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77
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
76
votes
10answers
30k views

How can I suggest the DM stop trying to kill us?

We have been playing a game for a while now, and while the game itself is quite enjoyable, the only problem is that the DM seems to be aiming to kill us. Sort of. For example, there have been three ...
76
votes
12answers
18k views

How can I explain to my player that Alchemist's Fire is safe to carry?

The Player's Handbook (p. 148) says that Alchemist's Fire "ignites when exposed to air": Alchemist's Fire. This sticky, adhesive fluid ignites when exposed to air. As an action, you can throw this ...
76
votes
14answers
20k views

My PCs have a plan that will get them all killed; how and why should I save them?

Related: How do I help my players figure out how to stay alive in a realistically-deadly sandbox campaign? I am running a sandbox game for a group of players who are used to more traditional ...
76
votes
3answers
8k views

Do I have to allow someone to play at my table in Adventurers League public events?

One player, a couple of months ago, had a problem about a ruling I made in a tier 1 game. It was a minor ruling in which I gave an npc wizard in a carriage a +2 AC bonus for 1/2 cover. She argued ...
76
votes
1answer
6k 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, ...
76
votes
1answer
8k views

What is the Oberoni Fallacy?

In my travels across the internet, I've occasionally seen mention of a logical fallacy relating to roleplaying games called the Oberoni Fallacy. What is this fallacy, and where does it come from?
75
votes
3answers
20k views

Does microwaving a die significantly alter its balance?

I saw a rumor online a long time ago that stated by microwaving a die on a specific face it would be more likely to land on said face and have been looking for science by which to either prove or ...
75
votes
19answers
54k views

Why would I ever choose rolling hit points?

In DnD 5th edition, all classes seemingly have the option of rolling hit points -or- just increasing their hit points by a set value. That set value is defined as the dice roll's average, rounded up. ...
75
votes
4answers
14k 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 ...
74
votes
20answers
56k views

I'm creating an original setting for D&D—where do I start? [closed]

Creating a new fantasy setting for D&D is daunting but I don't want to use one of the published settings. I have a blank piece of paper in front of me and a whole world to create. My friends want ...
74
votes
17answers
6k views

How can I help my PCs remember clues that they found?

I'm a new DM running my first adventure in D&D 4e. I've heard of the "three clue rule", that there should be at least three independent pointers to any plot element you want the PCs to take note ...
74
votes
13answers
8k views

How do I narrate a player's PC's actions without causing unintended consequences for the PC?

Daxius: "I'd like to roll an investigate check on Statue 1." Rolls. "Solid... 19." DM: "You walk around the statue, gliding your fingers along the rough outlines of it's crisp, defined ...
74
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the origin of the phrase ‘orc and pie’?

I'd like to know where this unique phrase came from. “Orc and pie” has become shorthand for a style of simple dungeon design, but where did it originate?
74
votes
10answers
24k views

What happens when an Immovable Rod is activated while in a vehicle?

The Red Bandits have boarded the train, hidden among the other passengers. They wait an hour or two - to be sure the train is far from any city - then, on the boss's signal, they all pull out their ...
74
votes
12answers
6k views

What's a good mechanic for rewarding players for keeping their characters happy? [closed]

In a lot of setting and systems, such as D&D, the aim of the game tends to be to explore and kill things. Money is spent on useful items and hirelings. However, a real adventurer would probably ...
74
votes
1answer
7k views

What's the inspiration for the owlbear?

The standard explanation for the owlbear in-universe is "A Wizard Did It." Which is fine, as far as it goes, because the trope of "madman tinkering with bizarre mutations" is part of our speculative ...
74
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
73
votes
14answers
8k views

What should I do about a religious player who refuses to accept the existence of multiple gods in D&D? [closed]

I am working on a campaign which I am going to run for a group of friends, all of whom are new to D&D. I was discussing available classes with one of the players, more specifically classes with ...
73
votes
15answers
17k views

How can I prevent players from using Persuasion or Deception to weasel their way out of a murder?

Background My players accepted a quest to basically be drug mules, delivering illicit goods to a faraway town. While alone with the NPC giving the assignment, they decided to kill him and take the ...
73
votes
9answers
14k views

How to deal with a player who refuses to learn the description of their spells and abilities?

I am currently running Lost Mines of Phandelver for a fluid group of about 10 people. We play once a week and on a given night 4-6 people will show up. We've been doing this for 4 months now. I have ...
73
votes
6answers
14k views

Our DM keeps interrupting our long rests

In the latest campaign, we're still around the third level, but every single night we've spend in the wild so far, we were interrupted by hard combat encounters (as in DMG-worded "hard"), forcing us ...
73
votes
9answers
9k views

How to fix a terrible lapse in judgement

In the gaming group I run, I said at the very first day that this was going to be a very "adult" campaign. I told them I wasn't going to pull punches, and that the party would have to really think ...
73
votes
1answer
22k views

How to ask nicely in Dungeon World

(and some of the other Powered by the Apocalypse games) There's a basic move called Parley in DW: When you have leverage on a GM Character and manipulate them, roll+Cha. Leverage is something they ...
73
votes
7answers
11k views

Our GM won't let us affect the story; the more I play the less fun I have. What do I do?

I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice or anything on a GM situation. My current GM is running a campaign and it is very video game/anime like. It started out super fun and the deeper ...
72
votes
7answers
10k views

Is starting a group with 5 newbies (DM included) possible?

Some friends and I want to start playing D&D (5e), but none of us, DM included (not me) have played before to any great extent. The DM and I have some cursory experience with 4e, but have never ...
72
votes
7answers
26k 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,...
72
votes
5answers
9k views

How can I get people to remember my character's gender?

I really enjoy playing male characters and I'm currently playing a really fun Tabaxi lad! Unfortunately, a lot of my party members (in character) still refer to my character as she/her often. I have a ...
72
votes
5answers
58k views

Is the Moonbeam spell amazing, or are we doing it wrong?

The description of the moonbeam spell (PHB pg. 261) says: When a creature enters the spell's area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it is engulfed in ghostly flames that cause ...
72
votes
11answers
12k views

Are Trolls immune to all instant death effects?

Part of the Troll's Regeneration feature says: The troll dies only if it starts its turn with 0 hit points and doesn't regenerate. Does this case beat instant kill effects, such as Divine Word or ...
72
votes
2answers
119k views

Who can use magic scrolls?

I'm confused about who can use scrolls in 5e. In the DMG, p139 under Magic Item Categories: Scrolls, it states that: Any creature that can understand a written language can read the arcane script ...
72
votes
2answers
7k views

The Stack'O'Mounts

This is an exercise in ridiculousness, but I find it quite fun to consider - hence powergaming. Let's consider three characters: a gnomish cavalier (small) with his wolf mount (medium), half-orc ...
71
votes
12answers
9k views

What is the purpose of easy combat scenarios that don't need resource expenditure?

This is something I've been thinking about as a DM in my encounter design: Why have easy/medium/etc combat encounters that don't really require resources to successfully complete? Given the limited ...
71
votes
11answers
9k views

How can I run an open-world game with vast power differences, without resulting in constant TPKs?

I would like to run a game with an open world, where the party can explore unconstrained. I would like to do it in D&D 5E, but the power differences are very stark between levels. How can I make ...
70
votes
13answers
27k views

Can a Black Dragon Hatchling be raised to be good? Or is it inherently evil?

The following came up during my campaign: The characters got their hands on some Black Dragon eggs. The PCs put out the thought that if they got the eggs to hatch, they could raise the dragons to be ...
70
votes
4answers
19k views

Running a game of Microscope that isn't totally insane?

I purchased Microscope quite a while ago, and have played countless games that were really awesome. We've created things like superheroes with the power to turn any weapon into fish, people marrying ...
70
votes
3answers
62k views

Do you have to have thieves' tools in order to pick a lock?

Does a character have to have thieves' tools (TT) in order to pick a lock? Not necessarily proficiency in the tool, but at least have the tool itself? I'm confused about picking locks and whether or ...
69
votes
9answers
14k views

My DM insists on rolling a single save for groups affected by AoE save spells. How does this affect my odds of successfully affecting the enemy?

As the title question, my DM rolls a single d20 save for groups affected by my area of effect spells that require a save, in order to save time. I can't help but feel like I'm being ripped off by ...
69
votes
15answers
12k views

How can metagaming retries on poor skill checks be prevented?

I'm sure every DM has had this happen: one PC is trying to find something cool on a dead monster's body. The player rolls poorly, and instead of accepting the paltry 2 copper pieces, the PC calls all ...
69
votes
15answers
53k views

How do I get my players to form a PC party without just forcing them to?

I believe that it is generally a good thing that all the PCs travel together, as a "party". This way the GM has to manage one environment – not, say, five. The problem is how the GM can ensure such a ...
68
votes
13answers
15k views

Dealing with PC that constantly lies to NPCs

I have a player playing a rogue in her first RPG, and she is constantly lying to NPCs. She says it is one of her character flaws and I like that she is playing the character to the fullest, but she ...
68
votes
18answers
16k views

What dice mechanic gives a bell curve distribution that narrows and increases mean as skill increases?

I'm looking for a dice mechanic that produces a bell curve at all skill levels. I also want it to increase accuracy and precision as a character's skill increases — this basically means better average ...
68
votes
1answer
30k views

Why is mayo in the alchemy jug?

The 5e Alchemy Jug (on page 150 of the Dungeon Master's Guide) has several uses. Some are common and useful, like water, poison, acid. Some are natural ingredients and liquids, like honey, vinegar, ...
68
votes
6answers
8k views

Can Ogre clerics use Purify Food and Drink on humanoid characters?

Can Ogre clerics use Purify Food and Drink on humanoid characters to cure them as humanoid creatures are regarded as food in Ogre culture? Similarly, can Ogre clerics use Create Food and Water to ...
68
votes
3answers
29k 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 ...
68
votes
3answers
3k views

Shoe-themed race or class features

My character is really into shoes and I'm planning on taking Leadership next level. I want my cohort to be devoted to the old norse god of shoes and vengance, Víðarr. While there is a retribution ...
67
votes
17answers
28k views

How do I manage a player who is handling traps by metagaming?

I have a high-hitpoint character who barges down hallways without regard to traps because that's what His Guy would do. In reality, he's metagaming: doing this because he knows he has the HPs to soak ...
67
votes
13answers
16k views

How to deal with a player who is a bad sport?

I have a dedicated gaming group that meets every Sunday. We have been playing regularly for over a year now. It's small, just 5 of us including the current DM. We all rotate DM position per campaign ...
67
votes
12answers
89k views

How much is a Gold Piece really worth?

I have been wondering what a gold piece is worth, due to the fact there are many things that cost the same, but in reality, are probably worth radically different prices, such as a Goat and a Whip, ...
67
votes
12answers
16k views

How do I indicate to my players that an NPC is no longer useful and that they should move on?

I am a rather new DM, still learning stuff. So I have noticed that my characters tend to talk too much with the NPCs, trying to get a lot of information, and probably even trying to 'cheat', thinking ...

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