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  1. Li Shenron

    D&D 5E Are you permanently using any UA material in your games?

    With UA being published primarily for playtesting purposes, do you keep using any UA material in your games, even after it has been published with modifications or left seemingly abandoned by WotC? I'm thinking that the only UA character option we've taken for permanent use by some PC at our...
  2. Li Shenron

    D&D 5E Boosting your monsters with feats

    (Useless anecdote first) I started DMing over 20 years ago with 3.0 edition which first introduced feats to the game. I was immediately on board with the idea of plug-and-play abilities that each individual could choose to skyrocket variety among characters, and the system was super-simple to...
  3. Li Shenron

    D&D General Playable races: few or plenty, common or variable, native or outsiders?

    Lots of talking about playable character races in the last year or two... what are your preferences regarding the following approaches? (You can specify whether you are answering from a player's or DM's point of view) 1) Few or plenty? Do you prefer having a small bunch of races available to...
  4. Li Shenron

    D&D 5E How to switch from combat to chase

    Whether you use the DMG chase rules, or your own version of them, how do you exactly switch from the turn-based combat initiative sequence to the simultaneous movements during a chase? The obvious scenario is one or more combatants (or even a whole side) decides to break off and run away, while...
  5. Li Shenron

    D&D General Which material planes do you like in your cosmology?

    In our family game we're mostly adventuring in the Forgotten Realms (with a bunch of non-FR locations tossed in, due to having run some adventures not set in any specific setting). Soon the PCs will have capabilities to travel to other planes, and being myself a fan of planar adventures I...
  6. Li Shenron

    D&D 5E Living vs dead vs undead

    Does 5e ruleset define living, dead and undead as mutually exclusive? This is a bit of theoretical curiosity since I don't have any trouble at hand to manage, but I am sure it can have some practical consequences. Narratively speaking, it's normally not a problem to say that an undead is...
  7. Li Shenron

    D&D General Are lockpicking tools legal in your fantasy world?

    I've never thought about this until yesterday... We broke a key inside a lock at home, and we were looking around for methods and tools to extract the broken key. I easily found lockpicking tools on sale online for just a few bucks on legit international websites such as the obvious Amazon...
  8. Li Shenron

    D&D 5E What you have on your DM screen

    I am updating my DIY DM screen before we start our next adventure so I am considering what to remove/add on it. I thought I would just ask what people have on their own, particularly if it's self-designed. My current screen is 3 pages, and I am thinking of making it 4 pages, but I don't want to...
  9. Li Shenron

    D&D 5E DMG: hard rules or just DM advice?

    As per the title, as a DM what is your approach to DMG material (obviously excluding that which is marked explicitly as a variant rule), do you strictly abide to it or do you use it only as advice on running the game? To anticipate fluid answers by many, saying "I strictly abide to something...
  10. Li Shenron

    D&D 5E How precisely do you run combat encounters?

    Do you run everything by the book, do you cut corners, or even outright ignore certain aspects? Do you otherwise add more precision with variant/house rules? Consider the question from the separate points of view of being precise on the following: 1- creature positions and movement (e.g. TotM...
  11. Li Shenron

    D&D General Different regions VS different planes

    If you want your adventures to take place in a large fantasy setting that encompasses different civilizations, cultures, pantheons, technologies, perhaps even actual rules... do you prefer to set them in a different region/continent of the world on a single plane of existence (e.g. Forgotten...
  12. Li Shenron

    Using the real world as a fantasy setting

    I never got around to doing this, because picking an existing fantasy setting or homebrew something vanilla is just way easier... but it's an idea I had in mind for ages, and every now and then I like getting some input on it. Essentially, how about using the real world as a starting point for...
  13. Li Shenron

    D&D General How early is too early for planar adventures?

    Our family D&D game with the kids is only at 4th level. They have just finished an adventure which ended with defeating the "goblin king", except it was duly noted that there are many goblins who self-appoint themselves such title, leaving it largely vague how important their accomplishment was...
  14. Li Shenron

    D&D 5E Dramatic character changes and retraining

    Just finished watching season 3 of Sabrina, where a lot of characters are witches/warlocks and someone's (no spoilers) patron changes. In D&D this would be a very dramatic change in stats and abilities, but can make for a good story. I don't think the PHB mentions the possibility but the DMG...
  15. Li Shenron

    D&D 5E Tactical Combat Module, hasn't it always been there?

    Still after all these years I hear people complain that 5e is not modular enough or that WotC has broken their promise to deliver modularity. Yesterday I was browsing the DMG with this in mind and counted at least thirty paragraphs of stuff which I would definitely consider to be "optional rules...
  16. Li Shenron

    D&D 5E Anyone granting max HP to PCs by default?

    As a DM I have long removed any randomness in character creation and level-up, unless the players really want to. I always start by proposing the fixed ability array, but I allow point-buy and rolling for ability scores at your own risk. Similarly, I grant average HP by default when levelling...
  17. Li Shenron

    D&D 5E Additional herbalism items

    Always been a fan of herbalism in RPGs, I am having some casual thoughts about using special herbs as rewards during adventures, and let our Druid with proficiency in the herbalism kit prepare consumable items with them, which then anyone can use. First of all, let's be clear that I do not want...
  18. Li Shenron

    D&D General Ochre Jellies exist, and some fool is breeding them!

    Just saw this news on CNN, please someone stop the madness! The Paris Zoo exhibits a bright yellow organism that can solve problems even though it doesn't have a brain and can heal itself if it is cut in two. Source: CNN
  19. Li Shenron

    D&D 5E Is 5e being too stingy on fluff?

    I've been under the impression for 5 years now that 5e actually increased the importance of "fluff" compared to the previous 2 editions, by fluff meaning everything not mechanics-related: narrative, descriptions, artwork... 5e Monster Manual was definitely an improvement for me. 5e books are...
  20. Li Shenron

    D&D 5E You still need to use your reason before ruling about concealment

    It seems inevitable, every year or so I have to witness a game of D&D where the DM tries to use the RAW to adjudicate visibility, and ends up with unreasonable results... I don't think that 5e rules for this topic are difficult, but they have 2 problems: (1) they are scattered in at least 4...
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