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5+1 Things to consider when hosting a game

dungeonmastering.com - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 16:47
Owlbear… I never know how to begin so that takes care of that.  I am Ace, you’ll get to know about me as this column continues. I run a monthly D&D 5E game at my house. Turnover is low,...

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November 2015 Survey

Wizards of the Coast D&D - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 07:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Mike MearlsBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

New Survey

Sword Coast Legends has been out for a month, and we’re looking for your feedback on what you like and what you want to see next. Or, if you’re not playing Sword Coast Legends, take the survey to let us know why. Thanks!

Take the Survey

Ranger Survey Results

In our last survey, we asked a number of questions about the ranger class overall and an example of a new ranger class built from scratch, featuring levels one through five. The class was an attempt to get to the root of the dissatisfaction we’ve seen with the ranger, and determine what changes (if any) we should make to the class in the future.

There are two, interesting elements that emerge from the survey. To start with, the 2nd and 3rd edition versions of the ranger were the most well received versions of the class. Those two versions mixed an animal companion with wilderness skills, spellcasting, and a unique fighting style focused on wielding two weapons. 3rd edition added an archery option. They seem to match closest with the ratings given to the design direction outlined in the ranger article. The concept of the wilderness champion and defender along the lines of a paladin isn’t very popular, but people do like a ranger who can survive in the wilderness through a combination of skill and magical abilities.

Given that background, it’s no surprise that a ranger class that de-emphasizes magic and lacks a full-time, in-the-flesh animal companion received fairly poor ratings.

For the next step, we’ll take a pass on designing a ranger that focuses more heavily on the animal companion and makes it a default part of the class. That approach allows much more of the ranger’s core “power budget” to go toward the companion. You can think of that budget as the total effectiveness the class brings to bear, spread out across its class features. The initial 5e design pushed the animal companion into the ranger archetype choice, requiring it to sit atop all of the core class features. By folding that choice into the core class, we have a lot more power to play with.

Publication date: 11/19/2015Introduction: D&D adventures have been a part of the game since its inception, but adventures have changed a lot over the years. Looking at the evolution of adventures can provide valuable insight into creating great adventures of your own.Tags: Featuresexternal_urls: Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

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Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 23:05

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Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

We’re All Mad Here

Wizards of the Coast D&D - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 07:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Trevor KiddSubtitle: QuizBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: Content loading...


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Publication date: 11/18/2015Introduction: Give us your best Underdark NPC, driven mad by the power of one of the Demon lords! We'll take our favorites, have one of our artists whip up images based on your descriptions, and feature them in a future issue of Dragon+. Tags: Featuresexternal_urls: Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

Map of Faerün

Wizards of the Coast D&D - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 07:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Mike SchleyBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

This map features in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, which describes the locations on the map in greater detail.

High Resolution (27 MB) | Med Resolution (11 MB) | Low Resolution (1.1 MB)

Publication date: 11/18/2015Introduction: Thanks to the hard work of our 2015 D&D Extra Life team and the generous donations of fans, we’ve made available a detailed, high resolution of the northwest corner of Faerün.Tags: Featuresexternal_urls: Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

Neverwinter: Demogorgon is in the House

Wizards of the Coast D&D - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 07:00
Type: FeaturesSubtitle: D&D PodcastBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Rob talks about what it’s like to work with R.A. Salvatore, his ongoing love affair with the Great Weapon Fighter, and bringing demonic madness into the world of the Forgotten Realms in Neverwinter. Watch your hotbars, folks, Demogorgon is in town.

Publication date: 11/17/2015Introduction: Hosts Trevor Kidd and Greg Tito get on the horn with Rob Overmeyer, Executive Producer of Neverwinter at Cryptic Studios, to dish about what’s happening in the Underdark.Tags: Podcastexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2015/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_11_17_2015.mp3External url description: Podcast: Neverwinter: Demogorgon is in the House Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

Rules Answers: November 2015

Wizards of the Coast D&D - Mon, 11/16/2015 - 07:00
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.

Racial Traits

Do the lightfoot halfling and wood elf hiding racial traits allow them to hide while observed? The lightfoot halfling and wood elf traits—Naturally Stealthy and Mask of the Wild—do allow members of those subraces to try to hide in their special circumstances even when observers are nearby. Normally, you can’t hide from someone if you’re in full view. A lightfoot halfling, though, can try to vanish behind a creature that is at least one size larger, and a wood elf can try to hide simply by being in heavy rain, mist, falling snow, foliage, or similar natural phenomena. It’s as if nature itself cloaks a wood elf from prying eyes—even eyes staring right at the elf! Both subraces are capable of hiding in situations unavailable to most other creatures, but neither subrace’s hiding attempt is assured of success; a Dexterity (Stealth) check is required as normal, and an observant foe might later spot a hidden halfling or elf: “I see you behind that guard, you tricksy halfling!”

Class Features

Do warlock spells granted by the Expanded Spell List feature count against the number of spells known? The spells granted by that feature aren’t automatically known by a warlock. Those spells are added to the warlock spell list for the character, who can choose them when learning a new warlock spell of the appropriate level. Once learned, such a spell does count against the number of spells the warlock knows.

Does Quickened Spell allow a sorcerer to cast two spells a round of 1st level or higher? No, the sorcerer must follow the normal rule for casting a bonus action spell and a second spell; the second spell must be a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

When you use Extra Attack, do you have to use the same weapon for all the attacks? Extra Attack imposes no limitation on what you use for the attacks. You can use regular weapons, improvised weapons, unarmed strikes, or a combination of these options for the attacks.

Backgrounds

Can you have more than one background? You can have only one background. It represents key aspects of your life before you embarked on a life of adventure. If none of the backgrounds available matches your character concept, talk with your DM and use the guidelines on page 125 of the Player’s Handbook to customize your own background.

Equipment

If you attack with a shield—most likely as an improvised weapon—do you keep the +2 bonus to AC? Attacking with a shield doesn’t deprive you of the bonus to AC.

Multiclassing

Can a rogue/monk use Sneak Attack with unarmed strikes? The Sneak Attack feature works with a weapon that has the finesse or ranged property. An unarmed strike isn’t a weapon, so it doesn’t qualify. In contrast, a rogue/monk can use Sneak Attack with a monk weapon, such as a shortsword or a dagger, that has one of the required properties.

Feats

Does the Savage Attacker feat work with unarmed strikes? Yes, it does. Savage Attacker benefits melee weapon attacks, and an unarmed strike is a melee weapon attack. [Earlier this year, the Player's Handbook errata clarified that an unarmed strike is a nonweapon that can make melee weapon attacks. This means an unarmed strike qualifies for anything, such as Stunning Strike, that requires a melee weapon attack, but not for something, such as Sneak Attack or magic weapon, that requires a weapon. At the heart of this rule is the distinction between an attack and a weapon; the former is something you do, whereas the latter is an object.]

Combat

Does surprise happen outside the initiative order as a special surprise round? No, here’s how surprise works.

The first step of any combat is this: the DM determines whether anyone in the combat is surprised (reread “Combat Step by Step” on page 189 of the Player’s Handbook). This determination happens only once during a fight and only at the beginning. In other words, once a fight starts, you can’t be surprised again, although a hidden foe can still gain the normal benefits from being unseen (see “Unseen Attackers and Targets” on page 194 of the Player’s Handbook).

To be surprised, you must be caught off guard, usually because you failed to notice foes being stealthy or you were startled by an enemy with a special ability, such as the gelatinous cube’s Transparent trait, that makes it exceptionally surprising. You can be surprised even if your companions aren’t, and you aren’t surprised if even one of your foes fails to catch you unawares.

If anyone is surprised, no actions are taken yet. First, initiative is rolled as normal. Then, the first round of combat starts, and the unsurprised combatants act in initiative order. A surprised creature can’t move or take an action or a reaction until its first first turn ends (remember that being unable to take an action also means you can’t take a bonus action). In effect, a surprised creature skips its first turn in a fight. Once that turn ends, the creature is no longer surprised.

In short, activity in a combat is always ordered by initiative, whether or not someone is surprised, and after the first found of combat has passed, surprise is no longer a factor. You can still try to hide from your foes and gain the benefits conferred by being hidden, but you don’t deprive your foes of their turns when you do so.

Is the intent that only melee weapon attacks can knock foes unconscious, or can melee spell attacks as well? If you reduce a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack, you can knock the creature out (PH, 198). That melee attack isn’t restricted to weapons. Even a melee spell attack can be used to knock a creature out.

If you have a feature like Cunning Action or Step of the Wind, can you take the Dash action more than once on your turn? If a bonus action lets you take the Dash action, nothing in the rules prevents you from taking the Dash action with your regular action too. The same principle holds when you use a feature like Action Surge; you could use both of your actions to take the Dash action.­

Spellcasting

Does planar binding summon the creature to be bound, or is that done separately? Planar binding doesn’t summon a creature. It attempts to bind a creature that is within the spell’s range.

For the spell hail of thorns, does it last for the initial attack or as long as you maintain concentration? Hail of thorns lasts until you hit a creature with a ranged weapon attack or your concentration ends, whichever comes first.

Sage Advice Compendium

This month’s questions and answers are now part of the Sage Advice Compendium (version 1.04).

Other Resources

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

Player’s Handbook Errata (version 1.1)

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)

Visit the Character Sheets webpage for blank characters sheets, as well as pregenerated characters.

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: 11/16/2015Introduction: Sage Advice is a monthly column that gives official clarifications of D&D rules. It also sometimes provides reference documents to help your D&D game run smoothly. What’s the first rule of Sage Advice? The Dungeon Master—not this column or the rulebooks—is the game’s adjudicator.Tags: FeaturesSage Adviceexternal_urls: Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

Ancient Valkyrie

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 01:31

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Ancient Valkyrie

She lies frozen, awaiting Ragnarok

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Gutsoup Golem

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 01:31

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Gutsoup Golem

The only hard part is maintaining a constant supply of fresh body parts.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Gent

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 01:31

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Gent

He's polite. You should be, too.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Prince of Blades

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Sat, 11/14/2015 - 14:01

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Prince of Blades

As frightening as the Jack and Prince are, what about the King?

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Shadow Demon

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Sat, 11/14/2015 - 14:01

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Shadow Demon

You should be afraid of the dark.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Adding a Jason-like Villain to your D&D game

dungeonmastering.com - Sat, 11/14/2015 - 01:57
In honor of Friday the 13th, we’re taking a look at the horror franchise that spawned 12 films while making people scared of goalies. Although there are usually dozens of villains in any given...

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Carrion Crawler

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Fri, 11/13/2015 - 17:25

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Carrion Crawler

As dangerous as these creatures are, they serve a useful role in cleaning out dungeons.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Air Myrmidon

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Fri, 11/13/2015 - 17:25

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Air Myrmidon

Spirits of air trapped within armor, these Myrmidons are swift soldiers.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Kuo-Toa Archpriest

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Fri, 11/13/2015 - 17:25

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Kuo-Toa Archpriest

They worship an old undersea god.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Kuo-Toa

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Fri, 11/13/2015 - 17:25

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Kuo-Toa

Mysterious Deep One, these fishy fellows are quite mysterious!

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

D&D Now Available in Virtual Reality

Wizards of the Coast D&D - Thu, 11/12/2015 - 15:40
Type: NewsBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Gather your party from wherever they are in the world and venture forth on an epic D&D adventure!

Fans have great memories of meeting around the kitchen table for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. In D&D in AltspaceVR, you can have that same feeling by getting together with your friends around a 3D tabletop in virtual reality and starting a campaign.

AltspaceVR* allows multiple adventurers and spectators to meet together and interact with and around the game by moving, talking, gesturing, and seeing each other’s reactions as if in the same room.

How do I get started in D&D in VR?

Jump into the Tavern, an AltspaceVR fantasy gathering place, and check out D&D now! Sign in with your existing AltspaceVR account or sign up for a new account. Go to the D&D page, click "start a campaign" and follow the instructions.

You can check posted events for a hosted D&D session you can join. Or try Looking for a Party to find fellow adventurers, or start your own campaign.

 

I am new to VR, what do I need to know?

D&D is best experienced in full VR, which requires a head mounted display such as Oculus Rift DK2 or HTC Vive. More information about AltspaceVR supported gear and set up can be found on the Learn tab at the top of the altvr.com web site. There is also Support, if needed.

What if I do not have any VR gear?

While not as immersive as full VR, you can experience AltspaceVR and play D&D using your existing computer monitor. AltspaceVR works with most recent Windows and Mac OS X computers.

Find out more about D&D in AltspaceVR.

*AltspaceVR is a social virtual reality company and licensee of D&D. They have created a virtual reality experience with character sheets, figurines, and terrain tiles for fans to build their maps and craft their adventures. Terrain tiles include sets from dungeon, wilderness and city themes. Figurines include well-known monsters such as gelatinous cubes and dragons, as well as heroes of various classes. There is even a set of virtual polyhedral dice so your natural 20’s can be enjoyed by everyone.

Publication date: 11/16/2015Introduction: Fans have great memories of meeting around the kitchen table for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. In D&D in AltspaceVR, you can have that same feeling by getting together with your friends around a 3D tabletop in virtual reality and starting a campaign. Tags: Featuresexternal_urls: Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

Late Late Show Writer Jared Logan on Dungeon Mastering

Wizards of the Coast D&D - Thu, 11/12/2015 - 12:01
Release date: 11/12/2015Description: Our intrepid hosts Greg Tito and Trevor Kidd pick the brain of stand-up comedian and TV writer, Jared Logan. Thumbnail: Category: D&D podcastsBanner: Introduction: Our intrepid hosts Greg Tito and Trevor Kidd pick the brain of stand-up comedian and TV writer, Jared Logan. Text: 

Jared is currently working on the The Late Late Show with James Corden but he’s been a Dungeon Master for far, far longer. He says he likes playing D&D straight in order to get more laughs with his friends, and we talk about how his career in comedy has dovetailed with his love of rolling dice around the table – even if that table is in a very crowded and cluttered one room apartment in New York City.

Podcast link: http://media.wizards.com/2015/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_11_12_2015.mp3Suscribe link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-dungeons-dragons-podcast/id189053885Banner video: 

Late Late Show Writer Jared Logan on Dungeon Mastering

Wizards of the Coast D&D - Thu, 11/12/2015 - 12:01
Type: FeaturesSubtitle: D&D PodcastBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Jared is currently working on the The Late Late Show with James Corden but he’s been a Dungeon Master for far, far longer. He says he likes playing D&D straight in order to get more laughs with his friends, and we talk about how his career in comedy has dovetailed with his love of rolling dice around the table – even if that table is in a very crowded and cluttered one room apartment in New York City.

Publication date: 11/12/2015Introduction: Our intrepid hosts Greg Tito and Trevor Kidd pick the brain of stand-up comedian and TV writer, Jared Logan. Tags: Podcastexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2015/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_11_12_2015.mp3External url description: Podcast: Late Late Show Writer Jared Logan on Dungeon Mastering Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 
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