My friends and I have started playing 5th edition with no previous knowledge of D&D. We're about 12 hours in and still learning the rules as we go, but I think we may be doing basic combat wrong. Here's what we're doing, whether a monster is attacking a player or vice versa:
- Attack roll (1d20+ modifiers).
- If the attack roll is greater than or equal to the target's AC plus modifiers, it hits.
- Damage roll. Let's say the attack is 1d6+2 and we roll a 3, that's a total of 5 damage.
OK here's where I'm not sure. There's this thing called "Hit Dice" which I've been unable to fully understand. We've been doing an extra hit dice roll on every attack which causes a damage buffer for that attack only. So for example, I'm about to be dealt 5 damage and I roll my hit dice. A roll of 3 would cause me to take 2 damage. A roll of 5 or more would cause no damage at all (even though the attack "hits").
In the book, a monster's hit points are displayed something like this:
Hit Points: 7 (2d6)
To the best of my understanding this is "MaxHP (HitDice)". So in the above case we'll roll 2d6 every time damage is about to be dealt to see how much (if any) is actually subtracted from the target's current hit points.
I'm really unsure about this Hit Dice thing. Granted we are all level 1, but when we use hit dice like this is seems to take forever to do any damage to monsters. When we don't use it the monsters are able to easily do a ton of damage to our party members, sometimes killing them with one hit. We aren't familiar with the pace of combat so we're not sure how it's supposed to be.
I watched a video of people playing out the first premade scenario online and they did not appear to use hit dice, but every character was able to one-shot the monsters, so it seems like they could have been doing it wrong as well.
I thought basic combat rules would be easy to look up but it's harder than I thought, and everyone I asked who plays older versions wasn't sure. Are we doing this right?