146

No, it's not fair to punish a player in this way. But it's not okay for this player to take an unfair share of control over the game, either. You are the DM — you are in control. You are in the Big Chair, and the group put you there to be responsible for pacing and mediation. You have that job because players striving for the benefit of their PC is fun but ...


83

Just use a regular multiclass character treated narratively as two characters. I've tried the same thing you're describing (two characters in one) at my table before as a party-controlled NPC companion. I tried several iterations of homebrew, but all suffered from balance issues and caused confusion during play. Eventually I tried the character as a by-the-...


78

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 ...


73

In about 35 years of playing role-playing games, I have seldom witnessed anyone play 100% by-the-book. A few bits of advice: Don’t take the names of things too seriously. What really matters is the results of rules, not the names they use. The “in game” justification for a rule may be different from the “game design” reason. Unfortunately, many games only ...


73

The official texts encourage it. The official books, especially the DMG, explicitly encourage homebrewing. While the other answers give some nice perspectives, it's worth pointing out that it's offically sanctioned too. I'm citing from my edition of choice, 5e, but other editions also encourage homebrewing. To address your specific concerns, DMG 9 ...


69

You'll be fine As the DM, you retain full control over the whole game world, including what spells are available and what they do. All you have to do is be honest and upfront with what rules you're changing before hand (and, if possible, why). That's as easy as saying "Hey everyone. Before we get started, I'd just like to mention that Alex is interested ...


63

Absent Extenuating Circumstances, Yes According to Kobold Fight Club, which gets its information from the DMG, a party of two level 4 characters would consider 250xp worth of monsters Easy, 500xp Medium, 750xp Hard, and 1000xp Deadly. Furthermore, they should not encounter more than 3400xp worth of monsters in a single day (between Long Rests). A CR 12 ...


60

Try it yourself If you have a copy of their character sheets, run the encounter by yourself a few times playing both sides. You should get a decent idea about how outmatched the PCs might be.


58

Don´t make it fair. No, really. If you balance everything to be fair and equal, you take away the entire challenge of figuring out which contract is most lucrative, or which is the easiest money, or the biggest pay-off for a few hours of work. Just introduce a bunch of contracts that make in-game sense, and let your players figure out which one they find ...


55

Homebrew is beer or other alcoholic beverages brewed at home as opposed to those brewed commercially and bought at a shop. By analogy, homebrew is any major addition to or omission from the official rules of a game (including RPG but also video and board games) that a particular gaming group uses. For minor changes, the usual expression is house-rules; ...


54

I believe it is a matter of story, and less a matter of mechanics. Mechanically, any monster, any NPC, any curse, any trap, anything the players encounter will have a solution, a stat to beat, and you as the GM would have calculated their chances and deemed it possible for them to defeat (speaking in generalities) The way to make the Undead scary is not to ...


53

Based on the wording used for the Rakshasa's Limited Magic Immunity and the Helmed Horror's Spell Immunity, it fits the template text of the rules to just write a feature that explicitly states the custom immunity. In other words, we don't need a fancy template, because the stat block designers already just make up whatever they need for a particular ...


47

Yes, it would be unbalanced. Dex, Con, and Wis are the major saving throw types, of which each class has one. Str, Int, and Cha are minor saving throws, which don't come up as often. Str saving throws are needed for only 21 of the spells in 5e, mainly to avoid forced movement, falling prone or be restrained. Such spells include Dust Devil, Earthbind, and ...


46

What is 'Homebrew'? Homebrew material is fan-made content designed to supplement first-party material. It is distinguished from house rules by being game content rather than game rules. For example, a new kind of monster you create using the guidelines in the DMG is a homebrew monster. A new rule you make that says dwarves get a +1 to attack rolls ...


44

Make it a Downtime Activity More on less on par with Crafting a Magic Item. This is how I approach permanency in the Eberron game that I run, and my players have been happy with it so far. The initial problem Trying to directly port Permanency into 5E is a problem, since Permanency had an XP cost, and using XP is an optional rule in 5E. Precedent D&...


43

Only the following elements in the core rulebooks use the Astral Plane While it's impossible to list every possible Astral Plane interaction in D&D, the list of things in the three core rulebooks which rely on the Astral Plane is actually very limited. The following spells, items or abilities allow travel to the Astral Plane, and will not have that ...


42

Tomb Dwarves. The hook trivializes many of the traps, yes. The party is not alone in the tomb. Withers can scry the party's movements, direct tomb dwarves and communicate with other legendary monsters, and is not above playing unfair. Yes, your grappler can get the party, one by one, past many of the traps. And there's a moment there where the party's ...


41

Okay, so... You want to measure values from ~0 - ~90. You want even distribution, and high granularity (i.e. as many distinct values as possible). Well, that's easy. (Ceiling(1d6 / 2) - 1) * 36 + (1d6 - 1) * 6 + (1d6 - 1) AnyDice Provides values of 0 to 107, with even probability, and each value represented exactly once. Notes: Ceiling(1d6 / 2) is ...


40

Your player won't perfectly negate these threats Yes, your player's PC has an ability that could perfectly negate these traps. However, your player doesn't have perfect knowledge of these traps and can't strategise the way you just did. They don't have the necessary knowledge to fit their grappling hook solution perfectly through the puzzle of these threats....


39

Far, far too powerful. Normally, the way to do this is to take a level in the other class, with all the trade-offs involved and only getting the low-level spells until more levels are taken. This proposed feat would be better than multiclassing in every way: no dipping drawbacks for ASIs and capstones, instead getting a whole level of your main class and ...


39

I see no real problem with it. There is precedent for a longsword-type weapon having both the Finesse and Versatile properties (Sun Blade). Beyond that, this is a +X Weapon that hurts you in order to use its properties, making it inferior in that regard to a normal +X weapon. As a character levels up, taking 1-3 damage becomes an increasingly non-issue. ...


38

Abuses of this will center on avoiding disadvantage on rolls that are important to the current situation. In particular, there's no time limit on this, so the player could just use it out of combat and either use up the disadvantaged roll attacking something irrelevant, or keep the advantage until combat next starts. As you've mentioned, there's also the ...


37

There's always going to be some clever exception if you try to phrase it negatively like that. This is D&D, not a limited computer program. If you want something fancier than "immune to everything but magic missile", you could say: Regeneration. The chicken regains 1 hit point at the start of its turn. If the chicken takes damage from the magic ...


35

Give him the Blind keyword and Tremorsense 0 The Blind keyword states that the creature uses special senses to 'see' within a specified range. The quotes are intentional because see is used as a game term here. The Blinded condition and the many vision-obscuring powers define not seeing something as it having total concealment against you. You can give ...


34

This is how 3.5 broke We even had a term for it: CoDzilla The fundamental premise of such builds was that they were powerful because they could stack an insane number of magical buffs on top of each other. The stacking eventually turned the character into a force comparable to Godzilla, capable of smashing campaigns balanced near CR to oblivion. Part of ...


33

It is fine as it is Smart players do not even have disadvantage once per short rest. Power players have much more potent things to do with their bonus actions. Just make the player announce first what the ability is used for, so he can not use a cantrip if he got disadvantage and a 9th level spell if he got advantage.


33

If you're using dice, this is a roughly 50-50 fight With the same statistics and abilities, and randomness in the form of Dice, cards, or something else, you have a roughly 50% chance of a TPK, and nearly guaranteed at least one player will die. This is probably way above the normal encounter guidelines for any system to consider a "Deadly" encounter. If ...


33

You should read the section Variant: Spell Points, starting on page 288 of the DMG. The easiest would be to just use the variant, as the half of all spell points is well defined. As the character is already a sorcerer (with Flexible Casting from level 2), changing completely to the variant will only simplify things. If for some reason you wish to use spell ...


32

My first rule of changing something you don't like about the game... When you'd like the game to change, talk to the group. Take what you just explained here and explain it to the group... you feel like you're getting the short end of the stick and would like more interesting duties once in awhile. I would be surprised if they reacted badly. If you ...


32

Take it slow... Since you're all pretty new, it's generally considered to be a really good idea to stick with the official published rules at first, so you can see how things play out and the effect of different abilities before you start messing with them in ways that might change the game balance. If you really want to play as a cloud giant runt (which ...


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