34
votes
4answers
48k views

What are the differences between D&D 3.5 and D&D 4th edition?

I have a small group of players who don't play often and we've been playing D&D 3.5. I wanted to know if there are any significant differences between D&D 3.5 and D&D 4e? Do they use a ...
41
votes
13answers
2k views

How to communicate to the players that an encounter can be solved also through diplomacy?

When you play D&D, you are not supposed to chat with the enemy during encounters. The system is made for fighting. However, in some circumstances, it would be nice to make the players conscious ...
23
votes
6answers
9k views

Are 3.5 Bards mechanically weak?

People frequently seem to think that Bards are mechanically weaker than other classes, and I was wondering if this was true?
23
votes
1answer
10k views

How does Stealth work with Sneak Attack?

So, in Pathfinder, it seems that being able to use stealth in order to gain sneak attacks only works in the surprise round, with the rules as written. So, imagine a scenario where we have a sniper ...
39
votes
5answers
6k views

Are peoples' competencies really as flat in D&D 5e as its math suggests?

Bounded accuracy is a major feature of the new system. It promises that bonuses to rolls won't grow too much throughout a character's career. And indeed, a first-level fighter would have an apex skill ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

What are some of the major challenges in playing an Evil Character? [on hold]

What are some of the major challenges in playing an Evil Character (whether that's a formal alignment or not) in a co-operative party game, and likewise, what are some of the reasons many groups ...
25
votes
8answers
756 views

How do you DM differently when it's for only one person?

I've just finished running my first session with only one player, and it felt pretty different from running a session for a group. Could someone with more experience in this talk about what one ...
27
votes
20answers
1k views

How do you deal with missing players?

If you know ahead of time that you're going to be missing a player, do you reschedule? Or just play them as an NPC or as a group puppet?
23
votes
1answer
3k views

What are “tiers”, and what tier is each class?

I tend to play Wizards, almost exclusively, though I have branched out and played Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers, and, at some point each other core class. I would like to play something different for my ...
27
votes
11answers
5k views

When and how should I introduce my kids to RPGs?

I grew up playing and DMing AD&D 1st edition. Have played a few other systems like Paranoia but really know the AD&D system well enough to not spend time constantly looking up rules. Do you ...
20
votes
2answers
828 views

Does the Rules Compendium overrule the core books?

The comment below was originally posted on another answer: Furthermore, from a super-strict RAW perspective, it has been argued (not by me!) that the Errata rules don’t actually let a book claim ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Can a spellcaster use spell slots above their normal limit if their ability scores allow bonus spells of that level?

This question is inspired by discussion here, about how Heighten Spell works with Reserve Feats. The question that I am asking here deals with whether or not players can cast spells using spell slots ...
15
votes
4answers
545 views

I have read the D&D PHB but am still having trouble grasping some of the basics, how can I learn more?

With credit to one of the more experienced members on the site, mxyzplk, I thought I'd ask where noobs like me should ask or find answers to basic questions about Dungeons & Dragons mechanics if ...
14
votes
2answers
417 views

How do marks interact with dual attacks?

The specific example from last night involved a Demon ManipulatorDDI using his Deceptive Attack to attack both my paladin and an ally. Would this violate the mark and trigger Divine ChallengeDDI? My ...
48
votes
26answers
4k views

What games are out there that could be played in a single night, with no prep? [closed]

What games are out there that could be played in a single night, with no prep? I have Spirit of the Century, but it really takes too long to make characters. So, in my opinion, it's great if you've ...
55
votes
23answers
4k views

How can a GM quickly create interesting, engaging NPCs?

What techniques do people have for coming up with interesting personalities and histories for non-player characters? I'm mostly interested in the GM side of things. I don't want to do a ton of prep. I ...
57
votes
19answers
21k views

How do I play a paladin without being a stick in the mud?

What are some tips for/examples of an epitome-of-good type paladin who does not disrupt the 'sinful' fun of the rest of the group? As an example of the type of paladin I'm talking about, one of the ...
28
votes
10answers
4k views

1 GM and 1 Player games and game systems? [closed]

I'm eager to hear how other people handle this? I do quite a bit of GM-Less gaming in Mythic and some other fringe systems, but, sometimes it's just better to be playing 'other sides' even if you're ...
21
votes
17answers
24k views

A 2 Player RPG for buddies? [closed]

If myself and an old buddy sit down for a night of roleplaying, what game can we use? I've heard of a couple of romantic games, but they're not really for buddies. Are they? Suggestions please.
43
votes
5answers
10k views

What makes grease a good spell?

I often see people list grease as good go-to 1st level spell. Why is this? The spell description lists 3 of its uses: forcing saves and slows movement of enemies, disarming enemies, and preventing ...
36
votes
14answers
1k views

When and how should I get the players to cut back on their out of character chatter?

I like that my players have all become such good friends. But they're all louder than me. We end up just chatting and hanging out more than gaming because I can't get them to stop having out of ...
53
votes
11answers
8k views

3d6 vs a d20: What is the effect of a different probability curve?

What is the effect on game play of replacing d20 rolls with 3d6 rolls in a D&D 4e campaign? I started thinking about this after reading this question where the example was given of playing a d20 ...
30
votes
6answers
1k views

How do I emphasize role-playing during combat?

Right now, the group that I GM for is very, very tactical-combat focused. To some extent, we may as well be playing a dungeon crawl board game for all the role-play we manage. Now, in and of itself ...
11
votes
8answers
15k views

Is there a spell managing program/app for D&D 3.5e?

I'm playing a necromancer wizard in a D&D 3.5e game via Roll20. I've found that it's very tedious to manage and choose my spells because I have to look in the list of the wizard/sorcerer spells ...
46
votes
13answers
2k views

How do I deal with GM burnout?

There are groups that share the role of GM/DM/Storyteller/Ref, and there are those that don't. In either type there is always the threat of burnout - too much responsibility is put into the hands of a ...
32
votes
2answers
2k views

What do the terms “lines” and “veils” mean?

I have seen the terms "lines" and "veils" used on this SE (including on the chat) a number of times, especially in terms of social contracts between players. What do these terms mean? What is ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Realm Management Rules That Work

I have been searching for years for a good realm-management rule set for RPGs. By "realm management," I mean a system that tracks the fortunes of large areas and / or groups in the way that most RPGs ...
36
votes
9answers
1k views

Best answer for people concerned about RPG activities being occult or dangerous?

I've had many experiences where the very fact of roleplaying triggered some concerned comment from the "uninitiated," likely parents or neighbors. Some examples: A friend of mine hosted a Vampires ...
30
votes
8answers
7k views

Combat rules for large battles

In the later chapters of a future campaign I'm thinking of having a section where the players take charge of parts of an army and fight a larger battle. I don't want to hand-wave the strategy, I want ...
32
votes
7answers
3k views

How does D&D Vancian magic make sense in-game?

One thing that bugs me about Vancian Magic in D&D as I understand it is the following: How is "fire and forget" remotely believable when I can slot and ready more than one "copy" of a spell? Say ...
38
votes
13answers
5k views

Playing 4th Ed D&D for the first time, what should I read to avoid holding everyone back?

I've been invited to join a new game of D&D 4th edition this weekend, but haven't played proper D&D before. Are there any resources I ought to read or get before I turn up, so that I'm not a ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Is a Dragonwrought Kobold a True Dragon?

The Monster Manual refers to some creatures with the Dragon type as “True Dragons,” and some later books refer to True Dragon status as a prerequisite for various options. Races of the ...
10
votes
4answers
875 views

How to make spell components relevant again?

The spell components mechanic has always seemed a bit ham-fistedly handled in D&D since 2nd edition. What should be an interesting way of defining a wizard generally becomes "I have my pouch" and ...
35
votes
20answers
3k views

How to handle a rules-lawyer player?

As a game master, what strategy/strategies seem to work well for handling players that have spent more time reading through the rule books than you have? While it's helpful at times to have the ...
30
votes
6answers
12k views

What are the major differences between D&D 3.0 and D&D 3.5

I found a bunch of D&D books at a used bookshop, but am now realizing half are 3.0 and half are 3.5... How compatible are these with each other? What are the major rule changes I'll need to watch ...
17
votes
5answers
7k views

Can I use a full attack and natural attacks in the same round?

I'm playing a 7th level monk variant in D&D 3.5e and I'm a werewolf. The variant has a 1 for 1 BAB. (level 1 = BAB+1) If I'm in hybrid form, Can I make my 2 standard attacks followed by 2 claws ...
17
votes
8answers
13k 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 ...
8
votes
11answers
1k views

Balancing players' rolls, not characters

I have been the worst dice-roller in my party as far as I can remember. Be it D&D 3.5, 4th Edition, or any other dice based system, the goddess of luck has always been mean to me. To give you an ...
5
votes
2answers
214 views

Reward distribution and story continuity with rotating players/GMs

There are some people who like to GM, and maybe even like it more than role playing themselves. If you have one of those rare specimen in your group consider yourself lucky. Others are not averse to ...
26
votes
6answers
9k views

Should one buy the Pathfinder book when the content is available for free on d20pfsrd.com?

Does the Pathfinder core rulebook contain any information that is not included already on www.d20pfsrd.com that would make it worth it to buy the PDF version of the manual? Or does it only have extra ...
21
votes
2answers
18k views

How do favored classes work in Pathfinder?

I'm working on creating a half-elf paladin character for a Pathfinder game. Full disclosure: this is the first time I've tried creating a character; I've used ones other people created before. In ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Where can I find transcripts of actual game sessions?

Some of us are getting together to play an RPG, but not everyone has been in one before. One of the prospective players has asked me for a transcript or something they could read to get a sense of ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I get more spell slots for my caster without resorting to the Extra Slot feat?

Im planning on building a wizard/Warmage/Ultimate Magus. By level 15 I will have caster level 11 in both classes, this leaves me with 5 levels left. I was planning on taking Dragon Disciple to ...
44
votes
13answers
2k views

How do I make skill checks more than just sequences of die chucking?

I think I don't get skill challenges. As I understand it at some point I break the narrative by proclaiming: "This is a skill challenge. You need 5 victories before you reach 3 failures. Go" And then ...
65
votes
3answers
7k views

How does rolling two dice and taking the highest affect the average outcome?

D&D 5E has an "advantage" concept where instead of rolling 1d20, you roll 2d20 and take the highest. Likewise, disadvantage means rolling 2d20 and taking the lowest. How does this affect the ...
50
votes
3answers
35k views

What are the big differences between the D&D editions?

I've been out of the loop for a while, and I used to play AD&D 2nd ed, but today I find there are a lot of different versions that have fairly different gameplay. Can anyone summarize the really ...
36
votes
17answers
1k views

Your friend wants to learn the ways of the Dungeon Master, what do you do?

I believe that all tabletop role playing gamers should at one point or another try their hand at Dungeon Mastering. However, it's a goal that at times can feel overwhelming. What advice would you ...
66
votes
16answers
4k views

Total Party Kill - What do I do as a GM?

Your party has had a streak of bad luck and/or made a poor choice and are now staring down death. The rules were followed to the letter and loss is assured. How do you handle this as a GM? Does ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

What do you do in Dungeon World when someone wants to perform an action they don't have a move for?

So in Dungeon World, everything breaks down to 'moves'. What about situations where a move is not available, but a check of some sort is called for, such as in the case of a non-fighter who wants to ...
32
votes
10answers
2k views

How to handle wealthy player characters as a GM?

One of the long-standing settings our group keeps returning to is classic medieval fantasy. (Examples are MERP, Rolemaster, The Dark Eye -- But this question is aimed to be system agnostic and is ...

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