Questions tagged [dungeons-and-dragons]

For questions relating to Dungeons & Dragons as a whole, or to multiple versions of Dungeons & Dragons. If your question is about a specific version of D&D, you probably should tag it with the corresponding tag instead (see the full tag info for this tag if you're unsure which tag is appropriate).

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194 votes
9 answers

I'm at a loss with “Dungeons and Dragons.” How does one play it, anyway?

I'm no gamer at all, so this could be like a very silly, basic question for you guys. The thing is that I always read about "Dungeons and Dragons" game (not the video game, but the normal game to play ...
Rosamunda's user avatar
  • 2,091
94 votes
4 answers

Why does dandwiki have a poor reputation?

Dandwiki has a markedly poor reputation in the online RPG community; material from it is often dismissed out of hand, and users are encouraged to avoid it and to not incorporate work posted there into ...
Derek Stucki's user avatar
  • 27.5k
164 votes
13 answers

How can DMs effectively telegraph specific dangers in D&D?

There are some play-styles of D&D in which the spectre of player-character death is considered a feature of the game rather than a bug. For my own reasons (which aren't the point of the question), ...
SevenSidedDie's user avatar
134 votes
3 answers

What are the big differences among 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 ...
gbjbaanb's user avatar
  • 2,612
101 votes
1 answer

How has D&D's guidance to DMs on when to extrapolate from written rules and when to improvise changed over time?

This answer (to a question about a levitating character trying to catch an object that exceeds the spell's weight limit in D&D 2e) states that: The spell levitate has a maximum weight limit, ...
Jeff Fry's user avatar
  • 8,377
64 votes
11 answers

Overview of D&D retro-clones

I'm getting more and more interested in the D&D retro-clones. I keep seeing various names thrown around, like Labyrinth Lords, Swords and Wizardry, Lycanthropes &… something else starting with ...
olajostein's user avatar
  • 1,510
52 votes
4 answers

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?
RS Conley's user avatar
  • 39.6k
63 votes
7 answers

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&...
Adriano Varoli Piazza's user avatar
46 votes
2 answers

How do I know which edition of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) the books I'm looking at are for?

I know there are quite a few editions of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), each of which has loads of rules, source, and splat books. But how do I know which edition the books I'm looking at are for? ...
Purple Monkey's user avatar
110 votes
18 answers

When should I fudge dice rolls?

When I started my first D&D campaign as a DM, I accidentally rolled and confirmed a crit on a PC from a goblin. It was an instant kill as our campaign had no cleric. That time I decided to fudge ...
h313's user avatar
  • 2,213
46 votes
5 answers

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 ...
Heather's user avatar
  • 1,741
74 votes
20 answers

I'm creating an original setting for D&D—where do I start? [closed]

Creating a new fantasy setting for D&D is daunting but I don't want to use one of the published settings. I have a blank piece of paper in front of me and a whole world to create. My friends want ...
Adam Dray's user avatar
  • 19.9k
68 votes
13 answers

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 ...
Stefano Borini's user avatar
55 votes
6 answers

What's the best way to make time spent travelling more interesting?

My players are going from Neverwinter to Comyr in D&D 4e Forgotten Realms. So, what I do everytime they travel is, learned from The Order of the Stick, a single random encounter (which, honestly, ...
Davi Braid's user avatar
  • 4,399
29 votes
3 answers

Can I use a salad fork to get into the Prime Material Plane?

In several editions of Dungeons and Dragons, the Plane Shift spell requires a forked metal rod, the design and material of which varies depending on the destination plane. Is there any canonical list ...
GMJoe's user avatar
  • 22.2k
19 votes
3 answers

What events in Forgotten Realms lore marked transitions from one edition to another?

I know that the Spellplague was the Forgotten Realms transition from D&D 3.5e to D&D 4e, and the Second Sundering was the transition from D&D 4e to D&D 5e, but I'm curious about other ...
Miniman's user avatar
  • 144k
13 votes
4 answers

How to roll perception checks for characters who aren't actively looking without arousing suspicion?

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 ...
StuperUser's user avatar
  • 9,988
49 votes
17 answers

Can a D&D Necromancer be of a good alignment? [closed]

I've been considering creating a good-aligned necromancer, but I'm not sure if it's realistic from a role-playing perspective. Is there anything inherent in necromancy that would require someone to be ...
Jane Panda's user avatar
40 votes
3 answers

When did Warlocks make their first appearance in D&D and how do they differ between editions?

I'm gathering lore about Warlock class origins in D&D. A quality answer would have more than just a release date, and would ideally cover what makes each edition's version different from other ...
aaron9eee's user avatar
  • 10.1k
39 votes
5 answers

What are the "Dark Powers"?

What are the dark powers in Ravenloft? I'm not asking for a list, but rather a description of these entities.
C. Ross's user avatar
  • 24.1k
25 votes
4 answers

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 ...
user avatar
23 votes
6 answers

Relationship Mechanics for D&D/Pathfinder?

My Pathfinder/D&D games tend to involve relationships - romantic, friendly, etc. - between PCs and NPCs alike. 3.x only has the Diplomacy mechanic for any kind of relationship mechanic. I'm ...
mxyzplk's user avatar
  • 175k
17 votes
1 answer

How do interpretations of Hit Points vary among D&D editions?

Is it true that Hit Points in different editions mean different things in the game world? For instance, hit points are quite abstract concept in 5e: Hit points represent a combination of physical ...
enkryptor's user avatar
  • 65.4k
11 votes
2 answers

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 ...
GMNoob's user avatar
  • 32.6k
143 votes
9 answers

How to stop players from making the game X-rated

After 30 years, a few of my friends and I finally managed to get together and play D&D. We've managed to play 2hrs once a week for the last 6 weeks. I unfortunately ended up being the DM. My ...
The Lost Kitten's user avatar
92 votes
4 answers

What is Pathfinder's relationship to D&D?

Pathfinder is often conflated with D&D, 4e I think, but it isn't actually named "Dungeons & Dragons." What is Pathfinder's relationship to D&D, and how does it fit in with the various D&...
GcL's user avatar
  • 33.3k
68 votes
8 answers

What are the differences between Holmes, Moldvay, and Mentzer D&D?

What are the differences between Holmes, Moldvay, and Mentzer D&D? Also, which one came first?
Ry St's user avatar
  • 3,480
56 votes
25 answers

How can I avoid problems that arise from rolling ability scores?

Rolling ability scores is a time-honored tradition across many editions of D&D. However, it can sometimes cause problems for players and/or the DM. For example, one player character may end up ...
Oblivious Sage's user avatar
38 votes
2 answers

Why do druids use scimitars?

I know this question has been asked on other forums, and I have heard some explanations, but I wondered if there was a source that could be cited (not the rule itself, rather an outside source that ...
Wyrmwood's user avatar
  • 9,770
32 votes
2 answers

Is there an iconic monster or creature for each alignment?

In my D&D 5e game, I have a custom cosmology, and I'm currently working on a concept for an afterlife plane where any sentient creature who enters is sorted by alignment and guided to the ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 12.8k
29 votes
5 answers

When did Artificers make their first appearance in D&D, and how do they differ between editions?

My curiosity arose after reading When did Warlocks make their first appearance in D&D and how do they differ between editions? by aaron9eee: A quality answer would have more than just a release ...
Akixkisu is on Strike's user avatar
122 votes
2 answers

Why is the D&D gorgon a metal bull?

In mythology, the gorgons were Medusa and her sisters; snake-like beings who petrified those who saw them. In Dungeons & Dragons, gorgons are bulls with metal scales and the ability to breathe ...
Forrestfire's user avatar
  • 9,293
82 votes
1 answer

What's the inspiration for the owlbear?

The standard explanation for the owlbear in-universe is "A Wizard Did It." Which is fine, as far as it goes, because the trope of "madman tinkering with bizarre mutations" is part of our speculative ...
BESW's user avatar
  • 53.2k
75 votes
27 answers

How do you play D&D without dice?

I'm from Indonesia, and I can tell you that D&D is not a thing. Hence, it will be tough for me (and my wallet) to find shops that sell d4, d12, d20 and so on. You also rarely see people selling &...
Realdeo's user avatar
  • 1,277
68 votes
13 answers

How do I encourage Drow players to not make Drizzt clones?

Every once in a while, I have a player wants to create a Drow character. The problem is, virtually every one of them winds up looking suspiciously like Drizzt Do'Urden: they are some variation of Good ...
Thunderforge's user avatar
  • 15.8k
57 votes
3 answers

What is the etymology of the term 'Gish'?

I understand that it roughly means a fighter/mage, as per this question: How to optimize a Gishy [Fighter/Mage] Character? But I just wanted to know more about how the term came about. It's so hard ...
Zachary Yates's user avatar
39 votes
11 answers

Is it practical to run a weekly lunch-hour game of D&D with my coworkers?

I'm looking to get some of my coworkers together and start a lunch time, casual, D&D game. Has anyone done this - is there a practical way to do this? Our lunch breaks run for about 1 hour, but I ...
blueberryfields's user avatar
38 votes
10 answers

How can a GM justify changing a player's alignment?

Lately, in one of my campaigns, I've been having problems with a character who everyone agrees is acting out of alignment. Everyone, that is, but him. The problem, of course, is that he's playing a ...
Zach's user avatar
  • 8,354
36 votes
2 answers

Why are the Faithless condemned to the Wall of the Faithless after death?

If you live in the Forgotten Realms and die without worshipping a deity, you are sentenced to the Wall of the Faithless by Kelemvor to serve as another proverbial brick in the Wall. But why does this ...
Thomas Jacobs's user avatar
31 votes
5 answers

Where does the D&D concept of a dwarf come from?

Where does the modern D&D concept 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-...
C. Ross's user avatar
  • 24.1k
30 votes
7 answers

Is it common for D&D characters be moved to or reused in different DMs' campaigns?

When you've played a character for a while and have invested a lot of time building this character up, seeing the campaign end, losing your group by moving to a different city, or otherwise leaving ...
Ken - Enough about Monica's user avatar
24 votes
6 answers

Is it possible to actually kill a Tarrasque? [closed]

I've seen a good bit of conflicting information on this creature. Is it possible to actually kill it? Permanently? Is the answer to this something that varies from edition to edition of D&D?
RavenM's user avatar
  • 425
22 votes
2 answers

Why is the Deck of Many Things called the Eater of Campaigns?

I hear this term tossed around a lot. Where does it come from and what does it mean?
Please stop being evil's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers

Can you “backstab” with a siege weapon?

The 2002 movie The Gamers has a famous scene where the party's thief backstabs someone with a ballista.* The movie uses a vaguely Dungeons-and-Dragons-ish system. Would any of the versions of D&...
Mark's user avatar
  • 294
19 votes
11 answers

How can I allow one character to sneak off and assassinate an NPC without boring the other players?

Setup In my campaign, one of the PCs is an assassin. Before the game started, I gave the player a list of assassination targets. One of the targets happens to be friends with the party's warlord. It'...
DCShannon's user avatar
  • 5,711
18 votes
4 answers

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 ...
dblanchett's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers

Can sub-races breed and produce half-subraces? [closed]

Can the different sub-races of a particular race interbreed, like a drow with a wood elf, or a hill dwarf with a mountain dwarf? If so, would the child be a half-subrace from each parent? Is this ...
Sophia P's user avatar
  • 121
11 votes
1 answer

Resisted energy types and immunity

I would like to know the distribution of energy resistances and immunities in 3.5 monsters, and especially the four basic types fire, cold, electricity and acid. It is often said that fire is most ...
Mala's user avatar
  • 12.4k
6 votes
2 answers

About monster definition and distinctions

I was having a discussion with some guy and I argued that I think D&D made distinctions between monsters and regular characters since earlier editions, and it even employed different mechanics. ...
Flamma's user avatar
  • 17.3k
67 votes
4 answers

Why do Sorcerers use Charisma?

Sorcerers use Charisma as their primary Ability Score for spell-casting in Dungeons and Dragons. Wizards use Intelligence to cast, and Clerics use Wisdom. Intelligence and Wisdom make sense for the ...
Sorcerer Blob's user avatar

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