Questions tagged [lore]

For questions about a setting's in-world details or background.

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What is a spell slot in-lore, and how does it justify the limits on casting spells?

Spell slots are something that we, as players, expend when we want our spellcasting PCs to cast a spell. It is a resource to limit how many powerful spells we can cast in a day. But for our characters ...
46
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5answers
7k views

How common is homosexuality in the Forgotten Realms?

For whatever roleplaying reason, I've decided that my Male Human Wizard is gay. After an exhausting week of dungeon crawling, he's heading down to the nearest medium to large-sized city for some R&...
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2answers
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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 ...
44
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5answers
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How can I develop my character's background when I know nothing of the game's lore and want to avoid spoilers?

This is a tricky one, and I may be painting myself into a corner in which case please feel free to tell me so in an answer but please also provide advice on how to get out whilst disturbing as little ...
42
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2answers
719 views

Whose portrait is printed on the Waterdhavian gold coin?

Reading Waterdeep: Dragon Heist for an upcoming campaign, I'm writing a few teasers about the world in preparation. I know that the "dragon" is the local name for the gold coin minted in Waterdeep, ...
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3answers
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What makes the Forgotten Realms “forgotten”?

If the Forgotten Realms are forgotten, who forgot them? Certainly not the inhabitants. Is there a lore explanation for why the Forgotten Realms are forgotten?
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5answers
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I'm a quarter Draconian, a quarter Dragonborn and half Half-Dragon?

What are the differences between "Dragonborn", "Half-Dragon", and "Draconian" races in D&D? In the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure, for example there is a Half-Dragon npc. I had assumed that ...
39
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3answers
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Are Drow Cities Illuminated?

I am delving into DM'ing a Drow campaign. Despite having read numerous novels and publications spanning from TSR to WotC to Paizo, I am now having trouble wrapping my head around the idea of their ...
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6answers
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What differentiates “Gods” from other entities in the Forgotten Realm cosmology?

I am creating a campaign world that is supposed to be a “refuge from the gods”: no true deities can come here, no intervention in the affairs of mortals. People came here from the Forgotten Realms to ...
37
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2answers
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Do owlbears lay eggs?

Well, do they? And has this changed across editions? I'm interested in "canonical" answers. While not something a typical Monster Manual entry would cover (am I wrong?), there may well be an article ...
32
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3answers
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Why are elves immune to a ghoul's paralyzing touch?

I was reading Are Half-Elves immune to the paralyzing property of a Ghoul's Claw action? and it struck me that I have no idea as to why elves would be immune to the paralyzing touch of a ghoul, ...
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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 ...
30
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2answers
7k 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 ...
30
votes
2answers
4k views

What does the “titan” monster tag mean?

I've noticed that a few creatures have the "titan" tag (here's a D&D Beyond search) but I'm not sure what that tag means. I noticed the other day in my Monster Manual when looking at the ...
30
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2answers
2k views

Where do the Bête stand on LGBT issues?

In a recent Werewolf session, our GM had us meet an informant in a gay club, and it raised an issue we never really explored before in this game. Our group of players is composed of people close to ...
29
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2answers
4k views

Will this series of events work to drown the Tarrasque?

Here's the challenge: I, a level 17 Bard taught by the College of Compulsion (a homebrew subclass), am hired by some random bumpkins to go and get rid of the Tarrasque all by my lonesome, for 5 silver ...
29
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2answers
3k views

Why do most dwarven city names in the Forgotten Realms have a suffix of -bar?

I am running a 5e campaign based in the Silver Marches of Faerun of the Forgotten Realms universe. I noticed that some of the cities in and around the Silver Marches area have a suffix of -bar, and I ...
29
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1answer
3k views

What happens when a metallic dragon and a chromatic dragon mate?

Is it possible, and if so, what happens when a metallic and chromatic dragon mate? I'm most interested in blue and bronze dragons. I'm interested in lore from all editions except the fourth edition. ...
28
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3answers
11k views

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.
26
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2answers
3k views

Are elves native to Faerun/Toril, or are they immigrants from elsewhere (like the Feywild)

Where did the D&D 5e elves come from? (In-universe sense). Based on some comments under this answer, this map of the Feywild, the fact that elves have Fey Ancestry (see PHB), and the following ...
26
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1answer
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Where do Gorgons come from, according to D&D lore?

I'm a first time DM and I want to put a gorgon in my 5e homebrew campaign. It's categorized as a "monstrosity," which means it is "not truly natural" (MM pp. 7 or the DM Basic rules, under "Type"). ...
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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1answer
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What happens when a Night Hag dies on the Material plane?

I know that Devils, Demons and Yugoloths, when slain on the Material Plane, are simply reformed on their native plane of existence. To kill such creatures, they must be struck down on their native ...
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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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What exactly sets the Unseelie Court apart from the Seelie Court?

I have played fairly little Dungeons and Dragons before the fifth edition, and have some gaps in my knowledge of the lore. One of the bigger holes concerns the nature and differences of the courts of ...
23
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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. ...
23
votes
1answer
787 views

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 ...
22
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7answers
5k views

What does Menzoberranzan look like?

Running a 5e campaign, I know a lot has changed about Menzo. For instance Lolth is no longer the sole power with her children coming back. My campaign is taking us to Menzoberranzan, but I don't ...
22
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3answers
1k views

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
3k views

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 ...
22
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4answers
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How can I deliver in-universe written lore to players without it being dry exposition?

I DM for a D&D (5e) group in a custom campaign setting which I worldbuild as we go. One of my players is very much interested in the history and lore of the world and often tries to find out bits ...
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3answers
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How are Githyanki effective against Mind Flayers?

The description of the Gith, particularly the Githyanki portrays them as them deadly, implacable enemies of Mind Flayers, so much so that they took down the unbelievably vast and powerful ancient ...
21
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1answer
16k views

What makes Half-Orcs stronger than full Orcs?

This is something that's been bothering me for quite a bit now. If you take a look at the description of the Orc race in Volo's Guide to Monsters, it states: Orcs are vicious raiders, who believe ...
21
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3answers
4k views

What is the nature of Tiamat's imprisonment?

Background: In HotDQ, one of my PC's is a Tiefling who grew up orphaned and wandering the Nine Hells. (I find it a little farfetched, but I'm trying not to step on people's creativity unnecessarily.) ...
20
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4answers
18k views

Can a patron revoke warlock's powers?

I would like to know whether a warlock can directly confront his patron without risking to lose his powers. And generally in which case the patron is allowed can take his "gift" back. I've tries ...
20
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4answers
6k views

What types of food are typically grown in the Underdark?

I'm currently working on a story arc where a bunch of Drow have just had their major food supply threatened by a demon of the Underdark, and as a consequence they are rising to the surface and ...
20
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
20
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4answers
3k views

What's the in-universe reasoning behind sorcerers needing material components?

Sorcerers are "spontaneous" spell casters. They don't "learn spells" the way a wizard does; their spells aren't granted by a powerful extraplanar entity the way a cleric's, paladin's, or warlock's ...
20
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4answers
11k views

What year is it in the Forgotten Realms during the Tomb of Annihilation adventure?

I am new to Forgotten Realms and I'm running the Tomb of Annihilation module. What year is it at the start of the adventure? Is there an official calendar someplace? Thanks!
20
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3answers
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How wealthy are the rich in the Forgotten Realms?

I'm building a campaign that includes a Plutocracy style government. The several wealthiest people in each city govern that city, and the wealthiest of those join to govern the entire empire. I ...
20
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2answers
1k views

Would children age normally in the outer planes?

I know that in the Astral Plane children don't age (or more specifically no one ages), but is there anything regarding how children would age in the outer planes? I'm wondering specifically about a ...
20
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1answer
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Was the Ravnos antediluvian a wight?

I am talking here about Zapathasura, the Ravnos antediluvian: Yes, he is that black thing. Not really beautiful. He woke up in 1999, and after a terrible rampage — during which he destroyed his own ...
19
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3answers
1k views

What differences exist between adamantine and adamantite in all editions of D&D?

I have stuff in my notes about adamantine's durability and ability to autocrit against structures and objects (5e), reduce critical hits to normal ones (5e) and act as a virtually indestructible ...
19
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2answers
1k views

Why do the antediluvians want to consume their spawn?

I'm currently involved in my first World of Darkness game. While reading the clanbook for my clan (Nosferatu) I understand that there is a pervasive fear of the clan's antediluvian founder arising and ...
19
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3answers
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Godly non-interference and godly summoning [Rise of Tiamat spoilers]

I'm running the Rise of Tiamat campaign, and a fundamental question about when gods do/can and don't/can't interfere directly in mortal affairs (particularly via manifesting avatars on the Material ...
19
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2answers
2k views

Why can only humans dual-class and only demihumans multiclass?

Is there an in-game explanation as to why some races can multi-class and others can dual-class? For example, is there an explanation in an article or book somewhere saying that It's the will of the ...
18
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3answers
2k views

How is it possible for this NPC to be alive during the Curse of Strahd adventure?

According to most wiki pages surrounding the character, With this information in mind, if most adventures in the Forgotten Realms take place during 1491 DR, then how old would this NPC technically ...
18
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2answers
2k views

When does the soul leave the body after death?

In D&D (Forgotten Realms) lore, is there any kind of answer for how long it takes the soul to leave the body after death? If not, is there any answer implied by other rules or effects (such as ...
17
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3answers
830 views

What is the in-universe explanation for “Waterdhavian” being the adjectival form of Waterdeep?

The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide uses the term "Waterdhavian" throughout, suggesting an etymology for "deep" here that is different than simply the English word deep, but this is never addressed in ...
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6answers
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Is there a vampire/population ratio stated in the books?

I have always assumed that for an urban region (including the suburbs) the ratio between vampire and human population was about 1:10k and 1:50k for the biggest, capital cities. The rural region would ...