So a couple of friends and I are playing a campaign we created for fun. Issue is we are working on balancing characters out. The problem is we aren't sure if enemies may use both actions (not the bonus action) to attack. For example, can a bandit use both actions to perform 2 melee attacks with his scimitar. I once heard you need the action multi-attack to perform 2 attacks but another friend told me as long as the creature attacking is considered "an intelligent creature" he can perform two attacks like that.

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    \$\begingroup\$ this question seems related And what do you meant by "both actions" in this case? Is this for the bandit NPC from the Monster Manual? The action economy is described in this answer. Please clarify if you refer to the bandit or the bandit captain NPC. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 11:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ "can a bandit use both actions to perform 2 melee attacks with his scimitar" — do you mean two actions per one turn? what do you mean by "both actions", what feature? please quote the relevant description part. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 15:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor The Bandit has 2 Actions listed in the Action part of the statblock (Scimitar and Light Crossbow). I think the OP means can they do both but they do need to clarify this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 1:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @XanuelArturoBeltran Can you clarify what you're referring to by "both actions"? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 26, 2019 at 3:13

1 Answer 1


You choose one action

Every monster will have an Actions section. This will detail all the possible actions that a monster can use its action for on its turn.

If a monster can attack more than once, this will be listed as a specific 'Multiattack' action which will say something like:

Multiattack. The dragon can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.

Each of the individual attacks, such as the bite and claw in the above example, will be listed separately. But if there is no 'Multiattack' action then you can only choose one.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Further support for this answer can be found in MM p.10-11 "When a monster takes its action, it can choose from the options in the Actions section of its stat block or use one of the actions available to all creatures" and "A creature that can make multiple attacks on its turn has the Multiattack ability.". Maybe it would be helpful to clarify that everyone gets only a single action per turn in general (barring some exceptions) from the PHB p.189: "On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed and take one action." \$\endgroup\$
    – Sdjz
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 10:38

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