This wiki is intended to be a quick and easy reference guide to the most-used rule sets of DnD 5th edition. Most/all of the important terms are tagged and can be queried for so that the particular rule you are in search of can be navigated to easily.


d20 + (Attribute Bonus) + Proficiency Bonus (if applicable)

These numerical values will dictate various aspects of your character. Every action you take will utilize one of your stats to determine success by adding your Attribute Bonus to the d20 roll. This is known as an Ability Check I.E. d20 + (Attribute Bonus)

The Attribute Bonus is derived from your attribute score minus 10, and then halved, rounded down. For instance: 10-11 (0), 12-13 (1), etc.

Represents the physical brawn of your character. This attribute influences the probability of success for activities such as breaking down a door, grappling with an opponent, or landing a blow with a normal melee weapon.

Represents the nimbleness and agility of you character. A higher Dexterity will help a character break free of bonds, be harder to land a blow on in combat, be more difficult to be noticed while sneaking, as well as more likely to land a hit with a ranged or finesse melee weapon.

Represents your character’s hardiness and overall toughness. A higher Constitution will grant extra hp, make a character more resistant to the effects of poison and disease, and anything that directly attacks the vitality of the character.

Represents your character’s ability to analyse data and recognize patterns. This stat is VERY important for wizards (as it affects both the potency of their spells in addition to their ability to land blows with spell attacks, as well as several other things), but a higher intelligence will help any character to successfully recognize an illusion for what it is, help with any kind of memory check, and affect the outcome of many skills that utilize Int.

Represents your character’s ability to perceive the true nature of things. This is stat is VERY important for Druids and Clerics, and slightly less so for Rangers and Paladins for the same reason with Wizards and Int. A higher Wisdom will help any character to notice when they are being sneaked up on, be able to tell when another is lying, etc.

Represents your character’s force of personality and ability to influence others. This stat is VERY important for Sorcerers, Warlocks and Bards for their spellcasting. Any character can enjoy the other benefits of higher Charisma such as having more success when lying or charming another, or just plain being attractive.

Ability Checks vs. other types of checks
The roll described above is an Ability Check. Certain types of rolls/checks are given special names and while they follow the same formula above they are subject to change based on many spell effects and class features as well as being eligible for the Proficiency Bonus.

These checks are:
Weapon Attacks
Spell Attacks
Saving Throws
Skill Check

Your character may have extra training or experience with these 4 checks. Your class, race, and background will determine which of these checks your character is Proficient in. The Proficiency Bonus value is level-based and can be found on your class table in the Player’s Handbook.

This is a flat bonus added onto the previous example roll above: d20 + (Attribute Bonus) + Proficiency Bonus (if applicable).

Proficiency bonus is awarded if the character is proficient with the weapon used in the attack.

Melee Attacks—
Attacks with a melee weapon that are NOT finesse use the Strength attribute:
d20 + (Str Bonus) + Proficiency Bonus (if proficient with weapon) VS. enemy AC

Ranged and Finesse Melee Attacks—
These attacks use the Dexterity attribute (the weapon description will say if has the finesse quality—daggers, rapiers, etc.):
d20 + (Dex bonus) + Proficiency Bonus (if proficient with weapon) VS. enemy AC

When the attack roll has met or exceeded the AC of an enemy, damage is then rolled. The weapon description will include the damage die, and you will add the same attribute bonus that was used for the attack roll:
d(provided by weapon description) + (Str or Dex bonus)

Many spells require an attack roll to hit much like the attacks above. This is a spell attack and follows the same formula, but uses either your Int, Wis, or Cha bonus based on your class. You will ALWAYS add your Proficiency Bonus to your spell attacks:
d20 + (Int, Wis, or Cha Bonus) + Proficiency Bonus

Many times when your character is subjected to a negative effect they will be offered a chance to resist some or all of the effect. There is a saving throw for each Attribute. Proficiency is awarded if your class grants it to you—every class grants it for TWO attributes:
d20 + (Attribute Bonus) + Proficiency Bonus (if awarded by class)

There are certain ability checks that are commonly used—these are broken up into Skills and proficiency may be awarded for using them based on your race, class, and background. Some of these activities revolve around the use of a Kit and that is what one is proficient in.
d20 + (Attribute Bonus) + Proficiency Bonus (if applicable)

The attribute bonus needed for any skill may change based on the circumstances, i.e. a Stealth Check requiring Cha to blend into a crowd, etc.

Any time one of the above actions is taken under circumstances that are particularly favorable you are granted Advantage, and Disadvantage for unfavorable circumstances.

Roll two sets of the required formula for your action and take the HIGHER or LOWER result on the d20, based on Advantage or Disadvantage.


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