Questions tagged [optional-rules]

For questions about optional rules in RPGs. In many RPGs, there is the concept of rules that are essential to the game, and optional but official rules that can be used if desired. Optional rules can completely replace certain parts of the rules, or merely add to the existing rules to make them more complex, complete, and/or well-rounded.

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How does a creature counter the Frightened condition? [closed]

Some conditions have obvious counters—-for example, if prone, a creature can stand. But how does a creature counter being frightened of another who has successfully intimidated it into being ...
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6 votes
1 answer
224 views

Can I change the cantrip I get from my Pact Boon with Eldritch Versatility?

I need to check with my GM first whether this is allowed but I'm considering retraining one of my fourth level Warlock's cantrips she learnt from her Pact of the Tome. Looking at the optional class ...
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8 votes
4 answers
540 views

Potion Miscibility: growth and fire breath

Since our session 0 we've included the Potion Miscibility variant rule but never used it 'til now. The party (lvl 5 now) has hoarded quite a few potions - all common or uncommon level - and only used ...
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2 votes
2 answers
227 views

Are there any rules about "energy" in any D&D version? [closed]

I am developing a turn-based combat game that uses D&D rules (as much as possible) as its foundation. The relevant rules are around concepts such as movement, distance, range, HP, AC, to hit, and ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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How does variant encumbrance affect monsters like Grells?

I'm running a game with variant encumbrance, and I'm wondering how the monsters would be affected. Obviously, heavily armed and armoured enemies would be hampered, but what about "drug and drag&...
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15 votes
2 answers
381 views

Can a creature with Multiattack use Disarm with one of its attacks?

Noteably a creature with multiattack cannot Grapple or Shove instead of one of its attacks, because these are other types of attacks than those the creature can use multiattack for. However Disarm (...
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14 votes
2 answers
925 views

How do the official firearms affect balance?

At least two other GMs and I will be running a shared game that uses the optional firearms from the DMG (pg 269). Renaissance arms will be available, and we will be deciding whether we will also make ...
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11 votes
5 answers
2k views

What are the official options for alternate familiars using the Find Familiar spell?

Other than the options listed under the find familiar spell in the PHB, and the Pact of the Chain warlock, what other official options are available for familiars that can be summoned by find familiar?...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Do I need to convert spell points into sorcery points to use them for Metamagic options? If so, how does it work exactly?

I need help understanding how the Spell Points variant rule (DMG, p. 288-289) works with a sorcerer using Metamagic. I had all my sorcery points and spell slots in spell points, but I just turned ...
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3 votes
1 answer
3k views

Does the Wild Companion optional class feature for druids let them use spell slots to cast the Find Familiar spell?

Does the Wild Companion optional class feature for druids grant access to the find familiar spell? Basically I'd rather hard cast it than waste the Wild Shape on it. The Circle of Stars druid's Starry ...
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5 votes
1 answer
718 views

Does Blessed Strikes count as a magical effect?

In Tasha's Cauldron of Everything on page 31 the Optional Class Feature "Blessed Strikes" for Clerics is explained: 8th-level cleric feature, which replaces the Divine Strike or Potent ...
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1 answer
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Does the "Changing a Skill" optional rule from Tasha's allow me to change a skill proficiency from the background for one offered by the class?

Does the "Changing a Skill" optional rule from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (p. 8) allow me to replace a skill proficiency from my background with a skill proficiency offered by my class? ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Guidelines for setting haggle test difficulty when using the tracking money option?

I have been running a game of WFRP 4e and my players haven't really been enjoying tracking money much so I was thinking of switching to the optional tracking money rule on page 290 of the rule book. ...
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11 votes
2 answers
8k views

Using the optional rule on falling onto a creature, is the fall damage divided between creatures before or after damage resistance/reduction?

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (p. 170) offers the following optional rule on falling onto a creature: If a creature falls into the space of a second creature and neither of them is Tiny, the second ...
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7 votes
2 answers
899 views

Are there any penalties for fighting in the same 5ft space?

A scenario occurred in my game tonight where the wizard used mold earth to cause a scenario of my barbarian and an opponent to be trapped in a 5x5 ft space that was 15ft down. We played it as normal, ...
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9 votes
2 answers
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Customizing Your Origin and Reincarnate

The druid spell Reincarnate says "The reincarnated creature recalls its former life and experiences. It retains the capabilities it had in its original form, except it exchanges its original race ...
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4 votes
2 answers
3k views

How do you resolve the damage and effects of Eldritch Claw Tattoo's "Eldritch Maul" ability on a hit that is beyond your weapon's normal melee range?

The Eldritch Maul ability says: each of your melee attacks with a weapon or an unarmed strike can reach a target up to 15 feet away from you, as inky tendrils launch toward the target. In addition, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can Steady Aim be used by a rogue aboard a moving ship?

Can the Steady Aim optional class feature for rogues from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything be used when aboard a ship in motion, or other similar moving platform? What about a horse? The Steady Aim ...
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8 votes
2 answers
7k views

Does the Beast Master ranger's Primal Companion optional class feature allow the beast to take two actions in a single turn?

The description of the Primal Companion optional class feature for Beast Master rangers says, in part (Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, p. 61): In combat the beast acts during your turn. It can move ...
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25 votes
1 answer
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Is there a reason not to take the optional class features from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything?

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything includes optional class features for every class from the Player's Handbook. Barbarians, for example, can choose to gain an extra skill proficiency at 3rd level, and/or ...
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  • 353
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

How does the Variant: Skills with Different Abilities rule affect the game?

The PHB mentions how it is possible to make ability checks based on different abilities, a variant "Skills with Different Abilities" rule. In some situations, though, your proficiency might ...
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3 votes
1 answer
102 views

What is an 'appropriate number' of 'significant foes' for the purposes of Never Conquered, Never Feared?

So, I'm giving the players in my campaign a free Story Feat because I think they're cool from a hand-curated list of choices that they and I feel are appropriate to their characters backgrounds and ...
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6 votes
1 answer
481 views

Using Wild Shape to hide (as a parasite)

A question came up in a game recently. Can a Druid use Wild Shape to transform into a parasitic animal and thus occupy the same square as the host, as well as smuggle the Druid into some other place? ...
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7 votes
1 answer
309 views

Do bonus actions trigger the save from an Internal Injury?

One of the possible injuries from the optional "Lingering Injuries" table in the DMG is Internal Injury: Internal Injury. Whenever you attempt an action in combat, you must make a DC 15 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
265 views

Could a Paladin use the Divine Smite ability on a disarm attack?

The Oath of Redemption Paladin that I DM for has asked me for clarification on disarming rules. I've decided to use the optional rules from page 271 of the DMG, which state: Disarm A creature can use ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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How to roll for avoiding damage when using Black Hack 1e with optional rule "Original armor"?

The Black Hack 1e has an optional rule called "Original Armour". It reads like this: Original armor The traditional concept of ascending AC bonuses can still be used with The Black Hack. ...
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  • 141
5 votes
1 answer
380 views

Which of the available options for downtime from XGtE would give the most money after one week?

In the "Downtime Revisited" section of Xanathar's Guide to Everything, pages 123-134, it gives you various suggestions with what to do with a week of downtime. My character is being given a ...
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  • 77k
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Who decides which PHB variant rules are in play?

The rules variants presented in the DMG are clearly there for the DM to decide upon. Some of the variants in the PHB say that they are the DM's prerogative. For example, "Variant: Customizing ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Are Called Shots worth the investment?

I have been searching for interesting rules systems to make Pathfinder сombat more cinematic in an E6 campaign and to make classes relying on mundane attacks a bit more powerful. At first, Called ...
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6 votes
1 answer
332 views

Does the optional Overrun rule override the creature size requirements on moving through a hostile creature's space?

The standard rule on moving through other creatures' spaces state that in order to move through a hostile creature's space, a creature must be two sizes larger or smaller than the one whose space they ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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How does the Overrun action work?

The action 'Overrun' is described in the DMG p. 272 as: When a creature tries to move through a hostile creature's space, the mover can try to force its way through by overrunning the hostile ...
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  • 395
6 votes
1 answer
888 views

How do you use spell points as a Sorlock with the spell point variant rule?

I am currently playing an Elf that is a level 5 Warlock / level 3 Sorcerer. My DM has graciously let me take a few short rests in the morning after my trance and before we start the adventuring day, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
243 views

Do the Favored Soul and Cleric differ greatly in their options for prestige classes?

As noted here, there is limited information on the optimisation options for the Favored Soul. In addition, it has received less support than the Cleric due to being a non-core class, being solely a ...
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7 votes
3 answers
504 views

How do you handle Iotum in Numenera?

I own the Core Discovery book and a Player's guide. Both make brief mention of using Iotum in crafting and abilities for player Types/Foci. I assume this is some resource detailed in the Destiny core ...
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  • 1,072
3 votes
1 answer
921 views

Flanking with a dancing sword?

If we are using the optional flanking rules, i do not think a player can get advantage from a Dancing Sword, as it is not a character, but will the Dancing Sword get advantage on attacks when flanking ...
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18 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can a lingering injury that requires "magical healing of 6th level or higher" be healed by an upcast lower-level spell?

The Lingering Injuries table in the DMG (p. 272) contains some wounds that can only be fixed by powerful healing magic, for instance: Horrible Scar. You are disfigured to the extent that the wound ...
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  • 18.3k
37 votes
1 answer
6k views

Can elves trance in armor without any downsides?

The optional rule on sleeping in armor from Xanathar's Guide to Everything (p. 77-78) states Sleeping in light armor has no adverse effect on the wearer, but sleeping in medium or heavy armor makes ...
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  • 605
8 votes
1 answer
994 views

How do Sanity saving throws work when resisting an effect conferred by an attack or spell that deals psychic damage?

I am playing with the Sanity ability score option (DMG, p. 265-266). One of the suggestions on Sanity saving throws states: Sanity Saving Throws. You might call for a Sanity saving throw when a ...
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  • 2,308
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Would a flying character fall prone after dashing if they had lost a leg?

Suppose I'm playing a character that has a flying speed (such as a Variant (Winged) Tiefling or an Aarakocra) and get critically hit. The DM rolls on the Lingering Injuries table and after rolling a 3 ...
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15 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are there any rules about taking damage whilst holding your breath in combat?

Can't find any official rules about holding breath in combat in 5e. If there's a poisoned gas in the room, and party is fighting against some creature with poison immunity, like golem, and so this ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
126 views

Where can I find the rules for creating a character that is the child of a human and a monster? [duplicate]

Some time ago, I saw someone mention making a monstrum when asked about creating monster races. Supposedly it is a PC that is the child of a human and a monster, or something like that. I was ...
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9 votes
3 answers
3k views

Would Epic Heroism be an acceptable rule variant for a small, first-time group playing the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure?

I'm DMing a group with 4 players. For all of us, this is our first D&D experience. We'll be playing the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure from the Starter Set. I'm concerned about the ...
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  • 416
11 votes
1 answer
602 views

What balance pitfalls result from this house rule modifying the optional Flanking rule?

As much as I enjoy 5e, one design issue sticks in my craw: combat is too static. Once initiative is rolled, everyone tends to move to a single position and stand there whacking enemies until someone ...
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  • 8,385
19 votes
2 answers
5k views

When using the Proficiency Dice optional rule, how should they be used in determining a character's Spell Save DC?

Previously, I've allowed my players to use the proficiency dice optional rule (DMG, pg. 263). When I was asked how they should calculate their spell save DCs with the proficiency dice, I had them just ...
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  • 505
4 votes
1 answer
612 views

Do the rules for the "Buying a Magic Item" downtime activity allow a character an opportunity to purchase the item later?

I'm DMing using the "Buying a Magic Item" downtime activity rules in Xanathar's Guide to Everything (p. 126). Are any rules (or suggested approaches) to allowing my players to purchase one of their ...
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20 votes
4 answers
11k 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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  • 8,385
1 vote
0 answers
73 views

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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9 votes
2 answers
411 views

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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  • 28.6k
10 votes
1 answer
27k views

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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  • 18.7k
10 votes
2 answers
4k 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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