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107 votes
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Need way to physically track initiative in face-to-face D&D game

Our group writes the names on pieces of colored paper, about half the size of 3x5 index cards. These are folded in half and the names of each combatant written twice upon the card, so that it forms a ...
keithcurtis's user avatar
  • 32.1k
80 votes

Need way to physically track initiative in face-to-face D&D game

I recently saw an excellent post by Matthew Colville on Twitter and use a slightly modified version of this system. It consists of a dowel rod and clothes-pins with names written on both sides for the ...
Blue Ryno's user avatar
  • 750
43 votes
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How can I enjoy being a DM when I have an explorer personality?

A Style or Category More Than a Tool There is a style of games in which the GM gets to be surprised and explore unknowns. These are games where the players also have the right to add story details, ...
vicky_molokh- unsilence Monica's user avatar
42 votes
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What's the purpose of the same page tool?

How you use it The Same Page Tool is designed to help avoid social conflict. It does so by setting players' expectations about the game. The Same Page Tool advocates that you answer the questions in ...
jpmc26's user avatar
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40 votes
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What software does the WOTC design team use to layout the rulebooks?

According to Mike Mearls, Wizards of the Coast does their design and layout in Adobe InDesign, which is the industry standard for any sort of graphical book publishing. InDesign is a layout program ...
Mike Riverso's user avatar
  • 5,378
40 votes
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How can we allow remote players to effectively interact with a physical tabletop battle-map?

For remote play at our table, we use a camera that is stuck on a microphone-boom-arm that can be rotated by 360°. We found out that we prefer it to have our rest position at about 45°, instead of top-...
Akixkisu's user avatar
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40 votes
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Create the most broken race that is 'balanced' according to Detect Balance

Offsetting Vulnerability and Resistance traits allows you to start with -236 points for almost no net effect. Rather than submit an actual build here, I will sketch the start of a build upon which you ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
38 votes
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What is Detect Balance?

It is a fan-made points-based system for measuring 5e races. Detect Balance: an Improved Scale for Measuring 5e Races is a fan-made spreadsheet used to try and produce well-balanced Dungeons & ...
Quadratic Wizard's user avatar
37 votes
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How can I effectively map a multi-level dungeon?

Use a Ring Binder and Poly wallets I once ran a similar scenario, but mine was a dungeon that went down a whole lot with plenty of sub-levels. For this, you will need two ring binders, a whole bunch ...
Kyyshak's user avatar
  • 2,921
31 votes

Why is it a bad idea to use Same Page Tool as a survey?

The entire purpose of the Tool is to start a discussion, and only secondarily to record the results. The paper and its exact options are far less important than the discussion prompted when using ...
SevenSidedDie's user avatar
30 votes
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Why is it a bad idea to use Same Page Tool as a survey?

SevenSidedDie's answer is underestimating the damage it can take to use the SPT as a survey. It is not just a waste of time, it is actually harmful. If you let every player make up their mind on their ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 12.2k
28 votes

Need way to physically track initiative in face-to-face D&D game

My groups usually use a wet erase mat or a whiteboard as a battle mat (grid optional). We always write the names1 of the characters or monster identifiers in the initiative order on the mat itself. If ...
Joel Harmon's user avatar
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27 votes
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On D&D Beyond, as a DM, how can I make custom weapons available to all of my players in a specific Campaign?

Use the “Create Homebrew Item” tool. Under the homebrew section of DND Beyond, there will be an option to create magic items. This page is where you will start. While this is described as creating ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
26 votes

How can I effectively map a multi-level dungeon?

Draw the map in isometric. Usually isometric maps are just for fun, but where they truly shine is for maps with a lot of verticality. It takes some time getting used to drawing them, but it's not ...
Oak's user avatar
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26 votes
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Are there any challenges during an in-person game that aren’t a factor online?

Here are a few things I ususally pack for in person gaming: Adventure Book. Don't forget to bring it. It has happened to me before. Dice. Obviously. Bring enough multiples of the types you need to ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
25 votes
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What's the legality of making a character editor?

I am the developer of Wild Card Creator, a commercial character creator for the Savage Worlds RPG. While I don’t have direct experience working with Catalyst Game Labs or Shadowrun, I think that my ...
Thunderforge's user avatar
  • 15.8k
25 votes

What is Detect Balance?

Detect Balance is an unofficial, widely accepted tool to evaluate the power of homebrew races The tool has the form of an online spreadsheet that you can access and copy freely. It was originally ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
22 votes

Is the FastCharacter website incorrectly calculating HP for my Sorcerer?

Creator of FastCharacter.com here. Y'all are right, sorcerers were getting d8 instead of d6 hit dice. Fixed it.
FastCharacter guy's user avatar
21 votes

Create the most broken race that is 'balanced' according to Detect Balance

Looking at the table itself Ignoring the exploit from Thomas Markov, your resistances and vulnerabilities appear to be skewed. What resistances and vulnerabilities are overpowered heavily depend on ...
Sumurai8's user avatar
  • 313
20 votes

How do I model the fighter's Great Weapon Fighting fighting style in Anydice?

It's a common mistake with anydice to look for a procedural solution- anydice models dice. Therefore cast your problem as "What does the dice look like that gives the answer?" Think about how Great ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
17 votes

Is the FastCharacter website incorrectly calculating HP for my Sorcerer?

Your HP calculations look correct to me. Sorcerers have d6 hit die, the average of which is 4, which gives me the same result you came up with (assuming a CON modifier of 2): Level 6: (6+2)+5x(4+2) = ...
NathanS's user avatar
  • 79.1k
17 votes

How can I enjoy being a DM when I have an explorer personality?

Don't invent and plan your entire world in advance. It's always a good idea to have a basic plan ahead of time. Knowing that your players will start in a city and you want to throw a hook at them ...
Doc's user avatar
  • 1,353
17 votes

Are there any challenges during an in-person game that aren’t a factor online?

Handling IC / OOC conversations and meta-communication I've played in-person for more than forty years and online for nearly six. The biggest difference I have noticed is in terms of handling in ...
Kirt's user avatar
  • 53.5k
16 votes

What writing utensil should I use on gaming paper?

You should have a look at the manufacturer's FAQ. It does appear to have a coating on it, and they recommend using color pencils for things you want to remove.
T.J.L.'s user avatar
  • 48.8k
14 votes

What's the purpose of the same page tool?

From how it's described by the Author and the quote about not using as a survey I believe there is only 1 intended use: To have all involved know what "Game" they are playing. Meaning as a group or ...
John Grabanski's user avatar
14 votes

How can we allow remote players to effectively interact with a physical tabletop battle-map?

The boom camera suggested by Akixkisu is a good way to solve the vision problem. For directions as an alternative to the numbered grid I would suggest just defining N,S,E,W. "I move 3 squares west, 2 ...
Tim B's user avatar
  • 7,109
13 votes

Need way to physically track initiative in face-to-face D&D game

For my group, I went to the local office supply store and bought a long, narrow dry erase board (of the sort usually used for grocery lists), specifically one with the metal underlayer that makes it ...
Darth Pseudonym's user avatar
12 votes

How can I examine the distribution of successes-counting mixed dice pools?

As requested in the comments, here's my optimized version of Magician's code, using the die-relabeling trick instead of simply counting: ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
12 votes

Looking for a Java keyboard-based map making program I lost

This was Dungeon Mapper by Zerker of Zerk Zone (source code also available on GitHub). This was originally pointed out by the questioner but they haven't written an answer yet.
Java-N00b's user avatar
  • 443
12 votes

What's the legality of making a character editor?

Unfortunately, this is almost always illegal without a specific license. Private For fully-private games like Shadowrun, while game mechanics can't be copyrighted, the specific expression of them ...
mxyzplk's user avatar
  • 175k

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