5E Effects for Advanced Automation

What is an Effect?

One of the most powerful features of the built in 5e ruleset is effects. It is also, judging by the number of forum posts, the area where most users find the learning curve steepest. In Fantasy Grounds an effect is anything which gives the character either a bonus or penalty of some kind to a dice roll they are about to make. In order for the effect to be properly executed the character must be on the Combat Tracker (CT) and either they or another actor must make a dice roll which involves the character. In other words effects are checked when a character attacks, does damage, makes a saving throw (including death saves) or makes an ability or skill check. Effects are also checked when that same character is attacked, or damaged or has a saving throw, ability check or skill check forced on them (such as from a spell).

Automatic Effects

Many effects are created automatically for you in the 5e ruleset when you create a character or level one up either by dragging and dropping from the source material or by using the Character Wizard. For example dragging spells into the actions tab will in almost every case create an effect. Where an effect is not created via this method the probability is very high that either the spell doesn't require an effect or Fantasy Grounds doesn't have a built in way to handle whatever the spell is trying to do. For example the spell 'Animal Messenger' doesn't require an effect since this spell and others like it are simply 'Theatre of the Mind' spells. As another example the spell 'Counterspell' won't create an effect either because Fantasy Grounds can't know what the difficulty class of the incoming spell might be. For more information see the 5E Character Sheet

In the case of NPCs effects appear on the Combat Tracker when the NPC is placed there either from the NPC list or from an encounter. This action causes Fantasy Grounds to attempt to parse the information contained in the NPC sheet and create the effects. Most of the standard NPCs from the Monster Manual will, when dragged to the Combat Tracker, create any necessary effects so that the DM can use them. Again, not everything will create an effect either because one isn't required or Fantasy Grounds doesn't have a way to create one. For more details see the5E NPCs and Encounters and the section below on the wording used to create NPC effects.

Creating Effects - Player Characters

In the player Character sheet effects are created in the actions tab. An effect can be added to an existing power or if no power exists a new one can be created.

  • Create a new power group and add a new line to that group; or add a new line to an existing one See the Character Sheet article on how to create power groups.

  • Now right click on the new line created above to bring up the radial menu and select 'Add Action'. This will bring up a submenu which allows you to create the following:

    • Add Cast: this allows for an attack roll to be made against the target or forces the target to make a saving throw - or both

    • Add Damage: As it's name suggests this allows for the creation of a damaging effect to apply to the target

    • Add Heal: Create a healing effect

    • Add Effect: This adds an effect to the target. This can be almost anything from applying a simple condition such as ‘poisoned’ to a whole series of statements which might apply to the target.

  • Whichever you choose a new line will be created with a small magnifying glass beside it. Click the magnifying glass to open up the dialogs associated with each effect type.

Cast Dialog

  • The first section is concerned with attacks. Click the words under 'type' to cycle through the (self explanatory) options, ranged, melee or none.

  • Under 'Base' click to cycle through the options:

    • Group Attack+: This refers to the Power Group and the base attack will feed off whatever the base attack has been set within the power group (see the character sheet article for more on Power Groups).. So if the Power Group ability has been set to STR then this attack will use the character's STR to determine any bonus or penalty to the attack roll.

    • Ability: This allows for setting an ability for this effect independent of whatever has been set for the Power Group. Click the 'Stat' field to cycle through the options. This includes all of the ability modifiers, classes, the character level (lvl) and the character's proficiency. This allows for extreme flexibility in setting up actions. Setting this to 'Base' will feed off the ability which has been set for the Power Group.

    • Fixed: Allows for entering a straightforward number. This is useful if the attack is not based on any particular ability, class or level. In this case enter the number desired in the 'bonus' box.

    • Bonus: Enter a number if any bonus is to be applied to this attack roll.

  • The second section of this dialog is concerned with saving throws.

    • Type: Click to cycle through the options. For example if you want the target to make a DEX saving throw set this to 'Dex'. Once again 'Base' represents the ability set in the Power Group.

    • Base: This is the same as the 'Base' option described above in the attack section.

    • Bonus: Again this is the same as the bonus section in the attack section.

    • On Save: Click here to select 'Half on Success' if the creature takes only half damage on a successful saving throw.

  • Once completed the effect will appear in the Actions tab ready for use. Clicking the small dice icon beside the effect will cause Fantasy Grounds to make the attack and/or saving throw against the target of the attack. Players can also perform the attack and save separately by clicking first on the little sword icon and then on the dice icon beside the save.

Damage Dialog

  • Drag dice and drop them into the 'Dice' box for the damage amount. For example if the damage is 2d6; click and hold a d6, then right click to add a second dice and then drop into the box below 'Dice'.

  • If the action gets a bonus from an ability click on the box below 'Stat' to cycle through the options. Once again 'Base' will feed off whatever ability was set in the Power Group. You can enter a value in the ‘multi’ box if the character gets a bonus to the damage based on their ability modifier. For example if the damage is 1d6 + half your dexterity modifier then set the Stat to Dex and enter 0.5 in the ‘multi’ box.

  • Add any bonus to the damage if this is relevant. Note that this is not the bonus from the ability being used but any bonus that might be available from a magic weapon for example.

  • Enter the type of damage that the effect will do. Note multiple damage types can be entered separated by a comma. You can also add magic, silver, adamantine or cold-forged if the damage has any of these tags.

  • You can add new lines by clicking the green cross icon if necessary. For example if the action did 1d6 bludgeoning and 1d8 cold damage then you would need a line for each one.

Heal Dialog

  • Select the target of the heal by clicking through the options in 'Targeting'. 'Self' will only heal the caster. Targets will heal any target selected including the caster if they are selected.

  • Cycle through the options under 'Type'. 'TEMP' will give the target temporary hit points, 'HP' will remove wounds from any targets selected by the character using the cast..

  • Drag dice into the dice box in the same way as described above.

  • Select a stat if appropriate in the stat box by clicking through the options. Again 'base' will use the ability from the power group. There are also options to add level, proficiency or class.

  • Enter a figure for any bonus to the heal.

  • More lines can be added if needed using the green ‘+’ icon.

Effect Dialog

  • The Descriptions/Conditions/Modifiers line is where you enter your effect. Almost anything can appear here including 'dummy' text. More information on how to create effects in this box is given below.

  • The Duration information is specified in time units. Click on the 'RND' word to cycle through the available time unit intervals (RND = Round, MIN = Minute, HR = hour and DAY = day). If the effect should never expire, enter a zero value or leave blank. Otherwise, enter a number to indicate how long until the effect expires using the selected time units.

  • Click on 'Targeting' to select whether the effect should apply to the caster (self) or to targets.

  • Click through the 'Expend?' options. This determines whether the effect can expire based on usage (i.e. expended), in addition to duration. The options are as follows:

    • Never: The effect will never be expended, and the length of the effect is only governed by the duration.

    • On Next Action: The effect will be expended on the next relevant action. So if the effect is a damage effect then it will be used up when the player next rolls for damage.

    • On Next Roll: The effect will be expended immediately on the next relevant roll made by the character. For example if the effect modifies both attack and damage the effect will be used up on the next attack or damage roll. If there are several targets then each of the targets will be affected by the roll not just the first.

Once per modifier: The effect will continue until a roll has been made involving all of the modifiers in the effect. For example if there is an effect which applies to both attack and damage. The attack part will only be used on the first attack even if the character makes several subsequent attacks. The effect will then be expended completely once a damage roll has been made.

Case Study - ATK

So let’s take a look at just one of the possible modifiers that you can use to create effects the ATK modifier. As its name suggests this modifies a character’s attack roll. Normally an attack is made by rolling a d20 but a variety of situations and spells can add or subtract from the number rolled.

Let’s start with a simple example, where the character has a spell cast on him which gives him a +1 to hit. This effect is written ‘ATK: 1’ (without the quotes). In longhand this is telling Fantasy Grounds to add 1 to the d20 dice roll when a player rolls to attack. The value after the modifier ATK can be a number or a dice value and either can be positive or negative. So we could have all of the following ATK: -1d6, ATK: 4, ATK: -2, ATK: 1d4. The format as you can see is always the modifier (ATK) followed by a colon ‘:’ followed by the value ‘1d4’.

We can also specify a player’s attribute bonus as the value for the modifier. The format for this is ‘ATK: [XXX]’, where XXX represents STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS or CHA. ‘ATK: [WIS]’ will add the players Wisdom modifier (whether positive or negative) to the attack roll. We can also use the negative form ‘ATK: [-WIS]’ to reduce the roll by a specific ability modifier. We can even modify the attribute by halving or doubling it; ‘ATK: [HWIS]’ will add half the wisdom modifier to the roll and ‘ATK: [2WIS] will add double the wisdom modifier. Note that square brackets '[]' are used around the ability modifier. In addition to ability modifiers the character's level [LVL] or proficiency [PRF] or class level [BARBARIAN] can be used as a modifier.

In the case of ATK: 1d4 this will add a 1d4 to any attack roll that the player makes. However we can restrict this to just certain attacks by including a descriptor to the effect. Let’s say that we can only get a bonus on melee attacks; in that case our effect is written ‘ATK: 1d4, melee’. The descriptor is added after the value and separated by a comma ‘,’. Now when used on a character only melee attacks will benefit from the additional dice. If we substitute ‘ranged’ for ‘melee’ then only ranged attacks will get the benefit.

We can go even further and limit the benefit to only opportunity attacks. The format for this is ‘ATK: 1d4, opportunity’. Now FG needs to know when you are making an opportunity attack so when you make the attack hold down shift as you do so. If the player has the effect on him then he will get the bonus to the throw but otherwise nothing happens.

The following are all examples of effects which can be created using the ATK modifier

  • ATK: 1d4 - Will apply a 1d4 bonus to the attack roll.

  • ATK: [-STR] - Will apply a negative equal to strength modifier to the attack

  • ATK: [HLVL], melee, opportunity - will apply half the character's level only to melee opportunity attacks.

  • ATK: 1d6, ranged - will apply a 1d6 bonus to only ranged attacks

  • ATK: [2CON], melee - will apply twice the CON modifier to any melee attack.

  • ATK: [CLERIC] - will add the character's cleric level (only) to the attack. This is useful for multiclassed characters where the bonus relies on the class level rather than the overall level.

Combat Tracker

When an effect is applied to an actor in the combat tracker, some additional fields are available to the DM. See the 5E Combat Tracker for more details.

  • Active State: By default, an effect is set to always be active (i.e. On). The active state can be toggled to Skip or Off. If set to Skip, the next application of the effect will be skipped, and then the effect will be set to On again. If set to Off, the effect will no longer be applied to rolls, but will remain in the CT.

  • Duration: When the main duration field is set to Start/End Turn values, an additional field will be shown to track the initiative number when the duration should start/end.

  • Applied By: The active actor will be used as the source actor of an effect, and shown in the lower right of the effect entry. If no actor is active, then this field is hidden. To set the source actor of an effect, drag the name field of a CT actor onto the label field of a CT effect entry. The source is usually just informational, but may occasionally be used to support advanced effects (such as Marked). Click on the Applied By field to clear the source actor.

Targets: By default, effects are applied to relevant rolls for all targets. However, some effect components can be targeted (such as attack and damage modifiers). A targeting button is shown next to each effect entry, and can be dragged onto a CT entry or CT-linked token to specify that the effect is targeted to a specific actor or set of actors. Additional options to target all allies or enemies are available by right-clicking on the targeting button. The Targets field is hidden unless targets are defined. Click on the Targets field to clear the targets.

Effect Targeting

As described above in the dialog for Spell/Ability Effect there is a box for ‘Targeting’ which can be set either to ‘Targets’ or ‘Self’. It is important to understand that this isn’t asking you to tell Fantasy Grounds who the target of the effect is but rather where the effect should reside.

If we take a simple case of a character that has set up an effect to deal some extra damage, DMG: 1d6. It is the character who is the beneficiary of this additional damage (not the creature who is going to take it) and so when creating the effect the character needs to set the ‘Targeting’ box in the dialog to read ‘Self’. When the player clicks the action button to apply the effect it will correctly be set on the character even if he has a number of enemies targeted on the Combat Tracker (or none at all).

On the other hand suppose we have some spell or ability which means that an enemy gets disadvantage on attack rolls DISATK:. Clearly there’s no use this effect sitting on the character; it must be placed on an enemy and so when setting the targeting we make sure that it reads ‘Targets’.

So when setting the ‘Targeting’ to ‘Targets’ or ‘Self’ we need to think about what the effect is setting out to achieve, who should benefit or who should take the penalty. Once you have sorted that out you should be able to work out on which creature that effect should be sitting.

There is another layer of depth however to the effect system built into Fantasy Grounds – effect targeting. This concept is probably best illustrated with another example and we’ll use the wizard cantrip True Strike. This spell tells us that on your next turn you gain advantage on your first attack against the target of the spell. Let’s say our spellcaster is up against 6 Goblins and he is going to cast the spell on Goblin 3.

Based on the above we need to figure out who is going to benefit from this spell and clearly it is the caster and so the ‘Targeting’ of the effect needs to be set to ‘Self’. So we set up an effect ADVATK: and set the targeting to ‘Self’. We click on the action button and it places the effect on the Wizard. However there’s a problem because we have just given our Wizard advantage on every attack roll he makes against any Goblin, not just Goblin 3.

What we need to do then is target this effect only at Goblin 3 and we do this by holding down SHIFT and dragging the effect onto Goblin 3. You will see that when you do so the effect appears on the Wizard (because we set the targeting to Self) not on Goblin 3. Now our Wizard will only get advantage on an attack against Goblin 3.

A similar kind of situation arises with the Hex spell which allows the caster to get an additional 1d6 necrotic damage against whomever the spell is cast upon. We create the effect DMG: 1d6 necrotic; and set the targeting to ‘Self’. When cast shift-drag the effect onto the target. Now, only against that target will the caster get the additional damage.

It needs to be noted that not every modifier can be used in this way. Modifiers which can be make use of effect targeting have a ‘T’ in the ‘Notes’ column in the tables below. For convenience these are ATK, AC, DMG, Invisible, RESIST, VULN, IMMUNE, COVER, SCOVER, ADVATK, DISATK, GRANTADVATK, GRANTDISATK.

A Word on Syntax

As has been seen from the notes above there is a syntax which must be followed so that effects will work successfully.

  • Modifiers need to be followed by a colon ':' if you intend to have anything after them such as a number, dice etc. If the colon is missed then Fantasy Grounds assumes that there is nothing to follow. Thus if the effect requires nothing after the modifier the colon can be missed out.

  • Some modifiers can accept descriptors. These must follow the dice or number separated by a comma. For example ATK: 1d6, melee

  • If the modifier is to be modified by a player stat then that should be enclosed in square brackets '[]'. For example SAVE: [CHA]

  • Effects can be chained together but each must be separated by a semi colon ';'. For example AC: 1; ATK: 1; DMG: 1d6

  • You can add a description to an effect ending in a semi colon. For example Bless; SAVE: 1d4; ATK: 1d4. this is useful for reminding players what the effect is.

  • A special tag '!' can be used as a kind of logical NOT. For example the effect "RESIST: bludgeoning, piercing, !magic" creates an effect which allows whoever has the effect to resist damage from bludgeoning or piercing weapons provided they are not magical. If they are magical then all of the damage will get through. Other useful delimiters are !silver and !adamantine.

Spells and Constitution Saving Throws

In many cases when a Spellcaster casts a spell they must maintain concentration on that spell for the duration. If, whilst concentrating on a spell, the spellcaster takes damage they must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 10 or half the damage whichever is greater. On a failure concentration on the spell is lost. Fantasy Grounds can handle this automatically provided that the effect is affixed with ;(C). If the caster who is concentrating on the spell takes damage Fantasy Grounds will make the appropriate saving throw and on a failure remove any effects from any actors who are being influenced by the spell.

So, for example, if an effect is created for the Bless spell then it should be ATK: 1;SAVE: 1;(C)

Note: As noted in the table below 'concentration' can replace the ability modifier for advantage and disadvantage to saving throws or to the save effect itself.


The following sections details the conditions, modifiers and other components which can be used to create effects within the 5e ruleset. A number of examples are also provide to help users get starte


  • The following are the conditions from Appendix A of the Player's Handbook which Fantasy Grounds can handle. These are built into the code and can be applied to a character or NPC either via an effect from the character sheet or Combat Tracker or by applying it from the effects button in the UI.

  • Not case-sensitive.

  • Effects do not stack. So, for example, if a character suffers from Blinded and Frightened they will not suffer a double disadvantage to attack rolls.


Modifiers Applied













DISATK, DISCHK: strength, DISCHK: dexterity, DISCHK: constitution, DISSAV: strength, DISSAV: dexterity, DISSAV: constitution













Automatically fails STR and DEX saves












When dying, actor makes death rolls unless it has Stable effect. (option)



Automatically fails STR and DEX saves



Applied to a creature that has been turned. Does nothing mechanically.



Automatically fails STR and DEX saves

(T) = Effects can be targeted to only apply to conditions against certain opponents


  • Format:  [tag]: [dice/number] [descriptors]

  • Case-sensitive

  • If colon missing, assume no dice, numerical modifier or descriptors.

  • Modifiers stack as long as their bonus type is blank or unique. If two modifiers have the same bonus type, only the larger value will be used.

  • When applying effects from PC sheet powers, bracketed ability tags ([STR],[DEX],...) can be added to the modifier dice and numerical portion to adjust by current PC attribute modifiers. The ability tags can be set to negative ([-INT]), half ([HWIS]) or double ([2CHA]). Two additional tags for level ([LVL]) and proficiency bonus ([PRF]) are also supported. Character Classes can also be used and will evaluate to the level for that character in that class. The full name of the class all in capital letters is needed eg. [BARBARIAN], [CLERIC], [WIZARD] etc.









Initiative rolls



[range], opportunity

(T); Attack rolls



[range], opportunity

(T); Armor class




(T); Critical range (minimum of all effect values and 20)



[range], [damage type]*, critical

(T); Damage roll; If critical keyword, only applies to critical damage rolls.




Healing rolls



[ability] or [concentration]

Saving throws



[ability], [skill]

Skill checks





Ability checks




Strength modifier




Dexterity modifier




Constitution modifier




Intelligence modifier




Wisdom modifier




Charisma modifier




[damage type]

(T); Adds damage type to all damage rolls.



[damage type]*

Damage (Ongoing)




Regeneration. Use and/or clause to specify damage types which can overcome regeneration.



[damage type], all, [condition]

(T); Immune to damage type; Assumes all if no [damage type] descriptor. If condition specified this will prevent the condition from being applied to the actor



[damage type], all

(T); Resistance to damage type; Assumes all if no [damage type] descriptor.



[damage type], all

(T); Vulnerability to damage type; Assumes all if no [damage type] descriptor.





(T); Cover; (ATK: -2)




(T); Cover (Superior); (ATK: -5)

Advantage and Disadvantage




Advantage on initiative rolls




Disadvantage on initiative rolls



[range], opportunity

(T), Advantage on attack rolls



[range], opportunity

(T), Disadvantage on attack rolls



[range], opportunity

(T), Grant advantage on attack rolls made against actor



[range], opportunity

(T), Grant disadvantage on attack rolls made against actor




Advantage on all saving throws (or a specific saving throw, if specified) (must be lower case)



[ability] OR concentration

Disadvantage on all saving throws (or a specific saving throw, if specified) (must be lower case)




Advantage on all ability checks (or a specific ability, if specified) (must be lower case)




Disadvantage on all ability checks (or a specific ability, if specified) (must be lower case)




Advantage on all skill checks (or a specific skill, if specified) (must be lower case)




Disadvantage on all skill checks (or a specific skill, if specified) (must be lower case)




Advantage on death rolls




Disadvantage on death rolls





On value of 1-2, applies DISCHK. On value of 3+, applies DISCHK, DISATK and DISSAV.




This modifier is attached to a spell effect. It triggers a concentration roll if the source actor for the effect takes damage.

Magic Resistance



When present on an actor this effect will automatically roll saving throws against magic with advantage


(D) = Dice and numbers supported for value attribute
(N) = Only numbers supported for value attribute
(-) = Neither number nor dice supported for value attribute
(T) = Effects can be targeted to only apply to modifiers against certain opponents

Special Components

  • Unique format for each tag

  • Case-sensitive

A Note on IF and IFT

What both these functions do is test a condition and if it is found to be true then the next part of the statement will be carried out, otherwise it will be ignored.

Let’s take the example IF: invisible; DISSAV strength. What this is saying is that if the character on which this effect is placed is invisible then they will have disadvantage on strength saving throws otherwise nothing happens.

The difference between the two components is that IF looks at the source (i.e. the creature on which the effect is sitting) whilst IFT looks at the target of the creature on which the effect is sitting.

Not only can IF and IFT test conditions (such as poisoned, grappled, invisible, etc.) but they can also test for conditional operators. There are five of these ALIGN, SIZE, TYPE, Wounded and Bloodied. As their name suggests, the first three operators test for the alignment, size and type of a creature. Wounded tests to see if the character has any wounds and Bloodied will return true if the target has wounds greater or equal to half of their maximum hit points.

Taken together the testing components and the conditions which they can test for mean that extremely powerful effects can be set up and these are particularly apposite to magic item creation and use. See examples below.

Special Tag


IF: [condition OR conditional operator]

Ignores the remainder of the effect components within the effect label, unless the source actor has the specified condition.

IFT: [condition OR conditional operator]

Ignores the remainder of the effect components within the effect label, unless the opposing actor has the specified condition.


If spell targeting creature with this effect allows half damage on a save, then this creature will be marked for no damage on successful save and half damage on failed save.


If spell targeting creature with this effect allows half damage on a save and the save type is Dexterity, then this creature will be marked for no damage on successful save and half damage on failed save.


If not (paralyzed/stunned/incapacitated/unconscious/grappled/restrained), then apply "ADVSAV: dexterity; GRANTDISATK"

Conditional Operators

  • Not case-sensitive



ALIGN ([alignment])

If the creature indicated by the conditional effect has the given alignment, then this operator returns true.Neutral is assumed for creatures where not specified.True neutral checking is not supported due to necessary assumptions to make this feature work for majority of cases automatically.

SIZE ([size])SIZE ([>= OR <= OR > OR < OR =][size])

If the conditional effect target is of the correct size or larger/smaller based on the size greater/less than operation, then this operator returns true.Medium size is assumed for creatures where not specified.

TYPE ([creature type]*)

If the creature indicated by the conditional effect has the given creature type, then this operator returns true.The humanoid creature type is assumed for creatures where not specified, and for PCs.


If the conditional effect target has any wounds, then this operator returns true.


If the conditional effect target has wounds greater than or equal to half its hit points, then this operator returns true.


Allows for testing of user created conditions, such as in the 'Hex' or 'Hunter's Mark' spells. The condition to be tested for is added in brackets after the CUSTOM keyword. Thus the syntax would be IF: CUSTOM(condition) or IFT: CUSTOM(condition). If the 'condition' is present on the target then the function will return true.


PC Specific Notes

When applying effects from the Actions tab of the PC sheet, special tags can be inserted to provide numerical bonuses based on the PC's current attributes.

PC tag



PC Strength bonus


PC Dexterity bonus


PC Constitution bonus


PC Intelligence bonus


PC Wisdom bonus


PC Charisma bonus



PCs total level


The level of a given class


PC proficiency bonus

H[other tag]

Half of the other tag bonus

X[other tag]

Multiply other tag by X where X is 2-9

-[other tag]

Negative the other tag bonus (including half and double)


General Examples

  • ATK: 2

  • SAVE: 1

  • DMGO: 2d6

  • DMG: 1d6 cold

  • RESIST: fire; RESIST: cold

  • RESIST: 3 slashing, bludgeoning, piercing, !magic

PC Tag Examples

  • ATK: [-DEX]

  • DMG: 2d6+1 [CON]

IF and IFT Examples

Effect Code


IF: poisoned; DISSAV: wisdom

This will test to see if the character has the ‘poisoned’ effect on him and if so he’ll roll WIS checks at disadvantage. Any of the conditions recognised by Fantasy Grounds can be tested in this way.

IFT: intoxicated; ADVATK

If the target of the attack is intoxicated then give the attacker advantage on the roll.

IF: ALIGN (good); DMG: 1d8 radiant

If the character is good then deal an extra 1d8 radiant damage on any damage roll. Note this will return true for any good alignment (Chaotic Good, Neutral Good, and Lawful Good). You can test for any morality (Good, Evil and Neutral) or any order (Chaotic, Lawful or Neutral) or any combination you want (Chaotic Good, Lawful Evil, etc.). The parameter can also be abbreviated to CG, LE, NG etc. Note however that True Neutral is not supported.

IFT: TYPE (giant); DMG: 1d8

If the target of the damage roll is Giant then do an additional 1d8 damage. There is a complete list of what creature types the TYPE conditional operator will accept and you can find a list of acceptable types below. If you want to test for multiple types then you can separate the types by a comma e.g. IFT: TYPE (dragon, aberration, celestial) will return true if any of these types are the target.

IFT: SIZE(>= medium); ADVATK

If the target’s size is greater or equal to medium then get advantage on the attack roll. You can test for greater or equal (>=), less than or equal (<=), greater than (>), less than (<) or equal (=). The size can be abbreviated e.g. S = small, M = medium, etc.).

DMG: 1d6 radiant; IFT: TYPE (dragon); DMG: 2d6, radiant

Deal an extra 1d6 radiant damage to any target, and only if the target is a dragon do an additional 2d6 radiant damage (i.e. for a total of 3d6 additional damage). As with other modifiers the IFT statement can be chained. Make sure however that it is the last statement in line since if the testing condition is false it will ignore everything after it.

Specific PC Ability/Trait Examples

  • If the Duration, Target, and Expend are not called out, then the default is:

    • Duration=0 (Zero indicates effect should not expire.)

    • Targeting=Targets

    • Expend=Never

Power [Source]

Effect Code



Totem Spirit Rage (Bear) [Class - Barbarian]

Totem Spirit Rage;ADVSAV: strength;ADVCHK: strength;DMG: 2 melee;RESIST: all, !psychic

Targeting=Self; Duration=1 Min


Rage [Class - Barbarian]

Rage;ADVCHK:strength;ADVSAV:strength;DMG:2, melee;RESIST:bludgeoning,slashing,piercing;[SELF]

Targeting=Self; Duration=1 Min

Change “DMG:2” section to 3,4 etc as your rage damage goes up

Feral Instinct [Class - Barbarian]

Feral Instinct;ADVINIT



Avatar of Battle [Class - Cleric (War Domain)]

Avatar of Battle;RESIST:bludgeoning,piercing,slashing,!magic



Nature’s Ward [Class - Druid (Circle of the Land)]

Nature’s Ward;IMMUNE:poison



Survivor [Class - Fighter (Champion)]

Survivor;IF:Bloodied;REGEN:5 [CON]


Must be set up as a power PC actions tab to work with [CON]. Effect must be reapplied in CON bonus changes.

Improved Divine Smite [Class - Paladin]

Improved Divine Smite;DMG:1d8 radiant,melee



Vow of Enmity [Class - Paladin]

Vow of Enmity; ADVATK


Hold shift down while dragging this effect to your target to focus the effect. (Or can implement something similar to Hunter's Mark below.)

Fiendish Resilience [Class - Warlock (The Fiend Patron)]

Fiendish Resilience;RESIST:<type>,!silver,!magic


Replace <type> with damage type of choice (slashing, piercing, bludgeoning)

Thought Shield [Class - Warlock (Great Old One Patron)]

Thought Shield;RESIST:psychic



Lifedrinker [Class - Warlock (Invocation)]

Lifedrinker;DMG:[CHA], melee


Must be set up as a power PC actions tab to work with [CHA]. Effect must be reapplied if CHA bonus changes.

Inured to Undeath [Class - Wizard (Necromancy)]

Inured to Undeath;RESIST:necrotic



Dwarven Resilience [Race - Dwarf]

Dwarven Resilience;RESIST:poison



Hellish Resistance [Race - Tiefling]

Hellish Resistance;RESIST:fire



Stout Resilience [Race - Halfling (Stout)]

Stout Resilience;RESIST:poison



Heavy Armor Master [Feat]

RESIST: 3 slashing,bludgeoning,piercing,!magic



Bane [Spell]


Duration=1 Min


Blade Ward [Spell]

Blade Ward; RESIST: bludgeoning, piercing, slashing

Targeting=Self; Duration=1 Rnd


Bless [Spell]


Duration=1 Min


Guidance [Spell]


Expend=Next Roll; Duration=1 Min


Hunter’s Mark [Spell] (Self)

IFT: CUSTOM(Hunter Mark); DMG: 1d6; (C)

Targeting=Self, Duration=1 Hr

If multiple hunters, change custom "Hunter Mark" to a unique string.

Hunter’s Mark [Spell] (Target)

Hunter Mark; (C)

Duration=1 Hr

See above.

Resistance [Spell]


Expend=Next Roll; Duration=1 Min


Specific Magic Item Examples

Power [Source]

Effect Code


Adamantine Armor

IMMUNE: critical


Armor of Invulnerability

RESIST: bludgeoning,piercing,slashing,!magicArmor of Invulnerability (Power);IMMUNE: bludgeoning,piercing,slashing,!magic


Armor of Resistance (Varies)

RESIST: fire


Armor of Vulnerability (Varies)

RESIST: bludgeoning; VULN: piercing,slashing


Belt of Dwarvenkind

RESIST: poison


Boots of the Winterlands

RESIST: cold


Bracers of Archery

DMG: 2 ranged


Brooch of Shielding

RESIST: force


Cloak of Arachnida

RESIST: poison


Cloak of Displacement



Cloak of Elvenkind

ADVSKILL: stealth


Cloak of Invisibility



Defender (Varies)

AC: 2; ATK: -2; DMG: -2


Dragon Scale Mail (Varies)

RESIST: fire


Dragon Slayer

IFT: TYPE(dragon); DMG: 3d6


Dwarven Thrower

DMG: 1d8 ranged; IFT: TYPE(giant); DMG: 1d8 ranged


Efreeti Chain

IMMUNE: fire


Eyes of Minute Seeing

ADVSKILL: investigation


Eyes of the Eagle

ADVSKILL: perception


Flame Tongue

DMG: 2d6 fire


Frost Brand

DMG: 1d6 cold; RESIST: fire


Giant Slayer

IFT: TYPE(giant); DMG: 2d6


Gloves of Swimming and Climbing

SKILL: 5 athletics


Gloves of Thievery

SKILL: 5 sleight of hand


Holy Avenger

IFT: type(fiend, undead); DMG: 2d10 radiant;


Mace of Disruption

IFT: type(fiend, undead); DMG: 2d10 radiant;


Mace of Smiting

DMG: 2d6 bludgeoning,critical; IFT: type(construct); DMG: 2d6 bludgeoning,critical

Technically only apply if you rolled a 20


IFT: custom(Sworn Enemy); DMG: 3d6 piercingDISATK

First effect while wielding Oathbow, Second effect while not wielding Oathbow and sworn enemy chosen

Oil of Sharpness

DMGTYPE: magic; ATK: 3; DMG: 3


Periapt of Proof Against Poison

IMMUNE: poisoned; IMMUNE: poison


Ring of Elemental Command (Varies)

IMMUNE: fire


Ring of Invisibility



Ring of Resistance (Varies)

RESIST: fire


Ring of Warmth

RESIST: cold


Sentinel Shield



Sun Blade

IFT: TYPE(undead); DMG: 1d8 radiant


Sword of Sharpness

DMG: 4d6 slashing, critical

Technically only apply if you rolled a 20

Sword of Wounding

DMGO: 1d4 necrotic


Vicious Weapon

DMG: 2d6 critical

Technically only apply if you rolled a 20

Automating Effects on NPCs

FG latches on to certain key words and phrases in traits and actions and creates effect from those words which then appear on the Combat Tracker. For users wishing to create their own NPCs the following contains guidance on how to create these effects.

Weapon Attacks

  • Basic Melee Weapon Name. Melee Weapon Attack: +x to Hit [reach 5ft., one target]. Hit: x (ndn + x) <type> damage.

  • Basic Ranged Weapon Name. Ranged Weapon Attack: +x to hit, [range n/n ft., one target]. Hit: x (ndn +x) <type> damage

  • Two handed option Weapon Name. Melee Weapon Attack: +x to Hit [reach 5ft., one target]. Hit: x (ndn + x) <type> damage or x (ndn) <type> damage if used with two hands.

  • Melee or Ranged Melee Weapon Attack: +x to Hit [reach 5ft., one target]. Hit: x (ndn + x) <type> damage or Ranged Weapon Attack: +x to hit, [range n/n ft., one target]. Hit: x (ndn +x) <type> damage

  • Multiple damage types Hit: x (ndn+x) <type> damage plus x (ndn+x) <type> damage

  • Other Damage Types Hit: x (ndn+x) <type>, <magic>, <adamantine>, <silver>, <cold-forged damage> damage

Saving Throws

  • Basic Save The target must make a DC x <ability> saving throw.

  • Save for half damage The target must make a DC x <ability> saving throw, taking x (ndn+x) <type> damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

  • Save against only one damage type Hit: x (ndn+x) <type> damage and the target must make a DC x <ability> saving throw taking x (ndn+x) <type> damage on a failure and half as much damage on a successful one.


The parser will recognise all of the standard conditions listed in the PHB at appendix A except for exhaustion.

  • Basic Condition effect the target is <condition>

  • Prone condition the target is knocked prone

  • Save vs condition The target must make a DC x <ability> saving throw, and on a failure the target is <condition>

  • Multiple conditions The target is <condition> and <condition>

  • Duration the target is <condition> until <the end of your next turn> / <for x rounds> / <for x minutes>


  • Basic Damage The <NPC> takes x (ndn) <type> damage or The <NPC> takes x <type> damage

  • Extra Damage The <NPC> does an extra x (ndn) <type> damage

  • Ongoing Damage Hit: x(ndn+x) <type> damage and the target takes x(ndn+x) <type> damage at the start of each of its turns

  • Improved Critical Adding a trait named 'Improved Critical' to an NPC will allow them to make a critical roll on a 19-20

  • Superior Critical Adding a trait named 'Superior Critical' will allow an NPC to make a critical roll on an 18-20

Immunities and Resistances

These are handled by filling in the appropriate boxes in the NPC sheet. Each damage type should be entered in lower case and if more than one separated by a comma. If the resistance or immunity can be overcome by certain weapon types or by magical weapons then there is wording which can be used to create the proper effect on the CT.

  • Magic Weapons [Damage Resistances/Immunities] bludgeoning, slashing and piercing from nonmagical weapons

  • Magic and Other Types [Damage Resistances/Immunities] bludgeoning, slashing and piercing from nonmagical weapons that aren’t silvered

  • Other Types [Damage Resistances/Immunities] piercing from weapon attacks that aren’t adamantine

  • Damage Threshold If the damage from a single source dealt to this creature is less than or equal to <X> then the creature will take no damage. Any damage from a single source which exceeds this value will be applied in full' will create an appropriate effect on the CT when this creature is added to it.


  • Basic Heal The <creature name> regains ndn hit points or The <creature name> regains x hit points.

  • Regeneration The <creature name> regains x hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point.

  • Regeneration with prevention The <creature name> regains x hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point. If the <creature name> takes <type> damage, this trait doesn't function at the start of the creature’s next turn

  • Regeneration with multiple prevention The <creature name> regains x hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point. If the <creature name> takes <type> or <type> damage, this trait doesn't function at the start of the creature’s next turn.

  • Death only on zero hit points The <creature name> regains x hit points at the start of its turn. (If the <creature name> takes <type> damage, this trait doesn't function at the start of the creature’s next turn). The <creature name> dies only if it starts its turn with 0 hit points and doesn't regenerate.


If the NPC can cast spells then you can automate the population of the actual spells into the NPC sheet. Additionally with the correct wording Fantasy Grounds will work out the attacks and spell save DCs where those are present in the spell. The trait for Spellcasting and Innate Spellcasting are given below.


The [NPC] is a nth-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is [ability]. The [NPC] has the following spells prepared.

Cantrips (at will): <spell name>,<spell name>

1st level (4 slots): <spell name>, <spell name>

2nd level (2 slots): <spell name>, <spell name>

Innate Spellcasting

The [NPC]'s spellcasting ability is <ability>. It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: <spell name>, <spell name>

x/Day each: <spell name>, <spell name>

x/Day each: <spell name>, <spell name>

  • Overriding automatic calculations If you want to override the automatic calculation of spell save DC's and attacks insert the following into the first line of the trait.

The 5e ruleset also supports spellcasting as an action rather than as a trait. Use the following wording in an action to correctly populate the spells for the NPC


The [NPC] casts one of the following spells, using <ability> as the spellcasting ability (spell save DC x):

At will: <spell name>, <spell name>

x/day each: <spell name>, <spell name>

x/day each:<spell name>, <spell name>

Other Traits

  • Magic resistance Include a trait called 'Magic Resistance'. The NPC will then automatically rolled saves vs spells with advantage

  • Magic Weapons Include a trait called 'Magic Weapons'. All damage done by the creature will automatically add the magic tag to the damage dealt

  • Recharge Where a trait rolls a dice after it is used to see if it can be used again include in the trait heading <Heading> (Recharge x). A six sided dice will automatically be rolled at the start of the creatures turn and if the result equals or exceeds 'x' then the trait will be available again.

  • Gnome Cunning When this trait is present the actor will have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma saving throws against magic.