I recently found this blog talking about mistakes made in D&D 5e. You can find the original article on the Dungeon Master’s.com or by clicking- here. I wanted to share some of the highlights as well as give some people insight on good things to know to make their games run smoother. Hope its helpful.
If you’re like me you’ve been playing D&D a long time and 5e is not your introduction to this wonderful game. And if you’re like me you haven’t read every single page of the PHB and DMG. You’re an experienced player, you know what’s what. You rely on your experience and looks stuff up when you need to (good luck finding it in the PHB index).
However, as I play with more and more new players I find that many of the rules I thought were the same in 5e as they were in previous editions are not exactly the same. Many are quite similar but because I hadn’t taken the time to look them up I was doing things incorrectly. That’s not to say these errors broke the game, but if I’m doing things in a way that is contrary to the actual Rules As Written (RAW) that may cause confusions and lead to arguments in real life. Better to get it right and share that knowledge with others who didn’t know.
So to help all those experienced players like me who haven’t read the rule books cover to cover, I’ve compiled a helpful list of common mistakes I’ve seen or done when running or playing 5e D&D. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it covers the most gross violations and misconceptions. And to assure you that everything I say in the article below is correct, I’m even going to site page references from the PHB as applicable.
Repeat after me “There is no such thing as a surprise round in 5e.” Don’t believe me, look it up. The first round of combat can function differently than normal if some creatures (friendly or hostile) are surprised. This is usually based on who’s hidden and who’s not, but there are other factors. Don’t even get me started on the Ambuscade action Rangers get in the Unearthed Arcana article. That’ll just make your head hurt.
(PHB pg. #189)
Two players and a monster all roll the same number on initiative. Who goes first? In previous editions ties were settled by the Dex modifier or Dex score. In 5e that’s not the case. When players get the same result on their initiative check, it’s up to them to decide amongst themselves who goes first. The Dex score, the Dex modifier, and even the number on the d20 are all irrelevant. They just talk it out and decide. Of course if they can’t decide then they can roll off or find some other way to settle the dispute. Likewise if a bunch of monsters get the same result the DM can decide what order they go in.
Now I remember reading somewhere that when the DM and players tie the players ALWAYS go ahead of monsters. I’ve scoured through the PHB and AL Players Guide and I can’t find that written anywhere. Maybe it was something that was in the D&D Next play test? In any case, I’ve been applying this rule since 5e was launched and it’s worked very well. If anyone knows where this “rule” came from, please let me know in the comments below.
(PHB pg. #189)
Movement has changed (for the better) in 5e D&D. You can now move throughout your turn. You can move, attack, move some more, attack some more, move again, attack again using your bonus action, and move even more. You’re no longer forced to do all your moving at the beginning or end of your turn. Break it up into 5 ft increments and use them when you need to. Just be sure you understand how opportunity attacks work (more on that below).
One other thing about movement is the Dash action. This replaced the double-move common in previous editions. Think of movement in 5e as a pool of steps. When you take the Dash action you get more steps added to your pool. So a Rogue can use their cunning action to Dash as a Bonus action (adding to their pool) and then use their action to Dash (adding to their pool again).
(PHB pg. #190)
4) Bonus Actions
Many players who came from 4e liken bonus actions to minor actions. Although they are similar, they are not the same.
◾You cannot downgrade your action or your move to take a second Bonus Action. You get one bonus action per round; that’s it.
◾Many bonus actions can only be taken when you do something specific with your action. For example, if you make a melee weapon attack with your action, you can then make one off-hand attack as a bonus action. You cannot make the off-hand attack if you do something else with your action, like Dodge or drink a potion. (PHB pg. #189)
5) Opportunity Attacks
The 5 ft step or shift is no longer a thing in 5e. If you back away from an enemy, moving out of their threatened area then that enemy can take a free swing at you (what we like to call an opportunity attack). Once inside a monster’s threatened area (usually all squares adjacent to that enemy) you can move freely wherever you want as long as you remain within their reach. So if you’ve got the speed you can literally run circles around an enemy and they will not get an opportunity attack. Remember that in 5e each creature only gets one reaction so if they take an opportunity attack against you they won’t get one against your ally when he runs away. Unless the enemy goes between you and your ally, then you’ve got a problem.
In 5e fewer things provoke opportunity attacks than in previous editions. For example, if you stand up from prone, an adjacent enemy does not get an opportunity attack. And if you make a ranged attack, an adjacent enemy does not get an opportunity attack – however, you do have disadvantage on the attack roll. Continue reading The TOP 10 most common Mistakes made in D&D 5e
Hello fellow Nerdarchists, Hope to see you all having awesome game sessions! In this article I wanted to address the common problem that a lot of game masters have trying to keep their players engaged by using the elements that are at the core of the RPG and that is… Mystery!
I have been recently tasked with running a large group of new gamers and teaching them the game of the newer Dungeons & Dragons 5e. So, with more players added I found it hard to keep each player involved on a personal level as well as how to keep the game sessions intriguing. I wanted to share with you a few tricks I learned about how to use Mystery as a tool to keep everyone happy and having a good time. On a side note, I usually don’t feel comfortable running a game for more than five players so with seven players it has become a bit of a challenge. So let’s get started…
First, I in general character backgrounds are normally a great way to engage players, but when you have seven people at the table it can become a bit overwhelming. Luckily for me my custom game world “Dark Myth” had a built-in way for me to deal with this being a Time Line. The time line in a game setting can be an easy way for players and DMs alike to quickly and easily come up with back stories to link things together. Also it can leave quite a bit of room for mystery such as “Why, did the war start in the first place?” or “Who is the spy” and many more. Questions like these can lead to a whole plethora of time-line related mysteries to keep gamers on the edge of their seats! Continue reading The Mystery Your Missing in D&D 5e…
Hello fellow Nerdarchests, I hope to find you all having a great time. I wanted to address an issue some
of us might have and that is trying to run multiple games durring a week. I recently just started doing this as well as I play in three games a week also. Do any of you have the gaming burnout like me? This is a short article to hopefully give some advice on “To game, or not to game”.
If you find yourself in a situation where you start to feel burnt out there are a few things you can do to still play in those games and not have to leave them.
First, try and talk to the people you are playing with and explain to them whats going on. They would most likley say you can take a break and pick it up at a later date. This is of course the easyest of all the solutions, however there are those enthusiests who won’t wait for anyone reguardless of a situation.
Second, if you have the time. Try and go for a small trip inbetween games to clear your head or simply go on an outing. I find it works well and can be a great escape at least for a short timeand helps clear the cobwebs from your head. A simpe trip to the country or even just a bike ride around the neighborhood can give you a good refreshing jolt you need. (This for you Scott)
Third and last of the tips is more of a personal trick, but try to go to the movies and see a great sci-fi, fantasy or horror movie to get your creative juices flowing. I love movies and find that even though I feel burnt out they make me think of my games allot and give me great ideas. You can also just whip out a big bag of popcorn and turn on NetFlix or pop in a favorite move as well.
Forth and last, try and watch some videos on YouTube about gaming or watch some online live gaming like Critical Roll on Twitch TV. There are so many games out there that you can watch to get your gaming mojo pupmed and get you back into the mood to grind out your favorite hobbie.
Well that’s all I have for you this time. I hope the ideas keep coming and your poasion never dies for gaming! So until next time… Stay Nerdy!
“The party steps inside the cavern as their rogue gives the “all clear”. Suddenly they realize that the shadows on the edge of the room begin to move and out of the darkness they hear the sounds of blades being drawn! The party’s rogue steps forward and says, “Sorry guys. I’m just in it for the gold!” Outnumbered they are taken prisoner!”
“It’s a TRAP!” The oldest line in the book, and in my opinion one of the best ways to add drama to a story. Today I want to cover a few ways to catch your players off guard and force them to use their wits and skill to solve their conundrum instead of their brute force or magic items.
“At fourteen, in 1985 a boy woke up in a new town, in a new apartment. That day he met another boy living in the next-door building who had the same interests. The new boy introduced him to Dungeons and Dragons 2nd edition and that’s all she wrote. Sense then I’ve moved quite a few times and each time I found myself looking for new friends and people to game with.”
The times have changed and over the years finding like-minded people to game with became both easier and harder to find in some aspects. I’m writing this article to hopefully make things a little easier rather than harder for us nerds.
Recently I just moved from Houston Texas back to a different side of town in Phoenix Arizona. After the move I got things in order and sat down to looks for a place to go be nerdy. Fortunately in this day and age we have FaceBook and Google so things are just at our fingertips and we don’t have to listen in on people’s conversations at school or join clubs to find places to express our hobby.
The first thing I want to let everyone in on is the FaceBook search engine, and how it helped me. For starters Wizards of the Coast has been kind enough to help people put together FaceBook pages for most major cities for the Dungeons & Dragons 5e Adventure’s League. This format of D&D 5e lets players play pre-constructed campaigns and sends their results in to WotC to be posted for all to see. On the WotC website is also a “Store Finder” that shows stores how have WotC recognition and host those events on a regular basis. This is a good way to find gamers or at least to find people who play RPGs in general.
Hello fellow Nerdarchests, Art here. I’m back with the next installment of my series Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e. If you missed my previous article on the Ranger just click HERE.
Today marks my final installment of the multi-classing in Dungeons & Dragons 5e series. So let’s get started with the Wizard…
Let me take a few lines here to talk about the most divers casting class in the game in my opinion… The Wizard. I think the way the Wizard schools give additional abilities as they level is what makes the class so complex yet simple. With the multitude of spell casting schools to choose from the Wizard gains quite a few options as to how you can play them based on their school of magic. I feel that multi-classing with the wizard opens up an even greater realm of possibilities for characters to delve into both for role-play and for combat purposes. With that, let’s get started… Continue reading Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e Wrap up with the Wizard!
Hello fellow Nerdarchests, Art here. I’m back with the next installment of my series Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e. If you missed my previous article on the Warlock just click HERE.
I’m going to take up some space and talk a bit about the Ranger in general (Yes, I know I made a booboo and missed the class entirely before). However, there was a reason I missed the anger from before as I have had quite an issue finding good builds that work well thematically with the class. As most people know the basic Ranger as listed in the Player’s Guide is quite laughable and weak, when compared to other classes. The reason for this is the lack of any real meaning behind their main class feature the “Favored Enemy”. By this I mean it does nothing to enhance the Ranger’s combat potential against said enemies like it used to in previous editions of D&D. I have found uses for multi classing with the Ranger but only as a secondary class (listed in my previous articles), but the Ranger as a primary class has been quite difficult to say the least. So, let’s get started…
Hello fellow Nerdarchists, Art here. I’m back with the next installment of my series Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e. If you missed my previous article on the Sorcerer just click HERE.
I’m going to take up some space and talk a bit about the Warlock in general. First I think the class itself is a unique design with its’ spell-like abilities built in aka the Eldritch Invocations gained at second level. These abilities allow characters to come up with very interesting tricks and techniques. The patron selection also adds a variety of interesting mechanics as well, making the Warlock a great utility tool in party of adventures. The third way a warlock can be diverse is their Pact selection out of the Pact of the Tomb, Chain and Blade, giving a final score in a very diverse character class. Lastly with the Warlock able to regain spell slots on only a short rest, making this class quite durable.
Hello fellow Nerdarchests, Art here. I’m back with the next installment of my series Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e.
As usual I’d like to take a moment to talk about the class in general. With the Sorcerer my personally feelings are mixed of sort. On one hand you basically have a Wizard and on the other hand you have a variation of the Wizard. But, after a closer look and a rows through the spell lists I’ve come to find Sorcerers to be very diverse as a class. Able to handle things in a multitude of ways due to their Sorcery Point ability as well as any abilities from their Blood Lines. Continue reading Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e The Sorcerer
Hello fellow Nerdarchests, Art here. I’m back with the third installment of my series Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e. If you missed my previous article on the Cleric just click HERE.
Today we are going to be covering the wonderful menagerie of… The Druid
As always I’d like to take a few lines to address the class as a whole. The Druid in 5e is very well thought out, but from a supplement stand point not allot of love has been given to them as a class. This means they currently are pigeon-holed into one major type of single class character, where with this article I hope to shed some light on things you can do to “Spice” up your Druid and make them more interesting as a character. Continue reading Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e (The Druid)
Hello fellow Nerdarchists, Art here. I’m back with the next installment of my series Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e. If you missed my previous article on the Paladin just click HERE.
As usual I’d like to take a moment to talk about the class in general. The Rogue in D&D 5e is much more diverse than we’ve seen in previous editions of D&D, with the addition of the Sword Coast Adventures Guide we are given several unique way to play them such as assassins or swashbucklers. The Back-Stab dice scale nicely in D&D 5e making the Rogue a good choice to bind other classes with adding flare and abilities that make the character quite interesting.
Hello fellow Nerdarchists, Art here. I’m back with the next installment of my series Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e. If you missed my previous article on the Monk just click HERE.
Today we are upholding our vows with…the Paladin!
AS always I’d like to talk a little about the class and its’ uses in multi classing. First I think the paladin can be the most effective “Tank” in the game due to the new content in the Sword Coast Adventure’s Guide with the Oath of the Crow Paladin class path. Being able to force opponents to attack only you can be quite a strong ability. When multi-classing you can combine the Paladin’s ability to smite with other class features to create some insane damage combos as I’ll give you a few here. Also the Paladin can be a great healer with their “Lay On Hands” abilities to keep other characters up in a fight even if its only healing for a few points at a time just to get them up and out of danger. It also lets the Paladin be very hard to kill due to their ability to cast Cure Wounds as well, combined with their Lay on Hands. Now on with the builds… Continue reading Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e The Paladin
Hello fellow Nerdarchests, Art here. I’m back with the forth installment of my series Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e. If you missed my previous article on the Fighter just click HERE.
Today we are going in the dojo with…the Monk!
As, before I want to take up some space and talk about the class as a whole. The Monk is one of the most interesting classes as a whole in my opinion. It offers a variety of ways to address the martial arts and characters that use them a defining path in their existence. The Monk by far has the most options in combat with their ability to not rely on armor and to deal blunt force damage as a weapon with only their bare hands and feet. Looking at the progression of the Monk at level 11 is when they switch to a d8 for their Martial Arts damage and that is when they start to taper off as a combatant. This is when multi-classing will come into effect if you are not looking to the whole “spiritual aspect of the Monk. Continue reading Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e The Monk
One quick note, this article come after the release of Sword Coast Adventures Guide, so my article will contain builds including content from that book as well. If you missed my last article on the Bard click HERE to take a look. Today we are going to prey to the gods with… The Cleric
I’d like to start with a quick overview of the Cleric so I can clear up a few issues with the class as a whole.
To start off, the Cleric as a class falls off at eighth level due to the class features only coming from the domains themselves. There is no base class feature at later levels. Also, the ability to cast Revivify as a third level spell removes most of the need for Raise Dead. With this I feel that the Cleric when multi-classed with any other primary spell caster is the best option sense the multi-class spell slot chart on page 165 of the Player’s Guide still allows for the same amount of spell slots needed to cast higher level heals and party buffs. With that explained let’s get started.
Hello fellow Nerdarchests, Art here. I’m back with the second installment of my series Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e. If you missed my previous article on the Barbarian just click HERE!
Today we are going to be singing along with… The Bard
Allot of you may think of the Bard as a musical little nuisance at the game table from previous D&D editions. In 5th Edition the Bard has taken quite a dramatic turn. They have become both a healer as well as one of the highest damage dealers at lower levels. They are in my opinion the most versatile class in the game by far.