Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition, published in 2008 (includes Essentials)

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What should a DM do if a player wants to do something impossible?

If a player wants to do something a little out of the ordinary such as punching down a wall with his bare fists, what should I do? Do I make a DC for it? Do I make it so that no matter how much he ...
19
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8answers
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How much damage is caused by a thrown coin?

If someone was to use their coins as thrown weapons, no sling just out of hand, how would you roll the attack and damage rolls? Is there a damage chart for something like this?
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4answers
8k views

Is 'Charge' broken?

I was awestruck when I saw a PC take his movement action; then perform a charge. Growing up in D&D3.5 I assumed that he was wrong. In D&D3.5, the rules states clearly that you cannot perform ...
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4answers
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Why does shifting in D&D 4 not provoke Opportunity Attacks?

My gaming group is brand new. We had our first session tonight. I had a few questions for this SE... the first is this one. Why does shifting in D&D 4 not provoke Opportunity Attacks? Or am I ...
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9answers
2k views

How to keep track of abilities for D&D 4e?

What are some effective ways to keep track of my character's various abilities? I would prefer cheap or free tools.
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7answers
2k views

How can a party with no healers return a character from the unconscious/dying condition?

The party I DM for has only three characters and they elected not to take a healer. This is fine with me as the DM, and they all seem to enjoy the characters they've taken. I try and hand out a few ...
19
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6answers
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What is the optimal way to design a well balanced party

Confession - I just TPK'd my group....again. One of the reasons that has been identified is that while the party is composed of 5 pretty well optimized characters, as a party they just aren't in ...
19
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6answers
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I'm fairly new to D&D but want to GM; where do I go from here?

I'm a 16-year-old male, and I have been interested in tabletop RPGs for a long time, especially D&D. I sorta dove into D&D really fast and hard by buying the Red box, Dungeon Master Kit, ...
19
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4answers
961 views

What do “Shadowfell” and “Underdark” mean?

English is not my primary language, as such I have some difficult trying to understand the actual meaning of some place names. Shadowfell is the place where "shadows (noun) fell (verb)", or is a ...
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2answers
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How do I use minions effectively?

I'm a newbie DM. It seems that minions in an encounter benefit the PCs more than they benefit me: The Barbarian can kill them for free THP and a Swift Charge (I thought they were supposed to slow ...
19
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2answers
541 views

Is teleporting a creature considered forced movement of said creature?

Is teleporting a creature considered to be forced movement of said creature? I have a player interested in a power that adds damage on forced movement and teleport.
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4answers
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What are the main differences between Gamma World and D&D 4e?

I just got Gamma World and want to try it out with my D&D 4e (Essentials) players. Clearly to a great portion, a re-skin of 4e, but not completely. Obviously character generation is completely ...
19
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3answers
685 views

How can I make diseases non-trivial?

As noted here, diseases in 4e seem more trivial than I think they were intended: they rarely last more than one increment! What rules can I make/break, or what actions can I take, so that contracting ...
19
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3answers
582 views

How much of a large's creature's space must be above a pit before they fall?

Scenario: The party encounters large skeletons. The combat map has a lot of squares marked as (possibly) bottomless pits. Each skeleton takes up four squares. If they are forced towards the edge, how ...
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13answers
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How do current D&D 4e DMs deal with loot?

I've been playing since the system was released. I've been a fan of the design changes, except the loot. I loved random loot that allowed my players to be surprised by something awesome, and then ...
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6answers
1k views

What to do in the first session of a campaign?

The first session of my new D&D 4e campaign is coming up pretty soon and I'm not quite sure how to go about the introduction into this new campaign. I have the geography and landmarks and things ...
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10answers
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Is it possible to run Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition without a battlemap?

The push, pull, and slide mechanics immediately come to mind as being difficult to track accurately without a battlemap. Auras are another. Has anyone come up with a simple solution to narrating ...
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2answers
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Is 4th edition D&D compatible with 5th edition?

I have all of the hardcover books from D&D 4th edition. I recently bought and am reading the 5th edition players handbook and I must say I like it. I was wondering if 4th edition information ...
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7answers
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How can I encourage my D&D Encounters group to do more role playing?

I'm a new player to D&D 4e. I've been participating in D&D Encounters since Season 1 and have even run a couple of sessions in Season 3 when the regular DM couldn't attend. I don't play in ...
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3answers
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Is any rest required to level up?

One of our houserules for Castle Ravenloft is that a player gains full HP as part of leveling up. This was based on a common presumption between the "DM" (technically, CR has no DM per se, but he ...
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3answers
563 views

How do you make your players see beyond their power cards?

This question is similar in intent to How do you help players not focus on the rules?, but more focused on a particular feature of D&D 4E: the power list. On today's Rule of Three's article, ...
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5answers
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How do I let players know that not every encounter has to be hack and slash? [duplicate]

My players kind of have a habit of, "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, WE MUST KILL IT!" Recently they came across a small goblin camp and one of them (who speaks goblin) verbally ...
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4answers
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What are the major differences between Pathfinder and D&D 4e?

I'm really only familiar with D&D 4e. Could someone give me a rundown of the major things that would be different if I were to DM Pathfinder? (I gather it is more similar to 3.5e, but I only know ...
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12answers
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What is a good combat tracker for D&D 4th Edition?

As my players go up levels there are more and more variables in combat. I need help. What solutions exist out there and what makes them good?
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2answers
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Can an unconscious character use a healing surge?

Can an unconscious character use an action (like second wind or a healing power) to spend a healing surge? Can an unconscious character spend a healing surge due to some external effect?
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4answers
840 views

How can I make combat more challenging without making it too frustrating?

My fellow DMs and I have come across a problem. It feels like the party has been doing a good job of dispatching our monsters with relative ease. We are not upset about this part, our party has done ...
18
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1answer
679 views

What direction do you go if you push yourself?

Dominated: The creature can’t take actions voluntarily. Instead, the dominator chooses a single action for the creature to take on the creature’s turn: a standard, a move, a minor, or a free ...
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2answers
393 views

Can a blast hit targets vertically above the caster?

Can a blast hit targets vertically above the caster? ... trying to draw the situations in text mode ... Assuming we have a map like so ... A | B | C D | E | F G | H | I and the caster is in ...
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6answers
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How do I prevent my players from immediately recognising an ambush?

I'm absolutely new to DnD, as my whole group is, and I am the DM. For an easy introduction to the game I chose the H1 adventure (Keep on the Shadowfell). In the first and second combat encounter the ...
17
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8answers
889 views

My necromancer keeps dying (and can't raise himself)!

Sometimes in the course of running an adventure you will run into an encounter that calls for a summoner to bring on a horde of undead (often minions). I have a simple problem: My summoners die in ...
17
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9answers
572 views

What ways are there to convey loneliness and betrayal in an encounter?

A little background: I am designing a campaign that largely takes place in the mind of a twisted wizard. The wizard was shunned and exiled from his home due to a physical disfigurement, and after a ...
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5answers
434 views

How do you alter the difficulty of a challenge/fight in the middle of it?

I've run a bunch of times with players that took very diverse characters. I made them use their own rolls (which often ended up giving them awesome stats for some reason). Eventually I had to ...
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5answers
606 views

How do I make a single combat in a day challenging and interesting?

4e is a game of resource attrition. I can't find the quote in DMG right now, but from memory and experience, it works best with about 3-5 combat encounters in an adventuring day. That way, some of the ...
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3answers
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Attack with two keywords versus resistance with one of them

I had the following situation last night. A creature attacked with a Fire and Poison attack. My character has resist 5 Poison. does the resistance apply or do I need to resist 5 fire as well?
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7answers
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What is an effective 3-character 'Core' party?

I (may) have a party with 3 core players and some people that occasionally chime in. While I'm not expecting too many socialisation / synchronisation problems (see this thread about changing ...
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1answer
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Are temporary hit points able to make you concious?

Last game a character dropped unconscious with exactly -1 HP. The party's paladin used on his turn 'Beacon of Nobility' to give the unconscious character 5 temporary hit points. The Rules Compendium ...
17
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1answer
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Which cleric powers are usable without a Holy Symbol?

Yesterday I had the privilege of losing my Holy Symbol to a story point. (We all lost everything but our clothes.) How can I determine what powers, if any, I can use without my Holy Symbol?
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6answers
685 views

Readying an action before combat

Suppose the party suspects that combat is imminent, and some of the PCs ready actions (attack nearest hostile creature, attack first thing that moves). Then combat erupts. Some of the PCs are ...
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3answers
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How do you make 4th Edition Rituals more accessible?

So here’s the situation: Rituals should be awesome. They’re typically a little bit open-ended, they’re not direct combat actions, they’re ripe for interesting roleplaying, and they’re fairly ...
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1answer
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What changed in Eberron between 3.5e and 4e?

Both in terms of setting fluff and game mechanics, what are the differences between the original D&D 3.5 version of Eberron and its D&D 4th edition version?
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3answers
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Can a prone immobilized creature stand up?

If I knock a creature prone and also manage to immobilize it (or if I prone an immobilized creature of I immobilize a prone creature) can it stand up on its next turn? Put simple: Can I stand up from ...
17
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3answers
683 views

How do I switch from combat-based play to roleplay-included play in D&D?

I have played a few RP games at this point, but the vast majority of the gaming i have done has been my solo (read: playing several char's at once but being the only player) campaigns Brian ...
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4answers
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How can acrobatics be used to move through an enemy occupied square?

According to the AcrobaticsDDI skill you can use an Acrobatic Stunt to "somersault over an opponent", amongst other things . It gives a base DC of 15, and "the DM sets the DC based on the complexity ...
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4answers
792 views

Challenging pre-made campaign for veteran players but easy on new GMs

I just decided to start GMing. I have never done it before, but I have played lots of RPGs as a player. The group I have is a min/maxing group who knows what to do and I want to give them something to ...
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5answers
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How do I avoid railroading in dungeons?

Well, I'm a very big fan of 4E's character creation system and also its combat, but a problem I've found is that exploration seems pointless in this edition and everything's built around combat ...
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7answers
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Can PCs hide motivations from the DM?

So, one of my PCs is a Lawful Neutral Knight, coming from a small landless noble family. From the beginning of the campaign he told me that he wanted a lord to serve under, and to enhance the ...
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4answers
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Why shouldn't I use fully statted PC characters as NPC antagonists in D&D 4E?

According to the DMG (187), NPCs in 4e seem to be run as a weird sort of template halfway between a monster and a PC - you don't generate an actual character with a full array of powers and feats. Is ...
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3answers
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In D&D 4e What does a letter inside of brackets mean for a hit effect of an attack power?

For example, the Clerics level 1 power "brand of the sun" says the following: Hit: 1[W] + Wisdom modifier radiant damage. What does that mean? Does that mean 1xWeapon Damage + Wisdom modifier? ...
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6answers
1k views

What adventures focus on courtly intrigue and social conflict instead of combat?

My wife bought me the Dungeons & Dragons 4e Player's Handbook for my birthday, and we've been talking about playing it. She has experience with video games: we've always played video games, and ...
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4answers
778 views

How do I help a player who struggles with a tactics-focused character?

I'm a fairly new DM with fairly new players. One such player rolled up a warlord, casting the character as a "tactical genius". Unfortunately, she's having trouble getting "moments of glory", because ...