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Introduction

The Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game is about storytelling in worlds of swords and sorcery. It shares elements with childhood games of make-believe. Like those games, D&D is driven by imagination. It's about picturing the towering castle beneath the stormy night sky and imagining how a fantasy adventurer might react to the challenges that scene presents.

Unlike a game of make-believe, D&D gives structure to the stories, a way of determining the consequences of the adventurers' action. Players roll dice to resolve whether their attacks hit or miss or whether their adventurers can scale a cliff, roll away from the strike of a magical lightning bolt, or pull off some other dangerous task. Anything is possible, but the dice make some outcomes more probable than others.

In the Dungeons & Dragons game, each player creates an adventurer (also called a character) and teams up with other adventurers (played by friends).

Working together, the group might explore a dark dungeon, a ruined city, a haunted castle, a lost temple deep in a jungle, or a lava-filled cavern beneath a mysterious mountain. The adventurers can solve puzzles, talk with other characters, battle fantastic monsters, and discover fabulous magic items and other treasure.

One player, however, takes on the role of the Dungeon Master (DM), the game's lead storyteller and referee.

The DM creates adventures for the characters, who navigate its hazards and decide which paths to explore. The DM might describe the entrance to Castle Ravenloft, and the players decide what they want their adventurers to do. Will they walk across the dangerously weathered drawbridge? Tie themselves together with rope to minimize the chance that someone will fall if the drawbridge gives way? Or cast a spell to carry them over the chasm? Then the DM determines the results of the adventurers' actions and narrates what they experience. Because the DM can improvise to react to anything the players attempt, D&D is infinitely flexible, and each adventure can be exciting and unexpected.

The game has no real end; when one story or quest wraps up, another one can begin, creating an ongoing story called a campaign. Many people who play the game keep their campaigns going for months or years, meeting with their friends every week or so to pick up the story where they left off. The adventurers grow in might as the campaign continues. Each monster defeated, each adventure completed, and each treasure recovered not only adds to the continuing story, but also earns the adventurers new capabilities. This increase in power is reflected by an adventurer's level.

There's no winning and losing in the Dungeons & Dragons game—at least, not the way those terms are usually understood. Together, the DM and the players create an exciting story of bold adventurers who confront deadly perils. Sometimes an adventurer might come to a grisly end, torn apart by ferocious monsters or done in by a nefarious villain. Even so, the other adventurers can search for powerful magic to revive their fallen comrade, or the player might choose to create a new character to carry on. The group might fail to complete an adventure successfully, but if everyone had a good time and created a memorable story, they all win.

Worlds of Adventure

The many worlds of the Dungeons & Dragons game are places of magic and monsters, of brave warriors and spectacular adventures. They begin with a foundation of medieval fantasy and then add the creatures, places, and magic that make these worlds unique.

The worlds of the Dungeons & Dragons game exist within a vast cosmos called the {@b multiverse}, connected in strange and mysterious ways to one another and 10 other planes or existence, such as the Elemental Plane of Fire and the infinite Depths of the Abyss. Within this multiverse are an endless variety of worlds.

Many of them have been published as official settings for the D&D game. The legends of the Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Greyhawk, Dark Sun, Mystara, and Eberron settings are woven together in the fabric of the multiverse. Alongside these worlds are hundreds of thousands more, created by generations of D&D players for their own games. And amid all the richness of the multiverse, you might create a world of your own.

All these worlds share characteristics, but each world is set apart by its own history and cultures, distinctive monsters and races, fantastic geography, ancient dungeons, and scheming villains. Some races have unusual traits in different worlds. The halflings of the Dark Sun setting, for example, are Jungle-dwelling cannibals, and the elves are desert nomads. Some worlds feature races unknown in other settings, such as Eberron's war-forged, soldiers created and imbued with life to fight in the Last War. Some worlds are dominated by one great story, like the War of the Lance that plays a central role in the Dragonlance setting. But they're all D&D worlds, and you can use the rules in this book to create a character and play in any one of them.

Your DM might set the campaign on one of these worlds or on one that he or she created. Because there is so much diversity among the worlds of D&D, you should check with your DM about any house rules that will affect your play or the game. Ultimately, the Dungeon Master is the authority on the campaign and its setting, even if the setting is a published world.

Using this Book

The Player's Handbook is divided into three parts.

{@b Part 1} is about creating a character, providing the rules and guidance you need to make the character you'll play in the game. It includes information on the various races. classes, backgrounds, equipment, and other customization options that you can choose from. Many of the rules in part 1 rely on material in parts 2 and 3. If you come across a game concept in part 1 that you don't understand, consult the book's index.

{@b Part 2} details the rules of how to play the game, beyond the basics described in this introduction. That part covers the kinds of die rolls you make to determine success or failure at the tasks your character attempts, and describes the three broad categories of activity in the game; exploration, interaction, and combat.

{@b Part 3} is all about magic. It covers the nature of magic in the worlds of D&D, the rules for spellcasting, and the huge variety of spells available to magic-using characters (and monsters) in the game.

How to Play

{@b 1. The DM describes the environment.} The DM tells the players where their adventurers are and what's around them, presenting the basic scope of options that present themselves (how many doors lead out of a room, what's on a table, who's in the tavern, and so on).

{@b 2. The players describe what they want to do.} Sometimes one player speaks for the whole party, saying, "We'll take the east door," for example. Other times, different adventurers do different things: one adventurer might search a treasure chest while a second examines an esoteric symbol engraved on a wall and a third keeps watch for monsters. The players don't need to take turns, but the DM listens to every player and decides how to resolve those actions.

Sometimes, resolving a task is easy. If an adventurer wants to walk across a room and open a door, the DM might just say that the door opens and describe what lies beyond. But the door might be locked, the floor might hide a deadly trap, or some other circumstance might make it challenging for an adventurer to complete a task. In those cases, the DM decides what happens, often relying on the roll of a die to determine the results of an action.

{@b 3. The DM narrates the results of the adventurers' actions.} Describing the results often leads to another decision point, which brings the flow of the game right back to step 1.

This pattern holds whether the adventurers are cautiously exploring a ruin, talking to a devious prince, or locked in mortal combat against a mighty dragon.

In certain situations, particularly combat, the action is more structured and the players (and DM) do take turns choosing and resolving actions. But most of the time, play is fluid and flexible, adapting to the circumstances of the adventure.

Often the action of an adventure takes place in the imagination of the players and DM, relying on the DM's verbal descriptions to set the scene. Some DMs like to use music, art, or recorded sound effects to help set the mood, and many players and DMs alike adopt different voices for the various adventurers, monsters, and other characters they play in the game. Sometimes, a DM might lay out a map and use tokens or miniature figures to represent each creature involved in a scene to help the players keep track of where everyone is.

Game Dice

The game uses polyhedral dice with different numbers of sides. You can find dice like these in game stores and in many bookstores.

In these rules, the different dice are referred to by the letter {@b d} followed by the number of sides - d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20. For instance, a d6 is a six-sided die (the typical cube that many games use).

Percentile dice, or d100, work a little differently. You generate a number between 1 and 100 by rolling two different ten-sided dice numbered from 0 to 9.

One die (designated before you roll) gives the tens digit, and the other gives the ones digit. If you roll a 7 and a 1, for example, the number rolled is 71. Two 0s represent 100. Some ten-sided dice are numbered in tens (00, 10, 20, and so on), making it easier to distinguish the tens digit from the ones digit. In this case, a roll of 70 and 1 is 71, and 00 and 0 is 100.

When you need to roll dice, the rules tell you how many dice to roll of a certain type, as well as what modifiers to add. For example, "3d8 + 5" means you roll three eight-sided dice, add them together, and add 5 to the total.

The same d notation appears in the expressions "1d3" and "1d2." To simulate the roll of 1d3, roll a d6 and divide the number rolled by 2 (round up). To simulate the roll of 1d2, roll any die and assign a 1 or 2 to the roll depending on whether it was odd or even. (Alternatively, if the number rolled is more than half the number of sides on the die, it's a 2.)

The D20

Does an adventurer's sword swing hurt a dragon or just bounce off its iron-hard scales? Will the ogre believe an outrageous bluff? Can a character swim across a raging river? Can a character avoid the main blast of a fireball, or does he or she take full damage from the blaze? In cases where the outcome of an action is uncertain, the Dungeons & Dragons game relies on rolls of a 20-sided die, a d20, to determine success or failure.

Every character and monster in the game has capabilities defined by six {@b ability scores}. The abilities are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, and they typically range from 3 to 18 for most adventurers. (Monsters might have scores as low as 1 or as high as 30.) These ability scores, and the ability modifiers derived from them, are the basis for almost every d20 roll that a player makes on a character's or monster's behalf.

Ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws are the three main kinds of d20 rolls, forming the core of the rules of the game. All three follow these simple steps.

{@b 1. Roll the die and add a modifier.} Roll a d20 and add the relevant modifier. This is typically the modifier derived from one of the six ability scores, and it sometimes includes a proficiency bonus to reflect a character's particular skill. (See chapter 1 for details on each ability and how to determine an ability's modifier.)

{@b 2. Apply circumstantial bonuses and penalties.} A class feature, a spell, a particular circumstance, or some other effect might give a bonus or penalty to the check.

{@b 3. Compare the total to a target number.} If the total equals or exceeds the target number, the ability check, attack roll, or saving throw is a success. Otherwise, it's a failure. The DM is usually the one who determines target numbers and tells players whether their ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws succeed or fail.

The target number for an ability check or a saving throw is called a {@b Difficulty Class} (DC). The target number for an attack roll is called an {@b Armor Class} (AC).

This simple rule governs the resolution of most tasks in D&D play. Chapter 7 provides more detailed rules for using the d20 in the game.

Advantage and Disadvantage

Sometimes an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw is modified by special situations called advantage and disadvantage. Advantage reflects the positive circumstances surrounding a d20 roll, while disadvantage reflects the opposite. When you have either advantage or disadvantage, 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, 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.

More detailed rules for advantage and disadvantage are presented in chapter 7.

Specific Beats General

This book contains rules, especially in parts 2 and 3, that govern how the game plays. That said, many racial traits, class features, spells, magic items, monster abilities, and other game elements break the general rules in some way, creating an exception to how the rest of the game works. Remember this: If a specific rule contradicts a general rule, the specific rule wins.

Exceptions to the rules are often minor. For instance, many adventurers don't have proficiency with longbows, but every wood elf does because of a racial trait. That trait creates a minor exception in the game. Other examples of rule-breaking are more conspicuous. For instance, an adventurer can't normally pass through walls, but some spells make that possible. Magic accounts for most of the major exceptions to the rules.

Round Down

There's one more general rule you need to know at the outset. Whenever you divide a number in the game, round down if you end up with a fraction, even if the fraction is one-half or greater.

Adventures

The Dungeons & Dragons game consists of a group of characters embarking on an adventure that the Dungeon Master presents to them. Each character brings particular capabilities to the adventure in the form of ability scores and skills, class features, racial traits, equipment, and magic items. Every character is different, with various strengths and weaknesses, so the best party of adventurers is one in which the characters complement each other and cover the weaknesses of their companions. The adventurers must cooperate to successfully complete the adventure.

The adventure is the heart of the game, a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. An adventure might be created by the Dungeon Master or purchased off the shelf, tweaked and modified to suit the DM's needs and desires. In either case, an adventure features a fantastic setting, whether it's an underground dungeon, a crumbling castle, a stretch of wilderness, or a bustling city. It features a rich cast of characters: the adventurers created and played by the other players at the table, as well as nonplayer characters (NPCs). Those characters might be patrons, allies, enemies, hirelings, or just background extras in an adventure. Often, one of the NPCs is a villain whose agenda drives much of an adventure's action.

Over the course of their adventures, the characters are confronted by a variety of creatures, objects, and situations that they must deal with in some way. Sometimes the adventurers and other creatures do their best to kill or capture each other in combat. At other times, the adventurers talk to another creature (or even a magical object) with a goal in mind. And often, the adventurers spend time trying to solve a puzzle, bypass an obstacle, find something hidden, or unravel the current situation. Meanwhile, the adventurers explore the world, making decisions about which way to travel and what they'll try to do next.

Adventures vary in length and complexity. A short adventure might present only a few challenges, and it might take no more than a single game session to complete. A long adventure can involve hundreds of combats, interactions, and other challenges, and take dozens of sessions to play through, stretching over weeks or months of real time. Usually, the end of an adventure is marked by the adventurers heading back to civilization to rest and enjoy the spoils of their labors.

But that's not the end of the story. You can think of an adventure as a single episode of a TV series, made up of multiple exciting scenes. A campaign is the whole series—a string of adventures joined together, with a consistent group of adventurers following the narrative from start to finish.

The Three Pillars of Adventure

Adventurers can try to do anything their players can imagine, but it can be helpful to talk about their activities in three broad categories: exploration, social interaction, and combat.

{@b Exploration} includes both the adventurers' movement through the world and their interaction with objects and situations that require their attention. Exploration is the give-and-take of the players describing what they want their characters to do, and the Dungeon Master telling the players what happens as a result.

On a large scale, that might involve the characters spending a day crossing a rolling plain or an hour making their way through caverns underground. On the smallest scale, it could mean one character pulling a lever in a dungeon room to see what happens.

{@b Social-interaction} features the adventurers talking to someone (or something) else. It might mean demanding that a captured scout reveal the secret entrance to the goblin lair, getting information from a rescued prisoner, pleading for mercy from an orc chieftain, or persuading a talkative magic mirror to show a distant location to the adventurers.

The rules in chapters 7 and 8 support exploration and social interaction, as do many class features in chapter 3 and personality traits in chapter 4.

{@b Combat,} the focus of chapter 9, involves characters and other creatures swinging weapons, casting spells, maneuvering for position, and so on-all in an effort to defeat their opponents, whether that means killing every enemy, taking captives, or forcing a rout. Combat is the most structured element of a D&D session, with creatures taking turns to make sure that everyone gets a chance to act. Even in the context of a pitched battle, there's still plenty of opportunity for adventurers to attempt wacky stunts like surfing down a flight of stairs on a shield, to examine the environment (perhaps by pulling a mysterious lever), and to interact with other creatures, including allies, enemies, and neutral parties.

The Wonders of Magic

Few D&D adventures end without something magical happening. Whether helpful or harmful, magic appears frequently in the life of an adventurer, and it is the focus of chapters 10 and 11.

In the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, practitioners of magic are rare, set apart from the masses of people by their extraordinary talent. Common folk might see evidence of magic on a regular basis, but it's usually minor—a fantastic monster, a visibly answered prayer, a wizard walking through the streets with an animated shield guardian as a bodyguard.

For adventurers, though, magic is key to their survival. Without the healing magic of clerics and paladins, adventurers would quickly succumb to their wounds. Without the uplifting magical support of bards and clerics, warriors might be overwhelmed by powerful foes. Without the sheer magical power and versatility of wizards and druids, every threat would be magnified tenfold.

Magic is also a favored tool of villains. Many adventures are driven by the machinations of spellcasters who are hellbent on using magic for some ill end. A cult leader seeks to awaken a god who slumbers beneath the sea, a hag kidnaps youths to magically drain them of their vigor, a mad wizard labors to invest an army of automatons with a facsimile of life, a dragon begins a mystical ritual to rise up as a god of destruction—these are just a few of the magical threats that adventurers might face. With magic of their own, in the form of spells and magic items, the adventurers might prevail!

Step-by-Step Characters

Your first step in playing an adventurer in the Dungeons & Dragons game is to imagine and create a character of your own. Your character is a combination of various statistics, roleplaying hooks, and your imagination. You choose a race (such as human or halfling) and a class (such as fighter or wizard). You also invent the personality, appearance, and backstory of your character. Once completed, your character serves as your representative in the game, your avatar in the Dungeons & Dragons world.

Before you dive into step 1 below, think about the kind of adventurer you want to play. You might be a courageous fighter, a skulking rogue, a fervent cleric, or a flamboyant wizard. Or you might be more interested in an unconventional character, such as a brave rogue who likes hand-to-hand combat, or a sharpshooter who picks off enemies from afar. Do you like fantasy fiction featuring dwarves or elves? Try building a character of one of those races. Do you want your character to be the toughest adventurer at the table? Consider a class like barbarian or paladin. If you don't know where else to begin, take a look at the illustrations in this book to see what catches your interest.

Once you have a character in mind, roll on these steps in order, making decisions that reflect the character you want. Your conception of your character might evolve with each choice you make. What's important is that you come to the table with a character you're excited to play.

Throughout this chapter, we use the term {@b character sheet} to mean whatever you use to track your character, whether it's a formal character sheet (like the one at the end of this book), some form of digital record, or a piece of notebook paper. An official D&D character sheet is a fine place to start until you know what information you need and how you use it during the game.

Building Bruenor

Each step of character creation includes an example of that step, with a player named Bob building his dwarf character, Bruenor.

1. Choose a Race

Every character belongs to a race, one of the many intelligent humanoid species in the D&D world. The most common player character races are dwarves, elves, halflings, and humans. Some races also have {@b subraces}, such as mountain dwarf or wood elf. Chapter 2 provides more information about these races.

The race you choose contributes to your character's identity in an important way, by establishing a general appearance and the natural talents gained from culture and ancestry. Your character's race grants particular racial traits, such as special senses, proficiency with certain weapons or tools, proficiency in one or more skills, or the ability to use minor spells. These traits sometimes dovetail with the capabilities of certain classes (see step 2). For example, the racial traits of lightfoot halflings make them exceptional rogues, and high elves tend to be powerful wizards. Sometimes playing against type can be fun, too. Halfling paladins and mountain dwarf wizards, for example, can be unusual but memorable characters.

Your race also increases one or more of your ability scores, which you determine in step 3. Note these increases and remember to apply them later.

Record the traits granted by your race on your character sheet. Be sure to note your starting languages and your base speed as well.

2. Choose a Class

Every adventurer is a member of a class. Class broadly describes a character's vocation, what special talents he or she possesses, and the tactics he or she is most likely to employ when exploring a dungeon, fighting monsters, or engaging in a tense negotiation. The character classes are described in chapter 3.

Your character receives a number of benefits from your choice of class. Many of these benefits are {@b class features}-capabilities (including spellcasting) that set your character apart from members of other classes. You also gain a number of {@b proficiencies:} armor, weapons, skills, saving throws, and sometimes tools. Your proficiencies define many of the things your character can do particularly well, from using certain weapons to telling a convincing lie.

On your character sheet, record all the features that your class gives you at 1st level.

Level

Typically, a character starts at 1st level and advances in level by adventuring and gaining {@b experience points} (XP). A 1st-level character is inexperienced in the adventuring world, although he or she might have been a soldier or a pirate and done dangerous things before.

Starting off at 1st level marks your character's entry into the adventuring life. If you're already familiar with the game, or if you are joining an existing D&D campaign, your DM might decide to have you begin at a higher level, on the assumption that your character has already survived a few harrowing adventures.

Record your level on your character sheet. If you're starting at a higher level, record the additional elements your class gives you for your levels past 1st. Also record your experience points. A 1st-level character has 0 XP. A higher-level character typically begins with the minimum amount of XP required to reach that level (see "Beyond 1st Level" later in this chapter).

Quick Build

Each class description in chapter 3 includes a section offering suggestions to quickly build a character of that class, including how to assign your highest ability scores, a background suitable to the class, and starting spells.

Hit Points and Hit Dice

Your character's hit points define how tough your character is in combat and other dangerous situations. Your hit points are determined by your Hit Dice (short for Hit Point Dice).

At 1st level, your character has 1 Hit Die, and the die type is determined by your class. You start with hit points equal to the highest roll of that die, as indicated in your class description. (You also add your Constitution modifier, which you'll determine in step 3.) This is also your {@b hit point maximum}.

Record your character's hit points on your character sheet. Also record the type of Hit Die your character uses and the number of Hit Dice you have. After you rest, you can spend Hit Dice to regain hit points (see "Resting" in chapter 8).

Proficiency Bonus

The table that appears in your class description shows your proficiency bonus, which is +2 for a 1st-level character. Your proficiency bonus applies to many of the numbers you'll be recording on your character sheet:

Your class determines your weapon proficiencies, your saving throw proficiencies, and some of your skill and tool proficiencies. (Skills are described in chapter 7, tools in chapter 5.) Your background gives you additional skill and tool proficiencies, and some races give you more proficiencies. Be sure to note all of these proficiencies, as well as your proficiency bonus, on your character sheet.

Your proficiency bonus can't be added to a single die roll or other number more than once. Occasionally, your proficiency bonus might be modified (doubled or halved, for example) before you apply it. If a circumstance suggests that your proficiency bonus applies more than once to the same roll or that it should be multiplied more than once, you nevertheless add it only once, multiply it only once, and halve it only once.

Building Bruenor, Step 2

Bob imagines Bruenor charging into battle with an axe, one horn on his helmet broken off. He makes Bruenor a fighter and notes the fighter's proficiencies and 1st-level class features on his character sheet.

As a 1st-level fighter, Bruenor has 1 Hit Die—a d10 and starts with hit points equal to 10 + his Constitution modifier. Bob notes this, and will record the final number after he determines Bruenor's Constitution score (see step 3). Bob also notes the proficiency bonus for a 1st-level character, which is +2.

3. Determine Ability Scores

Much of what your character does in the game depends on his or her six abilities: {@b Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.} Each ability has a score, which is a number you record on your character sheet.

The six abilities and their use in the game are described in chapter 7. The Ability Score Summary table provides a quick reference for what qualities are measured by each ability, what races increases which abilities, and what classes consider each ability particularly important.

You generate your character's six {@b ability scores} randomly. Roll four 6-sided dice and record the total of the highest three dice on a piece of scratch paper. Do this five more times, so that you have six numbers. If you want to save time or don't like the idea of randomly determining ability scores, you can use the following scores instead: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8.

Now take your six numbers and write each number beside one of your character's six abilities to assign scores to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Afterward, make any changes to your ability scores as a result of your race choice.

After assigning your ability scores, determine your {@b ability modifiers} using the Ability Scores and Modifiers table. To determine an ability modifier without consulting the table, subtract 10 from the ability score and then divide the result by 2 (round down). Write the modifier next to each of your scores.

Ability Score Summary

Ability Score Summary
{@b Strength}
{@i Measures:} Natural athleticism, bodily power{@i Important for:} Barbarian, fighter, paladin{@filter Races that have a bonus to Strength|races|Ability Bonus (Including Subrace)=Strength +2;Strength +1}

Ability Score Summary

Ability Score Summary
{@b Dexterity}
{@i Measures:} Physical agility, reflexes, balance, poise{@i Important for:} Monk, ranger, rogue{@filter Races that have a bonus to Dexterity|races|Ability Bonus (Including Subrace)=Dexterity +2;Dexterity +1}

Ability Score Summary

Ability Score Summary
{@b Constitution}
{@i Measures:} Health, stamina, vital force{@i Important for:} Everyone{@filter Races that have a bonus to Constitution|races|Ability Bonus (Including Subrace)=Constitution +2;Constitution +1}

Ability Score Summary

Ability Score Summary
{@b Intelligence}
{@i Measures:} Mental acuity, information recall, analytical skill{@i Important for:} Wizard{@filter Races that have a bonus to Intelligence|races|Ability Bonus (Including Subrace)=Intelligence +2;Intelligence +1}

Ability Score Summary

Ability Score Summary
{@b Wisdom}
{@i Measures:} Awareness, intuition, insight{@i Important for:} Cleric, druid{@filter Races that have a bonus to Wisdom|races|Ability Bonus (Including Subrace)=Wisdom +2;Wisdom +1}

Ability Score Summary

Ability Score Summary
{@b Charisma}
{@i Measures:} Confidence, eloquence, leadership{@i Important for:} Bard, sorcerer, warlock{@filter Races that have a bonus to Charisma|races|Ability Bonus (Including Subrace)=Charisma +2;Charisma +1}

Building Bruenor, Step 3

Bob decides to use the standard set of scores (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) for Bruenor's abilities. Since he's a fighter, he puts his highest score, 15, in Strength. His next highest, 14, goes in Constitution. Bruenor might be a brash fighter, but Bob decides he wants the dwarf to be older, wiser, and a good leader, so he puts decent scores in Wisdom and Charisma. After applying his racial benefits (increasing Bruenor's Constitution by 2 and his Strength by 2), Bruenor's ability scores and modifiers look like this: Strength 17 (+3), Dexterity 10 (+0), Constitution 16 (+3), Intelligence 8 (-1), Wisdom 13 (+1), Charisma 12 (+1).

Bob fills in Bruenor's final hit points: 10 + his Constitution modifier of +3, for a total of 13 hit points.

Variant: Customizing Ability Scores

At your Dungeon Master's option, you can use this variant for determining your ability scores. The method described here allows you to build a character with a set of ability scores you choose individually.

You have 27 points to spend on your ability scores. The cost of each score is shown on the Ability Score Point Cost table. For example, a score of 14 costs 7 points. Using this method, 15 is the highest ability score you can end up with, before applying racial increases. You can't have a score lower than 8.

This method of determining ability scores enables you to create a set of three high numbers and three low ones (15, 15, 15, 8, 8, 8), a set of numbers that are above average and nearly equal (13, 13, 13, 12, 12, 12), or any set of numbers between those extremes.

Ability Score Point Cost

Ability Score Point Cost
ScoreCostScoreCost
80124
91135
102147
113159

Ability Scores and Modifiers

Ability Scores and Modifiers
ScoreModifierScoreModifier
1-516-17+3
2-3-418-19+4
4-5-320-21+5
6-7-222-23+6
8-9-124-25+7
10-11+026-27+8
12-13+128-29+9
14-15+230+10

4. Describe Your Character

Once you know the basic game aspects of your character, it's time to flesh him or her out as a person. Your character needs a name. Spend a few minutes thinking about what he or she looks like and how he or she behaves in general terms.

Using the information in chapter 4, you can flesh out your character's physical appearance and personality traits. Choose your character's {@b alignment} (the moral compass that guides his or her decisions) and {@b ideals}. Chapter 4 also helps you identify the things your character holds most dear, called {@b bonds}, and the {@b flaws} that could one day undermine him or her.

Your character's {@b background} describes where he or she came from, his or her original occupation, and the character's place in the D&D world.

Your DM might offer additional backgrounds beyond the ones included in chapter 4, and might be willing to work with you to craft a background that's a more precise fit for your character concept.

A background gives your character a background feature (a general benefit) and proficiency in two skills, and it might also give you additional languages or proficiency with certain kinds of tools. Record this information, along with the personality information you develop, on your character sheet.

Your Character's Abilities

Take your character's ability scores and race into account as you flesh out his or her appearance and personality. A very strong character with low Intelligence might think and behave very differently from a very smart character with low Strength.

For example, high {@b Strength} usually corresponds with a burly or athletic body, while a character with low Strength might be scrawny or plump.

A character with high {@b Dexterity} is probably lithe and slim, while a character with low Dexterity might be either gangly and awkward or heavy and thick-fingered.

A character with high {@b Constitution} usually looks healthy, with bright eyes and abundant energy. A character with low Constitution might be sickly or frail.

A character with high {@b Intelligence} might be highly inquisitive and studious, while a character with low Intelligence might speak simply or easily forget details.

A character with high {@b Wisdom} has good judgment, empathy, and a general awareness of what's going on. A character with low Wisdom might be absent-minded, foolhardy, or oblivious.

A character with high {@b Charisma} exudes confidence, which is usually mixed with a graceful or intimidating presence. A character with a low Charisma might come across as abrasive, inarticulate, or timid.

Building Bruenor, Step 4

Bob fills in some of Bruenor's basic details: his name, his sex (male), his height and weight, and his alignment (lawful good). His high Strength and Constitution suggest a healthy, athletic body, and his low Intelligence suggests a degree of forgetfulness.

Bob decides that Bruenor comes from a noble line, but his clan was expelled from its homeland when Bruenor was very young. He grew up working as a smith in the remote villages of Icewind Dale. But Bruenor has a heroic destiny—to reclaim his homeland—so Bob chooses the folk hero background for his dwarf. He notes the proficiencies and special feature this background gives him.

Bob has a pretty clear picture of Bruenor's personality in mind, so he skips the personality traits suggested in the folk hero background, noting instead that Bruenor is a caring, sensitive dwarf who genuinely loves his friends and allies, but he hides this soft heart behind a gruff, snarling demeanor. He chooses the ideal of fairness from the list in his background, noting that Bruenor believes that no one is above the law.

Given his history, Bruenor's bond is obvious: he aspires to someday reclaim Mithral Hall, his homeland, from the shadow dragon that drove the dwarves out.

His flaw is tied to his caring, sensitive nature—he has a soft spot for orphans and wayward souls, leading him to show mercy even when it might not be warranted.

5. Choose Equipment

Your class and background determine your character's {@b starting equipment}, including weapons, armor, and other adventuring gear. Record this equipment on your character sheet. All such items are detailed in chapter 5.

Instead of taking the gear given to you by your class and background, you can purchase your starting equipment. You have a number of {@b gold pieces} (gp) to spend based on your class, as shown in chapter 5. Extensive lists of equipment, with prices, also appear in that chapter.

If you wish, you can also have one trinket at no cost (see the Trinkets table at the end of chapter 5).

Your Strength score limits the amount of gear you can carry. Try not to purchase equipment with a total weight (in pounds) exceeding your Strength score times 15. Chapter 7 has more information on carrying capacity.

Armor Class

Your {@b Armor Class} (AC) represents how well your character avoids being wounded in battle. Things that contribute to your AC include the armor you wear, the shield you carry, and your Dexterity modifier. Not all characters wear armor or carry shields, however.

Without armor or a shield, your character's AC equals 10 + his or her Dexterity modifier. If your character wears armor, carries a shield, or both, calculate your AC using the rules in chapter 5. Record your AC on your character sheet.

Your character needs to be proficient with armor and shields to wear and use them effectively, and your armor and shield proficiencies are determined by your class.

There are drawbacks to wearing armor or carrying a shield if you lack the required proficiency, as explained in chapter 5.

Some spells and class features give you a different way to calculate your AC. If you have multiple features that give you different ways to calculate your AC, you choose which one to use.

Weapons

For each weapon your character wields, calculate the modifier you use when you attack with the weapon and the damage you deal when you hit.

When you make an attack with a weapon, you roll a d20 and add your proficiency bonus (but only if you are proficient with the weapon) and the appropriate ability modifier.

Building Bruenor, Step 5

Bob writes down the starting equipment from the fighter class and the folk hero background. His starting equipment includes chain mail and a shield, which combine to give Bruenor an Armor Class of 18.

For Bruenor's weapons, Bob chooses a battleaxe and two handaxes. His battleaxe is a melee weapon, so Bruenor uses his Strength modifier for his attacks and damage. His attack bonus is his Strength modifier (+3) plus his proficiency bonus (+2), for a total of +5.

The battleaxe deals 1d8 slashing damage, and Bruenor adds his Strength modifier to the damage when he hits, for a total of 1d8 + 3 slashing damage. When throwing a handaxe, Bruenor has the same attack bonus (handaxes, as thrown weapons, use Strength for attacks and damage), and the weapon deals 1d6 + 3 slashing damage when it hits.

6. Come Together

Most D&D characters don't work alone. Each character plays a role within a {@b party,} a group of adventurers working together for a common purpose. Teamwork and cooperation greatly improve your party's chances to survive the many perils in the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons. Talk to your fellow players and your DM to decide whether your characters know one another, how they met, and what sorts of quests the group might undertake.

Beyond 1st Level

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 {@b 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 (minimum of 1) 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, when Bruenor reaches 8th level as a fighter, 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.

Tiers of Play

The shading in the Character Advancement table shows the four tiers of play. The tiers don't have any rules associated with them; they are a general description of how the play experience changes as characters gain levels.

{@b In the first tier (levels 1-4),} characters are effectively apprentice adventurers. They are learning the features that define them as members of particular classes, including the major choices that flavor their class features as they advance (such as a wizard's Arcane Tradition or a fighter's Martial Archetype). The threats they face are relatively minor, usually posing a danger to local farmsteads or villages.

{@b In the second tier (levels 5-10),} characters come into their own. Many spellcasters gain access to 3rd-level spells at the start of this tier, crossing a new threshold of magical power with spells such as {@spell fireball} and {@spell lightning bolt}. At this tier, many weapon-using classes gain the ability to make multiple attacks in one round. These characters have become important, facing dangers that threaten cities and kingdoms.

{@b In the third tier (levels 11-16),} characters have reached a level of power that sets them high above the ordinary populace and makes them special even among adventurers. At 11th level, many spellcasters gain access to 6th-level spells, some of which create effects previously impossible for player characters to achieve. Other characters gain features that allow them to make more attacks or do more impressive things with those attacks. These mighty adventurers often confront threats to whole regions and continents.

{@b At the fourth tier (levels 17-20),} characters achieve the pinnacle of their class features, becoming heroic (or villainous) archetypes in their own right. The fate of the world or even the fundamental order of the multiverse might hang in the balance during their adventures.

unknown table

Experience PointsLevelProficiency Bonus
01+2
3002+2
9003+2
2,7004+2
6,5005+3
14,0006+3
23,0007+3
34,0008+3
48,0009+4
64,00010+4
85,00011+4
100,00012+4
120,00013+5
140,00014+5
165,00015+5
195,00016+5
225,00017+6
265,00018+6
305,00019+6
355,00020+6

Races

A visit to one of the great cities in the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons—Waterdeep, the Free City of Greyhawk, or even uncanny Sigil, the City of Doors overwhelms the senses. Voices chatter in countless different languages. The smells of cooking in dozens of different cuisines mingle with the odors of crowded streets and poor sanitation. Buildings in myriad architectural styles display the diverse origins of their inhabitants.

And the people themselves—people of varying size, shape, and color, dressed in a dazzling spectrum of styles and hues—represent many different races, from diminutive halflings and stout dwarves to majestically beautiful elves, mingling among a variety of human ethnicities.

Scattered among the members of these more common races are the true exotics: a hulking dragonborn here, pushing his way through the crowd, and a sly tiefling there, lurking in the shadows with mischief in her eyes. A group of gnomes laughs as one of them activates a clever wooden toy that moves of its own accord. Half-elves and half-orcs live and work alongside humans, without fully belonging to the races of either of their parents. And there, well out of the sunlight, is a lone drow—a fugitive from the subterranean expanse of the Underdark, trying to make his way in a world that fears his kind. The Player's Handbook has more information about these unusual races.

Uncommon Races

The dragonborn and the rest of the races in this list are uncommon. They don't exist in every world of D&D, and even where they are found, they are less widespread than dwarves, elves, halflings, and humans. In the cosmopolitan cities of the D&D multiverse, most people hardly look twice at members of even the most exotic races. But the small towns and villages that dot the countryside are different. The common folk aren't accustomed to seeing members of these races, and they react accordingly.

Dragonborn

It's easy to assume that a dragonborn is a monster, especially if his or her scales betray a chromatic heritage. Unless the dragonborn starts breathing fire and causing destruction, though, people are likely to respond with caution rather than outright fear.

Gnome

Gnomes don't look like a threat and can quickly disarm suspicion with good humor. The common folk are often curious about gnomes, likely never having seen one before, but they are rarely hostile or fearful.

Half-Elf

Although many people have never seen a half-elf, virtually everyone knows they exist. A half-elf stranger's arrival is followed by gossip behind the half-elf's back and stolen glances across the common room, rather than any confrontation or open curiosity.

Half-Orc

It's usually safe to assume that a half-orc is belligerent and quick to anger, so people watch themselves around an unfamiliar half-orc. Shopkeepers might surreptitiously hide valuable or fragile goods when a half-orc comes in, and people slowly clear out of a tavern, assuming a fight will break out soon.

Tiefling

Half-orcs are greeted with a practical caution, but tieflings are the subject of supernatural fear. The evil of their heritage is plainly visible in their features, and as far as most people are concerned, a tiefling could very well be a devil straight from the Nine Hells. People might make warding signs as a tiefling approaches, cross the street to avoid passing near, or bar shop doors before a tiefling can enter.

Choosing a Race

Humans are the most common people in the worlds of D&D, but they live and work alongside dwarves, elves, halflings, and countless other fantastic species. Your character belongs to one of these peoples.

Not every intelligent race of the multiverse is appropriate for a player-controlled adventurer. Dwarves, elves, halflings, and humans are the most common races to produce the sort of adventurers who make up typical parties. Other races and subraces are less common as adventurers.

Your choice of race affects many different aspects of your character. It establishes fundamental qualities that exist throughout your character's adventuring career.

When making this decision, keep in mind the kind of character you want to play. For example, a halfling could be a good choice for a sneaky rogue, a dwarf makes a tough warrior, and an elf can be a master of arcane magic.

Your character race not only affects your ability scores and traits but also provides the cues for building your character's story. Each race's description in this chapter includes information to help you roleplay a character of that race, including personality, physical appearance, features of society, and racial alignment tendencies.

These details are suggestions to help you think about your character; adventurers can deviate widely from the norm for their race. It's worthwhile to consider why your character is different, as a helpful way to think about your character's background and personality.

Racial Traits

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.

Ability Score Increase

Every race increases one or more of a character's ability scores.

Age

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.

Alignment

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.

Size

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 chapter 5.

Speed

Your speed determines how far you can move when traveling (chapter 8) and fighting (chapter 9).

Languages

By virtue of your race, your character can speak, read, and write certain languages. Chapter 4 lists the most common languages of the D&D multiverse.

Subraces

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. In the Dragonlance campaign setting, for example, mountain dwarves and hill dwarves live together as different clans of the same people, but in the Forgotten Realms, they live far apart in separate kingdoms and call themselves shield dwarves and gold dwarves, respectively.

Classes

Adventurers are extraordinary people, driven by a thirst for excitement into a life that others would never dare lead. They are heroes, compelled to explore the dark places of the world and take on the challenges that lesser women and men can't stand against.

Class is the primary definition of what your character can do. It's more than a profession; it's your character's calling. Class shapes the way you think about the world and interact with it and your relationship with other people and powers in the multiverse. A fighter, for example, might view the world in pragmatic terms of strategy and maneuvering, and see herself as just a pawn in a much larger game. A cleric, by contrast, might see himself as a willing servant in a god's unfolding plan or a conflict brewing among various deities. While the fighter has contacts in a mercenary company or army, the cleric might know a number of priests, paladins, and devotees who share his faith.

Your class gives you a variety of special features, such as a fighter's mastery of weapons and armor, and a wizard's spells. At low levels, your class gives you only two or three features, but as you advance in level you gain more and your existing features often improve.

Each class entry in this chapter includes a table summarizing the benefits you gain at every level, and a detailed explanation of each one.

Adventurers sometimes advance in more than one class. A rogue might switch direction in life and dabble in the cleric class while continuing to advance as a rogue. Elves are known to combine martial mastery with magical training and advance as fighters and wizards simultaneously. Optional rules for combining classes in this way, called multiclassing, can be found in the Chapter 6.

Twelve classes—listed in the Classes table—are found in almost every D&D world and define most typical adventurers.

unknown table

ClassDescriptionHit DiePrimary AbilitySaving Throw ProficienciesArmor and Weapon Proficiencies
{@class Barbarian}A fierce warrior of primitive background who can enter a battle raged12StrengthStrength & ConstitutionLight and medium armor, shields, simple and martial weapons
{@class Bard}An inspiring magician whose power echoes the music of creationd8CharismaDexterity & CharismaLight armor, simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords
{@class Cleric}A priestly champion who wields divine magic in service of a higher powerd8WisdomWisdom & CharismaLight and medium armor, shields, simple weapons
{@class Druid}A priest of the Old Faith, wielding the powers of nature—moonlight and plant growth, fire and lightning—and adapting animal formsd8WisdomIntelligence & WisdomLight and medium armor (nonmetal), shields (nonmetal), clubs, daggers, darts, javelins. maces, quarterstaffs, scimitars, sickles, slings, spears
{@class Fighter}A master of martial combat, skilled with a variety of weapons and armord10Strength or DexterityStrength & ConstitutionAll armor, shields, simple and martial weapons
{@class Monk}A master of martial arts harnessing the power of the body in pursuit of physical and spiritual perfectiond8Dexterity & WisdomStrength & WisdomSimple weapons, shortswords
{@class Paladin}A holy warrior bound to a sacred oathd10Strength & CharismaWisdom & CharismaAll armor, shields, simple and martial weapons
{@class Ranger}A warrior who uses martial prowess and nature magic to combat threats on the edges of civilizationd10Dexterity & WisdomStrength & DexterityLight and medium armor, shields, simple and martial weapons
{@class Rogue}A scoundrel who uses stealth and trickery to overcome obstacles and enemiesd8DexterityDexterity & IntelligenceLight armor, simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords
{@class Sorcerer}A spellcaster who draws on inherent magic from a gift or bloodlined6CharismaConstitution & CharismaDaggers, carts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows
{@class Warlock}A wielder of magic that is derived from a bargain with an extraplanar entityd8CharismaWisdom & CharismaLight armor, simple weapons
{@class Wizard}A scholarly magic-user capable of manipulating the structures of realityd6IntelligenceIntelligence & WisdomDaggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows

Personality and Background

Characters are defined by much more than their race and class. They're individuals with their own stories, interests, connections, and capabilities beyond those that class and race define. This chapter expounds on the details that distinguish characters from one another, including the basics of name and physical description, the rules of backgrounds and languages, and the finer points of personality and alignment.

Character Details

Your character's name and physical description might be the first things that the other players at the table learn about you. It's worth thinking about how these characteristics reflect the character you have in mind.

Name

Your character's race description includes sample names for members of that race. Put some thought into your name even if you're just picking one from a list.

Sex

You can play a male or female character without gaining any special benefits or hindrances. Think about how your character does or does not conform to the broader culture's expectations of sex, gender, and sexual behavior. For example, a male drow cleric defies the traditional gender divisions of drow society, which could be a reason for your character to leave society and come to the surface.

You don't need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender. The elf god Corellon Larethian is often seen as androgynous or hermaphroditic, for example, and some elves in the multiverse are made in Corellon's image. You could also play a female character who presents herself as a man, a man who feels trapped in a female body, or a bearded female dwarf who hates being mistaken for a male. Likewise, your character's sexual orientation is for you to decide.

Tika and Artemis: Contrasting Characters

The details in this chapter make a big difference in setting your character apart from every other character. Consider the following two human fighters.

Hailing from the Dragonlance setting, Tika Waylan was a brash teenager who had a rough childhood. The daughter of a thief, she ran away from home and practiced her father's trade on the streets of Solace. When she tried to rob the proprietor of the Inn of the Last Home, he caught her and took her under his wing, giving her a job as a barmaid. But when the dragon armies laid waste to the town of Solace and destroyed the inn, necessity forced Tika into adventure alongside the friends she'd known from her childhood. Her skill as a fighter (a frying pan remains one of her favorite weapons) combined with her history on the streets gave her skills invaluable in her adventuring career.

Artemis Entreri grew up on the streets of Cailmport in the Forgotten Realms. He used his wits, strength, and agility to carve out his own territory in one of the city's hundreds of poor shanty towns. After several years, he attracted the notice of one of the most powerful thieves' guilds in the city, and he ascended the ranks of the guild quickly despite his youth. Artemis became the favored assassin of one of the city's pashas, who sent him to far-off Icewind Dale to recover some stolen gems. He's a professional killer, constantly challenging himself to improve his skills.

Tika and Artemis are both human and both fighters (with some experience as rogues), possessing similarly high Strength and Dexterity scores, but there the similarity ends.

Height and Weight

You can decide your character's height and weight, using the information provided in your race description or on the Random Height and Weight table. Think about what your character's ability scores might say about his or her height and weight. A weak but agile character might be thin. A strong and tough character might be tall or just heavy.

If you want to, you can roll randomly for your character's height and weight using the Random Height and Weight table.

The dice roll given in the Height Modifier column determines the character's extra height (in inches) beyond the base height. That same number multiplied by the dice roll or quantity given in the Weight Modifier column determines the character's extra weight (in pounds) beyond the base weight.

Random Height and Weight

Random Height and Weight
RaceBase HeightHeight ModifierBase WeightWeight Modifier
Human4'8"+{@dice 2d10}110 lb.× ({@dice 2d4}) lb.
Dwarf, hill3'8"+{@dice 2d4}115 lb.× ({@dice 2d6}) lb.
Dwarf, mountain4'+{@dice 2d4}130 lb.× ({@dice 2d6}) lb.
Elf, high4'6"+{@dice 2d10}90 lb.× ({@dice 1d4}) lb.
Elf, wood4'6"+{@dice 2d10}100 lb.× ({@dice 1d4}) lb.
Elf, drow4'5"+{@dice 2d6}75 lb.× ({@dice 1d6}) lb.
Halfling2'7"+{@dice 2d4}35 lb.× 1 lb
Dragonborn5'6"+{@dice 2d8}175 lb.× ({@dice 2d6}) lb.
Gnome2' 11"+{@dice 2d4}35 lb.× 1 lb.
Half-elf4'9"+{@dice 2d8}110 lb.× ({@dice 2d4}) lb.
Half-orc4'10"+{@dice 2d10}140 lb.× ({@dice 2d6}) lb.
Tiefling4 '9"+{@dice 2d8}110 lb.× ({@dice 2d4}) lb.

For example, as a human, Tika has a height of 4 feet 8 inches plus 2d10 inches. Her player rolls 2d10 and gets a total of 12, so Tika stands 5 feet 8 inches tall. Then the player uses that same roll of 12 and multiplies it by 2d4 pounds. Her 2d4 roll is 3, so Tika weighs an extra 36 pounds (12 × 3) on top of her base 110 pounds, for a total of 146 pounds.

Other Physical Characteristics

You choose your character's age and the color of his or her hair, eyes, and skin. To add a touch of distinctiveness, you might want to give your character an unusual or memorable physical characteristic, such as a scar, a limp, or a tattoo.

Tika and Artemis: Character Details

Consider how the names Tika Waylan and Artemis Entreri set these characters apart from each other and reflect their personalities. Tika is a young woman determined to prove that she's not just a kid any more, and her name makes her sound young and ordinary. Artemis Entreri comes from an exotic land and carries a more mysterious name. Tika is nineteen years old at the start of her adventuring career and has auburn hair, green eyes, fair skin with freckles, and a mole on her right hip. Artemis is a small man, compact and all wiry muscle. He has angular features and high cheekbones, and he always seems in need of a shave. His raven black hair is thick and full, but his eyes are gray and lifeless—betraying the emptiness of his life and soul.

Alignment

A typical creature in the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons 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.

{@b 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.

{@b 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.

{@b 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.

{@b Lawful neutral} (LN) individuals act in accordance with law, tradition, or personal codes. Many monks and some wizards are lawful neutral.

{@b 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.

{@b Chaotic neutral} (CN) creatures follow their whims, holding their personal freedom above all else. Many barbarians and rogues, and some bards, are chaotic neutral.

{@b 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.

{@b 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 yugoloths are neutral evil.

{@b Chaotic evil} (CE) creatures act with arbitrary violence, spurred by their greed, hatred, or bloodlust. Demons, red dragons, and orcs are chaotic evil.

Alignment in the Multiverse

For many thinking creatures, alignment is a moral choice. Humans, dwarves, elves, and other humanoid races can choose whether to follow the paths of 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 god Gruumsh, and are thus inclined towards evil. Even if 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.

Generally, evil alignments are for villains and monsters.

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 {@b 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.

Tika and Artemis: Alignment

Tika Waylan is neutral good, fundamentally good-hearted and striving to help others where she can. Artemis is lawful evil, unconcerned with the value of sentient life but at least professional in his approach to murder. As an evil character, Artemis is not an ideal adventurer. He began his career as a villain, and only cooperates with heroes when he must—and when it's in his own best interests. In most games, evil adventurers cause problems in groups alongside others who don't share their interests and objectives.

Languages

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.

With your DM'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, one for each of the four elemental planes. Creatures that speak different dialects of the same language can communicate with one another.

Standard Languages

Standard Languages
LanguageTypical SpeakersScript
CommonHumansCommon
DwarvishDwarvesDwarvish
ElvishElvesElvish
GiantOgres, giantsDwarvish
GnomishGnomesDwarvish
GoblinGoblinoidsDwarvish
HalflingHalflingsCommon
OrcOrcsDwarvish

Exotic Languages

Exotic Languages
LanguageTypical SpeakersScript
AbyssalDemonsInfernal
CelestialCelestialsCelestial
DraconicDragons, DragonbornDraconic
Deep SpeechMind Flayers, Beholders-
InfernalDevilsInfernal
PrimordialElementalsDwarvish
SylvanFey CreaturesElvish
UndercommonUnderdark tradersElvish

Personal Characteristics

Fleshing out your character's personality—the array of traits, mannerisms, habits, beliefs, and flaws that give a person a unique identity—will help you bring him or her to life as you play the game. Four categories of characteristics are presented here: personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws. Beyond those categories, think about your character's favorite words or phrases, tics and habitual gestures, vices and pet peeves, and whatever else you can imagine.

Each background presented later in this chapter includes suggested characteristics that you can use to spark your imagination. You're not bound to those options, but they're a good starting point.

Personality Traits

Give your character two personality traits. Personality traits are small, simple ways to help you set your character apart from every other character. Your personality traits should tell you something interesting and fun about your character. They should be self descriptions that are specific about what makes your character stand out. "I'm smart" is not a good trait, because it describes a lot of characters. "I've read every book in Candlekeep" tells you something specific about your character's interests and disposition.

Personality traits might describe the things your character likes, his or her past accomplishments, things your character dislikes or fears, your character's self attitude or mannerisms, or the influence of his or her ability scores.

A useful place to start thinking about personality traits is to look at your highest and lowest ability scores and define one trait related to each. Either one could be positive or negative: you might work hard to overcome a low score, for example, or be cocky about your high score.

Ideals

Describe one ideal that drives your character. Your ideals are the things that you believe in most strongly, the fundamental moral and ethical principles that compel you to act as you do. Ideals encompass everything from your life goals to your core belief system.

Ideals might answer any of these questions: What are the principles that you will never betray? What would prompt you to make sacrifices? What drives you to act and guides your goals and ambitions? What is the single most important thing you strive for?

You can choose any ideals you like, but your character's alignment is a good place to start defining them. Each background in this chapter includes six suggested ideals. Five of them are linked to aspects of alignment: law, chaos, good, evil, and neutrality. The last one has more to do with the particular background than with moral or ethical perspectives.

Bonds

Create one bond for your character. Bonds represent a character's connections to people, places, and events in the world. They tie you to things from your background. They might inspire you to heights of heroism, or lead you to act against your own best interests if they are threatened. They can work very much like ideals, driving a character's motivations and goals.

Bonds might answer any of these questions: Whom do you care most about? To what place do you feel a special connection? What is your most treasured possession?

Your bonds might be tied to your class, your background, your race, or some other aspect of your character's history or personality. You might also gain new bonds over the course of your adventures.

Flaws

Finally, choose a flaw for your character. Your character's flaw represents some vice, compulsion, fear, or weakness—in particular, anything that someone else could exploit to bring you to ruin or cause you to act against your best interests. More significant than negative personality traits, a flaw might answer any of these questions: What enrages you? What's the one person, concept, or event that you are terrified of? What are your vices?

Tika and Artemis: Personal Characteristics

Tika and Artemis have distinct personality traits. Tika Waylan dislikes boastfulness and has a fear of heights resulting from a bad fall during her career as a thief. Artemis Entreri is always prepared for the worst and moves with quick, precise confidence.

Consider their ideals. Tika Waylan is innocent, almost childlike, believing in the value of life and the importance of appreciating everyone. Neutral good in alignment, she cleaves to ideals of life and respect. Artemis Entreri never allows his emotions to master him, and he constantly challenges himself to improve his skills. His lawful evil alignment gives him ideals of impartiality and a lust for power. Tika Waylan's bond is to the Inn of the Last Home. The inn's proprietor gave her a new chance at life, and her friendship with her adventuring companions was forged during her time working there. Its destruction by the marauding dragonarmies gives Tika a very personal reason to hate them with a fiery passion. Her bond might be phrased "I will do whatever it takes to punish the dragonarmies for the destruction of the Inn of the Last Home."Artemis Entreri's bond is a strange, almost paradoxical relationship with Drizzt Do'Urden, his equal in swordplay and grim determination. In his first battle with Drizzt, Artemis recognized something of himself in his opponent, some indication that if his life had gone differently, might have led a life more like the heroic drow's. From that moment, Artemis is more than a criminal assassin—he is an antihero, driven by his rivalry with Drizzt. His bond might be phrased as "I will not rest until I have proved myself better than Drizzt Do'Urden."Each of these characters also has an important flaw. Tika Waylan is naive and emotionally vulnerable, younger than her companions and annoyed that they still think of her as the kid they knew years ago. She might even be tempted to act against her principles if she's convinced that a particular achievement would demonstrate her maturity.

Artemis Entreri is completely walled off from any personal relationship and just wants to be left alone.

Inspiration

Inspiration is a rule the Dungeon 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 with the Beggar Prince. 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.

Gaining Inspiration

Your DM can choose to give you inspiration for a variety of reasons. Typically, DMs 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 DM 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.

Using Inspiration

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.

Backgrounds

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 backgrounds in this chapter provide both concrete benefits (features, proficiencies, and languages) and roleplaying suggestions.

Proficiencies

Each background gives a character proficiency in two skills. Skills are described in chapter 7.

In addition, most backgrounds give a character proficiency with one or more tools. Tools and tool proficiencies are detailed in chapter 5.

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.

Languages

Some backgrounds also allow characters to learn additional languages beyond those given by race. See "Languages" earlier in this chapter.

Equipment

Each background provides a package of starting equipment. If you use the optional rule from chapter 5 to spend coin on gear, you do not receive the starting equipment from your background.

Suggested Characteristics

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.

Customizing a Background

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 package from your background or spend coin on gear as described in chapter 5. (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 DM to create one.

Tika and Artemis: Backgrounds

Tika Waylan and Artemis Entreri both lived their earliest years as street urchins. Tika's later career as a barmaid didn't really change her, so she might choose the urchin background, gaining proficiency in the Sleight of Hand and Stealth skills, and learning the tools of the thieving trade. Artemis is more defined by his criminal background, giving him skills in Deception and Stealth, as well as proficiency with the tools of thievery and poison.

Equipment

The marketplace of a large city teems with buyers and sellers of many sorts: dwarf smiths and elf woodcarvers, halfling farmers and gnome jewelers, not to mention humans of every shape, size, and color drawn from a spectrum of nations and cultures. In the largest cities, almost anything imaginable is offered for sale, from exotic spices and luxurious clothing to wicker baskets and practical swords.

For an adventurer, the availability of armor, weapons, backpacks, rope, and similar goods is of paramount importance, since proper equipment can mean the difference between life and death in a dungeon or the untamed wilds. This chapter details the mundane and exotic merchandise that adventurers commonly find useful in the face of the threats that the worlds of D&D present.

Starting Equipment

When you create your character, you receive equipment based on a combination of your class and background. Alternatively, you can start with a number of gold pieces based on your class and spend them on items from the lists in this chapter. See the Starting Wealth by Class table to determine how much gold you have to spend.

You decide how your character came by this starting equipment. It might have been an inheritance, or goods that the character purchased during his or her upbringing. You might have been equipped with a weapon, armor, and a backpack as part of military service. You might even have stolen your gear. A weapon could be a family heirloom, passed down from generation to generation until your character finally took up the mantle and followed in an ancestor's adventurous footsteps.

Starting Wealth by Class

Starting Wealth by Class
ClassFunds
Barbarian{@dice 2d4×10|2d4 × 10|Barbarian Starting Wealth} gp
Bard{@dice 5d4×10|5d4 × 10|Bard Starting Wealth} gp
Cleric{@dice 5d4×10|5d4 × 10|Cleric Starting Wealth} gp
Druid{@dice 2d4×10|2d4 × 10|Druid Starting Wealth} gp
Fighter{@dice 5d4×10|5d4 × 10|Fighter Starting Wealth} gp
Monk{@dice 5d4|5d4|Monk Starting Wealth} gp
Paladin{@dice 5d4×10|5d4 × 10|Paladin Starting Wealth} gp
Ranger{@dice 5d4×10|5d4 × 10|Ranger Starting Wealth} gp
Rogue{@dice 4d4×10|4d4 × 10|Rogue Starting Wealth} gp
Sorcerer{@dice 3d4×10|3d4 × 10|Sorcerer Starting Wealth} gp
Warlock{@dice 4d4×10|4d4 × 10|Warlock Starting Wealth} gp
Wizard{@dice 4d4×10|4d4 × 10|Wizard Starting Wealth} gp

Wealth

Wealth appears in many forms in a D&D world. Coins, gemstones, trade goods, art objects, animals, and property can reflect your character's financial well-being. Members of the peasantry trade in goods, bartering for what they need and paying taxes in grain and cheese. Members of the nobility trade in legal rights, such as the rights to mine, a port, or farmland, or in gold bars, measuring gold by the pound rather than by the coin. Only merchants, adventurers, and those offering professional services for hire deal in coins.

Coinage

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 the gold piece (gp), the silver piece (sp), and the copper piece (cp).

With one gold piece, a character can buy a quiver, 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 ten silver pieces, the most prevalent coin among commoners. A silver piece buys a set of dice, 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 five 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

Standard Exchange Rates
Coincpspepgppp
Copper (cp)11/101/501/1001/1,000
Silver (sp)1011/51/101/100
Electrum (ep)50511/21/20
Gold (gp)10010211/10
Platinum (pp)1,00010020101

Selling Treasure

Opportunities abound to find treasure, equipment, weapons, armor, and more in the 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 a 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 DM might require you to find a buyer in a large town or larger community first.

Trade Goods

Most wealth is not in coins. It is measured in livestock, grain, land, rights to collect taxes, or rights to resources (such as a mine or a forest).

Armor and Shields

D&D 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 the worlds of D&D.

Armor

Armor
ArmorCostArmor Class (AC)StrengthStealthWeight
{@i Light Armor}
{@item padded armor|phb|Padded}5 gp11 + Dex modifierDisadvantage8 lb.
{@item leather armor|phb|Leather}10 gp11 + Dex modifier10 lb.
{@item studded leather armor|phb|Studded leather}45 gp12 + Dex modifier13 lb.
{@i Medium Armor}
{@item hide armor|phb|Hide}10 gp12 + Dex modifier (max 2)12 lb.
{@item Chain shirt|phb}50 gp13 + Dex modifier (max 2)20 lb.
{@item Scale mail|phb}50 gp14 + Dex modifier (max 2)Disadvantage45 lb.
{@item Breastplate|phb}400 gp14 + Dex modifier (max 2)20 lb.
{@item half plate armor|phb|Half plate}750 gp15 + Dex modifier (max 2)Disadvantage40 lb.
{@i Heavy Armor}
{@item Ring mail|phb}30 gp14Disadvantage40 lb.
{@item Chain mail|phb}75 gp16Str 13Disadvantage55 lb.
{@item splint armor|phb|Splint}200 gp17Str 15Disadvantage60 lb.
{@item plate armor|phb|Plate}1,500 gp18Str 15Disadvantage65 lb.
{@i Shield}
{@item Shield|phb}10 gp+26 lb.

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 the 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.

Variant: Equipment Sizes

In most campaigns, you can use or wear any equipment that you find on your adventures, within the bounds of common sense. For example, a burly half-orc won't fit in a halfling's leather armor, and a gnome would be swallowed up in a cloud giant's elegant robe.

The DM can impose more realism. For example, a suit of plate armor made for one human might not fit another one without significant alterations, and a guard's uniform might be visibly ill-fitting when an adventurer tries to wear it as a disguise.

Using this variant, when adventurers find armor, clothing, and similar items that are made to be worn, they might need to visit an armorsmith, tailor, leatherworker, or similar expert to make the item wearable. The cost for such work varies from 10 to 40 percent of the market price of the item. The DM can either roll 1d4 × 10 or determine the increase in cost based on the extent of the alterations required.

Light Armor

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

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.

Heavy Armor

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 to 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.

Getting Into and Out of Armor

The time it takes to don or 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 this time by half.

Donning and Doffing Armor

Donning and Doffing Armor
CategoryDonDoff
Light Armor1 minute1 minute
Medium Armor5 minutes1 minute
Heavy Armor10 minutes5 minutes
Shield1 action1 action

Weapons

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 worlds of D&D, 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.

Weapons

Weapons
NameCostDamageWeightProperties
{@i Simple Melee Weapons}
{@item Club|phb}1 sp1d4 bludgeoning2 lb.Light
{@item Dagger|phb}2 gp1d4 piercing1 lb.Finesse, light, thrown (range 20/60)
{@item Greatclub|phb}2 sp1d8 bludgeoning10 lb.Two-handed
{@item Handaxe|phb}5 gp1d6 slashing2 lb.Light, thrown (range 20/60)
{@item Javelin|phb}5 sp1d6 piercing2 lb.Thrown (range 30/120)
{@item Light hammer|phb}2 gp1d4 bludgeoning2 lb.Light, thrown (range 20/60)
{@item Mace|phb}5 gp1d6 bludgeoning4 lb.
{@item Quarterstaff|phb}2 sp1d6 bludgeoning4 lb.Versatile (1d8)
{@item Sickle|phb}1 gp1d4 slashing2 lb.Light
{@item Spear|phb}1 gp1d6 piercing3 lb.Thrown (range 20/60), versatile (1d8)
{@i Simple Ranged Weapons}
{@item light crossbow|phb|Crossbow, light}25 gp1d8 piercing5 lb.Ammunition (range 80/320), loading, two-handed
{@item Dart|phb}5 cp1d4 piercing1/4 lb.Finesse, thrown (range 20/60)
{@item Shortbow|phb}25 gp1d6 piercing2 lb.Ammunition (range 80/320), two-handed
{@item Sling|phb}1 sp1d4 bludgeoningAmmunition (range 30/120)
{@i Martial Melee Weapons}
{@item Battleaxe|phb}10 gp1d8 slashing4 lb.Versatile (1d10)
{@item Flail|phb}10 gp1d8 bludgeoning2 lb.
{@item Glaive|phb}20 gp1d10 slashing6 lb.Heavy, reach, two-handed
{@item Greataxe|phb}30 gp1d12 slashing7 lb.Heavy, two-handed
{@item Greatsword|phb}50 gp2d6 slashing6 lb.Heavy, two-handed
{@item Halberd|phb}20 gp1d10 slashing6 lb.Heavy, reach, two-handed
{@item Lance|phb}10 gp1d12 piercing6 lb.Reach, special
{@item Longsword|phb}15 gp1d8 slashing3 lb.Versatile (1d10)
{@item Maul|phb}10 gp2d6 bludgeoning10 lb.Heavy, two-handed
{@item Morningstar|phb}15 gp1d8 piercing4 lb.
{@item Pike|phb}5 gp1d10 piercing18 lb.Heavy, reach, two-handed
{@item Rapier|phb}25 gp1d8 piercing2 lb.Finesse
{@item Scimitar|phb}25 gp1d6 slashing3 lb.Finesse, light
{@item Shortsword|phb}10 gp1d6 piercing2 lb.Finesse, light
{@item Trident|phb}5 gp1d6 piercing4 lb.Thrown (range 20/60), versatile (1d8)
{@item War pick|phb}5 gp1d8 piercing2 lb.
{@item Warhammer|phb}15 gp1d8 bludgeoning2 lb.Versatile (1d10)
{@item Whip|phb}2 gp1d4 slashing3 lb.Finesse, reach
{@i Martial Ranged Weapons}
{@item Blowgun|phb}10 gp1 piercing1 lb.Ammunition (range 25/100), loading
{@item hand crossbow|phb|Crossbow, hand}75 gp1d6 piercing3 lb.Ammunition (range 30/120), light, loading
{@item heavy crossbow|phb|Crossbow, heavy}50 gp1d10 piercing18 lb.Ammunition (range 100/400), heavy, loading, two-handed
{@item Longbow|phb}50 gp1d8 piercing2 lb.Ammunition (range 150/600), heavy, two-handed
{@item Net|phb}1 gp3 lb.Special, thrown (range 5/15)

Weapon Proficiency

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.

Weapon Properties

Many weapons have special properties related to their use, as shown in the Weapons table.

Ammunition

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" late in the section). A sling must be loaded to deal any damage when used in this way. Loading a one-handed weapon requires a free hand.

Finesse

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.

Heavy

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.

Light

A light weapon is small and easy to handle, making it ideal for use when fighting with two weapons. See the rules for two-weapon fighting in chapter 9.

Loading

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.

Range

A weapon that can be used to make a ranged attack has a range shown in parentheses after the ammunition or thrown property. The range lists two numbers. The 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.

Reach

This weapon adds 5 feet to your reach when you attack with it. This property also determines your reach for opportunity attacks with a reach weapon.

Special

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).

Thrown

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 that attack roll and damage roll that you would use for a melee attack with the 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.

Two-Handed

This weapon requires two hands to use. This property is relevant only when you attack with the weapon, not when you simply hold it.

Versatile

This weapon can be used with one or two hands. A damage value in parentheses appears with the property-the damage when the weapon is used with two hands to make a melee attack.

Improvised Weapons

Sometimes characters don't have their weapons and have to attack with whatever is close at hand. An improvised weapon includes any object you can wield in one or two hands, such as broken glass, a table leg, a frying pan, a wagon wheel, or a dead goblin.

In many cases, 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 DM'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 DM 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 the 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.

Silvered Weapons

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 the weapon without making it less effective.

Special Weapons

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.

Adventuring Gear

This section describes items that have special rules or require further explanation.

Adventuring Gear

Adventuring Gear
ItemCostWeight
Abacus2 gp2 lb.
Acid (vial)25 gp1 lb.
Alchemist's fire (flask)50 gp1 lb.
{@i Ammunition}
Arrows (20)1 gp1 lb.
Blowgun needles (50)1 gp1 lb.
Crossbow bolts (20)1 gp1½ lb.
Sling bullets (20)4 cp1½ lb.
Antitoxin (vial)50 gp
{@i Arcane focus}
Crystal10 gp1 lb.
Orb20 gp3 lb.
Rod10 gp2 lb.
Staff5 gp4 lb.
Wand10 gp1 lb.
Backpack2 gp5 lb.
Ball bearings (bag of 1,000)1 gp2 lb.
Barrel2 gp70 lb.
Basket4 sp2 lb.
Bedroll1 gp7 lb.
Bell1 gp
Blanket5 sp3 lb.
Block and tackle1 gp5 lb.
Book25 gp5 lb.
Bottle, glass2 gp2 lb.
Bucket5 cp2 lb.
Caltrops (bag of 20)1 gp2 lb.
Candle1 cp
Case, crossbow bolt1 gp1 lb.
Case, map or scroll1 gp1 lb.
Chain (10 feet)5 gp10 lb.
Chalk (1 piece)1 cp
Chest5 gp25 lb.
Clothes, common5 sp3 lb.
Clothes, costume5 gp4 lb.
Clothes, fine15 gp6 lb.
Clothes, traveler's2 gp4 lb.
Component pouch25 gp2 lb.
Crowbar2 gp5 lb.
{@i Druidic focus}
Sprig of mistletoe1 gp
Totem1 gp
Wooden staff5 gp4 lb.
Yew wand10 gp1 lb.
Fishing tackle1 gp4 lb.
Flask or tankard2 cp1 lb.
Grappling hook2 gp4 lb.
Hammer1 gp3 lb.
Hammer, sledge2 gp10 lb.
Healer's Kit5 gp3 lb.
{@i Holy symbol}
Amulet5 gp1 lb.
Emblem5 gp
Reliquary5 gp2 lb.
Holy water (flask)25 gp1 lb.
Hourglass25 gp1 lb.
Hunting trap5 gp25 lb.
Ink (1-ounce bottle)10 gp
Ink pen2 cp
Jug or pitcher2 cp4 lb.
Kit, climber's25 gp12 lb.
Kit, disguise25 gp3 lb.
Kit, forgery15 gp5 lb.
Kit, herbalism5 gp3 lb.
Kit, healer's5 gp3 lb.
Kit, mess2 sp1 lb.
Kit, poisoner's50 gp2 lb.
Ladder (10-foot)1 sp25 lb.
Lamp5 sp1 lb.
Lantern, bullseye10 gp2 lb.
Lantern, hooded5 gp2 lb.
Lock10 gp1 lb.
Magnifying glass100 gp
Manacles2 gp6 lb.
Mirror, steel5 gp1/2 lb.
Oil (flask)1 sp1 lb.
Paper (one sheet)2 sp
Parchment (one sheet)1 sp
Perfume (vial)5 gp
Pick, miner's2 gp10 lb.
Piton5 cp1/4 lb.
Poison, basic (vial)100 gp
Pole (10-foot)5 cp7 lb.
Pot, iron2 gp10 lb.
Potion of healing50 gp1/2 lb.
Pouch5 sp1 lb.
Quiver1 gp1 lb.
Ram, portable4 gp35 lb.
Rations (1 day)5 sp2 lb.
Robes1 gp4 lb.
Rope, hempen (50 feet)1 gp10 lb.
Rope, silk (50 feet)10 gp5 lb.
Sack1 cp1/2 lb.
Scale, merchant's5 gp3 lb.
Sealing wax5 sp
Shovel2 gp5 lb.
Signal whistle5 cp
Signet ring5 gp
Soap2 cp
Spellbook50 gp3 lb.
Spikes, iron (10)1 gp5 lb.
Spyglass1,000 gp1 lb.
Tent, two-person2 gp20 lb.
Tinderbox5 sp1 lb.
Torch1 cp1 lb.
Vial1 gp
Waterskin2 sp5 lb. (full)
Whetstone1 cp1 lb.

Acid

As an action, you can splash the contents of this vial onto a creature within 5 feet of you or throw the vial up to 20 feet, shattering it on impact. In either case, make a ranged attack against a creature or object, treating the acid as an improvised weapon. On a hit, the target takes 2d6 acid damage.

Alchemist's Fire

This sticky, adhesive fluid ignites when exposed to air. As an action, you can throw this flask up to 20 feet, shattering it on impact. Make a ranged attack against a creature or object, treating the alchemist's fire as an improvised weapon. On a hit, the target takes 1d4 fire damage at the start of each of its turns. A creature can end this damage by using its action to make a DC 10 Dexterity check to extinguish the flames.

Antitoxin

A creature that drinks this vial of liquid gains advantage on saving throws against poison for 1 hour. It confers no benefit to undead or constructs.

Arcane Focus

An arcane focus is a special item—an orb, a crystal, a rod, a specially constructed staff, a wand-like length of wood, or some similar item—designed to channel the power of arcane spells. A sorcerer, warlock, or wizard can use such an item as a spellcasting focus, as described in chapter 10.

Ball Bearings

As an action, you can spill these tiny metal balls from their pouch to cover a level, square area that is 10 feet on a side. A creature moving across the covered area must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone. A creature moving through the area at half speed doesn't need to make this save.

Block and Tackle

A set of pulleys with a cable threaded through them and a hook to attach to objects, a block and tackle allows you to hoist up to four times the weight you can normally lift.

Book

A book might contain poetry, historical accounts, information pertaining to a particular field of lore, diagrams and notes on gnomish contraptions, or just about anything else that can be represented using text or pictures. A book of spells is a spellbook (described later in this section).

Caltrops

As an action, you can spend a bag of caltrops to cover a square area that is 5 feet on a side. Any creature that enters the area must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or stop moving this turn and take 1 piercing damage. Taking this damage reduces the creature's walking speed by 10 feet until the creature regains at least 1 hit point. A creature moving through the area at half speed doesn't need to make the save.

Candle

For 1 hour, a candle sheds bright light in a 5-foot radius and dim light for an additional 5 feet.

Case, Crossbow Bolt

This wooden case can hold up to twenty crossbow bolts

Case, Map or Scroll

This cylindrical leather case can hold up to ten rolled-up sheets of paper or five rolled-up sheets of parchment.

Chain

A chain has 10 hit points. It can be burst with a successful DC 20 Strength check.

Climber's Kit

A climber's kit includes special pitons, boot tips, gloves, and a harness. You can use the climber's kit as an action to anchor yourself; when you do, you can't fall more than 25 feet from the point where you anchored yourself, and you can't climb more than 25 feet away from that point without undoing the anchor.

Component Pouch

A component pouch is a small, watertight leather belt pouch that has compartments to hold all the material components and other special items you need to cast your spells, except for those components that have a specific cost (as indicated in a spell's description).

Crowbar

Using a crowbar grants advantage to Strength checks where the crowbar's leverage can be applied.

Druidic Focus

A druidic focus might be a sprig of mistletoe or holly, a wand or scepter made of yew or another special wood, a staff drawn whole out of a living tree, or a totem object incorporating feathers, fur, bones, and teeth from sacred animals. A druid (see chapter 3 of the Player's Handbook) can use such an object as a spellcasting focus, as described in chapter 10.

Fishing Tackle

This kit includes a wooden rod, silken line, corkwood bobbers, steel hooks, lead sinkers, velvet lures, and narrow netting.

Healer's Kit

This kit is a leather pouch containing bandages, salves, and splints. The kit has ten uses. As an action, you can expend one use of the kit to stabilize a creature that has 0 hit points, without needing to make a Wisdom (Medicine) check.

Holy Symbol

A holy symbol is a representation of a god or pantheon. It might be an amulet depicting a symbol representing a deity, the same symbol carefully engraved or inlaid as an emblem on a shield, or a tiny box holding a fragment of a sacred rite. Appendix B lists the symbols commonly associated with many gods in the multiverse. A cleric or paladin can use a holy symbol as a spell casing focus, as described in Part 3: The Rules of Magic. To use the symbol in this way, the caster must hold it in hand, wear it visibly, or bear it on a shield.

Holy Water

As an action, you can splash the contents of this flask onto a creature within 5 feet of you or throw it up to 20 feet, shattering it on impact.

In either case, make a ranged attack against a target creature, treating the holy water as an improvised weapon. If the target is a fiend or undead, it takes 2d6 radiant damage. A cleric or paladin may create holy water by performing a special ritual. The ritual takes 1 hour to perform, uses 25 gp worth of powdered silver, and requires the caster to expend a 1st-level spell slot.

Hunting Trap

When you use your action to set it, this trap forms a saw-toothed steel ring that snaps shut when a creature steps on a pressure plate in the center. The trap is affixed by a heavy chain to an immobile object, such as a tree or a spike driven into the ground. A creature that steps on the plate must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take 1d4 piercing damage and stop moving. Thereafter, until the creature breaks free of the trap, its movement is limited by the length of the chain (typically 3 feet long). A creature can use its action to make a DC 13 Strength check, freeing itself or another creature within its reach on a success. Each failed check deals 1 piercing damage to the trapped creature.

Lamp

A lamp casts bright light in a 15-foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet. Once lit, it burns for 6 hours on a flask (1 pint) of oil.

Lantern, Bullseye

A bullseye lantern casts bright light in a 60-foot cone and dim light for an additional 60 feet. Once lit, it burns for 6 hours on a flask (1 pint) of oil.

Lantern, Hooded

A hooded lantern casts bright light in a 30-foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet. Once lit, it burns for 6 hours on a flask (1 pint) of oil. As an action, you can lower the hood, reducing the light to dim light in a 5-foot radius.

Lock

A key is provided with the lock. Without the key, a creature proficient with {@item thieves' tools|phb} can pick this lock with a successful DC 15 Dexterity check. Your DM may decide that better locks are available for higher prices.

Magnifying Glass

This lens allows a closer look at small objects. It is also useful as a substitute for flint and steel when starting fires. Lighting a fire with a magnifying glass requires light as bright as sunlight to focus, tinder to ignite, and about 5 minutes for the fire to ignite. A magnifying glass grants advantage on any ability check made to appraise or inspect an item that is small or highly detailed.

Manacles

These metal restraints can bind a Small or Medium creature. Escaping the manacles requires a successful DC 20 Dexterity check. Breaking them requires a successful DC 20 Strength check. Each set of manacles comes with one key. Without the key, a creature proficient with {@item thieves' tools|phb} can pick the manacles' lock with a successful DC 15 Dexterity check. Manacles have 15 hit points.

Mess Kit

This tin box contains a cup and simple cutlery. The box clamps together, and one side can be used as a cooking pan and the other as a plate or shallow bowl.

Oil

Oil usually comes in a clay flask that holds 1 pint. As an action, you can splash the oil in this flask onto a creature within 5 feet of you or throw it up to 20 feet, shattering it on impact. Make a ranged attack against a target creature or object, treating the oil as an improvised weapon. On a hit, the target is covered in oil. If the target takes any fire damage before the oil dries (after 1 minute), the target takes an additional 5 fire damage from the burning oil. You can also pour a flask of oil on the ground to cover a 5-foot-square area, provided that the surface is level. If lit, the oil burns for 2 rounds and deals 5 fire damage to any creature that enters the area or ends its turn in the area. A creature can take this damage only once per turn.

Poison, Basic

You can use the poison in this vial to coat one slashing or piercing weapon or up to three pieces of ammunition. Applying the poison takes an action. A creature hit by the poisoned weapon or ammunition must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or take 1d4 poison damage. Once applied, the poison retains potency for 1 minute before drying.

Potion of Healing

A character who drinks the magical red fluid in this vial regains 2d4 + 2 hit points. Drinking or administering a potion takes an action.

Pouch

A cloth or leather pouch can hold up to 20 sling bullets or 50 blowgun needles, among other things. A compartmentalized pouch for holding spell components is called a component pouch (described earlier in this section).

Quiver

A quiver can hold up to 20 arrows.

Ram, Portable

You can use a portable ram to break down doors. When doing so, you gain a +4 bonus on the Strength check. One other character can help you use the ram, giving you advantage on this check.

Rations

Rations consist of dry foods suitable for extended travel, including jerky, dried fruit, hardtack, and nuts.

Rope, hempen (50 feet)

Rope, made of hemp, has 2 hit points and can be burst with a DC 17 Strength check.

Rope, silk (50 feet)

Rope, made of silk, has 2 hit points and can be burst with a DC 17 Strength check.

Scale, Merchant's

A scale includes a small balance, pans, and a suitable assortment of weights up to 2 pounds. With it, you can measure the exact weight of small objects, such as raw precious metals or trade goods, to help determine their worth.

Spellbook

Essential for wizards, a spellbook is a leather-bound tome with 100 blank vellum pages suitable for recording spells.

Spyglass

Objects viewed through a spyglass are magnified to twice their size.

Tent

A simple and portable canvas shelter, a tent sleeps two.

Tinderbox

This small container holds flint, fire steel, and tinder (usually dry cloth soaked in light oil) used to kindle a fire. Using it to light a torch—or anything else with abundant, exposed fuel—takes an action. Lighting any other fire takes 1 minute.

Torch

A torch burns for 1 hour, providing bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. If you make a melee attack with a burning torch and hit, it deals 1 fire damage.

Container Capacity

Container Capacity
ContainerCapacity
Backpack*1 cubic foot/30 pounds of gear
Barrel40 gallons liquid, 4 cubic feet solid
Basket2 cubic feet/40 pounds of gear
Bottle1 1/2 pints liquid
Bucket3 gallons liquid, 1/2 cubic foot solid
Chest12 cubic feet/300 pounds of gear
Flask or tankard1 pint liquid
Jug or pitcher1 gallon liquid
Pot, iron1 gallon liquid
Pouch1/5 cubic foot/6 pounds of gear
Sack1 cubic foot/30 pounds of gear
Vial4 ounces liquid
Waterskin4 pints liquid
Equipment Packs

The starting equipment you get from your class includes a collection of useful adventuring gear, put together in a pack. The contents of these packs are listed here. If you are buying your starting equipment, you can purchase a pack for the price shown, which might be cheaper than buying the items individually.

Burglar's Pack (16 gp)

Includes a backpack, a bag of 1,000 ball bearings, 10 feet of string, a bell, 5 candles, a crowbar, a hammer, 10 pitons, a hooded lantern, 2 flasks of oil, 5 days of rations, a tinderbox, and a waterskin. The pack also has 50 feet of hempen rope strapped to the side of it.

Diplomat's Pack (39 gp)

Includes a chest, 2 cases for maps and scrolls, a set of fine clothes, a bottle of ink, an ink pen, a lamp, 2 flasks of oil, 5 sheets of paper, a vial of perfume, sealing wax, and soap.

Dungeoneer's Pack (12 gp)

Includes a backpack, a crowbar, a hammer, 10 pitons, 10 torches, a tinderbox, 10 days of rations, and a waterskin. The pack also has 50 feet of hempen rope strapped to the side of it.

Entertainer's Pack (40 gp)

Includes a backpack, a bedroll, 2 costumes, 5 candles, 5 days of rations, a waterskin, and a disguise kit.

Explorer's Pack (10 gp)

Includes a backpack, a bedroll, a mess kit, a tinderbox, 10 torches, 10 days of rations, and a waterskin. The pack also has 50 feet of hempen rope strapped to the side of it.

Priest's Pack (19 gp)

Includes a backpack, a blanket, 10 candles, a tinderbox, an alms box, 2 blocks of incense, a censer, vestments, 2 days of rations, and a waterskin.

Scholar's Pack (40 gp)

Includes a backpack, a book of lore, a bottle of ink, an ink pen, 10 sheets of parchment, a little bag of sand, and a small knife.

Tools

A tool helps you to do something you couldn't otherwise do, such as craft or repair an item, forge a document, or pick a lock. Your race, class, background, or feats give you proficiency with certain tools. Proficiency with a tool allows you to add your proficiency bonus to any ability check you make using that tool. Tool use is not tied to a single ability, since proficiency with a tool represents broader knowledge of its use. For example, the DM might ask you to make a Dexterity check to carve a fine detail with your woodcarver's tools, or a Strength check to make something out of particularly hard wood.

Artisan's Tools

These special tools include the items needed to pursue a craft or trade. The table shows examples of the most common types of tools, each providing items related to a single craft. Proficiency with a set of artisan's tools lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make using the tools in your craft. Each type of artisan's tools requires a separate proficiency.

Disguise Kit

This pouch of cosmetics, hair dye, and small props lets you create disguises that change your physical appearance. Proficiency with this kit lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to create a visual disguise.

Forgery Kit

This small box contains a variety of papers and parchments, pens and inks, seals and sealing wax, gold and silver leaf, and other supplies necessary to create convincing forgeries of physical documents. Proficiency with this kit lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to create a physical forgery of a document.

Gaming Set

This item encompasses a wide range of game pieces, including dice and decks of cards (for games such as Three-Dragon Ante). A few common examples appear on the Tools table, but other kinds of gaming sets exist. If you are proficient with a gaming set, you can add your proficiency bonus to ability checks you make to play a game with that set. Each type of gaming set requires a separate proficiency.

Herbalism Kit

This kit contains a variety of instruments such as clippers, mortar and pestle, and pouches and vials used by herbalists to create remedies and potions.

Proficiency with this kit lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to identify or apply herbs. Also, proficiency with this kit is required to create antitoxin and potions of healing.

Musical Instrument

Several of the most common types of musical instruments are shown on the table as examples. If you have proficiency with a given musical instrument, you can add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to play music with the instrument. A bard can use a musical instrument as a spellcasting focus, as described in Part 3: The Rules of Magic, Casting a Spell. Each type of musical instrument requires a separate proficiency.

Navigator's Tools

This set of instruments is used for navigation at sea. Proficiency with {@item navigator's tools|phb} lets you chart a ship's course and follow navigation charts. In addition, these tools allow you to add your proficiency bonus to any ability check you make to avoid getting lost at sea.

Poisoner's Kit

A {@item poisoner's kit|phb} includes the vials, chemicals, and other equipment necessary for the creation of poisons. Proficiency with this kit lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to craft or use poisons.

Thieves' Tools

This set of tools includes a small file, a set of lock picks, a small mirror mounted on a metal handle, a set of narrow-bladed scissors, and a pair of pliers. Proficiency with these tools lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to disarm traps or open locks.

unknown table

ItemCostWeight
{@i Artisan's tools}
{@item Alchemist's supplies|phb}50 gp8 lb.
{@item Brewer's supplies|phb}20 gp9 lb.
{@item Calligrapher's supplies|phb}10 gp5 lb.
{@item Carpenter's tools|phb}8 gp6 lb.
{@item Cartographer's tools|phb}15 gp.6 lb.
{@item Cobbler's tools|phb}5 gp5 lb.
{@item Cook's utensils|phb}1 gp8 lb.
{@item Glassblower's tools|phb}30 gp5 lb.
{@item Jeweler's tools|phb}25 gp2 lb.
{@item Leatherworker's tools|phb}5 gp5 lb.
{@item Mason's tools|phb}10 gp8 lb.
{@item Painter's supplies|phb}10 gp5 lb.
{@item Potter's tools|phb}10 gp3 lb.
{@item Smith's tools|phb}20 gp8 lb.
{@item Tinker's tools|phb}50 gp10 lb.
{@item Weaver's tools|phb}1 gp5 lb.
{@item Woodcarver's tools|phb}1 gp5 lb.
{@item Disguise Kit|phb}25 gp3 lb.
{@item Forgery kit|phb}15 gp5 lb.
{@i Gaming sets}
{@item Dice set|phb}1 sp
{@item Dragonchess set|phb}1 gp1/2 lb.
{@item Playing card set|phb}5 sp
{@item Three-Dragon Ante set|phb}1 gp
{@item Herbalism kit|phb}5 gp3 lb.
{@i Musical instruments}
{@item Bagpipes|phb}30 gp6 lb.
{@item Drum|phb}6 gp3 lb.
{@item Dulcimer|phb}25 gp10 lb.
{@item Flute|phb}2 gp1 lb.
{@item Lute|phb}35 gp2 lb.
{@item Lyre|phb}30 gp2 lb.
{@item Horn|phb}3 gp2 lb.
{@item Pan flute|phb}12 gp2 lb.
{@item Shawm|phb}2 gp1 lb.
{@item Viol|phb}30 gp1 lb.
{@item Navigator's tools|phb}25 gp2 lb.
{@item Poisoner's kit|phb}50 gp2 lb.
{@item Thieves' tools|phb}25 gp1 lb.
Vehicles (land or water)**

Mounts and Vehicles

A good mount can help you move more quickly through the wilderness, but its primary purpose is to carry the gear that would otherwise slow you down. The Mounts and Other Animals table shows each animal's speed and base carrying capacity.

An animal pulling a carriage, cart, chariot, sled, or wagon can move weight up to five times its base carrying capacity, including the weight of the vehicle. If multiple animals pull the same vehicle, they can add their carrying capacity together.

Mounts other than those listed here are available in the worlds of D&D, but they are rare and not normally available for purchase. These include flying mounts (pegasi, griffons, hippogriffs, and similar animals) and even aquatic mounts (giant sea horses, for example). Acquiring such a mount often means securing an egg and raising the creature yourself, making a bargain with a powerful entity, or negotiating with the mount itself.

Barding

Barding is armor designed to protect an animal's head, neck, chest, and body. Any type of armor shown on the Armor table in this chapter can be purchased as barding. The cost is four times the equivalent armor made for humanoids, and it weighs twice as much.

Saddles

A military saddle braces the rider, helping you keep your seat on an active mount in battle. It gives you advantage on any check you make to remain mounted. An exotic saddle is required for riding any aquatic or flying mount.

Vehicle Proficiency

If you have proficiency with a certain kind of vehicle (land or water), you can add your proficiency bonus to any check you make to control that kind of vehicle in difficult circumstances.

Rowed Vessels

Keelboats and rowboats are used on lakes and rivers. If going downstream, add the speed of the current (typically 3 miles per hour) to the speed of the vehicle. These vehicles can't be rowed against any significant current, but they can be pulled upstream by draft animals on the shores. A rowboat weighs 100 pounds, in case adventurers carry it over land.

Mounts and Other Animals

Mounts and Other Animals
ItemCostSpeedCarrying Capacity
Camel50 gp50 ft.480 lb.
Donkey or mule8 gp40 ft.420 lb.
Elephant200 gp40 ft.1,320 lb.
Horse, draft50 gp40 ft.540 lb.
Horse, riding75 gp60 ft.480 lb.
Mastiff25 gp40 ft.195 lb.
Pony30 gp40 ft.225 lb.
Warhorse400 gp60 ft.540 lb.

Tack, Harness, and Drawn Vehicles

Tack, Harness, and Drawn Vehicles
ItemCostWeight
Barding×4×2
Bit and bridle2 gp1 lb.
Carriage100 gp600 lb.
Cart15 gp200 lb.
Chariot250 gp100 lb.
Animal Feed (per day)5 cp10 lb.
{@i Saddle}
Exotic60 gp40 lb.
Military20 gp30 lb.
Pack5 gp15 lb.
Riding10 gp25 lb.
Saddlebags4 gp8 lb.
Sled20 gp300 lb.
Stabling (per day)5 sp
Wagon35 gp400 lb.

Waterborne Vehicles

Waterborne Vehicles
ItemCostSpeed
Galley30,000 gp4 mph
Keelboat3,000 gp1 mph
Longship10,000 gp3 mph
Rowboat50 gp1½ mph
Sailing ship10,000 gp2 mph
Warship25,000 gp2½ mph

Trade Goods

Most wealth is not in coins. It is measured in livestock, grain, land, rights to collect taxes, or rights to resources (such as a mine or a forest).

Guilds, nobles, and royalty regulate trade. Chartered companies are granted rights to conduct trade along certain routes, to send merchant ships to various ports, or to buy or sell specific goods. Guilds set prices for the goods or services that they control, and determine who may or may not offer those goods and services. Merchants commonly exchange trade goods without using currency. The Trade Goods table shows the value of commonly exchanged goods.

Trade Goods

Trade Goods
CostGoods
1 cp1 lb. of wheat
2 cp1 lb. of flour or one chicken
5 cp1 lb. of salt
1 sp1 lb. of iron or 1 sq. yd. of canvas
5 sp1 lb. of copper or 1 sq. yd. of cotton cloth
1 gp1 lb. of ginger or one goat
2 gp1 lb. of cinnamon or pepper, or one sheep
3 gp1 lb. of cloves or one pig
5 gp1 lb. of silver or 1 sq. yd. of linen
10 gp1 sq. yd. of silk or one cow
15 gp1 lb. of saffron or one ox
50 gp1 lb. of gold
500 gp1 lb. of platinum

Expenses

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

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 chosen 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.

Lifestyle Expenses

Lifestyle Expenses
LifestylePrice/Day
Wretched-
Squalid1 sp
Poor2 sp
Modest1 gp
Comfortable2 gp
Wealthy4 gp
Aristocratic10 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 and 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 the 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 suite at 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 the 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.

Food, Drink, and Lodging

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

Food, Drink, and Lodging
ItemCost
{@i Ale}
Gallon2 sp
Mug4 cp
Banquet (per person)10 gp
Bread, loaf2 cp
Cheese, hunk1 sp
{@i Inn stay (per day)}
Squalid7 cp
Poor1 sp
Modest5 sp
Comfortable8 sp
Wealthy2 gp
Aristocratic4 gp
{@i Meals (per day)}
Squalid3 cp
Poor6 cp
Modest3 sp
Comfortable5 sp
Wealthy8 sp
Aristocratic2 gp
Meat, chunk3 sp
{@i Wine}
Common (pitcher)2 sp
Fine (bottle)10 gp
Self-Sufficiency

The expenses and lifestyles described in this chapter 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 it is time-consuming. If you spend your time between adventures practicing a profession, as described in chapter 8, 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.

Services

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 hirelings 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 {@spell Leomund's 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.

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 hirelings require more pay. Untrained hirelings are hired for menial work that requires no particular skill and can include laborers, porters, maids, and similar workers.

Services

Services
ServicePay
{@i Coach cab}
Between towns3 cp per mile
Coach cab, Within a city1 cp
{@i Hireling}
Skilled2 gp per day
Untrained2 sp per day
Messenger2 cp per mile
Road or gate toll1 cp
Ship's passage1 sp per mile

Spellcasting Services

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 {@filter 1st|spells|level=1} or {@filter 2nd|spells|level=2} level, such as {@spell cure wounds} or {@spell identify}, is easy enough in a city or town, and might cost 10 to 50 gold pieces (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.

Trinkets

When you make your character, you can roll once on the {@item Trinket (PHB)|phb|Trinkets} table to gain a trinket, a simple item lightly touched by mystery. The DM might also use this table. It can help stock a room in a dungeon or fill a creature's pockets.

Customization Options

The combination of ability scores, race, class, and background defines your character's capabilities in the game, and the personal details you create set your character apart from every other character. Even within your class and race, you have options to fine-tune what your character can do. But a few players—with the DM's permission—want to go a step further.

Chapter 6 of the Player's Handbook defines two optional sets of rules for customizing your character: multiclassing and feats. Multiclassing lets you combine classes together, and feats are special options you can choose instead of increasing your ability scores as you gain levels. Your DM decides whether these options are available in a campaign.

Multiclassing

Multiclassing 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 you 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.

Prerequisites

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 Multiclassing Prerequisites table. For example, a barbarian who decides to multiclass 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.

Multiclassing Prerequisites

Multiclassing Prerequisites
ClassAbility Score Minimum
{@class Barbarian}Strength 13
{@class Bard}Charisma 13
{@class Cleric}Wisdom 13
{@class Druid}Wisdom 13
{@class Fighter}Strength 13 or Dexterity 13
{@class Monk}Dexterity 13 and Wisdom 13
{@class Paladin}Strength 13 and Charisma 13
{@class Ranger}Dexterity 13 and Wisdom 13
{@class Rogue}Dexterity 13
{@class Sorcerer}Charisma 13
{@class Warlock}Charisma 13
{@class Wizard}Intelligence 13

Experience Points

The experience point cost to gain a level is always based on your total character level, as shown in the Character Advancement table in chapter I, 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.

Hit Points and Hit Dice

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 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.

Proficiency Bonus

Your proficiency bonus is always based on your total character level, as shown in the Character Advancement table in chapter 1, 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.

Proficiencies

When you gain a level in a class other than your first, you gain only some of that class's starting proficiencies, as shown in the Multiclassing Proficiencies table.

Multiclassing Proficiencies

Multiclassing Proficiencies
ClassProficiencies Gained
{@class Barbarian}Shields, simple weapons, martial weapons
{@class Bard}Light armor, one skill of your choice, one musical instrument of your choice
{@class Cleric}Light armor, medium armor, shields
{@class Druid}Light armor, medium armor, shields (druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal)
{@class Fighter}Light armor, medium armor, shields, simple weapons, martial weapons
{@class Monk}Simple weapons, shortswords
{@class Paladin}Light armor, medium armor, shields, simple weapons, martial weapons
{@class Ranger}Light armor, medium armor, shields, simple weapons, martial weapons, one skill from the class's skill list
{@class Rogue}Light armor, one skill from the class's skill list, {@item thieves' tools|phb}
{@class Sorcerer}
{@class Warlock}Light armor, simple weapons
{@class Wizard}

Class Features

When you gain a new level in a class, you get its features for that level. A few features, however, have additional rules when you're multiclassing: Channel Divinity, Extra Attack, Unarmored Defense, and Spellcasting.

Channel Divinity

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.

Extra Attack

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.

Unarmored Defense

If you already have the Unarmored Defense feature, you can't gain it again from another class.

Spellcasting

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 feature from more than one class, use the rules below. If you multiclass 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 spellbook.

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 he used only for the spells from the class associated with that focus.

If a cantrip of yours increases in power at higher levels, the increase is based on your character level, not your level in a particular class.

Spell Slots

You determine your available spell slots by adding together all your levels in the bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, and wizard classes, half your levels (rounded down) in the paladin and ranger classes, and a third of your fighter or rogue levels (rounded down) if you have the Eldritch Knight or the Arcane Trickster feature. Use this total to determine your spell slots by consulting the Multiclass 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 a lower-level spell that you cast, like {@spell burning hands}, has an enhanced effect when cast using a higher-level 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 slots, 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 feature 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.

Multiclass Spellcaster: Spell Slots per Spell Level

Multiclass Spellcaster: Spell Slots per Spell Level
Lvl.1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th
1st2
2nd3
3rd42
4th43
5th432
6th433
7th4331
8th4332
9th43331
10th43332
11th433321
12th433321
13th4333211
14th4333211
15th43332111
16th43332111
17th433321111
18th433331111
19th433332111
20th433332211

Starting Equipment

You gain the starting equipment of your first class only.

Feats

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. See chapter 6 of the Player's Handbook for more information.

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.

Using Ability Scores

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.

This chapter focuses on how to use ability checks and saving throws, covering the fundamental activities that creatures attempt in the game. Rules for attack rolls appear in chapter 9.

Ability Scores and Modifiers

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. Adventurers 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 the ability modifiers for the range of possible ability scores, from 1 to 30.

To determine an ability modifier without consulting the table, subtract 10 from the ability score and then divide the total by 2 (round down).

Because ability modifiers affect almost every attack roll, ability check, and saving throw, ability modifiers come up in play more often than their associated scores.

Ability Scores and Modifiers

Ability Scores and Modifiers
ScoreModifierScoreModifier
1-516-17+3
2-3-418-19+4
4-5-320-21+5
6-7-222-23+6
8-9-124-25+7
10-11+026-27+8
12-13+128-29+9
14-15+230+10

Advantage and Disadvantage

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, 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 reroll or replace the d20, you can reroll or replace 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 1 and a 13, the halfling could use the Lucky trait to reroll the 1.

You usually gain advantage or disadvantage through the use of special abilities, actions, or spells. Inspiration (see chapter 4) can also give a character advantage on checks related to the character's personality, ideals, or bonds. The DM can also decide that circumstances influence a roll in one direction or the other and grant advantage or impose disadvantage as a result.

Proficiency Bonus

Characters have a proficiency bonus determined by level, as detailed in chapter 1. Monsters also have this bonus, which is incorporated in their 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.

Ability Checks

An ability check tests a character's or monster's innate talent and training in an effort to overcome a challenge. The DM 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 DM 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

Typical Difficulty Classes
Task DifficultyDC
Very easy5
Easy10
Medium15
Hard20
Very hard25
Nearly impossible30

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 DM.

Contests

Sometimes once 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 to 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. That 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.

Skills

Each ability covers a broad range of capabilities, including skills that a character or a 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 chapter for examples of how to use a skill associated with an ability.

unknown table

AbilitySkills
Strength{@skill Athletics}
Dexterity{@skill Acrobatics}, {@skill Sleight of Hand}, {@skill Stealth}
Intelligence{@skill Arcana}, {@skill History}, {@skill Investigation}, {@skill Nature}, {@skill Religion}
Wisdom{@skill Animal Handling}, {@skill Insight}, {@skill Medicine}, {@skill Perception}, {@skill Survival}
Charisma{@skill Deception}, {@skill Intimidation}, {@skill Performance}, {@skill Persuasion}

Sometimes, the DM 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 DM 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 Dungeon Master 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.

Variant: Skills with Different Abilities

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 DM might ask for a check using an unusual combination of ability and skill, or you might ask your DM 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 DM might call for a Constitution check to see if you have the stamina to make it that far. In this case, your DM 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 dwarf fighter uses a display of raw strength to intimidate an enemy, your DM might ask for a Strength (Intimidation) check, even though Intimidation is normally associated with Charisma.

Passive Checks

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 DM 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:

stdClass Object ( [type] => abilityGeneric [text] => 10 + all modifiers that normally apply to the 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 on hiding in the "Dexterity" section below rely on passive checks, as do the exploration rules in chapter 8.

Working Together

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 (see chapter 9).

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 in that 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.

Group Checks

When a number of individuals are trying to accomplish something as a group, the DM 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 or fail as a group. For example, when adventurers are navigating a swamp, the DM 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.

Using Each Ability

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

Strength measures bodily power, athletic training, and the extent to which you can exert raw physical force.

Strength Checks

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 DM might also call for a Strength check when you try to accomplish tasks like the following:

Attack Rolls and Damage

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.

Lifting and Carrying

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 in chapter 5.

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

Dexterity measures agility, reflexes, and balance.

Dexterity Checks

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 DM 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 DM 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 DM might call for a Dexterity check when you try to accomplish tasks like the following:

Attack Rolls and Damage

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.

Armor Class

Depending on the armor you wear, you might add some or all of your Dexterity modifier to your Armor Class, as described in chapter 5.

Initiative

At the beginning of every combat, you roll initiative by making a Dexterity check. Initiative determines the order of creatures' turns in combat, as described in chapter 9.

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 if you make noise (such as shouting a warning or knocking over a vase), you give away your position. An invisible creature can't be seen, so it can always try to hide. Signs of its passage might still be noticed, however, and it still has 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 Dungeon Master might allow you to stay hidden as you approach a creature that is distracted, allowing you to gain advantage on an attack before you are seen.

Ultimately, the DM decides when circumstances are appropriate for hiding.

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 DM 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 a 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 chapter 8.

Constitution

Constitution measures health, stamina, and vital force.

Constitution Checks

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 DM might call for a Constitution check when you try to accomplish tasks like the following:

Hit Points

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

Intelligence measures mental acuity, accuracy of recall, and the ability to reason.

Intelligence Checks

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 DM might call for an Intelligence check when you try to accomplish tasks like the following:

Spellcasting Ability

Wizards use Intelligence as their spellcasting ability, which helps determine the saving throw DCs of spells they cast.

Wisdom

Wisdom reflects how attuned you are to the world around you and represents perceptiveness and intuition.

Wisdom Checks

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 DM 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 DM 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 DM might call for a Wisdom check when you try to accomplish tasks like the following:

Spellcasting Ability

Clerics, druids, and rangers use Wisdom as their spellcasting ability, which helps determine the saving throw DCs of spells they cast.

Finding a Hidden Object

When your character searches for a hidden object such as a secret door or a trap, the DM typically asks you to make a Wisdom (Perception) check. Such a check can be used to find hidden details or other information and clues that you might otherwise overlook.

In most cases, you need to describe where you are looking in order for the DM to determine your chance of success. For example, a key is hidden beneath a set of folded clothes in the top drawer of a bureau. If you tell the DM that you pace around the room, looking at the walls and furniture for clues, you have no chance of finding the key, regardless of your Wisdom (Perception) check result. You would have to specify that you were opening the drawers or searching the bureau in order to have any chance of success.

Charisma

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.

Charisma Checks

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 DM 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 DM 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 DM might call for a Charisma check when you try to accomplish tasks like the following:

Spellcasting Ability

Bards, paladins, sorcerers, and warlocks use Charisma as their spellcasting ability, which helps determine the saving throw DCs of spells they cast.

Saving Throws

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 DM.

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.

Adventuring

Delving into the ancient tomb of horrors, slipping through the back alleys of Waterdeep, hacking a fresh trail through the thick jungles on the Isle of Dread—these are the things that Dungeons & Dragons adventures are made of. Your character in the game might explore forgotten ruins and uncharted lands, uncover dark secrets and sinister plots, and slay foul monsters. And if all goes well, your character will survive to claim rich rewards before embarking on a new adventure.

This chapter covers the basics of the adventuring life, from the mechanics of movement to the complexities of social interaction. The rules for resting are also in this chapter, along with a discussion of the activities your character might pursue between adventures.

Whether adventurers are exploring a dusty dungeon or the complex relationships of a royal court, the game follows a natural rhythm, as outlined in the book's introduction:

Typically, the DM uses a map as an outline of the adventure, tracking the characters' progress as they explore dungeon corridors or wilderness regions.

The DM's notes, including a key to the map, describe what the adventurers find as they enter each new area. Sometimes, the passage of time and the adventurers' actions determine what happens, so the DM might use a time line or a flowchart to track their progress instead of a map.

Time

In situations where keeping track of the passage of time is important, the DM determines the time a task requires. The DM might use a different time scale depending on the context of the situation at hand. In a dungeon environment, the adventurers' 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 on 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 Baldur's Gate to Waterdeep, 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 described in chapter 9.

Movement

Swimming across a rushing river, sneaking down a dungeon corridor, scaling a treacherous mountain slope all sorts of movement play a key role in D&D adventures.

The DM 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 DM 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.

Speed

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.

Travel Pace

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 (see the "Activity While Traveling" section later in this chapter for more information).

Forced March

The Travel Pace table assumes that characters travel for 8 hours in 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 {@condition exhaustion} (see the appendix).

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 larger 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 (see chapter 5), 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 griffon, or special vehicles, such as a carpet of flying, allow you to travel more swiftly. The Dungeon Master's Guide contains more information on special methods of travel.

Travel Pace

Travel Pace
PaceDistance Traveled per MinuteDistance Traveled per HourDistance Traveled per DayEffect
Fast400 feet4 miles30 miles-5 penalty to passive Wisdom (Perception) scores
Normal300 feet3 miles24 miles-
Slow200 feet2 miles18 milesAble to use stealth

Difficult Terrain

The travel speeds given in the Travel Pace table assume relatively simple terrain: roads, open plains, or clear dungeon corridors. But adventurers 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.

Special Types of Movement

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.

Climbing, Swimming, and Crawling

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 DM's option, climbing a slippery vertical surface or one with few handholds requires a successful Strength (Athletics) check. Similarly, gaining any distance in rough water might require a successful Strength (Athletics) check.

Jumping

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 your DM'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. After applying your Strength modifier, a high jump is a minimum of 0 feet. 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 DM 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 difference equal to the height of the jump plus 1 1/2 times your height.

Activity While Traveling

As adventurers travel through a dungeon or the wilderness, they need to remain alert for danger, and some characters might perform other tasks to help the group's journey.

Marching Order

The adventurers should establish a marching order.

A marching order makes it easier to determine which characters are affected by traps, which ones can spot hidden enemies, and which ones are the closest to those enemies when a fight breaks out.

A character might occupy the front rank, one or more middle ranks, or the back rank. Characters in the front and back ranks need enough room to travel side by side with others in their rank. When space is too tight, the marching order must change, usually by moving characters to a middle rank.

Fewer Than Three Ranks

If an adventuring party arranges its marching order with only two ranks, they are a front rank and a back rank. If there's only one rank, it's considered a front rank.

Stealth

While traveling at a slow pace, the characters can move stealthily. As long as they're not in the open, they can try to surprise or sneak by other creatures they encounter. See the rules for hiding in chapter 7.

Noticing Threats

Use the passive Wisdom (Perception) scores of the characters to determine whether anyone in the group notices a hidden threat. The DM might decide that a threat can be noticed only by characters in a particular rank. For example, as the characters are exploring a maze of tunnels, the DM might decide that only those characters in the back rank have a chance to hear or spot a stealthy creature following the group, while characters in the front and middle ranks cannot.

While traveling at a fast pace, characters take a -5 penalty to their passive Wisdom (Perception) scores to notice hidden threats.

Encountering Creatures

If the DM determines that the adventurers encounter other creatures while they're traveling, it's up to both groups to decide what happens next. Either group might decide to attack, initiate a conversation, run away, or wait to see what the other group does.

Surprising Foes

If the adventurers encounter a hostile creature or group, the DM determines whether the adventurers or their foes might be surprised when combat erupts. See chapter 9 for more about surprise.

Other Activities

Characters who turn their attention to other tasks as the group travels are not focused on watching for danger.

These characters don't contribute their passive Wisdom (Perception) scores to the group's chance of noticing hidden threats. However, a character not watching for danger can do one of the following activities instead, or some other activity with the DM's permission.

Navigate

The character can try to prevent the group from becoming lost, making a Wisdom (Survival) check when the DM calls for it. (The Dungeon Master's Guide has rules to determine whether the group gets lost.)

Draw a Map

The character can draw a map that records the group's progress and helps the characters get back on course if they get lost. No ability check is required.

Track

A character can follow the tracks of another creature, making a Wisdom (Survival) check when the DM calls for it. (The Dungeon Master's Guide has rules for tracking.)

Forage

The character can keep an eye out for ready sources of food and water, making a Wisdom (Survival) check when the DM calls for it. (The Dungeon Master's Guide has rules for foraging.)

Splitting Up the Party

Sometimes, it makes sense to split an adventuring party, especially if you want one or more characters to scout ahead. You can form multiple parties, each moving at a different speed. Each group has its own front, middle, and back ranks.

The drawback to this approach is that the party will be split into several smaller groups in the event of an attack. The advantage is that a small group of stealthy characters moving slowly might be able to sneak past enemies that clumsier characters would alert. A pair of rogues moving at a slow pace are much harder to detect when they leave their dwarf fighter friend behind.

The Environment

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. The Dungeon Master's Guide has rules covering more unusual situations.

Falling

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 {@dice 1d6} bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it fell, to a maximum of {@dice 20d6}. The creature lands {@condition prone}, unless it avoids taking damage from the fall.

Suffocating

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, it can survive for a number of rounds equal to its Constitution modifier (minimum 1 round). At the start of its next turn, it drops to 0 hit points and is dying.

If you run out of breath, you can't regain hit points or be stabilized until you 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.

Vision and Light

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 {@b lightly obscured} area, such as dim light, patchy fog, or moderate foliage, creatures have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

{@b A heavily obscured} area—such as darkness, opaque fog, or dense foliage—blocks vision entirely. A creature in a heavily obscured area effectively suffers from the {@condition blinded} condition (see the appendix). A heavily obscured area doesn't blind you, but you are effectively blinded when you try to see something obscured by it.

The presence or absence of light in an environment creates three categories of illumination: bright light, dim light, and darkness.

{@b 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.

{@b 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 also counts as dim light. A particularly brilliant full moon might bathe the land in dim light.

{@b 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.

Blindsight

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.

Darkvision

Many creatures in fantasy gaming worlds, especially those that dwell underground, have darkvision. Within a specified range, a creature with darkvision can see in dim light as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it 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 that darkness, only shades of gray.

Truesight

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 a creature that is transformed by magic. Furthermore, the creature can see into the Ethereal Plane.

Food and Water

Characters who don't eat or drink suffer the effects of {@condition exhaustion} (see the appendix). Exhaustion caused by lack of food or water can't be removed until the character eats and drinks the full required amount.

Food

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 {@condition exhaustion}.

A normal day of eating resets the count of days without food to zero.

Water

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 {@condition exhaustion} at the end of the day. A character with access to even less water automatically suffers one level of {@condition exhaustion} at the end of the day.

If the character already has one or more levels of {@condition exhaustion}, the character takes two levels in either case.

Interacting with Objects

A character's interaction with objects in an environment is often simple to resolve in the game. The player tells the DM that his or her character is doing something, such a moving a lever, and the DM 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 DM might call for a Strength check to see whether the character can wrench the lever into place. The DM 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 DM 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 DM sets the DC for any such check.

Social Interaction

Exploring dungeons, overcoming obstacles, and slaying monsters are key parts of D&D adventures. No less important, though, are the social interactions that adventurers have with other inhabitants of the world.

Interaction takes on many forms. You might need to convince an unscrupulous thief to confess to some malfeasance, or you might try to flatter a dragon so that it will spare your life. The DM assumes the roles of any characters who are participating in the interaction that don't belong to another player at the table. Any such character is called a nonplayer character (NPC).

In general terms, an NPC's attitude toward you is described as friendly, indifferent, or hostile. Friendly NPCs are predisposed to help you, and hostile ones are inclined to get in your way. It's easier to get what you want from a friendly NPC, of course.

Social interactions have two primary aspects: roleplaying and ability checks.

Roleplaying

Roleplaying is, literally, the act of playing out a role. In this case, it's you as a player determining how your character thinks, acts, and talks.

Roleplaying is a part of every aspect of the game, and it comes to the fore during social interactions. Your character's quirks, mannerisms, and personality influence how interactions resolve.

There are two styles you can use when roleplaying your character: the descriptive approach and the active approach. Most players use a combination of the two styles. Use whichever mix of the two works best for you.

Descriptive Approach to Roleplaying

With this approach, you describe your character's words and actions to the DM and the other players. Drawing on your mental image of your character, you tell everyone what your character does and how he or she does it.

For instance, Chris plays Tordek the dwarf. Tordek has a quick temper and blames the elves of the Cloakwood for his family's misfortune. At a tavern, an obnoxious elf minstrel sits at Tordek's table and tries to strike up a conversation with the dwarf.

Chris says, "Tordek spits on the floor, growls an insult at the bard, and stomps over to the bar. He sits on a stool and glares at the minstrel before ordering another drink." In this example, Chris has conveyed Tordek's mood and given the DM a clear idea of his character's attitude and actions.

When using descriptive roleplaying, keep the following things in mind:

Active Approach to Roleplaying

If descriptive roleplaying tells your DM and your fellow players what your character thinks and does, active roleplaying shows them.

When you use active roleplaying, you speak with your character's voice, like an actor taking on a role. You might even echo your character's movements and body language. This approach is more immersive than descriptive roleplaying, though you still need to describe things that can't be reasonably acted out.

Going back to the example of Chris roleplaying Tordek above, here's how the scene might play out if Chris used active roleplaying:

Speaking as Tordek, Chris says in a gruff, deep voice, "I was wondering why it suddenly smelled awful in here. If I wanted to hear anything out of you, I'd snap your arm and enjoy your screams." In his normal voice, Chris then adds, "I get up, glare at the elf, and head to the bar."

Results of Roleplaying

The DM uses your character's actions and attitudes to determine how an NPC reacts. A cowardly NPC buckles under threats of violence. A stubborn dwarf refuses to let anyone badger her. A vain dragon laps up flattery.

When interacting with an NPC, pay close attention to the DM's portrayal of the NPC's mood, dialogue, and personality. You might be able to determine an NPC's personality traits, ideals, flaws, and bonds, then play on them to influence the NPC's attitude.

Interactions in D&D are much like interactions in real life. If you can offer NPCs something they want, threaten them with something they fear, or play on their sympathies and goals, you can use words to get almost anything you want. On the other hand, if you insult a proud warrior or speak ill of a noble's allies, your efforts to convince or deceive will fall short.

Ability Checks

In addition to roleplaying, ability checks are key in determining the outcome of an interaction.

Your roleplaying efforts can alter an NPC's attitude, but there might still be an element of chance in the situation. For example, your DM can call for a Charisma check at any point during an interaction if he or she wants the dice to play a role in determining an NPC's reactions. Other checks might be appropriate in certain situations, at your DM's discretion.

Pay attention to your skill proficiencies when thinking of how you want to interact with an NPC, and stack the deck in your favor by using an approach that relies on your best bonuses and skills. If the group needs to trick a guard into letting them into a castle, the rogue who is proficient in Deception is the best bet to lead the discussion. When negotiating for a hostage's release, the cleric with Persuasion should do most of the talking.

Resting

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. While the text here refers to adventurers, any creature can take a short or long rest.

Short Rest

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. After applying your Constitution modifier to a Hit Die roll, you regain a minimum of 0 hit points. The player can decide to spend an additional Hit Die after each roll. A character regains some spent Hit Dice upon finishing a long rest, as explained below.

Long Rest

A long rest is a period of extended downtime, at least 8 hours long, during which a character sleeps for at least 6 hours and performs no more than 2 hours of light activity, such as reading, talking, eating, or standing watch. 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. You regain at least 1 Hit Die when you finish a long rest.

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 Adventures

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 DM 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 DM might want to keep track of just how much time is passing as events beyond your perception stay in motion.

Lifestyle Expenses

Between adventures, you choose a particular quality of life and pay the cost of maintaining that lifestyle, as described in chapter 5.

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.

Downtime Activities

Between adventures, the DM might ask you what your character is doing during his or her downtime. Periods 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 DM.

Crafting

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 {@item smith's tools|phb} 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 to craft the item. For example, three characters with the requisite tool proficiency and the proper facilities can craft a suit of plate armor in 100 days, at a total cost of 750 gp.

While crafting, you can maintain a modest lifestyle without having to pay 1 gp per day, or a comfortable lifestyle at half the normal cost (see chapter 5 for more information on lifestyle expenses).

Practicing a Profession

You can work between adventures, allowing you to maintain a modest lifestyle without having to pay 1 gp per day (see chapter 5 for more information on lifestyle expenses). This benefit lasts as long 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.

Recuperating

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:

Researching

The time between adventures is a great chance to perform 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 DM 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 DM might also require you to make one or more ability checks, such as an 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 (as discussed in chapter 5).

Training

You can spend time between adventures learning a new language or training with a set of tools. Your DM might allow additional training options.

First, you must find an instructor willing to teach you. The DM 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.

Combat

The clatter of a sword striking against a shield. The terrible rending sound as monstrous claws tear through armor. A brilliant flash of light as a ball of flame blossoms from a wizard's spell. The sharp tang of blood in the air, cutting through the stench of vile monsters.

Roars of fury, shouts of triumph, cries of pain. Combat in D&D can be chaotic, deadly, and thrilling.

This chapter provides the rules you need for your characters and monsters to engage in combat, whether it is a brief skirmish or an extended conflict in a dungeon or on a field of battle. Throughout this chapter, the rules address you, the player or Dungeon Master.

The Dungeon Master controls all the monsters and nonplayer characters involved in combat, and each other player controls an adventurer. "You" can also mean the character or monster that you control.

Combat Step by Step

The Order of Combat

A typical combat encounter is a clash between two sides, a flurry of weapon 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.

Surprise

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 DM determines who might be surprised. If neither side tries to be stealthy, they automatically notice each other. Otherwise, the DM 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 the 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

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 DM makes one roll for an entire group of identical creatures, so each member of the group acts at the same time.

The DM 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 DM decides the order among tied DM-controlled creatures, and the players decide the order among their tied characters. The DM can decide the order if the tie is between a monster and a player character. Optionally, the DM can have the tied characters and monsters each roll a d20 to determine the order, highest roll going first.

Your Turn

On your turn, you can {@b move} a distance up to your speed and {@b 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 described in the "Actions in Combat" section later in this chapter. Many class features and other abilities provide additional options for your action.

The "Movement and Position" section later in this chapter 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."

Bonus Actions

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.

Other Activity on Your Turn

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 DM 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 DM could reasonably expect you to use an action to open a stuck door or turn a crank to lower a drawbridge.

Interacting with Objects Around You

Here are a few examples of the sorts of thing you can do in tandem with your movement and action:

Reactions

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, described later in this chapter, 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.

Movement and Positioning

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 your speed until it is used up or until you are done moving.

The "Special Types of Movement" section in chapter 8 gives the particulars for jumping, climbing, and swimming.

Breaking Up Your Move

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.

Difficult Terrain

Combat rarely takes place in bare rooms or on featureless plains.

Boulder-strewn caverns, briar-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.

Being Prone

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, a condition described in the appendix.

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.

Moving around Other Creatures

You can move through a nonhostile 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, as explained later in the chapter.

Flying Movement

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 it is being held aloft by magic, such as by the fly spell.

Creature Size

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.

Size Categories

Size Categories
SizeSpace
Tiny2½ by 2½ ft.
Small5 by 5 ft.
Medium5 by 5 ft.
Large10 by 10 ft.
Huge15 by 15 ft.
Gargantuan20 by 20 ft. or larger

Space

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 four 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.

Variant: Playing on a Grid

If you play out a combat using a square grid and miniatures or other tokens, follow these rules.

Squares

Each square on the grid represents 5 feet.

Speed

Rather than moving foot by foot, move square by square on the grid. This means you use your speed in 5-foot segments. This is particularly easy if you translate your speed into squares by dividing the speed by 5. For example, a speed of 30 feet translates into a speed of 6 squares.

If you use a grid often, consider writing your speed in squares on your character sheet.

Entering a Square

To enter a square, you must have at least 1 square of movement left, even if the square is diagonally adjacent to the square you're in. (The rule for diagonal movement sacrifices realism for the sake of smooth play. The Dungeon Master's Guide provides guidance on using a more realistic approach.)

If a square costs extra movement, as a square of difficult terrain does, you must have enough movement left to pay for entering it. For example, you must have at least 2 squares of movement left to enter a square of difficult terrain.

Corners

Diagonal movement can't cross the corner of a wall, large tree, or other terrain feature that fills its space.

Ranges

To determine the range on a grid between two things—whether creatures or objects—start counting squares from a square adjacent to one of them and stop counting in the space of the other one. Count by the shortest route.

Actions in Combat

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 DM tells you whether that action is possible and what kind of roll you need to make, if any, to determine success or failure.

Attack

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.

Cast a Spell

Spellcasters such as wizards and clerics, as well as many monsters, have access to spells and can use them to great 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. See chapter 10 for the rules on spellcasting.

Dash

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.

Disengage

If you take the Disengage action, your movement doesn't provoke opportunity attacks for the rest of the turn.

Dodge

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 (as explained in the appendix) or if your speed drops to 0.

Help

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.

Hide

When you take the Hide action, you make a Dexterity (Stealth) check in an attempt to hide, following the rules in chapter 7 for hiding. If you succeed, you gain certain benefits, as described in the "Unseen Attackers and Targets" section later in this chapter.

Ready

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 choose 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 (explained in chapter 10). 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.

Search

When you take the Search action, you devote your attention to finding something. Depending on the nature of your search, the DM might have you make a Wisdom (Perception) check or an Intelligence (Investigation) check.

Use an Object

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.

Improvising an Action

Your character can do things not covered by the actions in this chapter, such as breaking down doors, intimidating enemies, sensing weaknesses in magical defenses, or calling for a parley with a foe. The only limits to the actions you can attempt are your imagination and your character's ability scores. See the descriptions of the ability scores in chapter 7 for inspiration as you improvise.

When you describe an action not detailed elsewhere in the rules, the DM tells you whether that action is possible and what kind of roll you need to make, if any, to determine success or failure.

Making an Attack

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.

Attack Rolls

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.

Modifiers to the Roll

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, as explained in chapter 10.

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.

Rolling 1 or 20

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. In addition, the attack is a critical hit, as explained later in this chapter.

If the d20 roll for an attack is a 1, the attack misses regardless of any modifiers or the target's AC.

Unseen Attackers and Targets

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 DM 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.

Ranged Attacks

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.

Range

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 range.

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.

Melee Attacks

Used in hand-to-hand combat, a melee attack allows you to attack a foe within your reach. A melee attack typically uses a handheld weapon such as a sword, a warhammer, or an axe. 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 {@b 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.

Opportunity Attacks

In a fight, everyone is constantly watching for enemies to drop their guard. You can rarely move heedlessly past your foes without putting yourself in danger; doing so provokes 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 interrupts the provoking creature's movement, occurring right before the creature leaves your reach.

You can avoid provoking an opportunity attack by taking the Disengage action. You also don'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.

Two-Weapon Fighting

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.

Contests in Combat

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 DM can use these contests as models for improvising others.

Grappling

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 it must be within your reach.

Using at least one free hand, you try to seize the target by making a grapple check, a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the target's Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the ability to use). You succeed automatically if the target is incapacitated. If you succeed, you subject the target to the grappled condition (see the appendix). 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 Target

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.

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 of your shove must be no more than one size larger than you, and it must be within your reach. You make a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the target's Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the ability to use). You succeed automatically if the target is incapacitated. If you succeed, you either knock the target prone or push it 5 feet away from you.

Cover

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 of 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 {@b 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 {@b 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 {@b 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.

Damage and Healing

Injury and the risk of death are constant companions of those who explore the worlds of D&D. 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

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 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.

Damage Rolls

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.

When attacking with a {@b weapon}, you add your ability modifier—the same modifier used for the attack roll to the damage. A {@b spell} tells you which dice to roll for damage and whether to add any modifiers.

If a spell or other effect deals damage to {@b 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.

Critical Hits

When you score a critical hit, you get to roll extra dice for the attack's damage against the target. Roll all of 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.

Damage Types

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 DM 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 spear 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 some spells, withers matter and even the soul.

Piercing

Puncturing and impaling attacks, including spears and monsters' bites, deal piercing damage.

Poison

Venomous stings and the toxic gas of a green dragon's breath deal poison damage.

Psychic

Mental abilities such as a mind flayer's psionic blast 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 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.

Damage Resistance and Vulnerability

Some creatures and objects are exceedingly difficult or unusually easy to hurt with certain types of damage.

If a creature or an object has {@b resistance} to a damage type, damage of that type is halved against it. If a creature or an object has {@b 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.

Describing the Effects of Damage

Dungeon Masters describe hit point loss in different ways.

When your current hit point total is half or more of your hit point maximum, you typically show no signs of injury. When you drop below half your hit point maximum, you show signs of injury. When you drop below half of your hit point maximum, you show signs of wear, such as cuts and bruises. An attack that reduces you to 0 hit points strikes you directly, leaving a bleeding injury or other trauma, or it simply knocks you unconscious.

Healing

Unless it results in death, damage isn't permanent. Even death is reversible through powerful magic. Rest can restore a creature's hit points (as explained in chapter 8), and magical methods such as a 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.

Dropping to 0 Hit Points

When you drop to 0 hit points, you either die outright or fall unconscious, as explained in the following sections.

Instant Death

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.

Falling Unconscious

If damage reduces you to 0 hit points and fails to kill you, you fall unconscious (see the appendix). This unconsciousness ends if you regain any hit points.

Death Saving Throws

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.

Damage at 0 Hit Points

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.

Stabilizing a Creature

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.

Monsters and Death

Most DMs have a monster die the instant it drops to 0 hit points, rather than having it fall unconscious and make death saving throws.

Mighty villains and special nonplayer characters are common exceptions; the DM might have them fall unconscious and follow the same rules as player characters.

Knocking a Creature Out

Sometimes an attacker wants to incapacitate a foe, rather than deal 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.

Temporary Hit Points

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 your 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.

Mounted Combat

A knight charging into battle on a warhorse, a wizard casting spells from the back of a griffon, 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.

Mounting and Dismounting

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 it.

Controlling a Mount

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.

Underwater Combat

When adventurers pursue sahuagin back to their undersea homes, 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.

When making a {@b melee weapon attack}, a creature that doesn't have a swimming speed (either natural or granted by magic) has disadvantage on the attack roll unless the weapon is a dagger, javelin, shortsword, spear, or trident.

A {@b ranged weapon attack} automatically misses a target beyond the weapon's normal range. Even against a target within normal range, the attack roll has disadvantage unless the weapon is a crossbow, a net, or a weapon that is thrown like a javelin (including a spear, trident, or dart).

Creatures and objects that are fully immersed in water have resistance to fire damage.

Spellcasting

Magic permeates the worlds of D&D and most often appears in the form of a spell.

This chapter 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.

What is a Spell?

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 the appendix), 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.

Spell Level

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 incredible time stop 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.

Known and Prepared Spells

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 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.

Spell Slots

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 includes a table showing how many spell slots of each spell level a character can use at each character level. For example, the 3rd-level wizard Umara has 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 when Umara casts magic missile, a 1st-level spell, she spends one of her four 1st-level slots and has three remaining.

Finishing a long rest restores any expended spell slots (see chapter 8 for the rules on resting).

Some characters and monsters have special abilities that let them cast spells without using spell slots.

Casting a Spell at a Higher Level

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 Umara casts magic missile using one of her 2nd-level slots, that magic missile is 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 a higher level, as detailed in a spell's description.

Cantrips

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.

Rituals

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.

Casting a Spell

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 in chapter 11 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.

Casting in Armor

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.

Casting Time

Most spells require a single action to cast, but some spells require a bonus action, a reaction, or much more time to cast.

Bonus Action

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.

Reactions

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.

Longer Casting Times

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 single 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.

Range

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" later in the this chapter).

Once a spell is cast, its effects aren't limited by its range, unless the spell's description says otherwise.

Components

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.

Verbal (V)

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 the silence spell, can't cast a spell with a verbal component.

Somatic (S)

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.

Material (M)

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 chapter 5) 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 spell 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.

Duration

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.

Instantaneous

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.

Concentration

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 DM 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.

Targets

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.

Targeting Yourself

If a spell targets a creature of your choice, you can choose yourself, unless the creature must be hostile or specifically a creature other than you. If you are in the area of effect of a spell you cast, you can target yourself.

The Schools of Magic 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.

Areas of Effect

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 of 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, as explained in chapter 9.

rules/Point-of-Origin.pngq

Cone

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 cone'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.

Cube

You select a 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.

Cylinder

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.

Line

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.

Sphere

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.

Combining Magical Effects

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, or the most recent effect applies if the castings are equally potent and 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.

The Weave of Magic

The words within the D&D multiverse are magical places. All existence is suffused with magical power, and potential energy lies untapped in every rock, stream, and living creature, the mute and mindless will of existence, permeating every bit of matter and present in every manifestation of energy throughout the multiverse.

Mortals can't directly shape this raw magic. Instead, they make use of a fabric of magic, a kind of interface between the will of a spellcaster and the stuff of raw magic. The spellcasters of the Forgotten Realms call it the Weave and recognize its essence as the goddess Mystra, but casters have varied ways of naming and visualizing this interface.

By any name, without the Weave, raw magic is locked away and inaccessible; the most powerful archmage can't light a candle with magic in an area where the Weave has been torn. But surrounded by the Weave, a spellcaster can shape lightning to blast foes, transport hundreds of miles in the blink of an eye, or even reverse death itself.

All magic depends on the Weave, though different kinds of magic access it in a variety of ways. The spells of wizards, warlocks, sorcerers, and bards are commonly called {@b arcane magic}. These spells rely on an understanding—learned or intuitive—of the workings of the Weave. The caster plucks directly at the strands of the Weave to create the desired effect. Eldritch knights and arcane tricksters also use arcane magic. The spells of clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers are called {@b divine magic}. These spellcasters' access to the Weave is mediated by divine power—gods, the divine forces of nature, or the sacred weight of a paladin's oath.

Whenever a magic effect is created, the threads of the Weave intertwine, twist, and fold to make the effect possible.

When characters use divination spells such as {@i detect magic} or {@i identify}, they glimpse the Weave. A spell such as {@i dispel magic} smooths the Weave. Spells such as {@i antimagic field} rearrange the Weave so that magic flows around, rather than through the area affected by the spell. And in places where the Weave is damaged or torn, magic works in unpredictable ways—or not at all.

Conditions

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.

stdClass Object ( [type] => inlineBlock [entries] => Array ( [0] => For a full list of the conditions, see the [1] => stdClass Object ( [type] => link [href] => stdClass Object ( [type] => internal [path] => conditionsdiseases.html ) [text] => conditions ) [2] => page. The conditions are: [3] => stdClass Object ( [type] => list [items] => Array ( [0] => {@condition blinded} [1] => {@condition charmed} [2] => {@condition deafened} [3] => {@condition exhaustion} [4] => {@condition frightened} [5] => {@condition grappled} [6] => {@condition incapacitated} [7] => {@condition invisible} [8] => {@condition paralyzed} [9] => {@condition petrified} [10] => {@condition poisoned} [11] => {@condition prone} [12] => {@condition restrained} [13] => {@condition stunned} [14] => {@condition unconscious} ) ) ) )

Gods of the Multiverse

Religion is an important part of life in the worlds of the D&D multiverse. When gods walk the world, clerics channel divine power, evil cults perform dark sacrifices in subterranean lairs, and shining paladins stand like beacons against the darkness, it's hard to be ambivalent about the deities and deny their existence.

Many people in the worlds of D&D worship different gods at different times and circumstances. People in the Forgotten Realms, for example, might pray to Sune for luck in love, make an offering to Waukeen before heading to the market, and pray to appease Talos when a severe storm blows in—all in the same day. Many people have a favorite among the gods, one whose ideals and teachings they make their own. And a few people dedicate themselves entirely to a single god, usually serving as a priest or champion of that god's ideals. Your DM determines which gods, if any, are worshiped in his or her campaign. From among the gods available, you can choose a single deity for your character to serve, worship, or pay lip service to. Or you can pick a few that your character prays to most often. Or just make a mental note of the gods who are revered in your DM's campaign so you can invoke their names when appropriate. If you're playing a cleric or a character with the Acolyte background, decide which god your deity serves or served, and consider the deity's suggested domains when selecting your character's domain.

The Life and Death Domains

Many deities in this section suggest the Life domain, particularly if they are closely associated with healing, protection, childbirth, nurturing, or fertility. As described in the chapter 3, though, the Life domain is incredibly broad, and a cleric of any non-evil deity can choose it.

A number of other deities, mostly evil ones, suggest the Death domain, which is detailed in the Dungeon Master's Guide. Most clerics who choose this domain are evil NPCs, but if you want to worship a god of death, consult your Dungeon Master.

D&D Pantheons

Each world in the D&D multiverse has its own pantheons of deities, ranging in size from the teeming pantheons of the Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk to the more focused religions of Eberron and Dragonlance. Many of the nonhuman races worship the same gods on different worlds—Moradin, for example, is revered by dwarves of the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, and many other worlds.

The Forgotten Realms

Dozens of deities are revered, worshiped, and feared throughout the world of the Forgotten Realms. At least thirty deities are widely known across the Realms, and many more are worshiped locally, by individual tribes, small cults, or certain sects of larger religious temples.

Deities of the Forgotten Realms

Deities of the Forgotten Realms
DeityAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
Auril, goddess of winterNENature, TempestSix-pointed snowflake
Azuth, god of wizardsLNKnowledgeLeft hand pointing upward, outlined in fire
Bane, god of tyrannyLEWarUpright black right hand, thumb and fingers together
Beshaba, goddess of misfortuneCETrickeryBlack antlers
Bhaal, god of murderNEDeathSkull surrounded by a ring of blood droplets
Chauntea, goddess of agricultureNGLifeSheaf of grain or a blooming rose over grain
Cyric, god of liesCETrickeryWhite jawless skull on black or purple sunburst
Deneir, god of writingNGKnowledgeLit candle above an open eye
Eldath, goddess of peaceNGLife, NatureWaterfall plunging into still pool
Gond, god of craftNKnowledgeToothed cog with four spokes
Helm, god of protectionLNLife, LightStaring eye on upright left gauntlet
Ilmater, god of enduranceLGLifeHands bound at the wrist with red cord
Kelemvor, god of the deadLNDeathUpright skeletal arm holding balanced scales
Lathander, god of birth and renewalNGLife, LightRoad traveling into a sunrise
Leira, goddess of illusionCNTrickeryPoint-down triangle containing a swirl of mist
Lliira, goddess of joyCGLifeTriangle of three six-pointed stars
Loviatar, goddess of painLEDeathNine-tailed barbed scourge
Malar, god of the huntCENatureClawed paw
Mask, god of thievesCNTrickeryBlack mask
Mielikki, goddess of forestsNGNatureUnicorn's head
Milil, god of poetry and songNGLightFive-stringed harp made of leaves
Myrkul, god of deathNEDeathWhite human skull
Mystra, goddess of magicNGKnowledgeCircle of seven stars, or nine stars encircling a flowing red mist, or a single star
Oghma, god of knowledgeNKnowledgeBlank scroll
Savras, god of divination and fateLNKnowledgeCrystal ball containing many kinds of eyes
Selune, goddess of the moonCGKnowledge, LifePair of eyes surrounded by seven stars
Shar, goddess of darkness and lossNEDeath, TrickeryBlack disk encircled with a border
Silvanus, god of wild natureNNatureOak leaf
Sune, goddess of love and beautyCGLife, LightFace of a beautiful red-haired woman
Talona, goddess of disease and poisonCEDeathThree teardrops on a triangle
Talos, god of stormsCETempestThree lightning bolts radiating from a central point
Tempus, god of warNWarUpright flaming sword
Torm, god of courage and self-sacrificeLGWarWhite right gauntlet
Tymora, goddess of good fortuneCGTrickeryFace-up coin
Tyr, god of justiceLGWarBalanced scales resting on a warhammer
Umberlee, goddess of the seaCETempestWave curling left and right
Waukeen, goddess of tradeNKnowledge, TrickeryUpright coin with Waukeen's profile facing left

Greyhawk

The gods of Greyhawk come from at least four different pantheons, representing the faiths of the various ethnic groups that populated the continent of Oerik over the ages. As a result, there's a great deal of overlap in their portfolios: Pelor is the Flan god of the sun and Pholtus is the Oeridian sun god, for example.

Deities of Greyhawk

Deities of Greyhawk
DeityAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
Beory, goddess of natureNNatureGreen disk
Boccob, god of magicNKnowledgeEye within a pentagram
Celestian, god of stars and wanderersNKnowledgeArc of seven stars inside a circle
Ehlonna, goddess of woodlandsNGLife, NatureUnicorn horn
Erythnul, god of envy and slaughterCEWarBlood drop
Fharlanghn, god of horizons and travelNGKnowledge, TrickeryCircle crossed by a curved horizon line
Heironeous, god of chivalry and valorLGWarLightning bolt
Hextor, god of war and discordLEWarSix arrows facing downward in a fan
Kord, god of athletics and sportCGTempest, WarFour spears and four maces radiating out from a central point
Incabulos, god of plague and famineNEDeathReptilian eye with a horizontal diamond
Istus, goddess of fate and destinyNKnowledgeWeaver's spindle with three strands
luz, god of pain and oppressionCEDeathGrinning human skull
Nerull, god of deathNEDeathSkull with either a sickle or a scythe
Obad-Hai, god of natureNNatureOak leaf and acorn
Olidammara, god of revelryCNTrickeryLaughing mask
Pelor, god of the sun and healingNGLife, LightSun
Pholtus, god of light and lawLGLightSilver sun or full moon partially eclipsed by a smaller crescent moon
Ralishaz, god of ill luck and insanityCNTrickeryThree bone fate-casting sticks
Rao, god of peace and reasonLGKnowledgeWhite heart
St. Cuthbert, god of common sense and zealLNKnowledgeCircle at the center of a starburst of lines
Tharizdun, god of eternal darknessCETrickeryDark spiral or inverted ziggurat
Trithereon, god of liberty and retributionCGWarTriskelion
Ulaa, goddess of hills and mountainsLGLife, WarMountain with a circle at its heart
Vecna, god of evil secretsNEKnowledgeHand with eye in the palm
Wee Jas, goddess of magic and deathLNDeath, KnowledgeRed skull in front of fireball

Dragonlance

The gods of the world of Krynn are three families: seven gods of good headed by Paladine and Mishakal, seven of neutrality headed by Gilean, and seven of evil headed by Takhisis and Sargonnas. These deities have been called by many different names and held in varying levels of esteem by different peoples and cultures through the world's history, but they are the only gods of this world—their place fixed in the stars as constellations.

Deities of Dragonlance: Good

Deities of Dragonlance: Good
The Gods of GoodAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
Paladine, god of rulers and guardiansLGWarSilver triangle
Branchala, god of musicNGLightBard's harp
Habbakuk, god of animal life and the seaNGNature, TempestBlue bird
Kiri-Jolith, god of honor and warLGWarBison's horns
Majere, god of meditation and orderLGKnowledgeCopper spider
Mishakal, goddess of healingLGKnowledge, LifeBlue infinity sign
Solinari, god of good magicLGno clericsWhite circle or sphere

Deities of Dragonlance: Neutral

Deities of Dragonlance: Neutral
The Gods of NeutralityAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
Gilean, god of knowledgeNKnowledgeOpen book
Chislev, goddess of natureNNatureFeather
Reorx, god of craftNKnowledgeForging hammer
Shinare, goddess of wealth and tradeNKnowledge, TrickeryGriffon's wing
Sirrion, god of fire and changeNNatureMulti-colored fire
Zivilyn, god of wisdomNKnowledgeGreat green or gold tree
Lunitari, goddess of neutral magicNno clericsRed circle or sphere

Deities of Dragonlance: Evil

Deities of Dragonlance: Evil
The Gods of EvilAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
Takhisis, goddess of night and hatredLEDeathBlack crescent
Chemosh, god of the undeadLEDeathYellow skull
Hiddukel, god of lies and greedCETrickeryBroken merchant's scales
Morgion, god of disease and secrecyNEDeathHood with two red eyes
Sargonnas, god of vengeance and fireLEWarStylized red condor
Zeboim, goddess of the sea and stormsCETempestTurtle shell
Nuitari, god of evil magicLEno clericsBlack circle or sphere

Eberron

The world of Eberron has many different religions, but the most important revolves around a pantheon called the Sovereign Host and their malign shadow, the Dark Six. The gods of the Sovereign Host are thought to have dominion over every aspect of existence, and to speak with a unified voice. But the Dark Six are the primitive, bloody, and cruel gods who offer a dissenting voice. Eberron's other religions are very different from the traditional D&D pantheons. The monotheistic Church of the Silver Flame is devoted to fighting against evil in the world, but plagued by corruption in its own ranks. The philosophy of the Blood of Vol teaches that divinity lies within all mortal beings and reveres the undead who have secured that immortality. Various mad cults are devoted to the demons and horrors imprisoned in Eberron's Underdark (called Khyber, the Dragon Below). The followers of the Path of Light believe that the world is heading toward a glorious future where the shadows that cloud this world will be transformed into light. And two related nations of elves revere their ancestral spirits: the Undying Court, preserved as spirits or even undead forms, and the glorified Spirits of the Past, the great heroes of ancient wars.

Deities of Eberron

stdClass Object ( [type] => tableGroup [name] => Deities of Eberron [tables] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [type] => table [colLabels] => Array ( [0] => The Sovereign Host [1] => Alignment [2] => Suggested Domains [3] => Symbol ) [colStyles] => Array ( [0] => col-3 [1] => col-1 text-align-center [2] => col-3 [3] => col-5 ) [rows] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [0] => Arawai, goddess of fertility [1] => NG [2] => Life, Nature [3] => Sheaf of wheat tied with green ribbon ) [1] => Array ( [0] => Aureon, god of law and knowledge [1] => LN [2] => Knowledge [3] => Open tome ) [2] => Array ( [0] => Balinor, god of beasts and the hunt [1] => N [2] => Life, Nature [3] => Pair of antlers ) [3] => Array ( [0] => Boldrei, goddess of community and home [1] => LG [2] => Life [3] => Fire in a stone hearth ) [4] => Array ( [0] => Dol Arrah, goddess of sunlight and honor [1] => LG [2] => Light, War [3] => Rising sun ) [5] => Array ( [0] => Dol Dorn, god of strength at arms [1] => CG [2] => War [3] => Longsword crossed over a shield ) [6] => Array ( [0] => Kol Korran, god of trade and wealth [1] => N [2] => Trickery [3] => Nine-sided gold coin ) [7] => Array ( [0] => Olladra, goddess of good fortune [1] => NG [2] => Life, Trickery [3] => Domino ) [8] => Array ( [0] => Onatar, god of craft [1] => NG [2] => Knowledge [3] => Crossed hammer and tongs ) ) ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [type] => table [colLabels] => Array ( [0] => The Dark Six [1] => Alignment [2] => Suggested Domains [3] => Symbol ) [colStyles] => Array ( [0] => col-3 [1] => col-1 text-align-center [2] => col-3 [3] => col-5 ) [rows] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [0] => The Devourer, god of nature's wrath [1] => NE [2] => Tempest [3] => Bundle of five sharpened bones ) [1] => Array ( [0] => The Fury, goddess of wrath and madness [1] => NE [2] => War [3] => Winged wyrm with woman's head and upper body ) [2] => Array ( [0] => The Keeper, god of greed and death [1] => NE [2] => Death [3] => Dragonshard stone in the shape of a fang ) [3] => Array ( [0] => The Mockery, god of violence and treachery [1] => NE [2] => War [3] => Five blood-spattered tools ) [4] => Array ( [0] => The Shadow, god of dark magic [1] => CE [2] => Knowledge [3] => Obsidian tower ) [5] => Array ( [0] => The Traveler, deity of chaos and change [1] => CN [2] => Knowledge, Trickery [3] => Four crossed, rune-inscribed bones ) ) ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [type] => table [colLabels] => Array ( [0] => Other Faiths of Eberron [1] => Alignment [2] => Suggested Domains [3] => Symbol ) [colStyles] => Array ( [0] => col-3 [1] => col-1 text-align-center [2] => col-3 [3] => col-5 ) [rows] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [0] => The Silver Flame, deity of protection and good [1] => LG [2] => Life, Light, War [3] => Flame drawn on silver or molded from silver ) [1] => Array ( [0] => The Blood of Vol, philosophy of immortality and undeath [1] => LN [2] => Death, Life [3] => Stylized dragon skull on red teardrop gem ) [2] => Array ( [0] => Cults of the Dragon Below, deities of madness [1] => NE [2] => Trickery [3] => Varies ) [3] => Array ( [0] => The Path of Light, philosophy of light and self-improvement [1] => LN [2] => Life, Light [3] => Brilliant crystal ) [4] => Array ( [0] => The Undying Court, elven ancestors [1] => NG [2] => Knowledge, Life [3] => Varies ) [5] => Array ( [0] => The Spirits of the Past, elven ancestors [1] => CG [2] => War [3] => Varies ) ) ) ) )

Nonhuman Deities

Certain gods closely associated with nonhuman races are revered on many different worlds, though not always in the same way. The nonhuman races of the Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk share these deities.

Nonhuman races often have whole pantheons of their own. Besides Moradin, for example, the dwarf gods include Moradin's wife, Berronar Truesilver, and a number of other gods thought to be their children and grandchildren: Abbathor, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Dugmaren Brightmantle, Dumathoin, Gorm Gulthyn, Haela Brightaxe, Marthammor Duin, Sharindlar, Thard Harr, and Vergadain. Individual clans and kingdoms of dwarves might revere some, all, or none of these deities, and some have other gods unknown (or known by other names) to outsiders.

Nonhuman Deities

Nonhuman Deities
DeityAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
Bahamut, dragon god of goodLGLife, WarDragon's head in profile
Blibdoolpoolp, kuo-toa goddessNEDeathLobster head or black pearl
Corellon Larethian, elf deity of art and magicCGLightQuarter moon or starburst
Deep Sashelas, elf god of the seaCGNature, TempestDolphin
Eadro, merfolk deity of the seaNNature, TempestSpiral design
Garl Glittergold, gnome god of trickery and wilesLGTrickeryGold nugget
Grolantor, hill giant god of warCEWarWooden club
Gruumsh, orc god of storms and warCETempest, WarUnblinking eye
Hruggek, bugbear god of violenceCEWarMorningstar
Kurtulmak, kobold god of war and miningLEWarGnome skull
Laogzed, troglodyte god of hungerCEDeathImage of the lizard/toad god
Lolth, drow goddess of spidersCETrickerySpider
Maglubiyet, goblinoid god of warLEWarBloody axe
Moradin, dwarf god of creationLGKnowledgeHammer and anvil
Rillifane Rallathil, wood elf god of natureCGNatureOak
Sehanine Moonbow, elf goddess of the moonCGKnowledgeCrescent moon
Sekolah, sahuagin god of the huntLENature, TempestShark
Semuanya, lizardfolk deity of survivalNLifeEgg
Skerrit, centaur and satyr god of natureNNatureOak growing from acorn
Skoraeus Stonebones, god of stone giants and artNKnowledgeStalactite
Surtur, god of fire giants and craftLEKnowledge, WarFlaming sword
Thrym, god of frost giants and strengthCEWarWhite double-bladed axe
Tiamat, dragon goddess of evilLETrickeryDragon head with five claw marks
Yondalla, halfling goddess of fertility and protectionLGLifeShield

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 D&D game, divorced from their historical context in the real world and united into pantheons that serve the needs of the game.

The Celtic Pantheon

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.

Celtic Deities

Celtic Deities
DeityAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
The Daghdha, god of weather and cropsCGNature, TrickeryBubbling cauldron or shield
Arawn, god of life and deathNELife, DeathBlack star on gray background
Belenus, god of sun, light, and warmthNGLightSolar disk and standing stones
Brigantia, goddess of rivers and livestockNGLifeFootbridge
Diancecht, god of medicine and healingLGLifeCrossed oak and mistletoe branches
Dunatis, god of mountains and peaksNNatureRed sun-capped mountain peak
Goibhniu, god of smiths and healingNGKnowledge, LifeGiant mallet over sword
Lugh, god of arts, travel, and commerceCNKnowledge, LifePair of long hands
Manannan mac Lir, god of oceans and sea creaturesLNNature, TempestWave of white water on green
Math Mathonwy, god of magicNEKnowledgeStaff
Morrigan, goddess of battleCEWarTwo crossed spears
Nuada, god of war and warriorsNWarSilver hand on black background
Oghma, god of speech and writingNGKnowledgeUnfurled scroll
Silvanus, god of nature and forestsNNatureSummer oak tree

The Greek Pantheon

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.

Greek Deities

Greek Deities
DeityAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
Zeus, god of the sky, ruler of the godsNTempestFist full of lightning bolts
Aphrodite, goddess of love and beautyCGLightSea shell
Apollo, god of light, music, and healingCGKnowledge, Life, LightLyre
Ares, god of war and strifeCEWarSpear
Artemis, goddess of hunting and childbirthNGLife, NatureBow and arrow on lunar disk
Athena, goddess of wisdom and civilizationLGKnowledge, WarOwl
Demeter, goddess of agricultureNGLifeMare's head
Dionysus, god of mirth and wineCNLifeThyrsus (staff tipped with pine cone)
Hades, god of the underworldLEDeathBlack ram
Hecate, goddess of magic and the moonCEKnowledge, TrickerySetting moon
Hephaestus, god of smithing and craftNGKnowledgeHammer and anvil
Hera, goddess of marriage and intrigueCNTrickeryFan of peacock feathers
Hercules, god of strength and adventureCGTempest, WarLion's head
Hermes, god of travel and commerceCGTrickeryCaduceus (winged staff and serpents)
Hestia, goddess of home and familyNGLifeHearth
Nike, goddess of victoryLNWarWinged woman
Pan, god of natureCNNatureSyrinx (pan pipes)
Poseidon, god of the sea and earthquakesCNTempestTrident
Tyche, goddess of good fortuneNTrickeryRed pentagram

The Egyptian Pantheon

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 with the Death domain of 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. Thus, although most clerics of the Death domain (found in the Dungeon Master's Guide) are villainous characters, clerics who serve Anubis or Nephthys need not be.

Egyptian Deities

Egyptian Deities
DeityAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
Re-Horakhty, god of the sun, ruler of the godsLGLife, LightSolar disk encircled by serpent
Anubis, god of judgment and deathLNDeathBlack jackal
Apep, god of evil, fire, and serpentsNETrickeryFlaming snake
Bast, goddess of cats and vengeanceCGWarCat
Bes, god of luck and musicCNTrickeryImage of the misshapen deity
Hathor, goddess of love, music, and motherhoodNGLife, LightHorned cow's head with lunar disk
Imhotep, god of crafts and medicineNGKnowledgeStep pyramid
Isis, goddess of fertility and magicNGKnowledge, LifeAnkh and star
Nephthys, goddess of death and griefCGDeathHorns around a lunar disk
Osiris, god of nature and the underworldLGLife, NatureCrook and flail
Ptah, god of crafts, knowledge, and secretsLNKnowledgeBull
Set, god of darkness and desert stormsCEDeath, Tempest, TrickeryCoiled cobra
Sobek, god of water and crocodilesLENature, TempestCrocodile head with horns and plumes
Thoth, god of knowledge and wisdomNKnowledgeIbis

The Norse Pantheon

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). Like the gods of Greyhawk, gods in different families sometimes have overlap in their spheres of influence: Frey (of the Vanir) and Odur (of the Aesir) are both associated with the sun, for example.

Norse Deities

Norse Deities
DeityAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
Odin, god of knowledge and warNGKnowledge, WarWatching blue eye
Aegir, god of the sea and stormsNETempestRough ocean waves
Balder, god of beauty and poetryNGLife, LightGem-encrusted silver chalice
Forseti, god of justice and lawNLightHead of a bearded man
Frey, god of fertility and the sunNGLife, LightIce-blue greatsword
Freya, goddess of fertility and loveNGLifeFalcon
Frigga, goddess of birth and fertilityNLife, LightCat
Heimdall, god of watchfulness and loyaltyLGLight, WarCurling musical horn
Hel, goddess of the underworldNEDeathWoman's face, rotting on one side
Hermod, god of luckCNTrickeryWinged scroll
Loki, god of thieves and trickeryCETrickeryFlame
Njord, god of sea and windNGNature, TempestGold coin
Odur, god of light and the sunCGLightSolar disk
Sif, goddess of warCGWarUpraised sword
Skadi, god of earth and mountainsNNatureMountain peak
Surtur, god of fire giants and warLEWarFlaming sword
Thor, god of storms and thunderCGTempest, WarHammer
Thrym, god of fire giants and coldCEWarWhite double-bladed axe
Tyr, god of courage and strategyLNKnowledge, WarSword
Uller, god of hunting and winterCNNatureLongbow

The Planes of Existence

Incredibly vast is the cosmos of the Dungeons & Dragons game, which teems with a multitude of worlds as well as myriad alternate dimensions of reality, called the {@b planes of existence.} It encompasses every world where Dungeon Masters 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 undertake a quest to rescue a friend from the horrific depths of the Abyss, or find yourself hoisting a tankard with the friendly giants of Ysgard. 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

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 the worlds of D&D 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 DMs 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.

The best-known worlds in the multiverse are the ones that have been published as official campaign settings for the D&D game over the years—Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Dragonlance, the Forgotten Realms, Mystara, Birthright, Dark Sun, and Eberron, among others.

Each of these worlds boasts its own cast of heroic adventurers and scheming villains, its own ancient ruins and forgotten artifacts, its own dungeons and its own dragons. But if your campaign takes place on one of these worlds, it belongs to your DM—you might imagine it as one of thousands of parallel versions of the world, which might diverge wildly from the published version.

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Material Echoes

The Material Plane is a richly magical place, and its magical nature is reflected in the two planes that share its central place in the multiverse. The Feywild and the Shadowfell are parallel dimensions occupying the same cosmological space, so they are often called echo planes or mirror planes to the Material Plane. The worlds and landscapes of these planes mirror the natural world of the Material Plane but reflect those features into different forms—more marvelous and magical in the Feywild, distorted and colorless in the Shadowfell. Where a volcano stands in the Material Plane, a mountain topped with skyscraper-sized crystals that glow with internal fire towers in the Feywild, and a jagged rock outcropping resembling a skull marks the spot on the Shadowfell.

The {@b Feywild,} also called the Plane of Faerie, is a land of soft lights and wonder, a country of little people with great desires, a place of music and death. It is a realm of eternal twilight, with slow lanterns bobbing in the gentle breeze and huge fireflies buzzing through groves and fields. The sky is alight with the faded colors of the setting, or perhaps rising, sun. But, in fact, the sun never truly sets or rises; it remains stationary, dusky and low in the sky. Away from the settled areas ruled by the Seelie Court, the land is a tangle of sharp-toothed brambles and syrupy fens—perfect territory for the Unseelie to hunt their prey. Fey creatures, such as those brought to the world by conjure woodland beings and similar spells, dwell in the Feywild.

The {@b Shadowfell,} also called the Plane of Shadow, is a darkly lighted dimension, a world of black and white where color has been leached from everything. It is a place of toxic darkness that hates the light, where the sky is a black vault with neither sun nor stars.

Positive and Negative Planes

Like a dome above the other planes, the {@b Positive Plane} is the source of radiant energy and the raw life force that suffuses all living beings, from the puny to the sublime. Its dark reflection is the {@b Negative Plane,} the source of necrotic energy that destroys the living and animates the undead.

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.

Planar Travel

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—the Shadowfell, the Feywild, or the Elemental Planes. And the {@spell 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).

Transitive Planes

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 {@b 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.

Inner Planes

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 {@b Elemental Planes}—Air, Earth, Fire, and Water—form a ring around the Material Plane, suspended within the churning {@b 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.

Outer Planes

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 the Nine Hells, from the first layer to the ninth, in a single day—if the powers of the Hells 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.

Outer Planes

Outer Planes
Outer PlaneAlignment
Mount Celestia, the Seven Heavens ofLG
Bytopia, the Twin Paradises ofNG, LG
Elysium, the Blessed Fields ofNG
The Beastlands, the Wilderness ofNG, CG
Arborea, the Olympian Glades ofCG
Ysgard, the Heroic Domains ofCN, CG
Limbo, the Ever-Changing Chaos ofCN
Pandemonium, the Windswept Depths ofCN, CE
The Abyss, the Infinite Layers ofCE
Carceri, the Tarterian Depths ofNE, CE
Hades, the Gray Waste ofNE
Gehenna, the Bleak Eternity ofNE, LE
The Nine Hells (o f Baator)LE
Acheron, the Infinite Battlefield ofLN, LE
Mechanus, the Clockwork Nirvana ofLN
Arcadia, the Peaceable Kingdoms ofLN, LG

The planes with some element of good in their nature are called the {@b Upper Planes.} Celestial creatures such as angels and pegasi dwell in the Upper Planes. Planes with some element of evil are the {@b Lower Planes.} Fiends such as demons, devils, and yugoloths 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. When a good creature visits Elysium, for example, it feels in tune with the plane, but an evil creature feels out of tune and more than a little uncomfortable.

Other Planes

Existing somehow between or beyond the known planes of existence are a variety of other realms.

Sigil and the Outlands

The Outlands is the plane between the Outer Planes, a plane of neutrality, but not the neutrality of nothingness. Instead it incorporates a little of everything, keeping it all in a paradoxical balance—simultaneously concordant and in opposition. It is a broad region of varied terrain, with open prairies, towering mountains, and twisting, shallow rivers, strongly resembling an ordinary world of the Material Plane.

The Outlands is circular, like a great wheel—in fact, those who envision the Outer Planes as a wheel point to the Outlands as proof, calling it a microcosm of the planes. That argument might be circular, however, for it is possible that the arrangement of the Outlands inspired the idea of the Great Wheel in the first place.

Around the outside edge of the circle, evenly spaced, are the {@b gate-towns}: sixteen settlements, each built around a portal leading to one of the Outer Planes. Each town shares many of the characteristics of the plane where its gate leads.

At the center of the Outlands, like the axle of the planar wheel, the Spire shoots impossibly high into the sky. Above this thin peak floats the ring-shaped city of Sigil, the City of Doors. This bustling planar metropolis holds countless portals to other planes and worlds.

Sigil is a trader's city. Goods, merchandise, and information come to it from across the planes. There is a brisk trade in information about the planes, in particular in the command words or items required for the operation of particular portals. These portal keys are highly sought after, and many travelers within the city are looking for a particular portal or a portal key to allow them to continue on their way.

Demiplanes

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.

The Far Realm

The Far Realm is beyond the known multiverse. In fact, it might be an entirely separate multiverse with its own physical and magical laws. Where stray energies from the Far Realm leak onto another plane, life and matter are warped and twisted into alien shapes that defy ordinary geometry and biology.

The entities that abide in the Far Realm are too alien for a normal mind to accept without damage. Titanic creatures swim through nothingness, preoccupied with madness. Unspeakable things whisper awful truths to those who dare listen. For mortals, knowledge of the Far Realm is a triumph of mind over the rude boundaries of matter, space, and eventually sanity.

There are no known portals to the Far Realm, or at least none that are still viable. Ancient elves once pierced the boundary of eons with a vast portal to the Far Realm within a mountain called Firestorm Peak, but their civilization imploded in bloody terror and the portal's location—even its home world—is long forgotten. Other portals might still exist, marked by the alien forces leaking through to corrupt the Material Plane around them.

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