Getting the basics right, a scrubs intro to DnD

It takes time to learn something new and DnD in no exception. One of the main issues we had with the game is the lack of direction on some pretty important starting questions. In this article I’ll be covering some of the key rules which confused us slightly.

These rules in general threw us off for about 20 mins but if your looking to go in with no confusion its worthy reading material.

Critical Hits and Fail roles (natural 1/20): Even if something is certain a player should always role a D20 to see if they fail. Critical hits are easy to figure out if you role a 20 you have a guaranteed hit. The issue we had was what exactly is the bonus? at first we thought it was weapon damage times two:

In this example weapon damage is 1d6, so rolling that gives us a 3, so 6. However what you really do is role two 2D6 and ad them together. We where also unsure about the modifier, but after some rummaging you just add them on as normal.

Modifiers when rolling damage: Modifiers are also used for more than adding to your d20 role. They also get added to the damage dice. In our above example we had a weapon with 1d6 of damage, our strength modifier is 2. So its 1d6 + 2.

Flanking: Having a good old grid fight in DnD 4e was a confusing afair, you had lots of different options open to you. Which also includes flanking. This is removed in 5e, in this version rogues have an option to make a stealth attack which has similar properties, if an enemy is engaged with another player a rogue has Advantage (see below).

Passive Wisdom (Perception): This was something we picked up pretty easily, however i can see how it can be a bit confusing. Passive wisdom is something you character is always doing, they are always on the look out for traps, ambushes and general things that seem out of place. An example of a passive wisdom check is as follows: A DM request a wisdom check to pass a trap, if a character is actively looking out for traps, then this is boosted up to a standard wisdom check (1d20 + (wisdom mod +proficiency bonus).

In general Passive Wisdom is 10 + (wisdom mod + proficiency bonus).

(All these brackets are confusing as shit)

Saving throws: These are normally used to avoid poison, falling rocks, arrows etc. Saving throws are announced by a DM. So in order to avoid being poisoned you might have to role a 16 against your constitution, so 1d20 + const mod.

Advantage and Disadvantage: In his scenario a player roles 2d20. If you are rolling for advantage you take the higher number, if your rolling a disadvantage you take the lower number. Still a little unsure about when this mechanic comes into play, at this point in time its mainly skill based.

This is just a handful of rules we figured out after about 30mins of play. Any correction or advice is much appreciated in the comments below.

Any further confusion will be resolved and this list will get updated.


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