Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, by Wizards of the Coast. D&D 5e is a heroic fantasy RPG inspired by the mechanics and settings of all previous D&D editions. Previously code-named D&D Next.

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Without a magic item economy, what is gold for?

PHB page 144, Equipment, Wealth, Selling Treasure Magic Items. Selling magic items is problematic. Finding someone to buy a potion or a scroll isn’t too hard, but other items are out of the realm ...
73
votes
3answers
9k views

How does rolling two dice and taking the highest affect the average outcome?

D&D 5E has an "advantage" concept where instead of rolling 1d20, you roll 2d20 and take the highest. Likewise, disadvantage means rolling 2d20 and taking the lowest. How does this affect the ...
46
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5answers
8k views

Are peoples' competencies really as flat in D&D 5e as its math suggests?

Bounded accuracy is a major feature of the new system. It promises that bonuses to rolls won't grow too much throughout a character's career. And indeed, a first-level fighter would have an apex skill ...
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6answers
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Is there a legal way to get D&D 5e core rulebook PDFs?

As much as I like having the hardcover core rule-books in front of me, usually I read or reference most information for RPGs on my computer. Unfortunately, my google-fu has failed me at finding ...
42
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11answers
6k views

How to ease down the munchkin factor?

I've been playing RPGs since the early eighties and have come to terms with the fact that not everyone enjoys this hobby for the same reasons as myself. I'm into it for the sake of the adventure, the ...
42
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9answers
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I failed to open a lock. Now what?

Picking a lock typically requires a DC 15 Dexterity check (Basic rules, p. 49). Likewise for manacles (p. 50), which can alternately be escaped with a DC 20 Dexterity check or broken with a DC 20 ...
41
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4answers
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What are the stand-out features of D&D 5e?

5e is described by its marketing materials as: The core of D&D is storytelling. You and your friends may tell a story together, guiding your heroes through quests for treasure, battles with ...
40
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13answers
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Why would I ever choose rolling hit points?

In DnD 5th edition, all classes seemingly have the option of rolling hit points -or- just increasing their hit points by a set value. That set value is defined as the dice roll's average, rounded up. ...
38
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4answers
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Can you multiclass the same class twice for different class features?

The way that 5e works, each class has a sub class that dictates a heap of class features. The question here is generally, can a character of a specific class take levels in that same class in order to ...
37
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9answers
5k views

Where do adventurers keep all their stuff?

This is a bit of an equipment logistics question so might not be all that interesting to everyone but... Reading the 5e PHB, the backpack weight listing says: Backpack: 1 cubic foot/30 pounds of ...
37
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4answers
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For seasoned 3.X players and DMs, what is the “what's new” summary for 5e?

It seems the 5e rules are much more like the 3.Xe than the 4e. I also know a lot of players and DMs that simply refused to upgrade to the 4e rules, though they are now much more receptive to 5e, given ...
32
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1answer
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Why do Warlocks only have spells up to 5th level? What's the correct progression for their slots?

Instead of a “Spell Slots for Spell Level” table, the warlock just has two columns: one for number of slots and one for slot level, because all of their slots are the same level. However, the table ...
31
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6answers
3k views

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 ...
30
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6answers
7k views

D&D 5e and “Theatre of the Mind” in combat

Our target play style for combat encounters would be to use battle boards roughly half the time (when there is enough of interest in play that the tactics are fun to play out), and to skip that with ...
30
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5answers
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How to reward players that come prepared for non-combat, non-RP situations? I.e., real life

For example, players who either spend their starting gold on combat gear, but not items like bedrolls and rations; or who, at char creation, simply ignored the equipment packs and just loaded up on ...
30
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2answers
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Who can use magic scrolls?

I'm confused about who can use scrolls in 5e. In the DMG, p139 under MAGIC ITEM CATEGORIES: SCROLLS it states "any creature that can understand a written language can read the arcane script on a ...
30
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2answers
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Do you HAVE to have Thieves tools in order to pick a lock?

Does a character have to have thieves tools (TT) in order to pick a lock? Not necessarily proficiency in the tool, but at least have the tool itself? I'm confused about picking locks and whether or ...
29
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10answers
7k views

How much is a Gold Piece really worth?

I have been wondering what a gold is worth, due to the fact there are many things that cost the same, but are probably worth radically different prices, such as a Goat and a Whip, which both cost 1 ...
29
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12answers
7k views

With the lifespan of elves, would you ever encounter a low-level elf?

Elves and other races have hundreds of years to get good at what they do — is the expectation that NPCs of these races would mostly be of high level? How do I build a campaign setting that makes ...
29
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6answers
4k views

How best to include a 4-5 year old in a D&D 5e game

My eldest daughter is nine, the same age I was when I got into the hobby. With the new edition of D&D out, it seems like too much of a fun co-incidence to give her her first taste of role playing ...
28
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17answers
2k views

How to handle character death in adventures with save-or-dies

I am currently running an LotFP adventure using D&D Next, the amazing Better than any man. In SevenSidedDie' s great answer to a previous post of mine he touched upon philosophical differences ...
28
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5answers
2k views

Does Burning Hands really require touching thumbs?

The D&D 5E spell Burning Hands has verbal and somatic components, and is described like this: As you hold your hands with thumbs touching and fingers spread, a thin sheet of flames shoots ...
28
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4answers
3k views

Does Clone spell makes someone effectively immortal?

While reading through PHB 5e spellist, I found an interesting spell: Clone This spell grows an inert duplicate o f a living creature as a safeguard against death. This clone forms inside ...
27
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6answers
4k views

Which player character do I attack first?

When I played 1st and 2nd edition AD&D, I was always a player. The party was written down in order and numbered. When monsters would attack us, the DM would roll the die and check which character ...
27
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6answers
5k views

How does one avoid a bottleneck of enemies in a doorway?

As a new DM I'm still learning how to control the monsters in a battle. A situation came up last game and although it was fine and fun, I wonder if there are better strategies for a DM to avoid a ...
27
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3answers
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How does wizard & cleric spell preparation and casting work?

In 3.X wizards had spellbooks, while clerics had their entire spell list, but they both memorized/prepared spells every day from those lists, and had a certain number of slots for preparing spells in. ...
27
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2answers
5k views

Does Bard's Jack of All Trades grant them greater initiative?

Bards get the ability "Jack of All Trades" which reads: Starting at 2nd level, you can add half your proficiency bonus, rounded down, to any ability check you make that doesn't already include ...
27
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9answers
2k views

Is there a good way to have a party of adventurers with only one player?

My sister expressed interest in playing D&D, and I'm interested in DMing, so I decided to try and run The Caves of Chaos from the D&D Next playtest packet. Reading through the materials, I ...
27
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7answers
2k views

How much do I tell new players about new monsters?

Background I am a brand-new DM, about to lead a game for brand-new players. I have a lot of knowledge of rules from playing Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights over and over, leafing through a ...
27
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3answers
3k views

Why would I ever cast True Strike?

One of my players has complained several times that True Strike is a useless spell. The effect of True Strike is: On your next turn, you gain advantage on your first attack roll against the ...
27
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1answer
2k views

At level one, can you really never recover hit dice?

I was reading a review of 5e game play here from our RSS Feed. And in it he makes an observation about a strange rule: Weird rule thing. You recover half your level in hit dice during a long ...
26
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5answers
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Are melee combatants limited to standing around saying “I attack”?

Recently I heard a friend saying that melee combatants had fewer options than 4e or 3.x: Ranged combat was somewhat interesting in that you could deal with cover, aiming, and so forth. Fighters ...
26
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5answers
3k views

How to build an evil campaign

I'm going to start DM'ing for the first time next week. When I got together with my group to figure out what type of game to play, when we got to alignment, I told them they either all needed to be ...
26
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3answers
1k views

What is the point of the barbarian wolf aspect to track while moving fast?

On PHB 50 the totem warrior barbarian's 6th level wolf ability is You gain the hunting sensibilties of a wolf. You can track other creatures while traveling at a fast pace, and you can move ...
26
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2answers
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Does 5th edition have the equivalent of Taking 20?

In 3rd edition D&D there was the option to Take 10 or Take 20 on a skill check. Does an equivalent rule exist in 5th edition? If the answer is no, have you tried houseruling it in, and what ...
25
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4answers
3k views

Does a character with 10 Constitution only need to eat every 4 days?

According to the food rules, A character can go without food for a number of days equal to 3 + his or her Constitution modifier (minimum 1). At the end of each day beyond that limit, a ...
25
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2answers
7k views

Can wizards really cast spells in armor?

I've just read the D&D 5e basic rules, and I'm not sure I'm up to speed regarding casting spells while clad in armor. The only mention I can find about this (page 79): Because of the mental ...
25
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6answers
3k views

Can you choose to fail a saving throw?

(Yet another) follow-up from this question: As someone mentioned in the question above, some 'friendly' spells (Calm Emotion, IIRC) specify that one can choose to fail the saving throw. In this ...
25
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3answers
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Is the old “Linear Fighters Quadratic Wizards” problem still around in 5e Basic?

(This question is a comparison to 3.x, though things might have been different in 4e) In 3.5e there is a large power and capability gap between fighters and wizards that fighters couldn't hope to ...
25
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3answers
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How can I make a deal with a devil?

The tradition of summoning an extraplanar entity to bargain with is well established in the D&D lore. But they don't necessarily like being summoned for this purpose, which is why wizards usually ...
25
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1answer
2k views

Comparing D&D mechanics between 2e and 5e

I played 1st and 2nd edition AD&D a lot back in the day. But when 3rd edition came out, I dropped out of the hobby. Partly I just couldn't be bothered to re-learn the rules. The conversion ...
25
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3answers
517 views

Using downtime activity to research spells

I run a D&D 5E campaign. I have a player who is playing a wizard. This player would like to use his downtime to learn new spells. Specifically, he doesn't want to create any new spells of his ...
24
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9answers
4k views

How do I keep spellcasters from casting while in jail?

Interesting situation came up in my session. The players captured a wizard NPC and put him in jail. Then came a long discussion about what measures needed to be taken in order to prevent said wizard ...
24
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4answers
5k views

Does Magic Missile really always hit a creature of choice?

The rules state: Each dart hits a creature of your choice that you can see within range Does this mean that it is a guaranteed hit? Or is it meaning that it attempts to hit and attempt is merely ...
24
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7answers
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Should all players have their own player's handbook?

How advantageous is it that all players have their own handbook? I've never played any table top RPG and am about to start a 5th edition campaign. I almost joined another campaign a good while back; ...
24
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4answers
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How much damage can a druid Wild Shaped into a spider take without dying instantly?

A human druid Wild Shapes into a spider and now has 1 maximum hit point. As a spider she gets bitten by a hungry lizard that deals 2 damage. Does the druid die from Instant Death (PHB p. 197), or ...
24
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3answers
880 views

How easy is it to make the distinction between a druid in beast form and a normal animal?

Short Version: If a druid knows what animals are local to an area, and changes into something that wouldn't cause immediate suspicion (e.g., changing into a polar bear in the middle of the desert) ...
24
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2answers
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Has 5e fixed the balance problems of the monk at all?

Many people believe that the monk has balance issues (and is underpowered) in 3.5e and Pathfinder. The goal of this question is not to debate that point but to see what changes the Monk has undergone ...
23
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8answers
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Should the DM allow characters an equal opportunity to flee or avoid an encounter?

Last session I DMed, I killed a player's character. The party wanted to assassinate the main political figure in a town. To inspire general dislike, I made the political figure a racist thug. I run a ...
23
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4answers
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Would the 1st level Burning Hands wizard spell burn down a wooden house/inn?

One of my players seems to think that this spell will cause all sorts of carnage whereas I'm more inclined to say it may cause a bit of a fire and a bit of damage but not necessarily be all-consuming. ...