Combat Reference


A band of adventurers sneak up on a bandit camp, capitalising on the element of surprise.

If an individual or the entire party tries to be stealthy they must announce it and roll a Dexterity (Stealth) check/s. Your GM will compare it to the passive Wisdom (Perception) of each creature on the opposing side. Group checks are determined by the average roll.*

If you are surprised you can’t move, take an action, bonus action or reaction until the first turn ends.

If neither side is being stealthy, they automatically notice each other.


When combat starts, every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in the Initiative order. If there is a tie, the higher Dexterity score will go first.

If you roll a natural 20, you are granted one extra turn at the end of the first turn of combat.*

Your Turn

At any time on your turn you can take one action, one bonus action, one reaction and move a distance up to your movement speed.


Actions you can take are described in our quick guide. Read More.

Bonus Action

Various class features, spells, and other abilities let you take an additional action on your turn called a bonus action. Read More.


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. The opportunity attack is the most common type of reaction. Read More.


On your turn, you can move a distance up to your maximum speed. You can use as much or as little of your speed as you like. Read More.

Moving Between Attacks

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.

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.

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 (double movement cost) for you.

Whether a creature is a friend or an enemy, you can’t willingly end your move in its space.

Other activity on your turn

You can interact with one object or feature of the environment for free. If you want to interact with a second object, you must use your action.

Examples of interaction:

  • draw or put away a weapon
  • open or close a door
  • pick up a dropped item
  • remove a ring from your finger
  • fish a few coins from your belt pouch

Talk ‘ow ya want on ya turn but remember it’s only 6 seconds long! Keep ya blabber to a minimum or I’ll skewer ya, wretched longshanks!


Surprise, Initiative and Your Turn

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 f1ame 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.

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.

Critical Hits

When you score a critical hit (generally a 20 on the d20) you automatically hit regardless of your opponent’s AC. This critical hit inflicts extra damage equal to the maximum number on the damage dice and is added to the original damage roll and any modifiers.*

Critical Fails

When you score a critical fail (1 on the d20) you have fumbled and automatically miss with your attack.

You must roll another d20 to determine the results of your fumble.*

1 Uh oh! Severed limb? GM get creative
2-10 You fall prone or hit yourself
11-19 Minor fumble, the attack misses
20 Fumble recovery, standard hit

Massive Damage*

When you receive damage equal to or more than half of your maximum hit points off a single attack, you must roll an unmodified d20.

1 Stunned until the end of your next turn
2-10 You fall prone
11-20 Unfazed

Damage Resistance

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

Multiple instances of resistance or vulnerability that affect the same damage type count as only one instance.

Called Shots*

In order to perform a called shot, a player must declare their called shot attempt and location before making their attack rolls. Once declared, the player suffers disadvantage on the called shot attack roll. An attack roll suffering disadvantage already automatically fails as a called shot attempt.

Each called shot attempt also modifies a creature’s AC by +2. If the attack roll succeeds, hitting the creature’s modified called shot AC, the attacker hits and deals damage normally, but also deals a called shot effect at the GM’s discretion.


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.

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

When damage reduces you to 0 hit points and there is damage remaining, you die instantly if the remaining damage equals or exceeds your hit point maximum.

Falling Unconscious

If damage reduces you to 0 hit points and fails to kill, you fall unconscious. This ends if you regain any hit points. ​

Death Saves

Whenever you start your turn with 0 hit points, you must make a a death saving throw, to determine whether you creep closer to death or hang onto life.

Roll a d20. If the roll is 10 or higher, you succeed. Otherwise, you fail. On your third success you become stable (see below). On your third failure, you die.

Rolling a 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.

If an Unconscious character takes damage while at 0 HP, they automatically fail one death saving throw, or 2 death saves if the damage is from a critical hit.

If ya gonna die I get first dibs on ya shiny stuff unless ya lucky enough to be brought back to life with a spell such as Revivify.


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 be stabilized with a successful DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine) check or by using a healer’s kit (no check necessary).

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.

Knocking a Creature Out

When an attacker reduces a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack, the attacker can choose to knock the creature however, it is required prior to the attack roll that non-lethal damage is being applied.*

Damage and Healing


When you take your action on your turn, you can take one of the actions presented here plus interact with one object in the environment for free.


Melee or ranged attack

Unarmed Attack

Punch, kick, head-butt etc

Cast a Spell

Casting time 1 action


Double movement speed


Prevent opportunity attack


Improve your defences


Special melee attack


Grant an ally advantage


Choose trigger and action


Special melee attack

Special Feature

Uses an action

Bonus ActionMax 1/turn

Various class features, spells, and other abilities let you take an additional action on your turn called a bonus action.

Offhand Attack

Two Weapon Fighting

Cast a Spell

Casting time 1 bonus action

Special Feature

Uses a bonus action

Drink a Potion*

For personal consumption

ReactionMax 1/turn

A reaction is an instant response to a trigger of some kind which can occur on your turn or someone else’s.

Opportunity Attack

Enemy leaves your reach

Cast a Spell

Casting time of 1 reaction

Readied Action

Specified by your ready action


On your turn, you can move a distance up to your maximum speed. You can break up your movement, using some of your speed before and after your action.


Move up to your speed

Difficult Terrain

Double Movement Cost


Double Movement Cost

Standing Up

Half of your movement speed

Mounting a Steed

Half of your movement speed

Grapple Move

Double Movement Cost

Action, Reaction, Movement


Using your environment wisely on the battlefield can greatly affect the outcome.


2 allies adjacent to an enemy

Lightly Obscured

Dim light, patchy fog, moderate foliage

Heavily Obscured

Darkness, Opaque fog, or Dense foliage

1/2 Cover

Creature, large furniture

3/4 Cover

Arrow slit, thick tree trunk

Full Cover

Completely concealed


Conditions alter a creatures 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.

*Gm’s Den Homebrew.

Environment, Conditions