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Fantasy Grounds DnD5e Effects Automation: (Effects Coding)

Updated: Jan 2

Player Characters (PCs) in D&D 5e on Fantasy Grounds:

  1. Class Features & Hit Dice

  • Recognizes hit dice formats like "XdY" for standard types (1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12, 1d20).

  • Class-specific features like "Draconic Resilience" and "Unarmored Defense" are handled uniquely.

  1. Skill Proficiencies

  • Accurately recognizes phrases for adding skill proficiencies. Skills must be capitalized as they appear in FG.

  • Examples include "Choose NN skill(s) from ..." (NN = one to nine written out).

  1. Spellcasting / Pact Magic

  • Identifies the default spellcasting ability for classes and impacts the number of spells a character can prepare.

  1. Racial Traits

  • Automates racial traits like ability score increases, size, speed, and specific racial abilities (e.g., "Darkvision", "Fleet of Foot").

  • Special traits like "Gnome Cunning" provide automatic advantages.

  1. Feats

  • Recognizes specific formats for feats affecting stat increases, proficiencies, languages, initiative, passive perception, and speed.

  • Feats like "Tough" automatically apply new HP, and "Dragon Hide" affects armor calculations.

  1. Background Skills

  • Phrases for selecting background skills are accurately identified.

Reference Link for PC-Facing content:

For detailed guidance and specific scenarios, the Fantasy Grounds Forum is a valuable resource: Fantasy Grounds Forum - 5e Class, Background, Race, Feat Interpreted Strings

This summary encompasses key aspects of Fantasy Grounds' handling of custom player character content in the D&D 5e rule set, ensuring GMs can manage their custom content characters effectively and enjoy a smoother gameplay experience.

Mastering 5E Effects for Advanced Gameplay in Fantasy Grounds Unity

Keywords: Fantasy Grounds Unity, 5E Effects, Advanced Automation, TTRPG Gameplay, Tabletop RPG, Customizing Game Effects, NPC Effects, Character Sheet Customization, Combat Tracker Management, Spellcasting in Fantasy Grounds

Understanding and Implementing 5E Effects in Fantasy Grounds Unity

Fantasy Grounds Unity offers an impressive suite of tools for creating and managing effects in 5E gameplay. These effects, ranging from bonuses to penalties on dice rolls, are integral to character actions on the Combat Tracker. Here's an in-depth look at how effects enhance gameplay:

  1. The Essence of Effects: Effects in Fantasy Grounds are applied to characters' actions, including attacks, saving throws, and ability checks. This system allows for a dynamic gameplay experience where every action can have varying outcomes based on predefined conditions.

  2. Automated and Manual Creation of Effects: While many effects are generated automatically when characters are created or leveled up, understanding how to manually create and customize effects is crucial for detailed gameplay scenarios.

  3. NPC Effects on the Combat Tracker: When NPCs are added to the Combat Tracker, Fantasy Grounds attempts to parse and create necessary effects from their sheets, streamlining the DM's task in managing NPCs during encounters.

  4. Customization of Character Sheet Effects: Players can tailor effects in their character sheets, creating specific conditions for spellcasting, damage, and healing actions. This level of customization adds depth to player characters and diversifies their capabilities.

  5. Detailed Effect Customization Options: Fantasy Grounds provides extensive options for customizing effects, including setting attack types, modifying based on abilities, and specifying damage types.

  6. Syntax for Creating Effects: Properly formatting effects is key to ensuring they function as intended. This involves using specific syntax with colons, brackets, and semi-colons for defining and chaining effects.

  7. Strategic Targeting of Effects: Choosing whether an effect applies to the character or to others ('Self' vs. 'Targets') is a strategic decision, especially for spells targeting specific entities.

  8. Combat Tracker Effect Management: DMs have control over the active state, duration, and source of effects in the Combat Tracker, allowing for nuanced management of ongoing game scenarios.

  9. Automating Concentration and Saving Throws: Fantasy Grounds streamlines gameplay by automating aspects like maintaining concentration on spells and handling saving throws when casters take damage



Fantasy Grounds provides a robust and intuitive platform for creating and managing your D&D 5e characters. By understanding how it interprets various inputs, you can craft characters that are not only rule-compliant but also rich in story and abilities. Dive into your next adventure with confidence, knowing your character is fully realized in the world of Fantasy Grounds!

Mastering NPC Effects Automation in Fantasy Grounds for D&D 5e


Welcome to a guide on automating Non-Player Character (NPC) effects in Fantasy Grounds for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition (D&D 5e). This article is crafted for Dungeon Masters seeking to enrich their campaigns with streamlined, accurate NPC management. We delve into the specifics of ensuring your NPCs are as dynamic and engaging as possible, all within the innovative framework of Fantasy Grounds.

The Essence of NPC Automation:

In D&D 5e, NPCs play pivotal roles, from formidable adversaries to crucial allies. Fantasy Grounds provides an array of tools to automate various aspects of NPCs, enhancing the gameplay experience for both Dungeon Masters and players. Here’s how you can leverage these tools effectively:

1. Automating Weapon Attacks

  • Format for Different Attacks: It's essential to specify each attack type separately. For example, "Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) slashing damage." and "Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 150/600 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (1d10 + 6) piercing damage."

  • Handling Multiple Damage Types: If an NPC can inflict different types of damage in one attack, the format must reflect this. For instance, "Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage plus 4 (1d8) cold damage." This ensures the system applies damage resistances and vulnerabilities accurately.

2. Structuring Saving Throws and Conditions

  • Crafting Saving Throws: Proper formatting is key for saving throws to function correctly in the system. Use the structure, "The target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 22 (5d8) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one."

  • Applying Conditions: Fantasy Grounds recognizes standard D&D conditions when appropriately phrased. For instance, "On a failed save, the target is frightened for 1 minute." This triggers the condition automatically in the game.

3. Implementing Ongoing Damage Effects

  • Duration-Based Damage: For effects like burning or bleeding, where damage continues over time, structure your descriptions to reflect this. An example would be, "Hit: 12 (2d6 + 5) slashing damage, and the target takes 5 (1d10) necrotic damage at the start of each of its turns due to a festering wound."

4. Detailing Immunities, Resistances, and Vulnerabilities

  • Specifying in NPC Sheets: Enter each immunity, resistance, and vulnerability clearly in the NPC's sheet. Phrases like "Damage Resistances: cold, bludgeoning from nonmagical attacks" help the system apply these effects during combat.

5. Special Traits and Rechargeable Abilities

  • Unique Traits: Traits like "Magic Resistance" or "Regeneration" must be included in the NPC's description. For example, "Magic Resistance: The golem has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects."

  • Recharge Abilities: Abilities that recharge, like a dragon's breath weapon, are automated with a specific format. "Fire Breath (Recharge 5-6)" means at the start of the NPC's turn, a d6 is rolled to determine if the ability recharges.

6. Spellcasting NPCs

  • Spellcasting Format: Spellcasting NPCs should have their abilities clearly listed. For instance, "The lich is a 18th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 20, +12 to hit with spell attacks)."



Automating NPC effects in Fantasy Grounds not only streamlines gameplay but also brings depth and unpredictability to encounters. By following these guidelines, Dungeon Masters can ensure their NPCs are ready to challenge and intrigue players in every session.

Reference Links for Further Exploration

Embark on your next adventure with NPCs that are as lively and complex as your game world deserves!

Happy DMing, and may your adventures be ever memorable! ~ Laerun

Credit goes to: Zacchaeus, Mattekure, Rob2e, and the FG community

Article Author: Laerun Fantasy Grounds Academy Community Date: [01/01/24]

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