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5E Questions That Have Come Up in 5thEd

ElterAgo

Villager
So yeah, we're still pretty new at 5th Ed and these questions may seem pretty obvious to some of you.

1) A trap says the target is paralyzed (or blinded) on a failed save. It doesn't give a duration. Does that mean it is permanent? Pretty harsh if so.

2) Consumable Items
2a) Anyone can use a potion, but what about staves, wands, or scrolls? Some of us thought only spell casters could use them. Some thought only a caster who has that spell on his list. What about if it is a divine item and it is an arcane caster? Does any of that make a difference or can just anyone use them?
2b) How many charges would you typically give to a wand or staff that is new? What about one that is found in treasure?
2c) Potions and scrolls are destroyed when they are consumed or read (or scribed), correct? What about wands and staves? I thought they could recharge staves but not wands. Isn't that the real difference between them? Can you recharge all of them? What is the cost or process to do so?
3) Paladin's Divine Senses - Can an observer tell you are doing this? We weren't sure if that should have started the fight or not. Bad guy was hiding in a crowd, but if he could tell he was about to be discovered, he should have lashed out. If not, he would keep trying to hide.
4) How difficult and time consuming would you say it is to light a fire with flint and steel? We were trying to do it in combat with trolls to stop the regenerating.
5) Darkvision. We were on the shore in daylight but kinda overcast. Would dark vision let you see into the dark cave or down into the water?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
So yeah, we're still pretty new at 5th Ed and these questions may seem pretty obvious to some of you.

1) A trap says the target is paralyzed (or blinded) on a failed save. It doesn't give a duration. Does that mean it is permanent? Pretty harsh if so.
Often effects like that will say that you get additional saving throws to negate the effect at the end of the character's turn or words to that effect. If it does not, then it may indeed be a permanent effect. Blinded and paralyzed conditions, however, are removed by a 2nd-level lesser restoration spell which is accessible to some 3rd-level characters or may be purchased by way of spellcasting services (if available in the campaign setting). So they suck when permanent, but there are ways around it.

2) Consumable Items
2a) Anyone can use a potion, but what about staves, wands, or scrolls? Some of us thought only spell casters could use them. Some thought only a caster who has that spell on his list. What about if it is a divine item and it is an arcane caster? Does any of that make a difference or can just anyone use them?
It should say if there's a requirement for use. For scrolls, it's a little confusing because there are scrolls that anyone can use (e.g. scroll of protection) and there are spell scrolls which only characters who have their spell on their class list can cast. If there is otherwise no requirement for use, anyone can use them.

2b) How many charges would you typically give to a wand or staff that is new? What about one that is found in treasure?
If it doesn't say how many it has when found, I'd give the maximum amount. That is, unless I'm trying to provide it as a more limited resource that in the context of the challenge makes it a more meaningful decision for the players.

2c) Potions and scrolls are destroyed when they are consumed or read (or scribed), correct? What about wands and staves? I thought they could recharge staves but not wands. Isn't that the real difference between them? Can you recharge all of them? What is the cost or process to do so?
Potions and scrolls, unless it says otherwise, are consumables and done after one use. Wands and staves typically recharge at dawn, but some may have a limitation where there's a chance the item goes inert or is destroyed if you use all the charges.

3) Paladin's Divine Senses - Can an observer tell you are doing this? We weren't sure if that should have started the fight or not. Bad guy was hiding in a crowd, but if he could tell he was about to be discovered, he should have lashed out. If not, he would keep trying to hide.
That's up to the DM, but there is a section in the spellcasting rules that discusses that some spell-like effects aren't really perceptible since they're so subtle. So you could hang your ruling on that if you wanted to.

4) How difficult and time consuming would you say it is to light a fire with flint and steel? We were trying to do it in combat with trolls to stop the regenerating.
I would suggest this be a Use an Object action combined with a free object interaction. So someone could do it and still move and take a bonus action (if they have one).

5) Darkvision. We were on the shore in daylight but kinda overcast. Would dark vision let you see into the dark cave or down into the water?
That's up to the DM's interpretation to some degree, as it depends on the conditions in the environment and whether the DM thinks darkvision only works when the character is "in" darkness. In general I'd say sure, especially into the dark cave, but I might say in some cases that water is cloudy and thus heavily obscured, rendering it impenetrable to darkvision. In any case, you can only see shades of gray and darkness does impart a -5 penalty to passive Perception even with darkvision.
 

aco175

Explorer
Generally traps have a duration of 1 minute or 1 hour. 1 Minute duration's tend to have a save each round.

I agree that lighting a fire/torch is a standard action. It is harder than administrating a potion, but should not be harder than opening a lock. Rogues should be able to do this with their bonus action after 3rd level.
 

Connorsrpg

Adventurer
When a character has a ability like the paladin divine sense, I always get the player to think about HOW this registers with them. What happens? Then we stick to that for that character.

Examples: feel unwell/nauseous; itchy; hair stands on ends; shivers; eyes glow; strain to pain in the head; feels cold; feels hot; etc.
 

Coroc

Explorer
well depending on the strength of the evil the pally in my group might bleed out of is. nose.lesser evil causes him to really feel ill instead
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
1) A trap says the target is paralyzed (or blinded) on a failed save. It doesn't give a duration. Does that mean it is permanent? Pretty harsh if so.
Most effects are not permanent, usually having a duration of 1 minute, 1 hour, or until completing a long rest. More than likely the author of the adventure forgot to add a duration, but if you decide for it to be permanent, many effects can be negated with Lesser Restoration, Greater Restoration, or Heal spells.

2) Consumable Items
2a) Anyone can use a potion, but what about staves, wands, or scrolls? Some of us thought only spell casters could use them. Some thought only a caster who has that spell on his list. What about if it is a divine item and it is an arcane caster? Does any of that make a difference or can just anyone use them?
There are two types of scrolls: spell scrolls and "scroll of." Only a caster with the spell on their class list can use spell scrolls, but everyone can use the other types. Unlike some prior editions, spell scrolls are class neutral, so a spell that is on many class lists can be used by anyone of that class, regardless of who made the scroll.

Note: a DM might choose to change that last part as part of their campaign design.

2b) How many charges would you typically give to a wand or staff that is new? What about one that is found in treasure?
That is up to the DM. If the item recharges, I'd simply give it the maximum charges, unless there's a logical reason for it to have been recently used.

2c) Potions and scrolls are destroyed when they are consumed or read (or scribed), correct? What about wands and staves? I thought they could recharge staves but not wands. Isn't that the real difference between them? Can you recharge all of them? What is the cost or process to do so?
Staves and wands recharge a number of charges automatically at dawn, as listed in the item description. There is a variant rule for wands where they may have more charges, but cannot be recharged. The DM should note if they are using the variant in advance.

3) Paladin's Divine Senses - Can an observer tell you are doing this? We weren't sure if that should have started the fight or not. Bad guy was hiding in a crowd, but if he could tell he was about to be discovered, he should have lashed out. If not, he would keep trying to hide.
This is a DM call. Some allow it to be completely hidden, others make it completely obvious. One option would be for the bad guy to make an opposed check against the Paladin's Cha/Deception (to avoid looking directly at the bad guy, giving it away).

4) How difficult and time consuming would you say it is to light a fire with flint and steel? We were trying to do it in combat with trolls to stop the regenerating.
I don't have my PHB handy, but I believe that it's an action to light a torch (plus object interaction to get one out). If conditions are unfavorable, the DM might call for a wis/survival check.

5) Darkvision. We were on the shore in daylight but kinda overcast. Would dark vision let you see into the dark cave or down into the water?
Darkvision allows you to see in Darkness as if it were dim light. A dark cave would be dimly lit instead of darkness, but the depth of the water would be based on the water. Cloudy water can't be seen past regardless of darkvision, but clear water would be visible (probably as dim light while overcast).
 

S'mon

Legend
By default a lot of stuff like wands are useable by anyone. For something like wand of magic missile I tend to require attunement by a caster with the spell on their spell lists, or else bump up the Rarity.

The typical 5e wand has 7 charges, recharges d3 charges per day, and has a 1 in 20 chance of crumbling if all charges expended.

If an effect has no duration but does not say permanent, I suggest you as DM set a reasonable duration. A low level Blinding trap might require a short rest, only last a minute, or even save each round to end effect. A powerful effect might last until cured by Lesser Resoration or Restoration.

5e D&D very much expects the GM to use their judgement and discretion to create & run the sort of game they want to play. It's not a great edition for rules lawyers! :D
 
Traps should have a duration listed, if not I'd base the duration off whatever spell or poison they're trying to emulate, but you're probably missing a duration.

Wands, Staves, and Rods all list what is required to use them - for example, a wand of magic missiles is usable by anyone and does not require attunement, while a staff of the magi "Requires Attunement by a Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard". There is not a distinction between arcane and divine casters in the rules, if you make one it's either setting-dependent or your house rules. The description of items with charges states how many charges the item has and how they recharge, and most wands, staves, and rods that use charges automatically regenerate daily at a rate that usually fills them from 1 within 2 days. Usually I'd have a charged item start with full charges and, if an enemy is using the item, actually track the charges they expend before the PCs down them. I think you need to sit down and read exactly what magic item descriptions say instead of relying on the name and how they worked in an older edition - most of these are very clear in the 5e text, and things like the 'wands can't be recharged, staves can' just aren't there at all.

Divine sense doesn't say that it shows anything so it's your call, I would say it just looks like the paladin is concentrating intently so someone could guess that they're sensing but not know for sure. I would also have enemies react as though any paladin poking into their plans has divine sensed anything he can, because it's a reasonable assumption.

Lighting a torch I'd allow automatically as an action, lighting a prepared set of wood would be automatic, quickly assembling wood or dealing with rain/wind/etc would require a survival check. Also note that the ever-useful prestidigitation cantrip can automatically light a small campfire. This is DM's call, but I've never run anyone anyone who said it took more than an action to light a torch.

Darkvision lets you see in dim light as if it was bright light, and darkness as if it was dim light, but only in black and white and only to it's range. You could see into a dark cave if you're within 60' or 120' (usual darkvision range) of the cave. Water would depend on why it's dark, if it's just a lack of light then you could see, but if the water is actually murky then you're dealing with obscurement, not lack of light, so you couldn't see past the murkiness.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
4) How difficult and time consuming would you say it is to light a fire with flint and steel? We were trying to do it in combat with trolls to stop the regenerating.
In real life?
It can be anywhere from easy enough but time consuming to a pain in ass & more time consuming. And that's without adverse conditions (including any type of breeze). There's a reason matches & lighters were invented.
But whatever the DC, it absolutely takes longer than a 6 second D&D round to get a practical fire going with F&S.
Except in conditions so dry that any spark will instantly morph into a California wildfire....

In D&D/games?
*Out of combat/no threat I've always ruled it to be automatic. If we really want to know for some reason I've always defaulted to d5 minutes to get it started.
*Adverse conditions = a skill check every d5 minutes.
*In combat? HA! At best a very hard skill check. And your not moving anywhere or doing anything else. Especially not if you expect a practical flame within 6 seconds. Success would equal you getting a flame at the end of the round.

That's how I run it.
 

S'mon

Legend
I understand that IRL travellers carried little fire pots containing embers, which could be used to light a new fire fairly easily. Not in 6 seconds though. Lighting a torch as a combat action - I'd allow that if there were another torch or similar fire source to use, or the PC was using fire magic!
 

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