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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36
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1answer
3k 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 ...
8
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1answer
268 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 ...
11
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2answers
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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0answers
82 views

Taking levels in monster types

Today I found this post on reddit and in one of the comments they mention taking levels in fey, outsider, and aberration (not all at the same time). Are there any alternate rules I'm not aware of or ...
15
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2answers
799 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 ...
-2
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2answers
113 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 ...
8
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3answers
2k 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 ...
11
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1answer
275 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 ...
19
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2answers
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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 ...
4
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1answer
229 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 ...
17
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4answers
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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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0answers
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 ...
8
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2answers
277 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 ...
6
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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 ...
10
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2answers
1k 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" ...
14
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1answer
889 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 ...
20
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3answers
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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 ...
22
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5answers
4k views

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
171 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/...
2
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1answer
191 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 ...
8
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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 ...
4
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2answers
268 views

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 ...
13
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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?
7
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425 views

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 ...
26
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4answers
3k views

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. ...
8
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
7
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1answer
430 views

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 ...
10
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2answers
313 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
4k views

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 ...
4
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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, ...
5
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1answer
490 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 ...
11
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
11
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3answers
6k views

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 ...
16
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
24
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6answers
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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 ...
7
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1answer
116 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
368 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. ...
3
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3answers
657 views

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 ...
11
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
4
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2answers
299 views

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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2answers
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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 ...
12
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4answers
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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 ...
4
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
21
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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 - ...
37
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1answer
48k views

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: ...
16
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4answers
14k views

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 ...
11
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3answers
6k views

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)...
3
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1answer
82 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
662 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 ...
3
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1answer
3k views

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?