Questions relating to Dungeons & Dragons as a whole, or to multiple versions of Dungeons & Dragons.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

13
votes
4answers
3k views

Do I reset XP to zero on a new level?

In the D&D group I play with one of the players insists that when you reach a new level you have to zero your experience. However when I checked the PHB1 there is no reference to this. PHB1 uses ...
10
votes
2answers
390 views

What is an Othur of Burnt Othur Fumes fame?

D&D has a poison which goes by the name "burnt othur fumes". What is an "othur"? Google provides me with the fact that in 3.5, pathfinder and 5e, "burnt othur fumes" have some effect on ...
4
votes
2answers
315 views

About monster definition and distinctions

I was having a discussion with some guy and I argued that I think D&D made distinctions between monsters and regular characters since earlier editions, and it even employed different mechanics. ...
68
votes
12answers
4k views

What's a good mechanic for rewarding players for keeping their characters happy?

In a lot of setting and systems, such as D&D, the aim of the game tends to be to explore and kill things. Money is spent on useful items and hirelings. However, a real adventurer would probably ...
36
votes
6answers
11k views

What are the differences between Holmes, Moldvay, and Mentzer D&D?

What are the differences between Holmes, Moldvay, and Mentzer D&D? Also, which one came first?
31
votes
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 ...
51
votes
26answers
8k views

What alternatives are there to replace orcs, kobolds, and hobgoblins in low-level encounters?

In your average "generic D&D" campaign and setting, orcs, kobolds, and hobgoblins are frequently used to stock low level adventures and dungeons. These are usually nice for 1st/2nd level ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Solo player: best way to mitigate tiny party size? [duplicate]

I'm looking to start a solo DnD adventure with my wife as the only player. She's a total novice. Which is generally the most successful way to handle the single-PC issue in your experience: NPC ...
35
votes
6answers
2k views

Problems to look out for if you are a D&D group who play Fate for the first time?

Soon I will be hosting my first two games of Fate. One will be an intro-session with one GM and one player and the other will be a more serious gaming session with one GM and three players, which will ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

As a GM, how do I keep Dungeons & Dragons more interesting for young players?

Currently, my group of players is my children, ages 7+ through 14+ (and several in between). They all are really excited about playing, but I am having great difficulty keeping them all interested ...
21
votes
9answers
1k views

What are the core tropes or assumptions of D&D?

After an interesting discussion with my local GM, I was left wondering What are the core tropes and assumptions that players bring to a game of D&D? Specifically the ones that are different from ...
15
votes
15answers
3k views

What are some interesting ways to structure a random encounter table? [closed]

The standard tables I've seen have been basic 'Wandering Monster' tables where you roll some dice in order to generate a random encounter. I'm sure many have taken this concept further, but I haven't ...
21
votes
11answers
5k views

Need to play D&D on a budget, at least for now [closed]

My friends and I plan on playing D&D this summer, and I'm going to be the DM. I need advice on reducing the price as much as I can without reducing fun so we can have enough of it to bring my ...
16
votes
6answers
954 views

What is a Mega Dungeon?

I've come across the expression "mega dungeon" quite a few times on the net. It seems like it's not just about the size of a den of monsters but it might imply a play style or something. What are the ...
5
votes
2answers
452 views

Is there any edition where it's possible to play as Animated Armor?

I'm new to this, and I'm still looking for a group to play with, but I have it set in my mind that the first D&D character I'd like to play as is secretly animated armor. Would this be possible ...
16
votes
4answers
773 views

What's the origin of the term “gold piece”?

What is the literary or historical origin of the term "gold piece" to mean a gold coin? Was it used before D&D, or did D&D coin the term?
15
votes
3answers
810 views

How worldly is a polymorphic elf?

In the 3.5e campaign I'm running, a very real concern has arisen that the player characters might actually fail to save the world from the horrific fate that the villian has planned for it. If this ...
38
votes
6answers
3k views

At what point did polyhedral dice become part of D&D?

I was reading some articles the other day about Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson and the history of Dungeons and Dragons. I started to wonder: Where did these guys from Wisconsin get the now iconic polyhedral ...
21
votes
8answers
2k views

Would the alignment of a character with multiple personality disorder change? [closed]

A character has a certain alignment that in general defines how he acts. With multiple personality disorder or other similar disorders (maybe bipolar disorder with severe depression/severe mania), ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Sometimes, losing a big conflict is the better plotline. For D&D, how do you encourage this result?

It is practically an old adage that D&D parties will never let a fight end in a loss (short of a TPK.) And that the game mechanics (especially later editions) encourage this thinking. But ...
19
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there an effect on player's reaction to treasure when raising the value of gold relative to other coins?

In fantasy games related to D&D the currency usually follows the 10 cp = 1sp, 10sp = 1gp pattern. This is convenient and fairly logical, but in my play throughs gold just didn't have much weight ...
16
votes
7answers
1k views

Are PCs supposed to start a game knowing each other, and if not, how should they meet?

I'm currently putting together a D&D game and I have most of it worked out. The only part about it that I'm still a little unclear on is whether or not the player characters should know each other ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there any precedent for time distortion when traveling to other planes?

I'm currently the DM for a group playing a 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons campaign in the Neverwinter Campaign Setting. In a recent adventure, my players asked me some unexpected questions, I said ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

What qualifies exploration gaming?

In the run up to DnD Next the designers seem to have categorised gamers and/or classes that focus on Combat, Roleplay and Exploration. See this quote from Mike Mearls: "Setting aside mechanics, I ...
13
votes
3answers
16k views

How do I upgrade older D&D adventures to 5th edition?

Before I get into the details I just want to mention that I'm working in a remote area right now and don't have access to the 5e Starter Set, just the downloadable PDFs. I'm looking for advice on how ...
11
votes
4answers
717 views

Could non-lethal damage draw blood?

Can non lethal damage draw blood? Does it leave bruises? Is it possible to knock a character out with non-lethal damage without leaving a mark? For the purposes of this question, consider a mark to ...
9
votes
1answer
405 views

Searching for fantasy campaign setting with settlements of light and dark separated by permanent clouds

A long time ago I was listening to a D&D podcast by WoTC in which they briefly described a new campaign setting they were thinking of creating. I don't know if they ever did and my Google ...
8
votes
2answers
288 views

Looking for good advice and links on mapping a MegaDungeon

Partly thanks to the wonderful blogs of Tony Dowler and Dyson Logos, I've found myself obsessed recently with the idea of building that epically classic D&D adventuring environment: the dangerous ...
7
votes
3answers
359 views

How to gather a group of players in a foreign country?

I am a person who has to relocate a lot due to employment reasons. I tried to build English-playing groups with little or no success. In some cases, I was able to gather only one person or two. Only ...
33
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the etymology of the term 'Gish'?

I understand that it roughly means a fighter/mage, as per this question: How to optimize a Gishy [Fighter/Mage] Character? But I just wanted to know more about how the term came about. It's so hard ...
23
votes
4answers
6k views

Why can't clerics use sharp weapons?

In many versions of D&D, clerics can't use bladed/edged/pointy weapons, and are instead restricted to things like staves, clubs, maces, etc. Why is this? Is there some historical reason? Is ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

Where do dual-wielding rangers come from?

The classes in D&D are clearly selected as classic archetypes, either from an iconic character or frequently reccurring within Fantasy fiction. The idea of bow-wielding rangers is a good example ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Were Illithids inspired by Cthulhu?

Mind Flayers seem to look a whole lot like Cthulhu. Is there any relationship/inspiration between the two?
19
votes
4answers
563 views

What furniture does a beholder have in its personal quarters?

A beholder's lair is made up of several chambers and... The farthest chamber from the entrance is the beholder’s personal quarters, where the creature sleeps and studies any magic treasure it has ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is the Deck of Many Things called the Eater of Campaigns?

I hear this term tossed around a lot. Where does it come from and what does it mean?
14
votes
6answers
369 views

Clocking the round. Tools?

Chess players use a special clock to keep timings of each move within a reasonable amount, or they lose. During fighting session, I'd like to introduce a similar technique to prevent excessive ...
13
votes
2answers
946 views

Why can't a Cleric use a sling?

So by the book 1st Edition AD&D, clerics can't use a sling. Other than game balance (it essentially means that other than the odd thrown hammer clerics have no ranged weapon ability which further ...
13
votes
7answers
6k views

What does a perception check really signify? Can they be repeated?

When a character makes a perception check, does fail indicate whether they permanently fail to see what is hidden, or just that they need to try again? So far our DM has let us repeat perception ...
13
votes
9answers
1k views

Out-Of-Control Characters [closed]

As I review the suggestions in the D&D 4E DMG (pg32), I wonder what other suggestions that are realistic. I know that if a player is out of control (ie: killing masses for no reason) a DM would ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I attain eternal youth through alchemy?

Back in the second edition of AD&D, potions of Youth and Longevity were valuable, both to GMs as plot devices, and as a useful way for players to compensate for the variety of supernatural effects ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Squares vs. hexes on battle mats

I've always felt that hexes were easier for laying things out on the gaming table in terms of movement and areas of effect because you can do more angles without doing counting tricks. Squares however ...
4
votes
3answers
421 views

Community wizards of the coast forum links not working

I, for some reason, cannot follow up in links inside the wizard of the coasts forums. For example: http://community.wizards.com/forum/previous-editions-character-optimization/threads/1101061 . In ...
4
votes
1answer
290 views

PC vs PC team campaigns [closed]

I've been mulling over ideas for team vs. team D&D campaigns (or any system really), where two or more teams of PCs compete for a particular prize and PvP combat is allowed. All players would ...
3
votes
2answers
261 views

What exactly happened to Oerth at the end of Dance of Demons?

I've been reading up on Greyhawk a bit and eventually stumbled upon Gygax' books on Gord the Rogue. Both the Wikipedia page and several other sources describe that But the various sources I found ...
19
votes
2answers
850 views

Where is D&D in the spectrum of RPGs?

Our gaming group has been using various forms of D&D for several decades now, and we've enjoyed it quite a bit, but we have zero experience with other roleplaying games. Seeing all the other ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Where did exceptional (“percentile”) strength come from?

I run a B/X game for a few guys, most of whom have only played 3E before. It leads to a lot of talk about the change in power level between basic and 3E. One of the things that came up was the ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

Can you use a Spelljammer ship to get to Ravenloft?

This is an insane question, I know. But it's one that's been bugging me for at least half my 33-year life. :) I love both the Spelljammer and Ravenloft settings of AD&D 2nd Edition. One of the ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Limits and rules for Silent/Minor/Major Image spells

What are the limits of Image spells? An example in the 'All about Illusions' articles on wizards.com (1, 2, 3, 4) is an illusionary guard: Can I make the guard (keeping concentration) dissolve into ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the reason for introducing the rule for Attacks of Opportunity in D&D?

The Attacks of Opportunity are an important part in D&D and spinoffs of the game like Pathfinder. What does this rule for the game-system? How does it affect the fun of the players? Why was this ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Which D&D artist drew the cover art for the Warriors of the Eternal Sun Genesis game?

The Warriors of Eternal Sun Sega Genesis game had a small portion of a full-sized poster by a D&D artist. I have seen the full-size art in some D&D art book back in the day, even saw someone ...