AceCalhoon
  • Member for 11 years, 5 months
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  • Pierre, SD
How do I stop my PCs from acting like insomniac monkeys on crack?
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110 votes

The Obvious Answer The pat answer is that the player is clearly signalling that they aren't interested in simulating time spent in town with any degree of granularity. They want to show up, hit sell, ...

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How does D&D Vancian magic make sense in-game?
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93 votes

That depends on your definition of "illogical." While I've personally never been a fan of Vancian magic due to cognitive dissonance ("It's like only being able to use the quadratic ...

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How much damage can a druid Wild Shaped into a spider take without dying instantly?
89 votes

The relevant rules are Wild Shape on pages 66 - 67: You automatically revert if you fall unconscious, drop to 0 hit points, or die. ... If you revert as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any ...

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How do I roleplay a character more intelligent than I am?
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88 votes

As a gamemaster: Cheat. Use out-of-character knowledge. If the players surprise you with a plan, have a contingency plan for the NPC materialize even though you hadn't actually thought about it ...

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What rules say that summoning undead is evil, and what rules say why?
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83 votes

Rules citations: Animate Dead has the [evil] descriptor. "This is an evil act" is right there in the spell descriptor: Evil: Spells that draw upon evil powers or conjure creatures from evil-...

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My players like to search everything. What do they find?
75 votes

Michael Shea describes a technique that works very well for this in his book Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master (he also occasionally talks about it on his blog). When prepping for your session, take ...

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How much damage does Great Weapon Fighting add on average?
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72 votes

I've forgotten the formal proof for this, but hopefully this is correct: Consider a D6 (for the sake of concrete language). When you roll a 1, you reroll the die and keep the result. This produces an ...

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Does Power Word Kill kill druids in wild-shape?
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69 votes

By RAW, the Druid dies. Wild Shape protects you from a few specific things: When you revert to your normal form, you revert to the number of hit points you had before you transformed (and then take ...

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Did Spirit Guardians just wipe out the Orc army?
66 votes

Since this question was asked, Jeremy Crawford has changed his mind on how this works. In the April Rules Answers column for Sage Advice, Crawford has this to say: Does moonbeam [or Spirit ...

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Counterspelling a counterspell
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59 votes

Is there any defense against this? There are several, but none of them are great: Bring more wizards. Put yourself within range of the first wizard, but out of range of the second. Make them want to ...

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As an unreliable player, how can I lessen the burden on my group?
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58 votes

It mostly comes down to communication. Both for practical matters (to allow for planning around your absence), and for social ones (letting the other people in the group know you aren't a flake). ...

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Aside from flavor, is there any benefit to a Monk striking multiple targets?
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52 votes

If we only think about dealing damage, you are correct that killing one target is better than damaging many targets. Spreading your damage out between four attackers causes the party to take damage ...

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Is it fair to press the players for decisions during combat?
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52 votes

Combat needs to move. It's the most detail packed in the least in-game time most systems have to offer. And yet it's also (usually) supposed to feel fast-paced and action packed. So yes, it's ...

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How much to bend "the rules" about populating a world?
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51 votes

It depends. What are you trying to achieve? As the author of the campaign, you have a tremendous amount of freedom to create whatever world you wish to. You don't have to stick with the world created ...

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Does natural armor stack with unarmored defense?
51 votes

Sort of, but no. Unarmored Defense does not provide a bonus to AC. It provides an alternate means of calculating it. So, your druid has two AC calculations available to him: AC provided by beast form....

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How do you discourage "player knowledge" as a GM?
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46 votes

From the DM's perspective, it mostly comes down to obfuscation and training your player base. Don't force your players to resist metagaming if you can reasonably help it. Going down your list with ...

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Is 4th edition D&D compatible with 5th edition?
44 votes

No. The fifth edition of D&D is effectively an entirely different game from Fourth Edition. While there are some similarities (roll a d20 and add stuff), they tend to be pretty superficial. Even ...

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Combining various AC-providing clothing and armor
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42 votes

Does Armor Stack? In general, there are two notations for AC: The most common variety sets your AC to a fixed value, and looks something like this: AC = 11 + Dex Modifier (Padded armor) Your AC ...

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How do you tell if a D&D book is 3.0 or 3.5?
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42 votes

Note that thefemmedm's answer indicates a spot in the book where you can look this up directly. D&D3.5 was first published in July, 2003. Anything published by Wizards of the Coast after that ...

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How can I roll a character's age using only d6?
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41 votes

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 + (...

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Am I designing my campaign setting to be too specific?
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40 votes

I would say that you want to have a sort of reverse-donut shape for the detail-level of your campaign: Lots of detail at the top levels, lots of detail about the areas surrounding the players, and not ...

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What's the best way to kill a character in a way that is memorable, and treated with respect by players?
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38 votes

What can be done to ensure that even a random death down a pit trap is handled respectfully so the player will remember their character well, rather than the rest of the players gathering around to ...

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I'm at a loss with “Dungeons and Dragons.” How does one play it, anyway?
37 votes

Role Playing At their most basic, role playing games are like the games of make-believe you may have played as a child. You get a group of friends together (five or six people is a common number, ...

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How do I figure out how to roleplay my Cleric's faith?
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37 votes

As a Cleric I would have thought that piety and an overwhelming urge to do right would define my character's behaviour. The onus of the Cleric class is to serve and represent their deity. Like all ...

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Where's my share of the loot?
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36 votes

As noted, this is a player decision rather than a GM one. However, here is the system that one of my groups used to good effect in the past: Loot is pooled until the end of the night or adventure (...

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Where is D&D in the spectrum of RPGs?
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35 votes

As noted in the comments, there are a lot of axes to compare role playing games on. Here are a few: Rules Heavy/Light D&D tends to be pretty heavy in terms of rules complexity. There are a fair ...

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Is this house-rule removing the increased effect of cantrips at higher character levels balanced?
34 votes

This is not a good way to solve the problem you're trying to solve. What you're effectively moving towards is a "fun tax." You're balancing X% of gameplay at an overpowered level against Y% ...

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How many times can I use a spell component pouch before having to purchase a new one?
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34 votes

The answer is on page 79 of the Basic Rules: Material (M) Casting some spells requires particular objects, specified in parentheses in the component entry. A character can use a component pouch or a ...

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How could towns restrain a magic user?
34 votes

This depends a great deal on the setting. Many settings include mundane means for neutralizing magic. In this case, you can pretty much assume that every town has access to some means of imprisoning ...

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How do I get better at narrating/storytelling as a GM?
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33 votes

There are two broad categories of "fix" available to you here. The first is to work on preparation, the second is to work on failure recovery. Preparation From your question, the biggest issues you ...

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