How Long is a Turn in DnD 5e?


So, you’re curious how long a turn is in DnD 5e?
That’s what we’re here to answer today.

But first, it’s important to clarify. A turn is not a round. We made that distinction in a previous article in which we talked about rounds. Today instead, we will be discussing turns – and recapping information from the previous article. We’ll do this so as to get a better understanding of the nuances.

Now, for starters. We’ll take a look first at what a round was by recapping the previous article. After this, we will take a look at what a turn is. Finishing off by finally summarizing the differences in handy points.

With all that said, let’s get into it.

What is a Round and what is a Turn in DnD 5e?

As mentioned in the previous article.
A round is the space in which every character performs an action in an encounter. Once each individual character has performed an action – then it can be considered that the round has ended.

A turn on the other hand. A turn is what a round is comprised of – multiple turns technically.
What this means is that; each character receives a turn per round. Once this cycle is completed for each character a new round commences.

Keep in mind from the previous point. Not only does round ≠ turn. But a turn ≠ action as well. Certain conditions allow you to perform multiple actions per turn, read through these carefully.

Speaking about actions, let’s take a look at them.

Actions which you can perform during your turn

Each turn lasts about 6 seconds real-time. Of course, you might need more time in real life to decide which action to perform. The previous comment only concerns in-game time.

Now, we listed in the previous article about the actions which you can perform. So today, when talking about turns; let’s explain what these actions are – and what effects performing them has.

Attacking: Self-explanatory. In order to attack, you must use up the action you have in your turn. Attacking and defeating your enemy being the main point of any encounter.

Casting a Spell: This works a bit differently for each class. As each caster class plays entirely different from one another. Thought what remains the same among them all is the fact that they have to use up the action of their turn in order to cast a spell. And no free cantrips – cantrips will use take a turn just as much as a regular spell.

Dashing: This means moving from one point to another. A check might be required here, as the environment might not take kindly to you moving to another spot.

Disengaging: Sometimes, some fights are just not favorable. In those situations – you want to get out of there as fast as possible. That is where disengagement can come in helpful.

Dodging: See that giant boulder coming towards you? Might want to dodge that – it’s gonna cost you a turn though.

Helping an Ally: It’s only good sportsmanship and teamwork to help an ally who’s down or in a sticky situation. Help your allies whenever possible – don’t be selfish.

Hiding: There are certain benefits to not being seen. Sometimes it’s better to use a turn to hide – than to jump into each confrontation.

Readying: Don’t know what to do during your turn? Then just ready yourself against whatever the enemy might throw at you next.

Searching an Objet: If you want to search that attractive-looking chest, then you’re gonna have to spend a turn. Best case scenario, you find treasure. Worst case scenario, you find a mimic.

Using an Object: Certain objects that can be interacted with might require you to use up your action. Consult your DM for these kinds of situations.


That basically covers most of the things you need to know about turns in DnD 5e.
We looked at what turns are, the difference between turns and round, and the difference between actions and turns.

I’ll mention it again. Certain actions might not require you to waste your turn – just consult your DM in these situations. What’s more, certain conditions might give you more actions to do per turn. Case in point are bonus actions.

Regardless. Consult both articles we’ve written until now, (and any other you might find important) and you’ll understand the nuances between turns, rounds, and actions.

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