I am new to 5th edition D&D. I got ahold of the Player's Handbook 2, and I'm trying to figure out how often I can activate the Goliath racial power on page 12.

Most of the other powers in the book have the Reaction, Attack, or Free Action keywords, which I can find definitions for in the 5th edition Player's Handbook, but I am unable to find the limits of the Minor Action keyword anywhere. How is this power supposed to be used?


3 Answers 3


The Player's Handbook 2 is a 4th Edition book which means it is not compatible with 5th Edition.

Two of the main reasons with this power is that the turn structure was changed from 4th having a Standard, Move, and Minor action on your turn and Immediate Actions and Opportunity Actions when it isn't your turn to having an Action, possibly a Bonus Action, and the ability to move on your turn, and Reactions when it isn't in 5th Edition. The other changes that makes the power not transfer well if that short rests (the ones that let you recharge your encounter powers) are an hour long by default in 5th Edition versus 5 minutes in 4th Edition.

However there is a 5th Edition version of the Goliath available in the Elemental Evil Player's Companion

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Nytespade If you want information about 5e Shifters, please ask a question about 5e Shifters instead of tucking new questions away in the comments on answers. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 23:50
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ One thing that might seem misleading to people new to 5e is your "Reactions and Opportunity Attacks" line. Opportunity Attacks are a thing you can use your reaction on, they aren't another action of their own. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 4:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @J.A.Streich Thanks, I'm fairly new to 5e and forgot how OAs worked \$\endgroup\$
    – diego
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 12:40

The Goliath in 5th edition is different from the Goliath in 4th edition (as are many other things).

The Goliaths' racial ability, likewise, functions differently in 5th edition:

Stone’s Endurance You can focus yourself to occasionally shrug off injury. When you take damage, you can use your reaction to roll a d12. Add your Constitution modifier to the number rolled, and reduce the damage by that total. After you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Minor Actions are not a feature in 5th edition.

Side note:

I would advise against attempting to use content from the 4th edition PHB 2 in your 5th edition game unless/until you are very familiar with both games and can convert the content more reliably. Otherwise you run the risk of introducing elements into your game that are not properly balanced for the system you are using.


Unfortunately, material from different editions of D&D isn't compatible without a bit of legwork. Fortunately for you, the Elemental Evil Player's Companion has rules for playing a Goliath in 5th Edition.

To answer your question about minor actions:

A minor action is a small action, usually one that enables further action.

In 4th Edition, a turn consisted of three actions (minus free actions), a Standard Action, a Move Action, and a Minor Action. A minor action allows a character to do something small, say using an item, a skill, opening a door, or activating certain powers, such as marking an enemy. The rules for minor actions can be found on page 267 of the 4th Edition Player's Handbook.

In 5th Edition, a turn consists of an action (like a Standard Action from 4e), a move (Move Action from 4e), and a Bonus Action, if available. Bonus Actions are more like Standard Actions than Minor Actions, which leaves the Goliath power without a clear analogue. Thankfully, there are also Reactions (a small action available to you off turn), which is where the 5e Goliath Power lies. The rules for actions in 5e can be found on page 189 in the 5th Edition Player's Handbook.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nytespade If you want information about 5e Shifters, please ask a question about 5e Shifters instead of tucking new questions away in the comments on answers. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 23:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer would be improved if you could add the comparable 5e action sequence to compare (and perhaps demonstrate better why the port in has some problems). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 12:48

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