137 votes
Accepted

Why is mayo in the alchemy jug?

Funnily enough, Christopher Perkins goes into exactly this topic during his 'Storytime'1 speech at PAX South 2017. Summary: Being exhausted and angry about broken air conditioning at WOTC led to ...
CTWind's user avatar
  • 19.3k
83 votes
Accepted

Why are there five chromatic dragons and not four?

The different colours of chromatic dragon were inspired by more than just damage types The Slayer's Guide to Dragons (2002) includes a preface from author Gary Gygax which explains, to some extent, ...
Carcer's user avatar
  • 65.9k
74 votes

Why is there no non-combat XP in D&D 5e?

The premise of your question is flawed because the system allows for non-combat XP. Your question assumes that there is no non-combat XP in 5e, but this is not true. The DMG (pg 261) leaves the door ...
Icyfire's user avatar
  • 63.6k
66 votes
Accepted

Why did the designers make Werewolves *immune* to most non-silvered damage?

Tradition The lycanthrope has been a standard monster since the game was invented. From OD&D Monster Manual(1974, Monsters and Treasure) (Lycanthrope): Only silver weapons or magical ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
63 votes
Accepted

How are pluses on vanilla weapons and armour different than previous editions?

D&D 5th edition was designed with something its designers call "bounded accuracy." A full description and analysis would require more text than is appropriate for this format, so I recommend a ...
Derek Stucki's user avatar
  • 27.7k
58 votes
Accepted

Were warforged starting ages ever explained?

It's a subtle nod to the fluff From page 22 of the Eberron Campaign Setting: Older warforged tend to be fighters or barbarians. The more recently created warforged, especially those less than five ...
Forrestfire's user avatar
  • 9,449
52 votes
Accepted

What is the reason behind "one level at a time" level advancement in D&D?

I am not particularly fond of playing one game session and going up a level. That hardly qualifies as "earned," to my way of thinking. (E. Gary Gygax as Col_Pladoh on Dragonsfoot forum) The ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
46 votes
Accepted

Is the omission of a racial +2 to wisdom intentional?

When the lead designer Jeremy Crawford was asked about this, he said, "It simply hasn't happened. Story drives our race design, not filling in an ability score spreadsheet." Source: https://...
Derek Stucki's user avatar
  • 27.7k
46 votes
Accepted

Why did Ed Greenwood and R.A. Salvatore dislike the Spellplague arc?

The main reason was described by R.A. Salvatore in interviews. He describes how the complete overhaul and moving the setting by 100 years would ruin his characters; a 100-year old human is no longer a ...
ZwiQ's user avatar
  • 22.1k
38 votes
Accepted

Why did the sorcerer/wizard spell lists diverge in D&D 5e?

Mike Mearls stated on Twitter: for sorcerer, we avoid more complex spells. Sorcerer magic is simpler, more direct See: http://www.sageadvice.eu/2015/08/22/sorcerer-vs-wizard-spell-list/ The ...
David Wilkins's user avatar
35 votes
Accepted

Where have the designers of 5e said that they favored rulings over rules in this edition?

The Inaugural Sage Advice Article. This article, titled "Philosophy Behind Rules and Rulings," is written by Jeremy Crawford, and contains the following: (emphasis added) The DM is key. Many ...
Icyfire's user avatar
  • 63.6k
33 votes
Accepted

Is there a reason Polearm Masters can't use a Pike to make the bonus attack?

Pikes are very cumbersome Jeremy Crawford confirms in this tweet that pikes are not meant to be included as they are too unwieldy. It makes sense: pikes were often twice or thrice as long as their ...
kviiri's user avatar
  • 54k
32 votes
Accepted

What reason did the designers have to make a spear not both piercing *and* bludgeoning?

Improvised Weapon Rules handle this well. To answer your first part: weapons don't have multiple damage types for simplicity sake, and because their damage type is based off of their original, primary ...
Lino Frank Ciaralli's user avatar
32 votes
Accepted

Why did the designers choose to include the Goliath as a PC race in Volo's Guide to Monsters?

Mike Mearls did answer this question in an Interview published on Forbes We reprinted the Goliath, we introduced them about a year ago in an online supplement and they're actually pretty popular ...
Thyzer's user avatar
  • 18.3k
32 votes
Accepted

What is the origin of the name Yan-C-Bin?

I took the advice of @afroakuma and tracked down Mr. Lewis Pulsipher's twitter and asked him directly about the origins of Yan-C-Bin and this was his reply: "No recollection, I'm afraid. I have ...
DMfiend's user avatar
  • 4,143
31 votes

How are pluses on vanilla weapons and armour different than previous editions?

Bounded Accuracy is a key element of 5th Edition's design. In order to keep the lower level challenges relevant at higher levels, they've tightened the range of bonuses. This keeps a flatter curve and ...
T.J.L.'s user avatar
  • 48.5k
31 votes

Why are there five chromatic dragons and not four?

All five chromatic dragons pre-date D&D by several years. The previous answer citing Gygax's Slayer's Guide to Dragons pretty much nails it, but I'd like to add some additional historical context. ...
Quadratic Wizard's user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

Have the developers of D&D 5e explained why they made Opportunity Attacks work the way they do?

For simplicity's sake. I couldn't find a direct statement about opportunity attacks, but I did find the following comments: Mike Mearls, from Amazing Stories Magazine, emphasis added: What we ...
Icyfire's user avatar
  • 63.6k
27 votes

What happened to the Permanency spell?

In short, it was just too difficult to balance, so it was omitted When asked over twitter, Mike Mearls responded: Real headache to balance - tried a few designs, none worked well. Tabled for now. ...
Adam's user avatar
  • 26.5k
27 votes
Accepted

Why don't we find out what the Frost Shepherds are?

I emailed Avery Alder, the designer of The Quiet Year and they were very helpful in answering this: The Frost Shepherds are left as an ominous unknown for a lot of reasons. The first reason ...
Rob's user avatar
  • 31.5k
27 votes
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What designer statements are there for why there is a lack of weapon variety in 5th edition?

The weapon list reduction reflects the overarching design goal to make the game simpler It’s part of our overall move to make the game simpler. The above quote by Jeremy Crawford is actually about ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

In Princes of the Apocalypse, is this monster “supposed to” kill a player character?

No, he is not "supposed to", but it is possible This is pretty explicitly stated, on p. 153 of the Adventure The “Lord of Lance Rock” is Oreioth (see chapter 7), wild-eyed Tethyrian human ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
26 votes
Accepted

Why was damage denoted in ranges in older D&D editions?

Going by the Wikipedia article on Dice Notation, the answer is simply that it hadn't been invented yet. Quoting the article: Miniatures wargamers began using dice in the shape of Platonic solids in ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 81k
25 votes

What is the reasoning behind having sorcerers' and warlocks' spells rely on charisma?

According to Jeremy Crawford, warlocks, at least, were CHA-based in prior editions and the community preferred keeping them that way despite designer preference of making them INT-based in 5e. @...
CTWind's user avatar
  • 19.3k
23 votes
Accepted

Why did the D&D 4e designers scale everything for 5 players?

The short answer is that they didn't, exactly. The game is scaled for 4-6 player characters, with five being the convenient midpoint for the DM to easily scale up or down published adventure modules. ...
noneuklid's user avatar
  • 2,503
22 votes

Should Tiamat's cold breath target the ability score indicated in its save?

Yes, the statblock for Tiamat calls for Dex save. However, both existing statblocks of Tiamat specifically call for creatures to make a saving throw. This means that, as a baseline, Arcane Hand would ...
matszwecja's user avatar
20 votes

What reason did the designers have to make a spear not both piercing *and* bludgeoning?

The behavior you are describing is supported by the rules. It was not left out. The training to perform the type of attack you are describing is granted by the Polearm Master (PHB, p. 168) feat, and ...
Dyndrilliac's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Why did D&D 5e's designers make the Maul, Pike, and Greatclub so heavy?

Quote from Christopher Perkins Christopher Perkins @ChrisPerkinsDnD: "Because that's how much they actually weigh." Source: Sage Advice Christopher Perkins is a game designer working for ...
Salty Dog's user avatar
  • 1,973
17 votes
Accepted

Why does the book suggest polymorphing into a giant? Can polymorph do that?

There is a gap in this reasoning. You read polymorphed and thought of the 4th level polymorph spell. Nowhere in the book it states that. Also, the adventure makes no assumption on the party ...
Mindwin Remember Monica's user avatar

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