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d20: A term used in Dungeons & Dragons to refer to a 20-sided die. It's the primary die used in gameplay, instrumental in determining the outcomes of many actions.
d20: The 20-sided die, which is the most frequently used die in Dungeons & Dragons. It is employed for a variety of rolls, including attack rolls, saving throws, and ability checks.
Attack Roll: The roll of a d20 made by a player or Dungeon Master (DM) to determine if an attack hits a target. The number rolled is then added to any relevant modifiers.
Saving Throw: A reactive roll made, often with a d20, to resist or avoid a spell, trap, poison, disease, or similar threat.
Ability Check: A roll, typically made with a d20, to determine the success or failure of an action that isn't covered by attack rolls or saving throws, such as picking a lock or climbing a wall.
Natural 20/Natural 1: A "natural 20" is when the d20 roll shows a 20. Similarly, a "natural 1" is when the d20 roll shows a 1. A natural 20 usually represents the best possible outcome, while a natural 1 often represents the worst possible outcome.
Advantage/Disadvantage: Advantage and disadvantage affect d20 rolls. When you roll with advantage, you roll the d20 twice and take the higher number. When you roll with disadvantage, you roll the d20 twice and take the lower number.
Modifier: A number derived from a character's ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma) or proficiency that is added to a d20 roll.
Relevant Rules and Mechanics
Using a d20: For most rolls in the game, the player rolls a d20 and adds any relevant modifiers, comparing the result to a target number. This could be the Armor Class of an enemy for an attack roll, a Difficulty Class set by the DM for an ability check, or a spell's save DC for a saving throw.
Natural 20 and Natural 1: If you roll a 20 on the d20, it's known as a "natural 20" or "nat 20," and typically results in a critical success. For attack rolls, this means you've scored a critical hit. Conversely, rolling a 1 on the d20 is known as a "natural 1" or "nat 1," and is often an automatic failure for the action you're attempting.
Understanding the d20 in Depth
At the heart of every Dungeons & Dragons game is a collection of dice, and the d20 is arguably the most important of them all. This twenty-sided die is a driving force behind the game's core mechanics, deciding successes, failures, and the varying degrees in between.
When a player makes an attack roll, casts a spell that requires a saving throw, or attempts to scale a towering cliff, the roll of a d20 often determines the outcome. The raw roll isn't everything, though—modifiers based on character skills, abilities, and circumstances can tilt the odds in a player's favour or make the task more challenging.
Of particular note are the natural 20 and natural 1 rolls. The thrill of rolling a natural 20 is a memorable moment in any D&D session, turning an ordinary action into an extraordinary success. On the flip side, the sinking feeling of a natural 1 can lead to comedic or dramatic failures.
Whether you're a stalwart fighter braving the front lines, a cunning rogue navigating traps, or a wise wizard bending the fabric of reality, the roll of the d20 is a constant companion in your D&D adventures, making each session exciting, unpredictable, and undeniably unique.
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