Battle Guide


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 (Usually 30ft/6 Squares). The most Common actions you can take are described in the “Combat Actions” section. Many Class Features and other Abilities provide additional options for your action. 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 “Combat Actions.”

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 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. You can also attempt to do anything else in the world which w


Certain Special Abilities, Spells, and situations allow you to take a Special action called a reaction. A reaction is an instant response to a trigger of some kind, which can occur on Your Turn or on someone else’s. The opportunity Attack is the most Common type of reaction. When you take a reaction, you can’t take another one until the start of your next turn. If the reaction interrupts another creature’s turn, that creature can continue its turn right after the reaction.


When you take your action on Your Turn, you can take one of the actions presented here, an action you gained from your class or a Special feature, or an action that you improvise. Many Monsters have Action Options of their own in their stat blocks. When you describe an action not detailed elsewhere in the rules, the GM tells you whether that action is possible and what kind of roll you need to make, if any, to determine success or failure.


The most Common action to take in combat is the Attack action, whether you are swinging a sword, firing an arrow from a bow, or brawling with your fists. 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 Spellsand 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 Timeof 1 action, so a spellcaster often uses his or her action in combat to cast such a spell.


When you take the Dash action, you gain extra Movement for the current turn. The increase equals your speed, after applying any modifiers. With a speed of 30 feet, for example, you can move up to 60 feet on Your Turn if you dash. Any increase or decrease to your speed changes this additional Movement by the same amount. If your speed of 30 feet is reduced to 15 feet, for instance, you can move up to 30 feet this turn if you dash.


If you take the Disengage action, your Movement doesn’t provoke Opportunity Attacks for the rest of the turn.


When you take the Dodge action, you focus entirely on avoiding attacks. Until the start of your next turn, any Attack roll made against you has disadvantage if you can see the attacker, and you make Dexterity Saving Throws with advantage. You lose this benefit if you are Incapacitated (as explained in Conditions ) or if your speed drops to 0.


You can lend your aid to another creature in the completion of a task. When you take the Help action, the creature you aid gains advantage on the next ability check it makes to perform the task you are helping with, provided that it makes the check before the start of your next turn. Alternatively, you can aid a friendly creature in attacking a creature within 5 feet of you. You feint, distract the target, or in some other way team up to make your ally’s Attack more effective. If your ally attacks the target before your next turn, the first Attack roll is made with advantage.


When you take the Hide action, you make a Dexterity (Stealth) check in an attempt to hide, following the rules for Hiding. If you succeed, you gain certain benefits, as described in the “Unseen Attackers and Targets” section.


Sometimes you want to get the jump on a foe or wait for a 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. If your Concentration is broken, the spell dissipates without taking effect.


When you take the Search action, you devote your attention to finding something. Depending on the nature of your Search, the GM 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.

Any Other

Describe something you want to do and the DM will decide on an appropriate skill-roll (or if it’s possible).


The DM determines who might be surprised. If neither side tries to be stealthy, they automatically notice each other. Otherwise, the GM compares the Dexterity (Stealth) checks of anyone Hiding with the passive Wisdom (Perception) score of each creature on the opposing side. Any character or monster that doesn’t notice a threat is surprised at the start of the encounter. If you’re surprised, you can’t move or take an action on your first turn of 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 determines the order of turns during combat. When combat starts, every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in the initiative order. The GM makes one roll for an entire group of identical creatures, so each member of the group acts at the same time. The GM ranks the combatants in order from the one with the highest Dexterity check total to the one with the lowest. This is the order (called the initiative order) in which they act during each round. The initiative order remains the same from round to round. Tied characters and Monsters each roll a d20 to determine the order, highest roll going first.


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.


Having inspiration gives a character an obvious benefit: being able to gain advantage on one ability check, attack roll, or saving throw. A character can have no more than one inspiration at a time. You gain inspiration when you impress the DM by doing things that are cool such as heroic stunts, awesome roleplay, being consistent to their character, achieving victory or anything that strikes my fancy.