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Updated: 1 hour 35 min ago

Quick Characters

10 hours 29 min ago
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Mike MearlsSubtitle: Unearthed ArcanaBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Whether you’re running an impromptu game with limited time for character creation, you want to get a new player into an established game quickly, or you need a new PC to replace a dead adventurer, these optional rules are for you.

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: 07/25/2016Introduction: Sometimes you need quick characters for a D&D session. Tags: Featureexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2016/downloads/DND/UA_Quick_PCs_SFG.docxExternal url description: UNEARTHED ARCANA: Quick Characters Texture banner: Show

Orion Acaba on Draconian Knights

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 11:30
Release date: 07/21/2016Description: Taking his character from Critical Role and previous gameplay, Orion Acaba talks about creating an audio narrative series called Draconian Knights centered around a family of dragonborn heroes. Lore You Should Know - Matt and Chris stop by to elucidate on what makes frost and fire giants unique.Thumbnail: Category: D&D podcastsBanner: Introduction: Taking his character from Critical Role and previous gameplay, Orion Acaba talks about creating an audio narrative series called Draconian Knights centered around a family of dragonborn heroes. Lore You Should Know - Matt and Chris stop by to elucidate on what makes frost and fire giants unique.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: Orion Acaba on Draconian KnightsSuscribe link: Official Dungeons & Dragons Podcast

Rules Answers: July 2016

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 11:22
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Jeremy CrawfordSubtitle: Sage AdviceBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

This month we dip into my Twitter archive for another round of questions and answers on all sorts of D&D topics.

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).

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

For the barbarian’s Reckless Attack, do you grant advantage to all enemies, or only to the target of your attack? If you use the barbarian’s Reckless Attack, all attack rolls have advantage against you until the start of your next turn.

When a cleric uses the Destructive Wrath feature, does it maximize all damage getting rolled, as long as some of it is lightning or thunder? Destructive Wrath is meant to maximize lightning and thunder damage only.

Can a fighter have two fighting styles active at once? Dueling and Defense, for example. You can benefit from more than one Fighting Style option at a time, as long as they aren’t mutually exclusive, as Dueling and Great Weapon Fighting are.

For a Way of the Shadow monk, can their silence be dispelled? A spell is a spell, no matter its source. When you cast a spell through a feature, the spell is subject to the normal spellcasting rules, unless the feature says otherwise.

Can the monk’s Open Hand Technique push a Large or larger creature or knock it prone? The Open Hand Technique intentionally ignores creature size. A monk’s ki fuels many extraordinary effects! If a feature is limited by creature size, the feature tells you so.

Would a Paladin’s Divine Sense register a tiefling due to their infernal heritage? A tiefling is a humanoid, not a fiend, and therefore escapes the notice of Divine Sense. The feature detects creatures that have the celestial, fiend, or undead creature type.

For triggering the rogue’s Assassinate ability, when does a creature stop being surprised? After their turn in the round, or at the end of the round? The intent is that a surprised creature stops being surprised at the end of it’s first turn in combat.

If a sorcerer casts a spell with only verbal or somatic components using Subtle Spell, can an opponent use counterspell against it? Subtle Spell protects a spell without material components from counterspell, since you can’t see the casting.

Equipment

Does heavy armor reduce Dexterity saving throws or ability checks other than Stealth? If you have proficiency with it, heavy armor doesn’t affect Dexterity saving throws or ability checks, other than Stealth.

Multiclassing

Would a temporary stat bump fulfill a multiclass prerequisite, or does the base score have to meet the requirement? The intent is that your base score, not a temporary score, has to meet a multiclassing prerequisite.

Can a barbarian/cleric use spiritual weapon to attack while raging, if it is cast before entering Rage? A barbarian’s Rage makes concentration impossible but has no effect on spells, like spiritual weapon, that don’t require concentration.

Can a barbarian/fighter (Battle Master) use maneuvers while raging? Nothing in the barbarian’s Rage feature precludes the use of maneuvers.

Feats

Is Elemental Adept the only feat you can take more than once? Elemental Adept is the only feat in the Player’s Handbook that you can take more than once.

Class features and feats sometimes affect a shapechanged druid. Does the Tough feat have an effect while shifting? The intent is no. The Tough feat affects a druid’s hit points, which are replaced by the beast’s hit points while using Wild Shape.

Ability Checks

Can you get a critical on an ability check? For example, on a grapple attempt, does a critical win, or the highest number? Ability checks don’t score critical hits. Attack rolls do.

Is a 1 on an ability check an automatic failure? Rolling a 1 on an ability check or a saving throw is not an automatic failure. A 1 is an automatic miss for an attack.

Adventuring

Is there an intended way to get lost Intelligence back, such as after an intellect devourer zeroes it? The greater restoration spell can remove the reduction to an ability score.

Combat

Does a grapple or a shove trigger the Tempest cleric’s Wrath of the Storm or a Battle Master’s Riposte? The answer to both questions is no. The grappling and shoving options (PH, 195) don’t result in a hit or a miss.

I have a readied action. Can I stop readying to take an opportunity attack? Or is ready a full turn commitment? If you have an action readied, you can make an opportunity attack, which causes you to stop readying.

If a wizard casts a spell like fireball during a surprise round, do the enemies get disadvantage on their saving throw? Being surprised has no effect on saves. If you’re surprised, you can’t move or take an action on your first turn of the combat and you can’t take a reaction until that turn ends (PH, 189).

Are attacks with a net always made with disadvantage? Unless you have a special ability that says otherwise, any net attack has disadvantage because you’re either within 5 feet of your target (see PH, 149) or you’re attacking at long range, which is between 5 and 15 feet for a net.

Spellcasting

Can a spellcaster cast spells off-target to minimize damage to party members from a spell like shatter? The spellcaster chooses where to place the point of origin of a spell like shatter and may, therefore, choose a position that is advantageous to allies.

Is a touch range spell considered a melee attack for purposes of subduing foes rather than killing? Having a range of touch doesn’t mean a spell is a melee attack. A spell tells you if it delivers such an attack.

Does casting a spell as a ritual require concentration if the spell doesn’t normally require it? Concentration is required when casting any spell, including a ritual version, for longer than 1 action (see PH, 202). Once the casting is complete, the spell requires concentration only if its duration entry says it does.

Can permanent magical effects be dispelled? Or are they no longer considered magical effects once permanent? If the effect of a spell becomes permanent, it can be dispelled, unless its description says otherwise.

Do spellcasters have to learn a ritual version of a spell apart from the normal version, or are they the same? To cast the ritual version of a spell you know, you need a feature, such as Ritual Casting, that gives you the ability to cast the spell as a ritual. You don’t need to also learn a special version of the spell.

Specific Spells

If the damage from disintegrate reduces a half-orc to 0 hit points, can Relentless Endurance prevent the orc from turning to ash? If disintegrate reduces you to 0 hit points, you’re killed outright, as you turn to dust. If you’re a half-orc, Relentless Endurance can’t save you.

What happens if a druid using Wild Shape is reduced to 0 hit points by disintegrate? Does the druid simply leave beast form? The druid turns to dust, since the spell disintegrates you the instant you drop to 0 hit points.

Does the heroes’ feast spell grant immunity to poison damage or just the poison condition? The heroes’ feast spell grants immunity to poison in any form—damage and the condition.

Could minor illusion create a fog cloud? If so, would shooting an arrow through it cancel the illusion? An illusory object made by minor illusion is meant to be like a stool or a rock, not an atmospheric effect.

 

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 column.

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 1.01)

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: 07/18/2016Introduction: 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 more smoothly.Tags: FeaturesSage AdviceTexture banner: Show

Chris Cocks, President of Wizards of the Coast

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 11:30
Release date: 07/14/2016Description: The new head of Wizards of the Coast, Chris Cocks, comes to talk to Greg Tito and Shelly Mazzanoble about his gaming history and where he thinks D&D will go from here. In Lore You Should Know, Chris Perkins and Matt Sernett jump into discussing the lore behind storm giants and their closest brethren in the ordning, the cloud giants.Thumbnail: Category: D&D podcastsBanner: Introduction: The new head of Wizards of the Coast, Chris Cocks, comes to talk to Greg Tito and Shelly Mazzanoble about his gaming history and where he thinks D&D will go from here. In Lore You Should Know, Chris Perkins and Matt Sernett jump into discussing the lore behind storm giants and their closest brethren in the ordning, the cloud giants.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: Chris Cocks, President of Wizards of the CoastSuscribe link: Official Dungeons & Dragons Podcast

Force Grey: Giant Hunters

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 12:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Greg TitoSubtitle: New weekly D&D series filmed at Meltdown Comics in HollywoodBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Starting on Monday, July 11th, you can tune-in and watch the episodes of the new weekly Dungeon & Dragons series, Force Grey: Giant Hunters, on the Nerdist YouTube channel. Co-produced by Legendary Digital, this hysterical series brings together an unlikely all-star cast of actors and comedians as they preview the new Storm King’s Thunder adventure, releasing fall 2016. The Force Grey cast will dive into a preview of the new D&D storyline and entertain fans by taking on the mantle of a team of do-gooders from the Forgotten Realms!
Look for new episodes every Monday on the Nerdist YouTube channel!

Meet the heroes of Force Grey:

Chris Hardwick

Chris Hardwick, founder of Nerdist and host of Talking Dead and @Midnight, will be joining the party to play the bookish elf wizard, Whil.

Chris Hardwick IMDB

Chris Hardwick Twitter

Chris Hardwick Instagram

Whil Wee-tawn (Sun Elf Wizard) feels like a stranger in this quaint, backward land of Faerûn. He would spend his days and nights reading books were it not for the gentle prodding from his pseudodragon companion, Marissa. She goads him to venture forth, explore the world, and discover new things. Now he finds himself among companions in dire need of his intelligence and boundless patience.

  Ashley Johnson

Ashley Johnson, known for her roles on NBC's Blindspot and Geek & Sundry's Critical Role, will take on a new persona as a half-orc cleric.

Ashley Johnson IMDB

Ashley Johnson Twitter

Ashley Johnson Instagram

Dagny Halvor (Half-Orc Cleric of Gond). A worshiper of the god of craft, Dagny has a mind for gizmos and gadgets that can build all sorts of tiny clockwork automatons. Dagny survives on her wits, so her adventuring gear is tailor made, everything from her modifiable flail, to her collapsible staff, to her holy symbol that is a multi-tool. As a cleric of Gond, Dagny not only fixes machines but also people.

Shelby Fero

Comedian and writer Shelby Fero (Key & Peele) will be playing a dwarf fighter with a floating shield and a crippling fear of heights.

Shelby Fero IMDB

Shelby Fero Twitter

Shelby Fero Instagram

Brawlwin Chainminer (Dwarf Fighter) is a proud descendant of the Delzoun dwarves and hails from a long line of giant-slayers based in Waterdeep. The stability she craves is jeopardized whenever her old friend Hitch shows up, and Katya has helped him out of many sticky situations. Although her roots in the city run deep, Katya longs for adventure from time to time, and maybe slay a giant or two while she’s at it.

Jonah Ray

Jonah Ray, host of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail on Comedy Central, Hidden America and the new MST3K is playing a wise old monk who has a fishing metaphor for every occasion.

Jonah Ray IMDB

Jonah Ray Twitter

Jonah Ray Instagram

Joppa (Human Monk) has an appreciation for the deeper meaning of life. Or he is a simpleton. No one can really tell. A fisherman extraordinaire, he has learned much by watching the rivers and tides, and by studying the fish that elude his lures. Quick to make friends and slow to make enemies, Joppa is happiest while sharing the benefits and techniques of proper fishing.

  Utkarsh Ambudkar

Actor, singer, rapper-extraordinaire, Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Mindy Project, Pitch Perfect), will be drawing on his many talents as he plays a wise-cracking scoundrel human rogue.

Utkarsh Ambudkar IMDB

Utkarsh Ambudkar Twitter

Utkarsh Ambudkar Instagram

Hitch (Human Rogue) started off life on the wrong foot and the wrong side of the wagon tracks. He tries to keep two steps ahead of his shady past, avoiding run-ins with the Zhentarim and other nefarious acquaintances. With his quick wit and roguish charm, Hitch plans to somehow land on his feet, on a pile of gold, with a treasure map in each hand, but until then he needs all the friends he can get.

Brian Posehn

Brian Posehn (The Sarah Silverman Program) is a long-time D&D player who hosts his own D&D games on the Nerd Poker podcast and he joins the group playing against type.

Brian Posehn Official Website

Brian Posehn IMDB

Brian Posehn Twitter

Calliope (Half-Elf Bard) was raised on a pirate ship, and yes, that’s an excuse for her volatile behavior and colorful language. She’ll sing you a song, but you better listen or she’ll smash you with her lute. Calliope loves disguises and unravelling mysteries. Calliope can’t resist the lure of adventure or making new enemies, but it’s her friends who serve as the family she never had.

         

Matthew Mercer

Matthew Mercer

Matthew Mercer, veteran voice actor and leader of the popular series Critical Role, will be the Dungeon Master after working hand-in-hand with the team at Dungeons & Dragons to develop the adventure. 

  Publication date: 07/11/2016Introduction: Watch the first episode of Force Grey: Giant Hunters now on the Nerdist YouTube channel! Tags: FeaturesTexture banner: Show

Peter Lee and Andrew Veen on Tyrants of the Underdark

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 11:30
Release date: 06/30/2016Description: After we learn about the background of Force Grey from Adam Lee and Matt Sernett in a new segment called Lore You Should Know, Greg Tito delves deep into the design and development of the new board game, Tyrants of the Underdark, published by Gale Force 9 and designed by Peter Lee, Rodney Thompson, and Andrew Veen.Thumbnail: Category: D&D podcastsBanner: Introduction: After we learn about the background of Force Grey from Adam Lee and Matt Sernett in a new segment called Lore You Should Know, Greg Tito delves deep into the design and development of the new board game, Tyrants of the Underdark, published by Gale Force 9 and designed by Peter Lee, Rodney Thompson, and Andrew Veen.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: Peter Lee and Andrew Veen on Tyrants of the UnderdarkSuscribe link: Official Dungeons & Dragons Podcast

Rules Answers: June 2016

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 11:28
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Jeremy CrawfordSubtitle: Sage AdviceBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

This month, we dip into my Twitter archive and add a bunch of questions and answers from it to the Sage Advice Compendium. With the help of Chris Dupuis, I’ve tweaked or extended a number of the answers, which are drawn from July and August of 2015. The answers touch on a variety of rules topics.

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).

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

Does the barbarian’s Danger Sense work against breath weapons and enemies’ special abilities? A barbarian’s Danger Sense benefits any Dexterity saving throw against an effect that the barbarian can see.

Can a Circle of the Moon druid speak the languages it knows while in the form of an elemental? Yes, since the elementals listed in Elemental Wild Shape can speak.

If a druid in elemental form can speak, can the druid cast spells? A druid can cast spells in a Wild Shape form only upon gaining the Beast Spells feature at 18th level.

If a druid takes the Magic Initiate feat and chooses detect magic as their one spell, can the druid cast that spell as a ritual? A druid's Ritual Casting requires a ritual to be prepared. The spell from Magic Initiate is known but not prepared.

Does the “when” in the Eldritch Knight’s War Magic feature mean the bonus attack comes after you cast the cantrip, or can it come before? The intent is that the bonus attack can come before or after the cantrip. You choose when to take a bonus action during your turn, unless the bonus action specifies when it must take place (PH, 189).

There is no component pouch option in the Ranger’s starting equipment. Does the class not need one nor a focus for spells? A ranger follows the spellcasting rules in chapter 10 of the Player’s Handbook, including the rule on components. A ranger typically uses a component pouch for the material components of spells, but doesn’t start with one because rangers don’t have spells at 1st level.

Can a rogue use Evasion if they are surprised? The rule states that “if you are surprised, you can’t move or take an action…” A surprised rogue can use Evasion, since that feature doesn’t require the rogue to take an action or move.

Metamagic rules state you can’t use multiple Metamagic options on a single spell. Can you use one option multiple times? The intent is that a sorcerer can use one Metamagic option once with a spell, not the same option more than once.

Does using a bonus action break invisibility from a warlock’s One with Shadows invocation? Taking a bonus action breaks the invisibility of a warlock’s One with Shadows. A bonus action is an action.

Does the 14th-level Illusionist ability let you make something real every round, or just once? Illusory Reality is intended to make one illusory object real per illusion spell.

An abjurer gains resistance to spell damage at 14th level. Does the abjurer’s Arcane Ward gain this resistance when a spell hits the abjurer? The abjurer, not the Arcane Ward, gains the resistance at 14th level.

Multiclassing

Are ability score improvements class level dependent, rather than total level? Ability score improvements are based on your level in a particular class, not your total level if you multiclass. Your class table tells you when you get the improvement.

A wizard multiclasses into Wild Magic sorcerer. Do spells cast from their spellbook trigger Wild Magic Surge if they are on the sorcerer spell list or do they have to gain them from Sorcerer to trigger? From the multiclassing rules: “Each spell you know and prepare is associated with one of your classes” (PH, 164). This rule means only the spells gained from levels in sorcerer trigger Wild Magic Surge.

When multiclassing, do you get the cantrips from all your classes? If any of your classes grants you cantrips, you get all of them.

Do you gain proficiency in more saving throws when multiclassing? A class offers various starting proficiencies that you get if it is your first class. If the class isn’t your first, you get only the starting proficiencies listed for that class in the Multiclassing Proficiencies table (PH, 164). No saving throw proficiencies are included in that table.

Regardless of whether a class is your first, you do gain any proficiencies that the class grants through its features. For instance, if you gain a level in cleric and choose the War Domain, you do benefit from the Bonus Proficiencies feature, even if cleric isn’t your first class.

Can I multiclass into the same class to pick more than one subclass? Multiclassing is designed solely for taking different classes. For example, you can be a fighter/rogue, but not a rogue/rogue.

Combat

Can a flying creature without the hover trait stay in one place while airborne, or does it need to move each round? A flyer that lacks the hover trait can stay aloft without moving each round.

Can you move through a prone enemy? The prone condition doesn’t override the rule that prevents you from moving through an enemy’s space, unless that enemy is at least two sizes larger or smaller than you. If you do move through another creature’s space—whether a friend or an enemy—the space is difficult terrain for you, and you can’t willingly end your move there. See the Player’s Handbook, page 190–92, for more on movement in combat.

Does travel pace apply to movement in combat, or just when traveling? The travel pace rule (PH, 181–2) doesn’t apply in combat.

Can a blinded creature make an opportunity attack? An opportunity attack is triggered by “a hostile creature you can see” (PH, 195). If you can’t see an enemy, you can’t make an opportunity attack against it.

Can an opportunity attack be used to make a grapple or a shove? Grappling/shoving are part of the Attack action (PH, 195), not an opportunity attack. Take the Ready action to grapple/shove outside your turn.

Can damage be reduced to 0 by resistance or another form of damage reduction? There is no damage minimum in the rules, so it is possible to deal 0 damage with an attack, a spell, or another effect.

Target at range caught in melee combat, does that target get some kind of cover or do I get disadvantage? Your target has half-cover if another creature is between you and the target (PH, 196).

Spellcasting

For readying a spell or other action, does the target have to be in range? Your target must be within range when you take a readied action, not when you first ready it.

How does readying a spell work? Do you lose your spell slot if the trigger never occurs? A readied spell’s slot is lost if you don’t release the spell with your reaction before the start of your next turn.

Spell Attacks

Some spells (like eldritch blast) target a creature. Some others (like fire bolt) target objects too. Does this mean that I can’t attack the door with eldritch blast? The target specifications (creature, object, or something else) in spells are intentional.

Does a “melee spell attack” count as a “melee attack” for Touch of Death? A melee spell attack is, indeed, a melee attack and can qualify for the Death cleric’s Touch of Death feature.

Casting Time

If a spell has a longer casting time, do you have to complete its time requirement in order to successfully cast the spell? See the “Longer Casting Times” section of the Player’s Handbook (p. 202) for how such casting times work.

Specific Spells

Do contagion effects kick in immediately, or do they kick in when the target fails the three saving throws? The effects of the contagion spell's disease are meant to activate after three failed saving throws.

If dispel magic targets the magical effect from bless cast by a cleric, does it remove the effect on all the targets? Dispel magic ends a spell on one target. It doesn’t end the same spell on other targets.

Can the extra action granted by haste be used to activate a magic item? No. Activating a magic item isn’t a function of the Use an Object action (DMG, 141).

Does the extra damage from hex only apply if there is an attack roll? The extra damage in the hex spell requires an attack that hits.

Can an object created with minor illusion move? For example, a wall sliding down a corridor? An illusory object created by a minor illusion doesn’t move. Compare to spells like mislead that talk about moving.

Can a spell such as fireball go past its 20-foot radius if the point of origin is set in an enclosed space? The fire of the fireball spell can spread around corners, but it’s limited by the spell’s 20-foot radius.

Does a friendly creature under the effects of polymorph have to take the mental stats of the new form? Yes, that’s the intent.

Monsters

Does a monster with at-will spellcasting ability mean it can cast a spell as an action or as a bonus action? If a monster has the ability to cast a spell at will, that spell is cast using its normal casting time.

The Monster Manual says gnolls speak Gnoll, but the Player’s Handbook doesn’t mention that  language. What is correct? The Player’s Handbook language tables don’t list every language in the D&D multiverse. The Monster Manual includes other languages, including Sahuagin and Gnoll.

Does the movement from a dragon’s Wing Attack legendary action draw attacks of opportunity if it moves out of reach? Nothing in Wing Attack protects the dragon from opportunity attacks.

A monster is immune to damage from nonmagical bludgeoning weapons. Does it still take damage from falling? Yes, that monster is still going to feel the hurt of a fall.

If a monster makes a melee attack that uses its Dexterity modifier, is it considered to have used a finesse weapon? A weapon doesn't have the finesse property unless its description says so, and using Dexterity for an attack doesn't confer the finesse property. If a weapon does have that property, you can use Strength or Dexterity with it.

How does a monster’s Leadership ability work? Is it one time or 1/round for all allies’ actions for 1 minute? A creature turns on Leadership as an action. Until the benefit ends, the creature can grant a die whenever a visible ally in range attacks/saves.

Is a vampire affected by hold person or calm emotions? A vampire has the undead creature type, not the humanoid type, so it isn’t affected by either of those spells.

Magic Items

Can potions be administered to unconscious characters as an action? Yes, you can administer a potion to someone else as an action (DMG, 139).

Are magic weapons with the thrown property (javelins and the like) assumed to return to their owner after being thrown? If a magic weapon returns to you after you throw it, its description says so, as in the dwarven thrower (DMG, 167).

Would an elf get a saving throw versus a philter of love as it’s a charm? The description implies there is no save. There is no save against the philter of love. The love is just that strong.

If a potion doesn’t duplicate a spell, does it require concentration? A potion’s effect requires concentration only if its description says so or if it duplicates a spell that requires concentration.

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 column.

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 1.01)

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: 06/30/2016Introduction: 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 more smoothly.Tags: FeaturesSage AdviceTexture banner: Show

Meet R.A Salvatore at Conventions in 2016

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 10:30
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Greg TitoBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

The next novel coming from R.A. Salvatore is Hero, the final book in the Homecoming Trilogy. In Archmage and Maestro, the previous two books of the series, renegade drow Drizzt Do’Urden returned to the Underdark where he was born to battle powerful demons both corporeal and within his own psyche. Now that the demonic threat has subsided, it is up to Drizzt to find his home away from the matron mothers and warring drow houses of Menzoberranzan. Where will he go now?

You’ll have to read Hero when it releases in October 2016 to find out, but you may be able to track down R.A. Salvatore before then to pick his brain about Drizzt at several major events this year. We have teamed up with author Kevin J. Anderson and his company WordFire to host Salvatore at fan conventions as a special guest. During the conventions at the WordFire booth, Salvatore will be able to meet with fans, sign books and, most importantly, thank you for reading his books for more than 27 years. There will be no charge for pictures or autographs.

R.A. Salvatore Convention Schedule

Connecticon
Hartford, Connecticut
Connecticut Convention Center
July 7-10

Tampa Bay Comic Con
Tampa Bay, Florida
Tampa Convention Center
August 5-7

Cincinnati Comic Expo
Cincinnati, Ohio
Duke Energy Convention Center
September 23-25

New York Comic Con
New York, NY
Javits Center
October 6-9

Rhode Island Comic Con
Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island Convention Center
November 11-13

Let Bob know you’ll be going to these conventions by tweeting him @r_a_salvatore.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

R.A. Salvatore is the New York Times best-selling author of The Legend of Drizzt, one of the most successful fantasy series of all time. He lives in Massachusetts, and is a loyal citizen of Red Sox Nation. Find him on Facebook, and at his own web site, rasalvatore.com.

Publication date: 06/17/2016Introduction: Check out these upcoming conventions where you can meet R.A. Salvatore and talk about his newest books, Maestro and the upcoming Hero.Tags: FeaturesTexture banner: Show

John August and Craig Mazin on D&D Scriptwriting Tips

Thu, 06/09/2016 - 12:52
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).

Listen to the podcast.

Publication date: 06/09/2016Introduction: Screenwriters John August (Big Fish) and Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part II) from the Script Notes podcast come on to talk about their D&D group full of film and TV writers.Tags: PodcastTexture banner: Show

John August and Craig Mazin on D&D Scriptwriting Tips

Thu, 06/09/2016 - 12:10
Release date: 06/09/2016Authors: Shelly Mazzanoble, Greg TitoDescription: Screenwriters John August (Big Fish) and Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part II) from the Script Notes podcast come on to talk about their D&D group full of film and TV writers.Thumbnail: Category: D&D podcastsBanner: Introduction: Screenwriters John August (Big Fish) and Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part II) from the Script Notes podcast come on to talk about their D&D group full of film and TV writers.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: John August and Craig Mazin on D&D Scriptwriting TipsSuscribe link: Official D&D Podcast

Feats

Mon, 06/06/2016 - 12:39
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Mike Mearls with Jeremy CrawfordSubtitle: Unearthed ArcanaBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

In addition to those new feats, this installment also talks about feat design and the place of feats in the game. Using design examples, we highlight what we want new feats to accomplish—and what they need to avoid, so as to not slow things down or interfere with the DM’s ability to run the game.

 

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 not officially part of the game. For these reasons, material in this column is not legal in D&D Organized Play events.

Publication date: 06/06/2016Introduction: Based on feedback from our surveys and a number of requests on Twitter, this month’s Unearthed Arcana introduces new feats for fifth edition D&D.Tags: FeaturesUnearthed Arcanaexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2016/downloads/DND/UA-Feats-V1.pdfExternal url description: UNEARTHED ARCANA: FEATS Texture banner: Show

wallpaper_20160601_Storm Giant

Wed, 06/01/2016 - 08:00
Picture: Type: WallpapersDisplay Mode thumbnail: LargeTitle: Storm King's Thunder Set 1Image : 

Storm King's Thunder

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 16:46
Related products: Icons of the Realms: Storm King’s ThunderNeverwinterVolo’s Guide to MonstersHeroInline blocks: Latest story - Current storySubtitle: A Dungeons & Dragons AdventureAuthor: Wizards of the CoastSynopsis: 

This 256-page adventure for characters level 1 – 11+ provides everything a Dungeon Master needs to create an exciting and memorable play experience for the Storm King’s Thunder story, including rune magic items, a new treasure option for characters. 

Giants have emerged from their strongholds to threaten civilization as never before. Hill giants are stealing all the grain and livestock they can while stone giants have been scouring settlements that have been around forever. Fire giants are press-ganging the smallfolk into the desert, while frost giant longships have been pillaging along the Sword Coast. Even the elusive cloud giants have been witnessed, their wondrous floating cities appearing above Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate. Where is the storm giant King Hekaton, who is tasked with keeping order among the giants?

The humans, dwarves, elves, and other small folk of the Sword Coast will be crushed underfoot from the onslaught of these giant foes. The only chance at survival is for the small folk to work together to investigate this invasion and harness the power of rune magic, the giants’ weapon against their ancient enemy the dragons. The only way the people of Faerun can restore order is to use the giants’ own power against them.

Download #1 label: Pre-Order at Your Local StoreDownload #2 label: Pre-Order on AmazonFormat: HardcoverISBN: 9780786966004Description:  WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

Purchase it at your local game store, book stores such as Barnes & Noble, or online at retailers like Amazon.

Image thumbnail: Image left: Banner: Game type: RPG ProductsRelease date: 09/06/2016Price ($): USD49.95Price (C$): CAD63.95External Download #1 file: http://locator.wizards.com/#brand=dndExternal Download #2 file: https://www.amazon.com/Storm-Kings-Thunder-Wizards-Team/dp/0786966009/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1466109500&sr=8-1&keywords=storm+king%27s+thunder

Wolfgang Baur on Kobold Press

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 17:49
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).

Listen to the podcast.

Publication date: 05/12/2016Introduction: Wolfgang Baur returns to tell us some more crazy stories, sing some Hall & Oates, and talk about what Kobold Press is putting up on the DMs Guild.Tags: PodcastTexture banner: Show

Wolfgang Baur on Kobold Press

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 17:41
Release date: 05/12/2016Authors: Shelly Mazzanoble, Greg TitoDescription: Wolfgang Baur returns to tell us some more crazy stories, sing some Hall & Oates, and talk about what Kobold Press is putting up on the DMs Guild.Thumbnail: Category: D&D podcastsBanner: Introduction: Wolfgang Baur returns to tell us some more crazy stories, sing some Hall & Oates, and talk about what Kobold Press is putting up on the DMs Guild.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: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_05_12_2016.mp3Suscribe link: Official Dungeons & Dragons Podcast

May Dungeon Masters Guild Review

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 08:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Mike Mearls and Chris LindsaySubtitle: Unearthed ArcanaBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text:  Darker Gifts

Written by Igor Moreno, illustrated by Brian Lee and Michael Wolmarans, published by Flying Ape

If you’re running the Curse of Strahd adventure or your own Ravenloft-based campaign, Darker Gifts gives you a number of nifty curses to levy on characters who have died. In the current Adventurers League season, characters below 5th level who die can return to life with one of four curses. Darker Gifts expands that list with sixteen additional options.

The fun part of this list is that many of the curses feel truly horrific. For instance, one curse causes a character’s mouth to become sewn shut. A spellcaster who needs to use verbal components is out of luck—though at the cost of a few points of damage, you can tear the sutures out and speak for 1 round.

Druid Circles

Published by Stray Chow Chow

Purely by chance, we haven’t featured any new druid class options since the release of fifth edition D&D. Well, Stray Chow Chow (and is that the publisher’s name, or the designer’s name, or are we perhaps dealing with the dog world’s foremost DMs Guild contributor?) has cooked up three different druid options for your use.

The circle of the deathbloom focuses on druids who respect the natural cycle of life, death, and decay. They can take on the form of fungi, and can use their magic to cause slain enemies to rapidly decay and unleash beneficial power.

The circle of the fountain is a conclave of druids who maintain and protect a fountain-of-youth-style artifact. They are excellent healers, as one would expect, and have the ability to infuse their magic into healing draughts.

The circle of the beast brings back the idea of the druid’s animal companion. This circle allows you to gain a beast companion and augment its abilities as you gain levels.

All three of these offerings are compact and clear—the kind of thing you can print out and tuck into your Player’s Handbook. Best of all, they also hit one of the most important notes for designing class options. Each new circle has a clear place in the world, with a distinct identity that allows it to stand out when placed alongside other druid options. So if the druid lover in your group is looking for some new options, these three are definitely a great place to start.

Publication date: 05/09/2016Introduction: Once more, Unearthed Arcana takes a look at some of the popular releases on the DMs Guild, and highlights a couple of nifty new offerings for your campaign.Tags: FeaturesTexture banner: Hide

wallpaper_20160506_Ezmerelda

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 08:00
Picture: Type: WallpapersDisplay Mode thumbnail: LargeTitle: Dragon+ Issue 7 (Red)Image : 

wallpaper_20160506_Strahd Carriage Castle

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 08:00
Picture: Type: WallpapersDisplay Mode thumbnail: LargeTitle: Curse of Strahd Set 3Image : 

wallpaper_20160506_Ezmerelda

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 08:00
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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