106 votes
Accepted

What do jagged lines crossing a corridor mean on this old D&D map?

Those are "breaks" indicating that the cave keeps on going generally in the same way for X feet (' being the abbreviation for "feet"). Drawing that all out would make for scale problems on the ...
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  • 172k
94 votes

I unknowingly guessed what will happen next in the module and it's angering the DM

It is not metagaming and you should say so. Metagaming is using outside (metagame) knowledge of yours to inform your character's decisions. If you don't know the module you do not a priori have any ...
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  • 10.7k
86 votes

Our group keeps dying during the Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign. What are we doing wrong?

Your party isn't what the campaign was designed for Honestly, the problem is simply that Lost Mines of Phandelver is balanced for a party of roughly 5 players, so you're already struggling because you ...
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  • 35.4k
76 votes
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Are Gundren Rockseeker and his brothers Mountain Dwarves or Hill Dwarves in the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure?

They are (arguably) Hill dwarves There's nothing to go on in the module book. You're right, it is never stated explicitly anywhere in the module what kind of dwarf the Rockseeker brothers are. ...
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  • 24.5k
76 votes

Our group keeps dying during the Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign. What are we doing wrong?

What is expected? To have fun. Obviously, you aren't having fun if you are writing up posts like this. What you are missing The major thing that it sounds like you are missing is a big chunk of ...
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72 votes
Accepted

Which item gets your soul first, Blackrazor or a Ring of Mind Shielding?

Blackrazor wins ... probably Ring If you die while wearing the ring, your soul enters it Blackrazor If this necrotic damage reduces you to 0 hit points, Blackrazor devours your soul. Since ...
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  • 3,374
70 votes
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How do I, as a DM, handle a party that decides to set up an ambush in a dungeon?

You tell or show the party why they need to move on It is always better to show rather than tell, so I would do something like this: 2 goblins appear coming down the cave, the party ambushes them, ...
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  • 26.1k
69 votes

How does Lost Mines of Phandelver expect PCs to take on side quests without demanding pay?

Let them not go on quests. I'm a big fan of letting the natural rhythm of the setting take care of this issue. That is, if your group of unemployed ne'er-do-well's won't clear the way to the old well, ...
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  • 98.9k
64 votes

How can my players even have a chance at resolving this Tomb of Horrors puzzle?

Tomb of Horrors is an Old School Adventure Tomb of Horrors has a long and storied history. It was originally developed by Gary Gygax the co-creator of D&D specifically to kill high-level PCs: ...
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  • 189k
58 votes
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How can my players even have a chance at resolving this Tomb of Horrors puzzle?

Each of the seven doors is opened by one method, not all seven. The text in the 5th edition is ambigious, and may be interpreted that each door requires a seven-step process to open. However, if you ...
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56 votes
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How can I add encounters in the Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign without giving PCs too much XP?

I'm going to challenge your premise a bit - why not drop XP-based levelling altogether and use milestone levelling instead? In my time as a DM and a player, I've found milestone has a few advantages: ...
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54 votes
Accepted

How do I continue to progress the plot if the party kills the giants in chapter 10 of Storm King's Thunder?

Failure is an option Players, through playing, can and should be able to meaningfully interact with the world. Usually they make the world better; sometimes they make it worse. Don’t rob your ...
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  • 189k
52 votes
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In Out of the Abyss, one character requires an item yet starts with it confiscated. What should I do?

There are quite a few things that the Cleric can do ... This cleric requires his holy symbol to really do anything. That's not quite true. What cantrips does the cleric have? The following ...
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51 votes
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What's the "magic similar to the Knock spell" referenced in the Dungeon of the Mad Mage adventure?

It's referencing any spell, item, class feature, monster ability, or effect that allows you to magically unlock a door. In part, this is future-proofing -- you don't want some spell or magic item ...
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49 votes

The GM ruled that we didn't get XP for killing the boss because an enemy caster's spell killed them. Is this allowed?

The rules don't say that player characters need to kill enemies to earn XP. From the Core Rulebook, chapter 12 "Gamemastering" gives an overview of how to run combats and combat rewards. The text ...
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  • 31.1k
48 votes
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How would you behave while playing an adventure you were already a DM of?

Roleplay Let's assume you play an elf (which you are not in real life). And you play a ranger (which you are not in real life). The character can shoot a moving target without fail (which you cannot ...
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  • 21.6k
47 votes
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Handling a dead PC in D&D 5e Starter Kit adventure

D&D 5e is not as lethal as you think. The rules on dropping to 0 hit points are on page 13 of the Starter Set rulebook. I won't write them all out here, but I'll summarise the important points: ...
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  • 141k
47 votes
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Convincing my Curse of Strahd DM to reduce an inflicted character flaw that goes against my character's core beliefs

You're in Ravenloft, a setting designed around dread, horror, and the inevitable moral corruption of even the best good people, exploring the temple of the darkest forbidden knowledge in known ...
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47 votes
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What is a reasonable player cost for Manor rebuilding?

11k gp renovation; 10gp/day upkeep/operating costs, or maybe less. Renovation/Rebuilding I'll tell you what's reasonable: referencing 2e's The Castle Guide. In previous years I've done comparisons ...
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  • 98.9k
47 votes

I unknowingly guessed what will happen next in the module and it's angering the DM

This Is Absolutely Almost Certainly Not Metagaming Taking you at your word that you've never read or played this module (and I do believe you-- I have no reason not to) then this is not metagaming and ...
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  • 37.1k
46 votes
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Can I let my players play any official class/race in published adventures?

Sure, you're the DM The books listed on the back are the books you will absolutely need, because Storm King's Thunder references monsters and rules found in those three books. Other than that, you're ...
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  • 35.4k
46 votes
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How do I play in an adventure as a player that I have run as a DM?

Take a back seat While this might be hard to implement advice when you're already a few sessions in, the best thing would be to play a character who does not wish to lead or make decisions. This does ...
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45 votes

Can I run AD&D's Tomb of Horrors in D&D 5E?

Maintaining the AD&D Feel If you want to maintain the AD&D feel of this module you have to keep the following in mind: it's a death-trap. I have played it, I have DMed it and I have spoken ...
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  • 189k
45 votes

For the Dungeon of the Mad Mage adventure, how is a room's ceiling height determined?

Width is the Shorter Side According to 5e's lead designer: "Unless the rules explicitly expand, narrow, or completely redefine a word, that word retains the meaning it has in idiomatic English". What ...
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  • 12.1k
42 votes
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What to do about a character being a thief in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

Let Waterdeep take care of it. I had a similar situation where a player got into a chase in broad daylight, started falling behind their quarry, and pulled out a scroll of fireball. SCREEECH went the ...
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  • 98.9k
41 votes

Sildar Hallwinter died, what now?

Failure is an option A mistake that many people make is thinking there are only 2 end states for an adventure: the party wins or the party dies. In fact, there are a multitude of outcomes and some of ...
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  • 189k
41 votes
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Can I string the D&D Starter Set campaign into another module, keeping the same characters?

Yes, you can reuse characters. There is nothing particular or special to Lost Mines of Phandelver that requires handling differently from any other content. Characters are not implicitly one-and-done -...
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  • 47.5k
41 votes
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What does "Summoned creature has maximum hit points" actually mean?

It means that the elementals will have 144 Hit Points If the designers instead wanted the air elementals to have rolled or average hit points they could have said: Summoned elementals have their ...
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  • 72.1k
40 votes
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In Adventurer's League, is it possible to keep the Ring of Winter if you manage to acquire it in the Tomb of Annihilation adventure?

Not in Adventurer's League. This is from the Tomb of Annihilation Primer, found here. This document is a guide put out by Wizards of the Coast for players and DM intending to take part in Tomb of ...
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  • 60.9k
40 votes

How do I, as a DM, handle a party that decides to set up an ambush in a dungeon?

The other answers seem to think that the PCs have the Goblins trapped. The map tells another story.
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  • 12.8k

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