53 votes
Accepted

What tabletop setting (if any) is this 1980s map from?

That is a map of Middle-Earth showing the south and east along with the traditional map section from the novels. As noted in the listing for this Middle-earth map on Geographicus.com, this map was ...
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47 votes

How can live fire exercises be made safer?

Use Faerie Fire as a surrogate for Fireball Advantages: Faerie Fire is non-lethal. Like Fireball, Faerie Fire uses a Dexterity saving throw. Targets who fail the save light up, making it easy to ...
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  • 6,580
46 votes
Accepted

Are there guidelines for punishments for crimes?

First, there are no lists of punishments in the rules. Second, the default D&D 5e setting is a fantasy medieval one, as such, imprisonment is an inappropriate punishment. Imprisonment as a ...
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  • 189k
46 votes

Does Forgotten Realms setting count as “High magic”?

The primary question here, to me, is, what exactly constitutes “high magic”? D&D itself supplies a definition—but I don’t think it’s a good one, it doesn’t capture, to me, what people mean when ...
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  • 321k
45 votes

How can an aristocracy be perpetuated between creatures that can't interbreed?

If you're willing to borrow a fairly reasonable half-breed from Pathfinder you can get 6/10 for sure, probably 7/10, and maybe all of them without any magic or unpleasantness at all (for you). Step 1: ...
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38 votes
Accepted

A witcher and their apprentice…

Actually, the master don't have to be better at everything. For example he may have been targeted by a curse which makes him unable to use magic/less good at combat. Maybe despite all his years of ...
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  • 14.6k
35 votes

Is there a plausible explanation for a large number of armed adventurers in a fantasy RPG setting?

In real history, almost no land except impassible mountains and deep desert wasn't settled, and there are exceptions even then. The population of the world during the European medieval age was much ...
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34 votes
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How can PCs defeat a magical Necrotic Cyst-based surveillance state?

By being loyal and cooperative citizens, making sure to have an inside traitor, making their plans telepathically, being aware of the security features of the state, and by removing them only in the ...
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34 votes

I'm feeling like my character doesn't fit the campaign

Given that the DM seems to dislike the idea of a change of cast, you are not feeling like playing this character like you're playing it now and your friend seems uninterested in changing his ways to ...
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  • 33.7k
34 votes
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Does Forgotten Realms setting count as “High magic”?

The Forgotten Realms is not "high magic"; it represents D&D's standard level of magic (DMG p.9, p23). While magic is somewhat commonplace in the Forgotten Realms, this is really the ...
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32 votes
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What would it take for a villain to get his domain transported to Ravenloft on purpose?

The Dark Lords are all about punishing people. They would be considered sadistic, if they demonstrated any pleasure in administering these punishments. It is the need for punishment that drives their ...
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  • 47.5k
31 votes

What to do when my players want vanilla?

Just like the ice cream, the interest in vanilla is in the details and qualify of crafting it. Pick up a tub of store-brand vanilla, then compare it to a small-batch local gelateria's vaniglia — there'...
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30 votes

How can an aristocracy be perpetuated between creatures that can't interbreed?

One option is to go with the model of the Holy Roman Empire. Instead of symbolic marriage to one of the tribes, allow some of the tribes to be "electors" to determine the next emperor of the realm. ...
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29 votes
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Is there a plausible explanation for a large number of armed adventurers in a fantasy RPG setting?

Would adventurers arise if treasure was about... To your first question, yes. Though it is more about "dungeons filled with treasure" then necessarily the magic or the monsters. People ...
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29 votes

How can live fire exercises be made safer?

Have the player research a non-lethal training fireball Real world militaries have spent considerable amounts of R&D resources developing training equipment to create exercises as faithful to real ...
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26 votes
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Do paper books exist in the 5th ed. of D&D?

The traditional D&D Spellbook is far more costly than a simple codex-type book needs to be -- made that way to protect a wizard's most valuable resource. Vellum (a type of leather scraped thin, ...
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  • 15.7k
25 votes

A witcher and their apprentice…

The assumption that the master is better in everything because he is the master is false. The master is better in the relevant aspects of his craft. There is no need to weaken him, simply make the ...
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  • 2,140
25 votes
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How can live fire exercises be made safer?

I assume you're the DM. If not so, please disregard this answer. Give them access to a simple, homebrew magic item that turns their spells into harmless bombs of paint while the spellcaster is ...
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  • 14.8k
24 votes

Is it legal to write and publish a novel based on a pre-existing campaign or setting?

OK, so here's game intellectual property 101. There are niche exceptions to all of it, but at a high level it's going to hold for 99% of use cases in the free world. If you don't already know all the ...
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  • 172k
24 votes

I'm feeling like my character doesn't fit the campaign

The Real Problem: Your Character Has No Stake There is an open question about the game world (does magic exist?) which your PC and the other PC have staked out opposite sides of. The action of the ...
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  • 37.1k
24 votes
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Is Matt Mercer's homebrew setting of Exandria now considered an official setting, as of the release of the "Explorer's Guide to Wildemount"?

The Amazon listing for the book1 lists the "Wizards RPG Team" as the Author, with Matt Mercer only as a Contributor. You can click the Wizards RPG Team to see their page and all the books ...
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  • 1,040
23 votes
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Could an elf PC start adventuring at the age of 20?

This is a question that is probably more about the world your campaign is located. Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms (in numerous novels) indicate that elves at the age of 20 would appear to our ...
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22 votes
Accepted

Does an Underdark exist in D&D worlds other than the Forgotten Realms?

Greyhawk: Descent into the Depths of the Earth The Underdark concept originated in Greyhawk with the in the AD&D adventure module Descent into the Depths of the Earth, published first as two ...
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21 votes
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Eberron-like world for Pathfinder?

The Case for Eberron, Itself Yeah, I know, no one’s ever written, or ever will write, an Eberron book for Pathfinder. That would be in violation of some copyright and trademark law (unless Wizards did ...
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  • 321k
21 votes

Does an Underdark exist in D&D worlds other than the Forgotten Realms?

The Underdark originated in Greyhawk, not the Forgotten Realms The modules D1 and D2 which followed the original three Giants modules, came out in 1978 and were the introduction of the Underdark via ...
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20 votes
Accepted

How to run a D&D urban campaign

Write places apart from their location You can make your dungeons apart from their locale. Perhaps you've written up an encounter in the catacombs of the sun god, but the party keeps walking around ...
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20 votes
Accepted

What human ethnicities exist in other settings besides the Forgotten Realms?

Those ethnicities are specific to Faerûn; other settings have their own ethnicities. As you correctly surmise, the Player's Handbook clearly defines the nine major ethnic groups as specific to Faerûn,...
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20 votes
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I'm feeling like my character doesn't fit the campaign

Sometimes the game you are playing simply isn't the game you believed you signed up for. Happened to me few times, see first paragraph here for an example. You talked to the DM and to the fellow ...
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  • 20k
19 votes

Which system to support a grim world of low fantasy?

I'd heartily recommend Warhammer Fantasy RolePlay (WFRP), 2nd edition. (It's not the most recent edition of the game, but it's the one I have experience with, and I'm pretty sure you can get a copy of ...
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  • 38.7k
19 votes

How can an aristocracy be perpetuated between creatures that can't interbreed?

To complement Brian's answer, you could use as a model the other, first Roman Empire, where emperors adopted their heirs, sometimes to great success. For example, Julius adopted Augustus, Nerva ...
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