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

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34
votes
9answers
7k views

How do I run a successful and engaging campaign without combat?

I'm thinking of starting my own campaign with a few of my friends with me as DM, primarily because I wasn't extremely impressed with the campaign my friend was DMing. When I started thinking about the ...
21
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
16
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 ...
15
votes
15answers
2k 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 ...
29
votes
6answers
2k views

What were the driving factors in the falling out between Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax?

Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson created the hobby together when they wrote D&D. But later on they had a falling out - what caused that? (We don't need minutiae, just the biggest factors)
20
votes
5answers
1k 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
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
670 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?
21
votes
3answers
465 views

Athas: A terrifying vision of the future?

Athas, the desolated world of deserts, obsidian and ecological ruin that is the focus of the Dark Sun campaign setting, is generally portrayed as a prime world nearing the end of its life expectancy. ...
16
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 ...
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
11k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of oldschool D&D combat initiative?

Old D&D and D&D3E/4E treat initiative and combat order differently like so: D&D 3.5 / 4E: All participants roll individual initiative, once only at the start of combat. Each player takes ...
9
votes
1answer
343 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
321 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 ...
37
votes
5answers
4k views

Is the “+1” in “Long Sword +1” for OOC use only?

Do your characters say, "I'd like to buy that Long Sword +1," or is that "+1" for OOC reference only?
31
votes
2answers
1k 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
5k 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
5answers
2k views

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?
22
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?
17
votes
4answers
364 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
287 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
858 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
5k 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
271 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
272 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
1answer
163 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
1k 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
992 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
2k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Are the orcs of the D&D core canon not above eating sentient humanoids?

Are the orcs of the D&D core canon cannibals, i.e. not above eating sentient humanoids? As far as I can remember, Tolkien's orcs seem to have no qualms about doing so (thanks for the link, ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Are fantasy RPG races racial/cultural analogues to reality?

Prior to a recent game, our group had a great discussion on culture/race and it's relation to RPG races. While it is fairly established that Tolkien based some of the iconic aspects of his fantasy ...
8
votes
2answers
349 views

How could you adapt the Vitality and Wound Points system from Unearthed Arcana to the 4th ed rules?

Inspired by this answer to a question: How could you adapt the Vitality and Wound Points system from Unearthed Arcana to the 4th ed rules. What major changes would you need to make?
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Fantasy adventure modules with naval adventuring

At the Recess mini-convention this weekend, someone was telling me about a classic D&D module that involved seafaring and presented rules for falling overboard in armor, etc. I'm wondering if ...
8
votes
5answers
578 views

Writing a book from D&D adventures?

Are there instances of someone who wrote a successful book out of adventures played with friends?
7
votes
2answers
201 views

Are the names of the more generic planes copyrighted under the OGL as Product Identity?

E.g. "Negative Energy Plane", "Elemental Plane of Air", "Material Plane", essentially all the inner planes plus the material plane: Are these considered Product Identity or could I use them for other ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Can Charisma be considered a physical score?

From the PRD: Charisma measures a character's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance. From the 3.5 Player's Guide: Charisma measures a character’s force of ...
7
votes
1answer
799 views

Can I use a salad fork to get into the Prime Material Plane?

In several editions of Dungeons and Dragons, the Plane Shift spell requires a forked metal rod, the design and material of which varies depending on the destination plane. Is there any canonical list ...
7
votes
1answer
366 views

Where can I download “Expedition to the Ancient Academy” podcast episodes?

I want to listen to the following podcast featuring early edition D&D: http://robertsongames.com/dnd/robertson-games-podcast But I can't find the actual audio files anywhere. The podcast is in ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

In what edition of DnD was the Barbarians's rage introduced?

In what edition of DnD was the Barbarian's rage introduced?
6
votes
1answer
403 views

Pelor's punishment of the Undead & creation of vampires

I am looking for the source (book) that has this myth. I have seen it mentioned many times but never the full myth. Does it exist in writing or is the blurb about the existence of the myth the only ...
6
votes
9answers
2k views

Removing XP as a requirement to level

I was reading on geek-related.com that there is a large debate on the effectiveness of using experience ("XP") as a means to level up for DnD Next. I want to start using a non-XP method of ...
6
votes
4answers
366 views

Is it possible to play with just 1 player book in a group?

I want to start a game with some friends. We never played using any book but now we want to try that out. I got the PLayer, DM and monster book but that's it. As I'll be DMing for the first time I'm ...
6
votes
1answer
584 views

Skill rank feat prerequisites

The feat Practiced Spellcaster (Complete Arcane) has a prerequisite of four skill ranks in Spellcraft. Can I take this feat on the first level if I use my skill points to get Spellcraft to four ...