Questions tagged [lore]

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

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56
votes
4answers
8k views

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 ...
47
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6answers
9k 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&...
44
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
44
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5answers
4k views

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 ...
43
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2answers
945 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, ...
41
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1answer
7k views

What do Unicorns want?

I am making a Celestial Warlock who has made a pact with a particularly powerful Unicorn, as suggested in XgtE. One thing I want to do is flesh out the pact and my patron, but I am struggling to find ...
41
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5answers
30k views

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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6answers
8k views

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 ...
39
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3answers
4k views

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?
39
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3answers
4k views

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 ...
37
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5answers
8k views

Do dragons smell of lilacs?

I had an interesting thing happen in my last session of Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. My players' characters are in a dragon-heavy adventure. A player tried to do a Perception check to detect ...
37
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2answers
7k views

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 ...
36
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4answers
11k views

What do Devils eat, and how do they get it?

When a monster in the Monster Manual doesn't need food, drink, sleep, or air, it's specified by a [X] Nature. For example, a zombie has an Undead Nature: Undead Nature. A zombie doesn't require air,...
32
votes
3answers
8k views

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, ...
31
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7answers
5k views

Is there a guide/reference for possible character hairstyles in D&D Forgotten Realms universe?

I was playing a D&D session as a female cleric of Qotal and, at some point, the party encountered some kind of wind monster. As I tried to cast spells requiring concentration, the DM argued that I ...
31
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6answers
6k views

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 ...
31
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2answers
8k views

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 ...
30
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3answers
14k 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.
30
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2answers
8k 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
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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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3answers
3k views

Would Great Old Ones care about the Blood War?

I've been wanting to play a Great Old One Warlock, but my table is about to start Descent Into Avernus. My thoughts to tie it in is that the GOO has taken notice of what's going on in the Nine Hells ...
30
votes
1answer
4k 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. ...
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
5k 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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3answers
4k views

Is there any canon reason why urban werewolves haven't destroyed vampires (or vice versa)?

Werewolf:TA has a couple of tribes of urban werewolves: the Glass Walkers and the Bone Gnawers. Plus those members of the Black Spiral Dancers who hang about in Pentex boardrooms or areas of urban ...
29
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2answers
4k 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 ...
26
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3answers
5k views

What would +1/+2/+3 items be called in game?

This is something that I have been wondering for a long time. Now obviously the DM could just have it have its own name such as Bonecutter and everyone just calls it that but is there any term that ...
26
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4answers
22k views

Can a patron revoke a 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 ...
26
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2answers
4k 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
2k views

What powers or limits devil promotion?

Devils can gain power, transforming from weaker forms (at the lowest, the humble Lemure) to stronger ones (up to Archfiends). This process occurs via a superior "promoting" them. (Monster Manual, p. ...
26
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1answer
2k views

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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1answer
4k views

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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2answers
3k views

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 ...
25
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
25
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3answers
1k views

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. ...
25
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2answers
2k views

What exactly is a fey/fiend/celestial spirit?

A few spells mention using spirits, specifically fey, fiend or celestial spirits, usually regarding summoning them to take the form of another creature. A few examples are listed below: Conjure ...
24
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3answers
5k views

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?...
24
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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 ...
24
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2answers
18k views

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 ...
24
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2answers
12k views

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
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5answers
2k views

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 ...
23
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1answer
3k views

Does a gnoll speak both Gnoll and Abyssal, or is Gnoll a dialect of Abyssal?

In the Dungeons and Dragons 5e Monster Manual, the gnoll statblock lists their language as Gnoll. However, in Volo's Guide to Monsters, the section on gnolls indicates that they communicate with ...
23
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4answers
14k 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!
23
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3answers
5k 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.) ...
23
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1answer
1k 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
2k 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
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 ...
22
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3answers
4k views

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 ...
22
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4answers
6k views

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 ...