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.

Dungeon Master (DM): After passing through the craggy peaks, the road takes a sudden turn to the east and Castle Ravenloft towers before you. Crumbling towers of stone keep a silent watch over the approach. They look like abandoned guardhouses. Beyond these, a wide chasm gapes, disappearing into the deep fog below. A lowered drawbridge spans the chasm, leading to an arched entrance to the castle courtyard. The chains of the drawbridge creak in the wind, their rust-eaten iron straining with the weight. From atop the high strong walls, stone gargoyles stare at you from hollow sockets and grin hideously. A rotting wooden portcullis, green with growth, hangs in the entry tunnel. Beyond this, the main doors of Castle Ravenloft stand open, a rich warm light spilling into the courtyard.

Phillip (playing Gareth): I want to look at the gargoyles. I have a feeling they’re not just statues.

Amy (playing Riva): The drawbridge looks precarious? I want to see how sturdy it is. Do I think we can cross it, or is it going to collapse under our weight?

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.

Dungeon Master (DM): OK, one at a time. Phillip, you’re looking at the gargoyles?

Phillip: Yeah. Is there any hint they might be creatures and not decorations?

DM: Make an Intelligence check.

Phillip: Does my Investigation skill apply?

DM: Sure!

Phillip (rolling a d20): Ugh. Seven.

DM: They look like decorations to you. And Amy, Riva is checking out the drawbridge?

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 multiverse, connected in strange and mysterious ways to one another and to other planes of 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 warforged, 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 of the game. Ultimately, the Dungeon Master is the authority on the campaign and its setting, even if the setting is a published world.

Using These Rules

The D&D Basic Rules document is divided into three parts.

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.

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.

Part 3 is all about magic. It covers the nature of magic in the worlds of D&D, the rules for spellcasting, and a selection of typical spells available to magic-using characters (and monsters) in the game.

How to Play

The play of the Dungeons & Dragons game unfolds according to this basic pattern.

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).

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.

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 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 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.

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.)

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.

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 Difficulty Class (DC). The target number for an attack roll is called an 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.

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.

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.

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!

Part 1 Creating a Character

Chapter 1: 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 game 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 brawny 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 the fighter class. 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, follow 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 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 these rules), 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 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.

Building Bruenor, Step 1

Bob is sitting down to create his character. He decides that a gruff mountain dwarf fits the character he wants to play. He notes all the racial traits of dwarves on his character sheet, including his speed of 25 feet and the languages he knows: Common and Dwarvish.

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 class features—capabilities (including spellcasting) that set your character apart from members of other classes. You also gain a number of 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 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).

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 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:

  • Attack rolls using weapons you’re proficient with
  • Attack rolls with spells you cast
  • Ability checks using skills you’re proficient in
  • Ability checks using tools you’re proficient with
  • Saving throws you’re proficient in
  • Saving throw DCs for spells you cast (explained in each spellcasting class)

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: 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 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 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.

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
Score Cost
8 0
9 1
10 2
11 3
12 4
13 5
14 7
15 9
Ability Score Summary
Strength
Measures:
Natural athleticism, bodily power
Important for:
Fighter
Racial Increases:

Mountain dwarf (+2)
Human (+1)
Dexterity
Measures:
Physical agility, reflexes, balance, poise
Important for:
Rogue
Racial Increases:

Elf (+2)
Halfling (+2)
Human (+1)
Constitution
Measures:
Health, stamina, vital force
Important for:
Everyone
Racial Increases:

Dwarf (+2)
Stout halfling (+1)
Human (+1)
Intelligence
Measures:
Mental acuity, information recall, analytical skill
Important for:
Wizard
Racial Increases:

High elf (+1)
Human (+1)
Wisdom
Measures:
Awareness, intuition, insight
Important for:
Cleric
Racial Increases:

Hill dwarf (+1)
Wood elf (+1)
Human (+1)
Charisma
Measures:
Confidence, eloquence, leadership
Important for:
Leaders and diplomatic characters
Racial Increases:

Lightfoot halfling (+1)
Human (+1)
Ability Scores and Modifiers
Score Modifier
1 −5
2–3 −4
4–5 −3
6–7 −2
8–9 −1
10–11 +0
12–13 +1
14–15 +2
16–17 +3
18–19 +4
20–21 +5
22–23 +6
24–25 +7
26–27 +8
28–29 +9
30 +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 alignment (the moral compass that guides his or her decisions) and ideals. Chapter 4 also helps you identify the things your character holds most dear, called bonds, and the flaws that could one day undermine him or her.

Your character’s 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 Strength usually corresponds with a burly or athletic body, while a character with low Strength might be scrawny or plump.

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

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

A character with high 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 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 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 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 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.

  • For attacks with melee weapons, use your Strength modifier for attack and damage rolls. A weapon that has the finesse property, such as a rapier, can use your Dexterity modifier instead.
  • For attacks with ranged weapons, use your Dexterity modifier for attack and damage rolls. A weapon that has the thrown property, such as a handaxe, can use your Strength modifier instead.
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 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 gaining a level.

When your character gains a level, his or her class often grants additional features, as detailed in the class description. Some of these features allow you to increase your ability scores, either increasing two scores by 1 each or increasing one score by 2. You can’t increase an ability score above 20. In addition, every character’s proficiency bonus increases at certain levels.

Each time you gain a level, you gain 1 additional Hit Die. Roll that Hit Die, add your Constitution modifier to the roll, and add the total to your hit point maximum. Alternatively, you can use the fixed value shown in your class entry, which is the average result of the die roll (rounded up).

When your Constitution modifier increases by 1, your hit point maximum increases by 1 for each level you have attained. For example, 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.

Chapter 2: 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.

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.

Dwarf

“Yer late, elf!” came the rough edge of a familiar voice. Bruenor Battlehammer walked up the back of his dead foe, disregarding the fact that the heavy monster lay on top of his elven friend. In spite of the added discomfort, the dwarf’s long, pointed, often-broken nose and gray-streaked though still-fiery red beard came as a welcome sight to Drizzt. “Knew I’d find ye in trouble if I came out an’ looked for ye!”

R. A. Salvatore, The Crystal Shard

Kingdoms rich in ancient grandeur, halls carved into the roots of mountains, the echoing of picks and hammers in deep mines and blazing forges, a commitment to clan and tradition, and a burning hatred of goblins and orcs—these common threads unite all dwarves.

Short and Stout

Bold and hardy, dwarves are known as skilled warriors, miners, and workers of stone and metal. Though they stand well under 5 feet tall, dwarves are so broad and compact that they can weigh as much as a human standing nearly two feet taller. Their courage and endurance are also easily a match for any of the larger folk.

Dwarven skin ranges from deep brown to a paler hue tinged with red, but the most common shades are light brown or deep tan, like certain tones of earth. Their hair, worn long but in simple styles, is usually black, gray, or brown, though paler dwarves often have red hair. Male dwarves value their beards highly and groom them carefully.

Long Memory, Long Grudges

Dwarves can live to be more than 400 years old, so the oldest living dwarves often remember a very different world. For example, some of the oldest dwarves living in Citadel Felbarr (in the world of the Forgotten Realms) can recall the day, more than three centuries ago, when orcs conquered the fortress and drove them into an exile that lasted over 250 years. This longevity grants them a perspective on the world that shorter-lived races such as humans and halflings lack.

Dwarves are solid and enduring like the mountains they love, weathering the passage of centuries with stoic endurance and little change. They respect the traditions of their clans, tracing their ancestry back to the founding of their most ancient strongholds in the youth of the world, and don’t abandon those traditions lightly. Part of those traditions is devotion to the gods of the dwarves, who uphold the dwarven ideals of industrious labor, skill in battle, and devotion to the forge.

Individual dwarves are determined and loyal, true to their word and decisive in action, sometimes to the point of stubbornness. Many dwarves have a strong sense of justice, and they are slow to forget wrongs they have suffered. A wrong done to one dwarf is a wrong done to the dwarf’s entire clan, so what begins as one dwarf’s hunt for vengeance can become a full-blown clan feud.

Clans and Kingdoms

Dwarven kingdoms stretch deep beneath the mountains where the dwarves mine gems and precious metals and forge items of wonder. They love the beauty and artistry of precious metals and fine jewelry, and in some dwarves this love festers into avarice. Whatever wealth they can’t find in their mountains, they gain through trade. They dislike boats, so enterprising humans and halflings frequently handle trade in dwarven goods along water routes. Trustworthy members of other races are welcome in dwarf settlements, though some areas are off limits even to them.

The chief unit of dwarven society is the clan, and dwarves highly value social standing. Even dwarves who live far from their own kingdoms cherish their clan identities and affiliations, recognize related dwarves, and invoke their ancestors’ names in oaths and curses. To be clanless is the worst fate that can befall a dwarf.

Dwarves in other lands are typically artisans, especially weaponsmiths, armorers, and jewelers. Some become mercenaries or bodyguards, highly sought after for their courage and loyalty.

Gods, Gold, and Clan

Dwarves who take up the adventuring life might be motivated by a desire for treasure—for its own sake, for a specific purpose, or even out of an altruistic desire to help others. Other dwarves are driven by the command or inspiration of a deity, a direct calling or simply a desire to bring glory to one of the dwarf gods. Clan and ancestry are also important motivators. A dwarf might seek to restore a clan’s lost honor, avenge an ancient wrong the clan suffered, or earn a new place within the clan after having been exiled. Or a dwarf might search for the axe wielded by a mighty ancestor, lost on the field of battle centuries ago.

Dwarf Names

A dwarf’s name is granted by a clan elder, in accordance with tradition. Every proper dwarven name has been used and reused down through the generations. A dwarf’s name belongs to the clan, not to the individual. A dwarf who misuses or brings shame to a clan name is stripped of the name and forbidden by law to use any dwarven name in its place.

Male Names:
Adrik, Alberich, Baern, Barendd, Brottor, Bruenor, Dain, Darrak, Delg, Eberk, Einkil, Fargrim, Flint, Gardain, Harbek, Kildrak, Morgran, Orsik, Oskar, Rangrim, Rurik, Taklinn, Thoradin, Thorin, Tordek, Traubon, Travok, Ulfgar, Veit, Vondal
Female Names:
Amber, Artin, Audhild, Bardryn, Dagnal, Diesa, Eldeth, Falkrunn, Finellen, Gunnloda, Gurdis, Helja, Hlin, Kathra, Kristryd, Ilde, Liftrasa, Mardred, Riswynn, Sannl, Torbera, Torgga, Vistra
Clan Names:
Balderk, Battlehammer, Brawnanvil, Dankil, Fireforge, Frostbeard, Gorunn, Holderhek, Ironfist, Loderr, Lutgehr, Rumnaheim, Strakeln, Torunn, Ungart
Dwarf Traits

Your dwarf character has an assortment of inborn abilities, part and parcel of dwarven nature.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2.

Age. Dwarves mature at the same rate as humans, but they’re considered young until they reach the age of 50. On average, they live about 350 years.

Alignment. Most dwarves are lawful, believing firmly in the benefits of a well-ordered society. They tend toward good as well, with a strong sense of fair play and a belief that everyone deserves to share in the benefits of a just order.

Size. Dwarves stand between 4 and 5 feet tall and average about 150 pounds. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet. Your speed is not reduced by wearing heavy armor.

Darkvision. Accustomed to life underground, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Dwarven Resilience. You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage (explained in chapter 9).

Dwarven Combat Training. You have proficiency with the battleaxe, handaxe, light hammer, and warhammer.

Tool Proficiency. You gain proficiency with the artisan’s tools of your choice: smith’s tools, brewer’s supplies, or mason’s tools.

Stonecunning. Whenever you make an Intelligence (History) check related to the origin of stonework, you are considered proficient in the History skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Dwarvish. Dwarvish is full of hard consonants and guttural sounds, and those characteristics spill over into whatever other language a dwarf might speak.

Subrace. Two main subraces of dwarves populate the worlds of D&D: hill dwarves and mountain dwarves. Choose one of these subraces.

Hill Dwarf

As a hill dwarf, you have keen senses, deep intuition, and remarkable resilience. The gold dwarves of Faerûn in their mighty southern kingdom are hill dwarves, as are the exiled Neidar and the debased Klar of Krynn in the Dragonlance setting.

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.

Dwarven Toughness. Your hit point maximum increases by 1, and it increases by 1 every time you gain a level.

Mountain Dwarf

As a mountain dwarf, you’re strong and hardy, accustomed to a difficult life in rugged terrain. You’re probably on the tall side (for a dwarf), and tend toward lighter coloration. The shield dwarves of northern Faerûn, as well as the ruling Hylar clan and the noble Daewar clan of Dragonlance, are mountain dwarves.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.

Dwarven Armor Training. You have proficiency with light and medium armor.

Elf

I have never imagined such beauty existed, Goldmoon said softly. The day’s march had been difficult, but the reward at the end was beyond their dreams. The companions stood on a high cliff over the fabled city of Qualinost.

Four slender spires rose from the city’s corners like glistening spindles, their brilliant white stone marbled with shining silver. Graceful arches, swooping from spire to spire, soared through the air. Crafted by ancient dwarven metalsmiths, they were strong enough to hold the weight of an army, yet they appeared so delicate that a bird lighting on them might overthrow the balance. These glistening arches were the city’s only boundaries; there was no wall around Qualinost. The elven city opened its arms lovingly to the wilderness.

Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, Dragons of Autumn Twilight

Elves are a magical people of otherworldly grace, living in the world but not entirely part of it. They live in places of ethereal beauty, in the midst of ancient forests or in silvery spires glittering with faerie light, where soft music drifts through the air and gentle fragrances waft on the breeze. Elves love nature and magic, art and artistry, music and poetry, and the good things of the world.

Slender and Graceful

With their unearthly grace and fine features, elves appear hauntingly beautiful to humans and members of many other races. They are slightly shorter than humans on average, ranging from well under 5 feet tall to just over 6 feet. They are more slender than humans, weighing only 100 to 145 pounds. Males and females are about the same height, and males are only marginally heavier than females.

Elves’ coloration encompasses the normal human range and also includes skin in shades of copper, bronze, and almost bluish-white, hair of green or blue, and eyes like pools of liquid gold or silver. Elves have no facial and little body hair. They favor elegant clothing in bright colors, and they enjoy simple yet lovely jewelry.

A Timeless Perspective

Elves can live well over 700 years, giving them a broad perspective on events that might trouble the shorter-lived races more deeply. They are more often amused than excited, and more likely to be curious than greedy. They tend to remain aloof and unfazed by petty happenstance. When pursuing a goal, however, whether adventuring on a mission or learning a new skill or art, elves can be focused and relentless. They are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. They reply to petty insults with disdain and to serious insults with vengeance.

Like the branches of a young tree, elves are flexible in the face of danger. They trust in diplomacy and compromise to resolve differences before they escalate to violence. They have been known to retreat from intrusions into their woodland homes, confident that they can simply wait the invaders out. But when the need arises, elves reveal a stern martial side, demonstrating skill with sword, bow, and strategy.

Hidden Woodland Realms

Most elves dwell in small forest villages hidden among the trees. Elves hunt game, gather food, and grow vegetables, and their skill and magic allow them to support themselves without the need for clearing and plowing land. They are talented artisans, crafting finely worked clothes and art objects. Their contact with outsiders is usually limited, though a few elves make a good living by trading crafted items for metals (which they have no interest in mining).

Elves encountered outside their own lands are commonly traveling minstrels, artists, or sages. Human nobles compete for the services of elf instructors to teach swordplay or magic to their children.

Exploration and Adventure

Elves take up adventuring out of wanderlust. Since they are so long-lived, they can enjoy centuries of exploration and discovery. They dislike the pace of human society, which is regimented from day to day but constantly changing over decades, so they find careers that let them travel freely and set their own pace. Elves also enjoy exercising their martial prowess or gaining greater magical power, and adventuring allows them to do so. Some might join with rebels fighting against oppression, and others might become champions of moral causes.

Elf Names

Elves are considered children until they declare themselves adults, some time after the hundredth birthday, and before this period they are called by child names.

On declaring adulthood, an elf selects an adult name, although those who knew him or her as a youngster might continue to use the child name. Each elf’s adult name is a unique creation, though it might reflect the names of respected individuals or other family members. Little distinction exists between male names and female names; the groupings here reflect only general tendencies. In addition, every elf bears a family name, typically a combination of other Elvish words. Some elves traveling among humans translate their family names into Common, but others retain the Elvish version.

Child Names:
Ara, Bryn, Del, Eryn, Faen, Innil, Lael, Mella, Naill, Naeris, Phann, Rael, Rinn, Sai, Syllin, Thia, Vall
Male Adult Names:
Adran, Aelar, Aramil, Arannis, Aust, Beiro, Berrian, Carric, Enialis, Erdan, Erevan, Galinndan, Hadarai, Heian, Himo, Immeral, Ivellios, Laucian, Mindartis, Paelias, Peren, Quarion, Riardon, Rolen, Soveliss, Thamior, Tharivol, Theren, Varis
Female Adult Names:
Adrie, Althaea, Anastrianna, Andraste, Antinua, Bethrynna, Birel, Caelynn, Drusilia, Enna, Felosial, Ielenia, Jelenneth, Keyleth, Leshanna, Lia, Meriele, Mialee, Naivara, Quelenna, Quillathe, Sariel, Shanairra, Shava, Silaqui, Theirastra, Thia, Vadania, Valanthe, Xanaphia
Family Names (Common Translations):
Amakiir (Gemflower), Amastacia (Starflower), Galanodel (Moonwhisper), Holimion (Diamonddew), Ilphelkiir (Gemblossom), Liadon (Silverfrond), Meliamne (Oakenheel), Naïlo (Nightbreeze), Siannodel (Moonbrook), Xiloscient (Goldpetal)
Elf Traits

Your elf character has a variety of natural abilities, the result of thousands of years of elven refinement.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.

Age. Although elves reach physical maturity at about the same age as humans, the elven understanding of adulthood goes beyond physical growth to encompass worldly experience. An elf typically claims adulthood and an adult name around the age of 100 and can live to be 750 years old.

Alignment. Elves love freedom, variety, and self-expression, so they lean strongly toward the gentler aspects of chaos. They value and protect others’ freedom as well as their own, and they are more often good than not.

Size. Elves range from under 5 to over 6 feet tall and have slender builds. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. Accustomed to twilit forests and the night sky, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Keen Senses. You have proficiency in the Perception skill.

Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put you to sleep.

Trance. Elves don’t need to sleep. Instead, they meditate deeply, remaining semiconscious, for 4 hours a day. (The Common word for such meditation is “trance.”) While meditating, you can dream after a fashion; such dreams are actually mental exercises that have become reflexive through years of practice. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Elvish. Elvish is fluid, with subtle intonations and intricate grammar. Elven literature is rich and varied, and their songs and poems are famous among other races. Many bards learn their language so they can add Elvish ballads to their repertoires.

Subrace. Ancient divides among the elven people resulted in three main subraces: high elves, wood elves, and dark elves, who are commonly called drow. This document presents two of these subraces to choose from. In some worlds, these subraces are divided still further (such as the sun elves and moon elves of the Forgotten Realms), so if you wish, you can choose a narrower subrace.

High Elf

As a high elf, you have a keen mind and a mastery of at least the basics of magic. In many of the worlds of D&D, there are two kinds of high elves. One type (which includes the gray elves and valley elves of Greyhawk, the Silvanesti of Dragonlance, and the sun elves of the Forgotten Realms) is haughty and reclusive, believing themselves to be superior to non-elves and even other elves. The other type (including the high elves of Greyhawk, the Qualinesti of Dragonlance, and the moon elves of the Forgotten Realms) are more common and more friendly, and often encountered among humans and other races.

The sun elves of Faerûn (also called gold elves or sunrise elves) have bronze skin and hair of copper, black, or golden blond. Their eyes are golden, silver, or black. Moon elves (also called silver elves or gray elves) are much paler, with alabaster skin sometimes tinged with blue. They often have hair of silver-white, black, or blue, but various shades of blond, brown, and red are not uncommon. Their eyes are blue or green and flecked with gold.

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.

Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.

Cantrip. You know one cantrip of your choice from the wizard spell list. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for it.

Extra Language. You can speak, read, and write one extra language of your choice.

Wood Elf

As a wood elf, you have keen senses and intuition, and your fleet feet carry you quickly and stealthily through your native forests. This category includes the wild elves (grugach) of Greyhawk and the Kagonesti of Dragonlance, as well as the races called wood elves in Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms. In Faerûn, wood elves (also called wild elves, green elves, or forest elves) are reclusive and distrusting of non-elves.

Wood elves’ skin tends to be copperish in hue, sometimes with traces of green. Their hair tends toward browns and blacks, but it is occasionally blond or copper-colored. Their eyes are green, brown, or hazel.

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.

Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.

Fleet of Foot. Your base walking speed increases to 35 feet.

Mask of the Wild. You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.

Halfling

Regis the halfling, the only one of his kind for hundreds of miles in any direction, locked his fingers behind his head and leaned back against the mossy blanket of the tree trunk. Regis was short, even by the standards of his diminutive race, with the fluff of his curly brown locks barely cresting the three-foot mark, but his belly was amply thickened by his love of a good meal, or several, as the opportunities presented themselves. The crooked stick that served as his fishing pole rose up above him, clenched between two of his toes, and hung out over the quiet lake, mirrored perfectly in the glassy surface of Maer Dualdon.

R.A. Salvatore, The Crystal Shard

The comforts of home are the goals of most halflings’ lives: a place to settle in peace and quiet, far from marauding monsters and clashing armies; a blazing fire and a generous meal; fine drink and fine conversation. Though some halflings live out their days in remote agricultural communities, others form nomadic bands that travel constantly, lured by the open road and the wide horizon to discover the wonders of new lands and peoples. But even these wanderers love peace, food, hearth, and home, though home might be a wagon jostling along an dirt road or a raft floating downriver.

Small and Practical

The diminutive halflings survive in a world full of larger creatures by avoiding notice or, barring that, avoiding offense. Standing about 3 feet tall, they appear relatively harmless and so have managed to survive for centuries in the shadow of empires and on the edges of wars and political strife. They are inclined to be stout, weighing between 40 and 45 pounds.

Halflings’ skin ranges from tan to pale with a ruddy cast, and their hair is usually brown or sandy brown and wavy. They have brown or hazel eyes. Halfling men often sport long sideburns, but beards are rare among them and mustaches even more so. They like to wear simple, comfortable, and practical clothes, favoring bright colors.

Halfling practicality extends beyond their clothing. They’re concerned with basic needs and simple pleasures and have little use for ostentation. Even the wealthiest of halflings keep their treasures locked in a cellar rather than on display for all to see. They have a knack for finding the most straightforward solution to a problem, and have little patience for dithering.

Kind and Curious

Halflings are an affable and cheerful people. They cherish the bonds of family and friendship as well as the comforts of hearth and home, harboring few dreams of gold or glory. Even adventurers among them usually venture into the world for reasons of community, friendship, wanderlust, or curiosity. They love discovering new things, even simple things, such as an exotic food or an unfamiliar style of clothing.

Halflings are easily moved to pity and hate to see any living thing suffer. They are generous, happily sharing what they have even in lean times.

Blend into the Crowd

Halflings are adept at fitting into a community of humans, dwarves, or elves, making themselves valuable and welcome. The combination of their inherent stealth and their unassuming nature helps halflings to avoid unwanted attention.

Halflings work readily with others, and they are loyal to their friends, whether halfling or otherwise. They can display remarkable ferocity when their friends, families, or communities are threatened.

Pastoral Pleasantries

Most halflings live in small, peaceful communities with large farms and well-kept groves. They rarely build kingdoms of their own or even hold much land beyond their quiet shires. They typically don’t recognize any sort of halfling nobility or royalty, instead looking to family elders to guide them. Families preserve their traditional ways despite the rise and fall of empires.

Many halflings live among other races, where the halflings’ hard work and loyal outlook offer them abundant rewards and creature comforts. Some halfling communities travel as a way of life, driving wagons or guiding boats from place to place and maintaining no permanent home.

Exploring Opportunities

Halflings usually set out on the adventurer’s path to defend their communities, support their friends, or explore a wide and wonder-filled world. For them, adventuring is less a career than an opportunity or sometimes a necessity.

Halfling Names

A halfling has a given name, a family name, and possibly a nickname. Family names are often nicknames that stuck so tenaciously they have been passed down through the generations.

Male Names:
Alton, Ander, Cade, Corrin, Eldon, Errich, Finnan, Garret, Lindal, Lyle, Merric, Milo, Osborn, Perrin, Reed, Roscoe, Wellby
Female Names:
Andry, Bree, Callie, Cora, Euphemia, Jillian, Kithri, Lavinia, Lidda, Merla, Nedda, Paela, Portia, Seraphina, Shaena, Trym, Vani, Verna
Family Names:
Brushgather, Goodbarrel, Greenbottle, High-hill, Hilltopple, Leagallow, Tealeaf, Thorngage, Tosscobble, Underbough
Halfling Traits

Your halfling character has a number of traits in common with all other halflings.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.

Age. A halfling reaches adulthood at the age of 20 and generally lives into the middle of his or her second century.

Alignment. Most halflings are lawful good. As a rule, they are good-hearted and kind, hate to see others in pain, and have no tolerance for oppression. They are also very orderly and traditional, leaning heavily on the support of their community and the comfort of their old ways.

Size. Halflings average about 3 feet tall and weigh about 40 pounds. Your size is Small.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.

Lucky. When you roll a 1 on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.

Brave. You have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.

Halfling Nimbleness. You can move through the space of any creature that is of a size larger than yours.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Halfling. The Halfling language isn’t secret, but halflings are loath to share it with others. They write very little, so they don’t have a rich body of literature. Their oral tradition, however, is very strong. Almost all halflings speak Common to converse with the people in whose lands they dwell or through which they are traveling.

Subrace. The two main kinds of halfling, lightfoot and stout, are more like closely related families than true subraces. Choose one of these subraces.

Lightfoot

As a lightfoot halfling, you can easily hide from notice, even using other people as cover. You’re inclined to be affable and get along well with others. In the Forgotten Realms, lightfoot halflings have spread the farthest and thus are the most common variety.

Lightfoots are more prone to wanderlust than other halflings, and often dwell alongside other races or take up a nomadic life. In the world of Greyhawk, these halflings are called hairfeet or tallfellows.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.

Naturally Stealthy. You can attempt to hide even when you are obscured only by a creature that is at least one size larger than you.

Stout

As a stout halfling, you’re hardier than average and have some resistance to poison. Some say that stouts have dwarven blood. In the Forgotten Realms, these halflings are called stronghearts, and they’re most common in the south.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.

Stout Resilience. You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage.

Human

These were the stories of a restless people who long ago took to the seas and rivers in longboats, first to pillage and terrorize, then to settle. Yet there was an energy, a love of adventure, that sang from every page. Long into the night Liriel read, lighting candle after precious candle.

She’d never given much thought to humans, but these stories fascinated her. In these yellowed pages were tales of bold heroes, strange and fierce animals, mighty primitive gods, and a magic that was part and fabric of that distant land.

Elaine Cunningham, Daughter of the Drow

In the reckonings of most worlds, humans are the youngest of the common races, late to arrive on the world scene and short-lived in comparison to dwarves, elves, and dragons. Perhaps it is because of their shorter lives that they strive to achieve as much as they can in the years they are given. Or maybe they feel they have something to prove to the elder races, and that’s why they build their mighty empires on the foundation of conquest and trade. Whatever drives them, humans are the innovators, the achievers, and the pioneers of the worlds.

A Broad Spectrum

With their penchant for migration and conquest, humans are more physically diverse than other common races. There is no typical human. An individual can stand from 5 feet to a little over 6 feet tall and weigh from 125 to 250 pounds. Human skin shades range from nearly black to very pale, and hair colors from black to blond (curly, kinky, or straight); males might sport facial hair that is sparse or thick. A lot of humans have a dash of nonhuman blood, revealing hints of elf, orc, or other lineages. Humans reach adulthood in their late teens and rarely live even a single century.

Variety in All Things

Humans are the most adaptable and ambitious people among the common races. They have widely varying tastes, morals, and customs in the many different lands where they have settled. When they settle, though, they stay: they build cities to last for the ages, and great kingdoms that can persist for long centuries. An individual human might have a relatively short life span, but a human nation or culture preserves traditions with origins far beyond the reach of any single human’s memory. They live fully in the present—making them well suited to the adventuring life—but also plan for the future, striving to leave a lasting legacy. Individually and as a group, humans are adaptable opportunists, and they stay alert to changing political and social dynamics.

Lasting Institutions

Where a single elf or dwarf might take on the responsibility of guarding a special location or a powerful secret, humans found sacred orders and institutions for such purposes. While dwarf clans and halfling elders pass on the ancient traditions to each new generation, human temples, governments, libraries, and codes of law fix their traditions in the bedrock of history. Humans dream of immortality, but (except for those few who seek undeath or divine ascension to escape death’s clutches) they achieve it by ensuring that they will be remembered when they are gone.

Although some humans can be xenophobic, in general their societies are inclusive. Human lands welcome large numbers of nonhumans compared to the proportion of humans who live in nonhuman lands.

Exemplars of Ambition

Humans who seek adventure are the most daring and ambitious members of a daring and ambitious race. They seek to earn glory in the eyes of their fellows by amassing power, wealth, and fame. More than other people, humans champion causes rather than territories or groups.

Human Names and Ethnicities

Having so much more variety than other cultures, humans as a whole have no typical names. Some human parents give their children names from other languages, such as Dwarvish or Elvish (pronounced more or less correctly), but most parents give names that are linked to their region’s culture or to the naming traditions of their ancestors.

The material culture and physical characteristics of humans can change wildly from region to region. In the Forgotten Realms, for example, the clothing, architecture, cuisine, music, and literature are different in the northwestern lands of the Silver Marches than in distant Turmish or Impiltur to the east—and even more distinctive in far-off Kara-Tur. Human physical characteristics, though, vary according to the ancient migrations of the earliest humans, so that the humans of the Silver Marches have every possible variation of coloration and features.

In the Forgotten Realms, nine human ethnic groups are widely recognized, though over a dozen others are found in more localized areas of Faerûn. These groups, and the typical names of their members, can be used as inspiration no matter which world your human is in.

Calishite

Shorter and slighter in build than most other humans, Calishites have dusky brown skin, hair, and eyes. They’re found primarily in southwest Faerûn.

Calishite Names:
(Male) Aseir, Bardeid, Haseid, Khemed, Mehmen, Sudeiman, Zasheir; (female) Atala, Ceidil, Hama, Jasmal, Meilil, Seipora, Yasheira, Zasheida; (surnames) Basha, Dumein, Jassan, Khalid, Mostana, Pashar, Rein
Chondathan

Chondathans are slender, tawny-skinned folk with brown hair that ranges from almost blond to almost black. Most are tall and have green or brown eyes, but these traits are hardly universal. Humans of Chondathan descent dominate the central lands of Faerûn, around the Inner Sea.

Chondathan Names:
(Male) Darvin, Dorn, Evendur, Gorstag, Grim, Helm, Malark, Morn, Randal, Stedd; (female) Arveene, Esvele, Jhessail, Kerri, Lureene, Miri, Rowan, Shandri, Tessele; (surnames) Amblecrown, Buckman, Dundragon, Evenwood, Greycastle, Tallstag
Damaran

Found primarily in the northwest of Faerûn, Damarans are of moderate height and build, with skin hues ranging from tawny to fair. Their hair is usually brown or black, and their eye color varies widely, though brown is most common.

Damaran Names:
(Male) Bor, Fodel, Glar, Grigor, Igan, Ivor, Kosef, Mival, Orel, Pavel, Sergor; (female) Alethra, Kara, Katernin, Mara, Natali, Olma, Tana, Zora; (surnames) Bersk, Chernin, Dotsk, Kulenov, Marsk, Nemetsk, Shemov, Starag
Illuskan

Illuskans are tall, fair-skinned folk with blue or steely gray eyes. Most have raven-black hair, but those who inhabit the extreme northwest have blond, red, or light brown hair.

Illuskan Names:
(Male) Ander, Blath, Bran, Frath, Geth, Lander, Luth, Malcer, Stor, Taman, Urth; (female) Amafrey, Betha, Cefrey, Kethra, Mara, Olga, Silifrey, Westra; (surnames) Brightwood, Helder, Hornraven, Lackman, Stormwind, Windrivver
Mulan

Dominant in the eastern and southeastern shores of the Inner Sea, the Mulan are generally tall, slim, and amber-skinned, with eyes of hazel or brown. Their hair ranges from black to dark brown, but in the lands where the Mulan are most prominent, nobles and many other Mulan shave off all their hair.

Mulan Names:
(Male) Aoth, Bareris, Ehput-Ki, Kethoth, Mumed, Ramas, So-Kehur, Thazar-De, Urhur; (female) Arizima, Chathi, Nephis, Nulara, Murithi, Sefris, Thola, Umara, Zolis; (surnames) Ankhalab, Anskuld, Fezim, Hahpet, Nathandem, Sepret, Uuthrakt
Rashemi

Most often found east of the Inner Sea and often intermingled with the Mulan, Rashemis tend to be short, stout, and muscular. They usually have dusky skin, dark eyes, and thick black hair.

Rashemi Names:
(Male) Borivik, Faurgar, Jandar, Kanithar, Madislak, Ralmevik, Shaumar, Vladislak; (female) Fyevarra, Hulmarra, Immith, Imzel, Navarra, Shevarra, Tammith, Yuldra; (surnames) Chergoba, Dyernina, Iltazyara, Murnyethara, Stayanoga, Ulmokina
Shou

The Shou are the most numerous and powerful ethnic group in Kara-Tur, far to the east of Faerûn. They are yellowish-bronze in hue, with black hair and dark eyes. Shou surnames are usually presented before the given name.

Shou Names:
(Male) An, Chen, Chi, Fai, Jiang, Jun, Lian, Long, Meng, On, Shan, Shui, Wen; (female) Bai, Chao, Jia, Lei, Mei, Qiao, Shui, Tai; (surnames) Chien, Huang, Kao, Kung, Lao, Ling, Mei, Pin, Shin, Sum, Tan, Wan
Tethyrian

Widespread along the entire Sword Coast at the western edge of Faerûn, Tethyrians are of medium build and height, with dusky skin that tends to grow fairer the farther north they dwell. Their hair and eye color varies widely, but brown hair and blue eyes are the most common. Tethyrians primarily use Chondathan names.

Turami

Native to the southern shore of the Inner Sea, the Turami people are generally tall and muscular, with dark mahogany skin, curly black hair, and dark eyes.

Turami Names:
(Male) Anton, Diero, Marcon, Pieron, Rimardo, Romero, Salazar, Umbero; (female) Balama, Dona, Faila, Jalana, Luisa, Marta, Quara, Selise, Vonda; (surnames) Agosto, Astorio, Calabra, Domine, Falone, Marivaldi, Pisacar, Ramondo
Human Traits

It’s hard to make generalizations about humans, but your human character has these traits.

Ability Score Increase. Your ability scores each increase by 1.

Age. Humans reach adulthood in their late teens and live less than a century.

Alignment. Humans tend toward no particular alignment. The best and the worst are found among them.

Size. Humans vary widely in height and build, from barely 5 feet to well over 6 feet tall. Regardless of your position in that range, your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one extra language of your choice. Humans typically learn the languages of other peoples they deal with, including obscure dialects. They are fond of sprinkling their speech with words borrowed from other tongues: Orc curses, Elvish musical expressions, Dwarvish military phrases, and so on.

Chapter 3: 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 Player’s Handbook.

Four basic classes—listed in the Classes table—are found in almost every D&D world and define most typical adventurers. See the Player’s Handbook for information about other classes.

Classes
Class Description Hit
Die
Primary
Ability
Saving Throw
Proficiencies
Armor and Weapon
Proficiencies
Cleric A priestly champion
who wields divine magic
in service of a higher power
d8 Wisdom Wisdom &
Charisma
Light and medium armor,
shields, simple weapons
Fighter A master of martial combat,
skilled with a variety
of weapons and armor
d10 Strength or
Dexterity
Strength &
Constitution
All armor, shields,
simple and martial weapons
Rogue A scoundrel who uses
stealth and trickery to overcome
obstacles and enemies
d8 Dexterity Dexterity &
Intelligence
Light armor, simple weapons,
hand crossbows, longswords,
rapiers, shortswords
Wizard A scholarly magic-user
capable of manipulating
the structures of reality
d6 Intelligence Intelligence &
Wisdom
Daggers, darts, slings,
quarterstaffs, light crossbows
Cleric

Arms and eyes upraised toward the sun and a prayer on his lips, an elf begins to glow with an inner light that spills out to heal his battle-worn companions.

Chanting a song of glory, a dwarf swings his axe in wide swaths to cut through the ranks of orcs arrayed against him, shouting praise to the gods with every foe’s fall.

Calling down a curse upon the forces of undeath, a human lifts her holy symbol as light pours from it to drive back the zombies crowding in on her companions.

Clerics are intermediaries between the mortal world and the distant planes of the gods. As varied as the gods they serve, clerics strive to embody the handiwork of their deities. No ordinary priest, a cleric is imbued with divine magic.

Healers and Warriors

Divine magic, as the name suggests, is the power of the gods, flowing from them into the world. Clerics are conduits for that power, manifesting it as miraculous effects. The gods don’t grant this power to everyone who seeks it, but only to those chosen to fulfill a high calling.

Harnessing divine magic doesn’t rely on study or training. A cleric might learn formulaic prayers and ancient rites, but the ability to cast cleric spells relies on devotion and an intuitive sense of a deity’s wishes.

Clerics combine the helpful magic of healing and inspiring their allies with spells that harm and hinder foes. They can provoke awe and dread, lay curses of plague or poison, and even call down flames from heaven to consume their enemies. For those evildoers who will benefit most from a mace to the head, clerics depend on their combat training to let them wade into melee with the power of the gods on their side.

Divine Agents

Not every acolyte or officiant at a temple or shrine is a cleric. Some priests are called to a simple life of temple service, carrying out their gods’ will through prayer and sacrifice, not by magic and strength of arms. In some cities, priesthood amounts to a political office, viewed as a stepping stone to higher positions of authority and involving no communion with a god at all. True clerics are rare in most hierarchies.

When a cleric takes up an adventuring life, it is usually because his or her god demands it. Pursuing the goals of the gods often involves braving dangers beyond the walls of civilization, smiting evil or seeking holy relics in ancient tombs. Many clerics are also expected to protect their deities’ worshipers, which can mean fighting rampaging orcs, negotiating peace between warring nations, or sealing a portal that would allow a demon prince to enter the world.

Most adventuring clerics maintain some connection to established temples and orders of their faiths. A temple might ask for a cleric’s aid, or a high priest might be in a position to demand it.

Creating a Cleric

As you create a cleric, the most important question to consider is which deity to serve and what principles you want your character to embody. The Player’s Handbook includes lists of many of the gods of the multiverse. Check with your DM to learn which deities are in your campaign.

Once you’ve chosen a deity, consider your cleric’s relationship to that god. Did you enter this service willingly? Or did the god choose you, impelling you into service with no regard for your wishes? How do the temple priests of your faith regard you: as a champion or a troublemaker? What are your ultimate goals? Does your deity have a special task in mind for you? Or are you striving to prove yourself worthy of a great quest?

Quick Build

You can make a cleric quickly by following these suggestions. First, Wisdom should be your highest ability score, followed by Strength or Constitution. Second, choose the acolyte background.

Class Features

As a cleric, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points
Hit Dice:
1d8 per cleric level
Hit Points at 1st Level:
8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels:
1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per cleric level after 1st
Proficiencies
Armor:
Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons:
Simple weapons
Tools:
None
Saving Throws:
Wisdom, Charisma
Skills:
Choose two from History, Insight, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion
Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a mace or (b) a warhammer (if proficient)
  • (a) scale mail, (b) leather armor, or (c) chain mail (if proficient)
  • (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) a priest’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
  • A shield and a holy symbol
The Cleric
Level Proficiency
Bonus
Features Cantrips
Known
Spell Slots per Spell Level
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +2 Spellcasting, Divine Domain 3 2
2nd +2 Channel Divinity (1/rest),
Divine Domain feature
3 3
3rd +2 3 4 2
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 4 4 3
5th +3 Destroy Undead (CR 1/2) 4 4 3 2
6th +3 Channel Divinity (2/rest),
Divine Domain feature
4 4 3 3
7th +3 4 4 3 3 1
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement,
Destroy Undead (CR 1),
Divine Domain feature
4 4 3 3 2
9th +4 4 4 3 3 3 1
10th +4 Divine Intervention 5 4 3 3 3 2
11th +4 Destroy Undead (CR 2) 5 4 3 3 3 2 1
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 5 4 3 3 3 2 1
13th +5 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
14th +5 Destroy Undead (CR 3) 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
15th +5 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
17th +6 Destroy Undead (CR 4),
Divine Domain feature
5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
18th +6 Channel Divinity (3/rest) 5 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
20th +6 Divine Intervention
improvement
5 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1
Spellcasting

As a conduit for divine power, you can cast cleric spells. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for a selection of cleric spells.

Cantrips

At 1st level, you know three cantrips of your choice from the cleric spell list. You learn additional cleric cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Cleric table.

Preparing and Casting Spells

The Cleric table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of cleric spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the cleric spell list. When you do so, choose a number of cleric spells equal to your Wisdom modifier + your cleric level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you are a 3rd-level cleric, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With a Wisdom of 16, your list of prepared spells can include six spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination. If you prepare the 1st-level spell cure wounds, you can cast it using a 1st-level or 2nd-level slot. Casting the spell doesn’t remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of cleric spells requires time spent in prayer and meditation: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spellcasting Ability

Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your cleric spells. The power of your spells comes from your devotion to your deity. You use your Wisdom whenever a cleric spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a cleric spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Ritual Casting

You can cast a cleric spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell prepared.

Spellcasting Focus

You can use a holy symbol (found in chapter 5) as a spellcasting focus for your cleric spells.

Divine Domain

Choose one domain related to your deity: Knowledge, Life, Light, Nature, Tempest, Trickery, or War. The Life domain is detailed at the end of the class description and provides examples of gods associated with it. See the Player’s Handbook for details on all the domains.

Your choice grants you domain spells and other features when you choose it at 1st level. It also grants you additional ways to use Channel Divinity when you gain that feature at 2nd level, and additional benefits at 6th, 8th, and 17th levels.

Domain Spells

Each domain has a list of spells—its domain spells—that you gain at the cleric levels noted in the domain description. Once you gain a domain spell, you always have it prepared, and it doesn’t count against the number of spells you can prepare each day.

If you have a domain spell that doesn’t appear on the cleric spell list, the spell is nonetheless a cleric spell for you.

Channel Divinity

At 2nd level, you gain the ability to channel divine energy directly from your deity, using that energy to fuel magical effects. You start with two such effects: Turn Undead and an effect determined by your domain. Some domains grant you additional effects as you advance in levels, as noted in the domain description.

When you use your Channel Divinity, you choose which effect to create. You must then finish a short or long rest to use your Channel Divinity again.

Some Channel Divinity effects require saving throws. When you use such an effect from this class, the DC equals your cleric spell save DC.

Beginning at 6th level, you can use your Channel Divinity twice between rests, and beginning at 18th level, you can use it three times between rests. When you finish a short or long rest, you regain your expended uses.

Channel Divinity: Turn Undead

As an action, you present your holy symbol and speak a prayer censuring the undead. Each undead that can see or hear you within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes any damage.

A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can’t willingly move to a space within 30 feet of you. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Destroy Undead
Destroy Undead
Cleric Level Destroys Undead of CR…
5th 1/2 or lower
8th 1 or lower
11th 2 or lower
14th 3 or lower
17th 4 or lower

Starting at 5th level, when an undead fails its saving throw against your Turn Undead feature, the creature is instantly destroyed if its challenge rating is at or below a certain threshold, as shown in the Destroy Undead table.

Divine Intervention

Beginning at 10th level, you can call on your deity to intervene on your behalf when your need is great.

Imploring your deity’s aid requires you to use your action. Describe the assistance you seek, and roll percentile dice. If you roll a number equal to or lower than your cleric level, your deity intervenes. The DM chooses the nature of the intervention; the effect of any cleric spell or cleric domain spell would be appropriate.

If your deity intervenes, you can’t use this feature again for 7 days. Otherwise, you can use it again after you finish a long rest.

At 20th level, your call for intervention succeeds automatically, no roll required.

Divine Domains

In a pantheon, every deity has influence over different aspects of mortal life and civilization, called a deity’s domain. All the domains over which a deity has influence are called the deity’s portfolio. For example, the portfolio of the Greek god Apollo includes the domains of Knowledge, Life, and Light. As a cleric, you choose one aspect of your deity’s portfolio to emphasize, and you are granted powers related to that domain.

Your choice might correspond to a particular sect dedicated to your deity. Apollo, for example, could be worshiped in one region as Phoebus (“radiant”) Apollo, emphasizing his influence over the Light domain, and in a different place as Apollo Acesius (“healing”), emphasizing his association with the Life domain. Alternatively, your choice of domain could simply be a matter of personal preference, the aspect of the deity that appeals to you most.

Each domain’s description gives examples of deities who have influence over that domain. Gods are included from the worlds of the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, and Eberron campaign settings, as well as from the Celtic, Greek, Norse, and Egyptian pantheons of antiquity.

Life Domain
Life Domain Spells
Cleric Level Spells
1st bless, cure wounds
3rd lesser restoration, spiritual weapon
5th beacon of hope, revivify
7th death ward, guardian of faith
9th mass cure wounds, raise dead

The Life domain focuses on the vibrant positive energy—one of the fundamental forces of the universe—that sustains all life. The gods of life promote vitality and health through healing the sick and wounded, caring for those in need, and driving away the forces of death and undeath. Almost any non-evil deity can claim influence over this domain, particularly agricultural deities (such as Chauntea, Arawai, and Demeter), sun gods (such as Lathander, Pelor, and Re-Horakhty), gods of healing or endurance (such as Ilmater, Mishakal, Apollo, and Diancecht), and gods of home and community (such as Hestia, Hathor, and Boldrei).

Bonus Proficiency

When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency with heavy armor.

Disciple of Life

Also starting at 1st level, your healing spells are more effective. Whenever you use a spell of 1st level or higher to restore hit points to a creature, the creature regains additional hit points equal to 2 + the spell’s level.

Channel Divinity: Preserve Life

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to heal the badly injured.

As an action, you present your holy symbol and evoke healing energy that can restore a number of hit points equal to five times your cleric level. Choose any creatures within 30 feet of you, and divide those hit points among them. This feature can restore a creature to no more than half of its hit point maximum. You can’t use this feature on an undead or a construct.

Blessed Healer

Beginning at 6th level, the healing spells you cast on others heal you as well. When you cast a spell of 1st level or higher that restores hit points to a creature other than you, you regain hit points equal to 2 + the spell’s level.

Divine Strike

At 8th level, you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with divine energy. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 radiant damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

Supreme Healing

Starting at 17th level, when you would normally roll one or more dice to restore hit points with a spell, you instead use the highest number possible for each die. For example, instead of restoring 2d6 hit points to a creature, you restore 12.

Fighter

A human in clanging plate armor holds her shield before her as she runs toward the massed goblins. An elf behind her, clad in studded leather armor, peppers the goblins with arrows loosed from his exquisite bow. The half-orc nearby shouts orders, helping the two combatants coordinate their assault to the best advantage.

A dwarf in chain mail interposes his shield between the ogre’s club and his companion, knocking the deadly blow aside. His companion, a half-elf in scale armor, swings two scimitars in a blinding whirl as she circles the ogre, looking for a blind spot in its defenses.

A gladiator fights for sport in an arena, a master with his trident and net, skilled at toppling foes and moving them around for the crowd’s delight—and his own tactical advantage. His opponent’s sword flares with blue light an instant before she sends lightning flashing forth to smite him.

All of these heroes are fighters, perhaps the most diverse class of characters in the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons. Questing knights, conquering overlords, royal champions, elite foot soldiers, hardened mercenaries, and bandit kings—as fighters, they all share an unparalleled mastery with weapons and armor, and a thorough knowledge of the skills of combat. And they are well acquainted with death, both meting it out and staring it defiantly in the face.

Well-Rounded Specialists

Fighters learn the basics of all combat styles. Every fighter can swing an axe, fence with a rapier, wield a longsword or a greatsword, use a bow, and even trap foes in a net with some degree of skill. Likewise, a fighter is adept with shields and every form of armor. Beyond that basic degree of familiarity, each fighter specializes in a certain style of combat. Some concentrate on archery, some on fighting with two weapons at once, and some on augmenting their martial skills with magic. This combination of broad general ability and extensive specialization makes fighters superior combatants on battlefields and in dungeons alike.

Trained for Danger

Not every member of the city watch, the village militia, or the queen’s army is a fighter. Most of these troops are relatively untrained soldiers with only the most basic combat knowledge. Veteran soldiers, military officers, trained bodyguards, dedicated knights, and similar figures are fighters.

Some fighters feel drawn to use their training as adventurers. The dungeon delving, monster slaying, and other dangerous work common among adventurers is second nature for a fighter, not all that different from the life he or she left behind. There are greater risks, perhaps, but also much greater rewards—few fighters in the city watch have the opportunity to discover a magic flame tongue sword, for example.

Creating a Fighter

As you build your fighter, think about two related elements of your character’s background: Where did you get your combat training, and what set you apart from the mundane warriors around you? Were you particularly ruthless? Did you get extra help from a mentor, perhaps because of your exceptional dedication? What drove you to this training in the first place? A threat to your homeland, a thirst for revenge, or a need to prove yourself might all have been factors.

You might have enjoyed formal training in a noble’s army or in a local militia. Perhaps you trained in a war academy, learning strategy, tactics, and military history. Or you might be self-taught—unpolished but well tested. Did you take up the sword as a way to escape the limits of life on a farm, or are you following a proud family tradition? Where did you acquire your weapons and armor? They might have been military issue or family heirlooms, or perhaps you scrimped and saved for years to buy them. Your armaments are now among your most important possessions—the only things that stand between you and death’s embrace.

Quick Build

You can make a fighter quickly by following these suggestions. First, make Strength or Dexterity your highest ability score, depending on whether you want to focus on melee weapons or on archery (or finesse weapons). Your next-highest score should be Constitution. Second, choose the soldier background.

Class Features

As a fighter, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points
Hit Dice:
1d10 per fighter level
Hit Points at 1st Level:
10 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels:
1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per fighter level after 1st
Proficiencies
Armor:
All armor, shields
Weapons:
Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools:
None
Saving Throws:
Strength, Constitution
Skills:
Choose two skills from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, and Survival
Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) chain mail or (b) leather armor, longbow, and 20 arrows
  • (a) a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
  • (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) two handaxes
  • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
The Fighter
Level Proficiency
Bonus
Features
1st +2 Fighting Style, Second Wind
2nd +2 Action Surge (one use)
3rd +2 Martial Archetype
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement
5th +3 Extra Attack
6th +3 Ability Score Improvement
7th +3 Martial Archetype feature
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement
9th +4 Indomitable (one use)
10th +4 Martial Archetype feature
11th +4 Extra Attack (2)
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement
13th +5 Indomitable (two uses)
14th +5 Ability Score Improvement
15th +5 Martial Archetype feature
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement
17th +6 Action Surge (two uses), Indomitable (three uses)
18th +6 Martial Archetype feature
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement
20th +6 Extra Attack (3)
Fighting Style

You adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can’t take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

Archery

You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.

Defense

While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.

Dueling

When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.

Great Weapon Fighting

When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.

Protection

When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. You must be wielding a shield.

Two-Weapon Fighting

When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

Second Wind

You have a limited well of stamina that you can draw on to protect yourself from harm. On your turn, you can use a bonus action to regain hit points equal to 1d10 + your fighter level.

Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

Action Surge

Starting at 2nd level, you can push yourself beyond your normal limits for a moment. On your turn, you can take one additional action on top of your regular action and a possible bonus action.

Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again. Starting at 17th level, you can use it twice before a rest, but only once on the same turn.

Martial Archetype

At 3rd level, you choose an archetype that you strive to emulate in your combat styles and techniques. The Champion archetype is detailed at the end of the class description; see the Player’s Handbook for information on other martial archetypes. Your archetype grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 10th, 15th, and 18th level.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 6th, 8th, 12th, 14th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

The number of attacks increases to three when you reach 11th level in this class and to four when you reach 20th level in this class.

Indomitable

Beginning at 9th level, you can reroll a saving throw that you fail. If you do so, you must use the new roll, and you can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

You can use this feature twice between long rests starting at 13th level and three times between long rests starting at 17th level.

Martial Archetypes

Different fighters choose different approaches to perfecting their fighting prowess. The martial archetype you choose to emulate reflects your approach.

Champion

The archetypal Champion focuses on the development of raw physical power honed to deadly perfection. Those who model themselves on this archetype combine rigorous training with physical excellence to deal devastating blows.

Improved Critical

Beginning when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, your weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.

Remarkable Athlete

Starting at 7th level, you can add half your proficiency bonus (round up) to any Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution check you make that doesn’t already use your proficiency bonus.

In addition, when you make a running long jump, the distance you can cover increases by a number of feet equal to your Strength modifier.

Additional Fighting Style

At 10th level, you can choose a second option from the Fighting Style class feature.

Superior Critical

Starting at 15th level, your weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 18–20.

Survivor

At 18th level, you attain the pinnacle of resilience in battle. At the start of each of your turns, you regain hit points equal to 5 + your Constitution modifier if you have no more than half of your hit points left. You don’t gain this benefit if you have 0 hit points.

Rogue

Signaling for her companions to wait, a halfling creeps forward through the dungeon hall. She presses an ear to the door, then pulls out a set of tools and picks the lock in the blink of an eye. Then she disappears into the shadows as her fighter friend moves forward to kick the door open.

A human lurks in the shadows of an alley while his accomplice prepares for her part in the ambush. When their target—a notorious slaver—passes the alleyway, the accomplice cries out, the slaver comes to investigate, and the assassin’s blade cuts his throat before he can make a sound.

Suppressing a giggle, a gnome waggles her fingers and magically lifts the key ring from the guard’s belt. In a moment, the keys are in her hand, the cell door is open, and she and her companions are free to make their escape.

Rogues rely on skill, stealth, and their foes’ vulnerabilities to get the upper hand in any situation. They have a knack for finding the solution to just about any problem, demonstrating a resourcefulness and versatility that is the cornerstone of any successful adventuring party.

Skill and Precision

Rogues devote as much effort to mastering the use of a variety of skills as they do to perfecting their combat abilities, giving them a broad expertise that few other characters can match. Many rogues focus on stealth and deception, while others refine the skills that help them in a dungeon environment, such as climbing, finding and disarming traps, and opening locks.

When it comes to combat, rogues prioritize cunning over brute strength. A rogue would rather make one precise strike, placing it exactly where the attack will hurt the target most, than wear an opponent down with a barrage of attacks. Rogues have an almost supernatural knack for avoiding danger, and a few learn magical tricks to supplement their other abilities.

A Shady Living

Every town and city has its share of rogues. Most of them live up to the worst stereotypes of the class, making a living as burglars, assassins, cutpurses, and con artists. Often, these scoundrels are organized into thieves’ guilds or crime families. Plenty of rogues operate independently, but even they sometimes recruit apprentices to help them in their scams and heists. A few rogues make an honest living as locksmiths, investigators, or exterminators, which can be a dangerous job in a world where dire rats—and wererats—haunt the sewers.

As adventurers, rogues fall on both sides of the law. Some are hardened criminals who decide to seek their fortune in treasure hoards, while others take up a life of adventure to escape from the law. Some have learned and perfected their skills with the explicit purpose of infiltrating ancient ruins and hidden crypts in search of treasure.

Creating a Rogue

As you create your rogue character, consider the character’s relationship to the law. Do you have a criminal past—or present? Are you on the run from the law or from an angry thieves’ guild master? Or did you leave your guild in search of bigger risks and bigger rewards? Is it greed that drives you in your adventures, or some other desire or ideal?

What was the trigger that led you away from your previous life? Did a great con or heist gone terribly wrong cause you to reevaluate your career? Maybe you were lucky and a successful robbery gave you the coin you needed to escape the squalor of your life. Did wanderlust finally call you away from your home? Perhaps you suddenly found yourself cut off from your family or your mentor, and you had to find a new means of support. Or maybe you made a new friend—another member of your adventuring party—who showed you new possibilities for earning a living and employing your particular talents.

Quick Build

You can make a rogue quickly by following these suggestions. First, Dexterity should be your highest ability score. Make Intelligence your next-highest if you want to excel at Investigation. Choose Charisma instead if you plan to emphasize deception and social interaction. Second, choose the criminal background.

Class Features

As a rogue, you have the following class features.

Hit Points
Hit Dice:
1d8 per rogue level
Hit Points at 1st Level:
8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels:
1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per rogue level after 1st
Proficiencies
Armor:
Light armor
Weapons:
Simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords
Tools:
Thieves’ tools
Saving Throws:
Dexterity, Intelligence
Skills:
Choose four from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth
Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a rapier or (b) a shortsword
  • (a) a shortbow and quiver of 20 arrows or (b) a shortsword
  • (a) a burglar’s pack, (b) a dungeoneer’s pack, or (c) an explorer’s pack
  • Leather armor, two daggers, and thieves’ tools
The Rogue
Level Proficiency
Bonus
Sneak
Attack
Features
1st +2 1d6 Expertise, Sneak Attack, Thieves’ Cant
2nd +2 1d6 Cunning Action
3rd +2 2d6 Roguish Archetype
4th +2 2d6 Ability Score Improvement
5th +3 3d6 Uncanny Dodge
6th +3 3d6 Expertise
7th +3 4d6 Evasion
8th +3 4d6 Ability Score Improvement
9th +4 5d6 Roguish Archetype feature
10th +4 5d6 Ability Score Improvement
11th +4 6d6 Reliable Talent
12th +4 6d6 Ability Score Improvement
13th +5 7d6 Roguish Archetype feature
14th +5 7d6 Blindsense
15th +5 8d6 Slippery Mind
16th +5 8d6 Ability Score Improvement
17th +6 9d6 Roguish Archetype feature
18th +6 9d6 Elusive
19th +6 10d6 Ability Score Improvement
20th +6 10d6 Stroke of Luck
Expertise

At 1st level, choose two of your skill proficiencies, or one of your skill proficiencies and your proficiency with thieves’ tools. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of the chosen proficiencies.

At 6th level, you can choose two more of your proficiencies (in skills or with thieves’ tools) to gain this benefit.

Sneak Attack

Beginning at 1st level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe’s distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon.

You don’t need advantage on the attack roll if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn’t incapacitated, and you don’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

The amount of the extra damage increases as you gain levels in this class, as shown in the Sneak Attack column of the Rogue table.

Thieves’ Cant

During your rogue training you learned thieves’ cant, a secret mix of dialect, jargon, and code that allows you to hide messages in seemingly normal conversation. Only another creature that knows thieves’ cant understands such messages. It takes four times longer to convey such a message than it does to speak the same idea plainly.

In addition, you understand a set of secret signs and symbols used to convey short, simple messages, such as whether an area is dangerous or the territory of a thieves’ guild, whether loot is nearby, or whether the people in an area are easy marks or will provide a safe house for thieves on the run.

Cunning Action

Starting at 2nd level, your quick thinking and agility allow you to move and act quickly. You can take a bonus action on each of your turns in combat. This action can be used only to take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action.

Roguish Archetype

At 3rd level, you choose an archetype that you emulate in the exercise of your rogue abilities. The Thief archetype is detailed here; see the Player’s Handbook for other archetypes. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and then again at 9th, 13th, and 17th level.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 10th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Uncanny Dodge

Starting at 5th level, when an attacker that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to halve the attack’s damage against you.

Evasion

Beginning at 7th level, you can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a red dragon’s fiery breath or an ice storm spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.

Reliable Talent

By 11th level, you have refined your chosen skills until they approach perfection. Whenever you make an ability check that lets you add your proficiency bonus, you can treat a d20 roll of 9 or lower as a 10.

Blindsense

Starting at 14th level, if you are able to hear, you are aware of the location of any hidden or invisible creature within 10 feet of you.

Slippery Mind

By 15th level, you have acquired greater mental strength. You gain proficiency in Wisdom saving throws.

Elusive

Beginning at 18th level, you are so evasive that attackers rarely gain the upper hand against you. No attack roll has advantage against you while you aren’t incapacitated.

Stroke of Luck

At 20th level, you have an uncanny knack for succeeding when you need to. If your attack misses a target within range, you can turn the miss into a hit. Alternatively, if you fail an ability check, you can treat the d20 roll as a 20.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Roguish Archetypes

Rogues have many features in common, including their emphasis on perfecting their skills, their precise and deadly approach to combat, and their increasingly quick reflexes. But different rogues steer those talents in varying directions, embodied by the rogue archetypes. Your choice of archetype is a reflection of your focus—not necessarily an indication of your chosen profession, but a description of your preferred techniques.

Thief

You hone your skills in the larcenous arts. Burglars, bandits, cutpurses, and other criminals typically follow this archetype, but so do rogues who prefer to think of themselves as professional treasure seekers, explorers, delvers, and investigators. In addition to improving your agility and stealth, you learn skills useful for delving into ancient ruins, reading unfamiliar languages, and using magic items you normally couldn’t employ.

Fast Hands

Starting at 3rd level, you can use the bonus action granted by your Cunning Action to make a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check, use your thieves’ tools to disarm a trap or open a lock, or take the Use an Object action.

Second-Story Work

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain the ability to climb faster than normal; climbing no longer costs you extra movement.

In addition, when you make a running jump, the distance you cover increases by a number of feet equal to your Dexterity modifier.

Supreme Sneak

Starting at 9th level, you have advantage on a Dexterity (Stealth) check if you move no more than half your speed on the same turn.

Use Magic Device

By 13th level, you have learned enough about the workings of magic that you can improvise the use of items even when they are not intended for you. You ignore all class, race, and level requirements on the use of magic items.

Thief’s Reflexes

When you reach 17th level, you have become adept at laying ambushes and quickly escaping danger. You can take two turns during the first round of any combat. You take your first turn at your normal initiative and your second turn at your initiative minus 10. You can’t use this feature when you are surprised.

Wizard

Clad in the silver robes that denote her station, an elf closes her eyes to shut out the distractions of the battlefield and begins her quiet chant. Fingers weaving in front of her, she completes her spell and launches a tiny bead of fire toward the enemy ranks, where it erupts into a conflagration that engulfs the soldiers.

Checking and rechecking his work, a human scribes an intricate magic circle in chalk on the bare stone floor, then sprinkles powdered iron along every line and graceful curve. When the circle is complete, he drones a long incantation. A hole opens in space inside the circle, bringing a whiff of brimstone from the otherworldly plane beyond.

Crouching on the floor in a dungeon intersection, a gnome tosses a handful of small bones inscribed with mystic symbols, muttering a few words of power over them. Closing his eyes to see the visions more clearly, he nods slowly, then opens his eyes and points down the passage to his left.

Wizards are supreme magic-users, defined and united as a class by the spells they cast. Drawing on the subtle weave of magic that permeates the cosmos, wizards cast spells of explosive fire, arcing lightning, subtle deception, and brute-force mind control. Their magic conjures monsters from other planes of existence, glimpses the future, or turns slain foes into zombies. Their mightiest spells change one substance into another, call meteors down from the sky, or open portals to other worlds.

Scholars of the Arcane

Wild and enigmatic, varied in form and function, the power of magic draws students who seek to master its mysteries. Some aspire to become like the gods, shaping reality itself. Though the casting of a typical spell requires merely the utterance of a few strange words, fleeting gestures, and sometimes a pinch or clump of exotic materials, these surface components barely hint at the expertise attained after years of apprenticeship and countless hours of study.

Wizards live and die by their spells. Everything else is secondary. They learn new spells as they experiment and grow in experience. They can also learn them from other wizards, from ancient tomes or inscriptions, and from ancient creatures (such as the fey) that are steeped in magic.

The Lure of Knowledge

Wizards’ lives are seldom mundane. The closest a wizard is likely to come to an ordinary life is working as a sage or lecturer in a library or university, teaching others the secrets of the multiverse. Other wizards sell their services as diviners, serve in military forces, or pursue lives of crime or domination.

But the lure of knowledge and power calls even the most unadventurous wizards out of the safety of their libraries and laboratories and into crumbling ruins and lost cities. Most wizards believe that their counterparts in ancient civilizations knew secrets of magic that have been lost to the ages, and discovering those secrets could unlock the path to a power greater than any magic available in the present age.

Creating a Wizard

Creating a wizard character demands a backstory dominated by at least one extraordinary event. How did your character first come into contact with magic? How did you discover you had an aptitude for it? Do you have a natural talent, or did you simply study hard and practice incessantly? Did you encounter a magical creature or an ancient tome that taught you the basics of magic?

What drew you forth from your life of study? Did your first taste of magical knowledge leave you hungry for more? Have you received word of a secret repository of knowledge not yet plundered by any other wizard? Perhaps you’re simply eager to put your newfound magical skills to the test in the face of danger.

Quick Build

You can make a wizard quickly by following these suggestions. First, Intelligence should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution or Dexterity. Second, choose the sage background. Third, choose the light, mage hand, and ray of frost cantrips, along with the following 1st-level spells for your spellbook: burning hands, charm person, mage armor, magic missile, shield, and sleep.

Class Features

As a wizard, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points
Hit Dice:
1d6 per wizard level
Hit Points at 1st Level:
6 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels:
1d6 (or 4) + your Constitution modifier per wizard level after 1st
Proficiencies
Armor:
None
Weapons:
Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows
Tools:
None
Saving Throws:
Intelligence, Wisdom
Skills:
Choose two from Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, and Religion
Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a quarterstaff or (b) a dagger
  • (a) a component pouch or (b) an arcane focus
  • (a) a scholar’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
  • A spellbook
The Wizard
Level Proficiency
Bonus
Features Cantrips
Known
—Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +2 Spellcasting,
Arcane Recovery
3 2
2nd +2 Arcane Tradition 3 3
3rd +2 3 4 2
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 4 4 3
5th +3 4 4 3 2
6th +3 Arcane Tradition feature 4 4 3 3
7th +3 4 4 3 3 1
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4 4 3 3 2
9th +4 4 4 3 3 3 1
10th +4 Arcane Tradition feature 5 4 3 3 3 2
11th +4 5 4 3 3 3 2 1
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 5 4 3 3 3 2 1
13th +5 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
14th +5 Arcane Tradition feature 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
15th +5 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
17th +6 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
18th +6 Spell Mastery 5 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
20th +6 Signature Spell 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1
Spellcasting

As a student of arcane magic, you have a spellbook containing spells that show the first glimmerings of your true power. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for the wizard spell list.

Cantrips

At 1st level, you know three cantrips of your choice from the wizard spell list. You learn additional wizard cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Wizard table.

Spellbook

At 1st level, you have a spellbook containing six 1st-level wizard spells of your choice. Your spellbook is the repository of the wizard spells you know, except your cantrips, which are fixed in your mind.

Preparing and Casting Spells

The Wizard table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of wizard spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of wizard spells from your spellbook equal to your Intelligence modifier + your wizard level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you’re a 3rd-level wizard, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With an Intelligence of 16, your list of prepared spells can include six spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination, chosen from your spellbook. If you prepare the 1st-level spell magic missile, you can cast it using a 1st-level or a 2nd-level slot. Casting the spell doesn’t remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of wizard spells requires time spent studying your spellbook and memorizing the incantations and gestures you must make to cast the spell: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spellcasting Ability

Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your wizard spells, since you learn your spells through dedicated study and memorization. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a wizard spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Ritual Casting

You can cast a wizard spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell in your spellbook. You don’t need to have the spell prepared.

Spellcasting Focus

You can use an arcane focus (found in chapter 5) as a spellcasting focus for your wizard spells.

Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher

Each time you gain a wizard level, you can add two wizard spells of your choice to your spellbook. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots, as shown on the Wizard table. On your adventures, you might find other spells that you can add to your spellbook (see the “Your Spellbook” sidebar).

Arcane Recovery

You have learned to regain some of your magical energy by studying your spellbook. Once per day when you finish a short rest, you can choose expended spell slots to recover. The spell slots can have a combined level that is equal to or less than half your wizard level (rounded up), and none of the slots can be 6th level or higher.

For example, if you’re a 4th-level wizard, you can recover up to two levels worth of spell slots. You can recover either a 2nd-level spell slot or two 1st-level spell slots.

Arcane Tradition

When you reach 2nd level, you choose an arcane tradition, shaping your practice of magic through one of eight schools: Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy, or Transmutation. The school of Evocation is detailed at the end of the class description; see the Player’s Handbook for information on the other schools.

Your choice grants you features at 2nd level and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th level.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Spell Mastery

At 18th level, you have achieved such mastery over certain spells that you can cast them at will. Choose a 1st-level wizard spell and a 2nd-level wizard spell that are in your spellbook. You can cast those spells at their lowest level without expending a spell slot when you have them prepared. If you want to cast either spell at a higher level, you must expend a spell slot as normal.

By spending 8 hours in study, you can exchange one or both of the spells you chose for different spells of the same levels.

Signature Spells

When you reach 20th level, you gain mastery over two powerful spells and can cast them with little effort. Choose two 3rd-level wizard spells in your spellbook as your signature spells. You always have these spells prepared, they don’t count against the number of spells you have prepared, and you can cast each of them once at 3rd level without expending a spell slot. When you do so, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

If you want to cast either spell at a higher level, you must expend a spell slot as normal.

Arcane Traditions

The study of wizardry is ancient, stretching back to the earliest mortal discoveries of magic. It is firmly established in the worlds of D&D, with various traditions dedicated to its complex study.

The most common arcane traditions in the multiverse revolve around the schools of magic. Wizards through the ages have cataloged thousands of spells, grouping them into eight categories called schools, as described in chapter 10. In some places, these traditions are literally schools. Elsewhere, they are more like academic departments, with rival faculties competing for students and funding. Even wizards who train apprentices in the solitude of their own towers use the division of magic into schools as a learning device, since the spells of each school require mastery of different techniques.

School of Evocation

You focus your study on magic that creates powerful elemental effects such as bitter cold, searing flame, rolling thunder, crackling lightning, and burning acid. Some evokers find employment in military forces, serving as artillery to blast enemy armies from afar. Others use their spectacular power to protect the weak, while some seek their own gain as bandits, adventurers, or aspiring tyrants.

Evocation Savant

Beginning when you select this school at 2nd level, the gold and time you must spend to copy an evocation spell into your spellbook is halved.

Sculpt Spells

Beginning at 2nd level, you can create pockets of relative safety within the effects of your evocation spells. When you cast an evocation spell that affects other creatures that you can see, you can choose a number of them equal to 1 + the spell’s level. The chosen creatures automatically succeed on their saving throws against the spell, and they take no damage if they would normally take half damage on a successful save.

Potent Cantrip

Starting at 6th level, your damaging cantrips affect even creatures that avoid the brunt of the effect. When a creature succeeds on a saving throw against your cantrip, the creature takes half the cantrip’s damage (if any) but suffers no additional effect from the cantrip.

Empowered Evocation

Beginning at 10th level, you can add your Intelligence modifier to one damage roll of any wizard evocation spell you cast.

Overchannel

Starting at 14th level, you can increase the power of your simpler spells. When you cast a wizard spell of 1st through 5th level that deals damage, you can deal maximum damage with that spell.

The first time you do so, you suffer no adverse effect. If you use this feature again before you finish a long rest, you take 2d12 necrotic damage for each level of the spell, immediately after you cast it. Each time you use this feature again before finishing a long rest, the necrotic damage per spell level increases by 1d12. This damage ignores resistance and immunity.

Chapter 4: 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 that 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.

Height and Weight
Random Height and Weight
Race Base
Height
Height
Modifier
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier
Human 4'8" +2d10 110 lb. × (2d4) lb.
Dwarf, hill 3'8" +2d4 115 lb. × (2d6) lb.
Dwarf, mountain 4' +2d4 130 lb. × (2d6) lb.
Elf, high 4'6" +2d10 90 lb. × (1d4) lb.
Elf, wood 4'6" +2d10 100 lb. × (1d4) lb.
Halfling 2'7" +2d4 35 lb. × 1 lb.

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.

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.

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.

Lawful good (LG) creatures can be counted on to do the right thing as expected by society. Gold dragons, paladins, and most dwarves are lawful good.

Neutral good (NG) folk do the best they can to help others according to their needs. Many celestials, some cloud giants, and most gnomes are neutral good.

Chaotic good (CG) creatures act as their conscience directs, with little regard for what others expect. Copper dragons, many elves, and unicorns are chaotic good.

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

Neutral (N) is the alignment of those who prefer to steer clear of moral questions and don’t take sides, doing what seems best at the time. Lizardfolk, most druids, and many humans are neutral.

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

Lawful evil (LE) creatures methodically take what they want, within the limits of a code of tradition, loyalty, or order. Devils, blue dragons, and hobgoblins are lawful evil.

Neutral evil (NE) is the alignment of those who do whatever they can get away with, without compassion or qualms. Many drow, some cloud giants, and yugoloths are neutral evil.

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

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 toward evil. Even if an orc chooses a good alignment, it struggles against its innate tendencies for its entire life. (Even half-orcs feel the lingering pull of the orc god’s influence.)

Alignment is an essential part of the nature of celestials and fiends. A devil does not choose to be lawful evil, and it doesn’t tend toward lawful evil, but rather it is lawful evil in its essence. If it somehow ceased to be lawful evil, it would cease to be a devil.

Most creatures that lack the capacity for rational thought do not have alignments—they are unaligned. Such a creature is incapable of making a moral or ethical choice and acts according to its bestial nature. Sharks are savage predators, for example, but they are not evil; they have no alignment.

Languages
Standard Languages
Language Typical Speakers Script
Common Humans Common
Dwarvish Dwarves Dwarvish
Elvish Elves Elvish
Giant Ogres, giants Dwarvish
Gnomish Gnomes Dwarvish
Goblin Goblinoids Dwarvish
Halfling Halflings Common
Orc Orcs Dwarvish
Exotic Languages
Language Typical Speakers Script
Abyssal Demons Infernal
Celestial Celestials Celestial
Draconic Dragons, dragonborn Draconic
Deep Speech Mind flayers, beholders
Infernal Devils Infernal
Primordial Elementals Dwarvish
Sylvan Fey creatures Elvish
Undercommon Underdark traders Elvish

Your race indicates the languages your character can speak by default, and your background might give you access to one or more additional languages of your choice. Note these languages on your character sheet.

Choose your languages from the Standard Languages table, or choose one that is common in your campaign. With your 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.

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?

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.

Acolyte

You have spent your life in the service of a temple to a specific god or pantheon of gods. You act as an intermediary between the realm of the holy and the mortal world, performing sacred rites and offering sacrifices in order to conduct worshipers into the presence of the divine. You are not necessarily a cleric—performing sacred rites is not the same thing as channeling divine power.

Choose a god, a pantheon of gods, or some other quasi-divine being, and work with your DM to detail the nature of your religious service. Appendix B contains a sample pantheon, from the Forgotten Realms setting. Were you a lesser functionary in a temple, raised from childhood to assist the priests in the sacred rites? Or were you a high priest who suddenly experienced a call to serve your god in a different way? Perhaps you were the leader of a small cult outside of any established temple structure, or even an occult group that served a fiendish master that you now deny.

Skill Proficiencies:
Insight, Religion
Languages:
Two of your choice
Equipment:
A holy symbol (a gift to you when you entered the priesthood), a prayer book or prayer wheel, 5 sticks of incense, vestments, a set of common clothes, and a pouch containing 15 gp
Feature: Shelter of the Faithful

As an acolyte, you command the respect of those who share your faith, and you can perform the religious ceremonies of your deity. You and your adventuring companions can expect to receive free healing and care at a temple, shrine, or other established presence of your faith, though you must provide any material components needed for spells. Those who share your religion will support you (but only you) at a modest lifestyle.

You might also have ties to a specific temple dedicated to your chosen deity or pantheon, and you have a residence there. This could be the temple where you used to serve, if you remain on good terms with it, or a temple where you have found a new home. While near your temple, you can call upon the priests for assistance, provided the assistance you ask for is not hazardous and you remain in good standing with your temple.

Suggested Characteristics

Acolytes are shaped by their experience in temples or other religious communities. Their study of the history and tenets of their faith and their relationships to temples, shrines, or hierarchies affect their mannerisms and ideals. Their flaws might be some hidden hypocrisy or heretical idea, or an ideal or bond taken to an extreme.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I idolize a particular hero of my faith, and constantly refer to that person’s deeds and example.
2 I can find common ground between the fiercest enemies, empathizing with them
and always working toward peace.
3 I see omens in every event and action. The gods try to speak to us, we just need to listen
4 Nothing can shake my optimistic attitude.
5 I quote (or misquote) sacred texts and proverbs in almost every situation.
6 I am tolerant (or intolerant) of other faiths and respect (or condemn) the worship of other gods.
7 I’ve enjoyed fine food, drink, and high society among my temple’s elite. Rough living grates on me.
8 I’ve spent so long in the temple that I have little practical experience dealing with
people in the outside world.
d6 Bond
1 I would die to recover an ancient relic of my faith that was lost long ago.
2 I will someday get revenge on the corrupt temple hierarchy who branded me a heretic.
3 I owe my life to the priest who took me in when my parents died.
4 Everything I do is for the common people.
5 I will do anything to protect the temple where I served.
6 I seek to preserve a sacred text that my enemies consider heretical and seek to destroy.
d6 Ideal
1 Tradition. The ancient traditions of worship and sacrifice must be preserved and upheld. (Lawful)
2 Charity. I always try to help those in need, no matter what the personal cost. (Good)
3 Change. We must help bring about the changes the gods are constantly working in the world. (Chaotic)
4 Power. I hope to one day rise to the top of my faith’s religious hierarchy. (Lawful)
5 Faith. I trust that my deity will guide my actions. I have faith that if I work hard, things will go well. (Lawful)
6 Aspiration. I seek to prove myself worthy of my god’s favor by matching my actions
against his or her teachings. (Any)
d6 Flaw
1 I judge others harshly, and myself even more severely.
2 I put too much trust in those who wield power within my temple’s hierarchy.
3 My piety sometimes leads me to blindly trust those that profess faith in my god.
4 I am inflexible in my thinking.
5 I am suspicious of strangers and expect the worst of them.
6 Once I pick a goal, I become obsessed with it to the detriment of everything else in my life.
Criminal

You are an experienced criminal with a history of breaking the law. You have spent a lot of time among other criminals and still have contacts within the criminal underworld. You’re far closer than most people to the world of murder, theft, and violence that pervades the underbelly of civilization, and you have survived up to this point by flouting the rules and regulations of society.

Skill Proficiencies:
Deception, Stealth
Tool Proficiencies:
One type of gaming set, thieves’ tools
Equipment:
A crowbar, a set of dark common clothes including a hood, and a pouch containing 15 gp
Criminal Specialty

There are many kinds of criminals, and within a thieves’ guild or similar criminal organization, individual members have particular specialties. Even criminals who operate outside of such organizations have strong preferences for certain kinds of crimes over others. Choose the role you played in your criminal life, or roll on the table below.

d8 Specialty
1 Blackmailer
2 Burglar
3 Enforcer
4 Fence
5 Highway robber
6 Hired killer
7 Pickpocket
8 Smuggler
Feature: Criminal Contact

You have a reliable and trustworthy contact who acts as your liaison to a network of other criminals. You know how to get messages to and from your contact, even over great distances; specifically, you know the local messengers, corrupt caravan masters, and seedy sailors who can deliver messages for you.

Suggested Characteristics

Criminals might seem like villains on the surface, and many of them are villainous to the core. But some have an abundance of endearing, if not redeeming, characteristics. There might be honor among thieves, but criminals rarely show any respect for law or authority.

Variant Criminal: Spy

Although your capabilities are not much different from those of a burglar or smuggler, you learned and practiced them in a very different context: as an espionage agent. You might have been an officially sanctioned agent of the crown, or perhaps you sold the secrets you uncovered to the highest bidder.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I always have a plan for what to do when things go wrong.
2 I am always calm, no matter what the situation. I never raise my voice or let my emotions control me.
3 The first thing I do in a new place is note the locations of everything valuable—or where such things
could be hidden.
4 I would rather make a new friend than a new enemy.
5 I am incredibly slow to trust. Those who seem the fairest often have the most to hide.
6 I don’t pay attention to the risks in a situation. Never tell me the odds.
7 The best way to get me to do something is to tell me I can’t do it.
8 I blow up at the slightest insult.
d6 Ideal
1 Honor. I don’t steal from others in the trade. (Lawful)
2 Freedom. Chains are meant to be broken, as are those who would forge them. (Chaotic)
3 Charity. I steal from the wealthy so that I can help people in need. (Good)
4 Greed. I will do whatever it takes to become wealthy. (Evil)
5 People. I’m loyal to my friends, not to any ideals, and everyone else can take a trip down the Styx
for all I care. (Neutral)
6 Redemption. There’s a spark of good in everyone. (Good)
d6 Bond
1 I’m trying to pay off an old debt I owe to a generous benefactor.
2 My ill-gotten gains go to support my family.
3 Something important was taken from me, and I aim to steal it back.
4 I will become the greatest thief that ever lived.
5 I’m guilty of a terrible crime. I hope I can redeem myself for it.
6 Someone I loved died because of I mistake I made. That will never happen again.
d6 Flaw
1 When I see something valuable, I can’t think about anything but how to steal it.
2 When faced with a choice between money and my friends, I usually choose the money.
3 If there’s a plan, I’ll forget it. If I don’t forget it, I’ll ignore it.
4 I have a “tell” that reveals when I’m lying.
5 I turn tail and run when things look bad.
6 An innocent person is in prison for a crime that I committed. I’m okay with that.
Folk Hero

You come from a humble social rank, but you are destined for so much more. Already the people of your home village regard you as their champion, and your destiny calls you to stand against the tyrants and monsters that threaten the common folk everywhere.

Skill Proficiencies:
Animal Handling, Survival
Tool Proficiencies:
One type of artisan’s tools, vehicles (land)
Equipment:
A set of artisan’s tools (one of your choice), a shovel, an iron pot, a set of common clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp
Defining Event

You previously pursued a simple profession among the peasantry, perhaps as a farmer, miner, servant, shepherd, woodcutter, or gravedigger. But something happened that set you on a different path and marked you for greater things. Choose or randomly determine a defining event that marked you as a hero of the people.

d10 Defining Event
1 I stood up to a tyrant’s agents.
2 I saved people during a natural disaster.
3 I stood alone against a terrible monster.
4 I stole from a corrupt merchant to help the poor.
5 I led a militia to fight off an invading army.
6 I broke into a tyrant’s castle and stole weapons to arm the people.
7 I trained the peasantry to use farm implements as weapons against a tyrant’s soldiers.
8 A lord rescinded an unpopular decree after I led a symbolic act of protest against it.
9 A celestial, fey, or similar creature gave me a blessing or revealed my secret origin.
10 Recruited into a lord’s army, I rose to leadership and was commended for my heroism.
Feature: Rustic Hospitality

Since you come from the ranks of the common folk, you fit in among them with ease. You can find a place to hide, rest, or recuperate among other commoners, unless you have shown yourself to be a danger to them. They will shield you from the law or anyone else searching for you, though they will not risk their lives for you.

Suggested Characteristics

A folk hero is one of the common people, for better or for worse. Most folk heroes look on their humble origins as a virtue, not a shortcoming, and their home communities remain very important to them.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I judge people by their actions, not their words.
2 If someone is in trouble, I’m always ready to lend help.
3 When I set my mind to something, I follow through no matter what gets in my way.
4 I have a strong sense of fair play and always try to find the most equitable solution to arguments.
5 I’m confident in my own abilities and do what I can to instill confidence in others.
6 Thinking is for other people. I prefer action.
7 I misuse long words in an attempt to sound smarter.
8 I get bored easily. When am I going to get on with my destiny?
d6 Ideal
1 Respect. People deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. (Good)
2 Fairness. No one should get preferential treatment before the law, and no one is above the law. (Lawful)
3 Freedom. Tyrants must not be allowed to oppress the people. (Chaotic)
4 Might. If I become strong, I can take what I want—what I deserve. (Evil)
5 Sincerity. There’s no good in pretending to be something I’m not. (Neutral)
6 Destiny. Nothing and no one can steer me away from my higher calling. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 I have a family, but I have no idea where they are. One day, I hope to see them again.
2 I worked the land, I love the land, and I will protect the land.
3 A proud noble once gave me a horrible beating, and I will take my revenge on any bully I encounter.
4 My tools are symbols of my past life, and I carry them so that I will never forget my roots.
5 I protect those who cannot protect themselves.
6 I wish my childhood sweetheart had come with me to pursue my destiny.
d6 Flaw
1 The tyrant who rules my land will stop at nothing to see me killed.
2 I’m convinced of the significance of my destiny, and blind to my shortcomings and the risk of failure.
3 The people who knew me when I was young know my shameful secret, so I can never go home again.
4 I have a weakness for the vices of the city, especially hard drink.
5 Secretly, I believe that things would be better if I were a tyrant lording over the land.
6 I have trouble trusting in my allies.
Noble

You understand wealth, power, and privilege. You carry a noble title, and your family owns land, collects taxes, and wields significant political influence. You might be a pampered aristocrat unfamiliar with work or discomfort, a former merchant just elevated to the nobility, or a disinherited scoundrel with a disproportionate sense of entitlement. Or you could be an honest, hard-working landowner who cares deeply about the people who live and work on your land, keenly aware of your responsibility to them.

Work with your DM to come up with an appropriate title and determine how much authority that title carries. A noble title doesn’t stand on its own—it’s connected to an entire family, and whatever title you hold, you will pass it down to your own children. Not only do you need to determine your noble title, but you should also work with the DM to describe your family and their influence on you.

Is your family old and established, or was your title only recently bestowed? How much influence do they wield, and over what area? What kind of reputation does your family have among the other aristocrats of the region? How do the common people regard them?

What’s your position in the family? Are you the heir to the head of the family? Have you already inherited the title? How do you feel about that responsibility? Or are you so far down the line of inheritance that no one cares what you do, as long as you don’t embarrass the family? How does the head of your family feel about your adventuring career? Are you in your family’s good graces, or shunned by the rest of your family?

Does your family have a coat of arms? An insignia you might wear on a signet ring? Particular colors you wear all the time? An animal you regard as a symbol of your line or even a spiritual member of the family?

These details help establish your family and your title as features of the world of the campaign.

Skill Proficiencies:
History, Persuasion
Tool Proficiencies:
One type of gaming set
Languages:
One of your choice
Equipment:
A set of fine clothes, a signet ring, a scroll of pedigree, and a purse containing 25 gp
Feature: Position of Privilege

Thanks to your noble birth, people are inclined to think the best of you. You are welcome in high society, and people assume you have the right to be wherever you are. The common folk make every effort to accommodate you and avoid your displeasure, and other people of high birth treat you as a member of the same social sphere. You can secure an audience with a local noble if you need to.

Suggested Characteristics

Nobles are born and raised to a very different lifestyle than most people ever experience, and their personalities reflect that upbringing. A noble title comes with a plethora of bonds—responsibilities to family, to other nobles (including the sovereign), to the people entrusted to the family’s care, or even to the title itself. But this responsibility is often a good way to undermine a noble.

d8 Personality Trait
1 My eloquent flattery makes everyone I talk to feel like the most wonderful and important person in the world.
2 The common folk love me for my kindness and generosity.
3 No one could doubt by looking at my regal bearing that I am a cut above the unwashed masses.
4 I take great pains to always look my best and follow the latest fashions.
5 I don’t like to get my hands dirty, and I won’t be caught dead in unsuitable accommodations.
6 Despite my noble birth, I do not place myself above other folk. We all have the same blood.
7 My favor, once lost, is lost forever.
8 If you do me an injury, I will crush you, ruin your name, and salt your fields.
d6 Ideal
1 Respect. Respect is due to me because of my position, but all people regardless of station deserve to be treated with dignity. (Good)
2 Responsibility. It is my duty to respect the authority of those above me, just as those below me must respect mine. (Lawful)
3 Independence. I must prove that I can handle myself without the coddling of my family. (Chaotic)
4 Power. If I can attain more power, no one will tell me what to do. (Evil)
5 Family. Blood runs thicker than water. (Any)
6 Noble Obligation. It is my duty to protect and care for the people beneath me. (Good)
d6 Bond
1 I will face any challenge to win the approval of my family.
2 My house’s alliance with another noble family must be sustained at all costs.
3 Nothing is more important than the other members of my family.
4 I am in love with the heir of a family that my family despises.
5 My loyalty to my sovereign is unwavering.
6 The common folk must see me as a hero of the people.
d6 Flaw
1 I secretly believe that everyone is beneath me.
2 I hide a truly scandalous secret that could ruin my family forever.
3 I too often hear veiled insults and threats in every word addressed to me, and I’m quick to anger.
4 I have an insatiable desire for carnal pleasures.
5 In fact, the world does revolve around me.
6 By my words and actions, I often bring shame to my family.
Sage

You spent years learning the lore of the multiverse. You scoured manuscripts, studied scrolls, and listened to the greatest experts on the subjects that interest you. Your efforts have made you a master in your fields of study.

Skill Proficiencies:
Arcana, History
Languages:
Two of your choice
Equipment:
A bottle of black ink, a quill, a small knife, a letter from a dead colleague posing a question you have not yet been able to answer, a set of common clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp
Specialty

To determine the nature of your scholarly training, roll a d8 or choose from the options in the table below.

d8 Specialty
1 Alchemist
2 Astronomer
3 Discredited academic
4 Librariand
5 Professor
6 Researcher
7 Wizard’s apprentice
8 Scribe
Feature: Researcher

When you attempt to learn or recall a piece of lore, if you do not know that information, you often know where and from whom you can obtain it. Usually, this information comes from a library, scriptorium, university, or a sage or other learned person or creature. Your DM might rule that the knowledge you seek is secreted away in an almost inaccessible place, or that it simply cannot be found. Unearthing the deepest secrets of the multiverse can require an adventure or even a whole campaign.

Suggested Characteristics

Sages are defined by their extensive studies, and their characteristics reflect this life of study. Devoted to scholarly pursuits, a sage values knowledge highly—sometimes in its own right, sometimes as a means toward other ideals.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I use polysyllabic words that convey the impression of great erudition.
2 I’ve read every book in the world’s greatest libraries—or I like to boast that I have.
3 I’m used to helping out those who aren’t as smart as I am, and I patiently explain anything and everything to others.
4 There’s nothing I like more than a good mystery.
5 I’m willing to listen to every side of an argument before I make my own judgment.
6 I … speak … slowly … when talking … to idiots, … which … almost … everyone … is … compared … to me.
7 I am horribly, horribly awkward in social situations.
8 I’m convinced that people are always trying to steal my secrets.
d6 Ideal
1 Knowledge. The path to power and self-improvement is through knowledge. (Neutral)
2 Beauty. What is beautiful points us beyond itself toward what is true. (Good)
3 Logic. Emotions must not cloud our logical thinking. (Lawful)
4 No Limits. Nothing should fetter the infinite possibility inherent in all existence. (Chaotic)
5 Power. Knowledge is the path to power and domination. (Evil)
6 Self-Improvement. The goal of a life of study is the betterment of oneself. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 It is my duty to protect my students.
2 I have an ancient text that holds terrible secrets that must not fall into the wrong hands.
3 I work to preserve a library, university, scriptorium, or monastery.
4 My life’s work is a series of tomes related to a specific field of lore.
5 I’ve been searching my whole life for the answer to a certain question.
6 I sold my soul for knowledge. I hope to do great deeds and win it back.
d6 Flaw
1 I am easily distracted by the promise of information.
2 Most people scream and run when they see a demon. I stop and take notes on its anatomy.
3 Unlocking an ancient mystery is worth the price of a civilization.
4 I overlook obvious solutions in favor of complicated ones.
5 I speak without really thinking through my words, invariably insulting others.
6 I can’t keep a secret to save my life, or anyone else’s.
Soldier

War has been your life for as long as you care to remember. You trained as a youth, studied the use of weapons and armor, learned basic survival techniques, including how to stay alive on the battlefield. You might have been part of a standing national army or a mercenary company, or perhaps a member of a local militia who rose to prominence during a recent war.

When you choose this background, work with your DM to determine which military organization you were a part of, how far through its ranks you progressed, and what kind of experiences you had during your military career. Was it a standing army, a town guard, or a village militia? Or it might have been a noble’s or merchant’s private army, or a mercenary company.

Skill Proficiencies:
Athletics, Intimidation
Tool Proficiencies:
One type of gaming set, vehicles (land)
Equipment:
An insignia of rank, a trophy taken from a fallen enemy (a dagger, broken blade, or piece of a banner), a set of bone dice or deck of cards, a set of common clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp
Specialty

During your time as a soldier, you had a specific role to play in your unit or army. Roll a d8 or choose from the options in the table below to determine your role:

d8 Specialty
1 Officer
2 Scout
3 Infantry
4 Cavalry
5 Healerd
6 Quartermaster
7 Standard bearer
8 Support staff (cook, blacksmith, or the like)
Feature: Military Rank

You have a military rank from your career as a soldier. Soldiers loyal to your former military organization still recognize your authority and influence, and they defer to you if they are of a lower rank. You can invoke your rank to exert influence over other soldiers and requisition simple equipment or horses for temporary use. You can also usually gain access to friendly military encampments and fortresses where your rank is recognized.

Suggested Characteristics

The horrors of war combined with the rigid discipline of military service leave their mark on all soldiers, shaping their ideals, creating strong bonds, and often leaving them scarred and vulnerable to fear, shame, and hatred.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I’m always polite and respectful.
2 I’m haunted by memories of war. I can’t get the images of violence out of my mind.
3 I’ve lost too many friends, and I’m slow to make new ones.
4 I’m full of inspiring and cautionary tales from my military experience relevant to almost every combat situation.
5 I can stare down a hell hound without flinching.
6 I enjoy being strong and like breaking things.
7 I have a crude sense of humor.
8 I face problems head-on. A simple, direct solution is the best path to success.
d6 Ideal
1 Greater Good. Our lot is to lay down our lives in defense of others. (Good)
2 Responsibility. I do what I must and obey just authority. (Lawful)
3 Independence. When people follow orders blindly, they embrace a kind of tyranny. (Chaotic)
4 Might. In life as in war, the stronger force wins. (Evil)
5 Live and Let Live. Ideals aren’t worth killing over or going to war for. (Neutral)
6 Nation. My city, nation, or people are all that matter. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 I would still lay down my life for the people I served with.
2 Someone saved my life on the battlefield. To this day, I will never leave a friend behind.
3 My honor is my life.
4 I’ll never forget the crushing defeat my company suffered or the enemies who dealt it.
5 Those who fight beside me are those worth dying for.
6 I fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.
d6 Flaw
1 The monstrous enemy we faced in battle still leaves me quivering with fear.
2 I have little respect for anyone who is not a proven warrior.
3 I made a terrible mistake in battle that cost many lives—and I would do anything to keep that mistake secret.
4 My hatred of my enemies is blind and unreasoning.
5 I obey the law, even if the law causes misery.
6 I’d rather eat my armor than admit when I’m wrong.

Chapter 5: 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.

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 either in legal rights, such as the rights to a 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 commonly deal in coins.

Starting Wealth by Class
Class Funds
Cleric 5d4 × 10 gp
Fighter 5d4 × 10 gp
Rogue 4d4 × 10 gp
Wizard 4d4 × 10 gp
Coinage
Standard Exchange Rates
Coin cp sp ep gp pp
Copper (cp) 1 1/10 1/50 1/100 1/1,000
Silver (sp) 10 1 1/5 1/10 1/100
Electrum (ep) 50 5 1 1/2 1/20
Gold (gp) 100 10 2 1 1/10
Platinum (pp) 1,000 100 20 10 1

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.

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. On the borderlands, many people conduct transactions through barter. Like gems and art objects, trade goods—bars of iron, bags of salt, livestock, and so on—retain their full value in the market and can be used as currency.

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 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.

Armor
Armor Cost Armor Class (AC) Strength Stealth Weight
Light Armor
Padded 5 gp 11 + Dex modifier Disadvantage 8 lb.
Leather 10 gp 11 + Dex modifier 10 lb.
Studded leather 45 gp 12 + Dex modifier 13 lb.
Medium Armor
Hide 10 gp 12 + Dex modifier (max 2) 12 lb.
Chain shirt 50 gp 13 + Dex modifier (max 2) 20 lb.
Scale mail 50 gp 14 + Dex modifier (max 2) Disadvantage 45 lb.
Breastplate 400 gp 14 + Dex modifier (max 2) 20 lb.
Half plate 750 gp 15 + Dex modifier (max 2) Disadvantage 40 lb.
Heavy Armor
Ring mail 30 gp 14 Disadvantage 40 lb.
Chain mail 75 gp 16 Str 13 Disadvantage 55 lb.
Splint 200 gp 17 Str 15 Disadvantage 60 lb.
Plate 1,500 gp 18 Str 15 Disadvantage 65 lb.
Shield
Shield 10 gp +2 6 lb.
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
Donning and Doffing Armor
Category Don Doff
Light Armor 1 minute 1 minute
Medium Armor 5 minutes 1 minute
Heavy Armor 10 minutes 5 minutes
Shield 1 action 1 action

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.

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.

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.

Weapons
Name Cost Damage Weight Properties
Simple Melee Weapons
Club 1 sp 1d4 bludgeoning 2 lb. Light
Dagger 2 gp 1d4 piercing 1 lb. Finesse, light, thrown (range 20/60)
Greatclub 2 sp 1d8 bludgeoning 10 lb. Two-handed
Handaxe 5 gp 1d6 slashing 2 lb. Light, thrown (range 20/60)
Javelin 5 sp 1d6 piercing 2 lb. Thrown (range 30/120)
Light hammer 2 gp 1d4 bludgeoning 2 lb. Light, thrown (range 20/60)
Mace 5 gp 1d6 bludgeoning 4 lb.
Quarterstaff 2 sp 1d6 bludgeoning 4 lb. Versatile (1d8)
Sickle 1 gp 1d4 slashing 2 lb. Light
Spear 1 gp 1d6 piercing 3 lb. Thrown (range 20/60), versatile (1d8)
Simple Ranged Weapons
Crossbow, light 25 gp 1d8 piercing 5 lb. Ammunition (range 80/320), loading, two-handed
Dart 5 cp 1d4 piercing 1/4 lb. Finesse, thrown (range 20/60)
Shortbow 25 gp 1d6 piercing 2 lb. Ammunition (range 80/320), two-handed
Sling 1 sp 1d4 bludgeoning Ammunition (range 30/120)
Martial Melee Weapons
Battleaxe 10 gp 1d8 slashing 4 lb. Versatile (1d10)
Flail 10 gp 1d8 bludgeoning 2 lb.
Glaive 20 gp 1d10 slashing 6 lb. Heavy, reach, two-handed
Greataxe 30 gp 1d12 slashing 7 lb. Heavy, two-handed
Greatsword 50 gp 2d6 slashing 6 lb. Heavy, two-handed
Halberd 20 gp 1d10 slashing 6 lb. Heavy, reach, two-handed
Lance 10 gp 1d12 piercing 6 lb. Reach, special
Longsword 15 gp 1d8 slashing 3 lb. Versatile (1d10)
Maul 10 gp 2d6 bludgeoning 10 lb. Heavy, two-handed
Morningstar 15 gp 1d8 piercing 4 lb.
Pike 5 gp 1d10 piercing 18 lb. Heavy, reach, two-handed
Rapier 25 gp 1d8 piercing 2 lb. Finesse
Scimitar 25 gp 1d6 slashing 3 lb. Finesse, light
Shortsword 10 gp 1d6 piercing 2 lb. Finesse, light
Trident 5 gp 1d6 piercing 4 lb. Thrown (range 20/60), versatile (1d8)
War pick 5 gp 1d8 piercing 2 lb.
Warhammer 15 gp 1d8 bludgeoning 2 lb. Versatile (1d10)
Whip 2 gp 1d4 slashing 3 lb. Finesse, reach
Martial Ranged Weapons
Blowgun 10 gp 1 piercing 1 lb. Ammunition (range 25/100), loading
Crossbow, hand 75 gp 1d6 piercing 3 lb. Ammunition (range 30/120), light, loading
Crossbow, heavy 50 gp 1d10 piercing 18 lb. Ammunition (range 100/400), heavy, loading, two-handed
Longbow 50 gp 1d8 piercing 2 lb. Ammunition (range 150/600), heavy, two-handed
Net 1 gp 3 lb. Special, thrown (range 5/15)
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” later in the section). A sling must be loaded to deal any damage when used in this way.

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, as well as when determining your reach for opportunity attacks with it (see chapter 9).

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 when you attack with 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
Adventuring Gear
Item Cost Weight
Abacus 2 gp 2 lb.
Acid (vial) 25 gp 1 lb.
Alchemist’s fire (flask) 50 gp 1 lb.
Ammunition
Arrows (20) 1 gp 1 lb.
Blowgun needles (50) 1 gp 1 lb.
Crossbow bolts (20) 1 gp 1. lb.
Sling bullets (20) 4 cp 1. lb.
Antitoxin (vial) 50 gp
Arcane focus
Crystal 10 gp 1 lb.
Orb 20 gp 3 lb.
Rod 10 gp 2 lb.
Staff 5 gp 4 lb.
Wand 10 gp 1 lb.
Backpack 2 gp 5 lb.
Ball bearings (bag of 1,000) 1 gp 2 lb.
Barrel 2 gp 70 lb.
Basket 4 sp 2 lb.
Bedroll 1 gp 7 lb.
Bell 1 gp
Blanket 5 sp 3 lb.
Block and tackle 1 gp 5 lb.
Book 25 gp 5 lb.
Bottle, glass 2 gp 2 lb.
Bucket 5 cp 2 lb.
Caltrops (bag of 20) 1 gp 2 lb.
Candle 1 cp
Case, crossbow bolt 1 gp 1 lb.
Case, map or scroll 1 gp 1 lb.
Chain (10 feet) 5 gp 10 lb.
Chalk (1 piece) 1 cp
Chest 5 gp 25 lb.
Climber’s kit 25 gp 12 lb.
Clothes, common 5 sp 3 lb.
Clothes, costume 5 gp 4 lb.
Clothes, fine 15 gp 6 lb.
Clothes, traveler’s 2 gp 4 lb.
Component pouch 25 gp 2 lb.
Crowbar 2 gp 5 lb.
Druidic focus
Sprig of mistletoe 1 gp
Totem 1 gp
Wooden staff 5 gp 4 lb.
Yew wand 10 gp 1 lb.
Fishing tackle 1 gp 4 lb.
Flask or tankard 2 cp 1 lb.
Grappling hook 2 gp 4 lb.
Hammer 1 gp 3 lb.
Hammer, sledge 2 gp 10 lb.
Healer’s kit 5 gp 3 lb.
Holy symbol
Amulet 5 gp 1 lb.
Emblem 5 gp
Reliquary 5 gp 2 lb.
Holy water (flask) 25 gp 1 lb.
Hourglass 25 gp 1 lb.
Hunting trap 5 gp 25 lb.
Ink (1 ounce bottle) 10 gp
Ink pen 2 cp
Jug or pitcher 2 cp 4 lb.
Ladder (10-foot) 1 sp 25 lb.
Lamp 5 sp 1 lb.
Lantern, bullseye 10 gp 2 lb.
Lantern, hooded 5 gp 2 lb.
Lock 10 gp 1 lb.
Magnifying glass 100 gp
Manacles 2 gp 6 lb.
Mess kit 2 sp 1 lb.
Mirror, steel 5 gp 1/2 lb.
Oil (flask) 1 sp 1 lb.
Paper (one sheet) 2 sp
Parchment (one sheet) 1 sp
Perfume (vial) 5 gp
Pick, miner’s 2 gp 10 lb.
Piton 5 cp 1/4 lb.
Poison, basic (vial) 100 gp
Pole (10-foot) 5 cp 7 lb.
Pot, iron 2 gp 10 lb.
Potion of healing 50 gp 1/2 lb.
Pouch 5 sp 1 lb.
Quiver 1 gp 1 lb.
Ram, portable 4 gp 35 lb.
Rations (1 day) 5 sp 2 lb.
Robes 1 gp 4 lb.
Rope, hempen (50 feet) 1 gp 10 lb.
Rope, silk (50 feet) 10 gp 5 lb.
Sack 1 cp 1/2 lb.
Scale, merchant’s 5 gp 3 lb.
Sealing wax 5 sp
Shovel 2 gp 5 lb.
Signal whistle 5 cp
Signet ring 5 gp
Soap 2 cp
Spellbook 50 gp 3 lb.
Spikes, iron (10) 1 gp 5 lb.
Spyglass 1,000 gp 1 lb.
Tent, two-person 2 gp 20 lb.
Tinderbox 5 sp 1 lb.
Torch 1 cp 1 lb.
Vial 1 gp
Waterskin 2 sp 5 lb. (full)
Whetstone 1 cp 1 lb.
Container Capacity
Container Capacity
Backpack* 1 cubic foot/30 pounds of gear
Barrel 40 gallons liquid, 4 cubic feet solid
Basket 2 cubic feet/40 pounds of gear
Bottle 1. pints liquid
Bucket 3 gallons liquid, 1/2 cubic foot solid
Chest 12 cubic feet/300 pounds of gear
Flask or tankard 1 pint liquid
Jug or pitcher 1 gallon liquid
Pot, iron 1 gallon liquid
Pouch 1/5 cubic foot/6 pounds of gear
Sack 1 cubic foot/30 pounds of gear
Vial 4 ounces liquid
Waterskin 4 pints liquid
* You can also strap items, such as a bedroll or a
coil of rope, to the outside of a backpack.

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

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 the saving throw.

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 spread a single bag of caltrops to cover a 5-foot-square area. Any creature that enters the area must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or stop moving and take 1 piercing damage. Until the creature regains at least 1 hit point, its walking speed is reduced by 10 feet. A creature moving through the area at half speed doesn’t need to make the saving throw.

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 relic. The Player’s Handbook lists many gods in the multiverse and their typical symbols. A cleric or paladin can use a holy symbol as a spellcasting focus, as described in chapter 10. 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 thieves’ tools 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 thieves’ tools 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. Rope, whether made of hemp or 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.

Tools
Tools
Item Cost Weight
Artisan’s tools
Alchemist’s supplies 50 gp 8 lb.
Brewer’s supplies 20 gp 9 lb.
Calligrapher's supplies 10 gp 5 lb.
Carpenter’s tools 8 gp 6 lb.
Cartographer’s tools 15 gp. 6 lb.
Cobbler’s tools 5 gp 5 lb.
Cook’s utensils 1 gp 8 lb.
Glassblower’s tools 30 gp 5 lb.
Jeweler’s tools 25 gp 2 lb.
Leatherworker’s tools 5 gp 5 lb.
Mason’s tools 10 gp 8 lb.
Painter’s supplies 10 gp 5 lb.
Potter’s tools 10 gp 3 lb.
Smith’s tools 20 gp 8 lb.
Tinker’s tools 50 gp 10 lb.
Weaver’s tools 1 gp 5 lb.
Woodcarver’s tools 1 gp 5 lb.
Disguise kit 25 gp 3 lb.
Forgery kit 15 gp 5 lb.
Gaming set
Dice set 1 sp
Dragonchess set 1 gp 1/2 lb.
Playing card set 5 sp
Three-Dragon Ante set 1 gp
Herbalism kit 5 gp 3 lb.
Musical instrument
Bagpipes 30 gp 6 lb.
Drum 6 gp 3 lb.
Dulcimer 25 gp 10 lb.
Flute 2 gp 1 lb.
Lute 35 gp 2 lb.
Lyre 30 gp 2 lb.
Horn 3 gp 2 lb.
Pan flute 12 gp 2 lb.
Shawm 2 gp 1 lb.
Viol 30 gp 1 lb.
Navigator’s tools 25 gp 2 lb.
Poisoner’s kit 50 gp 2 lb.
Thieves’ tools 25 gp 1 lb.
Vehicles (land or water) * *
* See the “Mounts and Vehicles” section.

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. Each type of musical instrument requires a separate proficiency.

Navigator’s Tools. This set of instruments is used for navigation at sea. Proficiency with navigator’s tools 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 poisoner’s kit 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.

Mounts and Vehicles
Mounts and Other Animals
Item Cost Speed Carrying
Capacity
Camel 50 gp 50 ft. 480 lb.
Donkey or mule 8 gp 40 ft. 420 lb.
Elephant 200 gp 40 ft. 1,320 lb.
Horse, draft 50 gp 40 ft. 540 lb.
Horse, riding 75 gp 60 ft. 480 lb.
Mastiff 25 gp 40 ft. 195 lb.
Pony 30 gp 40 ft. 225 lb.
Warhorse 400 gp 60 ft. 540 lb.
Tack, Harness, and Drawn Vehicles
Item Cost Weight
Barding ×4 ×2
Bit and bridle 2 gp 1 lb.
Carriage 100 gp 600 lb.
Cart 15 gp 200 lb.
Chariot 250 gp 100 lb.
Feed (per day) 5 cp 10 lb.
Saddle
Exotic 60 gp 40 lb.
Military 20 gp 30 lb.
Pack 5 gp 15 lb.
Riding 10 gp 25 lb.
Saddlebags 4 gp 8 lb.
Sled 20 gp 300 lb.
Stabling (per day) 5 sp
Wagon 35 gp 400 lb.
Waterborne Vehicles
Item Cost Speed
Galley 30,000 gp 4 mph
Keelboat 3,000 gp 1 mph
Longship 10,000 gp 3 mph
Rowboat 50 gp 1½ mph
Sailing ship 10,000 gp 2 mph
Warship 25,000 gp 2½ mph

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.

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

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.

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
Lifestyle Price/Day
Wretched
Squalid 1 sp
Poor 2 sp
Modest 1 gp
Comfortable 2 gp
Wealthy 4 gp
Aristocratic 10 gp minimum

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.

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
Food, Drink, and Lodging
Item Cost
Ale
Gallon 2 sp
Mug 4 cp
Banquet (per person) 10 gp
Bread, loaf 2 cp
Cheese, hunk 1 sp
Inn stay (per day)
Squalid 7 cp
Poor 1 sp
Modest 5 sp
Comfortable 8 sp
Wealthy 2 gp
Aristocratic 4 gp
Meals (per day)
Squalid 3 cp
Poor 6 cp
Modest 3 sp
Comfortable 5 sp
Wealthy 8 sp
Aristocratic 2 gp
Meat, chunk 3 sp
Wine
Common (pitcher) 2 sp
Fine (bottle) 10 gp

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.

Services
Services
Service Pay
Coach cab
Between towns 3 cp per mile
Within a city 1 cp
Hireling
Skilled 2 gp per day
Untrained 2 sp per day
Messenger 2 cp per mile
Road or gate toll 1 cp
Ship’s passage 1 sp per mile

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 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.

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 1st or 2nd level, such as cure wounds or 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 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.

Trinkets
d100 Trinket
01 A mummified goblin hand
02 A piece of crystal that faintly glows in the moonlight
03 A gold coin minted in an unknown land
04 A diary written in a language you don’t know
05 A brass ring that never tarnishes
06 An old chess piece made from glass
07 A pair of knucklebone dice, each with a skull symbol on the side that would normally show six pips
08 A small idol depicting a nightmarish creature that gives you unsettling dreams when you sleep near it
09 A rope necklace from which dangles four mummified elf fingers
10 The deed for a parcel of land in a realm unknown to you
11 A 1-ounce block made from an unknown material
12 A small cloth doll skewered with needles
13 A tooth from an unknown beast
14 An enormous scale, perhaps from a dragon
15 A bright green feather
16 An old divination card bearing your likeness
17 A glass orb filled with moving smoke
18 A 1-pound egg with a bright red shell
19 A pipe that blows bubbles
20 A glass jar containing a weird bit of flesh floating in pickling fluid
21 A tiny gnome-crafted music box that plays a song you dimly remember from your childhood
22 A small wooden statuette of a smug halfling
23 A brass orb etched with strange runes
24 A multicolored stone disk
25 A tiny silver icon of a raven
26 A bag containing forty-seven humanoid teeth, one of which is rotten
27 A shard of obsidian that always feels warm to the touch
28 A dragon's bony talon hanging from a plain leather necklace
29 A pair of old socks
30 A blank book whose pages refuse to hold ink, chalk, graphite, or any other substance or marking
31 A silver badge in the shape of a five-pointed star
32 A knife that belonged to a relative
33 A glass vial filled with nail clippings
34 A rectangular metal device with two tiny metal cups on one end that throws sparks when wet
35 A white, sequined glove sized for a human
36 A vest with one hundred tiny pockets
37 A small, weightless stone block
38 A tiny sketch portrait of a goblin
39 An empty glass vial that smells of perfume when opened
40 A gemstone that looks like a lump of coal when examined by anyone but you
41 A scrap of cloth from an old banner
42 A rank insignia from a lost legionnaire
43 A tiny silver bell without a clapper
44 A mechanical canary inside a gnome-crafted lamp
45 A tiny chest carved to look like it has numerous feet on the bottom
46 A dead sprite inside a clear glass bottle
47 A metal can that has no opening but sounds as if it is filled with liquid, sand, spiders, or broken glass (your choice)
48 A glass orb filled with water, in which swims a clockwork goldfish
49 A silver spoon with an M engraved on the handle
50 A whistle made from gold-colored wood
51 A dead scarab beetle the size of your hand
52 Two toy soldiers, one with a missing head
53 A small box filled with different-sized buttons
54 A candle that can’t be lit
55 A tiny cage with no door
56 An old key
57 An indecipherable treasure map
58 A hilt from a broken sword
59 A rabbit’s foot
60 A glass eye
61 A cameo carved in the likeness of a hideous person
62 A silver skull the size of a coin
63 An alabaster mask
64 A pyramid of sticky black incense that smells very bad
65 A nightcap that, when worn, gives you pleasant dreams
66 A single caltrop made from bone
67 A gold monocle frame without the lens
68 A 1-inch cube, each side painted a different color
69 A crystal knob from a door
70 A small packet filled with pink dust
71 A fragment of a beautiful song, written as musical notes on two pieces of parchment
72 A silver teardrop earring made from a real teardrop
73 The shell of an egg painted with scenes of human misery in disturbing detail
74 A fan that, when unfolded, shows a sleeping cat
75 A set of bone pipes
76 A four-leaf clover pressed inside a book discussing manners and etiquette
77 A sheet of parchment upon which is drawn a complex mechanical contraption
78 An ornate scabbard that fits no blade you have found so far
79 An invitation to a party where a murder happened
80 A bronze pentacle with an etching of a rat's head in its center
81 A purple handkerchief embroidered with the name of a powerful archmage
82 Half of a floorplan for a temple, castle, or some other structure
83 A bit of folded cloth that, when unfolded, turns into a stylish cap
84 A receipt of deposit at a bank in a far-flung city
85 A diary with seven missing pages
86 An empty silver snuffbox bearing an inscription on the surface that says “dreams”
87 An iron holy symbol devoted to an unknown god
88 A book that tells the story of a legendary hero's rise and fall, with the last chapter missing
89 A vial of dragon blood
90 An ancient arrow of elven design
91 A needle that never bends
92 An ornate brooch of dwarven design
93 An empty wine bottle bearing a pretty label that says, “The Wizard of Wines Winery, Red Dragon Crush, 331422-W”
94 A mosaic tile with a multicolored, glazed surface
95 A petrified mouse
96 A black pirate flag adorned with a dragon's skull and crossbones
97 A tiny mechanical crab or spider that moves about when it’s not being observed
98 A glass jar containing lard with a label that reads, “Griffon Grease”
99 A wooden box with a ceramic bottom that holds a living worm with a head on each end of its body
100 A metal urn containing the ashes of a hero

Chapter 6: 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 in the Player’s Handbook. 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.

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 1, not your level in a particular class.

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. If your classes give you Hit Dice of different types, keep track of them separately.

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.

Proficiencies

When you gain a level in a class other than your first, you gain only some of that class’s starting proficiencies. See chapter 6 of the Player’s Handbook for more information.

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

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.

Part 2 Playing the Game

Chapter 7: Using Ability Scores

Six abilities provide a quick description of every creature’s physical and mental characteristics:

  • Strength, measuring physical power
  • Dexterity, measuring agility
  • Constitution, measuring endurance
  • Intelligence, measuring reasoning and memory
  • Wisdom, measuring perception and insight
  • Charisma, measuring force of personality

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 & Modifiers
Ability Scores and Modifiers
Score Modifier
1 −5
2–3 −4
4–5 −3
6–7 −2
8–9 −1
10–11 +0
12–13 +1
14–15 +2
16–17 +3
18–19 +4
20–21 +5
22–23 +6
24–25 +7
26–27 +8
28–29 +9
30 +10

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.

Advantage & 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 the d20, you can reroll only one of the dice. You choose which one. For example, if a halfling has advantage 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
Typical Difficulty Classes
Task Difficulty DC
Very easy 5
Easy 10
Medium 15
Hard 20
Very hard 25
Nearly impossible 30

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.

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 one character’s or monster’s efforts are directly opposed to another’s. This can occur when both of them are trying to do the same thing and only one can succeed, such as attempting to snatch up a magic ring that has fallen on the floor. This situation also applies when one of them is trying to prevent the other one from accomplishing a goal—for example, when a monster tries to force open a door that an adventurer is holding closed. In situations like these, the outcome is determined by a special form of ability check, called a contest.

Both participants in a contest make ability checks appropriate to their efforts. They apply all appropriate bonuses and penalties, but instead of comparing the total to a DC, they compare the totals of their two checks. The participant with the higher check total wins the contest. 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.

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:

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:

  • You attempt to climb a sheer or slippery cliff, avoid hazards while scaling a wall, or cling to a surface while something is trying to knock you off.
  • You try to jump an unusually long distance or pull off a stunt midjump.
  • You struggle to swim or stay afloat in treacherous cur.rents, storm-tossed waves, or areas of thick seaweed. Or another creature tries to push or pull you underwa.ter or otherwise interfere with your swimming.

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

  • Force open a stuck, locked, or barred door
  • Break free of bonds
  • Push through a tunnel that is too small
  • Hang on to a wagon while being dragged behind it
  • Tip over a statue
  • Keep a boulder from rolling
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:

  • Control a heavily laden cart on a steep descent
  • Steer a chariot around a tight turn
  • Pick a lock
  • Disable a trap
  • Securely tie up a prisoner
  • Wriggle free of bonds
  • Play a stringed instrument
  • Craft a small or detailed object
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.

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:

  • Hold your breath
  • March or labor for hours without rest
  • Go without sleep
  • Survive without food or water
  • Quaff an entire stein of ale in one go
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:

  • Communicate with a creature without using words
  • Estimate the value of a precious item
  • Pull together a disguise to pass as a city guard
  • Forge a document
  • Recall lore about a craft or trade
  • Win a game of skill
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:

  • Get a gut feeling about what course of action to follow
  • Discern whether a seemingly dead or living crea.ture is undead
Spellcasting Ability

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

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:

  • Find the best person to talk to for news, rumors, and gossip
  • Blend into a crowd to get the sense of key topics of conversation
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.

Chapter 8: 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:

  1. The DM describes the environment.
  2. The players describe what they want to do.
  3. The DM narrates the results of their actions.

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 timeline 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 exhaustion (see appendix A).

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
Pace Distance Traveled per… Effect
Minute Hour Day
Fast 400 feet 4 miles 30 miles −5 penalty to passive Wisdom (Perception) scores
Normal 300 feet 3 miles 24 miles
Slow 200 feet 2 miles 18 miles Able to use stealth
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. 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 distance equal to the height of the jump plus 1. 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.)

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

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, and it can’t regain hit points or be stabilized until it can breathe again.

For example, a creature with a Constitution of 14 can hold its breath for 3 minutes. If it starts suffocating, it has 2 rounds to reach air before it drops to 0 hit points.

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

A heavily obscured area—such as darkness, opaque fog, or dense foliage—blocks vision entirely. A creature in a heavily obscured area effectively suffers from the blinded condition (see appendix A) when trying to see something in that area.

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

Bright light lets most creatures see normally. Even gloomy days provide bright light, as do torches, lanterns, fires, and other sources of illumination within a specific radius.

Dim light, also called shadows, creates a lightly obscured area. An area of dim light is usually a boundary between a source of bright light, such as a torch, and surrounding darkness. The soft light of twilight and dawn also counts as dim light. A particularly brilliant full moon might bathe the land in dim light.

Darkness creates a heavily obscured area. Characters face darkness outdoors at night (even most moonlit nights), within the confines of an unlit dungeon or a subterranean vault, or in an area of magical darkness.

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 the worlds of D&D, especially those that dwell underground, have darkvision. Within a specified range, a creature with darkvision can see in darkness as if the darkness were dim light, so areas of darkness are only lightly obscured as far as that creature is concerned. However, the creature can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

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 perceive 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 exhaustion (see appendix A). 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 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 exhaustion at the end of the day. A character with access to even less water automatically suffers one level of exhaustion at the end of the day.

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

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 as 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:

  • Describe your character’s emotions and attitude.
  • Focus on your character’s intent and how others might perceive it.
  • Provide as much embellishment as you feel comfortable with.

Don’t worry about getting things exactly right. Just focus on thinking about what your character would do and describing what you see in your 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.

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. 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 or performs light activity: reading, talking, eating, or standing watch for no more than 2 hours. If the rest is interrupted by a period of strenuous activity—at least 1 hour of walking, fighting, casting spells, or similar adventuring activity—the characters must begin the rest again to gain any benefit from it.

At the end of a long rest, a character regains all lost hit points. The character also regains spent Hit Dice, up to a number of dice equal to half of the character’s total number of them (minimum of one die). For example, if a character has eight Hit Dice, he or she can regain four spent Hit Dice upon finishing a long rest.

A character can’t benefit from more than one long rest in a 24-hour period, and a character must have at least 1 hit point at the start of the rest to gain its benefits.

Between 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 smith’s tools needs a forge in order to craft a sword or suit of armor.

For every day of downtime you spend crafting, you can craft one or more items with a total market value not exceeding 5 gp, and you must expend raw materials worth half the total market value. If something you want to craft has a market value greater than 5 gp, you make progress every day in 5-gp increments until you reach the market value of the item. For example, a suit of plate armor (market value 1,500 gp) takes 300 days to craft by yourself.

Multiple characters can combine their efforts toward the crafting of a single item, provided that the characters all have proficiency with the requisite tools and are working together in the same place. Each character contributes 5 gp worth of effort for every day spent helping 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:

  • End one effect on you that prevents you from regain.ing hit points.
  • For the next 24 hours, gain advantage on saving throws against one disease or poison currently affecting you.
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.

Chapter 9: 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.

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 move a distance up to your speed and take one action. You decide whether to move first or take your action first. Your speed—sometimes called your walking speed—is noted on your character sheet.

The most common actions you can take are 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.

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 Position

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 appendix A.

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 Space
Tiny 2. by 2. ft.
Small 5 by 5 ft.
Medium 5 by 5 ft.
Large 10 by 10 ft.
Huge 15 by 15 ft.
Gargantuan 20 by 20 ft. or larger
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 five Large creatures crowd around a Medium or smaller one, there’s little room for anyone else. In contrast, as many as twenty Medium creatures can surround a Gargantuan one.

Squeezing into a Smaller Space

A creature can squeeze through a space that is large enough for a creature one size smaller than it. Thus, a Large creature can squeeze through a passage that’s only 5 feet wide. While squeezing through a space, a creature must spend 1 extra foot for every foot it moves there, and it has disadvantage on attack rolls and Dexterity saving throws. Attack rolls against the creature have advantage while it’s in the smaller space.

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 appendix A) 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.

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.

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.

  1. Choose a target. Pick a target within your attack’s range: a creature, an object, or a location.
  2. Determine modifiers. The DM determines whether the target has cover and whether you have advantage or disadvantage against the target. In addition, spells, special abilities, and other effects can apply penalties or bonuses to your attack roll.
  3. Resolve the attack. You make the attack roll. On a hit, you roll damage, unless the particular attack has rules that specify otherwise. Some attacks cause special effects in addition to or instead of damage.

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. This is called a critical hit, which is 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 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 occurs 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.

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). If you succeed, you subject the target to the grappled condition (see appendix A). The condition specifies the things that end it, and you can release the target whenever you like (no action required).

Escaping a Grapple. A grappled creature can use its action to escape. To do so, it must succeed on a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by your Strength (Athletics) check.

Moving a Grappled Creature. When you move, you can drag or carry the grappled creature with you, but your speed is halved, unless the creature is two or more sizes smaller than you.

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). If you win the contest, 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 half cover has a +2 bonus to AC and Dexterity saving throws. A target has half cover if an obstacle blocks at least half of its body. The obstacle might be a low wall, a large piece of furniture, a narrow tree trunk, or a creature, whether that creature is an enemy or a friend.

A target with three-quarters cover has a +5 bonus to AC and Dexterity saving throws. A target has three-quarters cover if about three-quarters of it is covered by an obstacle. The obstacle might be a portcullis, an arrow slit, or a thick tree trunk.

A target with total cover can’t be targeted directly by an attack or a spell, although some spells can reach such a target by including it in an area of effect. A target has total cover if it is completely concealed by an obstacle.

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 weapon, you add your ability modifier—the same modifier used for the attack roll—to the damage. A spell tells you which dice to roll for damage and whether to add any modifiers.

If a spell or other effect deals damage to more than one target at the same time, roll the damage once for all of them. For example, when a wizard casts fireball or a cleric casts flame strike, the spell’s damage is rolled once for all creatures caught in the blast.

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.

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 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.

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 resistance to a damage type, damage of that type is halved against it. If a creature or an object has vulnerability to a damage type, damage of that type is doubled against it.

Resistance and then vulnerability are applied after all other modifiers to damage. For example, a creature has resistance to bludgeoning damage and is hit by an attack that deals 25 bludgeoning damage. The creature is also within a magical aura that reduces all damage by 5. The 25 damage is first reduced by 5 and then halved, so the creature takes 10 damage.

Multiple instances of resistance or vulnerability that affect the same damage type count as only one instance. For example, if a creature has resistance to fire damage as well as resistance to all nonmagical damage, the damage of a nonmagical fire is reduced by half against the creature, not reduced by three-quarters.

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 appendix A). 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 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 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.

Part 3 The Rules of Magic

Chapter 10: 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 appendix A), drain life energy away, and restore life to the dead.

Uncounted thousands of spells have been created over the course of the multiverse’s history, and many of them are long forgotten. Some might yet lie recorded in crumbling spellbooks hidden in ancient ruins or trapped in the minds of dead gods. Or they might someday be reinvented by a character who has amassed enough power and wisdom to do so.

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 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 these components, 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:

  • Casting another spell that requires concentration. You lose concentration on a spell if you cast another spell that requires concentration. You can’t concen.trate on two spells at once.
  • Taking damage. Whenever you take damage while you are concentrating on a spell, you must make a Constitution saving throw to maintain your concentra.tion. The DC equals 10 or half the damage you take, whichever number is higher. If you take damage from multiple sources, such as an arrow and a dragon’s breath, you make a separate saving throw for each source of damage.
  • Being incapacitated or killed. You lose concentration on a spell if you are incapacitated or if you die.

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.

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.

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.

Saving Throws

Many spells specify that a target can make a saving throw to avoid some or all of a spell’s effects. The spell specifies the ability that the target uses for the save and what happens on a success or failure.

The DC to resist one of your spells equals 8 + your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus + any special modifiers.

Attack Rolls

Some spells require the caster to make an attack roll to determine whether the spell effect hits the intended target. Your attack bonus with a spell attack equals your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus.

Most spells that require attack rolls involve ranged attacks. Remember that you have disadvantage on a ranged attack roll if you are within 5 feet of a hostile creature that can see you and that isn’t incapacitated (see chapter 9).

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.

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.

Chapter 11: Spells

This chapter describes the most common spells in the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons. The chapter begins with lists of selected spell lists for the most common spellcasting classes. The remainder contains spell descriptions, presented by spell level.

Cleric Spells
Wizard Spells
Cantrips
Acid Splash
Conjuration cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

You hurl a bubble of acid. Choose one creature within range, or choose two creatures within range that are within 5 feet of each other. A target must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 acid damage.

This spell’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6).

Dancing Lights
Evocation cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
120 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a bit of phosphorus or wychwood, or a glowworm)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

You create up to four torch-sized lights within range, making them appear as torches, lanterns, or glowing orbs that hover in the air for the duration. You can also combine the four lights into one glowing vaguely humanoid form of Medium size. Whichever form you choose, each light sheds dim light in a 10-foot radius.

As a bonus action on your turn, you can move the lights up to 60 feet to a new spot within range. A light must be within 20 feet of another light created by this spell, and a light winks out if it exceeds the spell’s range.

Fire Bolt
Evocation cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
120 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

You hurl a mote of fire at a creature or object within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 1d10 fire damage. A flammable object hit by this spell ignites if it isn’t being worn or carried.

This spell’s damage increases by 1d10 when you reach 5th level (2d10), 11th level (3d10), and 17th level (4d10).

Guidance
Divination cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

You touch one willing creature. Once before the spell ends, the target can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to one ability check of its choice. It can roll the die before or after making the ability check. The spell then ends.

Light
Evocation cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, M (a firefly or phosphorescent moss)
Duration:
1 hour

You touch one object that is no larger than 10 feet in any dimension. Until the spell ends, the object sheds bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. The light can be colored as you like. Completely covering the object with something opaque blocks the light. The spell ends if you cast it again or dismiss it as an action.

If you target an object held or worn by a hostile creature, that creature must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw to avoid the spell.

Mage Hand
Conjuration cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
1 minute

A spectral, floating hand appears at a point you choose within range. The hand lasts for the duration or until you dismiss it as an action. The hand vanishes if it is ever more than 30 feet away from you or if you cast this spell again.

You can use your action to control the hand. You can use the hand to manipulate an object, open an unlocked door or container, stow or retrieve an item from an open container, or pour the contents out of a vial. You can move the hand up to 30 feet each time you use it.

The hand can’t attack, activate magic items, or carry more than 10 pounds.

Minor Illusion
Illusion cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
30 feet
Components:
S, M (a bit of fleece)
Duration:
1 minute

You create a sound or an image of an object within range that lasts for the duration. The illusion also ends if you dismiss it as an action or cast this spell again.

If you create a sound, its volume can range from a whisper to a scream. It can be your voice, someone else’s voice, a lion’s roar, a beating of drums, or any other sound you choose. The sound continues unabated throughout the duration, or you can make discrete sounds at different times before the spell ends.

If you create an image of an object—such as a chair, muddy footprints, or a small chest—it must be no larger than a 5-foot cube. The image can’t create sound, light, smell, or any other sensory effect. Physical interaction with the image reveals it to be an illusion, because things can pass through it.

If a creature uses its action to examine the sound or image, the creature can determine that it is an illusion with a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC. If a creature discerns the illusion for what it is, the illusion becomes faint to the creature.

Poison Spray
Conjuration cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
10 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

You extend your hand toward a creature you can see within range and project a puff of noxious gas from your palm. The creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or take 1d12 poison damage.

This spell’s damage increases by 1d12 when you reach 5th level (2d12), 11th level (3d12), and 17th level (4d12).

Prestidigitation
Transmutation cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
10 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Up to 1 hour

This spell is a minor magical trick that novice spellcasters use for practice. You create one of the following magical effects within range:

  • You create an instantaneous, harmless sensory effect, such as a shower of sparks, a puff of wind, faint musical notes, or an odd odor.
  • You instantaneously light or snuff out a candle, a torch, or a small campfire.
  • You instantaneously clean or soil an object no larger than 1 cubic foot.
  • You chill, warm, or flavor up to 1 cubic foot of nonliving material for 1 hour.
  • You make a color, a small mark, or a symbol appear on an object or a surface for 1 hour.
  • You create a nonmagical trinket or an illusory image that can fit in your hand and that lasts until the end of your next turn.

If you cast this spell multiple times, you can have up to three of its non-instantaneous effects active at a time, and you can dismiss such an effect as an action.

Ray of Frost
Evocation cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

A frigid beam of blue-white light streaks toward a creature within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, it takes 1d8 cold damage, and its speed is reduced by 10 feet until the start of your next turn.

The spell’s damage increases by 1d8 when you reach 5th level (2d8), 11th level (3d8), and 17th level (4d8).

Resistance
Abjuration cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (a miniature cloak)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

You touch one willing creature. Once before the spell ends, the target can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to one saving throw of its choice. It can roll the die before or after making the saving throw. The spell then ends.

Sacred Flame
Evocation cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

Flame-like radiance descends on a creature that you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d8 radiant damage. The target gains no benefit from cover for this saving throw.

The spell’s damage increases by 1d8 when you reach 5th level (2d8), 11th level (3d8), and 17th level (4d8).

Shocking Grasp
Evocation cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

Lightning springs from your hand to deliver a shock to a creature you try to touch. Make a melee spell attack against the target. You have advantage on the attack roll if the target is wearing armor made of metal. On a hit, the target takes 1d8 lightning damage, and it can’t take reactions until the start of its next turn.

The spell’s damage increases by 1d8 when you reach 5th level (2d8), 11th level (3d8), and 17th level (4d8).

Spare the Dying
Necromancy cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

You touch a living creature that has 0 hit points. The creature becomes stable. This spell has no effect on undead or constructs.

Thaumaturgy
Transmutation cantrip
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V
Duration:
Up to 1 minute

You manifest a minor wonder, a sign of supernatural power, within range. You create one of the following magical effects within range:

  • Your voice booms up to three times as loud as normal for 1 minute.
  • You cause flames to flicker, brighten, dim, or change color for 1 minute.
  • You cause harmless tremors in the ground for 1 minute.
  • You create an instantaneous sound that originates from a point of your choice within range, such as a rumble of thunder, the cry of a raven, or ominous whispers.
  • You instantaneously cause an unlocked door or window to fly open or slam shut.
  • You alter the appearance of your eyes for 1 minute.

If you cast this spell multiple times, you can have up to three of its 1-minute effects active at a time, and you can dismiss such an effect as an action.

1st Level Spells
Bless
1st-level enchantment
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a sprinkling of holy water)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

You bless up to three creatures of your choice within range. Whenever a target makes an attack roll or a saving throw before the spell ends, the target can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to the attack roll or saving throw.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you can target one additional creature for each slot level above 1st.

Burning Hands
1st-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self (15-foot cone)
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

As you hold your hands with thumbs touching and fingers spread, a thin sheet of flames shoots forth from your outstretched fingertips. Each creature in a 15-foot cone must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 3d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

The fire ignites any flammable objects in the area that aren’t being worn or carried.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 1st.

Charm Person
1st-level enchantment
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
1 hour

You attempt to charm a humanoid you can see within range. It must make a Wisdom saving throw, and does so with advantage if you or your companions are fighting it. If it fails the saving throw, it is charmed by you until the spell ends or until you or your companions do anything harmful to it. The charmed creature regards you as a friendly acquaintance. When the spell ends, the creature knows it was charmed by you.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you can target one additional creature for each slot level above 1st. The creatures must be within 30 feet of each other when you target them.

Command
1st-level enchantment
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V
Duration:
1 round

You speak a one-word command to a creature you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or follow the command on its next turn. The spell has no effect if the target is undead, if it doesn’t understand your language, or if your command is directly harmful to it.

Some typical commands and their effects follow. You might issue a command other than one described here. If you do so, the DM determines how the target behaves. If the target can’t follow your command, the spell ends.

Approach. The target moves toward you by the shortest and most direct route, ending its turn if it moves within 5 feet of you.

Drop. The target drops whatever it is holding and then ends its turn.

Flee. The target spends its turn moving away from you by the fastest available means.

Grovel. The target falls prone and then ends its turn.

Halt. The target doesn’t move and takes no actions. A flying creature stays aloft, provided that it is able to do so. If it must move to stay aloft, it flies the minimum distance needed to remain in the air.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you can affect one additional creature for each slot level above 1st. The creatures must be within 30 feet of each other when you target them.

Comprehend Languages
1st-level divination (ritual)
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self
Components:
V, S, M (a pinch of soot and salt)
Duration:
1 hour

For the duration, you understand the literal meaning of any spoken language that you hear. You also understand any written language that you see, but you must be touching the surface on which the words are written. It takes about 1 minute to read one page of text.

This spell doesn’t decode secret messages in a text or a glyph, such as an arcane sigil, that isn’t part of a written language.

Cure Wounds
1st-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

A creature you touch regains a number of hit points equal to 1d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier. This spell has no effect on undead or constructs.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the healing increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 1st.

Detect Magic
1st-level divination (ritual)
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Concentration, up to 10 minutes

For the duration, you sense the presence of magic within 30 feet of you. If you sense magic in this way, you can use your action to see a faint aura around any visible creature or object in the area that bears magic, and you learn its school of magic, if any.

The spell can penetrate most barriers, but it is blocked by 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt.

Disguise Self
1st-level illusion
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self
Components:
V, S
Duration:
1 hour

You make yourself—including your clothing, armor, weapons, and other belongings on your person—look different until the spell ends or until you use your action to dismiss it. You can seem 1 foot shorter or taller and can appear thin, fat, or in between. You can’t change your body type, so you must adopt a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs. Otherwise, the extent of the illusion is up to you.

The changes wrought by this spell fail to hold up to physical inspection. For example, if you use this spell to add a hat to your outfit, objects pass through the hat, and anyone who touches it would feel nothing or would feel your head and hair. If you use this spell to appear thinner than you are, the hand of someone who reaches out to touch you would bump into you while it was seemingly still in midair.

To discern that you are disguised, a creature can use its action to inspect your appearance and must succeed on an Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC.

Faerie Fire
1st-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

Each object in a 20-foot cube within range is outlined in blue, green, or violet light (your choice). Any creature in the area when the spell is cast is also outlined in light if it fails a Dexterity saving throw. For the duration, objects and affected creatures shed dim light in a 10-foot radius.

Any attack roll against an affected creature or object has advantage if the attacker can see it, and the affected creature or object can’t benefit from being invisible.

Guiding Bolt
1st-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
120 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
1 round

A flash of light streaks toward a creature of your choice within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 4d6 radiant damage, and the next attack roll made against this target before the end of your next turn has advantage, thanks to the mystical dim light glittering on the target until then.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 1st.

Healing Word
1st-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 bonus action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V
Duration:
Instantaneous

A creature of your choice that you can see within range regains hit points equal to 1d4 + your spellcasting ability modifier. This spell has no effect on undead or constructs.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the healing increases by 1d4 for each slot level above 1st.

Identify
1st-level divination (ritual)
Casting Time:
1 minute
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (a pearl worth at least 100 gp and an owl feather)
Duration:
Instantaneous

You choose one object that you must touch throughout the casting of the spell. If it is a magic item or some other magic-imbued object, you learn its properties and how to use them, whether it requires attunement to use, and how many charges it has, if any. You learn whether any spells are affecting the item and what they are. If the item was created by a spell, you learn which spell created it.

If you instead touch a creature throughout the casting, you learn what spells, if any, are currently affecting it.

Inflict Wounds
1st-level necromancy
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

Make a melee spell attack against a creature you can reach. On a hit, the target takes 3d10 necrotic damage.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d10 for each slot level above 1st.

Mage Armor
1st-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (a piece of cured leather)
Duration:
8 hours

You touch a willing creature who isn’t wearing armor, and a protective magical force surrounds it until the spell ends. The target’s base AC becomes 13 + its Dexterity modifier. The spell ends if the target dons armor or if you dismiss the spell as an action.

Magic Missile
1st-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
120 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

You create three glowing darts of magical force. Each dart hits a creature of your choice that you can see within range. A dart deals 1d4 + 1 force damage to its target. The darts all strike simultaneously, and you can direct them to hit one creature or several.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the spell creates one more dart for each slot level above 1st.

Sanctuary
1st-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 bonus action
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a small silver mirror)
Duration:
1 minute

You ward a creature within range against attack. Until the spell ends, any creature who targets the warded creature with an attack or a harmful spell must first make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature must choose a new target or lose the attack or spell. This spell doesn’t protect the warded creature from area effects, such as the explosion of a fireball.

If the warded creature makes an attack or casts a spell that affects an enemy creature, this spell ends.

Shield
1st-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 reaction, which you take when you are hit by an attack or targeted by the magic missile spell
Range:
Self
Components:
V, S
Duration:
1 round

An invisible barrier of magical force appears and protects you. Until the start of your next turn, you have a +5 bonus to AC, including against the triggering attack, and you take no damage from magic missile.

Shield of Faith
1st-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 bonus action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a small parchment with a bit of holy text written on it)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 10 minutes

A shimmering field appears and surrounds a creature of your choice within range, granting it a +2 bonus to AC for the duration.

Silent Image
1st-level illusion
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a bit of fleece)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 10 minutes

You create the image of an object, a creature, or some other visible phenomenon that is no larger than a 15-foot cube. The image appears at a spot within range and lasts for the duration. The image is purely visual; it isn’t accompanied by sound, smell, or other sensory effects.

You can use your action to cause the image to move to any spot within range. As the image changes location, you can alter its appearance so that its movements appear natural for the image. For example, if you create an image of a creature and move it, you can alter the image so that it appears to be walking.

Physical interaction with the image reveals it to be an illusion, because things can pass through it. A creature that uses its action to examine the image can determine that it is an illusion with a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC. If a creature discerns the illusion for what it is, the creature can see through the image.

Sleep
1st-level enchantment
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
90 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a pinch of fine sand, rose petals, or a cricket)
Duration:
1 minute

This spell sends creatures into a magical slumber. Roll 5d8; the total is how many hit points of creatures this spell can affect. Creatures within 20 feet of a point you choose within range are affected in ascending order of their current hit points (ignoring unconscious creatures).

Starting with the creature that has the lowest current hit points, each creature affected by this spell falls unconscious until the spell ends, the sleeper takes damage, or someone uses an action to shake or slap the sleeper awake. Subtract each creature’s hit points from the total before moving on to the creature with the next lowest hit points. A creature’s hit points must be equal to or less than the remaining total for that creature to be affected.

Undead and creatures immune to being charmed aren’t affected by this spell.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, roll an additional 2d8 for each slot level above 1st.

Thunderwave
1st-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self (15-foot cube)
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

A wave of thunderous force sweeps out from you. Each creature in a 15-foot cube originating from you must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 2d8 thunder damage and is pushed 10 feet away from you. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isn’t pushed.

In addition, unsecured objects that are completely within the area of effect are automatically pushed 10 feet away from you by the spell’s effect, and the spell emits a thunderous boom audible out to 300 feet.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 1st.

2nd Level Spells
Aid
2nd-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a tiny strip of white cloth)
Duration:
8 hours

Your spell bolsters your allies with toughness and resolve. Choose up to three creatures within range. Each target’s hit point maximum and current hit points increase by 5 for the duration.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, a target’s hit points increase by an additional 5 for each slot level above 2nd.

Arcane Lock
2nd-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (gold dust worth at least 25 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration:
Until dispelled

You touch a closed door, window, gate, chest, or other entryway, and it becomes locked for the duration. You and the creatures you designate when you cast this spell can open the object normally. You can also set a password that, when spoken within 5 feet of the object, suppresses this spell for 1 minute. Otherwise, it is impassable until it is broken or the spell is dispelled or suppressed. Casting knock on the object suppresses arcane lock for 10 minutes.

While affected by this spell, the object is more difficult to break or force open; the DC to break it or pick any locks on it increases by 10.

Augury
2nd-level divination (ritual)
Casting Time:
1 minute
Range:
Self
Components:
V, S, M (specially marked sticks, bones, or similar tokens worth at least 25 gp)
Duration:
Instantaneous

By casting gem-inlaid sticks, rolling dragon bones, laying out ornate cards, or employing some other divining tool, you receive an omen from an otherworldly entity about the results of a specific course of action that you plan to take within the next 30 minutes. The DM chooses from the following possible omens:

  • Weal, for good results
  • Woe, for bad results
  • Weal and woe, for both good and bad results
  • Nothing, for results that aren’t especially good or bad

The spell doesn’t take into account any possible circumstances that might change the outcome, such as the casting of additional spells or the loss or gain of a companion.

If you cast the spell two or more times before completing your next long rest, there is a cumulative 25 percent chance for each casting after the first that you get a random reading. The DM makes this roll in secret.

Blur
2nd-level illusion
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self
Components:
V
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

Your body becomes blurred, shifting and wavering to all who can see you. For the duration, any creature has disadvantage on attack rolls against you. An attacker is immune to this effect if it doesn’t rely on sight, as with blindsight, or can see through illusions, as with truesight.

Darkness
2nd-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, M (bat fur and a drop of pitch or piece of coal)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 10 minutes

Magical darkness spreads from a point you choose within range to fill a 15-foot-radius sphere for the duration. The darkness spreads around corners. A creature with darkvision can’t see through this darkness, and nonmagical light can’t illuminate it.

If the point you choose is on an object you are holding or one that isn’t being worn or carried, the darkness emanates from the object and moves with it. Completely covering the source of the darkness with an opaque object, such as a bowl or a helm, blocks the darkness.

If any of this spell’s area overlaps with an area of light created by a spell of 2nd level or lower, the spell that created the light is dispelled.

Flaming Sphere
2nd-level conjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a bit of tallow, a pinch of brimstone, and a dusting of powdered iron)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

A 5-foot-diameter sphere of fire appears in an unoccupied space of your choice within range and lasts for the duration. Any creature that ends its turn within 5 feet of the sphere must make a Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 2d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

As a bonus action, you can move the sphere up to 30 feet. If you ram the sphere into a creature, that creature must make the saving throw against the sphere’s damage, and the sphere stops moving this turn.

When you move the sphere, you can direct it over barriers up to 5 feet tall and jump it across pits up to 10 feet wide. The sphere ignites flammable objects not being worn or carried, and it sheds bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 2nd.

Hold Person
2nd-level enchantment
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a small, straight piece of iron)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

Choose a humanoid that you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be paralyzed for the duration. At the end of each of its turns, the target can make another Wisdom saving throw. On a success, the spell ends on the target.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you can target one additional humanoid for each slot level above 2nd. The humanoids must be within 30 feet of each other when you target them.

Invisibility
2nd-level illusion
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (an eyelash encased in gum arabic)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 hour

A creature you touch becomes invisible until the spell ends. Anything the target is wearing or carrying is invisible as long as it is on the target’s person. The spell ends for a target that attacks or casts a spell.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you can target one additional creature for each slot level above 2nd.

Knock
2nd-level transmutation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V
Duration:
Instantaneous

Choose an object that you can see within range. The object can be a door, a box, a chest, a set of manacles, a padlock, or another object that contains a mundane or magical means that prevents access.

A target that is held shut by a mundane lock or that is stuck or barred becomes unlocked, unstuck, or unbarred. If the object has multiple locks, only one of them is unlocked.

If you choose a target that is held shut with arcane lock, that spell is suppressed for 10 minutes, during which time the target can be opened and shut normally.

When you cast the spell, a loud knock, audible from as far away as 300 feet, emanates from the target object.

Lesser Restoration
2nd-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

You touch a creature and can end either one disease or one condition afflicting it. The condition can be blinded, deafened, paralyzed, or poisoned.

Levitate
2nd-level transmutation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S, M (either a small leather loop or a piece of golden wire bent into a cup shape with a long shank on one end)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 10 minutes

One creature or object of your choice that you can see within range rises vertically, up to 20 feet, and remains suspended there for the duration. The spell can levitate a target that weighs up to 500 pounds. An unwilling creature that succeeds on a Constitution saving throw is unaffected.

The target can move only by pushing or pulling against a fixed object or surface within reach (such as a wall or a ceiling), which allows it to move as if it were climbing. You can change the target’s altitude by up to 20 feet in either direction on your turn. If you are the target, you can move up or down as part of your move. Otherwise, you can use your action to move the target, which must remain within the spell’s range.

When the spell ends, the target floats gently to the ground if it is still aloft.

Magic Weapon
2nd-level transmutation
Casting Time:
1 bonus action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 hour

You touch a nonmagical weapon. Until the spell ends, that weapon becomes a magic weapon with a +1 bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the bonus increases to +2. When you use a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the bonus increases to +3.

Misty Step
2nd-level conjuration
Casting Time:
1 bonus action
Range:
Self
Components:
V
Duration:
Instantaneous

Briefly surrounded by silvery mist, you teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space that you can see.

Prayer of Healing
2nd-level evocation
Casting Time:
10 minutes
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V
Duration:
Instantaneous

Up to six creatures of your choice that you can see within range each regain hit points equal to 2d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier. This spell has no effect on undead or constructs.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the healing increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 2nd.

Shatter
2nd-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a chip of mica)
Duration:
Instantaneous

A sudden loud ringing noise, painfully intense, erupts from a point of your choice within range. Each creature in a 10-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a Constitution saving throw. A creature takes 3d8 thunder damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. A creature made of inorganic material such as stone, crystal, or metal has disadvantage on this saving throw.

A nonmagical object that isn’t being worn or carried also takes the damage if it’s in the spell’s area.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 2nd.

Silence
2nd-level illusion (ritual)
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
120 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Concentration, up to 10 minutes

For the duration, no sound can be created within or pass through a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on a point you choose within range. Any creature or object entirely inside the sphere is immune to thunder damage, and creatures are deafened while entirely inside it. Casting a spell that includes a verbal component is impossible there.

Spider Climb
2nd-level transmutation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (a drop of bitumen and a spider)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 hour

Until the spell ends, one willing creature you touch gains the ability to move up, down, and across vertical surfaces and upside down along ceilings, while leaving its hands free. The target also gains a climbing speed equal to its walking speed.

Spiritual Weapon
2nd-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 bonus action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
1 minute

You create a floating, spectral weapon within range that lasts for the duration or until you cast this spell again. When you cast the spell, you can make a melee spell attack against a creature within 5 feet of the weapon. On a hit, the target takes force damage equal to 1d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier.

As a bonus action on your turn, you can move the weapon up to 20 feet and repeat the attack against a creature within 5 feet of it.

The weapon can take whatever form you choose. Clerics of deities who are associated with a particular weapon (as St. Cuthbert is known for his mace and Thor for his hammer) make this spell’s effect resemble that weapon.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for every two slot levels above the 2nd.

Suggestion
2nd-level enchantment
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V, M (a snake’s tongue and either a bit of honeycomb or a drop of sweet oil)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 8 hours

You suggest a course of activity (limited to a sentence or two) and magically influence a creature you can see within range that can hear and understand you. Creatures that can’t be charmed are immune to this effect. The suggestion must be worded in such a manner as to make the course of action sound reasonable. Asking the creature to stab itself, throw itself onto a spear, immolate itself, or do some other obviously harmful act ends the spell.

The target must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, it pursues the course of action you described to the best of its ability. The suggested course of action can continue for the entire duration. If the suggested activity can be completed in a shorter time, the spell ends when the subject finishes what it was asked to do.

You can also specify conditions that will trigger a special activity during the duration. For example, you might suggest that a knight give her warhorse to the first beggar she meets. If the condition isn’t met before the spell expires, the activity isn’t performed.

If you or any of your companions damage the target, the spell ends.

Warding Bond
2nd-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (a pair of platinum rings worth at least 50 gp each, which you and the target must wear for the duration)
Duration:
1 hour

This spell wards a willing creature you touch and creates a mystic connection between you and the target until the spell ends. While the target is within 60 feet of you, it gains a +1 bonus to AC and saving throws, and it has resistance to all damage. Also, each time it takes damage, you take the same amount of damage.

The spell ends if you drop to 0 hit points or if you and the target become separated by more than 60 feet. It also ends if the spell is cast again on either of the connected creatures. You can also dismiss the spell as an action.

Web
2nd-level conjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a bit of spiderweb)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 hour

You conjure a mass of thick, sticky webbing at a point of your choice within range. The webs fill a 20-foot cube from that point for the duration. The webs are difficult terrain and lightly obscure their area.

If the webs aren’t anchored between two solid masses (such as walls or trees) or layered across a floor, wall, or ceiling, the conjured web collapses on itself, and the spell ends at the start of your next turn. Webs layered over a flat surface have a depth of 5 feet.

Each creature that starts its turn in the webs or that enters them during its turn must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is restrained as long as it remains in the webs or until it breaks free.

A creature restrained by the webs can use its action to make a Strength check against your spell save DC. If it succeeds, it is no longer restrained.

The webs are flammable. Any 5-foot cube of webs exposed to fire burns away in 1 round, dealing 2d4 fire damage to any creature that starts its turn in the fire.

3rd Level Spells
Beacon of Hope
3rd-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

This spell bestows hope and vitality. Choose any number of creatures within range. For the duration, each target has advantage on Wisdom saving throws and death saving throws, and regains the maximum number of hit points possible from any healing.

Counterspell
3rd-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 reaction, which you take when you see a creature within 60 feet of you casting a spell
Range:
60 feet
Components:
S
Duration:
Instantaneous

You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell. If the creature is casting a spell of 3rd level or lower, its spell fails and has no effect. If it is casting a spell of 4th level or higher, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a success, the creature’s spell fails and has no effect.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the interrupted spell has no effect if its level is less than or equal to the level of the spell slot you used.

Dispel Magic
3rd-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
120 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a successful check, the spell ends.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you automatically end the effects of a spell on the target if the spell’s level is equal to or less than the level of the spell slot you used.

Fireball
3rd-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
150 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a tiny ball of bat guano and sulfur)
Duration:
Instantaneous

A bright streak flashes from your pointing finger to a point you choose within range and then blossoms with a low roar into an explosion of flame. Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 8d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

The fire spreads around corners. It ignites flammable objects in the area that aren’t being worn or carried.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 3rd.

Fly
3rd-level transmutation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (a wing feather from any bird)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 10 minutes

You touch a willing creature. The target gains a flying speed of 60 feet for the duration. When the spell ends, the target falls if it is still aloft, unless it can stop the fall.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you can target one additional creature for each slot level above 3rd.

Haste
3rd-level transmutation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a shaving of licorice root)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

Choose a willing creature that you can see within range. Until the spell ends, the target’s speed is doubled, it gains a +2 bonus to AC, it has advantage on Dexterity saving throws, and it gains an additional action on each of its turns. That action can be used only to take the Attack (one weapon attack only), Dash, Disengage, Hide, or Use an Object action.

When the spell ends, the target can’t move or take actions until after its next turn, as a wave of lethargy sweeps over it.

Lightning Bolt
3rd-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self (100-foot line)
Components:
V, S, M (a bit of fur and a rod of amber, crystal, or glass)
Duration:
Instantaneous

A stroke of lightning forming a line 100 feet long and 5 feet wide blasts out from you in a direction you choose. Each creature in the line must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 8d6 lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

The lightning ignites flammable objects in the area that aren’t being worn or carried.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 3rd.

Major Image
3rd-level illusion
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
120 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a bit of fleece)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 10 minutes

You create the image of an object, a creature, or some other visible phenomenon that is no larger than a 20-foot cube. The image appears at a spot that you can see within range and lasts for the duration. It seems completely real, including sounds, smells, and temperature appropriate to the thing depicted. You can’t create sufficient heat or cold to cause damage, a sound loud enough to deal thunder damage or deafen a creature, or a smell that might sicken a creature (like a troglodyte’s stench).

As long as you are within range of the illusion, you can use your action to cause the image to move to any other spot within range. As the image changes location, you can alter its appearance so that its movements appear natural for the image. For example, if you create an image of a creature and move it, you can alter the image so that it appears to be walking. Similarly, you can cause the illusion to make different sounds at different times, even making it carry on a conversation, for example.

Physical interaction with the image reveals it to be an illusion, because things can pass through it. A creature that uses its action to examine the image can determine that it is an illusion with a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC. If a creature discerns the illusion for what it is, the creature can see through the image, and its other sensory qualities become faint to the creature.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the spell lasts until dispelled, without requiring your concentration.

Mass Healing Word
3rd-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 bonus action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V
Duration:
Instantaneous

As you call out words of restoration, up to six creatures of your choice that you can see within range regain hit points equal to 1d4 + your spellcasting ability modifier. This spell has no effect on undead or constructs.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the healing increases by 1d4 for each slot level above 3rd.

Protection from Energy
3rd-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 hour

For the duration, the willing creature you touch has resistance to one damage type of your choice: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder.

Remove Curse
3rd-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

At your touch, all curses affecting one creature or object end. If the object is a cursed magic item, its curse remains, but the spell breaks its owner’s attunement to the object so it can be removed or discarded.

Revivify
3rd-level necromancy
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (diamonds worth 300 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration:
Instantaneous

You touch a creature that has died within the last minute. That creature returns to life with 1 hit point. This spell can’t return to life a creature that has died of old age, nor can it restore any missing body parts.

Speak with Dead
3rd-level necromancy
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
10 feet
Components:
V, S, M (burning incense)
Duration:
10 minutes

You grant the semblance of life and intelligence to a corpse of your choice within range, allowing it to answer the questions you pose. The corpse must still have a mouth and can’t be undead. The spell fails if the corpse was the target of this spell within the last 10 days.

Until the spell ends, you can ask the corpse up to five questions. The corpse knows only what it knew in life, including the languages it knew. Answers are usually brief, cryptic, or repetitive, and the corpse is under no compulsion to offer a truthful answer if you are hostile to it or it recognizes you as an enemy. This spell doesn’t return the creature’s soul to its body, only its animating spirit. Thus, the corpse can’t learn new information, doesn’t comprehend anything that has happened since it died, and can’t speculate about future events.

Spirit Guardians
3rd-level conjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self (15-foot radius)
Components:
V, S, M (a holy symbol)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 10 minutes

You call forth spirits to protect you. They flit around you to a distance of 15 feet for the duration. If you are good or neutral, their spectral form appears angelic or fey (your choice). If you are evil, they appear fiendish.

When you cast this spell, you can designate any number of creatures you can see to be unaffected by it. An affected creature’s speed is halved in the area, and when the creature enters the area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 3d8 radiant damage (if you are good or neutral) or 3d8 necrotic damage (if you are evil). On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 3rd.

4th Level Spells
Arcane Eye
4th-level divination
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a bit of bat fur)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 hour

You create an invisible, magical eye within range that hovers in the air for the duration.

You mentally receive visual information from the eye, which has normal vision and darkvision out to 30 feet. The eye can look in every direction.

As an action, you can move the eye up to 30 feet in any direction. There is no limit to how far away from you the eye can move, but it can’t enter another plane of existence. A solid barrier blocks the eye’s movement, but the eye can pass through an opening as small as 1 inch in diameter.

Death Ward
4th-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S
Duration:
8 hours

You touch a creature and grant it a measure of protection from death.

The first time the target would drop to 0 hit points as a result of taking damage, the target instead drops to 1 hit point, and the spell ends.

If the spell is still in effect when the target is subjected to an effect that would kill it instantaneously without dealing damage, that effect is instead negated against the target, and the spell ends.

Dimension Door
4th-level conjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
500 feet
Components:
V
Duration:
Instantaneous

You teleport yourself from your current location to any other spot within range. You arrive at exactly the spot desired. It can be a place you can see, one you can visualize, or one you can describe by stating distance and direction, such as “200 feet straight downward” or “upward to the northwest at a 45-degree angle, 300 feet.”

You can bring along objects as long as their weight doesn’t exceed what you can carry. You can also bring one willing creature of your size or smaller who is carrying gear up to its carrying capacity. The creature must be within 5 feet of you when you cast this spell.

If you would arrive in a place already occupied by an object or a creature, you and any creature traveling with you each take 4d6 force damage, and the spell fails to teleport you.

Divination
4th-level divination (ritual)
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self
Components:
V, S, M (incense and a sacrificial offering appropriate to your religion, together worth at least 25 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration:
Instantaneous

Your magic and an offering put you in contact with a god or a god’s servants. You ask a single question concerning a specific goal, event, or activity to occur within 7 days. The DM offers a truthful reply. The reply might be a short phrase, a cryptic rhyme, or an omen.

The spell doesn’t take into account any possible circumstances that might change the outcome, such as the casting of additional spells or the loss or gain of a companion.

If you cast the spell two or more times before finishing your next long rest, there is a cumulative 25 percent chance for each casting after the first that you get a random reading. The DM makes this roll in secret.

Freedom of Movement
4th-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (a leather strap, bound around the arm or a similar appendage)
Duration:
1 hour

You touch a willing creature. For the duration, the target’s movement is unaffected by difficult terrain, and spells and other magical effects can neither reduce the target’s speed nor cause the target to be paralyzed or restrained.

The target can also spend 5 feet of movement to automatically escape from nonmagical restraints, such as manacles or a creature that has it grappled. Finally, being underwater imposes no penalties on the target’s movement or attacks.

Greater Invisibility
4th-level illusion
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

You or a creature you touch becomes invisible until the spell ends. Anything the target is wearing or carrying is invisible as long as it is on the target’s person.

Guardian of Faith
4th-level conjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V
Duration:
8 hours

A Large spectral guardian appears and hovers for the duration in an unoccupied space of your choice that you can see within range. The guardian occupies that space and is indistinct except for a gleaming sword and shield emblazoned with the symbol of your deity.

Any creature hostile to you that moves to a space within 10 feet of the guardian for the first time on a turn must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 20 radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The guardian vanishes when it has dealt a total of 60 damage.

Ice Storm
4th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
300 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a pinch of dust and a few drops of water)
Duration:
Instantaneous

A hail of rock-hard ice pounds to the ground in a 20-foot-radius, 40-foot-high cylinder centered on a point within range. Each creature in the cylinder must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 2d8 bludgeoning damage and 4d6 cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Hailstones turn the storm’s area of effect into difficult terrain until the end of your next turn.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, the bludgeoning damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 4th.

Locate Creature
4th-level divination
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self
Components:
V, S, M (a bit of fur from a bloodhound)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 hour

Describe or name a creature that is familiar to you. You sense the direction to the creature’s location, as long as that creature is within 1,000 feet of you. If the creature is moving, you know the direction of its movement.

The spell can locate a specific creature known to you, or the nearest creature of a specific kind (such as a human or a unicorn), so long as you have seen such a creature up close—within 30 feet—at least once. If the creature you described or named is in a different form, such as being under the effects of a polymorph spell, this spell doesn’t locate the creature.

This spell can’t locate a creature if running water at least 10 feet wide blocks a direct path between you and the creature.

Stoneskin
4th-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (diamond dust worth 100 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 hour

This spell turns the flesh of a willing creature you touch as hard as stone. Until the spell ends, the target has resistance to nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

Wall of Fire
4th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
120 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a small piece of phosphorus)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

You create a wall of fire on a solid surface within range. You can make the wall up to 60 feet long, 20 feet high, and 1 foot thick, or a ringed wall up to 20 feet in diameter, 20 feet high, and 1 foot thick. The wall is opaque and lasts for the duration.

When the wall appears, each creature within its area must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 5d8 fire damage, or half as much damage on a successful save.

One side of the wall, selected by you when you cast this spell, deals 5d8 fire damage to each creature that ends its turn within 10 feet of that side or inside the wall. A creature takes the same damage when it enters the wall for the first time on a turn or ends its turn there. The other side of the wall deals no damage.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 4th.

5th Level Spells
Commune
5th-level divination (ritual)
Casting Time:
1 minute
Range:
Self
Components:
V, S, M (incense and a vial of holy or unholy water)
Duration:
1 minute

You contact your deity or a divine proxy and ask up to three questions that can be answered with a yes or no. You must ask your questions before the spell ends. You receive a correct answer for each question.

Divine beings aren’t necessarily omniscient, so you might receive “unclear” as an answer if a question pertains to information that lies beyond the deity’s knowledge. In a case where a one-word answer could be misleading or contrary to the deity’s interests, the DM might offer a short phrase as an answer instead.

If you cast the spell two or more times before finishing your next long rest, there is a cumulative 25 percent chance for each casting after the first that you get no answer. The DM makes this roll in secret.

Cone of Cold
5th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self (60-foot cone)
Components:
V, S, M (a small crystal or glass cone)
Duration:
Instantaneous

A blast of cold air erupts from your hands. Each creature in a 60-foot cone must make a Constitution saving throw. A creature takes 8d8 cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

A creature killed by this spell becomes a frozen statue until it thaws.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 5th.

Dominate Person
5th-level enchantment
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

You attempt to beguile a humanoid that you can see within range. It must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by you for the duration. If you or creatures that are friendly to you are fighting it, it has advantage on the saving throw.

While the target is charmed, you have a telepathic link with it as long as the two of you are on the same plane of existence. You can use this telepathic link to issue commands to the creature while you are conscious (no action required), which it does its best to obey. You can specify a simple and general course of action, such as “Attack that creature,” “Run over there,” or “Fetch that object.” If the creature completes the order and doesn’t receive further direction from you, it defends and preserves itself to the best of its ability.

You can use your action to take total and precise control of the target. Until the end of your next turn, the creature takes only the actions you choose, and doesn’t do anything that you don’t allow it to do. During this time you can also cause the creature to use a reaction, but this requires you to use your own reaction as well.

Each time the target takes damage, it makes a new Wisdom saving throw against the spell. If the saving throw succeeds, the spell ends.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a 6th-level spell slot, the duration is concentration, up to 10 minutes. When you use a 7th-level spell slot, the duration is concentration, up to 1 hour. When you use a spell slot of 8th level or higher, the duration is concentration, up to 8 hours.

Dream
5th-level illusion
Casting Time:
1 minute
Range:
Special
Components:
V, S, M (a handful of sand, a dab of ink, and a writing quill plucked from a sleeping bird)
Duration:
8 hours

This spell shapes a creature’s dreams. Choose a creature known to you as the target of this spell. The target must be on the same plane of existence as you. Creatures that don’t sleep, such as elves, can’t be contacted by this spell. You, or a willing creature you touch, enters a trance state, acting as a messenger. While in the trance, the messenger is aware of his or her surroundings, but can’t take actions or move.

If the target is asleep, the messenger appears in the target’s dreams and can converse with the target as long as it remains asleep, through the duration of the spell. The messenger can also shape the environment of the dream, creating landscapes, objects, and other images. The messenger can emerge from the trance at any time, ending the effect of the spell early. The target recalls the dream perfectly upon waking. If the target is awake when you cast the spell, the messenger knows it, and can either end the trance (and the spell) or wait for the target to fall asleep, at which point the messenger appears in the target’s dreams.

You can make the messenger appear monstrous and terrifying to the target. If you do, the messenger can deliver a message of no more than ten words and then the target must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, echoes of the phantasmal monstrosity spawn a nightmare that lasts the duration of the target’s sleep and prevents the target from gaining any benefit from that rest. In addition, when the target wakes up, it takes 3d6 psychic damage.

If you have a body part, lock of hair, clipping from a nail, or similar portion of the target’s body, the target makes its saving throw with disadvantage.

Flame Strike
5th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S, M (pinch of sulfur)
Duration:
Instantaneous

A vertical column of divine fire roars down from the heavens in a location you specify. Each creature in a 10-foot-radius, 40-foot-high cylinder centered on a point within range must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 4d6 fire damage and 4d6 radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the fire damage or the radiant damage (your choice) increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 5th.

Greater Restoration
5th-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (diamond dust worth at least 100 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration:
Instantaneous

You imbue a creature you touch with positive energy to undo a debilitating effect. You can reduce the target’s exhaustion level by one, or end one of the following effects on the target:

  • One effect that charmed or petrified the target
  • One curse, including the target’s attunement to a cursed magic item
  • Any reduction to one of the target’s ability scores
  • One effect reducing the target’s hit point maximum
Mass Cure Wounds
5th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

A wave of healing energy washes out from a point of your choice within range. Choose up to six creatures in a 30-foot-radius sphere centered on that point. Each target regains hit points equal to 3d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier. This spell has no effect on undead or constructs.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the healing increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 5th.

Passwall
5th-level transmutation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a pinch of sesame seeds)
Duration:
1 hour

A passage appears at a point of your choice that you can see on a wooden, plaster, or stone surface (such as a wall, a ceiling, or a floor) within range, and lasts for the duration. You choose the opening’s dimensions: up to 5 feet wide, 8 feet tall, and 20 feet deep. The passage creates no instability in a structure surrounding it.

When the opening disappears, any creatures or objects still in the passage created by the spell are safely ejected to an unoccupied space nearest to the surface on which you cast the spell.

Wall of Stone
5th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
120 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a small block of granite)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 10 minutes

A nonmagical wall of solid stone springs into existence at a point you choose within range. The wall is 6 inches thick and is composed of ten 10-foot-by-10-foot panels. Each panel must be contiguous with at least one other panel. Alternatively, you can create 10-foot-by-20-foot panels that are only 3 inches thick.

If the wall cuts through a creature’s space when it appears, the creature is pushed to one side of the wall (your choice). If a creature would be surrounded on all sides by the wall (or the wall and another solid surface), that creature can make a Dexterity saving throw. On a success, it can use its reaction to move up to its speed so that it is no longer enclosed by the wall.

The wall can have any shape you desire, though it can’t occupy the same space as a creature or object. The wall doesn’t need to be vertical or rest on any firm foundation. It must, however, merge with and be solidly supported by existing stone. Thus, you can use this spell to bridge a chasm or create a ramp.

If you create a span greater than 20 feet in length, you must halve the size of each panel to create supports. You can crudely shape the wall to create crenellations, battlements, and so on.

The wall is an object made of stone that can be damaged and thus breached. Each panel has AC 15 and 30 hit points per inch of thickness. Reducing a panel to 0 hit points destroys it and might cause connected panels to collapse at the DM’s discretion.

If you maintain your concentration on this spell for its whole duration, the wall becomes permanent and can’t be dispelled. Otherwise, the wall disappears when the spell ends.

6th Level Spells
Blade Barrier
6th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
90 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Concentration, up to 10 minutes

You create a vertical wall of whirling, razor-sharp blades made of magical energy. The wall appears within range and lasts for the duration. You can make a straight wall up to 100 feet long, 20 feet high, and 5 feet thick, or a ringed wall up to 60 feet in diameter, 20 feet high, and 5 feet thick. The wall provides three-quarters cover to creatures behind it, and its space is difficult terrain.

When a creature enters the wall’s area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, the creature must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 6d10 slashing damage. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage.

Chain Lightning
6th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
150 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a bit of fur; a piece of amber, glass, or a crystal rod; and three silver pins)
Duration:
Instantaneous

You create a bolt of lightning that arcs toward a target of your choice that you can see within range. Three bolts then leap from that target to as many as three other targets, each of which must be within 30 feet of the first target. A target can be a creature or an object and can be targeted by only one of the bolts.

A target must make a Dexterity saving throw. The target takes 10d8 lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 7th level or higher, one additional bolt leaps from the first target to another target for each slot level above 6th.

Disintegrate
6th-level transmutation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a lodestone and a pinch of dust)
Duration:
Instantaneous

A thin green ray springs from your pointing finger to a target that you can see within range. The target can be a creature, an object, or a creation of magical force, such as the wall created by wall of force.

A creature targeted by this spell must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 10d6 + 40 force damage. If this damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, it is disintegrated.

A disintegrated creature and everything it is wearing and carrying, except magic items, are reduced to a pile of fine gray dust. The creature can be restored to life only by means of a true resurrection or a wish spell.

This spell automatically disintegrates a Large or smaller nonmagical object or a creation of magical force. If the target is a Huge or larger object or creation of force, this spell disintegrates a 10-foot-cube portion of it. A magic item is unaffected by this spell.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 7th level or higher, the damage increases by 3d6 for each slot level above 6th.

Find the Path
6th-level divination
Casting Time:
1 minute
Range:
Self
Components:
V, S, M (a set of divinatory tools—such as bones, ivory sticks, cards, teeth, or carved runes—worth 100 gp and an object from the location you wish to find)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 day

This spell allows you to find the shortest, most direct physical route to a specific fixed location that you are familiar with on the same plane of existence. If you name a destination on another plane of existence, a destination that moves (such as a mobile fortress), or a destination that isn’t specific (such as “a green dragon’s lair”), the spell fails.

For the duration, as long as you are on the same plane of existence as the destination, you know how far it is and in what direction it lies. While you are traveling there, whenever you are presented with a choice of paths along the way, you automatically determine which path is the shortest and most direct route (but not necessarily the safest route) to the destination.

Globe of Invulnerability
6th-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self (10-foot radius)
Components:
V, S, M (a glass or crystal bead that shatters when the spell ends)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

An immobile, faintly shimmering barrier springs into existence in a 10-foot radius around you and remains for the duration.

Any spell of 5th level or lower cast from outside the barrier can’t affect creatures or objects within it, even if the spell is cast using a higher level spell slot. Such a spell can target creatures and objects within the barrier, but the spell has no effect on them. Similarly, the area within the barrier is excluded from the areas affected by such spells.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 7th level or higher, the barrier blocks spells of one level higher for each slot level above 6th.

Harm
6th-level necromancy
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

You unleash a virulent disease on a creature that you can see within range. The target must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, it takes 14d6 necrotic damage, or half as much damage on a successful save. The damage can’t reduce the target’s hit points below 1. If the target fails the saving throw, its hit point maximum is reduced for 1 hour by an amount equal to the necrotic damage it took. Any effect that removes a disease allows a creature’s hit point maximum to return to normal before that time passes.

Heal
6th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

Choose a creature that you can see within range. A surge of positive energy washes through the creature, causing it to regain 70 hit points. This spell also ends blindness, deafness, and any diseases affecting the target. This spell has no effect on constructs or undead.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 7th level or higher, the amount of healing increases by 10 for each slot level above 6th.

Heroes’ Feast
6th-level conjuration
Casting Time:
10 minutes
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V, S , M (a gem-encrusted bowl worth at least 1,000 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration:
Instantaneous

You bring forth a great feast, including magnificent food and drink. The feast takes 1 hour to consume and disappears at the end of that time, and the beneficial effects don’t set in until this hour is over. Up to twelve other creatures can partake of the feast.

A creature that partakes of the feast gains several benefits. The creature is cured of all diseases and poison, becomes immune to poison and being frightened, and makes all Wisdom saving throws with advantage. Its hit point maximum also increases by 2d10, and it gains the same number of hit points. These benefits last for 24 hours.

Mass Suggestion
6th-level enchantment
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, M (a snake’s tongue and either a bit of honeycomb or a drop of sweet oil)
Duration:
24 hours

You suggest a course of activity (limited to a sentence or two) and magically influence up to twelve creatures of your choice that you can see within range and that can hear and understand you. Creatures that can’t be charmed are immune to this effect. The suggestion must be worded in such a manner as to make the course of action sound reasonable. Asking the creature to stab itself, throw itself onto a spear, immolate itself, or do some other obviously harmful act automatically negates the effect of the spell.

Each target must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, it pursues the course of action you described to the best of its ability. The suggested course of action can continue for the entire duration. If the suggested activity can be completed in a shorter time, the spell ends when the subject finishes what it was asked to do.

You can also specify conditions that will trigger a special activity during the duration. For example, you might suggest that a group of soldiers give all their money to the first beggar they meet. If the condition isn’t met before the spell ends, the activity isn’t performed.

If you or any of your companions damage a creature affected by this spell, the spell ends for that creature.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a 7th-level spell slot, the duration is 10 days. When you use an 8th-level spell slot, the duration is 30 days. When you use a 9th-level spell slot, the duration is a year and a day.

Otto’s Irresistible Dance
6th-level enchantment
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

Choose one creature that you can see within range. The target begins a comic dance in place: shuffling, tapping its feet, and capering for the duration. Creatures that can’t be charmed are immune to this spell.

A dancing creature must use all its movement to dance without leaving its space and has disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws and attack rolls. While the target is affected by this spell, other creatures have advantage on attack rolls against it. As an action, a dancing creature makes a Wisdom saving throw to regain control of itself. On a successful save, the spell ends.

True Seeing
6th-level divination
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (an ointment for the eyes that costs 25 gp; is made from mushroom powder, saffron, and fat; and is consumed by the spell)
Duration:
1 hour

This spell gives the willing creature you touch the ability to see things as they actually are. For the duration, the creature has truesight, notices secret doors hidden by magic, and can see into the Ethereal Plane, all out to a range of 120 feet.

7th Level Spells
Delayed Blast Fireball
7th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
150 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a tiny ball of bat guano and sulfur)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

A beam of yellow light flashes from your pointing finger, then condenses to linger at a chosen point within range as a glowing bead for the duration. When the spell ends, either because your concentration is broken or because you decide to end it, the bead blossoms with a low roar into an explosion of flame that spreads around corners. Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes fire damage equal to the total accumulated damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

The spell’s base damage is 12d6. If at the end of your turn the bead has not yet detonated, the damage increases by 1d6.

If the glowing bead is touched before the interval has expired, the creature touching it must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the spell ends immediately, causing the bead to erupt in flame. On a successful save, the creature can throw the bead up to 40 feet. When it strikes a creature or a solid object, the spell ends, and the bead explodes.

The fire damages objects in the area and ignites flammable objects that aren’t being worn or carried.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 8th level or higher, the base damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 7th.

Etherealness
7th-level transmutation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Up to 8 hours

You step into the border regions of the Ethereal Plane, in the area where it overlaps with your current plane. You remain in the Border Ethereal for the duration or until you use your action to dismiss the spell. During this time, you can move in any direction. If you move up or down, every foot of movement costs an extra foot. You can see and hear the plane you originated from, but everything there looks gray, and you can’t see anything more than 60 feet away.

While on the Ethereal Plane, you can only affect and be affected by other creatures on that plane. Creatures that aren’t on the Ethereal Plane can’t perceive you and can’t interact with you, unless a special ability or magic has given them the ability to do so.

You ignore all objects and effects that aren’t on the Ethereal Plane, allowing you to move through objects you perceive on the plane you originated from.

When the spell ends, you immediately return to the plane you originated from in the spot you currently occupy. If you occupy the same spot as a solid object or creature when this happens, you are immediately shunted to the nearest unoccupied space that you can occupy and take force damage equal to twice the number of feet you are moved.

This spell has no effect if you cast it while you are on the Ethereal Plane or a plane that doesn’t border it, such as one of the Outer Planes.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 8th level or higher, you can target up to three willing creatures (including you) for each slot level above 7th. The creatures must be within 10 feet of you when you cast the spell.

Finger of Death
7th-level necromancy
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

You send negative energy coursing through a creature that you can see within range, causing it searing pain. The target must make a Constitution saving throw. It takes 7d8 + 30 necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

A humanoid killed by this spell rises at the start of your next turn as a zombie that is permanently under your command, following your verbal orders to the best of its ability.

Fire Storm
7th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
150 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

A storm made up of sheets of roaring flame appears in a location you choose within range. The area of the storm consists of up to ten 10-foot cubes, which you can arrange as you wish. Each cube must have at least one face adjacent to the face of another cube. Each creature in the area must make a Dexterity saving throw. It takes 7d10 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

The fire damages objects in the area and ignites flammable objects that aren’t being worn or carried. If you choose, plant life in the area is unaffected by this spell.

Mordenkainen’s Sword
7th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a miniature platinum sword with a grip and pommel of copper and zinc, worth 250 gp)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

You create a sword-shaped plane of force that hovers within range. It lasts for the duration.

When the sword appears, you make a melee spell attack against a target of your choice within 5 feet of the sword. On a hit, the target takes 3d10 force damage. Until the spell ends, you can use a bonus action on each of your turns to move the sword up to 20 feet to a spot you can see and repeat this attack against the same target or a different one.

Regenerate
7th-level transmutation
Casting Time:
1 minute
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (a prayer wheel and holy water)
Duration:
1 hour

You touch a creature and stimulate its natural healing ability. The target regains 4d8 + 15 hit points. For the duration of the spell, the target regains 1 hit point at the start of each of its turns (10 hit points each minute).

The target’s severed body members (fingers, legs, tails, and so on), if any, are restored after 2 minutes. If you have the severed part and hold it to the stump, the spell instantaneously causes the limb to knit to the stump.

Resurrection
7th-level necromancy
Casting Time:
1 hour
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (a diamond worth at least 1,000 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration:
Instantaneous

You touch a dead creature that has been dead for no more than a century, that didn’t die of old age, and that isn’t undead. If its soul is free and willing, the target returns to life with all its hit points.

This spell neutralizes any poisons and cures normal diseases afflicting the creature when it died. It doesn’t, however, remove magical diseases, curses, and the like; if such effects aren’t removed prior to casting the spell, they afflict the target on its return to life.

This spell closes all mortal wounds and restores any missing body parts.

Coming back from the dead is an ordeal. The target takes a -4 penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, and ability checks. Every time the target finishes a long rest, the penalty is reduced by 1 until it disappears.

Casting this spell to restore life to a creature that has been dead for one year or longer taxes you greatly. Until you finish a long rest, you can’t cast spells again, and you have disadvantage on all attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws.

Teleport
7th-level conjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
10 feet
Components:
V
Duration:
Instantaneous

This spell instantly transports you and up to eight willing creatures of your choice that you can see within range, or a single object that you can see within range, to a destination you select. If you target an object, it must be able to fit entirely inside a 10-foot cube, and it can’t be held or carried by an unwilling creature.

The destination you choose must be known to you, and it must be on the same plane of existence as you. Your familiarity with the destination determines whether you arrive there successfully. The DM rolls d100 and consults the table.

Familiarity Mishap Similar Off On
Permanent circle 01–100
Associated object 01–100
Very familiar 01–05 06–13 14–24 25–100
Seen casually 01–33 34–43 44–53 54–100
Viewed once 01–43 44–53 54–73 74–100
Description 01–43 44–53 54–73 74–100
False destination 01–50 51–100

Familiarity. “Permanent circle” means a permanent teleportation circle whose sigil sequence you know. “Associated object” means that you possess an object taken from the desired destination within the last six months, such as a book from a wizard’s library, bed linen from a royal suite, or a chunk of marble from a lich’s secret tomb.

“Very familiar” is a place you have been very often, a place you have carefully studied, or a place you can see when you cast the spell. “Seen casually” is someplace you have seen more than once but with which you aren’t very familiar. “Viewed once” is a place you have seen once, possibly using magic. “Description” is a place whose location and appearance you know through someone else’s description, perhaps from a map.

“False destination” is a place that doesn’t exist. Perhaps you tried to scry an enemy’s sanctum but instead viewed an illusion, or you are attempting to teleport to a familiar location that no longer exists.

On Target. You and your group (or the target object) appear where you want to.

Off Target. You and your group (or the target object) appear a random distance away from the destination in a random direction. Distance off target is 1d10. 1d10 percent of the distance that was to be traveled. For example, if you tried to travel 120 miles, landed off target, and rolled a 5 and 3 on the two d10s, then you would be off target by 15 percent, or 18 miles. The DM determines the direction off target randomly by rolling a d8 and designating 1 as north, 2 as northeast, 3 as east, and so on around the points of the compass. If you were teleporting to a coastal city and wound up 18 miles out at sea, you could be in trouble.

Similar Area. You and your group (or the target object) wind up in a different area that’s visually or thematically similar to the target area. If you are heading for your home laboratory, for example, you might wind up in another wizard’s laboratory or in an alchemical supply shop that has many of the same tools and implements as your laboratory. Generally, you appear in the closest similar place, but since the spell has no range limit, you could conceivably wind up anywhere on the plane.

Mishap. The spell’s unpredictable magic results in a difficult journey. Each teleporting creature (or the target object) takes 3d10 force damage, and the DM rerolls on the table to see where you wind up (multiple mishaps can occur, dealing damage each time).

8th Level Spells
Antimagic Field
8th-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self (10-foot-radius sphere)
Components:
V, S, M (a pinch of powdered iron or iron filings)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 hour

A 10-foot-radius invisible sphere of antimagic surrounds you. This area is divorced from the magical energy that suffuses the multiverse. Within the sphere, spells can’t be cast, summoned creatures disappear, and even magic items become mundane. Until the spell ends, the sphere moves with you, centered on you.

Spells and other magical effects, except those created by an artifact or a deity, are suppressed in the sphere and can’t protrude into it. A slot expended to cast a suppressed spell is consumed. While an effect is suppressed, it doesn’t function, but the time it spends suppressed counts against its duration.

Targeted Effects. Spells and other magical effects, such as magic missile and charm person, that target a creature or an object in the sphere have no effect on that target.

Areas of Magic. The area of another spell or magical effect, such as fireball, can’t extend into the sphere. If the sphere overlaps an area of magic, the part of the area that is covered by the sphere is suppressed. For example, the flames created by a wall of fire are suppressed within the sphere, creating a gap in the wall if the overlap is large enough.

Spells. Any active spell or other magical effect on a creature or an object in the sphere is suppressed while the creature or object is in it.

Magic Items. The properties and powers of magic items are suppressed in the sphere. For example, a +1 longsword in the sphere functions as a nonmagical longsword.

A magic weapon’s properties and powers are suppressed if it is used against a target in the sphere or wielded by an attacker in the sphere. If a magic weapon or a piece of magic ammunition fully leaves the sphere (for example, if you fire a magic arrow or throw a magic spear at a target outside the sphere), the magic of the item ceases to be suppressed as soon as it exits.

Magical Travel. Teleportation and planar travel fail to work in the sphere, whether the sphere is the destination or the departure point for such magical travel. A portal to another location, world, or plane of existence, as well as an opening to an extradimensional space such as that created by the rope trick spell, temporarily closes while in the sphere.

Creatures and Objects. A creature or object summoned or created by magic temporarily winks out of existence in the sphere. Such a creature instantly reappears once the space the creature occupied is no longer within the sphere.

Dispel Magic. Spells and magical effects such as dispel magic have no effect on the sphere. Likewise, the spheres created by different antimagic field spells don’t nullify each other.

Dominate Monster
8th-level enchantment
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 hour

You attempt to beguile a creature that you can see within range. It must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by you for the duration. If you or creatures that are friendly to you are fighting it, it has advantage on the saving throw.

While the creature is charmed, you have a telepathic link with it as long as the two of you are on the same plane of existence. You can use this telepathic link to issue commands to the creature while you are conscious (no action required), which it does its best to obey. You can specify a simple and general course of action, such as “Attack that creature,” “Run over there,” or “Fetch that object.” If the creature completes the order and doesn’t receive further direction from you, it defends and preserves itself to the best of its ability.

You can use your action to take total and precise control of the target. Until the end of your next turn, the creature takes only the actions you choose, and doesn’t do anything that you don’t allow it to do. During this time, you can also cause the creature to use a reaction, but this requires you to use your own reaction as well.

Each time the target takes damage, it makes a new Wisdom saving throw against the spell. If the saving throw succeeds, the spell ends.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell with a 9th-level spell slot, the duration is concentration, up to 8 hours.

Earthquake
8th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
500 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a pinch of dirt, a piece of rock, and a lump of clay)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

You create a seismic disturbance at a point on the ground that you can see within range. For the duration, an intense tremor rips through the ground in a 100-foot-radius circle centered on that point and shakes creatures and structures in contact with the ground in that area.

The ground in the area becomes difficult terrain. Each creature on the ground that is concentrating must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature’s concentration is broken.

When you cast this spell and at the end of each turn you spend concentrating on it, each creature on the ground in the area must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is knocked prone.

This spell can have additional effects depending on the terrain in the area, as determined by the DM.

Fissures. Fissures open throughout the spell’s area at the start of your next turn after you cast the spell. A total of 1d6 such fissures open in locations chosen by the DM. Each is 1d10. 10 feet deep, 10 feet wide, and extends from one edge of the spell’s area to the opposite side. A creature standing on a spot where a fissure opens must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or fall in. A creature that successfully saves moves with the fissure’s edge as it opens.

A fissure that opens beneath a structure causes it to automatically collapse (see below).

Structures. The tremor deals 50 bludgeoning damage to any structure in contact with the ground in the area when you cast the spell and at the start of each of your turns until the spell ends. If a structure drops to 0 hit points, it collapses and potentially damages nearby creatures. A creature within half the distance of a structure’s height must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 5d6 bludgeoning damage, is knocked prone, and is buried in the rubble, requiring a DC 20 Strength (Athletics) check as an action to escape. The DM can adjust the DC higher or lower, depending on the nature of the rubble. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and doesn’t fall prone or become buried.

Holy Aura
8th-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self
Components:
V, S, M (a tiny reliquary worth at least 1,000 gp containing a sacred relic, such as a scrap of cloth from a saint’s robe or a piece of parchment from a religious text)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

Divine light washes out from you and coalesces in a soft radiance in a 30-foot radius around you. Creatures of your choice in that radius when you cast this spell shed dim light in a 5-foot radius and have advantage on all saving throws, and other creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls against them until the spell ends. In addition, when a fiend or an undead hits an affected creature with a melee attack, the aura flashes with brilliant light. The attacker must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be blinded until the spell ends.

Maze
8th-level conjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Concentration, up to 10 minutes

You banish a creature that you can see within range into a labyrinthine demiplane. The target remains there for the duration or until it escapes the maze.

The target can use its action to attempt to escape. When it does so, it makes a DC 20 Intelligence check. If it succeeds, it escapes, and the spell ends (a minotaur or goristro demon automatically succeeds).

When the spell ends, the target reappears in the space it left or, if that space is occupied, in the nearest unoccupied space.

Power Word Stun
8th-level enchantment
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V
Duration:
Instantaneous

You speak a word of power that can overwhelm the mind of one creature you can see within range, leaving it dumbfounded. If the target has 150 hit points or fewer, it is stunned. Otherwise, the spell has no effect.

The stunned target must make a Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a successful save, this stunning effect ends.

Sunburst
8th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
150 feet
Components:
V, S, M (fire and a piece of sunstone)
Duration:
Instantaneous

Brilliant sunlight flashes in a 60-foot radius centered on a point you choose within range. Each creature in that light must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 12d6 radiant damage and is blinded for 1 minute. On a successful save, it takes half as much damage and isn’t blinded by this spell. Undead and oozes have disadvantage on this saving throw.

A creature blinded by this spell makes another Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a successful save, it is no longer blinded.

This spell dispels any darkness in its area that was created by a spell.

9th Level Spells
Astral Projection
9th-level necromancy
Casting Time:
1 hour
Range:
10 feet
Components:
V, S, M (for each creature you affect with this spell, you must provide one jacinth worth at least 1,000 gp and one ornately carved bar of silver worth at least 100 gp, all of which the spell consumes)
Duration:
Special

You and up to eight willing creatures within range project your astral bodies into the Astral Plane (the spell fails and the casting is wasted if you are already on that plane). The material body you leave behind is unconscious and in a state of suspended animation; it doesn’t need food or air and doesn’t age.

Your astral body resembles your mortal form in almost every way, replicating your game statistics and possessions. The principal difference is the addition of a silvery cord that extends from between your shoulder blades and trails behind you, fading to invisibility after 1 foot. This cord is your tether to your material body. As long as the tether remains intact, you can find your way home. If the cord is cut—something that can happen only when an effect specifically states that it does—your soul and body are separated, killing you instantly.

Your astral form can freely travel through the Astral Plane and can pass through portals there leading to any other plane. If you enter a new plane or return to the plane you were on when casting this spell, your body and possessions are transported along the silver cord, allowing you to re-enter your body as you enter the new plane. Your astral form is a separate incarnation. Any damage or other effects that apply to it have no effect on your physical body, nor do they persist when you return to it.

The spell ends for you and your companions when you use your action to dismiss it. When the spell ends, the affected creature returns to its physical body, and it awakens.

The spell might also end early for you or one of your companions. A successful dispel magic spell used against an astral or physical body ends the spell for that creature. If a creature’s original body or its astral form drops to 0 hit points, the spell ends for that creature. If the spell ends and the silver cord is intact, the cord pulls the creature’s astral form back to its body, ending its state of suspended animation.

If you are returned to your body prematurely, your companions remain in their astral forms and must find their own way back to their bodies, usually by dropping to 0 hit points.

Foresight
9th-level divination
Casting Time:
1 minute
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (a hummingbird feather)
Duration:
8 hours

You touch a willing creature and bestow a limited ability to see into the immediate future. For the duration, the target can’t be surprised and has advantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. Additionally, other creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls against the target for the duration.

This spell immediately ends if you cast it again before its duration ends.

Gate
9th-level conjuration
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a diamond worth at least 5,000 gp)
Duration:
Concentration, up to 1 minute

You conjure a portal linking an unoccupied space you can see within range to a precise location on a different plane of existence. The portal is a circular opening, which you can make 5 to 20 feet in diameter. You can orient the portal in any direction you choose. The portal lasts for the duration.

The portal has a front and a back on each plane where it appears. Travel through the portal is possible only by moving through its front. Anything that does so is instantly transported to the other plane, appearing in the unoccupied space nearest to the portal.

Deities and other planar rulers can prevent portals created by this spell from opening in their presence or anywhere within their domains.

When you cast this spell, you can speak the name of a specific creature (a pseudonym, title, or nickname doesn’t work). If that creature is on a plane other than the one you are on, the portal opens in the named creature’s immediate vicinity and draws the creature through it to the nearest unoccupied space on your side of the portal. You gain no special power over the creature, and it is free to act as the DM deems appropriate. It might leave, attack you, or help you.

Imprisonment
9th-level abjuration
Casting Time:
1 minute
Range:
30 feet
Components:
V, S, M (a vellum depiction or a carved statuette in the likeness of the target, and a special component that varies according to the version of the spell you choose, worth at least 500 gp per Hit Die of the target)
Duration:
Until dispelled

You create a magical restraint to hold a creature that you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be bound by the spell; if it succeeds, it is immune to this spell if you cast it again. While affected by this spell, the creature doesn’t need to breathe, eat, or drink, and it doesn’t age. Divination spells can’t locate or perceive the target.

When you cast the spell, you choose one of the following forms of imprisonment.

Burial. The target is entombed far beneath the earth in a sphere of magical force that is just large enough to contain the target. Nothing can pass through the sphere, nor can any creature teleport or use planar travel to get into or out of it.

The special component for this version of the spell is a small mithral orb.

Chaining. Heavy chains, firmly rooted in the ground, hold the target in place. The target is restrained until the spell ends, and it can’t move or be moved by any means until then.

The special component for this version of the spell is a fine chain of precious metal.

Hedged Prison. The spell transports the target into a tiny demiplane that is warded against teleportation and planar travel. The demiplane can be a labyrinth, a cage, a tower, or any similar confined structure or area of your choice.

The special component for this version of the spell is a miniature representation of the prison made from jade.

Minimus Containment. The target shrinks to a height of 1 inch and is imprisoned inside a gemstone or similar object. Light can pass through the gemstone normally (allowing the target to see out and other creatures to see in), but nothing else can pass through, even by means of teleportation or planar travel. The gemstone can’t be cut or broken while the spell remains in effect.

The special component for this version of the spell is a large, transparent gemstone, such as a corundum, diamond, or ruby.

Slumber. The target falls asleep and can’t be awoken. The special component for this version of the spell consists of rare soporific herbs.

Ending the Spell. During the casting of the spell, in any of its versions, you can specify a condition that will cause the spell to end and release the target. The condition can be as specific or as elaborate as you choose, but the DM must agree that the condition is reasonable and has a likelihood of coming to pass. The conditions can be based on a creature’s name, identity, or deity but otherwise must be based on observable actions or qualities and not based on intangibles such as level, class, or hit points.

A dispel magic spell can end the spell only if it is cast as a 9th-level spell, targeting either the prison or the special component used to create it.

You can use a particular special component to create only one prison at a time. If you cast the spell again using the same component, the target of the first casting is immediately freed from its binding.

Mass Heal
9th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

A flood of healing energy flows from you into injured creatures around you. You restore up to 700 hit points, divided as you choose among any number of creatures that you can see within range. Creatures healed by this spell are also cured of all diseases and any effect making them blinded or deafened. This spell has no effect on undead or constructs.

Meteor Swarm
9th-level evocation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
1 mile
Components:
V, S
Duration:
Instantaneous

Blazing orbs of fire plummet to the ground at four different points you can see within range. Each creature in a 40-foot-radius sphere centered on each point you choose must make a Dexterity saving throw. The sphere spreads around corners. A creature takes 20d6 fire damage and 20d6 bludgeoning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. A creature in the area of more than one fiery burst is affected only once.

The spell damages objects in the area and ignites flammable objects that aren’t being worn or carried.

Power Word Kill
9th-level enchantment
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
60 feet
Components:
V
Duration:
Instantaneous

You utter a word of power that can compel one creature you can see within range to die instantly. If the creature you choose has 100 hit points or fewer, it dies. Otherwise, the spell has no effect.

Time Stop
9th-level transmutation
Casting Time:
1 action
Range:
Self
Components:
V
Duration:
Instantaneous

You briefly stop the flow of time for everyone but yourself. No time passes for other creatures, while you take 1d4 + 1 turns in a row, during which you can use actions and move as normal.

This spell ends if one of the actions you use during this period, or any effects that you create during this period, affects a creature other than you or an object being worn or carried by someone other than you. In addition, the spell ends if you move to a place more than 1,000 feet from the location where you cast it.

True Resurrection
9th-level necromancy
Casting Time:
1 hour
Range:
Touch
Components:
V, S, M (a sprinkle of holy water and diamonds worth at least 25,000 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration:
Instantaneous

You touch a creature that has been dead for no longer than 200 years and that died for any reason except old age. If the creature’s soul is free and willing, the creature is restored to life with all its hit points.

This spell closes all wounds, neutralizes any poison, cures all diseases, and lifts any curses affecting the creature when it died. The spell replaces damaged or missing organs and limbs.

The spell can even provide a new body if the original no longer exists, in which case you must speak the creature’s name. The creature then appears in an unoccupied space you choose within 10 feet of you.

Appendices

A: 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.

The following definitions specify what happens to a creature while it is subjected to a condition.

Blinded
  • A blinded creature can’t see and automatically fails any ability check that requires sight.
  • Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s attack rolls have disadvantage.
 
Charmed
  • A charmed creature can’t attack the charmer or target the charmer with harmful abilities or magical effects.
  • The charmer has advantage on any ability check to interact socially with the creature.
 
Deafened
  • A deafened creature can’t hear and automatically fails any ability check that requires hearing.
 
Frightened
  • A frightened creature has disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls while the source of its fear is within line of sight.
  • The creature can’t willingly move closer to the source of its fear.
 
Grappled
  • A grappled creature’s speed becomes 0, and it can’t benefit from any bonus to its speed.
  • The condition ends if the grappler is incapacitated (see the condition).
  • The condition also ends if an effect removes the grappled creature from the reach of the grappler or grappling effect, such as when a creature is hurled away by the thunder.wave spell.
 
Incapacitated
  • An incapacitated creature can’t take actions or reactions.
 
Invisible
  • An invisible creature is impossible to see without the aid of magic or a special sense. For the purpose of hiding, the creature is heavily obscured. The crea.ture’s location can be detected by any noise it makes or any tracks it leaves.
  • Attack rolls against the creature have disadvantage, and the creature’s attack rolls have advantage.
 
Paralyzed
  • A paralyzed creature is incapacitated (see the condi.tion) and can’t move or speak.
  • The creature automatically fails Strength and Dexterity saving throws.
  • Attack rolls against the creature have advantage.
  • Any attack that hits the creature is a critical hit if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature.
 
Petrified
  • A petrified creature is transformed, along with any nonmagical object it is wearing or carrying, into a solid inanimate substance (usually stone). Its weight increases by a factor of ten, and it ceases aging.
  • The creature is incapacitated (see the condition), can’t move or speak, and is unaware of its surroundings.
  • Attack rolls against the creature have advantage.
  • The creature automatically fails Strength and Dexterity saving throws.
  • The creature has resistance to all damage.
  • The creature is immune to poison and disease, although a poison or disease already in its system is suspended, not neutralized.
 
Poisoned
  • A poisoned creature has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.
 
Prone
  • A prone creature’s only movement option is to crawl, unless it stands up and thereby ends the condition.
  • The creature has disadvantage on attack rolls.
  • An attack roll against the creature has advantage if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature. Otherwise, the attack roll has disadvantage.
 
Restrained
  • A restrained creature’s speed becomes 0, and it can’t benefit from any bonus to its speed.
  • Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s attack rolls have disadvantage.
  • The creature has disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws.
 
Stunned
  • A stunned creature is incapacitated (see the condi.tion), can’t move, and can speak only falteringly.
  • The creature automatically fails Strength and Dexterity saving throws.
  • Attack rolls against the creature have advantage.
 
Unconscious
  • An unconscious creature is incapacitated (see the condition), can’t move or speak, and is unaware of its surroundings.
  • The creature drops whatever it’s holding and falls prone.
  • The creature automatically fails Strength and Dexterity saving throws.
  • Attack rolls against the creature have advantage.
  • Any attack that hits the creature is a critical hit if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature.
 
B: 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.

D&D Pantheons

Each world in the D&D multiverse has its own pantheons of deities. This appendix deals with one pantheon, that of the Forgotten Realms.

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.

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.

Deities of the Forgotten Realms
Deity Alignment Suggested Domains Symbol
Auril, goddess of winter NE Nature, Tempest Six-pointed snowflake
Azuth, god of wizards LN Knowledge Left hand pointing upward, outlined in fire
Bane, god of tyranny LE War Upright black right hand, thumb and fingers together
Beshaba, goddess of misfortune CE Trickery Black antlers
Bhaal, god of murder NE Death Skull surrounded by a ring of blood droplets
Chauntea, goddess of agriculture NG Life Sheaf of grain or a blooming rose over grain
Cyric, god of lies CE Trickery White jawless skull on black or purple sunburst
Deneir, god of writing NG Knowledge Lit candle above an open eye
Eldath, goddess of peace NG Life, Nature Waterfall plunging into still pool
Gond, god of craft N Knowledge Toothed cog with four spokes
Helm, god of protection LN Life, Light Staring eye on upright left gauntlet
Ilmater, god of endurance LG Life Hands bound at the wrist with red cord
Kelemvor, god of the dead LN Death Upright skeletal arm holding balanced scales
Lathander, god of birth and renewal NG Life, Light Road traveling into a sunrise
Leira, goddess of illusion CN Trickery Point-down triangle containing a swirl of mist
Lliira, goddess of joy CG Life Triangle of three six-pointed stars
Loviatar, goddess of pain LE Death Nine-tailed barbed scourge
Malar, god of the hunt CE Nature Clawed paw
Mask, god of thieves CN Trickery Black mask
Mielikki, goddess of forests NG Nature Unicorn’s head
Milil, god of poetry and song NG Light Five-stringed harp made of leaves
Myrkul, god of death NE Death White human skull
Mystra, goddess of magic NG Knowledge Circle of seven stars, or nine stars encircling a flowing red mist, or a single star
Oghma, god of knowledge N Knowledge Blank scroll
Savras, god of divination and fate LN Knowledge Crystal ball containing many kinds of eyes
Selûne, goddess of the moon CG Knowledge, Life Pair of eyes surrounded by seven stars
Shar, goddess of darkness and loss NE Death, Trickery Black disk encircled with a border
Silvanus, god of wild nature N Nature Oak leaf
Sune, goddess of love and beauty CG Life, Light Face of a beautiful red-haired woman
Talona, goddess of disease and poison CE Death Three teardrops on a triangle
Talos, god of storms CE Tempest Three lightning bolts radiating from a central point
Tempus, god of war N War Upright flaming sword
Torm, god of courage and self-sacrifice LG War White right gauntlet
Tymora, goddess of good fortune CG Trickery Face-up coin
Tyr, god of justice LG War Balanced scales resting on a warhammer
Umberlee, goddess of the sea CE Tempest Wave curling left and right
Waukeen, goddess of trade N Knowledge, Trickery Upright coin with Waukeen’s profile facing left
C: The Five Factions

Many characters created in the Forgotten Realms setting, especially those for organized D&D play, belong to one of five factions that have risen to prominence in the Realms. Each faction has its own motivations, goals, and philosophy. Some are more heroic than others, but all band together in times of trouble to thwart major threats.

Harpers

This clandestine network of spellcasters and spies seeks to tip the scales in favor of the innocent, the weak, and the poor within the Realms. Harper agents pride themselves on being incorruptible defenders of good, and they never hesitate to aid the oppressed. Because they prefer to work behind the scenes, they are rarely noticed as they thwart tyrants, depose rulers, and head off any growing force that is rumored to have evil intent. The Harpers has its finger on the pulse of power in the Realms and works tirelessly to even the odds for the downtrodden.

Individual Harper agents operate alone, relying on their wits and extensive information networks to gain an advantage over their enemies. They know that knowledge is power, so gathering intelligence beforehand is paramount to their success. They are well-informed and always have access to aid, magical and otherwise. Veteran members have access to secret caches of knowledge stashed all over Faerûn, along with trusted sources stationed in every major town and city.

The organization is always on the lookout for powerful items, expressly to keep them out of the hands of evildoers. To this end its agents use various guises and identities to gain access to carefully guarded secrets such as ancestral maps, buried cities, and mages’ keeps.

The bond between Harpers is strong, and their friendships are nigh unbreakable. Rarely do they operate in the open, but on rare occasions they must, because there is no other choice. When that happens, you can be sure that a fellow Harper is watching closely, ready to emerge from the shadows and help a comrade at a moment’s notice.

“A Harper is first and foremost self-reliant, for once you are autonomous then no one can tempt you into using power as a crutch. You are sovereign unto yourself.

“Therefore, a Harper’s soul must be incorruptible. Many believe themselves to be so, but power comes in many guises, and it will surely find your weakness. Of this you may be certain. Only a true Harper can pass this test and transform weakness into strength. That is why we are the hand that stops the tyrant, feeds the oppressed, and asks for nothing in return.

“We are the song for those who have no voice.”

Remallia “Remi” Haventree
Order of the Gauntlet

The Order of the Gauntlet is a relatively new organization dedicated to smiting evil wherever it lurks and without hesitation. The Order understands that evil wears many guises, playing games and tricking others in order to spread. That is why its members act on their own authority, identifying threats and smashing them before they can grow.

Because the seeds of evil are nourished in the shadows, the Order of the Gauntlet rides out to the most dangerous dungeons, the darkest caverns, and the foulest pits to weed out wrongdoers. But the Order is keenly aware that the shadow of evil lies within everyone, waiting for a moment when it can gain a foothold on their souls. Thus its paladins, monks, and clerics spend long hours deep in prayer to keep their inner eye vigilant and focused on their own thoughts and emotions. In this way they purify themselves from within before taking up their swords to cleanse the world.

The Order of the Gauntlet believes that all sentient beings must come to the light of reason and goodness of their own volition. That is why it is not interested in controlling minds: it focuses only on deeds, setting an example to the world in hopes of inspiring and enlightening others. The Order holds that faith in one’s god, one’s friends, and one’s self are the greatest weapons in quelling the hordes of malice.

With such devout conviction, the Order’s members can be depended on as a source of strength to themselves and others, a bright light against the darkness. They are not preemptive bullies, though. A strict code of honor allows them to strike only when evil deeds are being committed. Thus, the Order of the Gauntlet is hypervigilant, using every resource at their disposal—both divine and mundane—to know where and when dark deeds will occur.

“That’s the thing about evil: it is darkness, it is shadow, it hides in your blind spot. Then, when you are distracted, it sneaks in. Evil is a master of disguise—and what is the greatest disguise, you ask? Yourself. Evil will cloak itself in thoughts and emotions pretending to be your own, telling you to get angry, to be greedy and envious, to hold yourself above others.

“People aren’t born evil—it takes time for evil to fool you into thinking that its voice is yours. That is why to know who you truly are is what the Order requires from each hopeful who wishes to join our ranks. Bravery isn’t fighting the dragon out there—it is fighting the dragon within. That is what we do in our prayers. Once you have slain that dragon, you have overcome the darkness lurking within yourself. Only then do you have the capacity to know true goodness. Only then are you ready to take up the sword and wear the badge of our Order.”

Kajiso Steelhand
Emerald Enclave

The Emerald Enclave is a far-ranging group that opposes threats to the natural world and helps others survive in the wilderness. Branches of the organization are scattered throughout Faerûn and often operate in isolation from the others. This existence teaches the Enclave’s members a fierce self-reliance and mastery of certain fighting and survival skills.

A ranger of the Enclave might be hired to lead a caravan through a treacherous mountain pass or the frozen tundra of Icewind Dale. A druid might volunteer to help a village prepare for a long, brutal winter. Barbarians and druids who live as hermits might appear from nowhere to help defend a town against marauding orcs.

Members of the Emerald Enclave know how to survive and, more importantly, to help others do the same. They are not opposed to civilization or progress, but they strive to keep it in balance with the wild. They restore and preserve the natural order, even as they root out and destroy all that is unnatural. They keep the elemental forces of the world in check and keep civilization and the wilderness from destroying one another.

“The Emerald Enclave exists as gatekeepers to that vast space beyond the city walls. We are the defenders of the wilderness and of the society that does not understand it. Most have forgotten that there is an ancient, natural order that existed long before our intellectual concepts of it. To come into contact with that primal order is to touch the power that guides all of life.

“Those who walk the way of the Emerald Enclave are infused with this power; we embody it, and it moves us to do our work. That is why we are never alone. Even in the midst of a noisy, crowded city we can feel the presence of the natural world inside us, fresh, strong, and alive. The Enclave seeks to make awareness of this power available to all.

“Freedom. Is not this the highest of callings?”

Delaan Winterhound
Lords’ Alliance

The Lords’ Alliance is an association of rulers from cities and towns across Faerûn (primarily in the North), who believe that solidarity is needed to keep evil at bay. The rulers of Waterdeep, Silverymoon, Neverwinter, and other free cities dominate the coalition, and all lords in the Alliance work primarily for the fate and fortune of their individual settlements.

Alliance agents include sophisticated bards, zealous paladins, talented mages, and grizzled warriors. They are chosen primarily for their loyalty and are experts in observation, stealth, innuendo, and combat. Backed by the wealthy and the privileged, they carry fine equipment (often disguised to appear common), including large numbers of scrolls scribed with spells of communication.

Agents of the Lords’ Alliance ensure the safety and prosperity of civilized Faerûn by standing united against the forces that threaten civilization. They proactively eliminate such threats by any means, fighting with pride for the glory and security of their people, and for the lords who rule over them. However, Alliance operatives are often glory hounds, looking to gain a leg up on their counterparts from other Alliance cities. The leaders of the Alliance know that the order will survive only if its members support each other, requiring a balance between pride and diplomacy. Rogue agents within the Lords’ Alliance are rare, but defections have been known to occur.

“Everyone wants to sleep at night and feel safe in their homes, but how many want to do what it takes to keep the tide of evil at bay? To stand in the cold and rain, waiting for battle while hunger gnaws at their bellies? Many wish to reap the rewards of a good harvest, but few care to remove the stones and till the fields for planting.

“The Lords’ Alliance fights the things that the shopkeeper in his bed has never even heard of. We remove threats before the town mayor even knows about it. We make bad things go away. That’s what we’re good at.”

Rameel Jos
Zhentarim

The Zhentarim, or Black Network, is an organization of well-trained mercenaries, savvy rogues, and crafty warlocks who seek to expand their influence and power throughout Faerûn. Agents of the Zhentarim feel that if they play by the rules, nothing gets done. Ultimately, they want to make the rules—and, in some cases, they already do. They walk a fine line when it comes to the letter of the law and don’t shy away from the occasional shady deal or illicit activity to get what they want.

To the Zhentarim, wealth is power. Its agents know that nothing else inspires such confidence and dispels doubt so well. In an instant, wealth speaks louder than a thousand bards. Zhentarim agents routinely carry the finest weapons and armor, with no expense spared. When a merchant needs an escort for a caravan, when a noble family requires bodyguards to protect its holdings, or when a city is desperate for trained soldiers to defend its walls, the Zhentarim provides the best warriors money can buy.

The organization encourages individual ambition and rewards innovators who take matters into their own hands. Results are all that matter. Those who come into the Black Network with nothing can become major players within the organization through their own moxie and hard work.

“Membership in the Zhentarim is like a key to a thousand doors, each one a gateway to fulfilling a personal desire. Most people shy away from this kind of freedom. They like their restraints, laws, and swaddling—it gives them the illusion of security.

“The Black Network provides what I need to explore realms and dimensions that would tear apart minds accustomed to limits. Only in such places can I find magic powerful enough to defeat beings that know no such thing as time, fear, or mercy. You might not like the Zhentarim’s methods, but when a demon crawls out of the Abyss and comes for your family, you’ll be glad that I have gone to the darkest of realms to find the answer to your problem.”

Ianna Asterion

What Comes Next?

Having delved into the depths of character creation, it’s time to consider your next steps. The fun of D&D is in playing the game, not just making up characters (though that’s fun, too).

The Starter Set is a great next step if you want to try your hand at being a Dungeon Master and introduce your friends to the game. If you don’t know any DMs, try taking on that role yourself. The Starter Set is the best place to begin your journey.

The Player’s Handbook is your essential guide to additional races, classes, backgrounds, and other customization options such as feats and multiclassing. You’ll also find more than two hundred extra spells and a beautiful array of art depicting elements of D&D.

The Monster Manual describes the most important monsters in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. The manual is aimed at DMs, but it’s also a useful reference for players.

The Dungeon Master’s Guide is the ultimate tome of DM lore. It includes magic items, optional rules, and guidelines for creating everything from a simple dungeon to an entire cosmos for your campaign.

Each year brings the publication of new D&D adventures. These scenarios and campaigns are the perfect way to try your hand at running a D&D game with a minimum of work.

Looking for a regular D&D game or prefer dropping in when you have time? Check the Store and Event Locator on our website to see if your local game store is running events such as D&D Encounters or D&D Expeditions.

Bring your games to life with a suite of enhancements from a robust set of player and DM digital tools to accessories like miniatures, vinyl mats, campaign maps, clothing, and more.

It isn’t always possible to gather a regular gaming group. In such situations, Dungeons & Dragons board games present an ideal casual play experience. You’ll also find a variety of digital games that offer a D&D experience across Mac, PC, tablets, and mobile devices.