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    General A more story-based mechanic for "somewhat grittier" healing - has this been done in D&D before, and would you use it?

    So, the "4e healing is best" thread has turned into the old "Are hit points meat?" argument, which will never be solved because it is about fundamental differences of approach to the fiction of the game. I started writing this in there, but it's clearly its own question (and will probably...
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    General Fostering an appropriate sense of dread

    So I have a concept that's too good not to share. I've used versions of this idea a few times, but this variant is for a low level game that's going to be doing a bit of a dungeon crawl. How do you make a party scared of giant rats? Even level 1 characters will often kill them in a single hit...
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    5E So my party decided to adopt an owlbear (and the way I'm running it might be useful to others)

    Well, I say "Adopt". What actually happened is they camped outside a cave, killed the owlbear that ran out to attack them, nosed about in the cave stealthily, completely ignored the carvings and hints of habitation and managed to steal an owlbear egg from under the other parent. This is exactly...
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    5E Considering a little rule tweak

    I tend to run campaigns with a cadence - there are periods when the players tend to fight a few big threats and can mostly control when they rest, and there are periods of many small and large fights where controlling their resting is often impossible. I want my players to be challenged, but I...
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    5E Xanathar's Guide is excellent... and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

    So, okay. I've seen some people on forums that didn't like Xanathar's Guide. Fine. I personally think that it's an excellent book, and I will explain a few things: 1) The first pages have a very good collection of clarifications of the rules that have come up a number of times with new players...
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    5E So today I realised that half-casters in 5e actually have a distinct feel

    As opposed to previous editions, that is. In previous editions, the partial caster classes are mostly a mixture of mechanics from caster and non-caster classes - they get spells and martial or skill abilities and they occasionally have some unique ability that blends the two. There's no unique...
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    5E An issue with the Tavern Brawler feat

    Now, I really like this feat. It's fun, it's thematic... and it has a little bit of an issue I only spotted this morning. The feat gives you, among other things, proficiency with Improvised Weapons. The rules have this to say about improvised weapons: This seems pretty clear to me: If I'm...
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    5E So, reading the DMG... 5e is E20

    Going by the guidelines in the DMG, a 20th-level character does not gain any further levels. However, the DM may at their discretion hand out Epic Boons at appropriate moments to fit the story, with advice suggesting that offering one every 30,000xp or so above the 355,000 needed to get to level...
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    5E Useful things that could be allowed as a Reaction

    So as standard, everyone has one thing they can do with a Reaction - they can use an opportunity attack if there is a trigger. They could also create a trigger of their own with the Ready action. I have been allowing a couple of extra things that my players can spend their reaction on...
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    5E Interesting (if you like geeky analysis) little anomalies in the 5e NPC statblocks

    So, I mentioned a while back that I'm working on a tool that applies racial (and other) templates to statblocks. (I'm still working on it, albeit slowly; too much work recently. I was hoping to get it able to automatically pick spells this week (cantrips for High Elves, replacement cantrips for...
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    5E A slightly more traditional optional take on Find Familiar

    So in one of my games, the party leader - a bard - has a familiar. There was a bit of plot backstory to how this happened, but the important details is that his familiar started out as a normal kitten. That doesn't work well with the mechanics in 5th edition. Of course, we could simply handwave...
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    5E Lacking a license, what constitutes fair use?

    (Note that I'm not actually asking for legal advice from the internet, here. I'm mostly curious as to what people think) So I've been working on a little coding project to make my DMing a bit better/easier. I'm sure most of us have noticed the NPC statblocks at the back of the Monster Manual...
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    5E Ending a Bar-Room Brawl in one turn (for values of "Ending" that may actually be "Escalating")

    So this combination just occurred to me and I'm curious what people think: Step 1: Be any class with the Extra Attack feature Step 2: Spot two likely souls who are hostile to you and adjacent to each other - henceforth we'll call them Bob and Sue Step 3: Approach them forthrightly, dropping or...
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    5E Multiclassing: A pathological extreme

    So I've been thinking about the 5e multiclassing rules and how they seem to be far better at avoiding broken characters than 3e. Here, then, is an attempt to stress test the concept by creating a valid, legal 12th level character with one level of each base class, in order. You can even do it...
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    5E Narrating hit point damage

    So, there are lots of ways to narrate damage. Without (please) getting in to the argument over what HP represent, I'd like to share the notes I've been using for a while - this came up in a discussion a few days ago in a game I was running, and I ended up putting this into formal shape to hand...
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    5E Playing with the short rest mechanic

    I've been thinking a bit about how short rests work and how satisfying - or not - some people find them. The thing is, during a short rest you can do a number of things - regain expertise points, regain some spells, perform mundane healing, etc. In a standard one-hour short rest, you can do as...
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    5E An idea for a cantrip

    I'm considering offering one of my players this cantrip, if something equivalent isn't included in the PHB. What do people think? Channeled Blow Conjuration cantrip Casting time: 1 action Range: Special (5', or 10' if the weapon has the Reach property) Components: V, S, M (a one or two...
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    5E NPC / Expert Class

    I was reminded of the 3e Expert Class today and was thinking how something like it would work in 5e/Next. Obviously, not everyone wants to generate NPCs in the same way as PCs, but I always thought the NPC classes in 3e were a really nice touch I've missed a lot in 4e. Now both of my 4th edition...
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