Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

D&D 5E – Character Sheet Instructions

party_smallOkay, now what do we do with this Character Sheet?

Filling in the 5E Character Sheet Box by Box

These instructions are for use with the character sheet you can download HERE. You can print a blank Character Sheet and fill it out by hand using these instructions. If you fill it out on your computer, the boxes that will be filled in for you are shown in red.

Player: This is you
Campaign: This is the name of the campaign. Ask the DM.
Character Creation Date: The date that you create this character. [Believe me, years from now, when you find this sheet among your old D&D stuff, you will want to know this.]
Current XP: Your character starts off at first level and with 0 experience points. You will be earning experience points as you adventure. Your DM will tell you how many experience points your character earned at the end of each different adventure, and occasionally more often. You can keep a running total here.
Next Level Goal: This is how many experience points you need to advance to the next level. Refer to the table in the PHB. You need 300 points to advance from first level to second level.
Name: This is your Character’s name. If you can’t think of a name ask the DM for advice.
Race: Enter your character’s race here. It can be Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, Human, Dragonborn, Gnome, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, or Tiefling. Check with the DM first, he may not have all these races in his campaign world.
Sex: M or F –your choice, there is no in-game advantage to either sex.
Alignment: Your character can be any alignment you choose but your DM may not allow evil aligned player characters. The possible alignments are: Lawful good (LG), Neutral good (NG), Chaotic good (CG), Lawful neutral (LN), Neutral (N), Chaotic neutral (CN), Lawful evil (LE), Neutral evil (NE), and Chaotic evil (CE).
Class: Enter your character’s class in this box. You may choose from Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock or Wizard.
Level: This is your character’s current level. You start out at level 1. For multi-class characters, this is the total of all their levels in all of their classes. A character’s level can never exceed 20. If filling this out on your computer, many of the fields on the sheet will be filled in when you enter a number here.
Size: This depends on your character’s race. Gnomes and Halflings are small (S), all other standard races are medium (M)
Height: Select any height that is appropriate for your race.
Weight: Select any height that is appropriate for your race.
Speed: This is the number of feet you can move in one combat round. Dwarf 25 (not reduced by wearing heavy armor), Elf 30, Wood Elf 35, Halfling 25, Human 30, Dragonborn 30, Gnome 25, Half-elf 30, Half-Orc 30, Tiefling 30.
If your character is wearing heavy armor, and his strength score is less than the minimum listed for that armor, his speed is reduced by 10.
Initiative: This is your initiative modifier. When you roll for your character’s initiative at the beginning of combat, you add this to your initiative roll. Unless you have some feature or ability that affects this, your initiative modifier is the same as your Dexterity modifier.
Ability Score: Using a method approve by your DM, determine your character’s ability scores, modify them according to your character’s race and enter the scores in the corresponding boxes.
Ability Modifier: For each ability, the modifier is determined by subtracting 10 from the ability score and then dividing the result by 2 (rounding down). Or you can simply look it up on the table in the PHB.
Saving Throws: This is the saving throw modifier for each ability. It is the same as the ability modifier, unless your character is proficient in that ability’s saving throw. This is typically a proficiency you get because of your race. If you are proficient, check the small box and add your proficiency bonus (see below) to the ability modifier to get your saving throw modifier.
Armored: This is typically 10 + armor bonus if wearing armor + shield bonus if using a shield.
If wearing light armor add your Dex modifier.
If wearing medium armor add your Dex modifier up to a maximum of +2
You don’t add your Dex modifier to your armor class if you are wearing heavy armor.
Without Armor: 10 + Dexterity modifier (unless a class feature overrides this). Note that if your Dexterity modifier is negative, it lowers your armor class.
This box is where you list your maximum hit points. At first level this will be the highest roll of your hit dice (see below) plus your Constitution modifier.
Hit Dice: Here you enter the type of hit die your character uses and the number of hit die of that type you have. At first level your character has 1 hit die. The hit die type depends on your character’s class; Barbarian 1d12, Bard 1d8, Cleric 1d8, Druid 1d8, Fighter 1d10, Monk 1d8, Paladin 1d10, Ranger 1d10, Rogue 1d8, Sorcerer 1d6, Warlock 1d8, Wizard 1d6.
Current Hit Points: As your character takes damage, he loses hit points. You can use this box to track the damage.
Temporary Hit Points: Some magic spells or other game effects can grant your character what are called “temporary hit points.” You can list these here and track their loss. You lose these before you lose regular hit points. You lose any remaining temporary hit points after finishing a long rest.
Available Hit Dice: You have one hit die for each level. At the end of a short rest, you can roll one or more of these hit die and, for each die rolled, recover the indicated number of hit points plus your character’s Constitution modifier. You can use this space to keep track of the number of hit die you have left to use for healing. After a long rest, you regain a number of hit die equal to half your total number of them, or a minimum of one hit die.
Death Saves: When you start your turn with 0 hit points you make a death saving throw. You must roll 1d20 and on a roll of 10 or higher you succeed, otherwise you fail. On your third success you become stable, on your third failure you die. A role of 1 counts as two failures. A roll of 20 counts as two successes. You can use this space to track your progress.
Place a check in this box when you get inspiration. Remove the check when you use it. You either have inspiration or you don’t. Your DM can award your character inspiration, typically for good (or entertaining) roll playing. If you have inspiration, you can spend it to get advantage on any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check. You can give up your inspiration to another character if you think he deserves is.
You can use this area to keep track of your character’s level of exhaustion. Your DM will tell you when your character is susceptible to a level of exhaustion.
List your proficiency bonus here. It starts out as +2 at first level and increases as you advance in level.
This is your Wisdom modifier + your proficiency bonus +10.
Skills: Your character will have proficiency in certain skills (refer to Page two). For each skill he is proficient in, place a check in the box by that skill. Add your proficiency bonus to the associated ability modifier to determine the bonus you apply to these skill checks. When he attempts to perform a skill that he is not proficient in, it becomes a simple ability check, so enter the ability modifier for that skill’s ability.
Saves: List any ability or other saves (such as poison for example) where your character would receive a proficiency bonus to his saving throw.
Tools: If your character is proficient in the use of any types of tools, list them here.
Weapons: List the type of weapons your character is proficient with.
Armor: List the type of armor your character is proficient with. 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.
Other: This is a catch-all for anything that your character has proficiency in that doesn’t fit into any of the other categories.
There is room to list up to 5 different weapons. If you have more weapons than this you can print additional sheets.
Weapon: Enter a description for the weapon. Note that if you are filling this out on a computer, the calculated fields for this weapon will remain blank until you enter some text on this line.
Reach or Range: Melee weapons have a reach of 5 ft. unless they have the “reach” property and then it becomes 10 ft. Weapons that can be thrown and all ranged weapons have a normal and maximum range.
Type: The type of damage; bludgeoning (B), Piercing (P), or slashing (S)
Ability (STR or DEX): Most melee weapons use your Strength modifier, and most range weapons use your Dexterity modifier. If it is a melee weapon with the Finesse property, you can choose to use your Dexterity modifier. If it is a range weapon with the Thrown property, you can choose to use your Strength modifier. Check the box next to the ability you will be using.
Proficiency: If you have proficiency with this weapon. Check this small box and enter your proficiency bonus in the large box.
STR/DEX: Enter the appropriate ability modifier in this box. If you are fighting with two weapons, and this is your second light weapon, you don’t get an ability bonus to damage with this weapon so remove the check between the attack and damage boxes and do not enter the ability modifier for damage.
Magic: If the weapon receives a magic adjustment, enter this in both the attack and damage rows.
Misc. Enter any additional bonuses (or penalties) to attack and/or damage.
Attack Bonus: Add up all the attack adjustments and enter the total here. You will add this bonus to your attack rolls.
Damage Bonus: Add up all the damage adjustments and enter the total here. You will add this bonus to your damage rolls.
Damage Dice: Enter the number and type of die to roll for damage. For weapons with the Versatile property, also ether the damage if the weapon is used two handed. For instance, for a Longsword you could enter 1d8 (1d10).
Ammo: For weapons that use ammunition, you can use these boxes to check off your ammunition as it is used. If you take the time after a battle, you can normally recover half of your expended ammunition.
This is for any notes you may want to add to help you remember details about your character. There may not be enough room here to describe all of his special abilities in detail, but you could list them here and keep the details on a separate sheet, or look them up in the Players Handbook, until you have used them enough to remember how they work. For example, for a first level Dwarf Fighter you might note that he has Darkvision, Dwarven Resilience, Dueling, and Second Wind.
If you are filling this out on your computer, there are two non-printing boxes at the bottom of page one.
Update Calculations: All of the information filled in automatically for you should update whenever you make any change. Sometimes it doesn’t. You can press this button to force the form to update all of the calculated fields.
Clear: Be careful to not press this unless you want to erase everything from all of the fields on all pages. If you press it by accident, you may be able to recover the lost information if you press CTRL Z. This button is useful for clearing all fields and starting over, or before printing a blank form to fill out by hand.

The first page contains everything you may need to reference during combat. The second page contains information about your character’s personality, his physical description, his background and his equipment. There is a wider margin on the left side of the first page and on the right side of the second page, so if you print them on the front and back side of the same sheet there should be room to punch holes for a binder.
If your character normally wears armor, list the type of armor here.
Armor Class: List the armors armor class (AC) here
Category: This will be Light (L), Medium (M) or Heavy (H)
Don and Doff: The amount of time it takes to put on (don) and take off (doff). Refer to the PHB page 146.
Strength: Only used if the armor is in the heavy category. This is the minimum strength to use this armor without receiving a -10 ft penalty to your speed.
Weight: How much the armor weighs.
If you have a shield, list if it is wood or metal.
Weight: All standard shields weigh 6 lb.
AC: All shields provide +2 to your armor class.
This is where you can keep track of magical items that provide a bonus to your armor class. If the item requires attunement, you can only be attuned to 3 magic items at the same time, so you may want to keep track of attunement here as well.
For tracking items that your character owns. You can get the weight for standard equipment packs HERE. For higher level characters, you may only want to list items here that your character always carries with him.
Carrying Capacity: This is your Strength score X 15.
Push, Dag, or Lift: This is twice your Carrying Capacity.
Total Weight Carried: Simply add up the weight of everything listed above.
Lifestyle: Your downtime, between adventures, lifestyle can be Wretched, Squalid, Poor, Modest, Comfortable, Wealthy, or Aristocratic. If everyone in the party wants to stay together between adventures they should all have the same lifestyle.
Expenses/day: This depends on your lifestyle. Refer to the PHB page 157.
This area is for keeping track of your character’s monetary and magical possessions. You can track the number of Copper Pieces (CP), Silver Pieces (SP), Electrum Pieces (EP), Gold pieces (GP) and Platinum Pieces (PP). [More information on coins in the post HERE.]
There is a space for Jewels & Gems [More information on gems in the post HERE], Magic items, and Other items.
Age, Height, Weight, Eyes, Hair, Skin: Use the description of your character’s race in the Player’s Handbook as a guide.
Gender, Handedness: your choice. There is no game advantage or penalty regardless of your choice.
Physical Description: List distinguishing features- scars, tattoos, etc.
Draw a picture of your character in the frame. If you are using Adobe Reader, you can click on the image area and it will pop-up a “Select Icon” menu. You can use this to browse your computer for an image to place in this area. There are many good character sketches available on-line. The image must be in PDF file format. There are free utilities available that you can use to convert image files into PAF format. You may find one that you like HERE.
Languages: List the languages your character knows in this box. Unless you choose otherwise, your character can read and wright any language that he can speak.
The rest of this page is straight forward. All of this information is useful in role playing your character. You may want to glance over this whenever you are trying to decide what your character would do in a particular situation.

This page is obviously for spellcasters. If your character can’t cast spells, there is no reason for you to print this sheet.
Primary Ability: This your character’s primary spellcasting ability. This will be Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma – depending upon your Class.
Spell save DC: This is 8 + your proficiency modifier + the ability modifier for your primary spellcasting ability.
Spell attack modifier: This is your proficiency modifier + the ability modifier for your primary spellcasting ability .
Number of Cantrips Known: This number depends on your class and level.
Spell Slots and Castings
Enter the number of spell slots you have available in the space next to each spell level. As you expend spell slots to cast spells, you can check off the used slots in the boxes below.
Spellbook / Known Spells
If your character’s spellcasting class uses a spellbook, you can use this area to list the spells that it contains. If your class requires that you know a certain number of spells, you can list them here.
Use the checkbox next to a spell to indicate a spell that you have prepared. List cantrip’s as Level 0. There isn’t enough room here for full spell descriptions, so you can use the description space to list the major spell effect. For easy reference to the full spell descriptions, you may want to use spell cards, available HERE.

The main thing to remember is that the character sheet is yours. Use it in any way that makes sense to you. You can write outside the boxes, use circles and arrows, scribble in the margins, or use it in any way that you choose. Also, you don’t have to completely fill out every box before you start playing. If you never decide on your character’s eye color, it won’t effect the game. [As a DM, I do strongly recommend that you give your character a name before your second gaming session. I have played too many times with one or more “no name” characters. This can be a distraction.]

Here are a couple of tips:
First, use pencil instead of ink. Many things can happen during an adventure that can cause things to change so keep an eraser handy.
Second, I find it useful to apply 3M brand “magic mending tape” over the areas that I know will be changing often, such as current hit points. You can write on it with a pencil and it stands up to frequent erasures without leaving a hole in the paper.
Now that you have filled out your Character sheet, let the game begin!

D&D 5E – Character Sheet – Autofill (rev4)


Revised Auto-fill Character Sheet for Dungeons and Dragons 5e.

You can download the free character sheet here: 5.0 – Character Sheet – RRH-fillable – Rev4a.pdf
If you downloaded this file before February 23, 2015 and have had problems with it – it has been updated (embedded fonts). You may want to replace your older version with this one.

There is a post with box-by-box instructions on how to fill out the Character Sheet HERE.

I revised the weapons areas and the special features section on the second page.

The weapon boxes are no longer labeled “Melee Weapon” and “Ranged Weapon”. Any box can be used for ether.  You select to use a Strength or Dexterity ability bonus. For two weapon fighting, you can remove the ability bonus for damage. You can now add a separate bonus (or penalty) to attack or damage. The damage dice box is big enough to list two damage amounts (for versatile weapons).

I removed the notes section on the second page to allow more room for trait and feature descriptions.

D&D 5E – Mass Combat Rules


Rules for conducting massive battles in D&D.

You can download a free copy here: D&D Wars 5E.pdf

This is a complete re-write of the rules I published before (3.5 version here) (Next version here). In keeping with the spirit of 5e, these are simpler and play faster than any of my previous attempts.

D&D Wars is a supplement to fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons that provides a set of mass combat rules for conducting battles with units as small as one to armies numbering in the thousands. D&D Wars are not simply armies making battle with each other. It is armies intermixed with monsters and NPCs. Added to this mix is a group of PC heroes doing what they can to change the tide of the war.

– The rules are compatible with Dungeons and Dragons version 5E.

– There are rules for creating armies comprised of units of various sizes and compositions.

– It has consistent rules for scaling the battle from a small group of villagers with torches and pitchforks all the way up to epic battles with thousands of soldiers on both sides.

– The rules accommodate individual monsters wandering across the battlefield as well as other NPCs and PCs that are not part of the units.

– It uses standard combat rules without modification as far as possible.


D&D 5E – Time Travel


Time Travel Rules for Fifth Edition D&D

You can download a free copy here: Time Travel for DnD 5E.pdf

I finally updated my Time Travel rules for 5E. They aren’t much different than the rules I made for D&D Next (here), but I have expanded them and added a section with ideas on how to incorporate these rules into a Time Travel Campaign. I also added a Forgotten Realms timeline to which I added some Pre and Post history for use in a time travel campaign.


D&D 5E – Quick Reference – Chase Rules


Quick Reference – Chase Rules

Nobody told me that the new Dungeon Master’s Guide was going to contain rules for conducting chases. Hurray! These are good, fast and easy rules. You should use them. This is my interpretation of those rules along with my house rules and some Chase Complications tables.

My house rules are shown in blue. I find that using miniature figures helps when running a chase, so the following rules assume that you are using figures on a grid. Standard combat rules apply except as noted below. Characters that pause to take an action, other than Dash, move a distance equal to their move rate. Most characters use the Dash action and move a distance equal to twice their move rate.

  1. Setup. Determine where everyone involved in the chase is located. The only thing that matters is how far apart everyone is. Place the lead quarry first, then place the others at the appropriate distance behind him. If their locations aren’t pre-determined based on the encounter, you can randomly set the distance from the lead pursuer to the closest quarry at the speed factor of the fastest creature + 5x(1d6) feet.
  2. Determine Initiative. Set initiative order based on position. The lead character is assigned the highest initiative, followed by the others in order of their distance behind him. This initiative order may change from round to round as creatures pass each other. Ties go to the one with the highest dexterity score.
  3. Track Movement. After the lead quarry determines his total move distance – write that distance down so it can be referenced by all players. Don’t move that figure. On each participant’s turn, compare the distance he moved to that of the lead quarry. If they are the same, the distance between them remains the same, so his figure doesn’t move. If he moved farther than the lead quarry, subtract the lead quarry’s move from his and move his figure forward by that amount. If the lead quarry moved farther than he did, subtract his move distance from the lead quarry’s and move his figure back by this amount.
  4. No Opportunity Attacks. No one involved directly in the chase can use an opportunity attack against anyone else in the chase.
  5. Track Exhaustion. You can use the Dash action a number of times equal to 3+ your Constitution modifier. For each Dash action after that you must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution check or take one level of exhaustion. Your speed becomes 0 when you reach level 5.
  6. Pursuer Overtakes Quarry.
    1. Attack. If a pursuer is able to move into a quarry’s space, he may instead use a bonus action to perform a single melee attack against the quarry when he is within reach. The attack is made at a disadvantage. Note that the pursuer cannot use this option if he can only move within reach, but could not overtake the quarry if he chose to.
    2. Overtake. A pursuer overtakes a quarry when he moves into its space. He can then use a bonus action to attempt to grapple the creature. Normal grapple rules apply. If successful, both pursuer and quarry are stopped. Rather than grapple, the pursuer may attempt to trip, push over or tackle the quarry. The pursuer has advantage on the attack. As an optional rule, an attack that fails by 5 or more results in the pursuer falling prone.
  7. Quarry Escapes. The quarry can attempt to escape if it is out of sight for all of the pursuers. He makes a Dexterity (Stealth) check and must beat the passive Wisdom (Perception) scores of the pursuers.
  8. Complications. Roll 1d20 at the end of your turn and compare that roll to the appropriate Chase Complications table. The complication is not applied to your character, but rather to the next character in initiative order. You can spend an inspiration point to negate the complication you rolled or one that effects you. Rather than rolling on the table, the DM may allow a quarry to impose a condition on a pursuer to slow him down. It might be one listed on the table, or one of his own creation. Another option to using a table would be for the DM to declare conditions based on his map or the terrain and the path the quarry takes.

Prone. A complication may leave you prone. To get up from prone you subtract the distance represented by half your move rate from your total move distance.

Difficult Terrain. Each foot of difficult terrain uses two feet of your move rate. So if you cross five or ten feet of difficult terrain you can simply subtract five or ten feet from your total distance traveled.

Complication Tables. The following are Complication Tables that I have created for different terrain types. The first table is a generic complications table that can be used in a pinch, when you just need to run a chase quickly. The tables that follow that one list a complication type for each situation. Look up the type in the generic complication table.

 Generic Chase Complications

1d20 Type Complication Examples
1 Hazard Make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw to navigate the impediment. On a failed save, you fall 1d4 x 5 feet, taking 1d6 bludgeoning damage per 10 feet fallen as normal, and land prone. Hole, crevice, trap, unseen obstacle, steep incline, heavily broken ground, the path skirts a quicksand pit, log bridge crossing a stream, running on rooftops, slippery floors, jump through window
2 Cramped space Make a DC 15 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to get through this space. On a failed check, the obstacle counts as 10 feet of difficult terrain. street, market, public building, alleyway, shoppers, stationary crowd
3 Poor visibility Make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, you are blinded until the end of your turn. While blinded in this way, your speed is halved. blind corner, woods, dense brush or busy area
4 Barrier Make a DC 15 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to get past the obstacle. On a failed check you fall prone. wall, fence, cliff, thick hedges, tall fences, building, river, canyon or swamp
5 Impediment Make a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (your choice) to get past the impediment. On a failed check, the obstacle counts as 5 feet of difficult terrain. Tree branch, fallen log, chicken coop or vegetable cart, trail suddenly drops off, flock of birds
6 Crowd Make a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (your choice) to make your way through the crowd unimpeded. On a failed check, the crowd counts as 10 feet of difficult terrain. fleeing (or angry) peasants, a funeral procession, people leaving a performance, a moving crowd
7 Entanglement Make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw to avoid it. On a failed save, you are caught as if in a net and restrained. See chapter 5 “Equipment,” of the Player’s Handbook for rules on escaping a net. Clotheslines, curtains, banners, drying pots, chimes, hanging meat, vines
8 Animal herd Make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, you are knocked about and take 1d4 bludgeoning damage and 1d4 piercing damage. Must pass through a herd of animals. Camels, Donkeys, Horses, Cows, etc.
9 Uneven Ground Make a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to navigate the area. On a failed check, the ground counts as 10 feet of difficult terrain. Any stairs of 4 or more steps (less than 4 steps is considered an “impediment”), river bank, hill, 5 feet or more change in elevation in 10 feet of horizontal movement.
10 Obstacles Make a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Intelligence check (your choice) to past. On a failed check, the maze counts as 10 feet of difficult terrain. Tables, chairs, pews, benches, carts, crates, field of boulders, field of giant mushrooms.
11-20 No Complication


Complications by terrain type

The headings are:
1d20      results of your d20 roll
Complication     This is what causes the obstruction.
Type      This refers to the Generic Chase Complications above.

Aerial Complications

Complications are easier to avoid when you are flying, checks are made with advantage.

1d20 Complication Type
1 Flock of birds Impediment
2 Tower Hazard
3 Storm clouds Barrier
4 Updraft Impediment
5 Smoke Poor visibility
6 Turbulence Cramped space
7 Smokestack Hazard
8 Ship mast Hazard
9 Dust Poor visibility
10 Ice buildup Entanglement
11-20 No Complication

Artic Complications

1d20 Complication Type
1 Crevice Hazard
2 Snow drifts Cramped space
3 Blowing snow Poor visibility
4 Ice cliff Barrier
5 Chunks of broken ice Impediment
6 Herd of walrus Animal herd
7 Snow bank Uneven Ground
8 Field of Ice boulders Obstacles
9 Ice bridge over river Hazard
10 Pond covered by thin ice Hazard
11-20 No Complication

Beach Complications

1d20 Complication Type
1 Tidal pool Impediment
2 Crevice Hazard
3 River Barrier
4 Flock of birds Impediment
5 Fishing nets Entanglement
6 Sand hill Uneven Ground
7 Lobster traps Obstacles
8 Pier Hazard
9 Driftwood Impediment
10 Sea turtles Animal herd
11-20 No Complication

Cave Complications

1d20 Complication Type
1 Crevice Hazard
2 Narrow passage Cramped space
3 Bats Impediment
4 Floor slopes up or down Uneven Ground
5 Giant mushrooms Obstacles
6 Roots across passage Entanglement
7 Stalagmites Impediment
8 Wet floor Hazard
9 Ruble covered floor Impediment
10 Lava crossing Barrier
11-20 No Complication

Church Complications

1d20 Complication Type
1 Curtains across path Entanglement
2 Stairway Uneven Ground
3 Pews Obstacles
4 Narrow hallway Cramped space
5 Highly polished floor Hazard
6 Smoke filled room Poor visibility
7 Chimes across path Entanglement
8 Railing across path Hazard
9 Balcony to climb Barrier
10 Loose rugs on floor Impediment
11-20 No Complication

City Complications

1d20 Complication Type
1 Alleyway Cramped space
2 Bridge Hazard
3 Crowd Crowd
4 Dangling Things Entanglement
5 Market Cramped space
6 Fence or wall across path Barrier
7 Garden Impediment
8 Large Animals Animal herd
9 Rooftop Hazard
10 Stables Impediment
11-20 No Complication

Desert Complications

1d20 Complication Type
1 Dunes Uneven Ground
2 Oasis Impediment
3 Quicksand Hazard
4 River bed Impediment
5 Whirlwind Impediment
6 Cliff Barrier
7 Steep grade Uneven Ground
8 Cactus patch Impediment
9 Rocky Ground Obstacles
10 Crevice Hazard
11-20 No Complication

 Dungeon Complications

1d20 Complication Type
1 Pit Hazard
2 Stairs up Uneven Ground
3 Stairs down Uneven Ground
4 Coffins Obstacles
5 Rubble Impediment
6 Columns or Statues Cramped space
7 Slime covered floor Hazard
8 Natural cavern Impediment
9 Torture chamber Impediment
10 Chains across path Entanglement
11-20 No Complication

 Forest Complications

1d20 Complication Type
1 Log bridge crossing a stream Hazard
2 Heavily forested Cramped space
3 Dense brush Poor visibility
4 Thick hedges Barrier
5 Fallen tree Impediment
6 Vines across path Entanglement
7 The trail suddenly drops off Impediment
8 Panicked monkeys Impediment
9 2′ tall ferns obscuring path Hazard
10 Thorn bushes Impediment
11-20 No Complication

Graveyard Complications

1d20 Complication Type
1 Open grave Hazard
2 Low fence Hazard
3 High fence Barrier
4 Loose dirt Impediment
5 Tombstones Cramped space
6 Crypt Impediment
7 Coffin Impediment
8 Funeral Coach Impediment
9 Funeral procession Crowd
10 Vine covered graves Entanglement
11-20 No Complication

Indoor Complications

1d20 Complication Type
1 Narrow hallway Cramped space
2 Stairs Uneven Ground
3 Dining or sales area Obstacles
4 Curtains or beads across path Entanglement
5 Littered floor Impediment
6 Jump off balcony Hazard
7 Jump through window Hazard
8 Kitchen Impediment
9 Slippery floors Hazard
10 Hole in floor Hazard
11-20 No Complication

Mountain Complications

1d20 Complication Type
1 Crevice Hazard
2 Steep incline Hazard
3 Path narrows Cramped space
4 Blind Corner Poor visibility
5 Cliff Barrier
6 Flock of birds Impediment
7 Vines crossing path Entanglement
8 Mountain goats Animal herd
9 Field of boulders Obstacles
10 Log bridge across chasm Hazard
11-20 No Complication

Ocean Complications

1d20 Complication Type
1 Coral maze Hazard
2 School of dolphins Animal herd
3 Kelp beds Entanglement
4 Narrow strait Cramped space
5 Precipitation Poor visibility
6 Reef Hazard
7 Swell Uneven Ground
8 Flotsam Impediment
9 Fishing nets Entanglement
10 School of sea turtles Obstacles
11-20 No Complication

Swamp Complications

1d20 Complication Type
1 Quicksand Hazard
2 Thick Vegetation Cramped space
3 Muck & Mire Impediment
4 Insect swarm Poor visibility
5 Shallow water Hazard
6 Deep Water Barrier
7 Vines crossing path Entanglement
8 Lots of alligators Animal herd
9 Slick, algae covered ground Hazard
10 Fallen logs Impediment
11-20 No Complication


Plans for 2015


My plans for this blog for 2015.

Now that the fifth edition is here, my goal for the coming year is first to convert all of my previous rule supplements to D&D 5E. I have already done this with my module “Fires of Hell” and Chase rules. Still to do are Ship to Ship Combat, Time Travel, Mass Combat, and  Skyships (rules for battles in the air and in space). If you have a need for one of these, let me know and I will try to do it first. I will also continue to add chapters to my novel “Dragon Hunt“. As ideas come to me regarding playing aids, I will add them.

As I have mentioned here before, 5E is the version I had hoped 4E would have been. If it had been, I would have never created “Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 – Lite“. I will leave it here for any of you who may be playing with those rules, but I will not be making any future changes or revisions to it.

If there are any areas of the game not covered in the Player’s Guide or the Dungeon Master’s Guide that you would like for me to address, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Here’s hoping you each have a wonderful year. Happy Gaming!



Originally posted on KEEP ROLLIN SIXES:


wardukeadndpointsword Warduke

Cursed items are magic items with some sort of potentially negative impact. Sometimes they’re directly bad for the user; sometimes they’re just inconvenient. Occasionally they mix bad with good, forcing characters to make difficult choices.

Cursed Item Common Curses

d% Curse
01–15 Delusion
16–35 Opposite effect or target
36–45 Intermittent functioning
46–60 Requirement
61–75 Drawback
76–90 Completely different effect


Substitute specific cursed item

Delusion: The user believes the item is what it appears to be, yet it actually has no magical power other than to deceive. The user is mentally fooled into thinking the item is functioning and cannot be convinced otherwise without the help of a remove curse spell.

Opposite Effect or Target: These cursed items malfunction, so that either they do the opposite of what the creator intended, or they target the user instead of someone else. The interesting point to keep in mind…

View original 1,443 more words

D&D 5E – Stealth and Hiding


PCs being sneaky. Clarification of Stealth and Hiding Rules.

In the new 5th edition Player’s Handbook, the rules for Hiding/Sneaking are a bit unclear. In my attempt to make sense out of rules for hiding, I finally realized that the rules for stealth and for hiding are one in the same.

The rulebooks never give a precise definition of hiding. There is no “hidden condition”. After searching through the rulebooks, the best definition of “being hidden” that I could come up with is this: “Your opponent either doesn’t know that you are there, doesn’t pay any attention to you, or doesn’t know where exactly you are located”. Using this broad definition works well with all of the rules as presented. It also means that you could be hidden even if all your foe had to do is to look in your direction to see you. When he did, you would no longer be hidden. It also means that when you are successful at being stealthy, it has the same effect as being hidden.

The main rule in the Player’s Handbook for hiding is: “You can’t hide from a creature that can see you.” This sounds like it is saying that you must either be in a heavily obscured area or have total cover to even attempt to hide. I contend that this is not correct. It only means that whoever you are attempting to hide from is not looking in your direction (the DM has the final say on this).

“Being stealthy” is trying to remain undetected which is the same as trying to hide. Examples abound in the Player’s Handbook to support this idea. In the section on surprise, the use of the terms “be stealthy” and “hiding” are used to mean the same thing. In the section on noticing threats “hidden threats” obviously includes “a stealthy creature following the group”. On the section on stealth – traveling at a slow pace, it says to refer to the rules on hiding when trying to “surprise or sneak by other creatures.” In the section on perception “hear monsters moving stealthily in the forest,” “orcs lying in ambush on a road,” and “thugs hiding in the shadows of an alley” are all examples of creatures that your Wisdom (Perception) check lets you detect. And in the section on 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.” Which are all examples of being hidden.

So when can I attempt to hide?

You can attempt to hide whenever the creature or creatures you are attempting to hide from can’t see you. You could be invisible. (Being hidden is different form the “Invisible” condition in that you can be invisible and still not be hidden if your opponent can tell where you are by hearing you or by some other means.) Or you could be on the opposite side of anything that provides total cover, or in a heavily obscured area (such as darkness if your foe doesn’t have darkvision), or your foe could be distracted (if the DM agrees). You can also attempt to hide if you are in a lightly obscured area if you have the Skulker feat.

With the wood elf’s “Mask of the Wild” ability you can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena. From the wording I take it to mean that you can’t use this ability to attempt to hide in dim lighting (although your DM might allow it), but you can in the area of effect of an insect plague.

With the lightfoot halfling’s “Naturally Stealthy” ability you can attempt to hide even when you are obscured only by a creature that is at least one size larger than you. You would have to first move to a position that placed that creature between you and the creature you are hiding from.

The Rogue’s “Cunning Action” that allows him to take a hide action as a bonus action each round, does not release him from the need to meet at least one of the above requirements before attempting to hide.

How do I hide?

As a hide action in combat, or any time you attempt to hide, you make a Dexterity (Stealth) check and write down that number. As long as you remain in hiding, if any creature has a chance to detect your presence, your check must beat their Passive Wisdom (Perception) score. I would rule that if you are hiding and cannot be seen and are silent the creatures would normally have no chance to detect you. If a creature is actively trying to locate you, compare your check to a Wisdom (Perception) check that the creature makes at that time. If you cannot be seen, or if you are in an area that is lightly obscured, they have disadvantage on the check.

What benefits do I receive from being hidden?

If you are hidden before the first round of combat you can surprise your opponents and get a free round to attack them before they can react. (You are no longer hidden after you attack.)

On all attacks against you, the attacker must first identify where he thinks you are located. The attack will automatically miss if you are not in that 5 foot area. If you are in that area, the attack is made with disadvantage on the attack roll. The DM should require a roll with disadvantage, even if you are not in the targeted area and simply tell the attacker that his attack missed.

If you are hidden you make attacks with advantage. However, you will no longer be hidden if the attack hits or misses. If you are in a heavily obscured area you will have a disadvantage to your attack rolls from being blinded. This will cancel the advantage from being hidden. The exception to this is if the area is heavily obscured from darkness and you have darkvision and your target creature is within your darkvision range.

When am I no longer hidden?

You can come out of hiding at any time of your choosing. You are no longer hidden if you attack someone even if the attack misses (exception: if you have the Skulker feat, attacking with a ranged weapon and missing doesn’t reveal your position). You are no longer hidden if you move to a location where your opponent can see you, or if your opponent moves into a position where he can see you, or if the object or creature that was providing your total cover moves or is no longer providing cover for some reason. If you make a noise, or do anything that could give away your position, the creatures you are hiding from can make another Wisdom (Perception) check to detect you.

If you move from a heavily obscured area to a lightly obscured area you can continue try to continue to hide but the creatures you are hiding from get a Wisdom (Perception) check to detect you.

Once you are no longer hidden your opponents will know where you are so they no longer have to guess where to attack. But if you can still not be seen (if you are invisible, for example), attack rolls against you have disadvantage, and your attack rolls still have advantage.

If I am hiding behind a tree, can I stand out and attack with my ranged weapon with advantage and then return to hiding on my round of combat?

It depends. If you are doing this during a fight, it is assumed that all the creatures in the fight are alert and aware their surroundings, so they will spot you when you move to where you can be seen, you are no longer hiding so you don’t get advantage to the attack. However, if the fight hasn’t started yet, you have a chance to surprise them as long as they aren’t looking in your direction. In that case you an attack with advantage, but you will no longer be hidden as soon as you attack. If you are a 2nd level or higher rogue you can use a bonus action to attempt to hide again. But remember, if they see you duck behind a tree, they have a good guess at where you are hiding unless they are very very stupid.

Be a good DM and have the players describe what their characters are doing. If it makes logical sense, go for it. Don’t let the players use the rules to turn “hide” into a magical condition.

D&D 5E – Adventure Module – Fires of Hell

Fires of Hell - Cover

A free adventure module for fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons.

Download the free adventure here: Fires of Hell

This  adventure takes place after a Total Party Kill (TPK).  It allows a group of DEAD PCs to earn a second chance by fighting their way through the first layer of Hell to retrieve a stolen artifact. It is unlike other modules in that it is written to accommodate a party of any size and any level (1 to 20).

This is a complete re-write of the module I posted previously. I updated the entire module to work with D&D 5E rules. It also includes converted monsters that are not in the 5E Monster Manual – on new color reference sheets – Abishai Devils, Kaorti Devils, Nupperibo Devils, Cranium Rat Swarms, and Winged Fiend Swarms (a new monster of my own creation), and Charon (Boatman of the Lower Planes).                           

I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please post any comments you may have. Let me know if you find any of this useful.

12 Days of Christmas

12DaysOfChristmasThanks to our friends at https://twitter.com/wizards_dnd


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