Calling all Monsters!

Here at the SimpleDND project I try to keep the options limited and keep the game as streamlined as possible, even if that means rewriting rules. Right now we are updating the bestiary.

The current list is: Ankheg, Ant, Giant, Bat Swarm, Bat, Giant, Beetle, Fire, Bugbear, Carrion Crawler, Centipede, Giant, Ghoul, Giant, Hill, Gnoll, Goblin, Harpy, Hobgoblin, Kobolds, Lizard Man, Mummy, Ogre, Orc, Owl Bear, Pixie, Rat, Giant, Rust Monster, Shadow, Shrieker, Skeleton, Snake, Giant – Boa, Snake, Giant – Cobra, Spider, Giant – Crab, Spider,Giant – Black Widow, Stirge, Troll, Werewolf, Wight, Wolf, Wraith, Zombie,

If you’d like to see anything included in the next update, from any version of D&D, Pathfinder or any other game, submit your monsters here!


10 Best D&D blogs to follow in 2016

Here are my top 10 best D&D blogs that I follow. They have guides, stories, maps, resources, adventures and so much more. There is so much useful content for both Dungeon Masters and Players on the web it is just crazy. So if you’re a DM or a PC and you play Dungeons & Dragons, then this is the list you should check out.

  1. Death by Mage
  2. That’s How I Role-(Play)
  3. Critical Hits Show
  4. Newbie DM
  5. Red Dice Diaries
  6. Matthew Lowes
  7. The Angry GM
  8. Dungeon’s Master
  9. Blog of Holding
  10. Greyhawk Grognard

What other Dungeons & Dragons blogs should be included in this best of the web list? Post your answers in the comments below!

Suggestions from readers include:

D&D 5e Quick Reference

Important Terms and Abilities


When a character has Advantage, the player rolls two d20’s and selects the higher roll.


When a character has Disadvantage, the player rolls two d20’s and selects the lower roll.


Strength – Natural athleticism, bodily power

Dexterity – Physical agility, reflexes, balance, poise

Constitution – Health, stamina, vital force

Intelligence – Mental acuity, information recall, analytical skill

Wisdom – Awareness, intuition, insight

Charisma – Confidence, eloquence, leadership

Combat Progression

Surprise Check

Stealth check vs. Passive Perception of opponent

If you’re surprised; can’t move/attack till next turn. Can’t react until end of your turn.

Establish Positions

Marching order or stated positions

Roll Initiative

Take Turn

Move (or split move) and Take One Action (PHB pg. 192):


-Cast Spell

-Dash (up to double your move)

-Disengage (prevents opportunity attacks)

-Dodge (Hostile has disadvantage. Dexterity save has advantage)

-Help (give target advantage on next Check or Attack)

-Hide (Stealth check for success)

-Ready (decide trigger & reaction/hold spell before casting)

-Search (Perception or INT check)

-Use Object

-Improvise an unlisted action

-Take Bonus Action if available

Next Round – go to Take Turn (or reroll initiative OG!)


Combat melee attacks (swords, clubs, fists, etc)

d20 + strength or dexterity bonus vs the Armor Class (ac) of the target

Combat within a 5-foot reach.

Unarmed Strike: 1 bludgeoning damage.

Combat ranged attacks

Your attack roll has disadvantage when your target is beyond normal range, and you can’t attack a target beyond the long-range.

Ranged attacks in close quarters

When you make a ranged attack with a weapon, a spell, or some other means, you have disadvantage on the attack roll if you are within 5 feet of a hostile creature who can see you and who isn’t incapacitated.

Opportunity attack

REACTION: A hostile creature moves out of your reach without disengaging. Gain interrupting attack.

Two-weapon fighting

2 Light weapon attacks, one as action; other as bonus action. Thrown weapons can be thrown. Only negative modifiers apply to bonus attack.

Grappling (PHB pg 206)

Attacker Athletics vs Target Athletics or Acrobatics (target choice). (PHB pg. 195)

Shoving a creature

Attacker Athletics vs Target Athletics or Acrobatics (target choice). Knock the target prone or push it 5 feet away. (PHB pg. 195)


(must disengage first, if in combat)

Dexterity (Stealth) check vs Perception (active looking)

Dexterity (Stealth) check vs Passive Perception (not looking)

Lightly Obscured = disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) check Heavily Obscured = Blindness


1⁄2 cover = +2 AC and DEX saving throws

3⁄4 cover = +5 AC and DEX saving throws

Critical hits

Roll damage dice twice then add modifers


Short = 1hr; use HD to regain lost HP

Long = 8hr; Regain all HP, 1⁄2 of max HD, all spell slots

Searching PHB pg 178

Passively searching (always on): Passive Perception vs Hidden DC

Active searching: d20 + Perception or Investigation vs Hidden DC

Investigation. When you look around for clues and make deductions based on these clues, you make an Intelligence (Investigation) check.

Perception. Your Wisdom (Perception) check lets you spot, hear, or otherwise detect the presence of something.

Picking locks PHB pg 154

Thieves’ Tools are required when you want to do something you couldn’t otherwise do, such as craft or repair an item, forge a document, or pick a lock.

d20 + proficiency bonus in Thieves’ Tools vs DC

Spell Casting (See PHB pg 201)

S focus

An item such as a crystal, an orb, a rod or want, or holy symbol. Can be used in place of material components. Holy symbol must be held or worn visibly (ie. a shield).

Casting in armour

Must be proficient in armour type worn.

Attack Rolls

d20 + spellcasting ability + proficiency bonus

Ranged attacks have disadvantage within 5 feet of hostile who is not incapacitated.

Saving Throws

DC = 8 + spellcasting ability + proficiency bonus + special modifiers


a clear path to target

Cannot be behind total cover.

Area effect begins on near side of obstruction.

Targeting yourself

If spell is target of choice, it can be the caster, unless specified hostile or not caster (see spell description). Area of Effect can also target caster.


Verbal (v)

Caster gagged or in area of silence can’t cast a spell with verbal component.

Somatic (s)

Caster must have one free hand to perform gestures for somatic component.

Material (m)

Caster can use component pouch or spellcasting focus. Must have specific component to cast spell, even if consumed by spell. Must have one hand free to access component.

Duration instantaneous

Can’t be dispelled.


If concentration is lost, spell ends. End concentration at any time, no action required.

Moving & attacking don’t interfere with concentration.

Casting another ‘concentration spell’, taking damage (DC=10 or 1⁄2 damage No., whichever is higher), being incapacitated or killed ends concentration.

Player Conditions

Blinded (PHB pg 290)

A blinded creature cannot see and fails any ability check that requires sight.

Attack rolls against the creature have Advantage.

The blinded creature’s attack rolls have Disadvantage.

Charmed (PHB pg 290)

A charmed creature cannot attack or target the charmer with harmful abilities or magical effects

The charmer has Advantage on any ability check to interact socially with the creature.

Deafened (PHB pg 290)

A deafened creature can’t hear and fails any ability check that requires hearing.

Frightened (PHB pg 290)

A frightened creature has Disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls while the source of the fear effect is within line of sight.

The creature cannot willingly move closer to the source of the fear effect.

Grappled (PHB pg 290)

A grappled creature’s Speed becomes 0, and cannot benefit from any bonus to Speed.

The condition ends if the grappler becomes incapacitated.

The condition also ends if an effect removes the grappled creature from the reach of the grappler or grappling effect.

Incapacitated (PHB pg 290)

An incapacitated creature can’t take actions or reactions

Invisible (PHB pg 291)

An invisible creature cannot be seen except by magic or a special sense but can be detected if it makes noise.

An invisible creature is considered heavily obscured for the purpose of hiding.

Attacks rolls against an invisible creature have Disadvantage.

An invisible creature has Advantage on attack rolls.

Paralyzed (PHB pg 291)

A paralyzed creature is incapacitated and can’t move or speak.

The creature automatically fails STR and DEX Saving Throws.

Attacks rolls against the creature have Advantage.

Any attack that hits the creature is a critical hit if the attacker is within 5 feet.

Petrified (PHB pg 291)

A petrified creature is transformed along with any non-magical objects on its person into a solid inanimate substance. Its weight increases by a factor of 10 and it ceases aging.

The creature is incapacitated and can’t move or speak and is unaware of its surroundings.

The creature automatically fails STR and DEX Saving Throws.

Attacks rolls against the creature have Advantage.

The creature has resistance to all damage.

The creature is immune to poison and disease, but any poison in its system already is suspended not neutralized.

Poisoned (PHB pg 292)

A poisoned creature has Disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.

Prone (PHB pg 292)

A prone creature’s only movement is to crawl.

The creature has Disadvantage on all attack rolls.

An attack against the creature has Advantage if the attacker is within 5 feet. Otherwise the attacker has Disadvantage.

Standing up from prone costs one half the creature’s speed.

Restrained (PHB pg 292)

A restrained creature’s speed is zero and it can’t benefit from any bonuses to Speed.

Attack rolls against the creature have Advantage.

The creature’s attack rolls have Disadvantage.

Stunned (PHB pg 292)

A stunned creature is incapacitated, can’t move, and only speaks falteringly.

The creature automatically fails STR and DEX saving throws.

Attacks rolls against the creature have Advantage.

Unconscious (PHB pg 292)

An unconscious creature is incapacitated and can’t move or speak and is unaware of its surroundings.

The creature drops whatever it is holding and falls prone.

The creature automatically fails STR and DEX saving throws.

Attacks rolls against the creature have Advantage.

Any attack that hits the creature is a critical hit if the attacker is within 5 feet.

Environmental Effects

Effects that obscure vision can prove a significant hindrance to most adventuring tasks.

Lightly obscured

Disadvantage on Perception

Heavily obscured

Effectively blind – The presence or absence of light in an environment creates three categories of illumination.

Bright light

Normal vision

Dim light

Lightly obscured


Heavily obscured – Some creatures have extraordinary senses that allow them to perceive their environment.


Perceive without sight


Limited vision in darkness


See in darkness

Death Saving Throws (PHB pg 197)

d20 with no bonuses.

10 or higher, the roll succeeds.

After three successes, the character stabilizes.

After three failures, the character dies.

On a roll of a 20, the character regains 1 hit point

A roll of a 1 counts as two Death Saving Throw failures.