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

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13
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7answers
4k 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
6answers
456 views

How should a neutral character focused on balance be presented?

In many RPGs (or at least the ones I've heard of) the alignment system tends to have two definitions of a true-neutral character. Generally, they are something to the effect of what follows. ...
13
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2answers
1k views

What is the difference between non-dimensional space and extra-dimensional space in DnD 3.5?

Can someone please explain to me the difference between non-dimensional space and extra-dimensional space in DnD 3.5?
13
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
242 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
3answers
1k views

Guide to convert a 3.5e DM to a 4e DM

I have never played fourth ed, I have read most of the new books, but it is so different as to be quite foreign to my play style. Is there a primer or guide out to help 3.5 DMs switch to 4th smoothly? ...
13
votes
1answer
901 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
2answers
713 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
824 views

Inter-planar Merchants of D&D

What race best fills this role? I'm mostly looking for someone who does this in a Planescape-style setting. Neogi kinda do this, but they're a little too specialized for what I'm looking for. Ditto ...
12
votes
10answers
513 views

Balancing character levels

It makes sense that if you are in a group from the beginning that everyone in the group would be roughly the same level. Yes some classes level up faster than other but in general there is a balance ...
12
votes
2answers
557 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
370 views

At what point does a trap on a lock spring?

So a thief finds a chest which is trapped and locked (though he knows neither of these things at this point). He fails his find traps roll and assumes / risks that it's not trapped. At what point ...
12
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7answers
804 views

Anyone have write-ups (or alternatives) for “missing” skills in D&D 4E?

I decided that my urban campaign setting for 4E would be better off if characters had some "mundane skills and knowledge." One solution is adding the Knowledge, Craft, and Profession skills back in ...
12
votes
3answers
415 views

Character development suggestions for a low Dexterity character?

I read in some book (forget which) that players should use a low ability score as an opportunity for character development; for example, a low Con character could have insecurities and be very ...
12
votes
3answers
966 views

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

I know that a Mindflayer is an Illithid and visa versa. And, I know in some of the D&D fiction, like Forgotten Realms and the like, that Mindflayers refer to themselves or their race as Illithids, ...
12
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
396 views

What would be some good monsters for Planet of the Apes D&D?

A while back I got the idea of Planet of the Apes as an classic D&D game with "ape as class". Gorillas would be fighters, Orangutan clerics, Chimpanzees magic users, and Humans thieves making ...
12
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3answers
3k views

AC differences between AD&D 1E and Basic D&D?

I understand that there are differences between the way Armor Class works in AD&D (first edition) and Basic D&D (the boxed sets, Rules Cyclopedia, etc.), but I don't have the books to check it ...
12
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5answers
547 views

Is there any popular contemporary “classic” D&D material?

I've played the gamut of D&D editions from 2e, 3e, 4e, and the classic BECMI system, and after a year long hiatus from 4th edition, I'm considering running some "classic" D&D again. I'm aware ...
12
votes
1answer
547 views

How did Robilar plunder the Tomb of Horrors?

I was reminded last time on how evil the Tomb of Horrors dungeon is (instant death traps, an absolute necessity in one room is gruesomely fatal in another room). Sure, Gary Gygax constructed it to ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Where can I find desert random encounter tables?

The players in my Greyhawk campaign are about to enter the Bright Desert, and I'd like to use some desert-specific random encounter tables — does anyone have anything suitable? Edition is irrelevant, ...
11
votes
4answers
549 views

Chances of rolling up characters for classes in first edition Dungeons and Dragons

I recently read a blog post about the probabilities of rolling up a character that would meet the requirements for all of the different classes in first edition Dungeons and Dragons. I'd love to read ...
11
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6answers
519 views

D&D 4 - does it suffer as much drift / house-ruling as previous versions? (Primarily 3 and 2)

Let me start by clarifying "drift". 'Drift' is the process by which a playgroup, consciously or unconsciously, moves away (drifts) from playing the game according to the rules as written (RAW). Other ...
11
votes
3answers
627 views

What is the meaning of the “bardic lore” skill?

The bardic lore skill always left me baffled. I never had clear the terms of such skill. A bard can roll a bard lore throw to know some abstruse information. The fact is that the throw is bound to a ...
11
votes
7answers
299 views

Cameo Characters?

There are some good books in the Forgotten Realms library. Do you use cameo characters form these books? If so how do you balance them with your campaign? I know there was a campaign that came with ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Which D&D artist drew the cover art for the Warriors of the Eternal Sun Genesis game?

The Warriors of Eternal Sun Sega Genesis game had a small portion of a full-sized poster by a D&D artist. I have seen the full-size art in some D&D art book back in the day, even saw someone ...
11
votes
5answers
347 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 ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Feat prerequisites

Related to this question: Skill rank feat prerequisites, and specifically this rule text: Some feats have prerequisites. Your character must have the indicated ability score, class feature, ...
11
votes
2answers
293 views

What is the difference between D&D and D&D Miniatures?

Are they the same game? Or is D&D Minis like an abridged toned down version of D&D 4.0? Or is it a separate rule-set entirely?
11
votes
3answers
446 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

What is a good way to explain the difference between a Chaotic Neutral character, and a character who is just crazed?

When I first started playing with a group of completely new players, one of the first things I did was to explain the alignments as best I could at the time. When describing Chaotic Neutral, my exact ...
10
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4answers
532 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Are the orcs of the D&D core canon not above eating sentient humanoids?

Are the orcs of the D&D core canon cannibals, i.e. not above eating sentient humanoids? As far as I can remember, Tolkien's orcs seem to have no qualms about doing so (thanks for the link, ...
10
votes
8answers
563 views

Minimum player knowledge of the rules

None of my group of players have read any of the rule books, not even the Player's Handbook. I find this isn't a problem when making rulings, as they all accept my word (and a quick lookup if I'm not ...
10
votes
6answers
523 views

What edition of D&D should I introduce new, role-playing heavy, Argentinian gamers to?

Next week I will run a session for the first time, and I am looking for advice with which edition to run. I am currently considering 3.5e, 4e or the newest playtest packet of 5e (this seems best to ...
10
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
409 views

DM resources for stock images

When I create a campaign, I generally create a whole new world. The problem with this is that even though I have a plethora of amazing ideas, I just can't handle all the drawing and visuals that I ...
10
votes
2answers
428 views

Has Dungeons & Dragons ever been officially translated into Hungarian?

So I was talking with a friend from Budapest, Hungary who told me that he had played Dungeons & Dragons back in the 1980s. However, he explained that at the time they were playing "bootlegged" ...
10
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5answers
1k views

Are fantasy RPG races racial/cultural analogues to reality?

Prior to a recent game, our group had a great discussion on culture/race and it's relation to RPG races. While it is fairly established that Tolkien based some of the iconic aspects of his fantasy ...
10
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3answers
393 views

Any news regarding Planescape?

Riding on the coattails of the equivalent question on Spelljammer... Is there anything happening on the Planescape front? Both Wizards-related as well as independent updates are interesting.
10
votes
1answer
716 views

What's the big appeal to Majestic Wilderlands?

I've been seeing a lot about this setting lately, and although I've looked over some of the material, I don't feel like I "get" it. That is by no means a criticism--I'm pretty interested, but it ...
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
556 views

Need a good “Katrina Horror” scenario/resources for my Pathfinder campaign

AVAST! THAR BE SPOILERS AHEAD! In my current Pathfinder campaign, set in Golarion, I'm mashing up the Second Darkness Adventure Path, initially set in the seedy pirate-infested town of Riddleport, ...
10
votes
3answers
965 views

What powers do deities gain from believers?

In the (A)D&D multiverse, when a deity gains believers, he/she/it also gains power. But how much might is gained as the number of followers increases? As an example, when Elan's puppet deity has ...
10
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1answer
629 views

What are the differences and similarities between Pathfinder and Fantasy Craft?

Pathfinder or Fantasy Craft? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these two unofficial D&D 3.5 "upgrades" compared to 3.5 and each other? What kinds of play/groups are they more fit for? ...
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3answers
379 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of oldschool D&D combat initiative?

Old D&D and D&D3E/4E treat initiative and combat order differently like so: D&D 3.5 / 4E: All participants roll individual initiative, once only at the start of combat. Each player takes ...
9
votes
4answers
691 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
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3answers
607 views

When did the powers that be decide that my lanky frame warrants twenty-five square feet?

I was playing with AutoREALM the other day and noticed a lack of a five-foot-unit of measurement. There are inches, feet, yards, meters and then fathoms (apparently, six feet). This tool seems fairly ...
9
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1answer
307 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, ...