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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

50
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the inspiration for the owlbear?

The standard explanation for the owlbear in-universe is "A Wizard Did It." Which is fine, as far as it goes, because the trope of "madman tinkering with bizarre mutations" is part of our speculative ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

Thickness and other properties of wall of force?

How thick is a wall of force? If it is infinitesimally thin, it would presumably function as if infinitely sharp such that falling on it could have interesting effects. (Would an object stay ...
7
votes
3answers
887 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 ...
16
votes
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, ...
17
votes
1answer
409 views

History of the Wish Spell

A friend of mine was wondering about the history of the wish spell in Dungeons and Dragons. It is his suspicion that the spell “only” exists because they needed something for genies to cast to work in ...
-7
votes
2answers
269 views

Can dark vision see in pitch darkness?

In D&D, some creatures and player races have dark vision. Can a character or monster with dark vision see in pitch blackness? In real life animals with dark vision see by reflecting the light off ...
9
votes
1answer
226 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
559 views

Can chaotic good bard use horribly evil artifact for good cause?

Problem: Chaotic good bard wants to use an armor made literally of beggar's skin and blood of a lawful good dragon. Item description says "only the most evil of humans could wear such a vile item" but ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

How do I find roleplayers for ddo.com? [duplicate]

How do I find (more effectively) role players to play PnP using skype/oovoo and/or role play in Dungeons and Dragons Online? I've tried using the provided forums and not much results.
21
votes
3answers
346 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. ...
24
votes
3answers
1k views

If undead exist, why do cemeteries exist & cremation not a standard?

I have less fingers than the nr of cemeteries I cleared in campaigns of various scenarios and game mechanics. I find time and time again cemeteries crawling with undead. Either graves or crypts. I ...
19
votes
10answers
1k views

Should I call for an INT check for clever ideas?

Let's say someone is playing a character that has really low intelligence, but then the player comes up with a clever idea for a way for his dumb character to overcome some obstacle. Should I make him ...
29
votes
2answers
733 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
415 views

How can I find old Dungeon and Dragon magazine articles without a subscription?

I have an interest in the pre-WOTC editions of Dungeons & Dragons, and would like to learn more about the history and foundation of the game; I would therefore like to get a hold of various back ...
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 ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Are old versions of D&D compatible with new ones?

Some 30 years ago I used to play Dungeons and Dragons: red 'Basic', blue 'Expert', black 'Master' edition box sets, etc. I still have them and was recently playing with my son, who loved them. I want ...
4
votes
1answer
217 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
519 views

Barbarian Revenant Half-Orc: How to roleplay

Introduction We have been playing 4e D&D for a while now. First we started with 3.5e skills but recently incorporated Burning Wheel style skills because we wanted more role-playing possibilities ...
4
votes
1answer
328 views

What was the first D&D Module?

I'm planning to start an Old School Campaign next week, for players who have mainly played D&D 3.0 and 3.5. I'd like them to play a real classic old school module. I have both B1 - In Search of ...
19
votes
1answer
646 views

How has D&D changed over time in its guidance to DMs as to when to extrapolate from written rules and when to improvise?

This answer (to a question about a levitating character trying to catch an object that exceeds the spell's weight limit in D&D 2e) states that: The spell levitate has a maximum weight limit, ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

A Game Board for D&D?

So I'm a new GM, and I notice there's usually a problem with positioning, so I started drawing EXACTLY what happens on the map in combat for my players. Thing is it gets messy, annoying and time ...
4
votes
1answer
184 views

Is there any trace of Abeir as a separate entity from Toril, pre 4e?

The 4th edition manuals for the Forgotten Realms setting talk about two separate planes, Abeir and Toril, being separated by the overgod Ao in a faraway past. The planes then swap some geographical ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

Why are there maximum level caps for race in S&W? [duplicate]

We had an incredibly fun time with our first Swords & Wizardry session and are wondering why non-human character races have a cap for maximum level. For instance, in the core rules: Dwarven ...
6
votes
2answers
145 views

Entering and exiting Athas

What methods have been defined to be workable and to be forbidden as far as travel to and from the Dark Sun campaign world goes? Any edition's info will work; I'm running 2e but I can always modify ...
11
votes
5answers
335 views

House rules and mixing aspects of various editions

Taking best parts of the editions, say 3.5 and Pathfinder, perhaps even some aspects of D&D4e, as long as the group feels it is fair, would this be unheard of? An example is, two of our members ...
18
votes
9answers
3k views

What is a good way to get regular people interested in D&D? [closed]

How do I get regular people, non-gamers, into playing D&D? Anybody have any useful ideas?
13
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
222 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. ...
9
votes
1answer
302 views

Why does (A)D&D change so much between editions? [closed]

Most systems, as far as I know, stay mostly the same between editions. Yet Dungeons and Dragons has had major changes between almost every edition, with the skill systems, combat abilities/feats, ...
9
votes
4answers
674 views

What are the best ways to utilize Wisdom and Charisma?

This question primarily refers to a fantasy RPG called "One Step Beyond", published back in 1989. It had five ability scores: Strength, Mental Strength, Will, Agility, Health. These were essentially a ...
9
votes
3answers
370 views

Dark Lord knowledge in Ravenloft

When in Ravenloft, would the town in question know that the Dark Lord is indeed, say, a vampire? That he or she would be the real ruler of that Domain? For example: Barovia. Strahd has been there for ...
4
votes
3answers
193 views

I need help with a 3e-4e merger homebrew system (specifically fighters)

I am trying to create my own RPG system, similar to 4e and 3e, and hopefully a happy merger of both. For casting classes, there are 4 tiers of spells per 10 levels, totaling 12 tiers of spells ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

How much greed is too much for a Chaotic Neutral character?

I have recently started GM-ing a new group of players, most of them are unexperienced. One of the players is a Chaotic Neutral Rogue. This description of Chaotic Neutral mentions that such character ...
15
votes
1answer
566 views

Which cultural trope(s) does the D&D cleric refer to?

On the level of game mechanics, the classic D&D cleric melds the healer, the crusader and the witch/vampire hunter in one person. Is this a genuine D&D mish-mash or is there any ...
4
votes
2answers
242 views

Does Binder's Pact Augmentation DR/— stack with DR/— Gained From a Vestige?

I am wondering if the damage reduction/— granted by a Binder's Pact Augmentation class feature stacks with the Vestige's Arete damage reduction/—. Arete Damage Reduction: Your body becomes ...
27
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the history and significance of the “dire” prefix to creatures?

Some animals in Pathfinder bestiaries are prefixed with "dire". Does this come from the wolf species Canis dirus, an early edition monster/template or something else? Where does this come from and ...
8
votes
1answer
603 views

Constitution drain, energy drain, dominating gaze - but incapable of crossing running water?

I'm interested in when this constraint from vampire lore was first integrated into Dungeons and Dragons mechanics: has it been there since the first D&D vampire? Vampires are... unable to ...
20
votes
2answers
551 views

Where did the Chromatic/Metallic Dragons come from?

In the AD&D Monster Manual, the Chromatic (evil) and Metallic (good) dragons are introduced. Each color of dragon has a different habitat, personality and breath weapon. (Or two breath weapons, in ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do D&D Paladins Have to Be Lawful Good?

In just about every edition of D&D (save for 4e), Paladins are required to be Lawful Good. If they stray from that, they are completely stripped of their powers. This means that evil deities can't ...
37
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
26
votes
3answers
1k views

What inspired the D&D version of the Rakshasa?

Rakshasa have been part of D&D for more than 35 years, appearing in every edition. These evil magic cat-people are clearly inspired by the rakshas from Hindu and Buddhist mythologies, but they ...
7
votes
4answers
494 views

What would a rogue call him/herself in game? [closed]

I just thought that they wouldn't announce themselves as such. So what would they say if they are trying to get the message across but not be open about it. Anyway I wanted an opinion so why not here? ...
14
votes
2answers
735 views

Do I lose access to a feat if ability drain results in no longer meeting the prerequisite?

Do curses or ability damage/drain cause a character to be unable to use his feats? For example, a Ranger with 20 Dex who has two-weapon-fighting feats and is using two weapons gets cursed or ability ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Can Ability Score increases caused by magic items qualify me for feats

As far as I know, a players non-temporary ability scores are considered for taking feats, taking prestige classes etc... Any AS bonus come with spells, or magic items that are effective while worn are ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Get started with RPGs [duplicate]

I don't know anything about RPGs, but I would like to start with Dungeons and Dragons. Where do I begin, what do I have to do?
10
votes
1answer
350 views

Is OD&D faster than D&D 3e at low levels, and why?

I've never played OD&D, AD&D or retro-clones, but fans of those games often say they run much faster than D&D 3e and 4e, especially to resolve combat. However, it's my experience that ...
6
votes
3answers
292 views

Troglodytes, kobolds, and dragons, living together

I am currently working on an an AD&D adventure and am wondering if it the following situation makes any sense: There is a green dragon that lives in a dungeon (surprise!) that is worshiped by ...
60
votes
12answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
201 views

D&D 3.5 mounted movement in battle

If my gnome rider has the dodge and mobility feats does my riding dog mount gain the benifits of the feats in battle movement?
19
votes
6answers
3k views

Is Coup de Grace on sleeping and bound opponents an evil act?

So I was recently participating in a Pathfinder Society game. Our ship was attacked and boarded by pirates. First thing that happened was one of our party cast sleep, and succeeded in putting four of ...