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  1. occam

    5E Hooray for parts of speech!

    I almost forgot to mention one of my favorite things about the new edition: after years of suffering in English anguish, D&D finally has a list of skills that uses consistent parts of speech! No more weird mix of nouns (Diplomacy, Perception, Stealth), verbs (Heal, Intimidate, Listen, Move...
  2. occam

    5E What is an evocation spell's level?

    I'm unsure of how to interpret a couple of the Evocation wizard's class abilities with respect to spell level, and was wondering what others thought about them. The first is Sculpt Spells, which says that "you can choose a number of [other creatures] equal to 1 + the spell's level". Should that...
  3. occam

    Mike Mearls ruined my composure

    I was DMing the first session of D&D Encounters this season, Keep on the Borderlands, set in and around Restwell Keep, near the Chaos Scar. The keep was described in Dungeon #176, so I decided to add some additional roleplaying elements to the encounter, drawn from the article written by Mike...
  4. occam

    Cleave: Give me room to work, my minions!

    Here's the effect of the 4e fighter's at-will cleave power: Hit: [W] damage, and an enemy adjacent to the target takes 3 damage. Maybe this has been mentioned already, but it occurs to me that when facing fighters, the highly-armored boss monster (e.g. young black dragon, AC 24) would do well...
  5. occam

    Consistent parts of speech

    I just realized something I like about 4e: All the skill names are nouns! OK, OK, for anyone who isn't a bit of a grammar freak this will have about the same importance as the length of a typical 4e gnome's ear hair, but it's something that's always bugged me in many different game systems. For...
  6. occam

    Desert of Desolation rarity distribution

    I bought a sealed case of Desert of Desolation minis, and there's something wonky with the distribution. When I've bought (non-Huge) cases in the past, I could count on getting 4 of each Common mini, 1-2 of each Uncommon, and 0-1 of each Rare. In this case of DoD, I've got 3 of some Commons, 4...
  7. occam

    Does an elf poop in the woods?

    A few days ago, I was working with my six-year-old daughter on her first D&D character, an elven cleric. We were going over her background, and I was describing the typical wood-elven village: dwellings constructed among the branches of mighty trees, etc. I used Galadriel and the elves of...
  8. occam

    How much treasure do classed monsters get?

    From the DMG, p. 51: From the Monster Manual, p. 291: Unless I'm reading something wrong, these seem contradictory to me. This question has come up before, here and elsewhere, but so far I can't discern a real consensus. Another popular option, which doesn't seem to match either rule, is to...
  9. occam

    Do failed spells cause "tingles"?

    Do you use or ignore this rule? This can cause story problems for things that ought to be surreptitious. For example, it can really limit the long-term success of a doppelganger or rakshasa under deep cover using detect thoughts. And what a waste for the evil sorcerer to cast a silent & still...
  10. occam

    Can you make an AoO if you're surprised?

    I checked the FAQ and didn't find an answer to this question. Some relevant snippets from the SRD: So you can make an AoO even if it's not your turn to take action, but you don't get to act if you're surprised. Which takes precedence? As an aside, can you take an immediate action (e.g., cast...
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