There are many different types of actions in a standard game of D&D, the fifth edition included. For new players or those who have not played in a while, it can be confusing to learn the differences between every action and know when to take them, or when to wait it out.
Not only that, but you have to learn what characters can use what actions, and how many actions can be used in a turn.
And then, once you’ve finally learned all this information, there are the bonus actions that need to be studied. Bonus actions add a layer of complexity to games of D&D, which is enough to stop many people from playing.
However, we are here to help! We have detailed everything you need to know about bonus actions, including how many you can take per turn in D&D 5e. Read on for more information, including details on actions, reactions, and free actions.
What Is An Action In D&D 5e?
To understand bonus actions, we first need to know what an action is. In Dungeons & Dragons, an action is an important part of combat and the most important thing you can do. Typically, you only get a single action per turn. However, there are specific features that will allow you more. An example of this is the Fighter’s Action Surge.
The Fighter’s Action Surge will allow you to take two significant actions during your turn, per turn. This is a defining aspect of this class available when your character reaches level 2, and gets even better at level 17.
It is important to know what actions your character is able to make. There is a specific list of actions for every PC (player character) and you should have no problem making these. Examples of these include:
- Dash: Your movement’s speed is doubled for this turn
- Spellcasting: You may spell cast this turn
- Dodging: You can impose a disadvantage on any attack made against you
- Help: You will be able to help out your chosen ally
- Disengage: If you choose to disengage, then you can stop an opportunity attack being used against you
However, there are also actions that you can improvise, and actions that are unique to each class of PC, so it’s vital you learn what your character’s unique actions are and what they are able to do with them.
What Is A Bonus Action In D&D 5e?
A bonus action is a specialty move within Dungeons & Dragons. A bonus action is a specific action you can take alongside your main action during your turn. Bonus actions can be made with specific spells, and they usually involve using a special move. They occasionally include magic items. They allow players a wide range of optional moves when it comes to combat.
However, not every player character will get a bonus action. You may only use your bonus action if it has been noted in the specific description.
If you do have a spell or feature that allows you to use your bonus action, then you may take one alongside an action during your turn. This is optional. If you do choose to use the bonus action, then you have to declare it and complete the required steps that come with taking regular actions.
Additionally, different characters will have different bonus actions, so ensure you are aware of which of them apply to your character.
How Many Bonus Actions Per Turn in D&D 5e?
When it comes to actions, specific features allow you to take more than one during a turn. However, a bonus action can only be taken once per turn. In the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, there are no special features that allow you to take more than one bonus action per turn.
Additionally, it is important to note that a bonus action cannot be used in place of an action.
Is There A Way To Get More Bonus Actions?
It is possible to use more than one bonus action in a round, but that is only if you gain access to another turn in that specific round. For example, if you are playing as a Thief Rouge, then at level 17 you can take two turns in your first round after reaching level 17. You will be able to use a bonus action in both of these turns and deal extra damage to an opponent.
What Are Free Actions?
Free actions are actions in name only. They are actually defined as small interactions your character can have on their turn. This includes any minor task you can perform along with an action, or during movement.
Examples of free actions in D&D 5e include taking a torch from a wall, picking up small objects, opening doors, or anything you can think of that would not necessitate a roll, or make sense for the character’s current environment.
What constitutes a free action is usually decided by the Dungeon Master, but it also comes down to common sense. However, you should not take too many liberties with free actions, such as taking way too many on your turn, because this will annoy other players.
What Are Reactions?
Reactions are different from bonus actions and actions. You will only be able to take one when responding to an action or an enemy attack, etc., You will only get a single reaction per turn. You can use a Ready action to hold onto an action, and then use it as a reaction to a specific trigger.
Other things considered to be a reaction are attacks of opportunity and casting a spell, such as the Shield Spell (when using the Ready action.)
It is a good idea to use your reaction during another player’s turn in that specific round, to help them fight a hostile creature, etc. However, you can use a reaction during your turn provided you justify its use next to the criteria of use.
While there are many different types of actions in D&D, once they’re broken down, they’re not too complicated to understand! Actions are the main form of combat in a D&D game.
There is a set list of actions for PCs, but different PCs can have specific actions unique to them. Reactions are made in response to something else that happens during a round. Bonus actions are specialty moves that you can take alongside an action. They can be made with certain spells and sometimes involve a magical item.
Free actions are a little different than the other types we’ve seen; they are minor actions that you can take as many as you like per turn (just don’t go overboard.) Unlike free actions, for most players in D&D 5e, actions can only be taken once per turn. This includes reactions and bonus actions.
However, if you are playing as a level 17 Thief Rogue, then you will be able to take more than one bonus action per round once you hit level 17 (just not per turn.)