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

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2answers
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Have classes and levels ever been recognized officially in-game?

Has there ever been an official (A)D&D product in which character levels (as per the rules governing the game) were recognized and utilized to some degree in-game, within the game world, by the ...
13
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6answers
641 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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3answers
588 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 ...
13
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3answers
2k 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
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1answer
905 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 ...
13
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3answers
17k views

How do I upgrade older D&D adventures to 5th edition?

Before I get into the details I just want to mention that I'm working in a remote area right now and don't have access to the 5e Starter Set, just the downloadable PDFs. I'm looking for advice on how ...
12
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8answers
1k 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
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4answers
733 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 ...
12
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7answers
899 views

Is it legal to design and publish a game with D&D's ability scores?

If I were to design an RPG that had Str/Dex/Con/etc... would it be legal to publish it? I know that games like Pathfinder and Dungeon World got away with it, but I'm not sure how or why. Looking at D&...
12
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10answers
747 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
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3answers
917 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 ...
12
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4answers
2k 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 ...
12
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4answers
642 views

How different is D&D since it first came out?

I have never played Dungeons and Dragons, but I have participated in several other RPGs, and my Dad recently posed interest in playing since he was an avid D&D player when he was younger. I ...
12
votes
1answer
482 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
998 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
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7answers
417 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 ...
12
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3answers
1k views

Are there advantages to descending AC?

From a game design standpoint, are there any advantages to descending AC? I've tagged this D&D because I think this was the most popular game which required a low AC all the way to the year 2000 ...
12
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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 ...
12
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3answers
2k 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
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4answers
648 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.
12
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7answers
607 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
5k 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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1answer
441 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 D&...
12
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4answers
658 views

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

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 ...
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4answers
3k 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, ...
12
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1answer
349 views

What is the Ordial Plane and is it canon?

I have seen several references to something called the "Ordial Plane" to exist in Planescape. From what I can tell it is the third Transistive Plane which houses the bodies of the gods and the ...
11
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4answers
956 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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5answers
594 views

How to give directions to megadungeon locations without giving players too much info?

One of my favorite blogs, Beyond the Black Gate, had a good post a while back about structuring megadungeon play for episodic (i.e., irregular) games by creating mini-quests or missions that get the ...
11
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6answers
568 views

Does D&D 4 suffer as much drift/house-ruling as previous versions? (Primarily 3 and 2) [closed]

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”). ...
11
votes
2answers
652 views

What is the difference between arcane and eldritch in D&D lore?

As the title says, I am curious if the D&D lore mentions the differences between arcane power and eldritch power. I noticed that eldritch is mostly associated with "evil" aspects of the mythology,...
11
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1answer
652 views

Where can I find (in-universe) holy texts to quote?

My friends and I are starting a 5e campaign, and I have a Dragonborn Paladin of Bahamut nearly ready to go. As I was working through, the personality trait "I quote (or misquote) sacred texts and ...
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5answers
587 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
609 views

Source for Pelor, the Burning Hate's claim that Pelor refused to destroy a vampire

In the old Wizards forum post Pelor, the Burning Hate, several sources are mentioned for the conjecture put forth, that Pelor is actually evil. Some of these have specific page references, some do ...
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5answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

Is it possible to use rules from OGL or GSL in a computer game?

I'm experimenting with making an RPG game for mobile phones, and I could save some time if I used an established system for stats and combat etc. From a quick read of the licenses I'm not sure whether ...
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2answers
706 views

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

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, ...
11
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1answer
2k 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, ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
11
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2answers
376 views

How many dragons exist in Dragonlance, post War of the Lance? (e.g. 360 AC)

How many dragons of any color do you expect to exist: in the Dragonlance setting post War of the Lance (360 AC) in Ansalon (not interested in Taladas, etc.) of any one color (I will extrapolate the ...
11
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1answer
318 views

The evasive shulassakar: origin and resources

The shulassakar crop up in Eberron materials for both 3.5 and 4e, and they have a brief uncited mention in the Wikipedia article on yuan-ti. However, the rainbow serpent folk never seem to get much ...
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9answers
8k 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 ...
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4answers
3k 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, Flamma)...
10
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8answers
701 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

What are the funerary rites of Gnoll worshipers of Erythnul?

I'm playing a Gnoll Cleric who worships Erythnul in a D&D 3.5e game. Sadly one of my party members died in our last session (he's not a Gnoll). I would like to do something with his body (not just ...
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5answers
777 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 me)...
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4answers
819 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 ...
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2answers
596 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" ...
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2answers
519 views

What is an Othur of Burnt Othur Fumes fame?

D&D has a poison which goes by the name "burnt othur fumes". What is an "othur"? Google provides me with the fact that in 3.5, pathfinder and 5e, "burnt othur fumes" have some effect on ...
10
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1answer
893 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
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2answers
268 views

Are there any D&D rules for spells addressing past lives and the effects of reincarnation?

To clarify: This is not a question asking about different mechanics of reincarnation, or about a framework for reincarnation that spans any number of D&D variants. The tl;dr is that the question ...