Do you go to the dungeon?

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Kinds of Rolls

This is so confusing T_T

These are all different from each other, if a spell gives bonus to saving throws for example that doesn't help ability checks.

The words DC, AC, AV etc we get confused all the time. Especially me.♥ I hate that there are different words and am happy we are confusing them gladly. They mean the exact same thing anyway.

For the "special" results, that means the unmodified die. For example, if you roll d20 +3 on an attack rol and get a total of 20, that's great and you probably hit! But if the die itself is 20, that's a critical hit which is even greater!

Ability checks

Common situations where an ability check is called for: sneaking, finding your way in the wilderness, grappling, shoving, trying to force open doors etc.

(Target number for ability checks is called "DC".)

Attack rolls

Common situations where an attack check is called for: trying to hit single enemy with an attack. This is the easiest one probably!

Special! On a 20 it's called a "critical hit", you always hit and you also roll twice as many damage dice! For example on an attack that 3d6+4, you would roll 6d6+4. (The amount of dice are doubled but not the modifier.) On a 1 you always miss even if they have like no armor and is super easy to hit.

(Target number is called "AC".)

Saving throws

Common situations where a saving throw is called for: trying to avoid catching a disease or poison, trying to not fall into dangerous traps, trying to survive enemy spells.

When you're dodging you have advantage on all dexterity saving throws for a round.

(Target number is called "DC", same as with ability checks.)

Defense rolls

(This one isn't in the core book, it's from an UA that we use.)

When an enemy attacks you and you try to avoid getting hit, roll this!

When you're dodging you get advantage on all defense rolls for around.

Special! On a 20 you always manage to avoid the attack even if you have the world's crappiest armor. On a 1 you get critted and take a lot mor extra damage.

(Target number is called "DC". I sometimes have called this "AV", IDK why.)

Saving Throw Checks

(This one isn't in the core book either, it's from that same UA.)

Most confusingest name in all of D&D history! "checks" are already a thing and "saving throws" are already a thing so I can't believe this is the name they came up with!

Some spells say that the enemy make saving throws which is all well and good. To see if they fail their saves or not, you get to roll. Just add your normal spell attack bonus and tell the DM which category (strength, dex, con, int, wis or cha).

There's nothing special on a 1 or 20, just as when you are making saves.

Death Saves

When you're dying you need to make three successful death saves before you hit three failed ones.

Each hit you take from a monster while you're dying also count as a failed death save for you, or two failed death saves if they crit you or if they are standing next to you.

This is an unmodified roll, the bell tolls the same for everyone. A plain d20.

A one counts as two fails. 2 through 9 counts as one fail. 10 through 19 counts as one success. 20 is great! You immediately wake up and have 1 hp!

Otherwise, if you do manage to get three successes, you didn't die but you are going to be unconscious for a couple of hours.

Encounter Checks

(This is a house rule, kind of. Normally the DM rolls this.)

When you spend time in a place you sometimes need to see if something happens!

I try to remember to change it around so that low numbers mean that you've got company and high numbers means peace & quiet.

Lingering Injury Roll

This is also an unmodified roll on the Lingering Injuries table. It's in the DMG p 272 but I also pasted it on the inside of the screen.

Every number is special. The lower numbers are worse.

4–10 and 14–16 are things that any healing magic can fix.

Other die rolls

There are a bunch of other rolls that can sometimes come up, such as encounter tables etc but the most common other type of roll is:

Damage rolls

This is the only time where you sometimes want to roll low rather than high: when the enemy hit you and you have to roll damage on yourself.


NameTarget NumberSpecial numbersHin luck applies?
Ability checkDC-Y
Attack rollAC1, 20Y
Saving throwDC-Y
Defense rollDC20, 1N
Saving Throw CheckDC-N
Death Saving Throw-1,20Y
Encounter Check---
Lingering Injury Roll--N

We have houseruled that inspiration works on all of these.