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Rules Answers: April 2016

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 08:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Jeremy CrawfordSubtitle: Sage AdviceBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

If you have a D&D rules question, please reach me on Twitter (@JeremyECrawford), where I answer questions every week (please send the question to sageadvice@wizards.com if it’s too long for a tweet). In this column, I give rules answers that require more space than a tweet allows.

My rulings here and on Twitter don’t override the decisions of a Dungeon Master. The answers and information I provide are meant to assist a DM in adjudicating the game.

Class Features

If you use Great Weapon Fighting with a feature like Divine Smite or a spell like hex, do you get to reroll any 1 or 2 you roll for the extra damage? The Great Weapon Fighting feature—which is shared by fighters and paladins—is meant to benefit only the damage roll of the weapon used with the feature. For example, if you use a greatsword with the feature, you can reroll any 1 or 2 you roll on the weapon’s 2d6. If you’re a paladin and use Divine Smite with the greatsword, Great Weapon Fighting doesn’t let you reroll a 1 or 2 that you roll for the damage of Divine Smite.

The main purpose of this limitation is to prevent the tedium of excessive rerolls. Many of the limits in the game are aimed at inhibiting slowdowns. Having no limit would also leave the door open for Great Weapon Fighting to grant more of a damage boost than we intended, although the potential for that is minimal compared to the likelihood that numerous rerolls would bog the game down.

If a warlock uses Pact of the Blade to bond with a magic weapon, does that weapon have to be a melee weapon, and can the warlock change the weapon’s form? The warlock’s Pact of the Blade feature (PH, 107–8) lets you create a melee weapon out of nothing. Whenever you do so, you determine the weapon’s form, choosing from the melee weapon options in the Weapons table in the Player’s Handbook (p. 149). For example, you can create a greataxe, and then use the feature again to create a javelin, which causes the greataxe to disappear.

You can also use Pact of the Blade to bond with a magic weapon, turning it into your pact weapon. This magic weapon doesn’t have to be a melee weapon, so you could use the feature on a +1 longbow, for instance. Once the bond is formed, the magic weapon appears whenever you call your pact weapon to you, and the intent is that you can’t change the magic weapon’s form when it appears. For example, if you bond with a flame tongue (longsword) and send the weapon to the feature’s extradimensional space, the weapon comes back as a longsword when you summon it. You don’t get to turn it into a club. Similarly, if you bond with a dagger of venom, you can’t summon it as a maul; it’s always a dagger.

The feature initially allows the conjuring forth of a melee weapon, yet we allow more versatility when it comes to magic weapons. We didn’t want a narrow focus in this feature to make a warlock unhappy when a variety of magic weapons appear in a campaign. Does this versatility extend outside the melee theme of the feature? It sure does, but we’re willing to occasionally bend a design concept if doing so is likely to increase a player’s happiness.

Spells

Can you use green-flame blade and booming blade with Extra Attack, opportunity attacks, Sneak Attack, and other weapon attack options? Introduced in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, the green-flame blade and booming blade spells pose a number of questions, because they each do something unusual: require you to make a melee attack with a weapon as part of the spell’s casting.

First, each of these spells involves a normal melee weapon attack, not a spell attack, so you use whatever ability modifier you normally use with the weapon. (A spell tells you if it includes a spell attack, and neither of these spells do.) For example, if you use a longsword with green-flame blade, you use your Strength modifier for the weapon’s attack and damage rolls.

Second, neither green-flame blade nor booming blade works with Extra Attack or any other feature that requires the Attack action. Like other spells, these cantrips require the Cast a Spell action, not the Attack action, and they can’t be used to make an opportunity attack, unless a special feature allows you to do so.

Third, these weapon attacks work with Sneak Attack if they fulfill the normal requirements for that feature. For example, if you have the Sneak Attack feature and cast green-flame blade with a finesse weapon, you can deal Sneak Attack damage to the target of the weapon attack if you have advantage on the attack roll and hit.

Does moonbeam deal damage when you cast it? What about when its effect moves onto a creature? The answer to both questions is no. Here’s some elaboration on that answer.

Some spells and other game features create an area of effect that does something when a creature enters that area for the first time on a turn or when a creature starts its turn in that area. The turn you cast such a spell, you’re primarily setting up hurt for your foes on later turns. Moonbeam, for example, creates a beam of light that can damage a creature who enters the beam or who starts its turn in the beam.

Here are some spells with the same timing as moonbeam for their areas of effect:

·   blade barrier

·   cloudkill

·   cloud of daggers

·   Evard’s black tentacles

·   forbiddance

·   moonbeam

·   sleet storm

·   spirit guardians

Reading the description of any of those spells, you might wonder whether a creature is considered to be entering the spell’s area of effect if the area is created on the creature’s space. And if the area of effect can be moved—as the beam of moonbeam can—does moving it into a creature’s space count as the creature entering the area? Our design intent for such spells is this: a creature enters the area of effect when the creature passes into it. Creating the area of effect on the creature or moving it onto the creature doesn’t count. If the creature is still in the area at the start of its turn, it is subjected to the area’s effect.

Entering such an area of effect needn’t be voluntary, unless a spell says otherwise. You can, therefore, hurl a creature into the area with a spell like thunderwave. We consider that clever play, not an imbalance, so hurl away! Keep in mind, however, that a creature is subjected to such an area of effect only the first time it enters the area on a turn. You can’t move a creature in and out of it to damage it over and over again on the same turn.

In summary, a spell like moonbeam affects a creature when the creature passes into the spell’s area of effect and when the creature starts its turn there. You’re essentially creating a hazard on the battlefield.

Sage Advice Compendium

The Sage Advice Compendium gathers every installment of Sage Advice in one PDF. It’s been updated to include this month’s questions and answers.

Other Resources

Here are other D&D reference documents we’ve posted on this website.

Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons

D&D Spell List (version 1.01)

Monsters by Challenge Rating (version 1.0)

D&D Monsters by Type (version 1.0)

Magic Items by Rarity (version 1.0)

Conversions to 5th Edition D&D (version 1.0)

Character Sheets

About the Author

Jeremy Crawford is the co-lead designer of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. He was the lead designer of the fifth edition Player’s Handbook and one of the leads on the Dungeon Master’s Guide. He has worked on many other D&D books since coming to Wizards of the Coast in 2007. You can reach him on Twitter (@JeremyECrawford).

Publication date: 04/18/2016Introduction: Sage Advice is a monthly column that gives official clarifications of D&D rules. Sometimes it also provides reference documents to help your D&D game run smoothly.Tags: FeaturesFiles: PDF icon Sage Advice CompendiumTexture banner: Hide

Feel Train on Madame Eva and Twitter Bots

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 08:00
Release date: 04/14/2016Authors: Shelly Mazzanoble, Greg TitoDescription: Darius Kazemi and Courtney Stanton of Feel Train come on to talk about the Madame Eva Twitter bot, how bots might be used in D&D going forward and what the heck a "bot" is anyway.Thumbnail: Category: D&D podcastsBanner: Introduction: Darius Kazemi and Courtney Stanton of Feel Train come on to talk about the Madame Eva Twitter bot, how bots might be used in D&D going forward and what the heck a "bot" is anyway.Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly and Greg are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office). Listen to the podcast.

Podcast link: Feel Train on Madame Eva and Twitter Bots

Feel Train on Madame Eva and Twitter Bots

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 08:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Shelly Mazzanoble and Greg TitoBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly and Greg are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office). 

Publication date: 04/14/2016Introduction: Darius Kazemi and Courtney Stanton of Feel Train come on to talk about the Madame Eva Twitter bot, how bots might be used in D&D going forward and what the heck a "bot" is anyway.Tags: Featuresexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_04_14_2016.mp3External url description: Feel Train on Madame Eva and Twitter Bots Texture banner: Hide

Dungeonology and D&D Coloring Book

Mon, 04/11/2016 - 08:00
Type: NewsAuthor: Kings Road PublishingBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Monsters and Heroes of the Realms Colouring Book is a treasure trove of illustrations summoned from the pages of the official rulebooks – including the many classes, races and monsters from the Forgotten Realms. In this book, the coloring pencil IS mightier than the sword! Studio Game will also be offering D&D fans a unique digital experience, in a free-to-download coloring app with in-app purchasing.

Dungeonology introduces Dungeons & Dragons to Kings Road Publishing’s legendary Ology series, as the famed Forgotten Realms explorer, Volo, takes fans on an unforgettable journey. From the dreaming spires of Waterdeep to the frozen majesty of Drizzt Do'Urden's onetime homeland of Icewind Dale and from the deadly Underdark to the mysterious Underchasm, readers will learn the history, secrets and wonders of this incredible world with the unique production values which have made the Ology series a global bestseller.

Publication date: 04/11/2016Introduction: Kings Road Publishing to create Monsters and Heroes of the Realms Colouring Book and Dungeonology.Tags: NewsTexture banner: Show

The Maze Engine on Xbox One

Fri, 04/08/2016 - 08:00
Type: NewsAuthor: CrypticSubtitle: Neverwinter Announcement Banner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Traverse the Forgotten Realms with familiar faces such as Drizzt Do’Urden, Linu La’neral and Minsc & Boo to unravel the plans of the demon lord, Baphomet, the Horned King.

A second demon lord by the name of Orcus has also stepped into Neverwinter by taking residence in Castle Never. Being the Prince of Undeath, he has reanimated the dead adventurers – and other ghastly beings – to serve him in his quest for Valindra’s Dracolich. The gates will open for adventurers to vanquish Orcus in the revamped Castle Never!

The Mount System will also receive a revamp where you may now customize your Mount to your liking! Choose the appearance, passive power, active power and speed from the Mounts you’ve collected and store them in the brand new stable. Each Mount now have Insignia slots, which grant you additional bonuses and stats. Are you ready to giddy up?

There’s much more around every corner in The Maze Engine! Will you escape the maze or be consumed by it?

Publication date: 04/08/2016Introduction: Neverwinter: The Maze Engine is coming to Xbox One on May 3! Delve into new breathtaking environments with exciting new gameplay mechanics to progress through The Maze Engine campaign.Tags: FeaturesTexture banner: Hide

Misscliks Cofounders on D&D Entertainment

Thu, 04/07/2016 - 08:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Greg TitoBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly and Greg are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office). 

Publication date: 04/07/2016Introduction: Anna Prosser Robinson and Stephanie Powell, two of the cofounders of online gaming outfit Misscliks, call in to chat with us about coming to D&D late in life and their new projects.Tags: Featuresexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_04_07_2016.mp3External url description: Misscliks Cofounders on D&D Entertainment Texture banner: Show

Newest Set of D&D Miniatures Releases

Wed, 04/06/2016 - 08:00
Type: NewsAuthor: WizkidsBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Publication date: 04/06/2016Introduction: Today, Wizkids, a premier creator and publisher of premium tabletop games and accessories, has released the D&D Icons of the Realms: Monster Menagerie series of pre-painted miniatures to North American retail.Tags: Newsexternal_urls:  External url: http://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop-games/miniatures/minis_monstermenagerie#External url description: Icons of the Realms: Monster Menagerie Texture banner: Show

Gothic Heroes

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 08:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Mike MearlsSubtitle: Unearthed ArcanaBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

The revenant subrace provides an interesting way to bring a character back from the dead—a useful option if you’ve lost a character in the mists of Barovia. The Monster Hunter and the Inquisitive are two new archetypes for the fighter and rogue, respectively, well suited to the challenges of Ravenloft or any other gothic horror campaign.

You can think of the material presented in this series as similar to the first wave of the fifth edition playtest. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not fully tempered by playtests and design iterations. They are highly volatile and might be unstable; if you use them, be ready to rule on any issues that come up. They’re written in pencil, not ink. For these reasons, material in this column is not legal in D&D Organized Play events.

The material presented in Unearthed Arcana will range from mechanics that we expect one day to publish in a supplement to house rules from our home campaigns that we want to share, from core system options to setting-specific material. Once it’s out there, you can expect us to check in with you to see how it’s working out and what we can do to improve it.

Publication date: 04/04/2016Introduction: This month, Unearthed Arcana takes a look at a few new character options appropriate to gothic horror.Tags: FeaturesFiles: PDF icon UA Gothic Characters.pdfTexture banner: Show

Inside D&D's Art Development

Fri, 04/01/2016 - 08:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Greg BilslandBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

We couldn't resist the opportunity to poke a little fun at ourselves and our partners for April Fools. This orc issue is actually a legitimate problem we deal with! Anyway, we hope you enjoyed!

Publication date: 04/01/2016Introduction: The Dungeons & Dragons team takes you inside the Wizards of the Coast office for an exclusive look at what goes into the development of the brand's art.Tags: FeaturesTexture banner: Show

The Siege Begins!

Thu, 03/31/2016 - 08:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: BeamdogSubtitle: Siege of Dragonspear ReleasesBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Return to the Sword Coast and continue your adventure as the hero of Baldur's Gate, accompanied by familiar companions (including Minsc, Safana, and Edwin)!  

You saved the city of Baldur's Gate but trouble masses on the horizon. A crusade builds in the north in the ruins of Dragonspear Castle. The goals of the crusade's leader, a warrior known as the Shining Lady, remain shrouded in mystery. Her actions, though, have caused chaos and destruction along the Sword Coast. You must seek out the Shining Lady and put a stop to her crusade.

Siege of Dragonspear requires Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition to play. Purchase it now on www.siegeofdragonspear.com

Publication date: 03/31/2016Introduction: Siege of Dragonspear, the official expansion to Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, is now available!Tags: FeaturesTexture banner: Show

Otikor & Timmons from Misscliks

Thu, 03/31/2016 - 08:00
Release date: 03/30/2016Authors: Shelly Mazzanoble, Greg TitoDescription: Dungeon Masters Nadja Otikor and Jess Timmons from the Misscliks talk about what it's like to come to D&D late in life and play for a video streaming audience.Thumbnail: Category: D&D podcastsBanner: Introduction: Dungeon Masters Nadja Otikor and Jess Timmons from the Misscliks talk about what it's like to come to D&D late in life and play for a video streaming audience.Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly and Greg are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office). 

Podcast link: Otikor & Timmons from Misscliks

Is No Fun, Is No Blinsky!

Wed, 03/30/2016 - 08:00
Type: FeaturesSubtitle: QuizBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Dust off that brain for some creativity! We’re inviting you to make some suggestion for more toys by Gadof Blinsky. The creepier, the better. We’ll select a few of the community’s suggestions to illustrate in the next issue of Dragon+.

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Publication date: 03/30/2016Introduction: If you’ve read or played Curse of Strahd, you might have discovered the toys by Gadof Blinsky. This is your chance to suggest some new ones, which we’ll then illustrate!Tags: FeaturesTexture banner: Show

Rules Answers: March 2016

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:13
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Jeremy CrawfordSubtitle: Sage AdviceBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

If you have questions for a future installment of Sage Advice, please send them to sageadvice@wizards.com, or reach me on Twitter (@JeremyECrawford), where I answer questions between installments of this column.

Sage Advice doesn’t trump the rulings of a Dungeon Master; the answers and information provided here are meant to assist a DM in adjudicating the game.

Class Features

What happens if a druid wears metal armor? The druid explodes.

Well, not actually. Druids have a taboo against wearing metal armor and wielding a metal shield. The taboo has been part of the class’s story since the class first appeared in Eldritch Wizardry (1976) and the original Player’s Handbook (1978). The idea is that druids prefer to be protected by animal skins, wood, and other natural materials that aren’t the worked metal that is associated with civilization. Druids don’t lack the ability to wear metal armor. They choose not to wear it. This choice is part of their identity as a mystical order. Think of it in these terms: a vegetarian can eat meat, but the vegetarian chooses not to.

A druid typically wears leather, studded leather, or hide armor, and if a druid comes across scale mail made of a material other than metal, the druid might wear it. If you feel strongly about your druid breaking the taboo and donning metal, talk to your DM. Each class has story elements mixed with its game features; the two types of design go hand-in-hand in D&D, and the story parts are stronger in some classes than in others. Druids and paladins have an especially strong dose of story in their design. If you want to depart from your class’s story, your DM has the final say on how far you can go and still be considered a member of the class. As long as you abide by your character’s proficiencies, you’re not going to break anything in the game system, but you might undermine the story and the world being created in your campaign.

Spellcasting

Does the rule on casting a bonus action spell apply when you take a bonus action granted by a spell? The rule on casting a spell as a bonus action (see PH, 202) applies only on the turn you cast the spell. For example, spiritual weapon can be cast as a bonus action, and it lasts for 1 minute. On the turn you cast it, you can’t cast another spell before or after it, unless that spell is a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action. Until spiritual weapon ends, it gives you the option of controlling its spectral weapon as a bonus action. That bonus action does not involve casting a spell, despite the fact that it’s granted by a spell, so you can control the weapon and cast whatever spell you like on the same turn.

Spells

Can you use dispel magic to dispel a magical effect like a vampire’s Charm ability? Dispel magic has a particular purpose: to break other spells. It has no effect on a vampire’s Charm ability or any other magical effect that isn’t a spell. It also does nothing to the properties of a magic item. It can, however, end a spell cast from a magic item or from another source. Spells—they’re what dispel magic is about. For example, if you cast dispel magic on a staff of power, the spell fails to disrupt the staff’s magical properties, but if the staff’s wielder casts hold monster from the staff, dispel magic can end that spell if cast on the target of hold monster.

There are abilities and other spells that can end or suspend magical effects that aren’t spells. For example, the greater restoration spell can end a charm effect of any sort on a target (such as a vampire’s Charm or a dryad’s Fey Charm), and a paladin’s Aura of Devotion can prevent or suspend such an effect.

Three of the most versatile spells for ending certain magical effects are lesser restoration, greater restoration, and remove curse.

Can you use dispel magic on the creations of a spell like animate dead or affect those creations with antimagic field? Whenever you wonder whether a spell’s effects can be dispelled or suspended, you need to answer one question: is the spell’s duration instantaneous? If the answer is yes, there is nothing to dispel or suspend. Here’s why: the effects of an instantaneous spell are brought into being by magic, but the effects aren’t sustained by magic (see PH, 203). The magic flares for a split second and then vanishes. For example, the instantaneous spell animate dead harnesses magical energy to turn a corpse or a pile of bones into an undead creature. That necromantic magic is present for an instant and is then gone. The resulting undead now exists without the magic’s help. Casting dispel magic on the creature can’t end its mockery of life, and the undead can wander into an antimagic field with no adverse effect.

Another example: cure wounds instantaneously restores hit points to a creature. Because the spell’s duration is instantaneous, the restoration can’t be later dispelled. And you don’t suddenly lose hit points if you step into an antimagic field!

In contrast, a spell like conjure woodland beings has a non-instantaneous duration, which means its creations can be ended by dispel magic and they temporarily disappear within an antimagic field.

Can you ready dispel magic to stop another spell from taking effect? The easiest way to stop a spell is to cast counterspell on its caster while it’s being cast. If successful, counterspell interrupts the other spell’s casting, and that spell fails to take effect. Counterspell works against any spell, regardless of a spell’s casting time or duration.

With the Ready action, dispel magic can be cast in response to another spell being cast, yet dispel magic can’t substitute for counterspell. The main reason is that dispel magic removes a spell that is already on a target, whether that target is a creature, an object, or some other phenomenon. Dispel magic can’t pre-dispel something. If a spell isn’t already present on a target, dispel magic does nothing to that target. The best that a readied dispel magic can do is dispel a spell immediately after it’s been cast to prevent it from having any effect after the action used to cast it. For example, on your turn you could say something like this: “I ready dispel magic, and if the high priest casts a spell on anyone, I cast dispel magic on the target if the spell takes hold.” If the high priest then cast hold person on your companion who fails the save against it, you could unleash your readied dispel magic and end hold person.

Can you use a shield with mage armor? Mage armor works with a shield. Shields are grouped with armor in the equipment rules in the Player’s Handbook, but various game features distinguish between the armor you wear and a shield you wield. Take a look at the monk’s Unarmored Defense feature and compare it to the barbarian’s version to see what I mean. In the monk’s version, you must both forgo wearing armor and forgo wielding a shield if you want to benefit from the feature, whereas a barbarian must only forgo wearing armor.

Sage Advice Compendium

The Sage Advice Compendium gathers every installment of Sage Advice in one PDF. It’s been updated to include this month’s questions and answers.

Other Resources

Here are other D&D reference documents we’ve posted on this website.

 

Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons

D&D Spell List (version 1.01)

Monsters by Challenge Rating (version 1.0)

D&D Monsters by Type (version 1.0)

Magic Items by Rarity (version 1.0)

Conversions to 5th Edition D&D (version 1.0)

Character Sheets

About the Author

Jeremy Crawford is the co-lead designer of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. He was the lead designer of the fifth edition Player’s Handbook and one of the leads on the Dungeon Master’s Guide. He has worked on many other D&D books since coming to Wizards of the Coast in 2007. You can reach him on Twitter (@JeremyECrawford).

Publication date: 03/21/2016Introduction: Sage Advice is a monthly column that gives official clarifications of D&D rules. Sometimes it also provides reference documents to help your D&D game run smoothly.Tags: FeaturesTexture banner: Show

Dungeons & Dragons at Origins 2016

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 10:00
Type: NewsBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Origins Game Fair is the gaming convention run by GAMA, the non-profit organization serving the hobby game industry since 1977. Taking place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center June 15th through the 19th in 2016, Origins is sure to be an awesome event for D&D fans. This year we’re pulling out all the stops to deliver the ultimate D&D experience. Here are a few D&D event highlights of the show:

 

  • The Dungeons & Dragons Open: Our signature D&D tournament returns in a new format for fifth edition. Brave the depths of Undermountain with five stalwart companions in a race against time as you face vile monsters, diabolic puzzles, and inscrutable NPCs. This event will space nearly 8 hours of continuous play, with an hour break for dinner, on Saturday. Bring your existing Adventurers League character of up to 10th level or create a new one at 1st level. Undermountain is open to all challengers.
  • Sneak Preview Dungeon Delve: Origins is your first chance to experience the next Dungeons & Dragons story line. We’ll have short, one hour adventures ready for play throughout the conventions. Five separate scenarios mean you can come back and play again and again.
  • Strahd’s Final Stand: As the mists of Ravenloft part, Origins is your chance to play the final Adventurers League scenarios set in Count Strahd’s realm of the damned. Sign up for scenarios throughout the show.
  • Dungeon Masters Guild: The DMs Guild is your chance to publish D&D material with a minimum of effort using the full fifth edition rules and official, D&D settings. We’ll have design panels to answer your questions and help hone your skills.
  • D&D Board Game Tournaments: Are you the true master of Lords of Waterdeep? Confident that your deck building skills will let you conquer the Tyrants of the Underdark? Sign up for the official championship tournaments for the Dungeons & Dragons board game line and find out for yourself.
  • Meet the D&D Team: Origins is your best chance this summer to meet the people who work on Dungeons & Dragons. Dungeon Master to the Stars Chris Perkins will be in attendance, along with fifth edition lead designer Mike Mearls, DMs Guild architect Chris Lindsay, and D&D community manager Trevor Kidd. They’ll answer questions, sign books, and even run games of D&D.
  • And More! Our crack staff of wandering monsters is hard at work crafting even more surprises for Origins. What sort of treasures will lurk in the +5 D&D Swag Bag of Awesome? Will you finally have a venue where your D&D trivia skills will be rewarded? We’ll update you as soon as we know.

 

Publication date: 03/18/2016Introduction: The D&D team brings a slew of events to Columbus, Ohio.Tags: NewsTexture banner: Show

Rat Queens & D20 Babe

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 14:53
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Shelly Mazzanoble and Greg TitoBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly and Greg are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office).

Publication date: 03/17/2016Introduction:  Husband and wife Kurtis Wiebe (writer of the comic Rat Queens) and Shannon Woodhouse (D20 Babe) split the party to talk about their livestream and the inspiration behind Rat Queens.Tags: Podcastexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast__02_23_2016.mp3External url description: Rat Queens & D20 Babe Texture banner: Show

Jim Zub on D&D Comic Books

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 09:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Shelly Mazzanoble and Greg TitoBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly and Greg are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office).

Publication date: 03/10/2016Introduction: Comic book writer Jim Zub (Marvel, IDW, Image) joins us to talk about his new Dungeons & Dragons comic from IDW taking the characters from Legends of Baldur's Gate into Strahd's realm.Tags: Podcastexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_03_10_2016.mp3External url description: Jim Zub on D&D Comic Books Texture banner: Show

Jim Zub on D&D Comic Books

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 09:00
Release date: 03/10/2016Authors: Shelly Mazzanoble, Greg TitoDescription: Comic book writer Jim Zub (Marvel, IDW, Image) joins us to talk about his new Dungeons & Dragons comic from IDW taking the characters from Legends of Baldur's Gate into Strahd's realm.Thumbnail: Category: D&D podcastsBanner: Introduction: Comic book writer Jim Zub (Marvel, IDW, Image) joins us to talk about his new Dungeons & Dragons comic from IDW taking the characters from Legends of Baldur's Gate into Strahd's realm.Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly and Greg are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office). Listen here

Podcast link: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_03_10_2016.mp3Suscribe link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-dungeons-dragons-podcast/id189053885

March 2016 Review

Mon, 03/07/2016 - 09:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Mike Mearls and Chris LindsaySubtitle: Unearthed ArcanaBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

This month, Unearthed Arcana takes a break from giving the D&D design team a chance to introduce new material for your games. Instead, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting and fun new material to appear on the Dungeon Masters Guild.

If you’re not familiar with the DMs Guild, it’s a website that allows you to post and sell your own D&D creations, including new material for the Forgotten Realms. We’ve already seen an overwhelming response to the site, and we can’t wait to see where the community takes it.

This article is the first in a new series in Unearthed Arcana. Starting this month, and continuing every other month, we’ll dive into the Guild and highlight some of our favorite products. In addition, we’ll include this material in our future surveys where appropriate, and if the demand is there, we’ll work with creators to include some or all of their material in future products as official D&D content.

Enough with the introductions. Let’s get into the material!

Blood Magic

Blood Magic, designed by Joshua Raynack, published by Alea Publishing Group (www.apg-games.com)

Once we incorporated the concept of using Hit Dice to heal during a short rest into the game, we took care to avoid giving players other ways to use Hit Dice. That design direction was driven by a sense that players would burn through Hit Dice to boost themselves for a single fight, trading away success now at the cost of running short of hit points later.

Blood Magic dives into the idea of using Hit Dice as a character resource, and it does so in an evocative, fun way. In seven packed pages, this PDF provides an overview of blood magic—a practice that allows a caster to trade life essence away for power. The Blood Magic arcane tradition and the King’s Blood sorcerous origin allow you to incorporate blood magic into your campaign.

These mechanics give a wizard or sorcerer character a creepy, macabre edge—perfect for a group running the upcoming Curse of Strahd adventure. Wizards with the Blood Magic tradition can inflict wounds upon themselves that drain their Hit Dice. In return, they gain blood points that improve their defenses, allow them to detect living creatures, and lace their spells with additional psychic damage. Sorcerers of the King’s Blood origin can capture the life spark of a fallen enemy, gaining a benefit dependent on the type of creature defeated. For example, slaying a dragon allows a character to gain advantage on a saving throw, while defeating an elemental grants a bonus to AC.

A set of four new magic items rounds out the package, including the potion of cruor, which restores spent Hit Dice, and the cursed sanguine blade, which compels its wielder to finish off wounded foes.

The fusion of flavor and mechanics drew my eye to Blood Magic. It’s a good example of taking a thematic element of a campaign and expressing it as a new option for different character classes.

BOOK OF BEASTS: DEMON DEPOSITORY

Book of Beasts, design by Jonathan Leitheusser

Who doesn’t love demons? Other than players who have faced the Out of the Abyss campaign, everyone loves adding a few new chaotic fiends to their campaign. The Demon Depository updates a number of classic demons, making them an ideal resource for Out of the Abyss or any campaign with an abyssal edge.

This volume provides stats for the blood demon, the bulezau, the fire demon, the maw demon, the rutterkin, and the scion of Zuggtmoy. The maw demon is a personal favorite of mine, and its implementation here does a great job of capturing its essence. Coming in at CR 1/2, its most notable ability is its snapping jaws that distract opponents, granting advantage to the demon’s allies. A small pack of maw demons make perfect sidekicks for a powerful demon or cult.

All the demons in this volume have similar flourishes, drawing on their fourth edition design but elegantly bringing that design forward to fifth edition. If your group loves a tactical challenge, this is a great volume to supplement your roster of monsters.

BATTLE FOR THE UNDERCITY

Battle for the Undercity, written by Monica Valentinelli

Every DM needs a quick adventure now and then, and Battle for the Undercity features three short, focused scenarios to drop into your game. Eminently adaptable to any city in the Forgotten Realms or any other D&D setting, Battle for the Undercity features a clever concept to make prep easy. It describes a section of labyrinthine sewer tunnels, stocking them with three distinct groups of villains. The adventure then gives an overview of three separate missions to throw at the party, each of which matches the characters against a different group. The nice thing about this approach is that it makes prep easy. By reading over the map and key, you’re ready to run three different scenarios for your group. The factions are also detailed enough that you can drop them into your campaign as an ongoing menace.

As someone running a city-based campaign at the moment, I found this format easy to pick up and a great way to bolster my stock of off-the-cuff material. I hope this format catches on. It’ll make many DMs’ lives easier.

About the Authors

Mike Mearls is the senior manager for the D&D research and design team. He led the design for fifth edition D&D. His other credits include the Castle Ravenloft board game, Monster Manual 3 for fourth edition, and Player’s Handbook 2 for third edition.

A member of the Dungeons & Dragons brand team, Chris Lindsay is focused primarily on product development, which is a lot like herding cats in a darkened room with no doors and no windows.

Publication date: 03/07/2016Introduction: Every couple of months as part of Unearthed Arcana, Mike and Chris review the latest material on the Dungeon Masters Guild and choose the best of the best to highlight.Tags: FeaturesUnearthed ArcanaTexture banner: Show

Rob Overmeyer on Neverwinter The Maze Engine

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 09:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Shelly Mazzanoble and Greg TitoBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly, Greg and Trevor are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office).

Publication date: 03/03/2016Introduction: Executive Producer of Neverwinter, Rob Overmeyer calls in from Cryptic Studios to give us the lowdown on the upcoming expansion, The Maze Engine.Tags: Podcastexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_03_03_2016.mp3External url description: Rob Overmeyer on Neverwinter The Maze Engine Texture banner: Show

Rob Overmeyer on Neverwinter The Maze Engine

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 09:00
Release date: 03/03/2016Authors: Shelly Mazzanoble, Greg TitoDescription: Executive Producer of Neverwinter, Rob Overmeyer calls in from Cryptic Studios to give us the lowdown on the upcoming expansion, The Maze Engine.Thumbnail: Category: D&D podcastsBanner: Introduction: Executive Producer of Neverwinter, Rob Overmeyer calls in from Cryptic Studios to give us the lowdown on the upcoming expansion, The Maze Engine.Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly, Greg and Trevor are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office).

Listen to the podcast here.

Podcast link: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_03_03_2016.mp3Suscribe link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-dungeons-dragons-podcast/id189053885