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    D&D General cooler dragon themes?

    Rather than inventing new and exotic dragon types, you might alternately consider brainstorming things a creature could do or craft with a renewable breath weapon and immunity to a particular element. For example: Red dragons: Are superb craft-dragons, capable of melting stone, metal, or glass...
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    D&D General Vote Up A 5e-alike, Part 1: Tone -- Gritty/Low Magic

    Many of these seem more like setting-specific elements than balancing mechanics to me. Overall I don't think 5e is really set up to do grim and gritty or low magic well; except maybe at low level. If I HAD to do it, I'd say Limit magic to 3rd level or lower. Unfortunately to keep the classes...
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    D&D 5E Power Word Kill (variant)

    While Death Ward should probably be fairly common by the time one is facing Power Word Kill, I'm maybe a LITTLE more inclined to do something like the following: Power Word: Kill 9th level Necromancy Casting Time: 1 action Range: 60 feet Target: 1 creature Components: V Duration: 1 round The...
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    D&D General The Crab Bucket Fallacy

    I'm not a fan of eating buckets, personally. Too...metallic or plasticky. Maybe the wooden ones wouldn't be too bad, but those are uncommon these days.
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    D&D General How do you know an adventure is "good" just from reading it?

    To be sure I DO vary things up. A finale might be a summoned horror, construct, or trained beast rather than the erstwhile BBEG, for example. (Cult leader unexpectedly sacrifices himself to call forth eldritch horror is a classic). Or even a horde of tough minions attacking in front a of a...
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    D&D General How do you know an adventure is "good" just from reading it?

    Hmm, interesting. I make an effort to make my finales predictable. I want the PCs plotting, preparing, and bringing their A game (although ideally pressured and running somewhat low on resources as well). Of course, I make the finales crushingly difficult to compensate.
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    D&D General How do you know an adventure is "good" just from reading it?

    I like reading well-written stories and plots. But quality and variety of encounters is a major factor for me. As a general rule of thumb three or more uninterrupted combat encounters is poor adventure design IMO and at the very least needs alteration. (Because it gets boring in play)...
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    D&D General D&D and War

    War pops up occasionally in my games, both as a player and DM. More often then not it's a background element, as the mere logistical concerns of simulating mass numbers of individuals - particularly if you're not using ToTM - is a bit of a chore. As DM, I VERY rarely feel the need to use any...
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    RPG Evolution: The Superman Problem

    I've got to admit this is one of the things I miss from earlier editions. Less (AND fewer 😝) credulity holes than having heat-adapted creatures wade through lava with impunity.
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    D&D General Drow as Dark Fae?

    I often treat drow as a "dark fey" themed in my games. But reading your (the OP's) description, I'm struck by a number of questions: 1) HOW are they going to be dark-fae-like in your game world? Just being magical and ruthless and manipulative? What particular "dark fae" themes are you going...
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    D&D 5E Ideas for a Crystalline Biome?

    In case anyone cares: I got to thinking that I kind of like the idea of the PCs starting to find the occasional body of various people and monsters apparently trapped within some of the crystals. Though how and why remains to be seen.
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    D&D 5E Ideas for a Crystalline Biome?

    So I wanted to introduce a crystalline biome for an upcoming adventure. Maybe a place like the crystal towers shown briefly in the Neverending Story 1, for all of you old geezers like myself who have seen it. Was thinking that the place is made from living and growing crystals that feed on...
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    D&D General Things I Do To Make Wizards More Fun!

    I'm not really in a position to judge whether it's less boring, but as a DM I try to introduce game elements that interact with or enhance every player class. For wizards specifically this might include: * While not wizard exclusive, I use knowledge skills quite a lot in my games to provide...
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    D&D General Druid, Ranger & Barbarian: What distinguishes the magic of the Primal classes?

    Because the classes focus on different things. Druids have a broader and deeper conceptual understanding of druidic magic (e.g. more formal education about it possibly or theory vs vocational training); whereas rangers are much more focused on armed physical fighting and hunting techniques.
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    D&D General Druid, Ranger & Barbarian: What distinguishes the magic of the Primal classes?

    The issue is that IMO there is zero mechanical or thematic need to have these classes practice different types of magic. In fact, I am of the opinion that it is entirely better for worldbuilding if they do not. The classes each represent different regimens of training, each with their unique...
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    D&D General Druid, Ranger & Barbarian: What distinguishes the magic of the Primal classes?

    The way I run things in my games is that Druidic magic involves invoking a variety of natural and elemental spirits to perform various tasks. There's kind of a blurry overlap between natural and divine spirits, and some druids worship nature gods or god-like natural spirits that are capable of...
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    D&D 5E When Players Are Indecisive

    The business DOES lead somewhere. It's just that normal buying and selling from the business won't. The PCs could try to search the place for hidden documents or clues, hide and scope out how supplies are delivered there, attempt to listen in on conversations between employees, possibly even...
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    D&D 5E When Players Are Indecisive

    So in my latest game session - for the first time in a goodly long while - I ran an episode where essentially nothing happened. There was no combat. There was no strife. No particular clues were discovered. No mysteries unraveled. There WAS some investigation and exploration of a fantasy...