26
votes
7answers
5k views

How do I use Passive Perception to have some characters notice parts of the environment?

I'm new to DM'ing and have an issue I'm not sure how to deal with. The situation is this: It's pitch black outside and the PC is walking, with a lantern in hand, toward a building. A bird is ...
22
votes
4answers
21k views

How does one craft Potions of Healing?

The Basic Rules/PHB say that an Herbalism Kit is required to create potions of healing. However, the crafting rules only allow you to make nonmagical items, and the description under Potion of Healing ...
22
votes
6answers
555 views

Techniques for communicating setting and campaign information to the PCs?

In the past, I've almost always had at least one NPC that would travel with the characters as a type of "lore master" to expand on the story. I've tried to make the character witty and, once the ...
21
votes
4answers
704 views

Must a situation's obvious characteristics be explicitly made into aspects?

I've never played Fate before and am learning from Fate Accelerated Edition with occasional reference to Fate Core. For the most part, it has been straightforward. On the other hand, I am somewhat ...
21
votes
10answers
3k views

What defines the “old school renaissance”?

I'm aware that the old school renaissance (OSR) is all about hearkening back to old versions of D&D and the play styles of the 70's and 80's, but what characteristics really define this movement? ...
18
votes
5answers
5k views

Covertly casting a spell

This question about Charm Person got me musing about a problem with the spell. Obviously, you can't cast Charm Person in the middle of a forum to sway an interlocutor to your side without the other 20 ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

How many dice does the GM roll when challenging the players?

I'd like to run a game of Roll for Shoes, but I'm not sure how many dice I roll when the characters face various challenges. I'm under the impression that it's supposed to be the same number of dice ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

How much experience should a PC be worth?

Long story short, I'm about to betray my party (by trying to kill them). I'm playing this betrayer on behalf of the GM. Assuming they defeat me, how much experience should they get? I am a level 14 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I deal with a bored or distracted player bringing down the group?

My group have been playing various D&D style games for a few years, I have one player however that often will drift off and start playing on his phone and several times has actually fallen ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I help my players get more engaged in the story?

I play in a group where we routinely switch out GMs. When I GM I tend to prefer story-based games with lots of character building and descriptive role play. We tend to run Paizo's Adventure Paths ...
15
votes
13answers
10k views

How to mitigate glass cannon syndrome in Pathfinder?

This is the more gamey part of my other question, What to do when your character is just too good? In D&D 3.5e and Pathfinder, damage output grows very, very quickly. Much more quickly than hit ...
10
votes
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Burrowing, Large Creatures, Opportunity Attacks, Drowning, and Z-Axis Movement [closed]

In our D&D 4th Edition campaign, the players have recently encounter Bulettes, monsters with the Burrow movement mode, and we had a few issues dealing with their movement. Monster Manual 1 states: ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

Does Pathfinder significantly fix known problems with the Monk class?

As a somewhat follow up to this question re. unarmed strike, I'm wondering: Does Pathfinder significantly fix the monk class (this, and other potential well known class issues)? Specifically *: ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Drawing and sheathing a weapon in 5e, and the actions required

I've seen this question asked about 4e, and I think I've found the passage in the 5e PHB that answers the question, but I'd like to make sure I understand this correctly before I impose it on my game. ...
29
votes
5answers
2k views

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?
22
votes
7answers
5k views

How do I read 2d10 as a percentage?

I own 2 d10 dice with differently numbered sides (0 through 9, and 00 through 90), although the same applies for two identical 'regular' d10 dice. How do I read the percentage value if I use both ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I True Polymorph a goblin into adamantine (and then forge him into a sword?)

Is it possible to make crafting materials, like adamantine, out of a goblin or such using the True Polymorph spell for the full duration of the spell? On a side note, while adamantine is mentioned in ...
18
votes
6answers
2k 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
8answers
4k views

How to deal with rope trick in particular circumstance

Foreword: As it's my first post here, I can't insert more than a couple of links, so you'll have to find information on some of these feats and spells yourself on d20srd. The Question: Let's say in ...
16
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

What is Exalted Paranoia Combat?

Having spent some time reading, and occasionally posting on, the official Exalted forum, I've come across a number of people talking about "paranoia combat" What does this mean? They also generally ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

What happens when Detect Magic is used upon something that is magically invisible?

Does a simple casting of Detect Magic reveal the presence of magical invisibility?
14
votes
2answers
5k views

When a creature is invisible, but not hidden, do the enemies know the location of the creature?

When a creature is invisible but not hidden, one could argue that the players still know it's general location. If a creature becomes invisible and not hidden does it remain on the battle-mat?
13
votes
3answers
651 views

Do PCs retain memories of undeath once resurrected?

If an NPC has been turned undead and later destroyed/resurrected, do they retain the memory of being undead? Specifically the actions they took part in against the PCs? But also any details to the ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I decrease the difficulty of a scene on the fly?

I was a DM for the first time yesterday. It was a lot of fun, and all things considered, I think I've made a pretty darn good first session. It was, however, too difficult. I've based the various ...
13
votes
7answers
3k views

Is casting the spell Blood Transcription an evil act?

A player of mine in a recent game of Pathfinder was playing a Lawful Neutral Magus and was about to drink blood from a fallen spellcaster to get his prepared spells for the day by using the spell ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do some classes mention the same skill in both Trained and Class skills?

Consider this example from the Rogue class traits: Trained Skills: Stealth and Thievery. From the class skills list below, choose four more trained skills at 1st level. ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Is there a reason to ignore/adjust the Wealth By Level chart?

While reading this Cohort Question I was kinda struck by a quote in there and instead of asking an unrelated question in that area I figured it would be good to make a separate question. The quote ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Is an attack a check, or only similar to a check?

In the DnD Next Bestiary, it describes Berserker as having a Rage power that (among other things) gives the character +2 to Strength checks and saving throws. Does this mean that the Berserker gets a ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

What does “+6 to hit, Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4)” mean in a creature's stat block?

My friends and I are very new to D&D, played like 3 times. In a monster's stats next to weapon damage it says stuff like "+11 to hit" and "Hit: 5 (1d8+1)". For the premade characters it just says ...
11
votes
2answers
710 views

Is this how to hide?

I know that Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 is a pretty lousy stealth simulator--which is probably why I've not seen a lot of folks try to play characters that hide--, but I want to clarify the hiding rules ...
10
votes
3answers
324 views

What can make OGL material harder or easier to reuse in other products?

I keep reading about OGL material that is written in such a way that makes it harder to use than normal, and other OGL material that is written such that it's easier to reuse in other products. ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the maximum damage done by Divine Smite?

This is a mechanics question pertaining to the maximum allowed damage for the Paladin's Divine Smite ability. Divine Smite: "...you can expend one [Spell Slot] to deal Radiant damage in addition ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

What does increased caster level affect?

A orange ioun stone adds +1 caster level, what does this affect? Damage from spells? (Like fireball) Duration and area of effect? "Amount" of effect (Like number of missiles from magic missile) ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Creatively targeting summoning spells

Me and my party have a plan in our upcoming session, that will need some clarifications on how summoning spells can be used. Its all about creative targeting with the Summon Monster I spell, let me ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I two-weapon fight unarmed?

I want to make a fighter whose primary weapons are his unarmed attacks using the Tavern Brawler feat. If I take the Two Weapon Fighting style would that work with 2 unarmed strikes? In the weapons ...
8
votes
2answers
563 views

How much, and what kind of, advance planning is appropriate for a sandbox campaign?

New GM attemping to get ideas for a campaign down something similar to a tabletop fallout game. How much info is too much info for general prep? Can there ever be too much? Or is there a general ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

How to roll perception checks for characters who aren't actively looking?

This applies to all d20 systems, but with an example from the from the Pathfinder PRD (emphasis mine): Stonecunning: Dwarves receive a +2 bonus on Perception checks to potentially notice unusual ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Can a Psion become a Thrallherd, then drop Diplomacy with Psychic Reformation?

I have a Psion(Egoist)/Thrallherd with Psychic Reformation. I'm wondering whether I can use Psychic Reformation to drop the points in Diplomacy and the Inquisitor feat, and reassign the points to ...
7
votes
3answers
600 views

What's the best magic item for punching monsters in their stupid faces?

My character, a barbarian with the feat Improved Unarmed Strike,1 occasionally eschews his greataxe and punches monsters. After reading this 2009 thread and this 2009 thread, I don't know what works ...
6
votes
2answers
623 views

Does a caster under the effect of a True Polymorph spell retain their class levels?

The true Polymorph spell specifies that: The target's game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of its new form ... The creature is limited in the actions it ...
6
votes
3answers
433 views

Is there any good place on the internet that hosts monster playtests?

I've been a DM for a while for 3.5. I've run many NPC characters, however only a small fraction of monsters out of the books (comparatively). Also, I like to use templates liberally as well as advance ...
44
votes
13answers
15k views

Is a fumble on a natural 1 an official rule?

I am currently a player in a D&D 3.5 game where rolling a 1 on any attack roll is not only an automatic miss, but also means that something "bad" happens – such as dropping your sword, falling ...
43
votes
4answers
5k views

Can you multiclass the same class twice for different class features?

The way that 5e works, each class has a sub class that dictates a heap of class features. The question here is generally, can a character of a specific class take levels in that same class in order to ...
28
votes
5answers
3k views

Does Burning Hands really require touching thumbs?

The D&D 5E spell Burning Hands has verbal and somatic components, and is described like this: As you hold your hands with thumbs touching and fingers spread, a thin sheet of flames shoots ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Is 4th edition D&D compatible with 5th edition?

I have all of the hardcover books from D&D 4th edition. I recently bought and am reading the 5th edition players handbook and I must say I like it. I was wondering if 4th edition information ...
18
votes
1answer
5k views

What is wrong with the Truenamer?

I have seen a lot of people say that the Truenamer does not work (such as this answer placing Truenamer at the bottom tier) or that it's terrible. As far as I can read and see, though, it seems to be ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Can a Specialist Wizard multiclass to cast spells from his prohibited schools?

I've had DMs rule both ways on this..I haven't seen any official RAWs on this so I was hoping someone here could point me in the right direction? If a Wizard specializes (giving him 1-2 prohibited ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the meaning of 'permanent' in description of True Polymorph?

Following on from this question: Can I True Polymorph a goblin into adamantine (and then forge him into a sword?) Casting True Polymorph on an unwilling creature (relevant parts included only): ...

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