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

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How should I respond to a DM who unfairly plays the “rules-lawyer” card?

My question: How would you, as an experienced role-player, deal with this situation? I was recently invited to join a 4e startup goup. I've RP'd a fair bit in my day, but not in decades, and never ...
47
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11answers
7k views

3d6 vs a d20: What is the effect of a different probability curve?

What is the effect on game play of replacing d20 rolls with 3d6 rolls in a D&D 4e campaign? I started thinking about this after reading this question where the example was given of playing a d20 ...
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13answers
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How do I make skill checks more than just sequences of die chucking?

I think I don't get skill challenges. As I understand it at some point I break the narrative by proclaiming: "This is a skill challenge. You need 5 victories before you reach 3 failures. Go" And then ...
38
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14answers
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Can D&D Fourth Edition be played effectively in a non-gamist manner?

I'd like to ask a question that's been brewing for a while. A lot of the answers and comments on this site seem to be from people who play 4e and are insistent that the right way/only way/best way to ...
38
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13answers
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Playing 4th Ed D&D for the first time, what should I read to avoid holding everyone back?

I've been invited to join a new game of D&D 4th edition this weekend, but haven't played proper D&D before. Are there any resources I ought to read or get before I turn up, so that I'm not a ...
36
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7answers
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What do you do when a player intimidates your campaign boss to surrender?

So my players recently fought a big bad campaign boss. The (custom made) boss was a kind of solo beserker king, and the encounter difficulty was designed to be fairly moderate until the boss became ...
35
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9answers
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How to deal with a Batman PC as a DM?

I'm running one of the D&D Encounters tables at the local game shop. In Chapter 3 the players can create their own characters. Everyone had normal characters with the exception of one player who ...
34
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16answers
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In D&D, A PC became king. How do I keep him in check?

I'm running a D&D 4e campaign. There, a player has worked very hard and somehow tricked me into becoming a king of an evil kingdom (the population is 100,000+). The area he became king of is a ...
32
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4answers
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What are the differences between D&D 3.5 and D&D 4th edition?

I have a small group of players who don't play often and we've been playing D&D 3.5. I wanted to know if there are any significant differences between D&D 3.5 and D&D 4e? Do they use a ...
30
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7answers
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Is my DM a killjoy, or am I just a whining player?

I've been playing D&D 4E with a group of colleagues from work for about a year or so now. Whilst some of us were seasoned role players, and others had never played before at all - none of us had ...
30
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6answers
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How do you deal with metagaming based on die results?

I ran into this problem in a session I had earlier today. My characters were going through a dungeon and after a fairly lengthy fight with a person who lived there, they decided they would question ...
29
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6answers
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Is giving a kobold a weapon considered a marriage proposal?

I have a friend who played D&D 4e longer then me. One day we were adventuring in Kobold Hall and I convinced a female kobold to join our group. Soon after my character gave the kobold a weapon, my ...
29
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9answers
3k views

How can I efficiently run a morally challenging campaign?

I recently started running a DnD 4e campaign of my own. My goal was to make it an ethical dilemma for the players, to really give them a chance to play a game where character/personality based choices ...
28
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8answers
1k views

What are the most important differences for a 1st Edition AD&D Dungeon Master learning to run D&D 4E?

I'm a campaign designer and DM with 20+ years of AD&D 1st edition experience. I've been "retired" from the game for over a decade, assume I don't know anything about 2nd, 3rd, or 3.5. Now I'm ...
28
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6answers
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In an even fight, how many rounds does a typical monster need to drop a PC?

Inspired by the closed question: DnD Next Hitpoint Inflation, There have been claims of HP inflation in dnd-next, and there certainly were increased in the absolute value of HP in 4e. In order to ...
28
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12answers
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What set of books makes a complete starter set for 4e?

I've asked several questions about 4th Edition D&D because I may be able to start a game. However, I'd need to purchase (some) materials. I am aware of the 4 book set (core) and the expected ...
26
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6answers
2k views

What good is GP?

I know the title sounds silly, but hear me out. I'm kinda new to DnD and I'm DM'ing a 1st level campaign for a group of people who have never played before. They've made their characters with what ...
26
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3answers
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Is there a core campaign setting for DnD 4e?

I'm completely new to RPGs in general, so I apologize in advance if this is an odd question. There's such an overwhelming abundance of lore on all the different campaign settings for DnD that I've ...
24
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7answers
4k views

How do I use Passive Perception to have some characters notice parts of the environment?

I'm new to DM'ing and have an issue I'm not sure how to deal with. The situation is this: It's pitch black outside and the PC is walking, with a lantern in hand, toward a building. A bird is ...
24
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7answers
12k views

How do I get started playing Dungeons and Dragons by myself?

I've been wanting to start playing D&D for some time, and I was wondering how I could get started by myself with relative ease. I own the first two player handbooks, and a set of dice.
24
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8answers
777 views

How do I run a game for a larger group?

I am currently running a Dungeons and Dragons 4 campaign for a group of 9 players. Whittling the group down to a more manageable size is not really an option since they are all family. When we do ...
23
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10answers
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Traps specifically for Smart characters

Does anyone have examples or suggestions on creating traps that are harder for Smart (High INT/WIS) characters? Example: My NPC necromancer has set up his lair. In his arrogance he believes that ...
23
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7answers
1k views

How to encourage a player's creativity without breaking the game?

I've just started a new D&D 4e campaign with a new group of players. One of my players came straight from 2nd edition, and has never played 4e before. She doesn't seem to grasp the layer of ...
23
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4answers
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Can a sniper be built in D&D 4e?

The concept of a sniper has been around a long time, even with bows. Is this even possible in D&D4e, where the range increments are so short? Criteria: Long range bow or crossbow attacks. ...
23
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4answers
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Monster Manual 1 - Is it balanced? Should I balance it?

I've been DM'ing a little lately 4 edition D&D and of course I'm confused again: My first adventure was a big question mark, I didn't use the exact guidelines for creating an encounter and ...
23
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3answers
1k views

How to implement a stealth based instant-kill system

I've been playing 4e for a few months now and I'm really interested in creating a dungeon crawl in which the PCs can choose to stealthily kill off certain monsters before they are able to alert other ...
23
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1answer
2k views

What is the difference between “No Action” and “Free Action”?

What is the difference between No Action, e.g. the Monk's Centered Flurry of Blows [ddi], and the more common Free Action?
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14answers
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How to keep track of statuses and conditions?

Every round someone is getting dazed, marked, bloodied, quarried, cursed, blinded, slowed, penalized, buffed, stunned, or taking ongoing damage... the list goes on. At paragon tier with a six-player ...
22
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5answers
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In D&D 4E, can a changeling change its biological sex?

Simply put, can a Changeling change its sex... physically? Specifically, I had an incident where a female PC tried to change into a male but I told her that a Changeling can't change 'reproductive ...
22
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2answers
625 views

Does bringing a minion to 0 hit points count as bloodying it?

Does killing a minion trigger abilities and feats that work when someone bloodies a creature? Example: Markings of the PredatorDDI Prerequisite: Goliath, any primal class Benefit: When you ...
22
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9answers
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What is the real difference between D&D 4th Edition and Essentials?

I've played mostly 2nd Ed. and some 3/3.5. I have a lot invested in those materials. I am intrigued by 4E an Essentials, but am looking for the best way to approach the new editions. Keep in mind I ...
22
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6answers
897 views

How can I make monster knowledge checks fun?

By now most players know, or should know, that a monster knowledge check can make all the difference when you’re fighting a monster for the very first time. But how can we make them both fun and not ...
21
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9answers
1k views

How do I kidnap my characters without bending the rules?

I'm about to start a new arc with my characters and I'd really like it to begin by having them be kidnapped. It would be easy for me to just do this by fiat and say that "You are knocked unconscious ...
21
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7answers
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What is a “mark” actually supposed to be?

This is probably way too simple of a question, but I just haven't been able to figure it out. In D&D 4th edition, there's the concept of a mark on an enemy creature; a player character in combat ...
21
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4answers
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What happened to the D&D power cards?

I am running a party of 5 (+ me, the DM) and have found the power cards included in the Starter Box to be really helpful to players without an iPad or something similar at hand. The power cards I ...
21
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4answers
1k views

What about character death should be included in a social contract?

For a D&D (4e, primarily) game what about player-character death should be included in a group's social contract? What are some options for best reaching consensus about the possibility of death ...
21
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6answers
834 views

What GM tasks can be delegated to players to speed up encounters?

My party's encounters (D&D4e - 13th level) take on average 3-4 hours. We chit chat a lot and are pretty easily distracted, and it's not a huge deal because we're all having fun. But lately we've ...
21
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5answers
1k views

Uses for a 4e Portable Hole?

I was slightly shocked to read the 4e version of a portable hole: Power (At-Will): Standard Action. Place a portable hole on a wall, a floor, or a ceiling. (The surface must be flat for the item ...
20
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6answers
2k views

Can you place something living in a bag of holding?

I don't have any rule books to read and the last rule book I had was dnd 2e, but this question came up at lunch today at work. Is it possible to place live objects in a bag of holding. For instance, ...
20
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2answers
1k views

Is it acceptable for the GM to attack a recently-stabilized character?

I was playing the Scales of War campaign with a group of friends, and my character was getting absolutely destroyed in an encounter. I had failed two death saves, but fortunately for me, the fight ...
20
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2answers
2k views

My group's misunderstood opportunity attacks for years; what to do now I know this?

So, it turns out that my group has been doing shifting/OAs wrong for the 2½ years and the four campaigns we've played 4.0. We've always assumed that non-shift movement was safe, as long as it was ...
20
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6answers
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Does sneak attack damage do max damage on a critical hit?

I have been trying to find an official ruling on this. In our campaign currently the DM says that one of the sneak attack die will do max damage, and I roll for the other one.
20
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6answers
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In D&D 4th Edition, how numerically close should party member levels be? What happens if they aren't?

I've read a lot here (and in the official books) about balanced parties in Dungeons and Dragon's 4th edition. Parties should contain at least one each of four specific roles, a distribution of skills ...
20
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5answers
708 views

What makes a skill challenge great?

What makes a skill challenge a good one. What makes then enjoyable and fun? What ways can we make them memorable?
19
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6answers
1k views

How can I prevent teleportation in 4e?

In our gaming group, our storyteller loves to use creatures with teleportation abilities. This is starting to get frustrating since as soon as a creature is bloodied, it teleports away with its next ...
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7answers
4k views

Are there any benefits to being a small character?

Small characters face a number of disadvantages. They can't use two-handed weapons, and have to use two hands to wield a versatile weapon DDI. Further disadvantages include: The inability to Grab ...
19
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4answers
4k views

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 ...
19
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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.
19
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3answers
2k views

Can players use crafting to improve beloved magic items instead of churning gear?

I'm all about the story, and as such, I've always been a fan of long-term attachment between players/characters and their special (usually magic) items. But with D&D 4th edition, it seems the ...
19
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6answers
4k views

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 ...