Glossary Glossary General Terms Adventure. An adventure is a series of encounters that help tell a story and present the player characters with important choices. Boxed Text. At various places, the adventure presents descriptive text that's meant to be read or paraphrased aloud to players by the Dungeon Master. This read- aloud text is offset in boxes. Boxed text is most commonly used to describe rooms or to present bits of scripted dialogue. Character Sheet. A character sheet is a piece of paper or digital record that bears a character's game statistics. Creature. Any living being in the game, including a player's character, is a creature. Each creature belongs to a type: Aberration, Beast, Celestial, Construct, Dragon, Elemental, Fey, Fiend, Giant, Humanoid, Monstrosity, Ooze, Plant, or Undead. Some rules in the game affect creatures of certain types in different ways. For example, the text of the cure wounds spell specifies that the spell doesn't work on a creature that has the Undead type. D&D. The most common short-hand for Dungeons & Dragons is sometimes also seen as DnD. DM. The Dungeon Master, or the individual running the game for the rest of the playersis sometimes also called a Game Master or GM. Dungeon. A dungeon is any enclosed adventure location, whether underground, in a castle, or in a city. Encounter. An encounter is a scene in an adventure, incorporating a fantasy location and often friends or foes. Monster. A creature controlled by the Dungon Master is a monster, even if the creature is benevolent. A monster with a personal name is sometimes called an NPC (nonplayer character), especially if it isn't combative. Nonplayer Character (NPC). This term refers to characters run by the Dungeon Master. How an NPC behaves is dictated by the adventure and by the DM. Object. An object is a nonliving, distinct thing. Composite things, like buildings, comprise more than one object. Player Character. This term refers to the adventurers run by the players. They are the protagonists in any D&D adventure. A group of characters or adventurers is called a party. Stat Block. Any monster or NPC that is likely to be involved in combat requires game statistics so that the Dungeon Master can run it effectively. These statistics are presented in a format called a statistics block, or stat block. Character Basics Ability Score. A character's physical and mental characteristics are measured by six ability scores: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. An ability score's most important function is providing an ability modifier. Class. A class represents a character's area of expertise, and defines their abilities and specialties as part of a group. The characters included in the Starter Set are a cleric, a fighter, a paladin, a rogue, and a wizard, but there are many more official D&D classes. Race. Refers to the lineage of your character. The most common examples are human, elf, dwarf, and halfling, but there are many others, including mixed heritage characters like half-elves and half-orcs or races that are more commonly found in specific worlds, like the loxodon or kender. Here's a short glossary of commonly used terms you may hear or read when playing Dungeons & Dragons . TM & ©2022 Wizards of the Coast LLC
Proficiency. Characters gain proficiencies based on their class, background, and chosen skills. Proficiency usually lets you add your proficiency bonus to certain die rolls, such as saving throws, attack rolls, and ability checks. Saving Throw. A saving throw—also called a save— represents an attempt to resist certain threats, such as a spell or a trap. A rule or the Dungeon Master lets you know when it's time to make a saving throw. Spellcasting Spell. Spells represent magical actions, typically cast by magically inclined classes such as wizards or clerics. They are categorized by level, which indicates the relative power of spell. Spells can be up to 9th level in power. Spell Slot. Spell slots are the main way a spellcaster's magical potential is represented, and each spellcasting class gives its members a limited number of spell slots of certain spell levels. For example, a 3rd-level wizard has four 1st-level spell slots and two 2nd-level slots. Cantrip. A cantrip is a spell that can be cast at will without using a spell slot and without being prepared in advance. Common Mechanics The mechanics descriptions below are meant for quick reference and are not full explanations. Please see the Rulebook in the Starter Set for more information. Ability Check. An ability check is a character's or monster's attempt at overcoming a challenge. The Dungeon Master will call for an ability check when a character or monster attempts an action that has a chance of failure. To make any ability check, roll a d20 and add the relevant ability modifier. Action. Each turn in combat, a character can move and take one action (and maybe also take a bonus action). Actions include activities such as making an attack or casting a spell. Advantage/Disadvantage. If you make a roll (such as an attack roll, a saving throw, or an ability check) with advantage, it means you roll two d20s and use the better result. Disadvantage is the opposite: roll two d20s and take the worse result instead. Challenge Rating. A challenge rating measures the difficulty of defeating a monster. It is often shortened to CR. Cover. Cover refers to obstacles on the battlefield— such as trees, boulders, or walls—that make a creature more difficult to see or hit . There are three degrees of cover: half, three-quarters, and total cover. TM & ©2022 Wizards of the Coast LLC If you roll with disadvantage , use this one. If you roll with advantage, use this one.
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