• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is LIVE! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

D&D 5E "As DM, I Know How All the PCs' Abilities, Spells, and Items Work" (a poll)

"As DM, I know how all the PC abilities, spells, and items work to the best of my ability."

  • True.

    Votes: 59 46.5%
  • False.

    Votes: 68 53.5%

I try to have a good idea about things, but for any non-rules-lite system (such as D&D5), I don't have all the rules memorized. Thus some cooperation/knowledge on the player side is required and my expectation is that generally players will know the rules for their class/archetype and equipment better than me. But I try to know enough rules so I can keep the game going without constantly having to ask.

log in or register to remove this ad


The High Aldwin
Yes, often better than my players do. 🤷‍♂️

But, in all fairness, I've been playing D&D for a long time, and most of my players never played before 5E, and most for less than a year, so they are still learning stuff, especially if they choose a race/class combo they haven't played before.

Yes, I trust my players, but several of them are just rather bad at understanding how their spells, abilities work.

I had one player who asked me every session for 7 sessions how many spells his warlock could cast per short rest.

All? Nah. I don't even try with spells, although I'm pretty good at remembering abilities if I've played a character with them.

Edit: put another way, it's not a priority to know this stuff when I'm dming, although I have a pretty good grasp of most of it just due to playing a lot.


"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
Yes. To be fair, I also know how all of the PC's abilities and items work even when I'm just a player. I just have a good head for rules.

I don't have every detail 100% down, but I have at least a familiarity with every class, spell, and item I see in games I'm in.


Mod Squad
Staff member
Individually, generally yes. I don't take time to think through all the combinations, so those can still surprise me sometimes.


Magic Wordsmith
I might know how a character works if I'm played the class before. Otherwise, no clue, and I don't really go out of my way to learn it. I have a sense of what seems right for the game having played it 8 years now, so I'll have a feeling if something is off, but I leave the details to the players and trust they are doing their best.


My youngest son has an amazing knowledge of the classes. I really don't know the classes at all. I rely on him to say - "I don't think that is how that works." He's never wrong. Having said that, any mistakes my players make are innocent - they try to play according to the rules. We all trust each other.

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads