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216

Reward the PCs with attention A group of level 2 PCs with a staff of the magi will soon find that everyone wants it. Many of these will be bad guys, but a few of them will be good guys. The GM can reward the PCs for their superior play by having the good guys contact the PCs and offer to take the staff off their hands for their own safety (instead of, for ...


132

While a lot of the other answers are perfectly valid and good ideas, I'd like to offer an alternative solution that hasn't been mentioned yet which can also work in some situations: deal with the problem out-of-game, not through DM fiat, but rather through admitting you made a mistake. DMs shouldn't be expected to be infallible. If you can explain to your ...


131

Consider that "sudden, undeserved wealth" is a fantastic story hook. The party is now famous. Against all odds they defeated the dragon and spent its treasure with abandon at all the best shops in town. The tale is going to spread of a band of adventurers and their dragon's hoard. Bards are going to sing about it in taverns far and wide. This kind of thing ...


130

Your first instinct-- gently talking to the player-- is a very good one. You can easily follow that up with a less gentle discussion laying out the basic idea that tabletop RPGs (unlike computer RPGs) are collaborative efforts where everyone needs to have fun. This includes not only the other players, but also you as the GM. Your second instinct-- ...


112

Make it be cursed. A very powerful item will make many adventuring parties suspicious, but if yours are just happy to go forward using it, they are in for a surprise. I would pick an "interesting" curse that makes them wary of using it but still leaves them (technically) with the option to do so. For example, every charge used could alert some extraplanar ...


108

Yes, you are missing something; an incapacitated creature cannot maintain concentration: Being incapacitated or killed. You lose concentration on a spell if you are incapacitated or if you die. (PHB 203) Once the Raven lands on the Warlock's shoulder, Earthen Grasp ends as it becomes incapacitated. While perched on your shoulder, the raven can’t ...


101

I think your players need some help understanding the game's fundamental abstractions. To that end, let's address their plan: Sounds like a pretty reasonable way… to deal 1d6 damage In reality, human beings have some pretty sophisticated tools for rearranging each other's internal organs in order to quickly cause incapacity or death. One such tool is a "...


98

Since he's suggesting you play a Paladin and removed Heavy Armor and claim combat will be deadly, just start a conversation with him and how he imagines your character surviving without the Heavy Armor. Consider building a Paladin and then looking at the difference in his AC between what you'd normally pick and what the best available Medium Armor will do ...


91

The Brinks Job, The Italian Job, Willow, or Charlie Varrick? the players worked their way through a series of fiendish traps into a high security vault, where they recovered a Staff of the Magi. Your low level PC's broke into a secure storage site and stole something extremely valuable. Hollywood movies are packed with this trope: a big heist and the ...


91

The Feywild is a living place too and 100 years is a long time. Your party is burying the manual of bodily health in the Feywild with only the hope that in 100 years within the Feywild that nothing finds it and takes the book for itself. This is quite unlikely to put it mildly. The next time they comeback to get it, the book has been taken. Maybe something ...


86

That's a 20th level epic boon (so very powerful) The power of a permanent truesight effect would be situational. If you measure 'power' by raw combat ability, then unless you're fighting invisible creatures truesight has little effect. Even if this player is fighting invisible monsters, the rest of the party is still vulnerable. So it shouldn't break combat ...


85

Although many tables allow some degree of tweaking in order to make a build match a concept, they usually involve some degree of horse trading, i.e. giving up something to get something else. Assassins get the Assassinate ability at third level. Arcane Tricksters get Mage Hand Legerdemain. Wizards get their own specialties. Unless he is willing to give up ...


85

The spell says (emphasis mine): No light, magical or otherwise, can illuminate the area, and creatures fully within the area are blinded. Once a creature is not fully inside the area this condition doesn't apply anymore and the creature stops being effectively blind. They just have to move. If the condition was permanent it would say so and there is no ...


84

Yes and No. But mostly Yes. It makes spellcasters worse, by making some spells worse. In particular, the spells you mentioned, i.e., spells that rely on a Duration. Notably, however, other spells are completely unaffected - Eldritch Blast, Fireball, or anything else with Duration: Instantaneous. Furthermore, not only spellcasters get screwed. The Barbarian ...


82

Your issue has nothing to do with your Barbarian and his Strength. I assume you're talking about the encounter "Flat on Rat Street" from the adventure Shadow in the Sky in the Second Darkness Adventure Path. I ran that for my party too. They killed the baboon in one hit, downed the loan shark in one hit, and spent the rest of the time with him ...


80

What are tiers? Tiers are a ranking of how "powerful and/or versatile" the various 3.5 base classes are, with low numbered tiers being considered more capable than high numbered tiers. It's important to remember that certain caveats apply to the rankings: Tiers assume similar levels of optimization. Someone playing an optimized "weak" class (like a fighter)...


80

The spell enables relatively secure resting in dangerous places You are correct that, on the whole this spell enables the party to rest securely knowing that they will not be murdered by the most common dungeon dangers while they sleep. They are safe from spells, creatures and objects that may try to encroach into their safety bubble. Creatures can even fire ...


80

That's not how attacks work. The Alter Self spell could plausibly give the caster a tentacle that they can use as a weapon. Natural Weapons. You grow claws, fangs, spines, horns, or a different natural weapon of your choice. Your unarmed strikes deal 1d6 bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, as appropriate to the natural weapon you chose, and you ...


76

Breadth of Option Unexpected monster rears out of the darkness, clearly well beyond the battered party's ability to handle? Wizard teleports home. Fighter manages to kill the thing half to death before he gets eaten. Ambuscade! The earl's men have the party cornered, and demand they surrender - only execution awaits if they do. Wizard casts ...


73

It leads to "All or Nothing" skill development This is going to cause exactly the problem that the 'bounded accuracy' philosophy of 5th edition was designed to address: All skill checks become either trivially easy for experts, or impossible for everyone else. That is to say, the DM either sets skill DCs low enough for everyone to have a fair shot ...


71

So, your first mistake was allowing the players to go to Fantasy Costco and freely spend their wealth on magic items. Magical items aren't purchasable by default; the only things players can buy are what you say they can buy. The Dungeon Master's Guide discusses this on p.135. But it's done, so what can you do to fix it? 1. They might be cheating (...


70

No, this makes the current system less balanced. The current system for cantrips gaining damage at regular intervals is the magic users' equivalent of the "Extra Attack" feature that other classes get (rogues get increased Sneak Attack damage instead). Consider the humble Path of the Zealot Barbarian. At level 5, they can do the following using a ...


69

Crouching is a no-brainer And no-brainers are bad design --- you've created a new action that has a very negligible downside. No wonder your players are spamming it! Think about it --- the only downside is moving slower, but the character can stand up for free, so that downside hardly ever comes into play if the player uses the rule to its fullest. I ...


68

It's not OP compared to other 1st level spells. Consider Burning Hands, which deals 3d6 in an area, or Inflict Wounds, which deals 3d10 damage, or Dissonant Whispers, which deals 3d6 while wasting the target's reaction in order to provoke attacks of opportunity, or Chromatic Orb, which deals 3d8 damage. While Guiding Bolt is a bit stronger than these ...


68

He doesn't want me to run the NPCs either. There's no basis in the rules to allow this. NPC's cannot be run by the player; that's actually the definition of an NPC. As DM you need to assert control of the NPC's actions; only if the PC dies might you consider letting him run the NPC in lieu of generating a new character. You should absolutely allow the ...


67

CR and Encounter Building are not an exact science If you find that your group is too effective (or too ineffective) in dealing with enemies, you will have to improvise and adjust the difficulty. Homogeneous groups share weaknesses Shambling Mounds lack ranged attacks and are slow. A single character able to attack at range can defeat any amount of ...


66

No need to ban the bastard sword, because it's not part of D&D 5e yet. D&D Wiki is mostly full of things made up by random people on the Internet — the Bastard Sword you link to is some random person's homebrew. You would have to choose to add it to your game, not ban it. Is it balanced? Meh, doesn't matter. You don't want it, so there's no reason ...


66

The part you're missing is (ignoring story consequences). I've played with a party who were really amused about the idea that they could buy an Elephant, and then did (and named it Bongo) and brought it along on their travels. The result of them doing this was: losing a bunch of money on buying food and stabling constantly having to think about how to ...


65

This is not balanced. Okay, I don't usually do "is this balanced" questions, because I don't really know what 'balanced' is. But, to paraphrase Potter Stewart, "I know it when I see it, and this ain't it." You've obviously tried to balance it, and that's laudable. And there may be room to make this concept balanced. But it's not there yet. First-off, let'...


65

I'm not sure this is a problem if you're actually reading and applying the rules for poisons in 5e. Poison is bought in single doses. How much were they allowed to buy? And how much did they buy them for? Wyvern poison is supposed to cost 1200gp for a single dose. It's only 50gp a pop if you extract and make it yourself which takes a whole bunch of time, ...


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