Questions tagged [dnd-4e]

For questions about the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, published in 2008. This tag also covers the D&D Essentials line that debuted in September 2010.

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100 votes
13 answers
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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 ...
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  • 6,714
80 votes
10 answers
26k views

How should I respond to a DM who unfairly plays the "rules-lawyer" card?

My question: How would you, as an experienced role-player, deal with this situation? I was recently invited to join a 4e startup goup. I've RP'd a fair bit in my day, but not in decades, and never D&...
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  • 973
79 votes
17 answers
6k views

How can I help my PCs remember clues that they found?

I'm a new DM running my first adventure in D&D 4e. I've heard of the "three clue rule", that there should be at least three independent pointers to any plot element you want the PCs to take note ...
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  • 3,534
64 votes
6 answers
11k views

My players like to search everything. What do they find?

I am currently running a D&D 4e campaign. Every time my players defeat/subdue the monsters in a room, they decide to search the room. However, I never have anything interesting for them to find. I ...
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  • 1,816
54 votes
13 answers
9k views

How do you deal with metagaming based on die results?

I ran into this problem in a session I had earlier today. My characters were going through a dungeon and after a fairly lengthy fight with a person who lived there, they decided they would question ...
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  • 2,184
51 votes
13 answers
4k 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 ...
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46 votes
5 answers
70k 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 ...
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  • 1,711
43 votes
4 answers
7k views

How do I avoid being and feeling useless as a player new to D&D combat?

I tried playing D&D 4th edition a few years ago. While I enjoyed it, this particular thing put me off. I didn't know about this SE at the time, so I couldn't ask this. Events in this question are ...
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  • 423
42 votes
14 answers
4k views

Can D&D Fourth Edition be played effectively in a non-gamist manner?

I'd like to ask a question that's been brewing for a while. A lot of the answers and comments on this site seem to be from people who play 4e and are insistent that the right way/only way/best way to ...
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  • 173k
42 votes
9 answers
15k views

How do I run a game for a larger group?

I am currently running a Dungeons and Dragons 4 campaign for a group of 9 players. Whittling the group down to a more manageable size is not really an option since they are all family. When we do ...
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  • 1,738
40 votes
17 answers
20k views

In D&D, A PC became king. How do I keep him in check?

I'm running a D&D 4e campaign. There, a player has worked very hard and somehow tricked me into becoming a king of an evil kingdom (the population is 100,000+). The area he became king of is a ...
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40 votes
7 answers
5k views

What do you do when a player intimidates your campaign boss to surrender?

So my players recently fought a big bad campaign boss. The (custom made) boss was a kind of solo beserker king, and the encounter difficulty was designed to be fairly moderate until the boss became ...
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  • 5,866
40 votes
9 answers
3k views

How to deal with a Batman PC as a DM?

I'm running one of the D&D Encounters tables at the local game shop. In Chapter 3 the players can create their own characters. Everyone had normal characters with the exception of one player who ...
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  • 1,954
40 votes
13 answers
8k 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 ...
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  • 755
39 votes
13 answers
18k views

What set of books makes a complete starter set for 4e?

I've asked several questions about 4th Edition D&D because I may be able to start a game. However, I'd need to purchase (some) materials. I am aware of the 4 book set (core) and the expected ...
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38 votes
6 answers
4k views

In an even fight, how many rounds does a typical monster need to drop a PC?

Inspired by the closed question: DnD Next Hitpoint Inflation, There have been claims of HP inflation in dnd-next, and there certainly were increased in the absolute value of HP in 4e. In order to ...
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36 votes
10 answers
10k views

How do I prevent my players from abusing long rests?

I am a DM for a D&D 4e game. My players (especially the wizard) like to take an extended rest after every single encounter, because he resorts to using his daily powers in every single encounter (...
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  • 1,816
36 votes
8 answers
20k views

Is my DM a killjoy, or am I just a whining player?

I've been playing D&D 4E with a group of colleagues from work for about a year or so now. Whilst some of us were seasoned role players, and others had never played before at all - none of us had ...
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  • 544
36 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why did Ed Greenwood and R.A. Salvatore dislike the Spellplague arc? [closed]

The Forgotten Realms campaign setting includes an world-changing event called the Spellplague, which provided lore reasons for many of the mechanical changes introduced by Dungeons & Dragons 4e. ...
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  • 15.6k
35 votes
6 answers
6k views

Is giving a kobold a weapon considered a marriage proposal?

I have a friend who played D&D 4e longer then me. One day we were adventuring in Kobold Hall and I convinced a female kobold to join our group. Soon after my character gave the kobold a weapon, my ...
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  • 599
33 votes
6 answers
3k views

How can I learn how to negotiate as an NPC?

I'm a new GM in D&D 4e. I've quickly found that I perform very poorly when I'm portraying a negotiation between the PCs and one or more NPCs. Even when they have common ground and could easily ...
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  • 3,534
32 votes
20 answers
7k views

How can I best implement a recurring villain when the players are not opposed to killing? [closed]

I am writing up a campaign for D&D4e that I will be playing in a couple of months and, though I do not have the storyline 100% all thought out, I know the general tone I am going for already, and ...
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  • 1,053
32 votes
2 answers
51k views

What are the major differences between D&D 4e and 5e?

What are the major differences between D&D 4e and 5e? I have been playing 4e for about a year, and I have been considering selling my books to get 5e. What are the major differences, and is there ...
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32 votes
8 answers
19k views

How do I get started playing Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition by myself?

I've been wanting to start playing D&D for some time, and I was wondering how I could get started by myself with relative ease. I own the first two player handbooks, and a set of dice.
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  • 321
31 votes
8 answers
2k views

What are the most important differences for a 1st Edition AD&D Dungeon Master learning to run D&D 4E?

I'm a campaign designer and DM with 20+ years of AD&D 1st edition experience. I've been "retired" from the game for over a decade, assume I don't know anything about 2nd, 3rd, or 3.5. Now I'm co-...
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31 votes
9 answers
5k views

How can I efficiently run a morally challenging campaign?

I recently started running a DnD 4e campaign of my own. My goal was to make it an ethical dilemma for the players, to really give them a chance to play a game where character/personality based choices ...
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  • 3,029
31 votes
6 answers
3k views

What good is GP?

I know the title sounds silly, but hear me out. I'm kinda new to DnD and I'm DM'ing a 1st level campaign for a group of people who have never played before. They've made their characters with what ...
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31 votes
7 answers
2k views

How can I make monster knowledge checks fun?

By now most players know, or should know, that a monster knowledge check can make all the difference when you’re fighting a monster for the very first time. But how can we make them both fun and not ...
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30 votes
3 answers
9k views

Is there a core campaign setting for DnD 4e?

I'm completely new to RPGs in general, so I apologize in advance if this is an odd question. There's such an overwhelming abundance of lore on all the different campaign settings for DnD that I've ...
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  • 303
28 votes
12 answers
7k views

Traps specifically for Smart characters

Does anyone have examples or suggestions on creating traps that are harder for Smart (High INT/WIS) characters? Example: My NPC necromancer has set up his lair. In his arrogance he believes that ...
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  • 2,034
28 votes
7 answers
4k views

How to encourage a player's creativity without breaking the game?

I've just started a new D&D 4e campaign with a new group of players. One of my players came straight from 2nd edition, and has never played 4e before. She doesn't seem to grasp the layer of ...
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  • 21.2k
28 votes
10 answers
4k views

Should I scale the difficulty after the party recruits a boss?

A year ago or so, I was DMing a DnD4e campaign in which the leader of the players' party (Sariel) managed to convince a powerful (6 levels higher) adversary (Pieter) to join them temporarily; their ...
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  • 488
27 votes
8 answers
6k 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 ...
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  • 1,271
26 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why has 5e moved away from "per encounter" language?

In 5th edition, why are no abilities listed as usable "once per encounter" or similar? As far as I am aware, encounter powers were a staple of 4e, meaning that certain abilities and powers could ...
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26 votes
8 answers
21k views

What is the real difference between D&D 4th Edition and Essentials?

I've played mostly 2nd Ed. and some 3/3.5. I have a lot invested in those materials. I am intrigued by 4E an Essentials, but am looking for the best way to approach the new editions. Keep in mind I ...
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26 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is the difference between "No Action" and "Free Action"?

What is the difference between No Action, e.g. the Monk's Centered Flurry of Blows [ddi], and the more common Free Action?
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  • 7,800
25 votes
8 answers
5k views

How can I encourage my D&D Encounters group to do more role playing?

I'm a new player to D&D 4e. I've been participating in D&D Encounters since Season 1 and have even run a couple of sessions in Season 3 when the regular DM couldn't attend. I don't play in ...
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  • 1,145
25 votes
4 answers
3k views

What about character death should be included in a social contract?

For a D&D (4e, primarily) game what about player-character death should be included in a group's social contract? What are some options for best reaching consensus about the possibility of death ...
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25 votes
4 answers
12k views

Can a sniper be built in D&D 4e?

The concept of a sniper has been around a long time, even with bows. Is this even possible in D&D4e, where the range increments are so short? Criteria: Long range bow or crossbow attacks. ...
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  • 23.5k
25 votes
4 answers
4k views

Monster Manual 1 - Is it balanced? Should I balance it?

I've been DM'ing a little lately 4 edition D&D and of course I'm confused again: My first adventure was a big question mark, I didn't use the exact guidelines for creating an encounter and ...
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25 votes
2 answers
6k views

What does AEDU mean?

I have seen the acronym "AEDU" (or perhaps ADEU) used on the community boards at wizards.com, but haven't stumbled on the definition, and a google search goes nowhere (I doubt they're suddenly ...
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25 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
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  • 3,852
25 votes
1 answer
952 views

Why did the D&D 4e designers scale everything for 5 players? [closed]

There are many questions about changing the scaling on encounters, but I am curious if anyone knows why the designers chose 5 players as the default. FWIW, I would assume that 4e would use a 4 player ...
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24 votes
9 answers
10k views

What is a "mark" actually supposed to be?

This is probably way too simple of a question, but I just haven't been able to figure it out. In D&D 4th edition, there's the concept of a mark on an enemy creature; a player character in combat ...
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  • 17k
24 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is it acceptable for the GM to attack a recently-stabilized character?

I was playing the Scales of War campaign with a group of friends, and my character was getting absolutely destroyed in an encounter. I had failed two death saves, but fortunately for me, the fight ...
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  • 243
24 votes
7 answers
14k views

Are there any benefits to being a small character?

Small characters face a number of disadvantages. They can't use two-handed weapons, and have to use two hands to wield a versatile weapon DDI. Further disadvantages include: The inability to Grab ...
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  • 1,990
24 votes
8 answers
5k views

How do I make and use tactically interesting terrain?

I'm running 4e but I think this applies everywhere. I want to use terrain more often in my fights. My best fights are the ones that revolve around interesting terrain. The problem is that I don't ...
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  • 19.3k
24 votes
6 answers
33k views

What to do in the first session of a campaign?

The first session of my new D&D 4e campaign is coming up pretty soon and I'm not quite sure how to go about the introduction into this new campaign. I have the geography and landmarks and things ...
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24 votes
2 answers
4k views

How do I use minions effectively?

I'm a newbie DM. It seems that minions in an encounter benefit the PCs more than they benefit me: The Barbarian can kill them for free THP and a Swift Charge (I thought they were supposed to slow ...
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  • 3,534
23 votes
14 answers
8k views

How to keep track of statuses and conditions?

Every round someone is getting dazed, marked, bloodied, quarried, cursed, blinded, slowed, penalized, buffed, stunned, or taking ongoing damage... the list goes on. At paragon tier with a six-player ...
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