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Questions tagged [dungeons-and-dragons]

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

156
votes
9answers
64k views

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 ...
127
votes
14answers
15k views

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), ...
61
votes
11answers
13k views

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 ...
58
votes
4answers
11k views

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 ...
98
votes
3answers
138k 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 ...
84
votes
1answer
22k views

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, ...
52
votes
7answers
11k 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 ...
43
votes
5answers
65k 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 ...
74
votes
20answers
53k views

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 ...
31
votes
8answers
35k views

Can D&D with only 2 players (plus DM) even work?

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 ...
36
votes
5answers
4k views

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?
12
votes
4answers
14k views

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 ...
45
votes
17answers
44k views

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 ...
56
votes
13answers
5k 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
8k views

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 ...
27
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
51
votes
6answers
9k views

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, ...
25
votes
4answers
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 ...
52
votes
8answers
24k views

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?
24
votes
6answers
40k views

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?
30
votes
2answers
6k views

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 ...
38
votes
11answers
5k views

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 ...
17
votes
11answers
4k views

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'...
27
votes
6answers
3k 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, ...
25
votes
6answers
13k views

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
4k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
684 views

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. ...
16
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
29
votes
17answers
6k views

Why aren't magocracies and theocracies dominant in D&D settings?

Anyone has (or has links to) well thought-out, logical explanations for why magocracies and theocracies are not the dominant forms of government of D&D worlds? I'd also be really interested in ...
27
votes
10answers
5k 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? ...
13
votes
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? ...
43
votes
2answers
5k views

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 ...
21
votes
9answers
12k views

Is it possible to betray the party in D&D?

I was just wondering, is it possible for one or more people to abandon/betray the rest of the party in D&D? Like, if they're offered a deal by the antagonist that they're obviously meant to say no ...
11
votes
6answers
630 views

How can I learn about other editions of D&D?

I am presently a 4e player, and I love the game. But I am also interested in the other editions of the game, and would like to be able to get a good overview of them. By overview I mean a good look ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

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&...
12
votes
9answers
17k views

What is a good way to explain the difference between a Chaotic Neutral character, and a character who is just crazed? [closed]

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 ...
9
votes
5answers
2k 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
3k views

Can I convert a 4e D&D character to 3.5e?

I have a character in 4e that I've been using for a while, but I recently met a DM who wants me and a friend to play his 3.5e campaign, since he doesn't like 4e or something... but our characters are ...
5
votes
4answers
402 views

What is the current state of affairs of SpellJammer?

Is there an expectation of anything happing with it in the future?
15
votes
11answers
5k views

Removing XP as a requirement to level

I was reading on geek-related.com that there is a large debate on the effectiveness of using experience points as a means to level up for D&D Next. I want to start using a non-XP method of ...
11
votes
2answers
3k 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
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
50
votes
6answers
29k views

How to randomly generate a village or town for old school D&D game?

There is a lot of material written on random generation of dungeons for play. But inevitably characters have to return from the to spend those ill-gotten gains. And where else but a nearby ...
67
votes
1answer
6k views

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 ...
110
votes
10answers
18k views

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 ...
84
votes
1answer
8k views

Why does “dungeon” mean the places adventurers go to kill stuff?

Why does ‘dungeon’, in the context of roleplaying games and D&D in particular, mean the places adventurers go to kill stuff? I’m asking because ‘dungeon’ usually means a kind of prison, and I can’...
40
votes
9answers
17k views

How do I run a successful and engaging campaign without combat?

I'm thinking of starting my own campaign with a few of my friends with me as DM, primarily because I wasn't extremely impressed with the campaign my friend was DMing. When I started thinking about the ...
96
votes
1answer
16k views

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 ...
22
votes
5answers
5k views

How to reduce minis dependence in d20-based games?

In Pathfinder and similar versions of D&D, there is a lot more miniatures/tactical map dependence than in earlier versions (and in most other RPGs). I am interested in reducing the dependence on ...
35
votes
2answers
4k views

Was there ever an official “win condition” in early D&D editions?

Just saw a post in a D&D group saying: Challenge for those not playing for decades. What was the only official way to beat the game? (That quote is the whole message of the post, for those who ...