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

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18
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2answers
369 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
6answers
1k 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 ...
17
votes
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 ...
17
votes
4answers
2k 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
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 ...
17
votes
1answer
663 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
16
votes
11answers
4k views

How can I allow one character to sneak off and assassinate an NPC without boring the other players?

Setup In my campaign, one of the PCs is an assassin. Before the game started, I gave the player a list of assassination targets. One of the targets happens to be friends with the party's warlord. It'...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it common for D&D characters be moved to or reused in different DMs' campaigns?

When you've played a character for a while and have invested a lot of time building this character up, seeing the campaign end, losing your group by moving to a different city, or otherwise leaving ...
16
votes
5answers
1k 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
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
805 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, "It'...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Where does the distinction between “Mind Flayer” and “Illithid” come from?

I know that a Mind Flayer is an Illithid, and vice versa. And I know in some of the D&D fiction, like Forgotten Realms and the like, that Mind Flayers refer to themselves or their race as ...
16
votes
6answers
998 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
1k 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", "undress",...
16
votes
2answers
744 views

Can you “backstab” with a siege weapon?

The 2002 movie The Gamers has a famous scene where the party's thief backstabs someone with a ballista.* The movie uses a vaguely Dungeons-and-Dragons-ish system. Would any of the versions of D&...
16
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
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 ...
15
votes
4answers
2k 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 off,...
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 "...
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?
15
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
673 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. ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What kind of rulings predated ability or skill checks in old school D&D?

As I grow more weary of 4E and more nostalgic for my days playing 2E, I'm spending more and more time reading the old rules and the retroclones. I'm having a great time. One of the things that I ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

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

What did you do for a Tarrasque 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
667 views

Where did the misspelling 'Lloth' originate?

In the past you could sometimes come across the deity Lolth being spelled 'Lloth'. I once heard it was a typo that somehow kept being repeated. Where did the spelling 'Lloth' first appear?
15
votes
1answer
964 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 cultural/...
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
746 views

Who actually is Tucker?

Tucker's Kobolds, from an article in Dragon Magazine, is an example of challenging higher-level player characters with lower-level monsters. Who actually is 'Tucker', in (modern-day) real life, and ...
15
votes
1answer
918 views

Dungeons & Dragons starring Dragons: Which edition would work best for dragon PCs?

Next year's theme for our local gaming 'Con is "Year of the Dragon", and I've had inspiration to prepare and run a "Dungeons & Dragons starring the Dragons" scenario. While I have a fairly varied ...
15
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
866 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

What is a Wyrm in D&D?

So I keep seeing things like "The Great Wyrm", "Forest of the Wyrm", "Wyrm aged" and they seem to be all related to Dragons. Is Wyrm just another name for Dragons? Is this a general thing or does it ...
14
votes
5answers
601 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
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Do different monsters cooperate? Do I need to justify it when they do?

I'm new to GMing, and am having difficulty with understanding how often different types of monsters interact cooperatively (so to speak). In keeping with trying to give my PC's variety, and to also ...
14
votes
3answers
2k 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
4answers
11k 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
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are Solars so powerful compared to other Outsiders in D&D?

Going through a number of D&D books that feature the Solar I noted that it is amongst the most powerful monsters in the book, frequently only matched in level and power by the likes of the ...
14
votes
3answers
398 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
6answers
436 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the history of the Darkness spell?

In D&D 3.0, the darkness spell was a sphere of blackness, impenetrable even to darkvision, which was terrifyingly powerful (except against demons and devils). In D&D 3.5, it's a zone of 20% ...
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
3k 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
2k 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
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 ...