When you create your character, you receive equipment based on a combination of your class and background. Alternatively, you can start with a number of gold pieces based on your class and spend them on items from the lists in this chapter. See the Starting Wealth by Class table to determine how much gold you have to spend.
(It might be a good idea to check with your DM too!)
You decide how your character came by this starting equipment. It might have been an inheritance, or goods that the character purchased during his or her upbringing. You might have been equipped with a weapon, armor, and a backpack as part of military service. You might even have stolen your gear. A weapon could be a family heirloom, passed down from generation to generation until your character finally took up the mantle and followed in an ancestor’s adventurous footsteps.
A lot of times your starting equipment includes a least one tool.
A tool helps you to do something you couldn’t otherwise do, such as craft or repair an item, forge a document, or pick a lock. Your race, class, background, or feats give you proficiency with certain tools. Proficiency with a tool allows you to add your proficiency bonus to any ability check you make using that tool.
Tool use is not tied to a single ability, since proficiency with a tool represents broader knowledge of its use. For example, the DM might ask you to make a Dexterity check to carve a fine detail with your woodcarver’s tools, or a Strength check to make something out of particularly hard wood.
In the picture above, the playing character is choosing to flee rather than fight. Maybe because his companions are all fallen, victimds of the vile undead chasing him. Maybe because he wants to get the high ground to cast a spell or Turn Undead, Or maybe he’s just smart enough not to try to fight those things in that environment. Either way, he’s using tools to escape!
See that rope? Yeah. We always have rope, right? Rope. Rope, whether made of hemp or silk, has 2 hit points and can be burst with a DC 17 Strength check.
∇ Climbing, Swimming, and Crawling ∇
While climbing or swimming, each foot of movement costs 1 extra foot (2 extra feet in difficult terrain), unless a creature has a climbing or swimming speed. At the DM’s option, climbing a slippery vertical surface or one with few handholds requires a successful Strength (Athletics) check. Similarly, gaining any distance in rough water might require a successful Strength (Athletics) check.
And he’s got a torch! Seeing is a good thing. Torch. A torch burns for 1 hour, providing bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. If you make a melee attack with a burning torch and hit, it deals 1 fire damage.
∇ Vision and Light ∇
The most fundamental tasks of adventuring—noticing danger, finding hidden objects, hitting an enemy in combat, and targeting a spell, to name just a few—rely heavily on a character’s ability to see. Darkness and other effects that obscure vision can prove a significant hindrance.
A given area might be lightly or heavily obscured. In a lightly obscured area, such as dim light, patchy fog, or moderate foliage, creatures have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
A heavily obscured area—such as darkness, opaque fog, or dense foliage—blocks vision entirely. A creature in a heavily obscured area effectively suffers from the blinded condition when trying to see something in that area.
The presence or absence of light in an environment creates three categories of illumination: bright light, dim light, and darkness.
Bright light lets most creatures see normally. Even gloomy days provide bright light, as do torches, lanterns, fires, and other sources of illumination within a specific radius.
Dim light, also called shadows, creates a lightly obscured area. An area of dim light is usually a boundary between a source of bright light, such as a torch, and surrounding darkness. The soft light of twilight and dawn also counts as dim light. A particularly brilliant full moon might bathe the land in dim light.
Darkness creates a heavily obscured area. Characters face darkness outdoors at night (even most moonlit nights), within the confines of an unlit dungeon or a subterranean vault, or in an area of magical darkness.
Always make sure you check out what is included in your character equipment packs! It may mean the difference between life and death for your character: