I have never played tabletop D&D before. Lots of NWN and BG on my PC though, so I know the basics. I got a 5e D&D "Essentials Kit" for my birthday and I'm going to try to run a beginner module for my family.
I am confused on the mechanics of combat. Everyone rolls for initiative and takes a 6 second turn in that order. I don't think that means every creature in the encounter takes a consecutive 6 second turn (does it?).
I am envisaging this:
Fighter - I run the length of the room and attack the nearest kobold with my sword (dice rolls, resolved)
Paladin - I do the same thing (dice rolls, resolved)
NPC Kobold - (roll to see who it attacks) attacks Paladin (dice rolls, scores some damage on the Paladin)
Cleric - I cast Healing Word on Paladin, then I go hide round the corner
So then which of these apply:
DM - "OK roll for your heal spell"
DM - "Wait a minute, when you started your heal, neither of the PCs were even in combat yet, how did you know which one to start healing? I am going to rule you chose one at random and will toss a D2 to decide if you guessed right."
or even worse:
"You heal the Paladin and your spell lands just as he closes with the kobold, but since he was at full HP at the time...nothing happens."
It's a question of "do the creatures in combat see the effect of prior creature's six seconds of activity before they commence their own?"