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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10 answers
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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
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165 votes
13 answers
21k 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), ...
SevenSidedDie's user avatar
143 votes
9 answers
25k 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 ...
The Lost Kitten's user avatar
134 votes
3 answers
198k views

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
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122 votes
2 answers
59k 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 ...
Forrestfire's user avatar
  • 9,440
110 votes
18 answers
22k views

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
105 votes
15 answers
56k views

Why does everyone carry a 10' pole?

Based on this comment over on CRPG Addict: No adventuring party is complete without a ten foot pole. ... Jason, but WHY? In God's name, WHAT IS IT FOR?! What is a 10 foot pole used for (its ...
Brian Ballsun-Stanton's user avatar
105 votes
4 answers
22k views

Why are psionics controversial?

I have recently had a conversation with some of my friends about psionics and their place in the D&D universe, both lore-wise and gameplay-wise. We were discussing the psionics as an optional part ...
eimyr's user avatar
  • 17.2k
104 votes
1 answer
20k 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’...
Malady's user avatar
  • 1,313
101 votes
1 answer
31k 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, ...
Jeff Fry's user avatar
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94 votes
4 answers
20k 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 ...
Derek Stucki's user avatar
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92 votes
4 answers
41k views

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
  • 33.5k
83 votes
5 answers
11k views

How can I stop myself from micromanaging other PCs' actions?

I’ve been having a problem in D&D. I love the game, perhaps too much. I keep finding myself trying to control the other players' characters (telling them what they should do, or where to go), and ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 381
82 votes
1 answer
10k 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 ...
BESW's user avatar
  • 53.3k
75 votes
27 answers
21k views

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
75 votes
12 answers
7k views

What's a good mechanic for rewarding players for keeping their characters happy? [closed]

In a lot of setting and systems, such as D&D, the aim of the game tends to be to explore and kill things. Money is spent on useful items and hirelings. However, a real adventurer would probably ...
Dakeyras's user avatar
  • 13.2k
74 votes
20 answers
65k 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 ...
Adam Dray's user avatar
  • 20k
73 votes
6 answers
21k views

What's the deal with alignment languages?

In early D&D, there was the concept of an "alignment language." The original "little brown book" D&D says only: Law, Chaos and Neutrality also have common languages spoken by each ...
rjbs's user avatar
  • 8,427
70 votes
5 answers
6k views

What was going on with D&D's leaked OGL 1.1 in January 2023? How does it affect me?

Most of the communities I participate in are currently ablaze with rumours and speculations about Wizards of the Coast's OGL 1.1 stemming from a leaked document. As someone that is on the brink of ...
T. Sar's user avatar
  • 16.2k
68 votes
13 answers
24k views

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
68 votes
13 answers
7k 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 ...
Stefano Borini's user avatar
68 votes
8 answers
40k 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?
Ry St's user avatar
  • 3,480
67 votes
4 answers
44k views

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
65 votes
10 answers
16k views

Player has arachnophobia: what to use in place of spiders?

I have a player who joined an ongoing campaign; after a session which involved a fight against giant spiders and an anxiety attack, I was asked by said player's partner to remove the spiders from the ...
Dedwards's user avatar
  • 785
65 votes
7 answers
16k views

Has Christianity ever been given stats?

Background We have plenty of material through several editions of D&D for several pantheons of old - Norse, Greek, Egyptian, and etc. Have there ever been published material for Christianity? Or ...
Ruut's user avatar
  • 18k
64 votes
11 answers
16k 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 ...
olajostein's user avatar
  • 1,510
64 votes
4 answers
6k views

How to play when you have little experience and speech difficulties?

I can't talk, not a word, but I am really interested in getting into tabletop RPGs. But from my understanding of the game, this is difficult to do when you can't talk. I am learning sign language but ...
Bertie's user avatar
  • 401
63 votes
7 answers
19k 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&...
Adriano Varoli Piazza's user avatar
62 votes
6 answers
34k 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 ...
Adam Flynn's user avatar
57 votes
3 answers
20k 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 ...
Zachary Yates's user avatar
57 votes
4 answers
12k views

What inspired the D&D version of the Rakshasa?

Rakshasa have been part of D&D for more than 35 years, appearing in every edition. These evil magic cat-people are clearly inspired by the rakshas from Hindu and Buddhist mythologies, but they ...
BESW's user avatar
  • 53.3k
56 votes
25 answers
21k views

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
  • 55.1k
55 votes
6 answers
13k 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, ...
Davi Braid's user avatar
  • 4,399
54 votes
26 answers
25k views

What alternatives are there to replace orcs, kobolds, and hobgoblins in low-level encounters? [closed]

In your average "generic D&D" campaign and setting, orcs, kobolds, and hobgoblins are frequently used to stock low level adventures and dungeons. These are usually nice for 1st/2nd level ...
Stefano Borini's user avatar
53 votes
10 answers
21k views

My own Party are ruining the game for me. What should I do?

In D&D I play a ranger who lost an eye in battle therefore having a disadvantage. Me and my party of 6 friends went inside a tavern to rest just before we went on our main quest together. In the ...
Minibridd's user avatar
  • 409
52 votes
4 answers
13k views

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?

How many editions of Dungeons & Dragons are there?
RS Conley's user avatar
  • 39.7k
51 votes
1 answer
6k views

What crimes would constitute a 'Universal Crime' or a 'Crime against Nature/Existence'?

The question popped into my head while watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and it sprung from the un-modified interaction between Slughorn and the young Tom Riddle. If you aren't familiar ...
ResidentLoreExpert's user avatar
50 votes
3 answers
10k views

Can a new player join a group only when a new campaign starts?

I moved into a house share with my friends (ages 24-29), and they play role-playing games on weekends at the house, but they won't let me join in because they say it's not fair to the players that ...
Natf's user avatar
  • 421
50 votes
6 answers
10k views

How did D&D end up so focused on fighting, when its inspirations weren't?

There are a lot of systems around nowadays that don't focus on combat, and that's great. But I was struck recently by the fact that D&D has always been, and remains, heavily oriented toward ...
Bob Tway's user avatar
  • 5,224
49 votes
17 answers
68k 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 ...
Jane Panda's user avatar
49 votes
2 answers
6k views

What is the reason behind "one level at a time" level advancement in D&D? [closed]

During the answering to this question about large experience point gains getting truncated -- when a single XP award would raise a character more than one level at a time -- the following question ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
48 votes
5 answers
116k views

What do MAD and SAD mean?

Straight-forward question. I've seen the terms used a lot, mostly in optimization questions and guides, but they aren't usually explained. From googling, it's easy to find that they are abbreviations ...
HellSaint's user avatar
  • 36.9k
47 votes
8 answers
9k views

As DM, how do I deal with PCs that expect everything in the game to be relevant to the story?

I've started DMing a new group. We've only had two short, 2hour sessions, and most players are new to DnD. I've been a DM before (though just a dozen or so sessions) but in those cases it was with a ...
Joren Vaes's user avatar
47 votes
5 answers
4k views

One of my friends/players committed suicide. How do I continue the game from here?

Content Warning: Suicide I'm posting anonymously for privacy and I'm sorry if this is kind of disjointed, the topic is obviously very emotional. About a month ago one member of our friend group, and ...
anon's user avatar
  • 479
47 votes
2 answers
7k views

Does an Ooze (Gelatinous Cube) float?

If I have a situation where an ooze, such as a Gelatinous Cube, is near a source of water, like a small pond or underground stream, is there source material somewhere that says whether the ooze floats ...
as.beaulieu's user avatar
  • 5,268
47 votes
2 answers
9k views

What sound does an owlbear make?

A discussion in my gaming group led to us wondering: what does an owlbear sound like? Many monsters, especially those as iconic and strange as this one, have had long-winded descriptions across the ...
Forrestfire's user avatar
  • 9,440
46 votes
9 answers
27k 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 ...
Gordon Gustafson's user avatar
46 votes
2 answers
11k views

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
46 votes
5 answers
71k 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 ...
Heather's user avatar
  • 1,741
45 votes
3 answers
32k views

Is there a functional reason for wizards to live in towers so often?

The concept of wizard towers seems to predate D&D, but has there been a functional reason for this added to D&D? I'm going to be using the answer specifically in 5e, but wizard towers ...
Sleepwave's user avatar
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