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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29
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1answer
3k views

What inspired the Ioun Stone?

While looking over the rules for Ioun Stones a question came to mind. What inspired the Ioun Stone? It is present in nearly all editions of D&D, and also made it into Pathfinder. This ...
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12answers
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Do any newer D&D versions grant experience for exceptional role-playing?

Do any of the newer D&D editions' books (most likely the DM Guide) have guidelines for granting experience for exceptional role-playing? I once played with a professional DM (there's a job I want)...
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Is the shapeshifting druid an original D&D invention?

The Dungeons & Dragons druids have been largely defined by their ability to change into an animal form in every edition, e.g. through the Wild Shape ability in Dungeons & Dragons 5e. Is the ...
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When did 5 foot squares become standard in D&D?

Perhaps showing my age here, but in "The Good Old Days", 10-foot squares were a standard map size. Each square on the map was 10 feet, and a 10-foot wide corridor was normal. Now, having started ...
28
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1answer
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Were “class tiers” in D&D and Pathfinder made on purpose?

As I read it everywhere, classes in the games I mentioned in the title differ in power a lot. This takes place in 3.5e and wasn't fixed in Pathfinder. Some search indicates that this problem isn't ...
28
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Can you use a Spelljammer ship to get to Ravenloft?

This is an insane question, I know. But it's one that's been bugging me for at least half my 33-year life. :) I love both the Spelljammer and Ravenloft settings of AD&D 2nd Edition. One of the ...
28
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2answers
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What is an “Ardragon”?

The Zhentarim have according to the 5th Edition Dungeon Master's Guide (p. 22, chapter Factions and Organisations > Renown) the following ranks: “Fang (rank 1)” — Like the tooth “Wolf (rank 2)” — ...
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2answers
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Why were there two ongoing D&D magazines, and what distinguished them?

D&D has over its history been accompanied by two core supplemental magazines: Dragon magazine, starting in March 1975. Dungeon magazine, starting in September/October 1986. Both went on hiatus ...
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Why do characters with a high prime requisite gain bonus XP?

In earlier versions of Dungeons & Dragons, a character with a high ability score in their class' prime requisite receives a bonus to all experience he earns. For example, the 1983 Frank Mentzer ...
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4answers
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What does “chaotic” as in “chaotic good” or “chaotic evil” mean?

I do not play D&D, but players in my roleplaying game have called stuff "chaotic," like "chaotic good" and "chaotic evil" and I would like to know what they mean. The game I play does not use this ...
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6answers
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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, ...
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11answers
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How do you adjudicate a chase? [closed]

Generally if PCs run from a fight, I would give the monsters a free attack, and then let the PCs escape automatically (playing 1e/0e D&D). Of course if they linger around, the monsters may come ...
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1answer
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Was Dungeons and Dragons the first to introduce colour-coded dragons?

The colour-coded dragon is a popular trope, where dragons have distinct colourings that affect their strength level and the nature of their abilities: red dragons breathe fire and thrive in hot ...
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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 ...
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As a GM, how do I keep Dungeons & Dragons more interesting for young players?

Currently, my group of players is my children, ages 7+ through 14+ (and several in between). They all are really excited about playing, but I am having great difficulty keeping them all interested ...
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Handling a player (unintentionally) stealing the spotlight

Quite recently, I replaced a friend as DM for a D&D game. During that game, I came across something I did not expect: One of the players was just too good. When I am saying "too good" I am not ...
25
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How do gelatinous cubes reproduce?

Last time when our party encountered a gelatinous cube, we wondered how they reproduce. We instinctively agreed that they reproduce like amoeba - by mitosis or cell division. However, I'm curious: Is ...
25
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4answers
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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 ...
25
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2answers
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Who is that demon on the cover?

One of the most enduring and iconic images from the history of D&D is Trampier's cover for the 1ed AD&D Player's Handbook. You know the one: orange demon idol with the thieves prying out the ...
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3answers
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Where do dual-wielding rangers come from?

The classes in D&D are clearly selected as classic archetypes, either from an iconic character or frequently reccurring within Fantasy fiction. The idea of bow-wielding rangers is a good example (...
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3answers
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Athas: A terrifying vision of the future?

Athas, the desolated world of deserts, obsidian and ecological ruin that is the focus of the Dark Sun campaign setting, is generally portrayed as a prime world nearing the end of its life expectancy. ...
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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?
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Where does the distinction between “Mind Flayer” and “Illithid” come from?

I know that a Mind Flayer is an Illithid, and vice versa. And I know in some of the D&D fiction, like Forgotten Realms and the like, that Mind Flayers refer to themselves or their race as ...
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3answers
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Can a human be transformed into a Mind Flayer?

In the Baldur's Gate III announcement trailer, we can see what seems to be a human be transformed into a Mind Flayer. What is happening there? Are Mind Flayers created by transforming other creatures?...
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2answers
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Ecology of green slime: What happens to it once it has dropped, if it's immobile?

I own two books describing Dungeons and Dragons green slime: the Monstrous Manual for 2nd Edition and the Dungeon Master's Guide for 3.5. In both, green slime sticks to a ceiling until, upon detecting ...
24
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1answer
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Why are Clerics and Druids Wisdom-based?

Since early D&D, the cleric/druid/priest-analogue classes have been Wisdom-based spellcasters. Does anyone know why that is and/or what justification was given originally (if any)? There are ...
24
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7answers
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What is a Mega Dungeon?

I've come across the expression "mega dungeon" quite a few times on the net. It seems like it's not just about the size of a den of monsters but it might imply a play style or something. What are the ...
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2answers
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Why did the designers make it so chromatic dragons can't shapechange?

In 5e, the Monster Manual states that each kind of Metallic Dragon gains the Change Shape ability by the time it is Ancient or Adult. However, no such ability is ever mentioned for Chromatic Dragons. ...
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2answers
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Where did exceptional (“percentile”) strength come from?

I run a B/X game for a few guys, most of whom have only played 3E before. It leads to a lot of talk about the change in power level between basic and 3E. One of the things that came up was the ...
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5answers
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How does Charm Person affect a PC?

It's quite clear how the DM should play any NPCs that get Charmed by a PC -- the NPC should behave as the caster's best friend, and do things that he'd do for his best friend. But how do you play ...
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1answer
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History of the Wish Spell

A friend of mine was wondering about the history of the wish spell in Dungeons and Dragons. It is his suspicion that the spell “only” exists because they needed something for genies to cast to work in ...
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2answers
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Where did the Chromatic/Metallic Dragons come from?

In the AD&D Monster Manual, the Chromatic (evil) and Metallic (good) dragons are introduced. Each color of dragon has a different habitat, personality and breath weapon. (Or two breath weapons, in ...
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6answers
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How does one pronounce Strahd von Zarovich?

I'm running the AD&D module "Ravenloft," and I was wondering how I should pronounce the name of the main character, Count Strahd von Zarovich. Is his first name pronounced "strahd," or "strad?" ...
23
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3answers
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What is the history of vampires having high natural armor class?

Based on this question to Order of the Stick #1002 featuring combat between the main protagonist and a vampire, I wonder what is historical motivation for D&D vampires being tough to hit, not ...
23
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8answers
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Is there an effect on player's reaction to treasure when raising the value of gold relative to other coins?

In fantasy games related to D&D the currency usually follows the 10 cp = 1sp, 10sp = 1gp pattern. This is convenient and fairly logical, but in my play throughs gold just didn't have much weight ...
23
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3answers
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How do you pronounce “svirfneblin”?

In a campaign I'm writing, an aged sage sends my party to the Underdark to aid Deep Gnomes against a Drow takeover. The group that will be playing this has read R.A Salvatore's books and knows both ...
23
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5answers
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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 ...
23
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1answer
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Which cultural trope(s) does the D&D cleric refer to?

On the level of game mechanics, the classic D&D cleric melds the healer, the crusader and the witch/vampire hunter in one person. Is this a genuine D&D mish-mash or is there any cultural/...
23
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1answer
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Where does the elven “trance” come from?

In various editions of Dungeons and Dragons, elves have the ability to "trance" rather than sleeping normally. Does this elven trance have a source from fiction? I know that almost everything in D&...
23
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1answer
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Who actually is Tucker?

Tucker's Kobolds, from an article in Dragon Magazine, is an example of challenging higher-level player characters with lower-level monsters. Who actually is 'Tucker', in (modern-day) real life, and ...
23
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1answer
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What is under the Underdark?

Amongst D&D players, especially those familiar with the Forgotten Realms setting, the existence of the Underdark is well-known. This world beneath the surface has even made it into many other ...
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What is a good way to get regular people interested in D&D? [closed]

How do I get regular people, non-gamers, into playing D&D? Anybody have any useful ideas?
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9answers
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What are the core tropes or assumptions of D&D?

After an interesting discussion with my local GM, I was left wondering What are the core tropes and assumptions that players bring to a game of D&D? Specifically the ones that are different from ...
22
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3answers
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Has a god ever changed alignment?

Is there an example of a god changing alignment in the published lore of D&D settings? I'm brainstorming for a future campaign and want it to revolve around a Good or Neutral god of knowledge who ...
22
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2answers
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What is the reason for introducing the rule for Attacks of Opportunity in D&D?

The Attacks of Opportunity are an important part in D&D and spinoffs of the game like Pathfinder. What does this rule do for the game-system? How does it affect the fun of the players? Why was ...
22
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5answers
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Sometimes, losing a big conflict is the better plotline. For D&D, how do you encourage this result?

It is practically an old adage that D&D parties will never let a fight end in a loss (short of a TPK.) And that the game mechanics (especially later editions) encourage this thinking. But ...
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2answers
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Does any lore text explain why the planes of Acheron, Gehenna, and Carceri are the alignment they are?

Acheron is between pure law and lawful evil; Gehenna is between pure evil and lawful evil; and Carceri is between pure evil and chaotic evil. But this seems wrong to me. It seems to me that Acheron ...
22
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2answers
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What are the literary influences of the D&D Bard?

Can anyone tell me what sources, in literature, film, etc. inspired the Bard class for Dungeons & Dragons? I'm familiar with the Celtic Bards of history and legend, but the modern D&D Bard ...
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What is the full list of official D&D settings?

What are the official Wizards of the Coast / TSR D&D campaign settings? The ones I know of off hand are the following, also it would be good to know what rule edition they initially started in ...
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How can I make surrender or capture of the party a (more) acceptable outcome to the players?

In 99% of the D&D games I've played/DM'd across almost all editions (never did 1st and 4th though), the party is completely unwilling to surrender or let themselves be captured. The 1% accounts ...