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

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20
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2answers
535 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 ...
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
10answers
964 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
19
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
1answer
631 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, ...
19
votes
1answer
481 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 ...
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?
18
votes
11answers
944 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 ...
18
votes
8answers
997 views

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

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), ...
18
votes
2answers
250 views

Handling different, bordering cultural levels in Ravenloft

How do you as a DM handle the transition/interaction between differing cultural level domains that live alongside (practically bordering, thanks to the Mists) one another in Ravenloft (any edition)? ...
17
votes
8answers
11k 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 ...
17
votes
8answers
1k views

How can I make low levels of a high-level build more bearable?

In Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder, often you might design or plan a character for what he can do at high level. For example, I might want to play a Mystic Theurge or some other prestige class, or ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the literary influences of the D&D Bard?

Can anyone tell me what sources, in literature, film, etc. inspired the Bard class for Dungeons & Dragons? I'm familiar with the Celtic Bards of history and legend, but the modern D&D Bard ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Does anyone know of specific types of room lists for different kinds of (fantasy) buildings?

Here's a problem I encounter when creating buildings for D&D: I quickly run out of specific room types. For instance, when I create a temple, I can think of the main worship area, chambers for the ...
17
votes
1answer
397 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 ...
16
votes
10answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
686 views

Memory After Death

A recent campaign started with the death of the party and reincarnation of the party with the premise of "we brought you back to find those who killed you". One player was concerned that these people ...
16
votes
5answers
1k 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, ...
16
votes
6answers
854 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
476 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?
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, ...
16
votes
8answers
2k views

What adventures are there out there that would fit in this old school campaign?

In a few weeks I'm starting a game of old school D&D for a group of fairly new players, and I'd like to be able to have a few published modules to drop on my hex map, so I can mix it up a bit and ...
16
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Were Illithids inspired by Cthulhu?

Mind Flayers seem to look a whole lot like Cthulhu. Is there any relationship/inspiration between the two?
16
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
7k views

Where can I get ready-to-play characters for D&D 3.5?

The last time I played D&D was about 10 years ago. Now I've decided to show it to my university friends, who have never played it before but are pretty excited. For that first game, nobody would ...
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
546 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
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 ...
15
votes
4answers
6k views

Is there a good searchable database of D&D adventures?

I have shelves and shelves of RPG books, and a lot of it's D&D. I have every Dungeon magazine from #1 on. But for some reason I can never find the right adventure for what I need. What I'm ...
14
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
543 views

If you are chained to a boulder and the boulder falls off a cliff, are you pulled with it?

I'm trying to resolve a situation of characters being connected to things that are moving. If I am at the end of a 20ft chain connected to a boulder, and someone drops that boulder off a 50ft cliff, ...
14
votes
2answers
897 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
718 views

What are the “Dark Powers”?

What are the dark powers in Ravenloft? I'm not asking for a list, but rather a description of these entities.
14
votes
7answers
902 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

What exactly is a saving throw?

Dungeons and Dragons has had the concept of a "saving throw" for a long time. What exactly is it supposed to represent in the real world? And why is it called a "saving throw"?
14
votes
6answers
2k views

How do you rule halfling tossing as a combat action?

The party I am GMing has three characters over 6' tall with 20+ strength as well as a halfling and a kobold, both small and about 3' tall. A couple of times, they have wanted the big characters to ...
14
votes
6answers
635 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
283 views

What happens when a grabbed target of Avalanche Stomp is teleported

Avalanche Stomp is a power of the Stone Titan (all quotes are from the DDI Compendium): Close burst 3; +21 vs Fortitude; 3d10+7 damage, and the target is grabbed by earth and stone. The stone ...
14
votes
4answers
935 views

The Giants modules in BRP Classic Fantasy

I'm interested in playing some of the classic early AD&D adventures, like the Giants modules, with Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying using their Classic Fantasy module. My big issue is power doesn't ...
14
votes
5answers
899 views

What did you do for a Tarasque adventure? [closed]

What did you do for a Tarasque adventure? When you ran it, did you wait for the players to be epic level? Did having such an overpowered enemy detract from anything? Or did your players - on the ...
14
votes
2answers
697 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
712 views

What is the full list of official Wizards of the Coast D&D settings?

The ones I know of off hand are the following, also would be good to know what rule edition they initially started in and if they are no longer updated as of what edition: Forgotten Realms ...
14
votes
3answers
635 views

How should one-word “commands” work in languages other than English?

In various versions of D&D, there's a cleric spell called "Command" where the cleric compels an enemy to obey a one-word command. Typical commands might be "sleep", "flee", "surrender", ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

Relationship Mechanics for D&D/Pathfinder?

My Pathfinder/D&D games tend to involve relationships - romantic, friendly, etc. - between PCs and NPCs alike. 3.x only has the Diplomacy mechanic for any kind of relationship mechanic. I'm ...
13
votes
8answers
981 views

Out-Of-Control Characters

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 ...
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 ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

D&D: How to find out if someone is a spellcaster?

I know that one can use the spell "Detect magic" to find out whether any spells are being cast or active. But is it also possible, using some spell, feat or whatever, to find out whether a person is ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

How attached should players be to the characters they make?

I'm new to RPGs and I'm not sure how attached I should be to any characters I make. On one hand I don't think it would be pleasant to spend hours making an in depth character only to have them die ...