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

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16
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2answers
2k views

Are DCs supposed to be secret?

Are players not supposed to ask what is the DC for a roll? If you're the DM and someone asks, would you tell them you can't say? Would you instead tell them the difficulty in relative terms like, "It'...
15
votes
2answers
679 views

Why did the designers make it so chromatic dragons can't shapechange?

In 5e, the Monster Manual states that each kind of Metallic Dragon gains the Change Shape ability by the time it is Ancient or Adult. However, no such ability is ever mentioned for Chromatic Dragons. ...
10
votes
2answers
521 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
872 views

Writing a book from D&D adventures?

Are there instances of someone who wrote a successful book out of adventures played with friends?
4
votes
2answers
334 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. ...
43
votes
6answers
4k views

What's the best way to make time spent travelling more interesting?

My players are going from Neverwinter to Comyr in D&D 4e Forgotten Realms. So, what I do everytime they travel is, learned from The Order of the Stick, a single random encounter (which, honestly, ...
71
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 ...
40
votes
6answers
20k views

How to randomly generate a village or town for old school D&D game?

There is a lot of material written on random generation of dungeons for play. But inevitably characters have to return from the to spend those ill-gotten gains. And where else but a nearby ...
37
votes
6answers
12k 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?
17
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3answers
2k 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
12answers
28k views

What software can be useful for a DM running D&D?

I DM'd a lot in a time before software could do anything more than let you type up your scenarios and roll a dice. What kind of software is out there now for DM's running a game. Are any of them any ...
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
2k 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
764 views

What is the reason behind “one level at a time” level advancement in D&D?

During the answering to this question about large experience point gains getting truncated -- when a single XP award would raise a character more than one level at a time -- the following question ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Plot granted special ability standards?

For the campaign in question, I'm running one person through a dungeon inspired by Vagrant Story. Clearly some things from the video game can't be emulated, and many of those are integral to the game: ...
5
votes
2answers
653 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are the Faithless condemed to the Wall of the Faithless after death?

If you live in the Forgotten Realms and die without worshipping a deity you are sentenced to the Wall of the Faithless by Kelemvor to serve as another proverbial brick in the Wall. But why does this ...
16
votes
4answers
806 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
870 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
3answers
581 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. ...
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), ...
21
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 ...
15
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
17k 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
734 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
424 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
381 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do spells need to be “prepared”? [closed]

I'm not asking about the rules or concepts of spell preparation, as they are well described and reasoned, but I'm wondering why it's even necessary, from a logical (well, however logical you can be in ...
23
votes
3answers
3k 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 (...
21
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?
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do druids use scimitars?

I know this question has been asked on other forums, and I have heard some explanations, but I wondered if there was a source that could be cited (not the rule itself, rather an outside source that ...
19
votes
4answers
647 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I balance detailed encounter maps with not wanting to give away my dungeon layout?

I'm in the process of designing a Megadungeon, and it seems like people run large dungeons like this using the theater of the mind to avoid giving the layout away and allow players to explore, get ...
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
440 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
7answers
7k 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
2k 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
1answer
300 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
451 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

What happened in the Forgotten Realms between 3.5 and 4e?

I don't remember where I heard or read this, but I seem to recall there being some sort of cataclysmic event between 3.5 and 4e. A few (related) questions - What exactly happened between 3.5 and ...
19
votes
2answers
863 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 ...