Questions tagged [optional-rules]

In many rules sets, there is the concept of rules that are essential to the game, and optional but official rules that can be used if desired.

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12
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3answers
2k views

Is the Gritty Realism variant incompatible with dungeon-based adventures?

The variant Gritty Realism rule presented in the DMG (see p. 267) changes short rests from 1 hour to 8 hours, and long rests from 8 hours to 7 days. Its description suggests, casually and without ...
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What do i do if my players try to de limb something and its not a killing blow [closed]

Something that I've always thought about in d&d is what if my players attempt to cut the limb off something when it wouldn't kill the creature, such as a creature that only had a claw attack and ...
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What 5E published adventures have generic optional rules sections usable outside the adventure?

I just learned that Ghosts of Saltmarsh apparently has a section called "Of Ships and the Sea", presumably developed from the Unearthed Arcana of the same name. I generally don't buy adventure books ...
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1answer
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What is the conversion rate for Sorcery Points to Spell Points?

On page 288-289 of the DMG, there is an optional rule: Variant: Spell Points. I frequently use this optional rule at my table. I'm interested in streamlining resource-management even further, by ...
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2answers
759 views

What issues may arise if the Lingering Injuries rule still apply to creatures that are killed outright?

The optional rule on p. 272 of the DMG lists one of the triggers for Lingering Injuries as: When [a creature] drops to 0 hit points but isn’t killed outright. Because "but isn't killed outright" ...
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1answer
476 views

How do spell slot recovery abilities work with the Variant: Spell Points system?

I am considering using the Variant: Spell Points system from page 288-289 of the DMG. I asked a related question on the overall balance of this rule. This question is more focused on the mechanics of ...
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How does the Variant: Spell Points system from the DMG affect game balance?

On page 288-289 of the DMG, there is a "Variant: Spell Points" rule. Below are the best summary paragraphs of the system: In this variant, each spell has a point cost based on its level. The Spell ...
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5answers
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Does the 500 feet falling cap apply per fall, or per turn?

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (p. 77) has this to say about the rate of falling: The rule for falling assumes that a creature immediately drops the entire distance when it falls. But what if a ...
4
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1answer
159 views

Does the Stirge blood drain allow it to flank as well?

I am playing a Beast Master ranger with a stirge animal companion. I know that once a stirge is attached to an enemy, it doesn't need to use its action or anything; Blood Drain's damage is passive/...
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1answer
161 views

Does Unearthed Arcana render Favored Souls redundant?

In Unearthed Arcana, there is a set of optional rules for Spontaneous Divine Casters. Under the assumption that these rules are used and that any Favored Soul fluff is ignored, is there any mechanical ...
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3answers
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Will rerolling initiative each round stop meta-gaming about initiative?

I am thinking of implementing Speed Factor Initiative, but I don't really want to use all of it. Speed Factor Initiative "RAW" would work like this: Everyone must declare an action prior to rolling ...
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2answers
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Can the bonus action attack from Polearm Master be used to Disarm?

Polearm Master (PHB p. 168) gives you the ability to situationally make a bonus action attack: When you take the Attack action and attack with only a glaive, halberd, or quarterstaff, you can use a ...
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1answer
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Using the optional flanking rule, would a Spiritual Weapon on the other side of an enemy allow a character to benefit from flanking?

Using the optional rules on flanking in the DMG on page 251, would a caster who gains access to the Spiritual Weapon spell be able to use said weapon to trigger the advantage from flanking?
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Which downtime activities cover lifestyle expenses?

I am puzzled by the interaction between Lifestyle and Downtime Activities, particularly as to lifestyle expenses. One of the downtime options presented in the Player's Handbook, p. 187, is ...
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How do the activity limitations for a long rest work in the Gritty Realism variant?

In my current campaign (in which I am a player) we are considering switching over to the Gritty Realism rest variant in the DMG so that the party would have to expend more resources between resting. ...
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2answers
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Can you aim for something behind an invisible creature to avoid the disadvantage?

Inspired by the question here. I wanted to ask if someone knows that there is an invisible creature in front of him can the person declare an attack on something behind the invisible creature in order ...
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1answer
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How are attacks that hit invisible creatures acting as cover resolved?

| Y | - | C | - | T | Y = You C = Invisible Creature T = Target The DM rules that C provides half cover for T. The table uses the optional rules for hitting cover: If a creature is ...
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What good is “Pumping” a cliche?

In the core rules for Risus: The Anything RPG, one of the optional rules is "Pumping" -- this allows the player to temporarily add one die to the cliche he's using for a contest, at the cost of losing ...
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1answer
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Can a Tiefling Subrace be Feral?

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes offers the option to select a different heritage for a Tiefling by replacing the default Ability Score Increase with its own (as well as by replacing the Infernal Legacy ...
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3answers
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Using the Hitting Cover variant rule, is it impossible to hit the covering creature if its AC is 2 higher than the target's?

After reading the optional rule of Hitting Cover, it strikes me that the rule is flawed. The Hitting Cover variant rule states (DMG p. 272): When a ranged attack misses a target that has cover, ...
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1answer
482 views

Pathfinder Hero Point combined with Ki Pool and Two Weapon Fighting feat

Our DM is using the Hero Points optional rule where I can spend one point to make an additional attack. My Ninja can spend one from his Ki Pool to make an additional attack. At level one I took the ...
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Is Disarm an entire action, or a replacement for a single Weapon Attack?

My confusion comes from the somewhat ambiguous wording of the Disarm action as described in the Dungeon Master's Guide (p. 271): A creature can use a weapon attack to knock a weapon or another item ...
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Who benefits from flanking?

While DnD 5e no longer includes flanking as a standard rule, they have an optional rule that covers it. I've not played earlier versions, but I imagine it's very similar (if not identical) to the ...
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1answer
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Optional rules for a DM to compensate for lack of healing in party?

Context The party in my game consists of two ‘ranged damage dealers’ and two ‘tanky damage dealers’ (resp. revised ranger and warlock + paladin and fighter), but it doesn’t have a healer. I don’t ...
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What does losing a hand or arm to a crit mean if it was just a punch?

In the DMG on page 272, there are rules of injuries if you take a critical hit, drop to 0 hp, or fail a death saving throw by 5 or more. The table that is used gives different things that could happen ...
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1answer
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Can characters attack flank squares without turning?

Using the combat rules supplied by Players Option: Combat and Tactics, creatures have an orientation on the map, with flanks and a rear defined based on their orientation. My question is, can a ...
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1answer
354 views

When you get Reincarnated into a race with variants, can you get those variants?

A human has a Variant option to forgo +1 to every stat in exchange for a feat, a skill and two +1s. Sword Coast Adventure Guide also introduces Variant options for half elves, amongst other things. ...
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3answers
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How does elves' trance affect time spent for XGE's long rest crafting rules?

XGE gave us the option of having tool proficiencies (e.g., alchemist's supplies) enable a character to craft an item "as part of a long rest." For races that need 8 hours for a long rest but only 6 ...
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1answer
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Are the rules in Xanathar's Guide to Everything clarifications/in addition to the Core rules or are they Optional/Variants?

The release of Xanathar's Guide to Everything includes additional rules for things under Chapter 2 Dungeon Master's Tools. Are those rules official updates/clarifications to the Core Rules or are ...
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Do Pathfinder supplements have a dependency order?

I want to start GMing for 3 friends, and I was wondering if there is a certain order for the way the Pathfinder Core Rule Book material should be expanded by supplements. That is, can I just pick ...
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Is this variant rest rules alteration balanced? [closed]

I have been running a campaign for a while now, close to 2 years, and I have a bit of a problem with the healing systems. I plan on using variant rules for the upcoming campaign. (I think it would be ...
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Is There A Rule Variant Permitting Casters to Take Additional Cantrips In Place of Spell Slots?

I only have the PHB and DMG. I'm the usual DM. My friends are more interested in using Cantrips than developing high level spells. More for fluff than for combat variety, to be sure. I'm sure RAW ...
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2answers
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When a creature with non-magical flying speed is knocked prone and falls, how do I determine the falling damage?

Xanathar's Guide to Everything provides new (optional) rules regarding Falling Assuming I want "a flying creature to have a better chance of surviving a fall than a non-flying creature does" how does ...
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2answers
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How does the dwarven Speed trait interact with the variant encumbrance rule?

Dwarves have a special trait, see PHB page 20: Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet. Your speed is not reduced by wearing heavy armor. It refers to the Chapter 5, see more information here - ...
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1answer
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How much should NPCs charge for spells cast as services to PCs?

As the title suggests, I need to know how to compute the appropriate cost for spells that NPCs provide as services (components included) to the party. My search has come up with the following: ...
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4answers
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Can I let a single PC use the Spell Points variant rule without unbalance?

One of my players (level 5 Druid) has been looking at the Spell Points variant rule in the 5th edition DMG (page 288) and wants to use it for his character. I've talked to the other players with ...
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Can a Thief disarm an enemy using Sleight of hand as a bonus action?

One of my players rolled a Rogue Thief. At level three they get the following feature: Fast Hands: You can use the extra action granted by your Cunning Action to make Dexterity (Sleight of Hand)...
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1answer
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Is a roll required for the “Modifying Abilities” Optional Rule

In the Optional Rules section of the core book there is a section on modifying abilities. A selection of it reads: For any Intellect ability with a specific range, you can increase the range by ...
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1answer
642 views

What is the RAW for sneak attacking other PCs when using the optional facing rules?

There is a PvP event going on in my campaign. This is my first PvP event, and I want to play it by the book as much as possible to mitigate sad players. My rogue can do a lot of extra damage on a ...
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1answer
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How does the “Handling Mobs” rule work with Advantage & Disadvantage?

How should I modify the "Mob attacks" table (DMG 250) when the attacking mob has an advantage? Isn't a flat +5 bonus too generous?
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Restoring vitality with Hit Dice

We're using the Unearthed Arcana Vitality rule. My level 3 Fighter has a 15 CON and a normal HP maximum of 28. Courtesy of a bad wubba wubba fireball, I'd been reduced to 0 HP and 9 Vitality. Since ...
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Does the Disarm action optional rule (DMG) make the Disarming Attack maneuver (Battle Master fighter) useless?

I would like an analysis of this with feedback. Does the Disarm combat option (DMG, p. 271) make the Disarming Attack maneuver (PHB, p. 74) useless by being the better option? Here are the pros &...
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Do familiars have to be summoned?

So the way the spell find familiar works is that you summon a fey/fiend/celestial that takes the form of a normal animal and follows your commands unquestionably. But then I see certain variant rules ...
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What is the reason Adventurers League games don't allow DMG variant rules, such as Flanking?

Our home games have been running with the Variant Rule: Flanking while playing on a grid. It came to a surprise to us, when we first played in the Adventurer's League, that Flanking is not allowed in ...
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1answer
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What are Sabotage points?

The optional rules for Sabotage points (BGS 66) look pretty great, except... I'm unclear what they are. I get what Sabotage points do, and I like it. But are Sabotage points some additional resource (...
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1answer
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How can I convert Grief to Spite in play?

The Burning Wheel supplement Path of Spite details the way to burn characters with Spite and to convert Spite back to Grief or to Hatred in play. But it doesn't present a way to convert Grief to Spite ...
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2answers
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Does encumbrance include items being held?

So I'm starting a new campaign playing as a Dwarven Runesmith, set in the Warhammer world. The DM has decided to use the Variant rule for carrying capacity: Encumbrance. I think that this is a much ...
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What does the UA ranger's Underdark Scout feature do?

In the Unearthed Arcana: The ranger, resived there is a feature called "Underdark scout". This feature states: You are also adept at evading creatures that rely on darkvision. Such creatures gain ...
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Does the UA revised ranger's companion keep its skill bonuses?

In the September 2016 Unearthed Arcana The Ranger, Revised, it says: Your companion uses your proficiency bonus rather than its own. The ape, for example, has a +5 bonus to Athletics and +3 to ...
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Are there any downsides to the Mark optional rule?

The Dungeon Master's Guide provides some optional Action Options (p. 271). One of those options is the Mark option, which can give a free opportunity attack with advantage that doesn't use up a ...