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To play D&D, and to play it well, you dont need to read


all the rules, memorize every detail of the game, or master
the fine art of rolling funny looking dice.
None of those things have any bearing on whats best
about the game. What you need are two things, the first
being friends with whom you can share the game.
Playing games with your friends is a lot of fun, but D&D
does something more than entertain. Playing D&D is an
exercise in collaborative creation. You and your friends
create epic stories filled with tension and memorable
drama. You create silly in-jokes that make you laugh
years later. The dice will be cruel to you, but you will
soldier on. Your collective creativity will build stories that
you will tell again and again, ranging from the utterly
absurd to the stuff of legend.
The second thing you need is a lively imagination or,
more importantly, the willingness to use whatever
imagination you have. You dont need to be a master
storyteller or a brilliant artist. You just need to aspire to
create, to have the courage of someone who is willing to
build something and share it with others.
D&D Players Handbook, 5th Edition Preface excerpt.
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Table of Contents
Notes........................................................................................... 3
Game Dice .................................................................................. 3
Ability Scores (Character Stats) ................................................. 4
Creating a character in D&D 5.0 ............................................... 5
Leveling Up Your Character Checklist ....................................... 7
Surprise ...................................................................................... 8
Combat: Step by Step.................................................................. 8
Your Turn .................................................................................. 9
Actions ....................................................................................... 9
Critical Hits................................................................................ 9
Death ........................................................................................ 10
Saving Throws ......................................................................... 10
Loot and Distribution ............................................................... 10
Rations, Lodgings, Healing, and Resting ................................. 10
Quick References ...................................................................... 11

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Introduction to Dungeons and Dragons


Notes
1. All page numbers referenced and found in the table of contents for the Players
Handbook (PH) are off starting at -1 pages and increasing to as much as +13 pages
according to Adobe Acrobat.
2. The DM automatically takes ~10% of gold rewards so that the players always have
rations, water, and lodgings without having to pay for them each time.
3. Download a character sheet from the facebook group and practice filling it in. If you
need help, just contact the DM.
4. Carrying capacity will not be ignored, but neither will it be tracked. Instead, common
sense will be used, and if a player seems to be carrying more than they should be able,
they will be asked to lighten their load or face over-capacity penalties.

Game Dice
Does an adventurers 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 you
avoid the main blast of a fireball, or do you take full damage from the blaze? In cases where the
outcome of an action is uncertain, D&D relies on rolls of a 20-sided die, a d20, to determine
success or failure.
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). 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. If you are told to Roll 3d6 5 times that means to roll 3 six-sided dice 5 times,
recording the sum of the 3d6 each time.
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.
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Ability Scores (Character Stats)


Every character and monster in the game has capabilities defined by six ability scores.
The abilities are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma (STR,
DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA), 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
characters or monsters 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 characters particular skill. Your ability
modifier is your ability score minus ten and divided by 2, rounding down. Anytime
you divide in D&D you round down.
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, its 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). Typically, a 5 would
be considered Very Easy (attack roll against a stationary target), a 15 Medium (standard AC
for many monsters), and a 30 Nearly Impossible (swimming up a waterfall). There are also
passive skill checks for repeated actions (like checking for secret doors), or when the DM
wishes to hide the results from players who dont succeed the check.
For skill checks when youre not in a rush, players can choose to Take 10 and instead of
chancing a bad roll, instead take approximately ten minutes to automatically get a ten as their
roll, plus their modifiers. This is useful for situations where a player knows the skill check DC is
low, and doesnt want to risk failing their roll.
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Creating a character in D&D 5.0


1. Choose from the Core Races (found on pages 17-42): Aasimar, Dragonborn, Dwarf, Elf,
Gnome, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Halfling, Human, and Tiefling, as well as many other subclasses (such as Dark Elves and Duegar).
2. Choose from the Core Classes (found on pages 45-112): Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid,
Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard. In addition, you
can multiclass by taking levels in another class when you level up.
3. Starting hit points via house rules are 1.5 x [Maximize{Racial Hit Die} + CON modifier]
4. Determine your proficiency: Your proficiency bonus, which is +2 for a 1st-level character,
applies to many of the numbers youll be recording on your character sheet:
Attack rolls using weapons youre proficient with
Attack rolls with spells you cast
Ability checks using skills youre proficient in
Ability checks using tools youre proficient with
Saving throws youre proficient in
Saving throw DCs for spells you cast (explained in each spellcasting class)
a. 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 w ell as
your proficiency bonus, on your character sheet.
b. Your proficiency bonus cant be added to a single die roll or other number more than
once. For example, proficiency with climbing tools doesnt stack with climbing
proficiency.
5. Roll for ability scores using House Rules: Roll 4d6 seven times, dropping the lowest die
each roll, and the lowest roll overall. Your race will affect your ability scores as well.

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Creating a character in D&D 5.0 (continued)


6. Pick out your 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 chapter 5 of the
PH. See the Starting Wealth by Class table to determine how much gold you have to
spend. Available weapons and armor can be found on pages 144-148, with other
items (such as Thieves Tools, Climbers Kit, Rope, Torches, etc.) on pages 148-154.

In addition, all players start with the Explorers Pack, hammer and 10 pitons, tent,
pouch, and potion of healing (p150-151).

Characters may not start with magical items other than those included above, unless
approved by DM (accompanying backstory required to justify item).

a. 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 characters 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. 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.
b. 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.
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Creating a character in D&D 5.0 (continued)


7. If you have chosen a spellcaster class, pick out your starting spells as described in your class
table and print out the additional spellcaster sheet.
8. Establish a character personality and background (pages 121-124) to help guide your
character actions with a set of personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws.
9. Determine your characters age, alignment, size, speed, and spoken languages

Leveling Up Your Character Checklist


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 cant increase an
ability score above 20. In addition, every characters proficiency bonus increases at certain
levels.
1. 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.
a. Alternatively, you can use the fixed value shown in your class entry, which is the
average result of the die roll (rounded up).
b. When your Constitution modifier increases by 1, your hit point maximum
increases by 1 for each level you have attained.
2. Write down any new class features or abilities
3. You can choose to gain a feat (pages 165-170) instead of increasing your ability scores
when you level up
4. Spellcasters add new spells to their repertoire as their class describes
5. Make sure to upgrade your equipment whenever you visit large settlements where a
market is available.

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Encounters
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, with a round representing 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 doesnt notice a threat is surprised at the start of the
encounter. If youre surprised, you cant move or take an action your first turn of the combat,
and you cant take a reaction until that turn ends. A member of a group can be surprised even if
the other members arent.

Combat: Step by Step


1. Determine surprise. The DM determines whether anyone involved in the combat encounter
is surprised.
2. Establish positions. Given the adventurers marching order or their stated positions in the
room or other location, the DM figures out where the adversaries arehow far away and in
what direction.
3. Roll initiative. This dexterity check determines turn order.
4. Take turns. Each participant in the battle takes a turn in initiative order.
5. Begin the next round. When everyone involved in the combat has had a turn, the round
ends.
6. Repeat step 4 until the fighting stops.

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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 speedsometimes called your
walking speedis noted on your character sheet. The most common actions you can take are
described in the Actions in Combat section in Chapter 9 of the PH. Many class features and
other abilities provide additional options for your action. The Movement and Position section
in chapter 9 gives the rules for your move. You can forgo moving, taking an action, or doing
anything at all on your turn. If you cant decide what to do on your turn, consider taking the
Dodge or Ready action, as described in Actions in Combat.

Actions

Attack

Cast a spell

Dash: sacrifice your action for x2 movement.

Disengage: no attacks of opportunity can be made if you leave the area

Dodge: attacks made on you this round are at disadvantage, you have advantage on
dexterity based saving throws

Help: give someone advantage on a skill check

Hide: Make a Stealth check and follow rules in Chapter 7 of PH

Ready: prepare an action as a response to a future trigger

Critical Hits
Whenever a player rolls either a 1 or a 20 (before modifiers), that is called a critical. The
player then rolls the d20 again, and if the die lands within 10 of the number originally rolled,
the critical is confirmed. 1 is a critical miss, and with it comes consequences ranging from
dropping your weapon, to stabbing your friend who was standing next to you. A 20 is a critical
hit, and with it comes double damage, and crippling effects for your enemy.

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Death
When you drop to 0 hit points, you either die outright or fall unconscious. Massive
damage will kill you instantly if it reduces you to 0 hit points and the remaining damage to be
dealt equals or exceeds your hit point maximum. 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. Each turn you roll a d20, less than 10 is a failure, above 10 is a success, a 1 counts as 2
failures, a 20 heals you 1 hit point. Three successes and you regain a hit point, three failures and
you die. THAT SAID, there are many ways to circumvent death when magic is involved. High
level players can resurrect their comrades, and low level players can seek out high level NPCs
and pay them to do so. One can even attempt to traverse the ethereal planes (with a guide and
protection of course) to find their deceased ally!

Saving Throws
A (str, dex, etc.) saving throwalso called a saverepresents an attempt to resist a
spell, a trap, a poison, a disease, or a similar threat. You dont normally decide to make a saving
throw; you are forced to make one because your character 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. Dont forget to add your proficiency bonus if applicable!

Loot and Distribution


Please remember: just because you want it more, doesnt mean youre the one that gets
it. Try to roleplay your characters as much as possible, while keeping the good of the group in
mind; if the cleric and paladin die because the rogue was off gathering loot and the rangers took
the good armor, youll have no one to blame but yourselves when you die because you had no
healer.
Rations, Lodgings, Healing, and Resting
The above topics will be automatically accounted for unless otherwise specified by the
DM, or requested by the players.

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Chapter

PDF
Page #

1
2
3
4
5
6

8
13
39
114
134

7
8
9
10
11

160
167
173
183
188

152

Race PDF
Page
#
Dwarf 14
Elf 17
Halfling 21
Human 24
Dragonborn 27
Gnome
30
Half-Elf 33
Half-Orc 35
Tiefling 37

Class

PDF
Page #

Barbarian
Bard
Cleric
Druid
Fighter
Monk

40
45
50
58
64

Paladin
Ranger
Rogue
Sorcerer
Warlock
Wizard

76
83
88
93
99

70

106

Background

Acolyte
Charlatan
Criminal
Entertainer
Folk Hero
Guild
Artisan
Hermit
Noble
Outlander
Sage
Sailor
Soldier

PDF
Page #
119
120
121
122
123
124
126
127
128
129
131
132

Urchin 133

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