Questions tagged [lore]

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

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22
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it possible for a person to be tricked into becoming a lich?

A great evil has been prophesied and a powerful wizard knows that he is unable to stop it himself. His plan is to create several heroes who will be able to fight the evil despite the event taking ...
22
votes
1answer
26k 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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5answers
6k views

How long is an Elvish generation?

I can't seem to find any good resources on this. How old is the typical elf when they first have children? How many generations would typically be alive at one time from a single family? Is it in the ...
21
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2answers
2k views

Do any printing presses exist in the Forgotten Realms?

Is it possible to print books/placards/newspapers/whatever in the Forgotten Realms? Or are all texts hand-written?
21
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4answers
3k views

Where does an unaligned creature's soul go after death?

In the DMG section on "Bringing Back the Dead" (chapter 1, p. 24), it describes what happens when a creature dies: When a creature dies, its soul departs its body, leaves the Material Plane, ...
21
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1answer
3k views

How deep is the Underdark? What is its max and median depth?

How many miles under the ground do the Underdark tunnels and caves typically go? One? Five? A hundred?
20
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4answers
8k 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

Elf (adjective) vs. Elvish vs. Elven

Are there rules on when to use elf (as an adjective) versus elvish versus elven in D&D? For example, would any of the following sentences be more or less correct than the others? "Many of them ...
20
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3answers
4k views

Are there existing rules/lore for MTG planeswalkers?

I'm a D&D fan and Magic: The Gathering fan. I'd heard that Wizards of the Coast says that Magic: The Gathering planes are Dungeons and Dragons planes. I was so excited and full of idea of ...
20
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4answers
4k 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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3answers
1k views

What degree of immortality has metahumanity achieved in the Shadowrun canon?

Considering that today's (transhumanist) science is actively looking for ways to prolong human life and perhaps to even achieve a kind of immortality in the long run, it seems logical to suppose that ...
20
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2answers
2k 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
1k views

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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6answers
2k views

Is there a spell, magical item, or any other method to accurately calculate how long ago an object/construct was created?

I'm interested in D&D 5e but I will also accept answers from previous D&D versions as well as similar systems (e.g., Pathfinder 1e/2e). Janathiel II, famous historian, cartographer, and the ...
19
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3answers
2k 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

What is the history of the Eldritch Knight as a class/character option?

When was the Eldritch Knight first introduced, and what is the basis for the kind of character? Obviously there's the space for some kind of cross between a mage and a warrior in D&D and other ...
19
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2answers
2k views

Which nations did the Warforged fight for in the Last War on Eberron?

I'm currently creating a Warforged character for a one-shot, so I need to decide who he/she/it fought for in the Last War (Warforged were created as weapons, so each of them must have fought for or at ...
19
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4answers
2k views

How is the contradiction in this NPC's backstory in Curse of Strahd resolved?

This question includes NPC lore spoilers for Curse of Strahd, proceed at your own risk. While running Curse of Strahd and prepping ahead, I have happened upon a rather glaring contradiction in the ...
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
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 ...
19
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3answers
1k views

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
10k views

What is the difference between a god and a primordial?

Out-of-universe, I gather that the primordials were introduced to the FR in 4e, and the elemental lords - Akadi, Grumbar, Kossuth and Istishia - were retconned as primordials. Information on the ...
17
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1answer
3k views

Does a lich die if its phylactery is destroyed, or can it simply not rejuvenate anymore?

I'm planning a lich as a BBEG villain in an upcoming adventure. I want it to be possible for the party to find the phylactery before facing the lich, as well as discovering how to destroy it. If ...
17
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3answers
1k 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 ...
17
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6answers
9k views

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 ...
17
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2answers
2k views

Which races existed before the gods?

The D&D 5e Monster Manual says this in the aboleth section: ABOLETH: Before the coming of the gods, aboleths lurked in primordial oceans and underground lakes. They reached out with ...
16
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3answers
3k views

Is there an official reason the Forgotten Realms is stuck with “medieval” technology?

Why has technology in the Forgotten Realms not progressed further than it has at the point when most adventures take place? Is it because races that live longer tend to be older and hold back ...
16
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1answer
6k views

Defining Realms, Worlds, Kingdoms, Planes, Dimensions and the Multiverse

I have always been confused when trying to think in terms of worlds, realms, and kingdoms. Additionally, I am confused at the difference between planes and dimension. So, what is the difference ...
16
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1answer
1k views

How is Sword Coast North governed?

Many D&D 5e adventure modules take place in the Sword Coast of Faerûn, such as Lost Mine of Phandelver (LMOP). LMOP has information regarding various factions and mayorship but is light on other ...
16
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3answers
11k views

Can an Aarakocra look like any bird?

Recently a player asked me if it would be possible to make a PC that had the head of an owl, or was otherwise an anthropomorphic owl. Immediately my mind went to the Aarakocra, even though they are ...
16
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1answer
8k views

What are the planes of D&D 4e? Where did they come from, and how are they connected?

I understand that in D&D 4e's default setting there are planes, and I know a bit about them: the material plane is where the people generally are, and there's a "feywild" where the Eladrin and ...
16
votes
1answer
478 views

Do warlocks with an infernal pact or tieflings have a place in the infernal hierarchy?

I'm doing some lore research before I start as a player (playing a warlock in a pact with levistus) in Descent into Avernus, and I'm curious whether there's any information about where mortal warlocks ...
16
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1answer
2k views

What is the Ordial Plane and is it canon?

I have seen several references to something called the "Ordial Plane" to exist in Planescape. From what I can tell it is the third Transistive Plane which houses the bodies of the gods and the ...
16
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3answers
532 views

Why are there no compasses in the Warhammer World?

In the Core rulebook for WFRP 2nd Edition there is a note in the Navigator Career (page 78) that says "since there are no compasses in the world, all ships employ a skilled navigator". I remember ...
15
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4answers
15k views

What is a Wyrm in D&D?

So I keep seeing things like "The Great Wyrm", "Forest of the Wyrm", "Wyrm aged" and they seem to be all related to Dragons. Is Wyrm just another name for Dragons? Is this a general thing or does it ...
15
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3answers
7k views

What are some canon noble houses in 5e?

I like making characters for future campaigns and have come up with a Harpy bard PC of noble birth(background). The idea I wanted to go with is that she is born in an offshoot branch of a canon noble ...
15
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3answers
4k views

What is the lore-based reason that the Spectator has the Create Food and Water trait, instead of simply not requiring food and water?

The Spectator has the Create Food and Water action (Monster Manual, p. 31): Create Food and Water. The spectator magically creates enough food and water to sustain itself for 24 hours. I don't ...
15
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5answers
3k views

Where can I educate myself on D&D universe lore, specifically on vampires and supernatural monsters?

It turns out my first campaign will be Curse of Strahd (5e). I'd like to play a vampire hunter who is knowledgeable about supernatural monsters as a matter of profession. Furthermore, I have a vampire ...
15
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4answers
7k views

Is the offspring between a demon and a celestial possible? If so what is it called and is it in a book somewhere?

I have a friend trying to make a hybrid between a celestial and a demon in 5e. I know the Aasimar exists (human/celestial) and I know the Tiefling exists (Human/demon) but what if you cut out the ...
15
votes
4answers
802 views

Can Guenhwyvar communicate?

I was wondering if the panther companion of everyone's favorite drow ranger can communicate or be communicated with. Does she have above average intelligence? Does she "speak" in the books? Can ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Searching for a lore-backed mineral that generates heat

In my current D&D campaign, I'm an artificer. Part of our role playing is me inventing numerous weak magical trinkets for my allies. I like to write the item descriptions for these in a WotC-style ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Is a High Elf's cantrip innate or is it learned?

Where does a High Elf get their Wizard cantrip? Is it innate? If innate, is it hereditary (so that an Elf would have the same cantrip as one of its parents, and share it with siblings)? Or is just the ...
15
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1answer
2k views

What is the size of Neverwinter?

In miles, feet, or kilometers, what size is Neverwinter from north wall to south wall and also from the west wall to the east side?
15
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2answers
1k views

Is there an in-setting explanation for how dragons breathe fire?

I'm currently in the process of writing a new campaign setting in which many classical mythical creatures have been rendered extinct for various reasons, one such creature is the dragon. My initial ...
15
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2answers
2k views

What is the impact of resurrection in the Forgotten Realms?

I am not very familiar with the Forgotten Realms lore. I know that resurrection spells may have a great impact on the story and on how death is perceived by the players. I would like to know what is ...
15
votes
1answer
489 views

What published intelligent race has the shortest lifespan?

I'm looking for the published intelligent race (INT 3+) with the shortest lifespan. No need to be a playable race. Any edition will do, but 3.5 is preferable. Hoping for something with a lifespan of ...
15
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3answers
697 views

How much power do unemployed gods have?

I've recently read the Yu Shan book for Exalted and I was intrigued by the unemployed gods — those that lost their domain to the Wyld and have not gained any new position in the Bureaucracy. They don'...
15
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2answers
3k views

What happens when I think like a dragon?

In the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure, there is a unique magic item (which will go unnamed to avoid spoilers) which among other things, says that the character who wears the magic item is able to ...