influence someone or a group of people with tact, social graces, or good nature, the GM might ask you to make a Charisma (Persuasion) check. Typically, you use Persuasion when acting in good faith, to foster friendships, make cordial requests, or exhibit proper etiquette. Examples of persuading others include convincing a chamberlain to let your party see the king, negotiating peace between warring tribes, or inspiring a crowd of townsfolk.
Other Charisma Checks. The GM might call for a Charisma check when you try to accomplish tasks like the following:
Bards, paladins, sorcerers, and warlocks use Charisma as their spellcasting ability, which helps determine the saving throw DCs of spells they cast.
A saving throw - also called a save - represents an attempt to resist a spell, a trap, a poison, a disease, or a similar threat. You don't normally decide to make a saving throw; you are forced to make one because your character or monster is at risk of harm.
To make a saving throw, roll a d20 and add the appropriate ability modifier. For example, you use your Dexterity modifier for a Dexterity saving throw.
A saving throw can be modified by a situational bonus or penalty and can be affected by advantage and disadvantage, as determined by the GM.
Each class gives proficiency in at least two saving throws. The wizard, for example, is proficient in Intelligence saves. As with skill proficiencies, proficiency in a saving throw lets a character add his or her proficiency bonus to saving throws made using a particular ability score. Some monsters have saving throw proficiencies as well.
The Difficulty Class for a saving throw is determined by the effect that causes it. For example, the DC for a saving throw allowed by a spell is determined by the caster's spellcasting ability and proficiency bonus.
The result of a successful or failed saving throw is also detailed in the effect that allows the save. Usually, a successful save means that a creature suffers no harm, or reduced harm, from an effect.
In situations where keeping track of the passage of time is important, the GM determines the time a task requires. The GM might use a different time scale depending on the context of the situation at hand. In a dungeon environment, the adventurer's movement happens on a scale of minutes. It takes them about a minute to creep down a long hallway, another minute to check for traps at the door at the end of the hall, and a good ten minutes to search the chamber beyond for anything interesting or valuable.
In a city or wilderness, a scale of hours is often more appropriate. Adventurers eager to reach the lonely tower at the heart of the forest hurry across those fifteen miles in just under four hours' time.
For long journeys, a scale of days works best. Following the road from City A to City B, the adventurers spend four uneventful days before a goblin ambush interrupts their journey.
In combat and other fast-paced situations, the game relies on rounds, a 6-second span of time.
Swimming across a rushing river, sneaking down a dungeon corridor, scaling a treacherous mountain slope - all sorts of movement play a key role in fantasy gaming adventures.
The GM can summarize the adventurers' movement without calculating exact distances or travel times: "You travel through the forest and find the dungeon entrance late in the evening of the third day." Even in a dungeon, particularly a large dungeon or a cave network, the GM can summarize movement between encounters: "After killing the guardian at the entrance to the ancient dwarven stronghold, you consult your map, which leads you through miles of echoing corridors to a chasm bridged by a narrow stone arch."
Sometimes it's important, though, to know how long it takes to get from one spot to another, whether the answer is in days, hours, or minutes. The rules for determining travel time depend on two factors: the speed and travel pace of the creatures moving and the terrain they're moving over.
Every character and monster has a speed, which is the distance in feet that the character or monster can walk in 1 round. This number assumes short bursts of energetic movement in the midst of a life-threatening situation.
The following rules determine how far a character or monster can move in a minute, an hour, or a day.
While traveling, a group of adventurers can move at a normal, fast, or slow pace, as shown on the Travel Pace table. The table states how far the party can move in a period of time and whether the pace has any effect. A fast pace makes characters less perceptive, while a slow pace makes it possible to sneak around and to search an area more carefully.
Forced March. The Travel Pace table assumes that character travel for 8 hours in a day. They can push on beyond that limit, at the risk of Exhaustion.
For each additional hour of travel beyond 8 hours, the characters cover the distance shown in the Hour column for their pace, and each character must make a Constitution saving throw at the end of the hour. The DC is 10 + 1 for each hour past 8 hours. On a failed saving throw, a character suffers one level of Exhaustion.
Mounts and Vehicles. For short spans of time (up to an hour), many animals move much faster than humanoids. a mounted character can ride at a gallop for about an hour, covering twice the usual distance for a fast pace. If fresh mounts are available every 8 to 10 miles, characters can cover large distances at this pace, but this is very rare except in densely populated areas.
Characters in wagons, carriages, or other land vehicles choose a pace as normal. Characters in a waterborne vessel are limited to the speed of the vessel, and they don't suffer penalties for a fast pace or gain benefits from a slow pace. Depending on the vessel and the size of the crew, ships might be able to travel for up to 24 hours per day.
Certain special mounts, such as a Pegasus or Griffin, or special vehicles, such as a Carpet of Flying, allow you to travel more swiftly.
|Travel Pace||Distance Traveled per...|
|Fast||400 feet||4 miles||30 miles||- 5 penalty to passive Wisdom (Perception) scores|
|Normal||300 feet||3 miles||24 miles||-|
|Slow||200 feet||2 miles||18 miles||Able to use stealth|
The travel speeds given in the Travel Pace table assume relatively simple terrain: roads, open plains, or clear dungeon corridors. But adventures often face dense forests, deep swamps, rubble-filled ruins, steep mountains, and ice-covered ground - all considered difficult terrain.
You move at half speed in difficult terrain - moving 1 foot in difficult terrain costs 2 feet of speed - so you can cover only half the normal distance in a minute, an hour, or a day.
Movement through dangerous dungeons or wilderness areas often involves more than simply walking. Adventurers might have to climb, crawl, swim, or jump to get where they need to go.
While climbing or swimming, each foot of movement costs 1 extra foot (2 extra feet in difficult terrain), unless a creature has a climbing or swimming speed. At the GM's option, climbing a slippery vertical surface or one with few hand holds requires a successful Strength (Athletics) check. Similarly, gaining any distance in rough water might require a successful Strength (Athletics) check.
Your Strength determines how far you can jump.
Long Jump. When you make a long jump, you cover a number of feet up to your Strength score if you move at least 10 feet on foot immediately before the jump. When you make a standing long jump, you can leap only half that distance. Either way, each foot you clear on the jump costs a foot of movement.
This rule assumes that the height of your jump doesn't matter, such as a jump across a stream or chasm. At the GM's option, you must succeed on a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check to clear a low obstacle (no taller than a quarter of the jump's distance), such as a hedge or low wall. Otherwise, you hit it.
When you land in difficult terrain, you must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to land on your feet. Otherwise, you land Prone.
High Jump. When you make a high jump, you leap into the air a number of feet equal to 3 + your Strength modifier if you move at least 10 feet on foot immediately before the jump. When you make a standing high jump, you can jump only half that distance. Either way, each foot you clear on the jump costs a foot of movement. In some circumstances, your GM might allow you to make a Strength (Athletics) check to jump higher than you normally can.
You can extend your arms half your height above yourself during the jump. Thus, you can reach above you a distance equal to the height of the jump plus 1 and 1/2 times your height.
By its nature, adventuring involves delving into places that are dark, dangerous, and full of mysteries to be explored. The rules in this section cover some of the most important ways in which adventurers interact with the environment in such places.
A fall from a great height is one of the most common hazards facing an adventurer. At the end of a fall, a creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it fell, to a maximum of 20d6. The creature lands Prone, unless it avoids taking damage from the fall.
A creature can hold its breath for a number of minutes equal to 1 + its Constitution modifier (minimum of 30 seconds).
When a creature runs out of breath or is choking, it can survive a number of rounds equal to its Constitution modifier (minimum of 1 round). At the start of its next turn, it drops to 0 hit points and is dying, and it can't regain hit points or be stabilized until it can breathe again.
For example, a creature with a Constitution of 14 can hold its breath for 3 minutes. If it starts suffocating it has 2 rounds to reach air before it drops to 0 hit points.
The most fundamental tasks of adventuring - noticing danger, finding hidden objects, hitting an enemy in combat, and targeting a spell, to name just a few - rely heavily on a character's ability to see. Darkness and other effects that obscure vision can prove a significant hindrance.
A given area might be lightly or heavily obscured. In a lightly obscured area, such as dim light, patchy fog, or moderate foliage, creatures have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
A heavily obscured area - such as darkness, opaque fog, or dense foliage - blocks vision entirely. A creature effectively suffers from the Blinded condition when trying to see something in that area.
The presence or absence of light in an environment creates three categories of illumination: bright light, dim light, and darkness.
Bright light lets most creatures see normally. Even gloomy days provide bright light, as do torches, lanterns, fires, and other sources of illumination within a specific radius.
Dim light, also called shadows, creates a lightly obscured area. An area of dim light is usually a boundary between a source of bright light, such as a torch, and surrounding darkness. The soft light of twilight and dawn counts as dim light. A particularly brilliant moon might bathe the land in dim light.
Darkness creates a Heavily Obscured area. Characters face darkness outdoors at night (even most moonlit nights), within the confines of an unlit dungeon or a subterranean vault, or in an area of magical darkness.
A creature with Blindsight can perceive its surroundings without relying on sight, within a specific radius. Creatures without eyes, such as oozes, and creatures with echolocation or heightened senses, such as bats and true dragons have this sense.
Many creatures in fantasy gaming worlds, especially those that dwell underground, have Darkvision. Within a specified range, a creature with Darkvision can see in darkness as if the darkness were dim light so areas of darkness are only lightly obscured as far as that creature is concerned. However, the creature can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
A creature with Truesight can, out to a specific range, see in normal and magical darkness, see Invisible creatures and objects, automatically detect visual illusions and succeed on saving throws against them, and perceives the original form of a shapechanger or creature that is transformed by magic. Furthermore, the creature can see into the Ethereal Plane.
Characters who don't eat or drink suffer the effects of Exhaustion. Exhaustion caused by lack of food or water can't be removed until the character eats and drinks the full required amount.
A character needs one pound of food per day and can make food last longer by subsisting on half rations. Eating half a pound of food in a day counts as half a day without food.
A character can go without food for a number of days equal to 3 + his or her Constitution modifier (Minimum 1). At the end of each day beyond that limit, a character automatically suffers one level of Exhaustion.
A normal day of eating resets the count of days without food to zero.
A character needs one gallon of water per day, or two gallons per day if the weather is hot. A character who drinks only half that much water must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or suffer one level of Exhaustion at the end of the day. A character with access to even less water automatically suffers one level of Exhaustion at the end of the day.
If the character already has one or more levels of Exhaustion, the character takes two levels in either case.
A character's interaction with objects in an environment is often simple to resolve in the game. The player tells the GM that his or her character is doing something, such as moving a lever, and the GM describes what, if anything, happens.
For example, a character might decide to pull a lever, which might, in turn, raise a portcullis, cause a room to flood with water, or open a secret door in a nearby wall. If the lever is rusted in position, though, a character might need to force it. In such a situation, the GM might call for a Strength check to see whether the character can wrench the lever into place. The GM sets the DC for any such check based on the difficulty of the task.
Characters can also damage objects with their weapons and spells. Objects are immune to poison and psychic damage, but otherwise they can be affected by physical and magical attacks much like creatures can. The GM determines an object's Armor Class and hit points, and might decide that certain objects have resistance or immunity to certain kinds of attacks. (It's hard to cut a rope with a club, for example.) Objects always fail Strength and Dexterity saving throws, and they are immune to effects that require other saves. When an object drops to 0 hit points, it breaks.
A character can also attempt a Strength check to break an object. The GM sets the DC for any such check.
Heroic though they might be, adventurers can't spend every hour of the day in the thick of exploration, social interaction, and combat. They need rest - time to sleep and eat, tend their wounds, refresh their minds and spirits for spellcasting, and brace themselves for further adventure.
Adventurers can take short rests in the midst of an adventuring day and a long rest to end the day.
A short rest is a period of downtime, at least 1 hour long, during which a character does nothing more strenuous than eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds.
A character can spend one or more Hit Dice at the end of a short rest, up to the character's maximum number of Hit Dice, which is equal to the character's level. For each Hit Die spent in this way, the player rolls the die and adds the character's Constitution modifier to it. The character regains hit points equal to the total. The player can decide to spend an additional Hit Die after each roll. A character regains some spent Hit Dice upon finish a long rest, as explained below.
A long rest is a period of extended downtime, at least 8 hours long, during which a character sleeps or performs light activity: reading, talking, eating, or standing watch for no more than 2 hours. If the rest is interrupted by a period of strenuous activity - at least 1 hour of walking, fighting, casting spells, or similar adventuring activity - the characters must begin the rest again to gain any benefit from it.
At the end of a long rest, a character regains all lost hit points. The character also regains spent Hit Dice, up to a number of dice equal to half of the character's total number of them (minimum of one die). For example, if a character has eight Hit Dice, he or she can regain four spent Hit Dice upon finishing a long rest.
A character can't benefit from more than one long rest in a 24-hour period, and a character must have at least 1 hit point at the start of the rest to gain its benefits.
Between trips to dungeons and battles against ancient evils, adventurers need time to rest, recuperate, and prepare for their next adventure. Many adventurers also use this time to perform other tasks, such as crafting arms and armor, performing research, or spending their hard - earned gold.
In some cases, the passage of time is something that occurs with little fanfare or description. When starting a new adventure, the GM might simply declare that a certain amount of time has passed and allow you to describe in general terms what your character has been doing. At other times, the GM might want to keep track of just how much time is passing as events beyond your perception stay in motion.
Between adventures, you choose a particular quality of life and pay the cost of maintaining that lifestyle.
Living a particular lifestyle doesn't have a huge effect on your character, but your lifestyle can affect the way other individuals and groups react to you. For example, when you lead an aristocratic lifestyle, it might be easier for you to influence the nobles of the city than if you live in poverty.
Between adventures, the GM might ask you what your character is doing during his or her downtime. Period of downtime can vary in duration, but each downtime activity requires a certain number of days to complete before you gain any benefit, and at least 8 hours of each day must be spent on the downtime activity for the day to count. The days do not need to be consecutive. If you have more than the minimum amount of days to spend, you can keep doing the same thing for a longer period of time, or switch to a new downtime activity.
Downtime activities other than the ones presented below are possible. If you want your character to spend his or her downtime performing an activity not covered here, discuss it with your GM.
You can craft nonmagical objects, including adventuring equipment and works of art. You must be proficient with tools related to the object you are trying to create (typically artisan's tools). You might also need access to special materials or locations necessary to create it. For example, someone proficient with smith's tools needs a forge in order to craft a sword or suit of armor.
For every day of downtime you spend crafting, you can craft one or more items with a total market value not exceeding 5 GP, and you must expend raw materials worth half the total market value. If something you want to craft has a market value greater than 5 GP, you make progress every day in 5 - GP increments until you reach the market value of the item. For example, a suit of plate armor (market value 1,500 GP) takes 300 days to craft by yourself.
Multiple characters can combine their efforts toward the crafting of a single item, provided that the characters all have proficiency with the requisite tools and are working together in the same place. Each character contributes 5 GP worth of effort for every day spent helping craft the item. For example, three characters with the requisite tool proficiency and the proper facilitates can craft a suit of plate armor in 100 days, at a cost of 750 GP.
While crafting, you can maintain a modest lifestyle without having to pay 1GP per day, or a comfortable lifestyle at half the cost. (If you are selling what you are crafting.)
You can work between adventures, allowing you to maintain a modest lifestyle without having to pay 1 GP per day. This benefit lasts as long as you continue to practice your profession.
If you are a member of an organization that can provide gainful employment, such as a temple or a thieves' guild, you earn enough to support a comfortable lifestyle instead.
If you have proficiency in the Performance skill and put your Performance skill to use during your downtime, you earn enough to support a wealthy lifestyle instead.
You can use downtime between adventures to recover from a debilitating injury, disease, or poison. After three days of downtime spent recuperating, you can make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a successful save, you can choose one of the following results:
The time between adventures is a great chance to preform research, gaining insight into mysteries that have unfurled over the course of the campaign. Research can include poring over dusty tomes and crumbling scrolls in a library or buying drinks for the locals to pry rumors and gossip from their lips.
When you begin your research, the GM determines whether the information is available, how many days of downtime it will take to find it, and whether there are any restrictions on your research (such as needing to seek out a specific individual, tome, or location). The GM might also require you to make one or more ability checks, such as Intelligence (Investigation) check to find clues pointing toward the information you seek, or a Charisma (Persuasion) check to secure someone's aid. Once those conditions are met, you learn the information if it is available.
For each day of research, you must spend 1 GP to cover your expenses. This cost is in addition to your normal lifestyle expenses.
You can spend time between adventures learning a new language or training with a set of tools. Your GM might allow additional training options.
First, you must find an instructor willing to teach you. The GM determines how long it takes, and whether one or more ability checks are required.
The training lasts for 250 days and costs 1 GP per day. After you spend the requisite amount of time and money, you learn the new language or gain proficiency with the new tool.
A typical combat encounter is a clash between two sides, a flurry of weapons swings, feints, parries, footwork, and spellcasting. The game organizes the chaos of combat into a cycle of rounds and turns. A round represents about 6 seconds in the game world. During a round, each participant in a battle takes a turn. The order of turns is determined at the beginning of a combat encounter, when everyone rolls initiative. Once everyone has taken a turn, the fight continues to the next round if neither side has defeated the other.
A band of adventurers sneaks up on a bandit camp, springing from the trees to attack them. A gelatinous cube glides down a dungeon passage, unnoticed by the adventurers until the cube engulfs one of them. In these situations, one side of the battle gains surprise over the other.
The GM determines who might be surprised. If neither side tries to be stealthy, they automatically notice each other. Otherwise, the GM compares the Dexterity (Stealth) checks of anyone hiding with the passive Wisdom (Perception) score of each creature on the opposing side. Any character or monster that doesn't notice a threat is surprised at the start of the encounter.
If you're surprised, you can't move or take an action on your first turn of combat, and you can't take a reaction until that turn ends. A member of a group can be surprised even if the other members aren't.
Initiative determines the order of turns during combat. When combat starts, every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in the initiative order. the GM makes one roll for an entire group of identical creatures, so each member of the group acts at the same time.
The GM ranks the combatants in order from the one with the highest Dexterity check total to the one with the lowest. This is the order (called the initiative order) in which they act during each round. the initiative order remains the same from round to round.
If a tie occurs, the GM decides the order among tied GM- controlled creatures, and the players decide the order among their tied characters. The GM can decide the order if the tie is between a monster and a player character. Optionally, the GM can have the tied characters and monster each roll a d20 to determine the order, highest roll going first.
On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed and take one action. You decide whether to move first or take your action first. Your speed - sometimes called your walking speed - is noted on your character sheet.
The most common actions you can take are describe in the "Actions in Combat" section. Many class features and other abilities provide additional options for your action.
The Movement and Position section gives the rules for your move.
You can forgo moving, taking an action, or doing anything at all on your turn. If you can't decide what to do on your turn, consider taking the Dodge or Ready action, as described in Actions in Combat.
Various class features, spells, and other abilities let you take an additional action on your turn called a bonus action. The Cunning Action feature, for example, allows a rogue to take a bonus action. You can take a bonus action only when a special ability, spell, or other feature of the game states that you can do something as a bonus action. You otherwise don't have a bonus action to take.
You can take only one bonus action on your turn, so you must choose which bonus action to use when you have more than one available.
You choose when to take a bonus action during your turn, unless the bonus action's timing is specified, and anything that deprives you of your ability to take actions also prevents you from taking a bonus action.
Your turn can include a variety of flourishes that require neither your action nor your move. You can communicate however you are able, through brief utterances and gestures, as you take your turn.
You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action For example, you could open a door during your move as you stride toward a foe, or you could draw your weapon as part of the same action you use to attack.
If you want to interact with a second object, you need to use your action. Some magic items and other special objects always require an action to use, as stated in their descriptions.
The GM might require you to use an action for any of these activities when it needs special care or when it presents an unusual obstacle. For instance, the GM could reasonably expect you to use an action to open a stuck door or turn a crank to lower a drawbridge.
Certain special abilities, spells, and situations allow you to take a special action called a reaction. A reaction is an instant response to a trigger of some kind, which can occur on your turn or on someone else's. The opportunity attack is the most common type of reaction.
When you take a reaction, you can't take another one until the start of your next turn. If the reaction interrupts another creature's turn, that creature can continue its turn right after the reaction.
In combat, characters and monsters are in constant motion, often using movement and position to gain the upper hand.
On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed. You can use as much or as little of your speed as you like on your turn, following the rules here.
Your movement can include jumping, climbing, and swimming. These different modes of movement can be combined with walking, or they can constitute your entire move. However you're moving you deduct the distance of each part of your move from you speed until it is used up or until you are done moving.
You can break up your movement on your turn, using some of your speed before and after your action. For example, if you have a speed of 30 feet, you can move 10 feet, take your action, and then move 20 feet.
Moving between Attacks
If you take an action that includes more than one weapon attack, you can break up your movement even further by moving between those attacks. For example, a fighter who can make two attacks with the Extra Attack feature and who has a speed of 25 feet could move 10 feet, make an attack, move 15 feet, and then attack again.
Using Different Speeds
If you have more than one speed, such as your walking speed and a flying speed, you can switch back and forth between your speeds during your move. Whenever you switch, subtract the distance you've already moved from the new speed. The result determines how much farther you can move. If the result is 0 or less, you can't use the new speed during the current move.
For example, if you have a speed of 30 and a flying speed of 60 because a wizard cast the fly spell on you, you could fly 20 feet, then walk 10 feet, and then leap into the air to fly 30 feet more.
Combat rarely takes place in bare rooms or on featureless plains. Boulder-strewn caverns, brier choked forests, treacherous staircases - the setting of a typical fight contains difficult terrain.
Every foot of movement in difficult terrain costs 1 extra foot. this rule is true even if multiple things in a space count as difficult terrain.
Low furniture, rubble, undergrowth, steep stairs, snow, and shallow bogs are examples of difficult terrain. The space of another creature, whether hostile or not, also counts as difficult terrain.
Combatants often find themselves lying on the ground, either because they are knocked down or because they throw themselves down. In the game, they are Prone.
You can drop Prone without using any of your speed. Standing up takes more effort; doing so costs an amount of movement equal to half your speed. For example, if your speed is 30 feet, you must spend 15 feet of movement to stand up. You can't stand up if you don't have enough movement left or if your speed is 0.
To move while Prone, you must crawl or use magic such as teleportation. Every foot of movement while crawling costs 1 extra foot. Crawling 1 foot in difficult terrain, therefore, costs 3 feet of movement.
You can move through a non-hostile creature's space. In contrast, you can move through a hostile creature's space only if the creature is at least two sizes larger or smaller than you. Remember that another creature's space is difficult terrain for you.
Whether a creature is a friend or an enemy, you can't willingly end your move in its space.
If you leave a hostile creature's reach during your move, you provoke an opportunity attack.
Flying creatures enjoy many benefits of mobility, but they must also deal with the danger of falling. If a flying creature is knocked Prone, has its speed reduced to 0, or is otherwise deprived of the ability to move, the creature falls, unless it has the ability to hover or is being held aloft by magic, such as by the Fly spell.
Each creature takes up a different amount of space. The Size Categories table shows how much space a creature of a particular size controls in combat. Objects sometimes use the same size categories.
|Tiny||2 1/2 by 2 1/2 ft.|
|Small||5 by 5 ft.|
|Medium||5 by 5 ft.|
|Large||10 by 10 ft.|
|Huge||15 by 15 ft.|
|Gargantuan||20 by 20 ft. or larger|
A creature's space is the area in feet that it effectively controls in combat, not an expression of its physical dimensions. A typical Medium creature isn't 5 feet wide, for example, but it does control a space that wide. If a Medium hobgoblin stands in a 5-foot-wide doorway, other creatures can't get through unless the hobgoblin lets them.
A creature's space also reflects the area it needs to fight effectively. For that reason, there's a limit to the number of creatures that can surround another creature in combat. Assuming Medium combatants, eight creatures can fit in a 5-foot radius around another one.
Because larger creatures take up more space, fewer of them can surround a creature. If five Large creatures crowd around a Medium or smaller one, there's little room for anyone else. In contrast, as many as twenty medium creatures can surround a Gargantuan one.
Squeezing into a Smaller Space
A creature can squeeze through a space that is large enough for a creature one size smaller than it. Thus a Large creature can squeeze through a passage that's only 5 feet wide. While squeezing through a space, a creature must spend 1 extra foot for every foot it moves there, and it has disadvantage on attack rolls and Dexterity saving throws. Attack rolls against the creature have advantage while it's in the smaller space.
Here are a few examples of the sorts of things you can do in tandem with your movement and action:
When you take your action on your turn, you can take one of the actions presented here, an action you gained from your class or a special feature, or an action that you improvise. Many monsters have action options of their own in their stat blocks.
When you describe an action not detailed elsewhere in the rules, the GM tells you whether that action is possible and what kind of roll you need to make, if any, to determine success or failure.
The most common action to take in combat is the Attack action, whether you are swinging a sword, firing an arrow from a bow, or brawling with your fists.
With this action, you make one melee or ranged attack. See the Making an Attack section for the rules that govern attacks.
Certain features, such as the Extra Attack feature of the fighter, allow you to make more than one attack with this action.
Spellcasters such as wizards and clerics, as well as many monsters, have access to spells and can use them to get effect in combat. Each spell has a casting time, which specifies whether the caster must use an action, a reaction, minutes, or even hours to cast the spell. Casting a spell is, therefore, not necessarily an action. Most spells do have a casting time of 1 action, so a spellcaster often uses his or her action in combat to cast such a spell.
More details on Spellcasting can be found in the Spellcasting section.
When you take the Dash action, you gain extra movement for the current turn. The increase equals your speed, after applying any modifiers. With a speed of 30 feet, for example, you can move up to 60 feet on your turn if you dash.
Any increase or decrease to your speed changes this additional movement by the same amount. If your speed of 30 feet is reduced to 15 feet, for instance, you can move up to 30 feet this turn if you dash.
If you take the Disengage action, your movement doesn't provoke opportunity attacks for the rest of the turn.
When you take the Dodge action, you focus entirely on avoiding attacks. Until the start of your next turn, any attack roll made against you has disadvantage if you can see the attacker, and you make Dexterity saving throws with advantage. You lose this benefit if you are Incapacitated or if you speed drops to 0.
You can lend your aid to another creature in the completion of a task. When you take the Help action, the creature you aid gains advantage on the next ability check it makes to perform the task you are helping with, provided that it makes the check before the start of your next turn.
Alternatively, you can aid a friendly creature in attacking a creature within 5 feet of you. You feint, distract the target, or in some other way team up to make your ally's attack more effective. If your ally attacks the target before your next turn, the first attack roll is made with advantage.
When you take the Hide action, you make a Dexterity (Stealth) check in an attempt to hide, following the Rules for Hiding. If you succeed, you gain certain benefits, as described in the Unseen Attackers and Targets section.
Sometimes you want to get the jump on a foe or wait for a particular circumstance before you act. To do so, you can take the Ready action on your turn, which lets you act using your reaction before the start of your next turn.
First, you decide what perceivable circumstance will trigger your reaction. Then, you chose the action you will take in response to that trigger, or you choose to move up to your speed in response to it. Examples include "If the cultist steps on the trapdoor, I'll pull the lever that opens it", and "If the goblin steps next to me, I move away."
When the trigger occurs, you can either take your reaction right after the trigger finishes or ignore the trigger. Remember that you can take only one reaction per round.
When you ready a spell, you cast it as normal but hold its energy, which you release with your reaction when the trigger occurs. To be readied, a spell must have a casting time of 1 action, and holding onto the spell's magic requires concentration. If your concentration is broken, the spell dissipates without taking effect. For example, if you are concentrating on the Web spell and ready Magic Missile, your Web spell ends, and if you take damage before you release Magic Missile with your reaction, your concentration might be broken.
When you take the Search action, you devote your attention to finding something. Depending on the nature of your search, the GM might have your make a Wisdom (Perception) check or an Intelligence (Investigation) check.
You normally interact with an object while doing something else, such as when you draw a sword as part of an attack. When an object requires your action for its use, you take the Use an Object action. This action is also useful when you want to interact with more than one object on your turn.
Whether you're striking with a melee weapon, firing a weapon at range, or making an attack roll as part of a spell, an attack has a simple structure.
If there's ever any question whether something you're doing counts as an attack, the rule is simple: if you're making an attack roll, you're making an attack.
When you make an attack, your attack roll determines whether the attack hits or misses. To make an attack roll, roll a d20 and add the appropriate modifiers. If the total of the roll plus modifiers equals or exceeds the target's Armor Class (AC), the attack hits. The AC of a character is determined at character creation, whereas the AC of a monster is in its stat block.
When a character makes an attack roll, the two most common modifiers to the roll are an ability modifier and the character's proficiency bonus. When a monster makes an attack roll, it uses whatever modifier is provided in its stat block.
Ability Modifier. The ability modifier used for a melee weapon attack is Strength, and the ability modifier used for a ranged weapon attack is Dexterity. Weapons that have the finesse or thrown property break this rule.
Some spells also require an attack roll. The ability modifier used for a spell attack depends on the spellcasting ability of the spellcaster.
Proficiency Bonus. You add your proficiency bonus to your attack roll when you attack using a weapon with which you have proficiency, as well as when you attack with a spell.
Sometimes fate blesses or curses a combatant, causing the novice to hit and the veteran to miss.
If the d20 roll for an attack is a 20, the attack hits regardless of any modifiers or the target's AC. This is called a critical hit.
If the d20 toll for an attack is a 1, the attack misses regardless of any modifiers or the target's AC.
Combatants often try to escape their foes' notice by hiding, casting the Invisibility spell, or lurking in darkness.
When you attack a target that you can't see, you have disadvantage on the attack roll. This is true whether you're guessing the target's location or you're targeting a creature you can hear but not see. If the target isn't in the location you targeted, you automatically miss, but the GM typically just says that the attack missed, not whether you guessed the target's location correctly.
When a creature can't see you, you have advantage on attack rolls against it. If you are hidden - both unseen and unheard - When you make an attack, you give away your location when the attack hits or misses.
When you make a ranged attack, you fire a bow or a crossbow, hurl a handaxe, or otherwise send projectiles to strike a foe at a distance. A monster might shoot spines from its tail. Many spells also involve making a ranged attack.
You can make ranged attacks only against targets within a specified range.
If a ranged attack, such as one made with a spell, has a single range, you can't attack a target beyond this range.
Some ranged attacks, such as those made with a longbow or a shortbow, have two ranges. The smaller number is the normal range, and the larger number is the long range. Your attack roll has disadvantage when your target is beyond normal range, and you can't attack a target beyond the long rang.
Ranged Attacks in Close Combat
Aiming a ranged attack is more difficult when a foe is next to you. When you make a ranged attack with a weapon, a spell, or some other means, you have disadvantage on the attack roll if you are within 5 feet of a hostile creature who can see you and who isn't Incapacitated.
Used in hand-to-hand combat, a melee attack allows you to attack a foe within your reach. A melee attack typically uses a hand-held weapon such as a sword, a warhammer, or an ax. A typical monster makes a melee attack when it strikes with its claws, horns, teeth, tentacles, or other body part. a few spells also involve making a melee attack.
Most creatures have a 5-foot reach and can thus attack targets within 5 feet of them when making a melee attack. Certain creatures (typically those larger than Medium) have melee attacks with a greater reach than 5 feet, as noted in their descriptions.
Instead of using a weapon to make a melee weapon attack, you can use an unarmed strike: a punch, kick, head-butt, or similar forceful blow (none of which count as weapons). On a hit, an unarmed strike deals bludgeoning damage equal to 1 + your Strength modifier. You are proficient with your unarmed strikes.
In a fight, everyone is constantly watching for a chance to strike an enemy who is fleeing or passing by. Such a strike is called an opportunity attack.
You can make an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see moves out of your reach. To make the opportunity attack, you use your reaction to make one melee attack against the provoking creature. The attack occurs right before the creature leaves your reach.
You can avoid provoking an opportunity attack by taking the Disengage action. You also can't provoke an opportunity attack when you teleport or when someone or something moves you without using your movement, action, or reaction. For example, you don't provoke an opportunity attack if an explosion hurls you out of a foe's reach or if gravity causes you to fall past an enemy.
When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you're holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you're holding in the other hand. You don't add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative.
If either weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon, instead of making a melee attack with it.
When you want to grab a creature or wrestle with it, you can use the Attack action to make a special melee attack a grapple. If you're able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this attack replaces one of them.
The target of your grapple must be no more than one size larger than you and must be within your reach. Using at least one free hand, you try to seize the target by making a grapple check instead of an attack roll: a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the target's Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the ability to use). If you succeed, you subject the target to the Grappled condition (see appendix PH-A). The condition specifies the things that end it, and you can release the target whenever you like (no action required).
Escaping a Grapple. A Grappled creature can use its action to escape. To do so, it must succeed on a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by your Strength (Athletics) check.
Moving a Grappled Creature. When you move, you can drag or carry the Grappled creature with you, but your speed is halved, unless the creature is two or more sizes smaller than you.
Battle often involves pitting your prowess against that of your foe. Such a challenge is represented by a contest. This section includes the most common contests that require an action in combat: grappling and shoving a creature. The GM can use these contests as models for improvising others.
Shoving a Creature
Using the Attack action, you can make a special melee attack to shove a creature, either to knock it Prone or push it away from you. If you're able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this attack replaces one of them.
The target must be no more than one size larger than you and must be within your reach. Instead of making an attack roll, you make a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the target's Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the ability to use). If you win the contest, you either knock the target Prone or push it 5 feet away from you.
Walls, trees, creatures, and other obstacles can provide cover during combat, making a target more difficult to harm. A target can benefit from cover only when an attack or other effect originates on the opposite side of the cover.
There are three degrees of cover. If a target is behind multiple sources to cover, only the most protective degree of cover applies; the degrees aren't added together. For example, if a target is behind a creature that gives half cover and a tree trunk that gives three-quarters cover, the target has three-quarters cover.
A target with half cover has a +2 bonus to AC and Dexterity saving throws. A target has half cover if an obstacle blocks at least half of its body. The obstacle might be a low wall, a large piece of furniture, a narrow tree trunk, or a creature, whether that creature is an enemy or a friend.
A target with three-quarters cover has a +5 bonus to AC and Dexterity saving throws. A target has three-quarters cover if about three-quarters of it is covered by an obstacle. The obstacle might be a portcullis, an arrow slit, or a thick tree trunk.
A target with total cover can't be targeted directly by an attack or a spell, although some spells can reach such a target by including it in an area of effect. A target has total cover if it is completely concealed by an obstacle.
Injury and the risk of death are constant companions of those who explore fantasy gaming worlds. The thrust of a sword, a well-placed arrow, or a blast of flame from a Fireball spell all have the potential to damage, or even kill, the hardiest of creatures.
Hit points represent a combination of physical and mental durability, the will to live, and luck. Creatures with more hit points are more difficult to kill. Those with fewer hit points are more fragile.
A creature's current hit points (usually just called hit points) can be any number from the creature's hit point maximum down to 0. This number changes frequently as a creature's hit point maximum down to 0. This number changes frequently as a creature takes damage or receives healing.
Whenever a creature takes damage, that damage is subtracted from its hit points. The loss of hit points has no effect on a creature's capabilities until the creature drops to 0 hit points.
Each weapon, spell, and harmful monster ability specifies the damage it deals. you roll the damage die or dice, add any modifiers, and apply the damage to your target. Magic weapons, special abilities, and other factors can grant a bonus to damage. With a penalty, it is possible to deal 0 damage, but never negative damage.
When attacking with a weapon, you add your ability modifier - the same modifier used for the attack roll - to the damage. A spell tells you which dice to roll for damage and whether to add any modifiers.
If a spell or other effect deals damage to more than one target at the same time, roll the damage once for all of them. For example, when a wizard casts Fireball or a cleric casts Flame Strike, the spell's damage is rolled once for all creatures caught in the blast.
When you score a critical hit, you get to roll extra dice for the attack's damage against the target. Roll all the attack's damage dice twice and add them together. Then add any relevant modifiers as normal. To speed up play, you can roll all the damage dice at once.
For example, if you score a critical hit with a dagger, roll 2d4 for the damage, rather than 1d4, and then add your relevant ability modifier. If the attack involves other damage dice, such as from the rogue's Sneak Attack feature, you roll those dice twice as well.
Different attacks, damaging spells, and other harmful effects deal different types of damage. Damage types have no rules of their own, but other rules, such as damage resistance, rely on the types.
The damage types follow, with examples to help a GM assign a damage type to a new effect.
Acid. The corrosive spray of a black dragon's breath and the dissolving enzymes secreted by a Black Pudding deal acid damage.
Bludgeoning. Blunt force attacks - hammers, Falling, constriction, and the like - deal bludgeoning damage.
Cold. The infernal chill radiating from an Ice Devil's and the frigid blast of a white dragon's breath deal cold damage.
Fire. Red dragons breathe fire, and many spells conjure flames to deal fire damage.
Force. Force is pure magical energy focused into a damaging form. most effects that deal force damage are spells, including Magic Missile and Spiritual Weapon.
Lightning. A Lightning Bolt spell and a blue dragon's breath deal lightning damage.
Necrotic. Necrotic damage, dealt by certain undead and a spell such as Chill Touch, withers matter and even the soul.
Piercing. Puncturing and impaling attacks, including spears and monsters' bites, deal piercing damage.
Poison. Venomous strings and the toxic gas of a green dragon's breath deal poison damage.
Psychic. Mental abilities deal psychic damage.
Radiant. Radiant damage, dealt by a cleric's Flame Strike spell or an angel's smiting weapon, sears the flesh like fire and overloads and the spirit with power.
Slashing. Swords, axes, and monsters' claws deal slashing damage.
Thunder. A concussive burst of sound, such as the effect of the Thunderwave spell, deals thunder damage.
Some creatures and objects are exceedingly difficult or unusually easy to hurt with certain types of damage.
If a creature or an object has resistance to a damage type, damage of that type is halved against it. If a creature or an object has vulnerability to a damage type, damage of that type is doubled against it.
Resistance and then vulnerability are applied after all other modifiers to damage. For example, a creature has resistance to bludgeoning damage and is hit by an attack that deals 25 bludgeoning damage. The creature is also within a magical aura that reduces all damage by 5. The 25 damage is first reduced by 5 and then halved, so the creature takes 10 damage.
Multiple instances of resistance or vulnerability that affect the same damage type count as only one instance. For example, if a creature has resistance to fire damage as well as resistance to all nonmagical damage, the damage of a nonmagical fire is reduced by half against the creature, not reduced by three-quarters.
Unless it results in death, damage isn't permanent. Even death is reversible through powerful magic. Rest can restore a creature's hit points, and magical methods such as Cure Wounds spell or a Potion of Healing can remove damage in an instant.
When a creature receives healing of any kind, hit points regained are added to its current hit points. A creature's hit points can't exceed its hit point maximum, so any hit points regained in excess of this number are lost. For example, a druid grants a ranger 8 hit points of healing. If the ranger has 14 current hit points and has a hit point maximum of 20, the ranger regains 6 hit points from the druid, not 8.
A creature that has died can't regain hit points until magic such as the Revivify spell has restored it to life.
When you drop to 0 hit points, you either die outright or fall Unconscious, as explained in the following sections.
Massive damage can kill you instantly. When damage reduces you to 0 hit points and there is damage remaining, you die if the remaining damage equals or exceeds your hit point maximum. For example, a cleric with a maximum of 12 hit points currently has 6 hit points. If she takes 18 damage from an attack, she is reduced to 0 hit points, but 12 damage remains. Because the remaining damage equals her hit point maximum, the cleric dies.
If damage reduces you to 0 hit points and fails to kill you, you fall Unconscious (see appendix PH-A). This unconsciousness ends if you regain any hit points.
Whenever you start your turn with 0 hit points, you must make a special saving throw, called a death saving throw, to determine whether you creep closer to death or hang onto life. Unlike other saving throws, this one isn't tied to any ability score. You are in the hands of fate now, aided only by spells and features that improve your chances of succeeding on a saving throw.
Roll a d20. If the roll is 10 or higher, you succeed. Otherwise, you fail. A success or failure has no effect by itself. On your third success, you become stable (see below). On your third failure, you die. The successes and failures don't need to be consecutive; keep track of both until you collect three of a kind. The number of both is reset to zero when you regain any hit points or become stable.
Rolling 1 or 20. When you make a death saving throw and roll a 1 on the d20, it counts as two failures. If you roll a 20 on the d20, you regain 1 hit point.
If you take any damage while you have 0 hit points, you suffer a death saving throw failure. If the damage is from a critical hit, you suffer two failures instead. If the damage equals or exceeds your hit point maximum, you suffer instant death.
The best way to save a creature with 0 hit points is to heal it. If healing is unavailable, the creature can at least be stabilized so that it isn't killed by a failed death saving throw.
You can use your action to administer first aid to an Unconscious creature and attempt to stabilize it, which requires a successful DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine) check.
A stable creature doesn't make death saving throws, even though it has 0 hit points, but it does remain Unconscious. The creature stops being stable, and must start making death saving throws again, if it takes any damage. A stable creature that isn't healed regains 1 hit point after 1d4 hours.
Most GMs have a monster die the instant it drops to 0 hit points, rather than having ti fall Unconscious and make death saving throws.
Mighty villains and special nonplayer characters are common exceptions; the GM might have them fall Unconscious and follow the same rules as player characters.
Sometimes an attacker wants to incapacitate a foe, rather than dealing a killing blow. When an attacker reduces a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack, the attacker can knock the creature out. The attacker can make this choice the instant the damage is dealt. The creature falls Unconscious and is stable.
Some spells and special abilities confer temporary hit points to a creature. Temporary hit points aren't actual hit points; they are a buffer against damage, a pool of hit points that protect you from injury.
When you have temporary hit points and take damage, the temporary hit points are lost first, and any leftover damage carries over to your normal hit points. For example, if you have 5 temporary hit points and take 7 damage, you lose the temporary hit points and then take 2 damage.
Because temporary hit points are separate from you actual hit points, they can exceed your hit point maximum. A character can, therefore, be at full hit points and receive temporary hit points.
Healing can't restore temporary hit points, and they can't be added together. If you have temporary hit points and receive more of them, you decide whether to keep the ones you have or to gain the new ones. For example, if a spell grants you 12 temporary hit points when you already have 10, you can have 12 or 10, not 22.
If you have 0 hit points, receiving temporary hit points doesn't restore you to consciousness or stabilize you. They can still absorb damage directed at you while you're in that state, but only true healing can save you.
Unless a feature that grants you temporary hit points has a duration, they last until they're depleted or you finish a long rest.
A knight charging into battle on a warhorse, a wizard casting spells from the back of a griffin, or a cleric soaring through the sky on a pegasus all enjoy the benefits of speed and mobility that a mount can provide. A willing creature that is at least one size larger than you and that has an appropriate anatomy can serve as a mount, using the following rules.
Once during your move, you can mount a creature that is within 5 feet of you or dismount. Doing so costs an amount of movement equal to half your speed. For example, if your speed is 30 feet, you must spend 15 feet of movement to mount a horse. Therefore, you can't mount it if you don't have 15 feet of movement left or if your speed is 0.
If an effect moves your mount against its will while you're on it, you must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or fall off the mount, landing Prone in a space within 5 feet of it. If you're knocked Prone while mounted, you must make the same saving throw.
If your mount is knocked Prone, you can use your reaction to dismount it as it falls and land on your feet. Otherwise, you are dismounted and fall Prone in a space within 5 feet of it.
While you're mounted, you have two options. You can either control the mount or allow it to act independently. Intelligent creatures, such as dragons, act independently.
You can control a mount only if it has been trained to accept a rider. Domesticated horses, donkeys, and similar creatures are assumed to have such training. The initiative of a controlled mount changes to match yours when you mount it. It moves as you direct it, and it has only three action options: Dash, Disengage, and Dodge. A controlled mount can move and act even on the turn that you mount it.
An independent mount retains its place in the initiative order. Bearing a rider puts no restrictions on the actions the mount can take, and it moves and acts as it wishes. It might flee from combat, rush to attack and devour a badly injured foe, or otherwise act against your wishes.
In either case, if the mount provokes an opportunity attack while you're on it, the attacker can target you or the mount.
When adventurers fight off sharks in an ancient shipwreck, or find themselves in a flooded dungeon room, they must fight in a challenging environment. Underwater the following rules apply.
Magic permeates fantasy gaming worlds and often appears in the form of a spell.
This section provides the rules for casting spells. Different character classes have distinctive ways of learning and preparing their spells, and monsters use spells in unique ways. Regardless of its source, a spell follows the rules here.
A spell is a discrete magical effect, a single shaping of the magical energies that suffuse the multiverse into a specific, limited expression. In casting a spell, a character carefully plucks at the invisible strands of raw magic suffusing the world, pins them in place in a particular pattern, sets them vibrating in a specific way, and then releases them to unleash the desired effect - in most cases, all in the span of seconds.
Spells can be versatile tools, weapons, or protective wards. They can deal damage or undo it, impose or remove conditions (see appendix PH-A), drain life energy away, and restore life to the dead.
Uncounted thousands of spells have been created over the course of the multiverse's History, and many of them are long forgotten. Some might yet lie recorded in crumbling spellbooks hidden in ancient ruins or trapped in the minds of dead gods. Or they might someday be reinvented by a character who has amassed enough power and wisdom to do so.
Every spell has a level from 0 to 9. A spell's level is a general indicator of how powerful it is, with the lowly (but still impressive) Magic Missile at 1st level and the earth-shaking Wish at 9th.Cantrips - simple but powerful spells that characters can cast almost by rote - are level 0. The higher a spell's level, the higher level a spellcaster must be to use that spell.
Spell level and character level don't correspond directly. Typically, a character has to be at least 17th level, not 9th level, to cast a 9th-level spell.
Before a spellcaster can use a spell, he or she must have the spell firmly fixed in mind, or must have access to the spell in a magic item. Members of a few classes, including bards and sorcerers, have a limited list of spells they know that are always fixed in mind. The same thing is true of many magic-using monsters. Other spellcasters, such as clerics and wizards, undergo a process of preparing spells. This process varies for different classes, as detailed in their descriptions.
In every case, the number of spells a caster can have fixed in mind at any given time depends on the character's level.
Regardless of how many spells a caster knows or prepares, he or she can cast only a limited number of spells before resting. Manipulating the fabric of magic and channeling its energy into even a simple spell is physically and mentally taxing, and higher level spells are even more so. Thus, each spellcasting class's description (except that of the warlock) includes a table showing how many spell slots of each spell level a character can use at each character level. for example, a third level wizard can have four 1st-level spell slots and two 2nd-level slots.
When a character casts a spell, he or she expends a slot of that spell's level or higher, effectively "filling" a slot with the spell. You can think of a spell slot as a groove of a certain size - small for a 1st-level slot, larger for a spell of higher level. A 1st-level spell fits into a slot of any size, but a 9th-level spell fits only in a 9th-level slot. So that wizard can cast Magic Missile, a 1st-level spell, when she spends one of her four 1st-level slots and has three remaining.
Finishing a long rest restores any expended spell slots.
Some characters and monsters have special abilities that let them cast spells without using spell slots. For example, a warlock who chooses certain eldritch invocations, and a pit fiend can both cast spells in such a way.
When a spellcaster casts a spell using a slot that is of a higher level than the spell, the spell assumes the higher level for that casting. For instance, if Magic Missile is cast using a 2nd-level slot then that Magic Missile is a 2nd level. Effectively, the spell expands to fill the slot it is put into.
Some spells, such as Magic Missile and Cure Wounds, have more powerful effects when cast at higher level, as detailed in a spell's description.
Because of the mental focus and precise gestures required for spellcasting, you must be proficient with the armor you are wearing to cast a spell. You are otherwise too distracted and physically hampered by your armor for spellcasting.
A cantrip is a spell that can be cast at will, without using a spell slot and without being prepared in advance. Repeated practice has fixed the spell in the caster's mind and infused the caster with the magic needed to produce the effect over and over. A cantrip's spell level is 0.
Certain spells have a special tag: ritual. Such a spell can be cast following the normal rules for spellcasting, or the spell can be cast as a ritual. The ritual version of a spell takes 10 minutes longer to cast than normal. It also doesn't expend a spell slot, which means the ritual version of a spell can't be cast at a higher level.
To cast a spell as a ritual, a spellcaster must have a feature that grants the ability to do so. The cleric and the druid, for example, have such a feature. The caster must also have the spell prepared or on his or her list of spells known, unless the character's ritual feature specifies otherwise, as the wizard's does.
When a character casts any spell, the same basic rules are followed, regardless of the character's class or the spell's effects.
Each spell description begins with a block of information, including the spell's name, level, school of magic, casting time, range, components, and duration. The rest of a spell entry describes the spell's effect.
Most spells require a singe action to cast, but some spells require a bonus action, a reaction, or much more time to cast.
A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you haven't already taken a bonus action this turn. You can't cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.
Some spells can be cast as reactions. These spells take a fraction of a second to bring about and are cast in response to some event. If a spell can be cast as a reaction, the spell description tells you exactly when you can do so.
Certain spells (including spells cast as rituals) require more time to cast: minutes or even hours. when you cast a spell with a casting time longer than a signal action or reaction, you must spend your action each turn casting the spell, and you must maintain your concentration while you do so (see Concentration below). If your concentration is broken, the spell fails, but you don't expend a spell slot. If you want to try casting the spell again, you must start over.
The target of a spell must be within the spell's range. For a spell like Magic Missile, the target is a creature. For a spell like Fireball, the target is the point in space where the ball of fire erupts
Most spells have ranges expressed in feet. some spells can target only a creature (including you) that you touch. Other spells, such as the Shield spell, affect only you. These spells have a range of self.
Spells that create cones or lines of effect that originate from you also have a range of self, indicating that the origin point of the spell's effect must be you (see Areas of Effect).
Once a spell is cast, tis effects aren't limited by its range, unless the spell's description says otherwise.
A spell's components are the physical requirements you must meet in order to cast it. Each spell's description indicates whether it requires verbal (V), somatic (S), or material (M) components. If you can't provide one or more of a spell's components, you are unable to cast the spell.
Most spells require the chanting of mystic words. The words themselves aren't the source of the spell's power; rather, the particular combination of sounds with specific pitch and resonance, sets the threads of magic in motion. Thus, a character who is gagged or in an area of silence, such as one created by Silence spell, can't cast a spell with a verbal component.
Spellcasting gestures might include a forceful gesticulation or an intricate set of gestures. If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures.
Casting some spells requires particular objects, specified in parentheses in the component entry. A character can use a Component Pouch or a Spellcasting Focus (found in Equipment) in place of the components specified for a spell. But if a cost is indicated for a component, a character must have that specific component before he or she can cast the spell.
If a spells states that a material component is consumed by the spell, the caster must provide this component for each casting of the spell.
A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell's material components - or to hold a spellcasting focus - but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components.
A spell's duration is the length of time the spell persists. A duration can be expressed in rounds, minutes, hours, or even years. Some spells specify that their effects last until the spells are dispelled or destroyed.
Many spells are instantaneous. THe spell harms, heals, creates, or alters a creature or an object in a way that can't be dispelled, because its magic exists only for an instant.
Some spells require you to maintain concentration in order to keep their magic active. If you lose concentration, such a spell ends.
If a spell must be maintained with concentration, that fact appears in its Duration entry, and the spell specifies how long you can concentrate on it. You can end concentration at any time (no action required).
Normal activity, such as moving and attacking, doesn't interfere with concentration. The following factors can break concentration:
The GM might also decide that certain environmental phenomena, such as a wave crashing over you while you're on a storm-tossed ship, require you to succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw to maintain concentration on a spell.
A typical spell requires you to pick one or more targets to be affected by the spell's magic. A spell's description tells you whether the spell targets creatures, objects, or a point of origin for an area of effect (described below).
Unless a spell has a perceptible effect, a creature might not know it was targeted by a spell at all. An effect like crackling lightning is obvious, but a more subtle effect, such as an attempt to read a creature's thoughts, typically goes unnoticed, unless a spell says otherwise.
A Clear path to the Target
To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can't be behind total cover.
If you place an area of effect at a point that you can't see and an obstruction, such as a wall, is between you and that point, the point of origin comes into being on the near side of that obstruction.
Spells such as Burning Hands and Cone of Cold cover an area, allowing them to affect multiple creatures at once.
A spell's description specifies its area of effect, which typically has one of five different shapes: cone, cube, cylinder, line, or sphere. Every area or effect has a point of origin, a location from which the spell's energy erupts. The rules for each shape specify how you position its point of origin. Typically, a point of origin is a point in space, but some spells have an area whose origin is a creature or an object.
A spell's effect expands in straight lines from the point of origin. If no unblocked straight line extends from the point of origin to a location within the area of effect, that location isn't included in the spell's area. To block one of these imaginary lines, an obstruction must provide total cover.
A cone extends in a direction you choose from its point of origin. A cone's width at a given point along its length is equal to that point's distance from the point of origin. A con's area of effect specifies its maximum length.
A cone's point of origin is not included in the cone's area of effect, unless you decide otherwise.
You select the cube's point of origin, which lies anywhere on a face of the cubic effect. The cube's size is expressed as the length of each side.
A cube's point of origin is not included in the cube's area of effect, unless you decide otherwise.
A cylinder's point of origin is the center of a circle of a particular radius, as given in the spell description. The circle must either be on the ground or at the height of the spell effect. the energy in a cylinder expands in straight lines from the point of origin to the perimeter of the circle, forming the base of the cylinder. The spell's effect then shoots up from the base or down from the top, to a distance equal to the height of the cylinder.
A cylinder's point of origin is included in the cylinder's area of effect.
A line extends from its point of origin in a straight path up to its length and covers an area defined by its width. A line's point of origin is not included in the line's area of effect, unless you decide otherwise.
You select a sphere's point of origin, and the sphere extends outward from that point. The sphere's size is expressed as a radius in feet that extends from the point. A sphere's point of origin is included in the sphere's area of effect.
Many spells specify that a target can make a saving throw to avoid some or all of a spell's effects. The spell specifies the ability that the target uses for a save and what happens on a success or failure.
The DC to resist one of your spells equals 8 + your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus + any special modifiers.
Some spells require the caster to make an attack roll to determine whether the spell effect hits the intended target. Your attack bonus with a spell attack equals your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus.
Most spells that require attack rolls involve ranged attacks. Remember that you have disadvantage on a ranged attack roll if you are within 5 feet of a hostile creature that can see you and that isn't Incapacitated.
Academies of magic group spells into eight categories called schools of magic. Scholars, particularly wizards, apply these categories to all spells, believing that all magic functions in essentially the same way, whether it derives from rigorous study or is bestowed by a deity.
The schools of magic help describe spells; they have no rules of their own, although some rules refer to the schools.
Abjuration spells are protective in nature, though some of them have aggressive uses. They create magical barriers, negate harmful effects, harm trespassers, or banish creatures to other planes of existence.
Conjuration spells involve the transportation of objects and creatures from one location to another. Some spells summon creatures or objects to the caster's side, whereas others allow the caster to teleport to another location. Some conjurations create objects or effects out of nothing.
Divination spells reveal information, whether in the form of secrets long forgotten, glimpses of the future, the locations of hidden things, the truth behind illusions, or visions of distant people or places.
Enchantment spells affect the minds of others, influencing or controlling their behavior. Such spells can make enemies see the caster as a friend, force creatures to take a course of action, or even control another creature like a puppet.
Evocation spells manipulate magical energy to produce a desired effect. Some call up blasts of fire or lightning. Others channel positive energy to heal wounds.
Illusion spells deceive the senses or minds of others. They cause people to see things that are not there, to miss things that are there, to hear phantom noises, or to remember things that never happened. Some illusions create phantom images that any creature can see, but the most insidious illusions plant an image directly in the mind of a creature.
Necromancy spells manipulate the energies of life and death. Such spells can grant an extra reserve of life force, drain the life energy from another creature, create the undead, or even bring the dead back to life.
Creating the undead through the use of necromancy spells such as Animate Dead is not a good act, and only evil casters use such spells frequently.
Transmutation spells change the properties of a creature, object, or environment. They might turn an enemy into a harmless creature, bolster the strength of an ally, make an object move at the caster's command, or enhance a creature's innate healing abilities to rapidly recover from injury.
The effects of different spells add together while the durations of those spells overlap. The effects of the same spell cast multiple times don't combine, however. Instead, the most potent effect-such as the highest bonus-from those castings applies while their durations overlap.
For example, if two clerics cast Bless on the same target, that character gains the spell's benefit only once; he or she doesn't get to roll two bonus dice.
Traps can be found almost anywhere. One wrong step in an ancient tomb might trigger a series of scything blades, which cleave through armor and bone. The seemingly innocuous vines that hang over a cave entrance might grasp and choke anyone who pushes through them. A net hidden among the trees might drop on travelers who pass underneath. In a fantasy game, unwary adventurers can fall to their deaths, be burned alive, or fall under a fusillade of poisoned darts.
A trap can be either mechanical or magical in nature. Mechanical traps include pits, arrow traps, falling blocks, water-filled rooms, whirling blades, and anything else that depends on a mechanism to operate. Magic traps are either magical device traps or spell traps. Magical device traps initiate spell effects when activated. Spell traps are spells such as Glyph of Warding and symbol that function as traps.
When adventurers come across a trap, you need to know how the trap is triggered and what it does, as well as the possibility for the characters to detect the trap and to disable or avoid it.
Most traps are triggered when a creature goes somewhere or touches something that the trap's creator wanted to protect. Common triggers include stepping on a pressure plate or a false section of floor, pulling a trip wire, turning a doorknob, and using the wrong key in a lock. Magic traps are often set to go off when a creature enters an area or touches an object. Some magic traps (such as the Glyph of Warding spell) have more complicated trigger conditions, including a password that prevents the trap from activating.
Usually, some element of a trap is visible to careful inspection. Characters might notice an uneven flagstone that conceals a pressure plate, spot the gleam of light off a trip wire, notice small holes in the walls from which jets of flame will erupt, or otherwise detect something that points to a trap's presence.
A trap's description specifies the checks and DCs needed to detect it, disable it, or both. A character actively looking for a trap can attempt a Wisdom (Perception) check against the trap's DC. You can also compare the DC to detect the trap with each character's passive Wisdom (Perception) score to determine whether anyone in the party notices the trap in passing. If the adventurers detect a trap before triggering it, they might be able to disarm it, either permanently or long enough to move past it. You might call for an Intelligence (Investigation) check for a character to deduce what needs to be done, followed by a Dexterity check using thieves' tools to perform the necessary sabotage.
Any character can attempt an Intelligence (Arcana) check to detect or disarm a magic trap, in addition to any other checks noted in the trap's description. The DCs are the same regardless of the check used. In addition, Dispel Magic has a chance of disabling most magic traps. A magic trap's description provides the DC for the ability check made when you use Dispel Magic.
In most cases, a trap's description is clear enough that you can adjudicate whether a character's actions locate or foil the trap. As with many situations, you shouldn't allow die rolling to override clever play and good planning. Use your common sense, drawing on the trap's description to determine what happens. No trap's design can anticipate every possible action that the characters might attempt.
You should allow a character to discover a trap without making an ability check if an action would clearly reveal the trap's presence. For example, if a character lifts a rug that conceals a pressure plate, the character has found the trigger and no check is required.
Foiling traps can be a little more complicated. Consider a trapped treasure chest. If the chest is opened without first pulling on the two handles set in its sides, a mechanism inside fires a hail of poison needles toward anyone in front of it. After inspecting the chest and making a few checks, the characters are still unsure if it's trapped. Rather than simply open the chest, they prop a shield in front of it and push the chest open at a distance with an iron rod. In this case, the trap still triggers, but the hail of needles fires harmlessly into the shield.
Traps are often designed with mechanisms that allow them to be disarmed or bypassed. Intelligent monsters that place traps in or around their lairs need ways to get past those traps without harming themselves. Such traps might have hidden levers that disable their triggers, or a secret door might conceal a passage that goes around the trap.
The effects of traps can range from inconvenient to deadly, making use of elements such as arrows, spikes, blades, poison, toxic gas, blasts of fire, and deep pits. The deadliest traps combine multiple elements to kill, injure, contain, or drive off any creature unfortunate enough to trigger them. A trap's description specifies what happens when it is triggered. The attack bonus of a trap, the save DC to resist its effects, and the damage it deals can vary depending on the trap's severity. Use the Trap Save DCs and Attack Bonuses table and the Damage Severity by Level table for suggestions based on three levels of trap severity. A trap intended to be a setback is unlikely to kill or seriously harm characters of the indicated levels, whereas a dangerous trap is likely to seriously injure (and potentially kill) characters of the indicated levels. A deadly trap is likely to kill characters of the indicated levels.
|Trap Danger||Save DC||Attack Bonus|
|Setback||10-11||+3 to +5|
|Dangerous||12-15||+6 to +8|
|Deadly||16-20||+9 to +12|
Complex traps work like standard traps, except once activated they execute a series of actions each round. A complex trap turns the process of dealing with a trap into something more like a combat encounter.
When a complex trap activates, it rolls initiative. The trap's description includes an initiative bonus. On its turn, the trap activates again, often taking an action. It might make successive attacks against intruders, create an effect that changes over time, or otherwise produce a dynamic challenge. Otherwise, the complex trap can be detected and disabled or bypassed in the usual ways.
For example, a trap that causes a room to slowly flood works best as a complex trap. On the trap's turn, the water level rises. After several rounds, the room is completely flooded.
The magical and mechanical traps presented here vary in deadliness and are presented in alphabetical order.
This trap uses a trip wire to collapse the supports keeping an unstable section of a ceiling in place.
The trip wire is 3 inches off the ground and stretches between two support beams. The DC to spot the trip wire is 10. A successful DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves' tools disables the trip wire harmlessly. A character without thieves' tools can attempt this check with disadvantage using any edged weapon or edged tool. On a failed check, the trap triggers.
Anyone who inspects the beams can easily determine that they are merely wedged in place. As an action, a character can knock over a beam, causing the trap to trigger.
The ceiling above the trip wire is in bad repair, and anyone who can see it can tell that it's in danger of collapse.
When the trap is triggered, the unstable ceiling collapses. Any creature in the area beneath the unstable section must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 22 (4d10) bludgeoning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Once the trap is triggered, the floor of the area is filled with rubble and becomes difficult terrain.
This trap uses a trip wire to release a net suspended from the ceiling.
The trip wire is 3 inches off the ground and stretches between two columns or trees. The net is hidden by cobwebs or foliage. The DC to spot the trip wire and net is 10. A successful DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves' tools breaks the trip wire harmlessly. A character without thieves' tools can attempt this check with disadvantage using any edged weapon or edged tool. On a failed check, the trap triggers.
When the trap is triggered, the net is released, covering a 10-foot-square area. Those in the area are trapped under the net and Restrained, and those that fail a DC 10 Strength saving throw are also knocked Prone. A creature can use its action to make a DC 10 Strength check, freeing itself or another creature within its reach on a success. The net has AC 10 and 20 hit points. Dealing 5 slashing damage to the net (AC 10) destroys a 5-foot-square section of it, freeing any creature trapped in that section.
Magic trap This trap is activated when an intruder steps on a hidden pressure plate, releasing a magical gout of flame from a nearby statue. The statue can be of anything, including a dragon or a wizard casting a spell.
The DC is 15 to spot the pressure plate, as well as faint scorch marks on the floor and walls. A spell or other effect that can sense the presence of magic, such as Detect Magic, reveals an aura of evocation magic around the statue.
The trap activates when more than 20 pounds of weight is placed on the pressure plate, causing the statue to release a 30-foot cone of fire. Each creature in the fire must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 22 (4d10) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Wedging an iron spike or other object under the pressure plate prevents the trap from activating. A successful Dispel Magic (DC 13) cast on the statue destroys the trap.
Mechanical trap Four basic pit traps are presented here.
Simple Pit. A simple pit trap is a hole dug in the ground. The hole is covered by a large cloth anchored on the pit's edge and camouflaged with dirt and debris.
The DC to spot the pit is 10. Anyone stepping on the cloth falls through and pulls the cloth down into the pit, taking damage based on the pit's depth (usually 10 feet, but some pits are deeper).
Hidden Pit. This pit has a cover constructed from material identical to the floor around it.
A successful DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check discerns an absence of foot traffic over the section of floor that forms the pit's cover. A successful DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check is necessary to confirm that the trapped section of floor is actually the cover of a pit.
When a creature steps on the cover, it swings open like a trapdoor, causing the intruder to spill into the pit below. The pit is usually 10 or 20 feet deep but can be deeper.
Once the pit trap is detected, an iron spike or similar object can be wedged between the pit's cover and the surrounding floor in such a way as to prevent the cover from opening, thereby making it safe to cross. The cover can also be magically held shut using the Arcane Lock spell or similar magic.
Locking Pit. This pit trap is identical to a hidden pit trap, with one key exception: the trap door that covers the pit is spring-loaded. After a creature falls into the pit, the cover snaps shut to trap its victim inside.
A successful DC 20 Strength check is necessary to pry the cover open. The cover can also be smashed open. A character in the pit can also attempt to disable the spring mechanism from the inside with a DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves' tools, provided that the mechanism can be reached and the character can see. In some cases, a mechanism (usually hidden behind a secret door nearby) opens the pit.
Spiked Pit. This pit trap is a simple, hidden, or locking pit trap with sharpened wooden or iron spikes at the bottom. A creature falling into the pit takes 11 (2d10) piercing damage from the spikes, in addition to any falling damage. Even nastier versions have poison smeared on the spikes. In that case, anyone taking piercing damage from the spikes must also make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking an 22 (4d10) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Mechanical trap When a creature steps on a hidden pressure plate, poison-tipped darts shoot from spring-loaded or pressurized tubes cleverly embedded in the surrounding walls. An area might include multiple pressure plates, each one rigged to its own set of darts.
The tiny holes in the walls are obscured by dust and cobwebs, or cleverly hidden amid bas-reliefs, murals, or frescoes that adorn the walls. The DC to spot them is 15. With a successful DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check, a character can deduce the presence of the pressure plate from variations in the mortar and stone used to create it, compared to the surrounding floor. Wedging an iron spike or other object under the pressure plate prevents the trap from activating. Stuffing the holes with cloth or wax prevents the darts contained within from launching.
The trap activates when more than 20 pounds of weight is placed on the pressure plate, releasing four darts. Each dart makes a ranged attack with a +8 bonus against a random target within 10 feet of the pressure plate (vision is irrelevant to this attack roll). (If there are no targets in the area, the darts don't hit anything.) A target that is hit takes 2 (1d4) piercing damage and must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 11 (2d10) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Mechanical trap a poisoned needle is hidden within a treasure chest's lock, or in something else that a creature might open. Opening the chest without the proper key causes the needle to spring out, delivering a dose of poison.
When the trap is triggered, the needle extends 3 inches straight out from the lock. A creature within range takes 1 piercing damage and 11 (2d10) poison damage, and must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be Poisoned for 1 hour.
A successful DC 20 Intelligence (Investigation) check allows a character to deduce the trap's presence from alterations made to the lock to accommodate the needle. A successful DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves' tools disarms the trap, removing the needle from the lock. Unsuccessfully attempting to pick the lock triggers the trap.
Mechanical trap When 20 or more pounds of pressure are placed on this trap's pressure plate, a hidden trapdoor in the ceiling opens, releasing a 10-foot-diameter rolling sphere of solid stone.
With a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check, a character can spot the trapdoor and pressure plate. A search of the floor accompanied by a successful DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check reveals variations in the mortar and stone that betray the pressure plate's presence. The same check made while inspecting the ceiling notes variations in the stonework that reveal the trapdoor.
Wedging an iron spike or other object under the pressure plate prevents the trap from activating.
Activation of the sphere requires all creatures present to roll initiative. The sphere rolls initiative with a +8 bonus. On its turn, it moves 60 feet in a straight line. The sphere can move through creatures' spaces, and creatures can move through its space, treating it as difficult terrain. Whenever the sphere enters a creature's space or a creature enters its space while it's rolling, that creature must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 55 (10d10) bludgeoning damage and be knocked Prone.
The sphere stops when it hits a wall or similar barrier. It can't go around corners, but smart dungeon builders incorporate gentle, curving turns into nearby passages that allow the sphere to keep moving.
As an action, a creature within 5 feet of the sphere can attempt to slow it down with a DC 20 Strength check. On a successful check, the sphere's speed is reduced by 15 feet. If the sphere's speed drops to 0, it stops moving and is no longer a threat.
Magical, impenetrable darkness fills the gaping mouth of a stone face carved into a wall. The mouth is 2 feet in diameter and roughly circular. No sound issues from it, no light can illuminate the inside of it, and any matter that enters it is instantly obliterated.
A successful DC 20 Intelligence (Arcana) check reveals that the mouth contains a sphere of annihilation that can't be controlled or moved. It is otherwise identical to a normal sphere of annihilation.
Some versions of the trap include an enchantment placed on the stone face, such that specified creatures feel an overwhelming urge to approach it and crawl inside its mouth. This effect is otherwise like the sympathy aspect of the Antipathy/Sympathy spell. A successful Dispel Magic (DC 18) removes this enchantment.
A plague ravages the kingdom, setting the adventurers on a quest to find a cure. An adventurer emerges from an ancient tomb, unopened for centuries, and soon finds herself suffering from a wasting illness. A warlock offends some dark power and contracts a strange affliction that spreads whenever he casts spells.
A simple outbreak might amount to little more than a small drain on party resources, curable by a casting of Lesser Restoration. A more complicated outbreak can form the basis of one or more adventures as characters search for a cure, stop the spread of the disease, and deal with the consequences.
A disease that does more than infect a few party members is primarily a plot device. The rules help describe the effects of the disease and how it can be cured, but the specifics of how a disease works aren't bound by a common set of rules. Diseases can affect any creature, and a given illness might or might not pass from one race or kind of creature to another. A plague might affect only constructs or undead, or sweep through a halfling neighborhood but leave other races untouched. What matters is the story you want to tell.
The diseases here illustrate the variety of ways disease can work in the game. Feel free to alter the saving throw DCs, incubation times, symptoms, and other characteristics of these diseases to suit your campaign.
This disease targets humanoids, although gnomes are strangely immune. While in the grips of this disease, victims frequently succumb to fits of mad laughter, giving the disease its common name and its morbid nickname: "the shrieks." Symptoms manifest 1d4 hours after infection and include fever and disorientation. The infected creature gains one level of Exhaustion that can't be removed until the disease is cured.
Any event that causes the infected creature great stress-including entering combat, taking damage, experiencing fear, or having a nightmare-forces the creature to make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw.
On a failed save, the creature takes 5 (1d10) psychic damage and becomes Incapacitated with mad laughter for 1 minute. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the mad laughter and the Incapacitated condition on a success.
Any humanoid creature that starts its turn within 10 feet of an infected creature in the throes of mad laughter must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or also become infected with the disease. Once a creature succeeds on this save, it is immune to the mad laughter of that particular infected creature for 24 hours.
At the end of each long rest, an infected creature can make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. On a successful save, the DC for this save and for the save to avoid an attack of mad laughter drops by 1d6.
When the saving throw DC drops to 0, the creature recovers from the disease. A creature that fails three of these saving throws gains a randomly determined form of indefinite madness, as described later.
Sewer plague is a generic term for a broad category of illnesses that incubate in sewers, refuse heaps, and stagnant swamps, and which are sometimes transmitted by creatures that dwell in those areas, such as rats.
When a humanoid creature is bitten by a creature that carries the disease, or when it comes into contact with filth or offal contaminated by the disease, the creature must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or become infected.
It takes 1d4 days for sewer plague's symptoms to manifest in an infected creature. Symptoms include fatigue and cramps. The infected creature suffers one level of Exhaustion, and it regains only half the normal number of hit points from spending Hit Dice and no hit points from finishing a long rest.
At the end of each long rest, an infected creature must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the character gains one level of Exhaustion. On a successful save, the character's Exhaustion level decreases by one level. If a successful saving throw reduces the infected creature's level of Exhaustion below 1, the creature recovers from the disease.
This painful infection causes bleeding from the eyes and eventually blinds the victim.
A beast or humanoid that drinks water tainted by sight rot must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become infected. One day after infection, the creature's vision starts to become blurry. The creature takes a -1 penalty to attack rolls and ability checks that rely on sight. At the end of each long rest after the symptoms appear, the penalty worsens by 1. When it reaches -5, the victim is Blinded until its sight is restored by magic such as Lesser Restoration or Heal.
Sight rot can be cured using a rare flower called Eyebright, which grows in some swamps. Given an hour, a character who has proficiency with an herbalism kit can turn the flower into one dose of ointment. Applied to the eyes before a long rest, one dose of it prevents the disease from worsening after that rest. After three doses, the ointment cures the disease entirely.
In a typical campaign, characters aren't driven mad by the horrors they face and the carnage they inflict day after day, but sometimes the stress of being an adventurer can be too much to bear. If your campaign has a strong horror theme, you might want to use madness as a way to reinforce that theme, emphasizing the extraordinarily horrific nature of the threats the adventurers face.
Various magical effects can inflict madness on an otherwise stable mind. Certain spells, such as Contact Other Plane and symbol, can cause insanity, and you can use the madness rules here instead of the spell effects of those spells. Diseases, poisons, and planar effects such as psychic wind or the howling winds of **** can all inflict madness. Some artifacts can also break the psyche of a character who uses or becomes attuned to them.
Resisting a madness-inducing effect usually requires a Wisdom or Charisma saving throw.
Madness can be short-term, long-term, or indefinite. Most relatively mundane effects impose short-term madness, which lasts for just a few minutes. More horrific effects or cumulative effects can result in long-term or indefinite madness.
A character afflicted with short-term madness is subjected to an effect from the Short-Term Madness table for 1d10 minutes.
A character afflicted with long-term madness is subjected to an effect from the Long-Term Madness table for 1d10 × 10 hours.
A character afflicted with indefinite madness gains a new character flaw from the Indefinite Madness table that lasts until cured.
|d100||Effect (lasts 1d10 minutes)|
|01-20||The character retreats into his or her mind and becomes Paralyzed. The effect ends if the character takes any damage.|
|21-30||The character becomes Incapacitated and spends the duration screaming, laughing, or weeping.|
|31-40||The character becomes Frightened and must use his or her action and movement each round to flee from the source of the fear.|
|41-50||The character begins babbling and is incapable of normal speech or spellcasting. 51-60 The character must use his or her action each round to attack the nearest creature.|
|51-60||The character must use his or her action each round to attack the nearest creature.|
|61-70||The character experiences vivid hallucinations and has disadvantage on ability checks.|
|71-75||The character does whatever anyone tells him or her to do that isn't obviously self- destructive.|
|76-80||The character experiences an overpowering urge to eat something strange such as dirt, slime, or offal.|
|81-90||The character is Stunned.|
|91-100||The character falls Unconscious.|
|d100||Effect (lasts 1d10 × 10 hours)|
|01-10||The character feels compelled to repeat a specific activity over and over, such as washing hands, touching things, praying, or counting coins.|
|11-20||The character experiences vivid hallucinations and has disadvantage on ability checks.|
|21-30||The character suffers extreme paranoia. The character has disadvantage on Wisdom and Charisma checks.|
|31-40||The character regards something (usually the source of madness) with intense revulsion, as if affected by the antipathy effect of the Antipathy/Sympathy spell.|
|41-45||The character experiences a powerful delusion. Choose a potion. The character imagines that he or she is under its effects.|
|46-55||The character becomes attached to a "lucky charm," such as a person or an object, and has disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws while more than 30 feet from it.|
|56-65||The character is Blinded (25%) or Deafened (75%).|
|66-75||The character experiences uncontrollable tremors or tics, which impose disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws that involve Strength or Dexterity.|
|76-85||The character suffers from partial amnesia. The character knows who he or she is and retains racial traits and class features, but doesn't recognize other people or remember anything that happened before the madness took effect.|
|86-90||Whenever the character takes damage, he or she must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be affected as though he or she failed a saving throw against the Confusion spell. The confusion effect lasts for 1 minute.|
|91-95||The character loses the ability to speak.|
|96-100||The character falls Unconscious. No amount of jostling or damage can wake the character.|
|d100||Flaw (lasts until cured)|
|01-15||"Being drunk keeps me sane."|
|16-25||"I keep whatever I find."|
|26-30||"I try to become more like someone else I know-adopting his or her style of dress, mannerisms, and name."|
|31-35||"I must bend the truth, exaggerate, or outright lie to be interesting to other people."|
|36-45||"Achieving my goal is the only thing of interest to me, and I'll ignore everything else to pursue it."|
|46-50||"I find it hard to care about anything that goes on around me."|
|51-55||"I don't like the way people judge me all the time."|
|56-70||"I am the smartest, wisest, strongest, fastest, and most beautiful person I know."|
|71-80||"I am convinced that powerful enemies are hunting me, and their agents are everywhere I go. I am sure they're watching me all the time."|
|81-85||"There's only one person I can trust. And only I can see this special friend."|
|86-95||"I can't take anything seriously. The more serious the situation, the funnier I find it."|
|96-100||"I've discovered that I really like killing people." Curing Madness A Calm Emotions spell can suppress the effects of madness, while a Lesser Restoration spell can rid a character of a short-term or long-term madness. Depending on the source of the madness, Remove Curse or Dispel Evil and Good might also prove effective. A Greater Restoration spell or more powerful magic is required to rid a character of indefinite madness.|
When characters need to saw through ropes, shatter a window, or smash a vampire's coffin, the only hard and fast rule is this: given enough time and the right tools, characters can destroy any destructible object.
Use common sense when determining a character's success at damaging an object. Can a fighter cut through a section of a stone wall with a sword? No, the sword is likely to break before the wall does.
For the purpose of these rules, an object is a discrete, inanimate item like a window, door, sword, book, table, chair, or stone, not a building or a vehicle that is composed of many other objects.
When time is a factor, you can assign an Armor Class and hit points to a destructible object. You can also give it immunities, resistances, and vulnerabilities to specific types of damage.
An object's Armor Class is a measure of how difficult it is to deal damage to the object when striking it (because the object has no chance of dodging out of the way). The Object Armor Class table provides suggested AC values for various substances.
|Cloth, paper, rope||11|
|Crystal, glass, ice||13|
An object's hit points measure how much damage it can take before losing its structural integrity. Resilient objects have more hit points than fragile ones. Large objects also tend to have more hit points than small ones, unless breaking a small part of the object is just as effective as breaking the whole thing. The Object Hit Points table provides suggested hit points for fragile and resilient objects that are Large or smaller.
|Object Hit Points|
|Tiny (bottle, lock)||2 (1d4)||5 (2d4)|
|Small (chest, lute)||3 (1d6)||10 (3d6)|
|Medium (barrel, chandelier)||4 (1d8)||18 (4d8)|
|Large (cart, 10-ft.-by-10-ft. window)||5 (1d10)||27 (5d10)|
Normal weapons are of little use against many Huge and Gargantuan objects, such as a colossal statue, towering column of stone, or massive boulder. That said, one torch can burn a Huge tapestry, and an Earthquake spell can reduce a colossus to rubble. You can track a Huge or Gargantuan object's hit points if you like, or you can simply decide how long the object can withstand whatever weapon or force is acting against it. If you track hit points for the object, divide it into Large or smaller sections, and track each section's hit points separately. Destroying one of those sections could ruin the entire object. For example, a Gargantuan statue of a human might topple over when one of its Large legs is reduced to 0 hit points.
Objects are immune to poison and psychic damage. You might decide that some damage types are more effective against a particular object or substance than others. For example, bludgeoning damage works well for smashing things but not for cutting through rope or leather. Paper or cloth objects might be vulnerable to fire and lightning damage. A pick can chip away stone but can't effectively cut down a tree. As always, use your best judgment.
Big objects such as castle walls often have extra resilience represented by a damage threshold. An object with a damage threshold has immunity to all damage unless it takes an amount of damage from a single attack or effect equal to or greater than its damage threshold, in which case it takes damage as normal. Any damage that fails to meet or exceed the object's damage threshold is considered superficial and doesn't reduce the object's hit points.
Given their insidious and deadly nature, poisons are illegal in most societies but are a favorite tool among assassins, drow, and other evil creatures.
Poisons come in the following four types:
Contact. Contact poison can be smeared on an object and remains potent until it is touched or washed off. A creature that touches contact poison with exposed skin suffers its effects.
Ingested. A creature must swallow an entire dose of ingested poison to suffer its effects. The dose can be delivered in food or a liquid. You may decide that a partial dose has a reduced effect, such as allowing advantage on the saving throw or dealing only half damage on a failed save.
Inhaled. These poisons are powders or gases that take effect when inhaled. Blowing the powder or releasing the gas subjects creatures in a 5-foot cube to its effect. The resulting cloud dissipates immediately afterward. Holding one's breath is ineffective against inhaled poisons, as they affect nasal membranes, tear ducts, and other parts of the body.
Injury. Injury poison can be applied to weapons, ammunition, trap components, and other objects that deal piercing or slashing damage and remains potent until delivered through a wound or washed off. A creature that takes piercing or slashing damage from an object coated with the poison is exposed to its effects.
|Item||Type||Price per Dose|
|Assassin's blood||Ingested||150 GP|
|Burnt othur fumes||Inhaled||500 GP|
|Drow poison||Injury||200 GP|
|Essence of ether||Inhaled||300 GP|
|Midnight tears||Ingested||1,500 GP|
|Oil of taggit||Contact||400 GP|
|Pale tincture||Ingested||250 GP|
|Purple worm poison||Injury||2,000 GP|
|Serpent venom||Injury||200 GP|
|Truth serum||Ingested||150 GP|
|Wyvern poison||Injury||1,200 GP|
Each type of poison has its own debilitating effects.
A creature subjected to this poison must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, it takes 6 (1d12) poison damage and is Poisoned for 24 hours. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage and isn't Poisoned.
A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or take 10 (3d6) poison damage, and must repeat the saving throw at the start of each of its turns. On each successive failed save, the character takes 3 (1d6) poison damage.
After three successful saves, the poison ends.
This poison is typically made only by the drow, and only in a place far removed from sunlight. A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be Poisoned for 1 hour. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the creature is also Unconscious while Poisoned in this way. The creature wakes up if it takes damage or if another creature takes an action to shake it awake.
A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become Poisoned for 8 hours. The Poisoned creature is Unconscious. The creature wakes up if it takes damage or if another creature takes an action to shake it awake.
A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become Poisoned for 1 hour. The Poisoned creature is Blinded.
A creature that ingests this poison suffers no effect until the stroke of midnight. If the poison has not been neutralized before then, the creature must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw, taking 31 (9d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or become Poisoned for 24 hours. The Poisoned creature is Unconscious. The creature wakes up if it takes damage.
A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or take 3 (1d6) poison damage and become Poisoned. The Poisoned creature must repeat the saving throw every 24 hours, taking 3 (1d6) poison damage on a failed save. Until this poison ends, the damage the poison deals can't be healed by any means. After seven successful saving throws, the effect ends and the creature can heal normally.
This poison must be harvested from a dead or Incapacitated purple worm. A creature subjected to this poison must make a DC 19 Constitution saving throw, taking 42 (12d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
This poison must be harvested from a dead or Incapacitated giant poisonous snake. A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw, taking 10 (3d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become Poisoned for 4d6 hours. The Poisoned creature is Incapacitated.
A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or become Poisoned for 1 hour. The Poisoned creature can't knowingly speak a lie, as if under the effect of a Zone of Truth spell.
This poison must be harvested from a dead or Incapacitated wyvern. A creature subjected to this poison must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 24 (7d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
A monster's statistics, sometimes referred to as its stat block, provide the essential information that you need to run the monster.
Size A monster can be Tiny, Small, Medium, Large, Huge, or Gargantuan. The Size Categories table shows how much space a creature of a particular size controls in combat. See the **** for more information on creature size and space.
Despite the versatile collection of monsters in this book, you might be at a loss when it comes to finding the perfect creature for part of an adventure. Feel free to tweak an existing creature to make it into something more useful for you, perhaps by borrowing a trait or two from a different monster or by using a variant or template, such as the ones in this book. Keep in mind that modifying a monster, including when you apply a template to it, might change its challenge rating.
A monster's type speaks to its fundamental nature. Certain spells, magic items, class features, and other effects in the game interact in special ways with creatures of a particular type. For example, an arrow of dragon slaying deals extra damage not only to dragons but also other creatures of the dragon type, such as dragon turtles and wyverns.
The game includes the following monster types, which have no rules of their own.
Aberrations are utterly alien beings. Many of them have innate magical abilities drawn from the creature's alien mind rather than the mystical forces of the world. The quintessential aberrations are aboleths, and ****.
Beasts are non-humanoid creatures that are a natural part of the fantasy ecology. Some of them have magical powers, but most are unintelligent and lack any society or language. Beasts include all varieties of ordinary animals, dinosaurs, and giant versions of animals.
Celesitals are creatures native to the Upper Planes. Many of them are the servants of deities, employed as messengers or agents in the mortal realm and throughout the planes. Celestials are good by nature, so the exceptional celestial who strays from a good alignment is a horrifying rarity. Celestials include angels, couatls, and pegasi.
Constructs are made, not born. Some are programmed by their creators to follow a simple set of instructions, while others are imbued with sentience and capable of independent thought. Golems are the iconic constructs. Many creatures native to the outer plane of ****, such as ****, are constructs shaped from the raw material of the plane by the will of more powerful creatures.
Dragons are large reptilian creatures of ancient origin and tremendous power. True dragons, including the good metallic dragons and the evil chromatic dragons, are highly intelligent and have innate magic. Also in this category are creatures distantly related to true dragons, but less powerful, less intelligent, and less magical, such as wyverns and pseudodragons.
Elementals are creatures native to the elemental planes. Some creatures of this type are little more than animate masses of their respective elements, including the creatures simply called elementals. Others have biological forms infused with elemental energy. The races of genies, including djinni and efreeti, form the most important civilizations on the elemental planes. Other elemental creatures include azers and invisible stalkers.
Fey are magical creatures closely tied to the forces of nature. They dwell in twilight groves and misty forests. In some worlds, they are closely tied to the ****, also called the Plane of ****. Some are also found in the Outer Planes. Fey include dryads, pixies, and satyrs.
Fiends are creatures of wickedness that are native to the Lower Planes. A few are the servants of deities, but many more labor under the leadership of archdevils and demon princes. Evil priests and mages sometimes summon fiends to the material world to do their bidding. If an evil celestial is a rarity, a good fiend is almost inconceivable. Fiends include demons, devils, hell hounds, rakshasas, and ****.
Giants tower over humans and their kind. They are human-like in shape, though some have multiple heads (ettins) or deformities (fomorians). The six varieties of true giant are hill giants, stone giants, frost giants, fire giants, cloud giants, and storm giants. Besides these, creatures such as ogres and trolls are giants.
Humanoids are the main peoples of a fantasy gaming world, both civilized and savage, including humans and a tremendous variety of other species. They have language and culture, few if any innate magical abilities (though most humanoids can learn spellcasting), and a bipedal form. The most common humanoid races are the ones most suitable as player characters: humans, dwarves, elves, and halflings. Almost as numerous but far more savage and brutal, and almost uniformly evil, are the races of goblinoids (goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears), orcs, gnolls, lizardfolk, and kobolds.
Monstrosities are monsters in the strictest sense-frightening creatures that are not ordinary, not truly natural, and almost never benign. Some are the results of magical experimentation gone awry (such as owlbears), and others are the product of terrible curses (including minotaurs). They defy categorization, and in some sense serve as a catch-all category for creatures that don't fit into any other type.
Oozes are gelatinous creatures that rarely have a fixed shape. They are mostly subterranean, dwelling in caves and dungeons and feeding on refuse, carrion, or creatures unlucky enough to get in their way. Black puddings and gelatinous cubes are among the most recognizable oozes.
Plants in this context are vegetable creatures, not ordinary flora. Most of them are ambulatory, and some are carnivorous. The quintessential plants are the shambling mound and the treant. Fungal creatures such as the gas spore and the myconid also fall into this category.
Undead are once-living creatures brought to a horrifying state of undeath through the practice of necromantic magic or some unholy curse. Undead include walking corpses, such as vampires and zombies, as well as bodiless spirits, such as ghosts and specters.
A monster might have one or more tags appended to its type, in parentheses. For example, an orc has the humanoid (orc) type. The parenthetical tags provide additional categorization for certain creatures. The tags have no rules of their own, but something in the game, such as a magic item, might refer to them. For instance, a spear that is especially effective at fighting demons would work against any monster that has the demon tag.
A monster's alignment provides a clue to its disposition and how it behaves in a role-playing or combat situation. For example, a chaotic evil monster might be difficult to reason with and might attack characters on sight, whereas a neutral monster might be willing to negotiate. See the **** for descriptions of the different alignments.
The alignment specified in a monster's stat block is the default. Feel free to depart from it and change a monster's alignment to suit the needs of your campaign. If you want a good-aligned green dragon or an evil storm giant, there's nothing stopping you.
Some creatures can have any alignment. In other words, you choose the monster's alignment. Some monster's alignment entry indicates a tendency or aversion toward law, chaos, good, or evil. For example, a berserker can be any chaotic alignment (chaotic good, chaotic neutral, or chaotic evil), as befits its wild nature.
Many creatures of low intelligence have no comprehension of law or chaos, good or evil. They don't make moral or ethical choices, but rather act on instinct. These creatures are unaligned, which means they don't have an alignment.
A monster that wears armor or carries a shield has an Armor Class (AC) that takes its armor, shield, and Dexterity into account. Otherwise, a monster's AC is based on its Dexterity modifier and natural armor, if any. If a monster has natural armor, wears armor, or carries a shield, this is noted in parentheses after its AC value.
A monster usually dies or is destroyed when it drops to 0 hit points. For more on hit points, see the ****.
A monster's hit points are presented both as a die expression and as an average number. For example, a monster with 2d8 hit points has 9 hit points on average (2 × 4 1/2).
A monster's size determines the die used to calculate its hit points, as shown in the Hit Dice by Size table.
|Hit Dice by Size|
|Monster Size||Hit Die||Average HP per Die|
A monster's Constitution modifier also affects the number of hit points it has. Its Constitution modifier is multiplied by the number of Hit Dice it possesses, and the result is added to its hit points. For example, if a monster has a Constitution of 12 (+1 modifier) and 2d8 Hit Dice, it has 2d8 + 2 hit points (average 11).
A monster's speed tells you how far it can move on its turn. For more information on speed, see the ****.
All creatures have a walking speed, simply called the monster's speed. Creatures that have no form of ground-based locomotion have a walking speed of 0 feet.
Some creatures have one or more of the following additional movement modes.
Burrow A monster that has a burrowing speed can use that speed to move through sand, earth, mud, or ice. A monster can't burrow through solid rock unless it has a special trait that allows it to do so.
Climb A monster that has a climbing speed can use all or part of its movement to move on vertical surfaces. The monster doesn't need to spend extra movement to climb.
Fly A monster that has a flying speed can use all or part of its movement to fly. Some monsters have the ability to hover, which makes them hard to knock out of the air (as explained in the rules on flying in the ****). Such a monster stops hovering when it dies.
Swim A monster that has a swimming speed doesn't need to spend extra movement to swim.
Every monster has six ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma) and corresponding modifiers. For more information on ability scores and how they're used in play, see the ****.
The Saving Throws entry is reserved for creatures that are adept at resisting certain kinds of effects. For example, a creature that isn't easily Charmed or Frightened might gain a bonus on its Wisdom saving throws. Most creatures don't have special saving throw bonuses, in which case this section is absent.
A saving throw bonus is the sum of a monster's relevant ability modifier and its proficiency bonus, which is determined by the monster's challenge rating (as shown in the Proficiency Bonus by Challenge Rating table).
The Skills entry is reserved for monsters that are proficient in one or more skills. For example, a monster that is very perceptive and stealthy might have bonuses to Wisdom (Perception) and Dexterity (Stealth) checks.
A skill bonus is the sum of a monster's relevant ability modifier and its proficiency bonus, which is determined by the monster's challenge rating (as shown in the Proficiency Bonus by Challenge Rating table). Other modifiers might apply. For instance, a monster might have a larger-than-expected bonus (usually double its proficiency bonus) to account for its heightened expertise.
Some creatures have vulnerability, resistance, or immunity to certain types of damage. Particular creatures are even resistant or immune to damage from nonmagical attacks (a magical attack is an attack delivered by a spell, a magic item, or another magical source). In addition, some creatures are immune to certain conditions.
The Senses entry notes a monster's passive Wisdom (Perception) score, as well as any special senses the monster might have. Special senses are described below.
A monster with blindsight can perceive its surroundings without relying on sight, within a specific radius.
Creatures without eyes, such as grimlocks and gray oozes, typically have this special sense, as do creatures with echolocation or heightened senses, such as bats and true dragons.
If a monster is naturally blind, it has a parenthetical note to this effect, indicating that the radius of its blindsight defines the maximum range of its perception.
A monster with Darkvision can see in the dark within a specific radius. The monster can see in dim light within the radius as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. The monster can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray. Many creatures that live underground have this special sense.
A monster with tremorsense can detect and pinpoint the origin of vibrations within a specific radius, provided that the monster and the source of the vibrations are in contact with the same ground or substance. Tremorsense can't be used to detect flying or incorporeal creatures. Many burrowing creatures, such as ankhegs, have this special sense.
A monster with truesight can, out to a specific range, see in normal and magical darkness, see Invisible creatures and objects, automatically detect visual illusions and succeed on saving throws against them, and perceive the original form of a shapechanger or a creature that is transformed by magic. Furthermore, the monster can see into the Ethereal Plane within the same range.
Assume that a creature is proficient with its armor, weapons, and tools. If you swap them out, you decide whether the creature is proficient with its new equipment.
For example, a hill giant typically wears hide armor and wields a greatclub. You could equip a hill giant with chain mail and a greataxe instead, and assume the giant is proficient with both, one or the other, or neither.
See the **** for rules on using armor or weapons without proficiency.
The languages that a monster can speak are listed in alphabetical order. Sometimes a monster can understand a language but can't speak it, and this is noted in its entry. A "-" indicates that a creature neither speaks nor understands any language.
Telepathy is a magical ability that allows a monster to communicate mentally with another creature within a specified range. The contacted creature doesn't need to share a language with the monster to communicate in this way with it, but it must be able to understand at least one language. A creature without telepathy can receive and respond to telepathic messages but can't initiate or terminate a telepathic conversation.
A telepathic monster doesn't need to see a contacted creature and can end the telepathic contact at any time. The contact is broken as soon as the two creatures are no longer within range of each other or if the telepathic monster contacts a different creature within range. A telepathic monster can initiate or terminate a telepathic conversation without using an action, but while the monster is Incapacitated, it can't initiate telepathic contact, and any current contact is terminated.
A creature within the area of an Anti-magic Field or in any other location where magic doesn't function can't send or receive telepathic messages.
A monster's challenge rating tells you how great a threat the monster is. An appropriately equipped and well-rested party of four adventurers should be able to defeat a monster that has a challenge rating equal to its level without suffering any deaths. For example, a party of four 3rd-level characters should find a monster with a challenge rating of 3 to be a worthy challenge, but not a deadly one.
Monsters that are significantly weaker than 1st- level characters have a challenge rating lower than 1. Monsters with a challenge rating of 0 are insignificant except in large numbers; those with no effective attacks are worth no experience points, while those that have attacks are worth 10 XP each.
Some monsters present a greater challenge than even a typical 20th-level party can handle. These monsters have a challenge rating of 21 or higher and are specifically designed to test player skill.
The number of experience points (XP) a monster is worth is based on its challenge rating. Typically, XP is awarded for defeating the monster, although the GM may also award XP for neutralizing the threat posed by the monster in some other manner.
Unless something tells you otherwise, a monster summoned by a spell or other magical ability is worth the XP noted in its stat block.
|0||0 or 10|
Special traits (which appear after a monster's challenge rating but before any actions or reactions) are characteristics that are likely to be relevant in a combat encounter and that require some explanation.
A monster with the innate ability to cast spells has the Innate Spellcasting special trait. Unless noted otherwise, an innate spell of 1st level or higher is always cast at its lowest possible level and can't be cast at a higher level. If a monster has a cantrip where its level matters and no level is given, use the monster's challenge rating.
An innate spell can have special rules or restrictions. For example, a drow mage can innately cast the Levitate spell, but the spell has a "self only" restriction, which means that the spell affects only the drow mage.
A monster's innate spells can't be swapped out with other spells. If a monster's innate spells don't require attack rolls, no attack bonus is given for them.
A monster with the Spellcasting special trait has a spellcaster level and spell slots, which it uses to cast its spells of 1st level and higher (as explained in the ****). The spellcaster level is also used for any cantrips included in the feature.
The monster has a list of spells known or prepared from a specific class. The list might also include spells from a feature in that class, such as the Divine Domain feature of the cleric or the Druid Circle feature of the druid. The monster is considered a member of that class when attuning to or using a magic item that requires membership in the class or access to its spell list.
A monster can cast a spell from its list at a higher level if it has the spell slot to do so. For example, a drow mage with the 3rd-level Lightning Bolt spell can cast it as a 5th-level spell by using one of its 5th-level spell slots. You can change the spells that a monster knows or has prepared, replacing any spell on its spell list with a spell of the same level and from the same class list. If you do so, you might cause the monster to be a greater or lesser threat than suggested by its challenge rating.
A monster that casts spells using only the power of its mind has the psionics tag added to its Spellcasting or Innate Spellcasting special trait. This tag carries no special rules of its own, but other parts of the game might refer to it. A monster that has this tag typically doesn't require any components to cast its spells.
When a monster takes its action, it can choose from the options in the Actions section of its stat block or use one of the actions available to all creatures, such as the Dash or Hide action, as described in the ****.
The most common actions that a monster will take in combat are melee and ranged attacks. These can be spell attacks or weapon attacks, where the "weapon" might be a manufactured item or a natural weapon, such as a claw or tail spike. For more information on different kinds of attacks, see the ****.
The target of a melee or ranged attack is usually either one creature or one target, the difference being that a "target" can be a creature or an object.
Any damage dealt or other effects that occur as a result of an attack hitting a target are described after the "Hit" notation. You have the option of taking average damage or rolling the damage; for this reason, both the average damage and the die expression are presented.
If an attack has an effect that occurs on a miss, that information is presented after the "Miss:" notation.
A creature that can make multiple attacks on its turn has the Multiattack action. A creature can't use Multiattack when making an opportunity attack, which must be a single melee attack.
A monster carries enough ammunition to make its ranged attacks. You can assume that a monster has 2d4 pieces of ammunition for a thrown weapon attack, and 2d10 pieces of ammunition for a projectile weapon such as a bow or crossbow.
If a monster can do something special with its reaction, that information is contained here. If a creature has no special reaction, this section is absent.
Some special abilities have restrictions on the number of times they can be used.
The notation "X/Day" means a special ability can be used X number of times and that a monster must finish a long rest to regain expended uses. For example, "1/Day" means a special ability can be used once and that the monster must finish a long rest to use it again.
The notation "Recharge X-Y" means a monster can use a special ability once and that the ability then has a random chance of recharging during each subsequent round of combat. At the start of each of the monster's turns, roll a d6. If the roll is one of the numbers in the recharge notation, the monster regains the use of the special ability. The ability also recharges when the monster finishes a short or long rest.
For example, "Recharge 5-6" means a monster can use the special ability once. Then, at the start of the monster's turn, it regains the use of that ability if it rolls a 5 or 6 on a d6.
This notation means that a monster can use a special ability once and then must finish a short or long rest to use it again.
Many monsters have special attacks that allow them to quickly grapple prey. When a monster hits with such an attack, it doesn't need to make an additional ability check to determine whether the grapple succeeds, unless the attack says otherwise.
A creature Grappled by the monster can use its action to try to escape. To do so, it must succeed on a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check against the escape DC in the monster's stat block. If no escape DC is given, assume the DC is 10 + the monster's Strength (Athletics) modifier.
A stat block rarely refers to equipment, other than armor or weapons used by a monster. A creature that customarily wears clothes, such as a humanoid, is assumed to be dressed appropriately.
You can equip monsters with additional gear and trinkets however you like, and you decide how much of a monster's equipment is recoverable after the creature is slain and whether any of that equipment is still usable. A battered suit of armor made for a monster is rarely usable by someone else, for instance.
If a spellcasting monster needs material components to cast its spells, assume that it has the material components it needs to cast the spells in its stat block.
A legendary creature can do things that ordinary creatures can't. It can take special actions outside its turn, and it might exert magical influence for miles around.
If a creature assumes the form of a legendary creature, such as through a spell, it doesn't gain that form's legendary actions, lair actions, or regional effects.
A legendary creature can take a certain number of special actions-called legendary actions-outside its turn. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. A creature regains its spent legendary actions at the start of its turn. It can forgo using them, and it can't use them while Incapacitated or otherwise unable to take actions. If surprised, it can't use them until after its first turn in the combat.
A legendary creature might have a section describing its lair and the special effects it can create while there, either by act of will or simply by being present. Such a section applies only to a legendary creature that spends a great deal of time in its lair.
If a legendary creature has lair actions, it can use them to harness the ambient magic in its lair. On initiative count 20 (losing all initiative ties), it can use one of its lair action options. It can't do so while Incapacitated or otherwise unable to take actions. If surprised, it can't use one until after its first turn in the combat.
The mere presence of a legendary creature can have strange and wondrous effects on its environment, as noted in this section. Regional effects end abruptly or dissipate over time when the legendary creature dies.
Conditions alter a creature's capabilities in a variety of ways and can arise as a result of a spell, a class feature, a monster's attack, or other effect. Most conditions, such as Blinded, are impairments, but a few, such as Invisible, can be advantageous. A condition lasts either until it is countered (the Prone condition is countered by standing up, for example) or for a duration specified by the effect that imposed the condition. If multiple effects impose the same condition on a creature, each instance of the condition has its own duration, but the condition's effects don't get worse. A creature either has a condition or doesn't. The following definitions specify what happens to a creature while it is subjected to a condition.
Some special abilities and environmental hazards, such as starvation and the long-term effects of freezing or scorching temperatures, can lead to a special condition called exhaustion. Exhaustion is measured in six levels. An effect can give a creature one or more levels of exhaustion, as specified in the effect's description.
|1||Disadvantage on ability checks|
|3||Disadvantage on attack rolls and saving throws|
|4||Hit point maximum halved|
|5||Speed reduced to 0|
If an already exhausted creature suffers another effect that causes exhaustion, its current level of exhaustion increases by the amount specified in the effect's description.
A creature suffers the effect of its current level of exhaustion as well as all lower levels. For example, a creature suffering level 2 exhaustion has its speed halved and has disadvantage on ability checks.
An effect that removes exhaustion reduces its level as specified in the effect's description, with all exhaustion effects ending if a creature's exhaustion level is reduced below 1.
Finishing a long rest reduces a creature's exhaustion level by 1, provided that the creature has also ingested some food and drink.
Appendix PH-B: Fantasy-Historical Pantheons
The Celtic, Egyptian, Greek, and Norse pantheons are fantasy interpretations of historical religions from our world's ancient times. They include deities that are most appropriate for use in a game, divorced from their historical context in the real world and united into pantheons that serve the needs of the game.
It's said that something wild lurks in the heart of every soul, a space that thrills to the sound of geese calling at night, to the whispering wind through the pines, to the unexpected red of mistletoe on an oak-and it is in this space that the Celtic gods dwell. They sprang from the brook and stream, their might heightened by the strength of the oak and the beauty of the woodlands and open moor. When the first forester dared put a name to the face seen in the bole of a tree or the voice babbling in a brook, these gods forced themselves into being.
The Celtic gods are as often served by druids as by clerics, for they are closely aligned with the forces of nature that druids revere.
The gods of Olympus make themselves known with the gentle lap of waves against the shores and the crash of the thunder among the cloud-enshrouded peaks. The thick boar-infested woods and the sere, olive-covered hillsides hold evidence of their passing. Every aspect of nature echoes with their presence, and they've made a place for themselves inside the human heart, too.
These gods are a young dynasty of an ancient divine family, heirs to the rulership of the cosmos and the maintenance of the divine principle of Ma'at-the fundamental order of truth, justice, law, and order that puts gods, mortal pharaohs, and ordinary men and women in their logical and rightful place in the universe.
The Egyptian pantheon is unusual in having three gods responsible for death, each with different alignments. Anubis is the lawful neutral god of the afterlife, who judges the souls of the dead. Set is a chaotic evil god of murder, perhaps best known for killing his brother Osiris. And Nephthys is a chaotic good goddess of mourning.
Where the land plummets from the snowy hills into the icy fjords below, where the longboats draw up on to the beach, where the glaciers flow forward and retreat with every fall and spring-this is the land of the Vikings, the home of the Norse pantheon. It's a brutal clime, and one that calls for brutal living. The warriors of the land have had to adapt to the harsh conditions in order to survive, but they haven't been too twisted by the needs of their environment. Given the necessity of raiding for food and wealth, it's surprising the mortals turned out as well as they did. Their powers reflect the need these warriors had for strong leadership and decisive action. Thus, they see their deities in every bend of a river, hear them in the crash of the thunder and the booming of the glaciers, and smell them in the smoke of a burning longhouse.
The Norse pantheon includes two main families, the Aesir (deities of war and destiny) and the Vanir (gods of fertility and prosperity). Once enemies, these two families are now closely allied against their common enemies, the giants (including the gods Surtur and Thrym).
|The Daghdha, god of weather and crops||CG||****, ****||Bubbling cauldron or shield|
|Arawn, god of life and death||NE||Life, ****||Black star on gray background|
|Belenus, god of sun, light, and warmth||NG||****||Solar disk and standing stones|
|Brigantia, goddess of rivers and livestock||NG||Life||Footbridge|
|Diancecht, god of medicine and healing||LG||Life||Crossed oak and mistletoe branches|
|Dunatis, god of mountains and peaks||N||****||Red sun-capped mountain peak|
|Goibhniu, god of smiths and healing||NG||****, Life||Giant mallet over sword|
|Lugh, god of arts, travel, and commerce||CN||****, Life||Pair of long hands|
|Manannan mac Lir, god of oceans and sea creatures||LN||****, ****||Wave of white water on green|
|Math Mathonwy, god of magic||NE||****||Staff|
|Morrigan, goddess of battle||CE||****||Two crossed spears|
|Nuada, god of war and warriors||N||****||Silver hand on black background|
|Oghma, god of speech and writing||NG||****||Unfurled scroll|
|Silvanus, god of nature and forests||N||****||Summer oak tree|
|Zeus, god of the sky, ruler of the gods||N||****||Fist full of lightning bolts|
|Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty||CG||****||Sea shell|
|Apollo, god of light, music, and healing||CG||****, Life, ****||Lyre|
|Ares, god of war and strife||CE||****||Spear|
|Artemis, goddess of hunting and childbirth||NG||Life, ****||Bow and arrow on lunar disk|
|Athena, goddess of wisdom and civilization||LG||****, ****||Owl|
|Demeter, goddess of agriculture||NG||Life||Mare's head|
|Dionysus, god of mirth and wine||CN||Life||Thyrsus (staff tipped with pine cone)|
|Hades, god of the underworld||LE||****||Black ram|
|Hecate, goddess of magic and the moon||CE||****, ****||Setting moon|
|Hephaestus, god of smithing and craft||NG||****||Hammer and anvil|
|Hera, goddess of marriage and intrigue||CN||****||Fan of peacock feathers|
|Hercules, god of strength and adventure||CG||****, ****||Lion's head|
|Hermes, god of travel and commerce||CG||****||Caduceus (winged staff and serpents)|
|Hestia, goddess of home and family||NG||Life||Hearth|
|Nike, goddess of victory||LN||****||Winged woman|
|Pan, god of nature||CN||****||Syrinx (pan pipes)|
|Poseidon, god of the sea and earthquakes||CN||****||Trident|
|Tyche, goddess of good fortune||N||****||Red pentagram|
|Re-Horakhty, god of the sun, ruler of the gods||LG||Life, ****||Solar disk encircled by serpent|
|Anubis, god of judgment and death||LN||****||Black jackal|
|Apep, god of evil, fire, and serpents||NE||****||Flaming snake|
|Bast, goddess of cats and vengeance||CG||****||Cat|
|Bes, god of luck and music||CN||****||Image of the misshapen deity|
|Hathor, goddess of love, music, and motherhood||NG||Life, ****||Horned cow's head with lunar disk|
|Imhotep, god of crafts and medicine||NG||****||Step pyramid|
|Isis, goddess of fertility and magic||NG||****, Life||Ankh and star|
|Nephthys, goddess of death and grief||CG||****||Horns around a lunar disk|
|Osiris, god of nature and the underworld||LG||Life, ****||Crook and flail|
|Ptah, god of crafts, knowledge, and secrets||LN||****||Bull|
|Set, god of darkness and desert storms||CE||****, ****, ****||Coiled cobra|
|Sobek, god of water and crocodiles||LE||****, ****||Crocodile head with horns and plumes|
|Thoth, god of knowledge and wisdom||N||****||Ibis|
|Odin, god of knowledge and war||NG||****, ****||Watching blue eye|
|Aegir, god of the sea and storms||NE||****||Rough ocean waves|
|Balder, god of beauty and poetry||NG||Life, ****||Gem-encrusted silver chalice|
|Forseti, god of justice and law||N||****||Head of a bearded man|
|Frey, god of fertility and the sun||NG||Life, ****||Ice-blue greatsword|
|Freya, goddess of fertility and love||NG||Life||Falcon|
|Frigga, goddess of birth and fertility||N||Life, ****||Cat|
|Heimdall, god of watchfulness and loyalty||LG||****, ****||Curling musical horn|
|Hel, goddess of the underworld||NE||****||Woman's face, rotting on one side|
|Hermod, god of luck||CN||****||Winged scroll|
|Loki, god of thieves and trickery||CE||****||Flame|
|Njord, god of sea and wind||NG||****, ****||Gold coin|
|Odur, god of light and the sun||CG||****||Solar disk|
|Sif, goddess of war||CG||****||Upraised sword|
|Skadi, god of earth and mountains||N||****||Mountain peak|
|Surtur, god of fire giants and war||LE||****||Flaming sword|
|Thor, god of storms and thunder||CG||****, ****||Hammer|
|Thrym, god of frost giants and cold||CE||****||White double-bladed axe|
|Tyr, god of courage and strategy||LN||****, ****||Sword|
|Uller, god of hunting and winter||CN||****||Longbow|
The cosmos teems with a multitude of worlds as well as myriad alternate dimensions of reality, called the planes of existence. It encompasses every world where GMs run their adventures, all within the relatively mundane realm of the Material Plane. Beyond that plane are domains of raw elemental matter and energy, realms of pure thought and ethos, the homes of demons and angels, and the dominions of the gods.
Many spells and magic items can draw energy from these planes, summon the creatures that dwell there, communicate with their denizens, and allow adventurers to travel there. As your character achieves greater power and higher levels, you might walk on streets made of solid fire or test your mettle on a battlefield where the fallen are resurrected with each dawn.
The Material Plane is the nexus where the philosophical and elemental forces that define the other planes collide in the jumbled existence of mortal life and mundane matter. All fantasy gaming worlds exist within the Material Plane, making it the starting point for most campaigns and adventures. The rest of the multiverse is defined in relation to the Material Plane.
The worlds of the Material Plane are infinitely diverse, for they reflect the creative imagination of the GMs who set their games there, as well as the players whose heroes adventure there. They include magic-wasted desert planets and island-dotted water worlds, worlds where magic combines with advanced technology and others trapped in an endless Stone Age, worlds where the gods walk and places they have abandoned.
Beyond the Material
Beyond the Material Plane, the various planes of existence are realms of myth and mystery. They're not simply other worlds, but different qualities of being, formed and governed by spiritual and elemental principles abstracted from the ordinary world.
When adventurers travel into other planes of existence, they are undertaking a legendary journey across the thresholds of existence to a mythic destination where they strive to complete their quest. Such a journey is the stuff of legend. Braving the realms of the dead, seeking out the celestial servants of a deity, or bargaining with an efreeti in its home city will be the subject of song and story for years to come.
Travel to the planes beyond the Material Plane can be accomplished in two ways: by casting a spell or by using a planar portal.
Spells. A number of spells allow direct or indirect access to other planes of existence. Plane Shift and Gate can transport adventurers directly to any other plane of existence, with different degrees of precision. Etherealness allows adventurers to enter the Ethereal Plane and travel from there to any of the planes it touches-such as the Elemental Planes. And the Astral Projection spell lets adventurers project themselves into the Astral Plane and travel to the Outer Planes.
Portals. A portal is a general term for a stationary interplanar connection that links a specific location on one plane to a specific location on another. Some portals are like doorways, a clear window, or a fog- shrouded passage, and simply stepping through it effects the interplanar travel. Others are locations- circles of standing stones, soaring towers, sailing ships, or even whole towns-that exist in multiple planes at once or flicker from one plane to another in turn. Some are vortices, typically joining an Elemental Plane with a very similar location on the Material Plane, such as the heart of a volcano (leading to the Plane of Fire) or the depths of the ocean (to the Plane of Water).
The Ethereal Plane and the Astral Plane are called the Transitive Planes. They are mostly featureless realms that serve primarily as ways to travel from one plane to another. Spells such as Etherealness and Astral Projection allow characters to enter these planes and traverse them to reach the planes beyond.
The Ethereal Plane is a misty, fog-bound dimension that is sometimes described as a great ocean. Its shores, called the Border Ethereal, overlap the Material Plane and the Inner Planes, so that every location on those planes has a corresponding location on the Ethereal Plane. Certain creatures can see into the Border Ethereal, and the See Invisibility and True Seeing spell grant that ability. Some magical effects also extend from the Material Plane into the Border Ethereal, particularly effects that use force energy such as Forcecage and Wall of Force. The depths of the plane, the Deep Ethereal, are a region of swirling mists and colorful fogs.
The Astral Plane is the realm of thought and dream, where visitors travel as disembodied souls to reach the planes of the divine and demonic. It is a great, silvery sea, the same above and below, with swirling wisps of white and gray streaking among motes of light resembling distant stars. Erratic whirlpools of color flicker in midair like spinning coins. Occasional bits of solid matter can be found here, but most of the Astral Plane is an endless, open domain.
The Inner Planes surround and enfold the Material Plane and its echoes, providing the raw elemental substance from which all the worlds were made. The four Elemental Planes-Air, Earth, Fire, and Water-form a ring around the Material Plane, suspended within the churning Elemental Chaos.
At their innermost edges, where they are closest to the Material Plane (in a conceptual if not a literal geographical sense), the four Elemental Planes resemble a world in the Material Plane. The four elements mingle together as they do in the Material Plane, forming land, sea, and sky. Farther from the Material Plane, though, the Elemental Planes are both alien and hostile. Here, the elements exist in their purest form-great expanses of solid earth, blazing fire, crystal-clear water, and unsullied air. These regions are little-known, so when discussing the Plane of Fire, for example, a speaker usually means just the border region. At the farthest extents of the Inner Planes, the pure elements dissolve and bleed together into an unending tumult of clashing energies and colliding substance, the Elemental Chaos.
If the Inner Planes are the raw matter and energy that makes up the multiverse, the Outer Planes are the direction, thought and purpose for such construction. Accordingly, many sages refer to the Outer Planes as divine planes, spiritual planes, or godly planes, for the Outer Planes are best known as the homes of deities.
When discussing anything to do with deities, the language used must be highly metaphorical. Their actual homes are not literally "places" at all, but exemplify the idea that the Outer Planes are realms of thought and spirit. As with the Elemental Planes, one can imagine the perceptible part of the Outer Planes as a sort of border region, while extensive spiritual regions lie beyond ordinary sensory experience.
Even in those perceptible regions, appearances can be deceptive. Initially, many of the Outer Planes appear hospitable and familiar to natives of the Material Plane. But the landscape can change at the whims of the powerful forces that live on the Outer Planes. The desires of the mighty forces that dwell on these planes can remake them completely, effectively erasing and rebuilding existence itself to better fulfill their own needs.
Distance is a virtually meaningless concept on the Outer Planes. The perceptible regions of the planes often seem quite small, but they can also stretch on to what seems like infinity. It might be possible to take a guided tour of Hell, from the first layer to the last, in a single day-if the powers of Hell desire it. Or it could take weeks for travelers to make a grueling trek across a single layer.
The most well-known Outer Planes are a group of sixteen planes that correspond to the eight alignments (excluding neutrality) and the shades of distinction between them.
The planes with some element of good in their nature are called the Upper Planes. Celestial creatures such as angels and pegasi dwell in the Upper Planes. Planes with some element of evil are the Lower Planes. Fiends such as demons and devils dwell in the Lower Planes. A plane's alignment is its essence, and a character whose alignment doesn't match the plane's experiences a profound sense of dissonance there.
Demiplanes are small extradimensional spaces with their own unique rules. They are pieces of reality that don't seem to fit anywhere else. Demiplanes come into being by a variety of means. Some are created by spells, such as Demiplane, or generated at the desire of a powerful deity or other force. They may exist naturally, as a fold of existing reality that has been pinched off from the rest of the multiverse, or as a baby universe growing in power. A given demiplane can be entered through a single point where it touches another plane. Theoretically, a Plane Shift spell can also carry travelers to a demiplane, but the proper frequency required for the tuning fork is extremely hard to acquire. The Gate spell is more reliable, assuming the caster knows of the demiplane.
This appendix contains statistics for various humanoid nonplayer characters (NPCs) that adventurers might encounter during a campaign, including lowly commoners and mighty archmages. These stat blocks can be used to represent both human and nonhuman NPCs. Customizing NPCs There are many easy ways to customize the NPCs in this appendix for your home campaign.
Racial Traits. You can add racial traits to an NPC. For example, a halfling druid might have a speed of 25 feet and the Lucky trait. Adding racial traits to an NPC doesn't alter its challenge rating. For more on racial traits, see the ****.
Spell Swaps. One way to customize an NPC spellcaster is to replace one or more of its spells. You can substitute any spell on the NPC's spell list with a different spell of the same level from the same spell list. Swapping spells in this manner doesn't alter an NPC's challenge rating.
Armor and Weapon Swaps. You can upgrade or downgrade an NPC's armor, or add or switch weapons. Adjustments to Armor Class and damage can change an NPC's challenge rating.
Magic Items. The more powerful an NPC, the more likely it has one or more magic items in its possession. An archmage, for example, might have a magic staff or wand, as well as one or more potions and scrolls. Giving an NPC a potent damage-dealing magic item could alter its challenge rating.