All Questions

340
votes
6answers
118k views

What is “my guy syndrome” and how do I handle it?

I've been reading forum posts and blogs who mention "my guy" syndrome as a specific type of difficult player, but I can't seem to find a solid definition for the term. Can someone explain this ...
119
votes
6answers
11k views

What is the source of the “spells do only what they say they do” rules interpretation principle?

Every time somebody asks a question like "can I use X spell for doing Y" the answer is usually "no" because spell descriptions are very short in 5e, and usually they don't explicitly say a spell can ...
65
votes
5answers
7k views

What is wrong with the D&D 3.5 FAQ?

I've heard from several places that the D&D 3.5 FAQ is generally a bad place to find information about the rules of the game. I don't really understand this distrust, since it's an official ...
448
votes
29answers
50k views

How do I get my PCs to not be a bunch of murderous cretins?

Most RPGs teach you that casual violence is the best solution to all your in-game problems. This is so well established a part of the vast majority of RPGs that there are entire satire RPGs like Greg ...
119
votes
16answers
28k views

Where can I find other RPG players?

I'd really like to learn how to play pen-and-paper RPGs. I know that it takes a few players to actually sit down and play, but I'm not at all sure where to find more gamers. How do I find existing ...
171
votes
8answers
53k views

How does rolling two dice and taking the higher affect the average outcome?

D&D 5E has an "advantage" concept where instead of rolling 1d20, you roll 2d20 and take the higher. Likewise, disadvantage means rolling 2d20 and taking the lower. How does this affect the ...
60
votes
1answer
46k views

What are “tiers”, and what tier is each class?

I tend to play Wizards, almost exclusively, though I have branched out and played Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers, and, at some point each other core class. I would like to play something different for my ...
73
votes
6answers
6k views

What is role-playing, and where do I start?

I have been told that roleplaying is great fun. I've looked and looked and it all seems so complicated. Could anyone tell me a good place to start, and what sort of things you end up doing in ...
78
votes
6answers
25k views

What is a session 0?

What is a "Session 0"? When is it done? What does it contain? Is it recommended, if not mandatory? What is each person's role (DM/GM, players, etc.)? What topics are best discussed there? Usually ...
159
votes
9answers
65k views

I'm at a loss with “Dungeons and Dragons.” How does one play it, anyway?

I'm no gamer at all, so this could be like a very silly, basic question for you guys. The thing is that I always read about "Dungeons and Dragons" game (not the video game, but the normal game to play ...
66
votes
3answers
7k views

What does upper-case-A-Attack action vs. lower-case-a-attack mean?

What exactly is the difference between Attack action and attack? It seems each time a question regarding this pops up, there's always somebody arguing they are not different. I feel there should be a ...
40
votes
4answers
17k views

Can a multiclass Wizard copy any Wizard spell they find into their spellbook?

The Wizard includes the following feature: Copying a Spell into the Book. When you find a wizard spell of 1st level or higher, you can add it to your spellbook if it is of a level for which you ...
129
votes
14answers
15k views

How can DMs effectively telegraph specific dangers in D&D?

There are some play-styles of D&D in which the spectre of player-character death is considered a feature of the game rather than a bug. For my own reasons (which aren't the point of the question), ...
53
votes
7answers
18k views

How do you tell if a D&D book is 3.0 or 3.5?

I'm new to d20. I recently acquired a bunch of D&D books and I'm sure they are all either 3.0 or 3.5, but it doesn't say in the book which version it is. How can I tell which version the book is? ...
44
votes
1answer
119k views

When can I make opportunity attacks?

What provokes an opportunity attack? In 3.X moving out of a threatened square, standing up from prone, casting a spell (unless cast defensively), or making a ranged attack provoked, while in 4e ...
68
votes
1answer
5k views

Where do I find the “official” rules for D&D 5e?

I play D&D 5e and sometimes come here with questions. But sometimes I see things referenced here as sources that I don't have or aren't aware of.... Which are the "official rules" for D&D 5e, ...
22
votes
5answers
54k views

Can you cast spells with a Somatic component if you're holding a two-handed weapon?

I have a halfling cleric of Bahamut who wears his holy symbol as an amulet around his neck as a spellcasting focus (so material components are not an issue). However, as per this question, this does ...
14
votes
1answer
8k views

What counts as an attack?

I was looking over the class feature of the 'fiend' patron warlock in 5e. I'm a bit confused on what actions the player needs to take before they can use the 'Hurl Through Hell' ability on an enemy. ...
60
votes
6answers
20k views

Can you choose to fail a saving throw?

(Yet another) follow-up from this question: As someone mentioned in the question above, some 'friendly' spells (Calm Emotion, IIRC) specify that one can choose to fail the saving throw. In this case,...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

Do you lose your prestige class features when you no longer meet its requirements?

Certain prestige classes detail a list of requirements that are possible for the player to lose (alignment, casting at a certain level), but not what happens if you no longer meet those requirements (...
37
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there “flavor text” in D&D 5e spells?

Is there any evidence, in the rules or from developer comments, that parts of the description of a D&D 5e spell is “only flavor text” and should be ignored for determining what happens in-game? ...
69
votes
4answers
12k views

Why does dandwiki have a poor reputation?

Dandwiki has a markedly poor reputation in the online RPG community; material from it is often dismissed out of hand, and users are encouraged to avoid it and to not incorporate work posted there into ...
29
votes
1answer
8k views

Can I trigger an Opportunity Attack by forcing an opponent to move out of my reach?

If I cause an opponent to leave my reach with an ability, spell, or effect can I use my reaction to take an Opportunity Attack against them?
133
votes
21answers
15k views

How do you help players not focus on the rules?

Background - My Group's Gaming Style When I GM, I run games loosely from a rules standpoint, and do not feel bound to adhere to what the rulebook says when it doesn't make sense in a given situation. ...
67
votes
5answers
70k views

Do Cantrips use your character level or class level?

Cantrips seem to be the only type of spell that cares only about your class level. However, in the multiclassing section they are not mentioned, does this mean that cantrips use your character level, ...
42
votes
4answers
197k views

How does extra damage work for critical hits?

I'm a bit confused on how extra damage works for critical hits. Let's take the following example: A thief with sneak attack rolls a crit. I'm under the impression he rolls double his normal attack ...
89
votes
11answers
23k views

I failed to open a lock. Now what?

Picking a lock typically requires a DC 15 Dexterity check (Basic rules, p. 49). Likewise for manacles (p. 50), which can alternately be escaped with a DC 20 Dexterity check or broken with a DC 20 ...
46
votes
13answers
100k views

Optimizing a D&D 3.5 Monk

I have complaints from someone in one of my groups that the 3.5 monk isn't good for anything offensive, only for defense and disarming (defenestration wasn't mentioned). My experience has only been ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Where are the rules about what sources are primary?

Maybe it's just too early in the morning and my brain does not properly connect with the rest of the body, but... ...yes, this is a question about primary sources. What happened is I was talking ...
20
votes
4answers
5k views

What is considered an object?

In the PHB, on page 193, the Use an Object action is described: Use an Object You normally interact with an object while doing something else, such as when you draw a sword as part of an ...
196
votes
15answers
90k views

Without a magic item economy, what is gold for?

PHB page 144, Equipment, Wealth, Selling Treasure Magic Items. Selling magic items is problematic. Finding someone to buy a potion or a scroll isn’t too hard, but other items are out of the realm ...
61
votes
11answers
13k views

Overview of D&D retro-clones

I'm getting more and more interested in the D&D retro-clones. I keep seeing various names thrown around, like Labyrinth Lords, Swords and Wizardry, Lycanthropes &… something else starting with ...
116
votes
5answers
34k views

Are peoples' competencies really as flat in D&D 5e as its math suggests?

Bounded accuracy is a major feature of the new system. It promises that bonuses to rolls won't grow too much throughout a character's career. And indeed, a first-level fighter would have an apex skill ...
36
votes
7answers
74k views

What advantages does hiding have?

It is possible to use the stealth skill to "hide" in D&D 5e. But are there any mechanical benefits to doing so? In combat, you gain advantage on an attack if your target can't see you, and confer ...
65
votes
3answers
22k views

What is Player Agency and what is it good for?

Agency, specifically player agency, is a term that frequently comes up as a reason for why a particular rule or GM decision is better than another. How is agency defined in this context and why is it ...
34
votes
12answers
16k views

What set of books makes a complete starter set for 4e?

I've asked several questions about 4th Edition D&D because I may be able to start a game. However, I'd need to purchase (some) materials. I am aware of the 4 book set (core) and the expected ...
78
votes
2answers
9k views

Why do Crawford's tweets seem to be treated on par with the actual rules?

I keep running into quoted tweets from this 'Jeremy Crawford' guy in 5e answers. My understanding is he's sort of in charge of the edition, like James Jacobs with Pathfinder. It makes sense that his ...
75
votes
7answers
28k views

D&D 5e and “Theatre of the Mind” in combat

Our target play style for combat encounters would be to use battle boards roughly half the time (when there is enough of interest in play that the tactics are fun to play out), and to skip that with ...
100
votes
18answers
13k views

How can I make my PCs flee?

My players never run away or avoid conflict. Ever. I throw them ridiculous encounters, they will stay and fight. If I tell them, "You know you're not gonna make it, just run," they stay and fight and ...
89
votes
12answers
12k views

Is there a limit to Rule 0?

Rule Zero: All other rules can be changed by the GM. I appreciate that there is a massive amount of work that goes into be a GM and the last thing that any GM wants or deserves is to have his players ...
36
votes
3answers
4k views

Does the Rules Compendium overrule the core books?

The comment below was originally posted on another answer: Furthermore, from a super-strict RAW perspective, it has been argued (not by me!) that the Errata rules don’t actually let a book claim ...
26
votes
4answers
42k views

Is an Unarmed Strike considered a Weapon attack?

For the purposes of the fighter Battle Master archetype, whenever a maneuver calls for a "weapon attack" does that include an unarmed strike?
98
votes
3answers
141k views

What are the big differences between the D&D editions?

I've been out of the loop for a while, and I used to play AD&D 2nd ed, but today I find there are a lot of different versions that have fairly different gameplay. Can anyone summarize the really ...
52
votes
5answers
8k views

What is a social contract?

The concept of "social contract" comes up in discussions of group dynamics and RPG theory. We even have a tag for social-contract. But there is no good, easily-found definition online anywhere. Our ...
19
votes
2answers
38k views

How do I handle Arcane Spell Failure?

Recently, we’ve seen several questions related to the topic of Arcane Spell Failure, and how to get around it. I have answered these (here and here), but neither question is directly about ...
43
votes
10answers
5k views

How do you discourage “player knowledge” as a GM?

As a trivial random encounter is winding down, a player thinks "That was too easy... The GM wouldn't give us an encounter that doesn't give XP," and starts searching for hidden bad guys or other clues....
18
votes
5answers
100k views

How do multiple natural attacks work?

Okay, I need some clarification. The Pathfinder Core Rules state this about natural attacks: You do not receive additional natural attacks for a high base attack bonus. Instead, you receive ...
23
votes
5answers
10k views

Is a dead creature's body considered an “object”?

I never really gave this much thought until this question brought it up: Is a dead creature's body considered to be an object? And is it still a creature? My initial reaction was that it would not ...
67
votes
2answers
90k views

What are the most and least-resisted damage types?

Inspired by these related questions, as well as my previous question on the matter, I'm curious what the most and least resisted damage types are in DnD 5e? Ideally I am looking for a list similar to ...
34
votes
7answers
27k views

Are 3.5 Bards mechanically weak?

People frequently seem to think that Bards are mechanically weaker than other classes, and I was wondering if this was true?

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