Category Archives: D&D fifth edition

Lawful DM and Chaotic DM answer questions about spellcasting and free hands

When I saw the fifth-edition basic Dungeons & Dragons rules, I concluded that the designers wanted to make the rules match the way players obviously want to play—with little concern for time spent swapping weapons and spell components. For example, … Continue reading

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Fifth-edition D&D strategy for fourth-edition players: Kill the wizard

In fourth edition Dungeons & Dragons, enemy spellcasters brought the same mix of encounter and recharging powers as every other monster of the same level. They posed the same threat, but with spell-flavored powers. In fifth-edition Dungeons & Dragons, spellcasters … Continue reading

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Fifth-edition D&D strategy for fourth-edition players: Do not horde your spell slots

From behind my dungeon masters screen, I keep seeing players hording their spell slots. Even as the wizard’s allies fall dying, even as the monsters bunch in a cluster ripe for a burning hands, he or she opts for another … Continue reading

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Fifth-edition D&D strategy for fourth-edition players: Look at things

Fourth edition Dungeons & Dragons emphasized combat encounters at the expense of role playing and exploration. The Dungeon Master’s Guide encouraged, “Move the PCs quickly from encounter to encounter and on to the fun!” (p.105) Not-fun aspects of the 4E … Continue reading

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Fifth-edition D&D strategy for fourth-edition players: Choose your battles

Over the last few months, I have introduced fifth-edition Dungeons & Dragons to lot of folks who have only ever played fourth edition. In the new game, these players tend to make assumptions likely to get their characters killed. For … Continue reading

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My first impression of inspiration proved wrong

In an earlier post, I leveled criticism toward the inspiration mechanic based on Mike Mearls’s preview in “Roleplaying in D&D Next.” I listed two gripes: Awarding inspiration seemed to put the dungeon master in an uncomfortable role. Mearls wrote about … Continue reading

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How cover and tool proficiency reveal choices in fifth-edition design

In order to create a simpler, more elegant, version of Dungeons & Dragons, the designers eliminated most of the situational modifiers that appeared in earlier editions. See “How D&D Next moves toward a simpler core game.” While these modifiers appealed … Continue reading

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Dungeon masters: Why your players might not love theater of the mind as much as you do

Before the introduction of third edition Dungeons & Dragons in 2000, virtually everyone played the game in the theater of the mind—without battle maps, miniatures, or other markers. In an effort to focus on imagination and roleplay, the fifth-edition designers created … Continue reading

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Revisiting three corners of the new D&D rules

In two posts, I answered some common rules questions about fifth-edition Dungeons & Dragons from dungeon masters and players. I added some extra comments on the answers because that’s what I do here. Since posting my answers, more game play … Continue reading

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Two D&D questions I could have answered if I had known where to look

In “Five ways to create more usable game books,” I piled a heap of criticism on the usability of Wizards of the Coast game books. I singled out the index in the fourth-edition Player’s Handbook for particular scorn. The fifth-edition Player’s … Continue reading

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