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539 votes
30 answers
67k 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 ...
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  • 172k
422 votes
6 answers
167k 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 ...
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269 votes
15 answers
35k views

Managing a Medieval Low Orbit Ion Cannon

Sometimes I hate my players. My table is currently composed of five diabolically inventive players. They come from a mixed IT/Engineering background, so more often than not, I have to deal with some ...
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  • 14.7k
239 votes
16 answers
123k 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 ...
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  • 3,101
215 votes
21 answers
32k views

Dealing with difficult male players, when you're a new female player?

There was quite a bit of discussion about this after I posted this question, so I thought I would do as advised and re-ask the question in a new topic. I will be playing D&D 5th edition soon with ...
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  • 2,533
205 votes
10 answers
90k views

How does rolling two d20 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 ...
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  • 3,054
189 votes
21 answers
76k views

Player claims their wizard character knows everything (from books). Solutions?

I have a player who is an elf wizard and his entire backstory and goal is knowledge related. He made his elf well over 200 years old and claims that his character has read a massive amount of books (...
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  • 2,443
189 votes
9 answers
80k 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 ...
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  • 2,033
184 votes
10 answers
18k views

How does a player correct a GM mistake without being a rules lawyer or pushover?

You are playing in a game. The GM says that you need to roll a given roll. The rules clearly state something different. I realize one solution is to go along to get along, then tell the GM after the ...
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  • 17.1k
178 votes
6 answers
14k views

What's the greatest number of hands I can have to annoy my mother-in-law with?

My mother in law is coming to visit tonight, for dinner. She hates me, and will criticize my food. But tonight is my night. I've prepared the dish she most hates, a beautiful roasted Tarrasque chop, ...
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  • 44.2k
177 votes
6 answers
165k views

What are the primary differences between the rules of D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder?

What are some of the rule changes that Pathfinder brings in comparison to D&D 3.5? I am curious what changes were made so I can explain to my group what it has to offer.
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  • 9,852
176 votes
7 answers
14k views

How to let my players fail their rolls intentionally, but covertly?

I'm experimenting with some pen-and-paper role-playing involving characters with hidden agendas. To foster a proper sense of paranoia, I want these hidden agendas to be unknown to not only the other ...
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  • 53.2k
166 votes
7 answers
22k 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 ...
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  • 61.5k
161 votes
13 answers
20k 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), ...
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159 votes
17 answers
22k views

How to deal with players who like to use the local authorities to solve their problems

The problem I have a player in my group which tends to approach local authorities (may it be guards or churches) when facing a threat. He thinks that, given his role (a bard in a medieval world, so, ...
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156 votes
26 answers
54k views

Players skipping side quests just to have a laugh at the DM

Something that's happening frequently at my table recently is that the players are making choices deliberately to waste my preparation. If they see something that obviously took some preparation that ...
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  • 5,253
155 votes
22 answers
19k 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. ...
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  • 172k
148 votes
14 answers
17k views

Who created the idea of Experience Points?

The idea of XP in all its many forms has been around for quite some time. What designer had the idea of quantizing success and advancement through a numerical method? What game was it for? The ...
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148 votes
5 answers
16k views

Is there a maximum attainable beard thickness?

This other question asks if attuning to a Belt of Dwarvenkind grants the following benefit (and literally nothing else): you have a 50 percent chance each day at dawn of growing a full beard if ...
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  • 1,483
147 votes
14 answers
31k views

Betrayed by my GM; how can I respond?

I was introduced to D&D three months ago and really delved into the world. I had so much fun creating my character and tried very hard to roleplay him differently from myself. I did my very best ...
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  • 1,335
145 votes
9 answers
13k views

Can I begin roleplaying if I'm visually impaired?

I've been reading about RPGs for a long time, and I'm extremely interested in trying it... But I'm afraid to start because I'm visually impaired and have to use a screen reader to navigate a screen. ...
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144 votes
11 answers
37k views

Can you drink a potion one-handed underwater?

I have a player who wants their PC to drink a potion underwater while one-handed, and as a DM I'm not sure how to rule it. Ask for a Dex check? What DC? Is it even possible? I couldn't find anything ...
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  • 1,533
140 votes
9 answers
24k views

How to stop players from making the game X-rated

After 30 years, a few of my friends and I finally managed to get together and play D&D. We've managed to play 2hrs once a week for the last 6 weeks. I unfortunately ended up being the DM. My ...
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140 votes
18 answers
35k views

How 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 ...
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139 votes
17 answers
26k views

What can I do when I accidentally gave out an overpowered item?

In our last game, the players worked their way through a series of fiendish traps into a high security vault, where they recovered a Staff of the Magi. After the game I looked at the stats, and ...
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  • 2,683
133 votes
5 answers
47k 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 ...
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  • 14.6k
133 votes
3 answers
187k views

What are the big differences among 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 ...
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  • 2,482
130 votes
12 answers
24k views

Evil Campaigns: How to explain the difference between being evil and being a jerk?

My friend has recently started running an evil campaign. His players are having serious difficulty telling the difference between comitting evil deeds and doing random things that are evil acts. ...
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129 votes
9 answers
120k views

New girl gamer in our D&D group is causing weird tension - what to do?

I'm concerned because a new player just joined our D&D 5e group and is super flirty with all the male players (both in person and as her character - she's a bard). And the problem is that she's ...
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  • 1,217
128 votes
9 answers
26k views

What's the point of long, empty hallways in dungeons?

Many dungeons—published and homemade—often contain a multitude of long, empty passageways between rooms. For example, my DM is running "The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan" from Tales from the Yawning ...
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  • 62.4k
128 votes
9 answers
31k views

PC ate a necklace of fireballs bead. How dead should they be?

So one of my loony players found a necklace of fireballs. He is a suicidally over-confidant Tiefling sorcerer. Against all logic and reason, and probably just to prove that he could, he ate one of ...
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  • 4,345
126 votes
6 answers
119k views

Why would I ever cast True Strike?

One of my players has complained several times that True Strike is a useless spell. The effect of True Strike is: On your next turn, you gain advantage on your first attack roll against the target, ...
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  • 141k
124 votes
10 answers
42k views

As a man, how can I roleplay a woman better?

I rarely play characters of the opposite sex, and I find that I'm not very good at it, at least in my own estimation. This is hampering when I GM because it limits my range, and makes things hard ...
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  • 23.5k
122 votes
2 answers
52k views

Why is the D&D gorgon a metal bull?

In mythology, the gorgons were Medusa and her sisters; snake-like beings who petrified those who saw them. In Dungeons & Dragons, gorgons are bulls with metal scales and the ability to breathe ...
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  • 8,450
121 votes
20 answers
11k views

How should a GM deal with "standing orders?"

I have a player who always tells me whenever he goes into a dungeon or other hazardous location, I am always checking for traps wherever I go. Assume that I am always looking around, wary and being ...
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  • 6,927
121 votes
11 answers
21k views

Given powerful low-level Clerical healing, how can sick, crippled or otherwise unhealthy people exist?

In my attempt to make a more harsh, uncaring setting, I’ve hit a stumbling block in terms of the ease with which even low level Clerics can treat the poor and the sick: A 1st-level Cleric can bring ...
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  • 2,279
121 votes
6 answers
69k 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 ...
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117 votes
10 answers
24k views

As a player, I am approaching a situation where "My Guy" syndrome seems inevitable and almost appropriate. What can I do to soften any problems?

Alright, so this problem takes a bit of background to explain, but in a nutshell: Having talked with the other players in the group, and having seen how things play out in-session with the party, ...
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  • 3,840
115 votes
22 answers
27k views

How to deal with player MacGyver-ism?

Role playing is an excellent hobby to train your problem solving skills. You learn to look at situations from different view points (i.e. the characters) and you have various skills and resources at ...
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  • 10.1k
115 votes
17 answers
17k views

How to prevent metagaming induced by trying to not metagame?

We have a lot of questions on how to prevent metagaming on this tag. But usually the metagaming is something like Using player's knowledge to optimize your character's actions. Now, I've ...
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  • 35.7k
115 votes
6 answers
17k views

Can a snake be prone?

It sounds like a silly question, but it caused way more discussion the other night in my Adventurer's league game than I'd care to admit... In 5e, the prone condition is described as: A prone ...
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  • 1,563
113 votes
6 answers
22k views

How can we handle "firing" our DM?

I'm new to the game and new to this site, so hopefully I'm ok in asking for help with a situation that is plaguing our otherwise happy group. My roommate and I have been hosting D&D 5E in our ...
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  • 1,051
112 votes
11 answers
36k 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 ...
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  • 8,984
112 votes
44 answers
50k views

What tools are useful to organize a GM's campaign notes? [closed]

There are plenty of tools available to organize campaign notes. I've tried 4x6 cards, files on my computer, notebooks, and more. I have thought of trying mind mapping software such as FreeMind, note ...
112 votes
7 answers
212k views

Is there a legal way to get D&D 5e core rulebook PDFs?

As much as I like having the hardcover core rule-books in front of me, usually I read or reference most information for RPGs on my computer. Unfortunately, my google-fu has failed me at finding ...
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111 votes
2 answers
287k 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 ...
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111 votes
10 answers
19k views

As a player with ADHD, how do I avoid disrupting the game?

I read a question by a DM wanting to know how to work with a player who cites ADHD as reason for disruptive behavior. Almost all answers are of course things the DM could do. Now I am wondering, what ...
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  • 1,053
110 votes
2 answers
62k views

How can I test whether a die is fair?

I have a d20 that seems to be, well, remarkably lucky.* How can I determine whether it's really just luck, or whether the die is in fact unfairly biased? *) Well, I don't, really. This is actually ...
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109 votes
12 answers
15k 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 being a GM and the last thing that any GM wants or deserves is to have his ...
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109 votes
18 answers
21k views

When should I fudge dice rolls?

When I started my first D&D campaign as a DM, I accidentally rolled and confirmed a crit on a PC from a goblin. It was an instant kill as our campaign had no cleric. That time I decided to fudge ...
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