In Dungeons & Dragons, does "natural 20" mean rolling 20 on a single roll as opposed to a composite 20 from multiple dice? Or does it refer to something else?


1 Answer 1


A natural 20 roll in D&D (which I think is the only set of games where this term is used) means that the die shows a 20 on its top face, as opposed to getting a result of 20 (or more) after adding modifiers to the result of the die.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Tritium21 I edited out that cite you added (it implied that was the definitive source, when the natural 20 has been showing up since AD&D in various ways) but now I recognise what you were going for with it. If this needs an external cite - I don't think it's necessary - we should go for something that just provides one of the editions as an example (and makes it explicit it's an example). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 1:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ W/r/t to other games, the term certainly shows up in most of the other WotC d20 (d20 Modern, d20 Star Wars) and OGL games, but I've never seen it outside of "d20 System". \$\endgroup\$
    – C. Ross
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ 'Natural [b]20[/b]' is mostly only used by systems that use d20s, for obvious reasons. But systems like Rolemaster's open-ended roll also use unmodified die results for some mechanics. The d6 Star Wars Wild Die would be another example. \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 21:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @YogoZuno If you click the "help" button next to the comment box, you'll see a short guide to comment syntax, which will help you bold your text. \$\endgroup\$
    – Firebreak
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 5:24

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