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

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25
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4answers
14k views

I'm a quarter Draconian, a quarter Dragonborn and half Half-Dragon?

What are the differences between "Dragonborn", "Half-Dragon", and "Draconian" races in D&D? In the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure, for example there is a Half-Dragon npc. I had assumed that ...
24
votes
6answers
16k views

Is it possible to actually kill a Tarrasque? [closed]

I've seen a good bit of conflicting information on this creature. Is it possible to actually kill it? Permanently? Is the answer to this something that varies from edition to edition of D&D?
24
votes
1answer
988 views

What inspired the Ioun Stone?

While looking over the rules for Ioun Stones a question came to mind. What inspired the Ioun Stone? It is present in nearly all editions of D&D, and also made it into Pathfinder. This ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

What does “chaotic” as in “chaotic good” or “chaotic evil” mean?

I do not play D&D, but players in my roleplaying game have called stuff "chaotic," like "chaotic good" and "chaotic evil" and I would like to know what they mean. The game I play does not use this ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

Can you use the D&D 5e player's handbook in a 3.5e game?

I'm new to D&D so I got the 5e player's handbook, my friend and his pals only play 3.5 e. Can I use my book and player sheet to play in their game?
23
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

What about character death should be included in a social contract?

For a D&D (4e, primarily) game what about player-character death should be included in a group's social contract? What are some options for best reaching consensus about the possibility of death ...
23
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
23
votes
1answer
2k views

Since when were demiliches weaker than regular liches?

In the D&D 5e Monster Manual, demiliches are explained as being liches who neglected to feed and were weakened. There is a more powerful variant that deliberately become demiliches in their ...
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 (...
23
votes
10answers
2k views

How do you adjudicate a chase?

Generally if PCs run from a fight, I would give the monsters a free attack, and then let the PCs escape automatically (playing 1e/0e D&D). Of course if they linger around, the monsters may come ...
22
votes
8answers
24k views

Homebrew D&D with only 2 players (plus DM)

I DM'ed for my buddies this semester and it was really fun. I got my roommate hooked and now he's asking for me to make another campaign (I've got a great idea). The problem lies in the fact that I'll ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are elves immune to a ghoul's paralyzing touch?

I was reading Are Half-Elves immune to the paralyzing property of a Ghoul's Claw action? and it struck me that I have no idea as to why elves would be immune to the paralyzing touch of a ghoul, ...
22
votes
10answers
3k views

What defines the “old school renaissance”?

I'm aware that the old school renaissance (OSR) is all about hearkening back to old versions of D&D and the play styles of the 70's and 80's, but what characteristics really define this movement? ...
22
votes
2answers
991 views

Is Dungeons & Dragons the origin of “Bahamut” as a dragon?

Bahamut, the platinum dragon god of good, metallic dragons, takes his name from the Bahamut of Arabian mythology, the great fish upon which the earth rests. The similarities between dragons, serpents,...
21
votes
9answers
6k views

Is it possible to betray the party in D&D?

I was just wondering, is it possible for one or more people to abandon/betray the rest of the party in D&D? Like, if they're offered a deal by the antagonist that they're obviously meant to say no ...
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 ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the history of vampires having high natural armor class?

Based on this question to Order of the Stick #1002 featuring combat between the main protagonist and a vampire, I wonder what is historical motivation for D&D vampires being tough to hit, not ...
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 ...
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 ...
21
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 do for the game-system? How does it affect the fun of the players? Why was ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is the soft level-cap set at level 20, specifically?

I've been wondering lately if there is any sort of precedence or context for the soft level-cap of level 20 in various D20 style tabletop games. I say soft cap because I'd like to, for the purposes of ...
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
7answers
1k 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 ...
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
3answers
2k 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 ...
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?
21
votes
3answers
538 views

Do dead creatures take up space?

If a large creature dies, does its corpse still occupy a 10x10 area? How does this affect movement and combat, specifically charging?
21
votes
1answer
896 views

Where does the elven “trance” come from?

In various editions of Dungeons and Dragons, elves have the ability to "trance" rather than sleeping normally. Does this elven trance have a source from fiction? I know that almost everything in D&...
21
votes
3answers
585 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
2answers
2k 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
6answers
2k views

Where does the D&D concept of a dwarf come from?

Where does the modern D&D of a dwarf come from? I've noticed it's fairly far from the old Germanic concept of a dwarf. Where did Gary Gygax and company get the idea for the current long bearded, ...
20
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

How does Charm Person affect a PC?

It's quite clear how the DM should play any NPCs that get Charmed by a PC -- the NPC should behave as the caster's best friend, and do things that he'd do for his best friend. But how do you play ...
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 ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

How to reduce minis dependence in d20-based games?

In Pathfinder and similar versions of D&D, there is a lot more miniatures/tactical map dependence than in earlier versions (and in most other RPGs). I am interested in reducing the dependence on ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

How do you pronounce “svirfneblin”?

In a campaign I'm writing, an aged sage sends my party to the Underdark to aid Deep Gnomes against a Drow takeover. The group that will be playing this has read R.A Salvatore's books and knows both ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

Was Dungeons and Dragons the first to introduce colour-coded dragons?

The colour-coded dragon is a popular trope, where dragons have distinct colourings that affect their strength level and the nature of their abilities: red dragons breathe fire and thrive in hot ...
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
9answers
8k 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?
19
votes
12answers
3k views

What to model the behavior of D&D's chaotic evil Orcs on?

Instinctively, I find myself modeling a tribe of Dungeons & Dragons Orcs as similar to Klingons from Star Trek, or Vikings, or even a gang of bikers or skinheads. But none of these models truly ...
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 ...
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 ...
19
votes
11answers
1k views

Encouraging out-of-the-box thinking in combat encounters

I'm a GM currently running D&D 3.5. I try to think of situations that present the players with a number of possible solutions. The players, however, always resort to the same pattern of killing ...
19
votes
6answers
4k views

How much greed is too much for a Chaotic Neutral character? [closed]

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 ...
19
votes
2answers
865 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 ...
19
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 ...
19
votes
4answers
688 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
377 views

Do common folk like staying dead?

This is based on How do I prevent a character from being resurrected? One of the answers was that a good way to keep them dead is to threaten a loved one, but then the comments pointed out that you ...
18
votes
14answers
3k views

Should sunrods be allowed in D&D? [closed]

Sunrods, those banishers of darkness, are they a problem or not, I've met a number of DMs that don't want them in their games. Are they a problem?