dnd 5e – opportunity attack (D&D 5e)

My question has to do with situations where multiple “player characters” are in simultaneous combat with one or more “non-player characters”.
If an ally steps back after each hit on the enemy, but remains within its reach, causing the creature to follow, until it is eventually out of the ally’s reach, would the ally then receive an opportunity attack??
I have studied the players handbook, and other core books, Reddit, and google searched, to no avail.

dnd 5e – How does anyone ever die with a Cleric

The First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All The Clerics

With apologies to Dick the Butcher, if you want your characters to feel the heat in combat and stop taking clerical healing for granted… kill the cleric. Or more properly, take out or somehow occupy the cleric early in the combat, so they can’t easily dispense healing at the earliest opportunity in a combat.

On the one hand, intelligent adversaries who can recognize clerics and want to actually win the fight would do this as a matter of course. Assassins certainly qualify, here, and ought to be well-briefed on who they’re trying to kill.

On the other hand, one expects this to work maybe once or twice before the group starts stocking up on healing potions or otherwise taking protective countermeasures. (And if the opponents are focusing fire on the cleric, that means they’re probably not focusing fire on the wizard, the barbarian, or whoever the biggest and most reliable damage-dealer in the party is.)

A Frame Challenge Or Two

But remember, there’s a natural narrative tension running through most D&D games: Most D&D games have a lot of combats, and most D&D games aren’t grimdark enough to be killing characters on a regular basis. And if you run through enough combats where everyone survives, eventually the player are going to figure out that maybe– just maybe, whether it’s because of the existence of healing potions, or clerics, or because of the way the whole game world is structured– they’re not quite treated the same way as the minor NPCs.

That’s why clerics and healing potions exist. They are meant to be used to rescue the characters.

But not all tension in a game comes from the immediate threat of death in any given combat. Another way to look at things (both at the level of an individual combat, or a series of related combats before the group can rest, regroup, and recover their resources) is as an exercise in resource management.

At the level of an individual combat, every time the cleric has to go over and heal someone (and remember, those healing spells have a range of touch, meaning the cleric has to go over there consuming multiple actions on a round) means that he or she can’t be doing anything else that might be useful, like buffing other characters or casting damage-dealing spells against their opponents.

And at the level of a series of combats, every healing spell cast now is a healing spell that cannot be cast in the next combat, or the next after that… until the players shut down and take a long rest. This is critically important to the way 5e and related systems work. Your PCs can feel like demigods if they blow through scarce resources in the early (probably less challenging) combats of a sequence, only to be left high and dry when fighting the Big Bad at the end.

If that’s what’s happening, they’ll eventually feel the pinch.

If you’re following this school of thought, then one of your jobs as GM (which is not necessarily easy) is putting the characters in situations where they can’t come at each combat at full strength like a sledge hammer, but rather where they’ll have to run through a gauntlet with some real uncertainty on their part of where they should be spending those resources.

A natural result of this– and I think a good one– is that not every combat will feel like a mortal threat, but some of them toward the end of those sequences, surely will.

dnd 5e – How to use Inspiring Leader so it’s not a permanent HP increase for the whole party?

I wanted to ask the question “Is Inspiring Leader basicly a permanent HP increase for the whole party?”, but apparently that question has already been asked and answered, even though it doesn’t really solve my issue.

I am a DM for a party of 5 players where one of them (the Rogue) has the Inspiring leader feat. We’re all horrible at roleplay, so I don’t require him to actually make up a speech each long rest in order to get the benefits. Because I think it’s also a bit silly that he has to say “I use inspiring leader” each long rest, I simply ruled that he automatically uses it every morning.

And this is where something very rare happened! The players wanted me to make a harsher ruling! One of them said that they should only be allowed to get the benefits after an actual speach (or at least have the +n be dependent on whether a speech was given or not, and how good it was). Some others said that it was silly that they’d get a permanent HP increase and that there should be some mechanic tied to it.

I kinda agree with them, but I don’t know how to make a better ruling. I’m also afraid to nerf it too hard, because since it’s a feat he already sacrificed two +1 ASI’s to get it.

How should I rule Inspiring Leader so that it is not a permanent HP boost, but also not nerfed too hard?

Since this there probably isn’t a RAW solution for this, I’m mainly looking for experiences from both DMs and players who have had DM’s who made a special ruling concerning this feat.

dnd 5e – Is this homebrew shortbow unique item balanced? (second version)

Thanks everyone for the insightful advice you offered for the first iteration of this unique artifact for one of my players. If you’d like to read the background and initial considerations on this item, please refer to the previous question: Is this homebrew shortbow unique item balanced?

Changes and considerations

  • Reduced the amount of active abilities in favor of passive ones;
  • Reduced the flat +1/+2/+3 bonus to hit and damage for a lower +0/+1/+2;
  • Reworded and clarified the teleport ability, and made it a bit more “dangerous” to use;
  • Clarified the Freedom of Movement aura ability, and made it shorter-ranged as well so that there’s more risk in jumping in the fray to help out a restrained ally;
  • Changed damage type from force to radiant to stay closer to the theme;
  • The line attack changed from a creature within 120 feet to a point within 80 feet, to match the range of the weapon and to make it a bit more versatile to use. Not sure if it’s really relevant or recommended;
  • spread the damage increase across the levels and capped it to 1d10;
  • Fly became passive and permanent instead of limited to 1h;
  • Added a passive ability that would protect the user from conditions that could reduce their agency against manipulative monsters.

Item levels reference points

  • The item is going to be awarded somewhere around character level 6, and it’ll start from Dormant
  • The item is going to be Awakened around level 10 or 11, depending on the roleplay of the user
  • The item is going to be Exalted around level 15, with the same caveat as before.

Simple weapon, ranged weapon, artifact (requires attunement)
1d6 radiant (80/320 ft.), two-handed

The shortbow is made of an extremely light wood with colors that vary between walnut and cherry. When exposed to dawn or dusk light, it shines with golden reflections. The grip is wrapped in soft, white leather that seems impervious to dust and grime. All along the upper and lower limbs of the bow, there’s a number of empty, unusually shaped grooves and slots.

Sentience: Eleutheria is a sentient Chaotic Good weapon with an Intelligence of 15, a Wisdom of 19 and a Charisma of 16. It has hearing and blindsight out to a range of 80 feet. The weapon communicates telepathically with its wielder and can speak, read, and understand Celestial and Sylvan.

Personality: A Curious, incautious and excitable Fey spirit lives within Eleutheria. It has an insatiable appetite for adventure, bold actions, and a very personal sense of justice and hatred for tyrants and bullies. The spirit wishes to learn more about the world and its inhabitants.

Dormant: The shortbow grants the following benefits in its dormant state:

  • You can speak, read, and write Celestial and Sylvan.
  • The attacks of this weapon are considered magical.
  • The shortbow doesn’t need physical arrows when attacking. Translucent arrows of pure energy magically appear as soon as you draw the bow’s string.
  • When you make an attack against an hostile creature using Eleutheria, you can use a bonus action to magically teleport to a space you can see within 15 feet of the target of that attack. You can’t use this property again until you take a short or long rest.
  • While Eleutheria is on your person, you have Advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) checks made for detecting traps and Dexterity checks for attempting to pick locks on cages, manacles, or other restraints in order to free a trapped creature. If you aren’t proficient with Thieves’ Tools, you become proficient when picking locks on cages, manacles, or other restraints.

Awakened: When the shortbow reaches an awakened state, it gains the following properties:

  • You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.
  • Your walking speed increases by 10 feet.
  • The base damage die of this weapon becomes 1d8.
  • While holding the shortbow, you can use a bonus action to evoke a gentle, warm (or cool, your choice) breeze to flow around you for the duration. For 1 hour, you and any creature of your choice will benefit from the effects of Freedom of Movement while they’re within 5 feet of you. You can’t use this property again until the next dawn.
  • When you speak its command word, your arrow transforms into a beam of pure radiant energy, forming a line 5 feet wide that extends out from you to a point you can see within 80 feet of you. Each creature in the line, excluding you, must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, taking 5d12 radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. This property can’t be used again until the next dawn.

Exalted: When the shortbow reaches an exalted state, it gains the following properties:

  • The weapon’s bonus to attack and damage rolls increases to +2.
  • Your walking speed increases by an additional 10 feet.
  • The base damage die of this weapon becomes 1d10.
  • You can channel the winds around you to support you in your movement. You gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed.
  • While attuned to the shortbow, you can’t be charmed, frightened, petrified, or forced to be prone.

dnd 5e – How can I help one of my players be more tanky?

I’m running a game of four (currently) 5th-level characters. All of them are heavy damage-dealers (a wizard, warlock, ranger and paladin) with the paladin as the nominal tank. However, the paladin is consistently going down the first few rounds of every combat. He has a pretty high AC (20 with shield of faith), but low constitution, and the ranger (a dwarf) and even the warlock have more hit points.

I can sense that the paladin’s player wants to be more tanky, but isn’t really sure how. They are already in the habit of using shield of faith, as I mentioned, and took the protection combat style. What kind of magic item/special ability/other help would be good to give them to help them feel like they’re achieving their goals, without just having them stumble upon the Amulet of Health and letting them dominate? I’d like not to have it be too heavy-handed.

Some ability I could give the other characters to let them buff the paladin would also be good.

dnd 5e – How does attacking downwards affect ranged weapon attacks?

The rules for ranged attacks make no distinction.

The rules for ranged attacks state:

You can make ranged attacks only against targets within a specified range.

If a ranged attack, such as one made with a spell, has a single range, you can’t attack a target beyond this range.

Some ranged attacks, such as those made with a longbow or a shortbow, have two ranges. The smaller number is the normal range, and the larger number is the long range. Your attack roll has disadvantage when your target is beyond normal range, and you can’t attack a target beyond the long range.

Nothing here distinguishes between shooting up, down, or sideways, so the rules are the same in all cases.

dnd 5e – How many times do you roll damage for Chain Lighting?

You only need to roll once for all targets.

The damage rule you’ve quoted handles this. Chain lightning is slightly more complicated than fireball or flame strike when it comes to determining who the targets are, but not so much so that the rules for how the damage gets dealt need to change. Even though you select them in two batches (the initial one target, and the subsequent 0-3), all of the targeted creatures are damaged at the same time, just like if they were in the area of a more traditional spell’s effects.

For an example of when the rules do need to work differently, check out the chaos bolt spell from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. The spell does 2d8+1d6 damage if it hits its single target, and the important part of its rules for this question, are:

If you roll the same number on both d8s, the chaotic energy leaps from the target to a different creature of your choice within 30 feet of it. Make a new attack roll against the new target, and make a new damage roll, which could cause the chaotic energy to leap again.

It specifically tells you that you should make another damage roll (and attack roll too) for the new target, since that new damage roll will determine if the spell leaps again or not. This is a more specific rule (specific to this one spell), so it overrides the much more general rule that you roll damage for all targets at once.

dnd 5e – Good house rules for 1-on-1 game

I’m DMing a game for my son so this is his solo game, and first D&D game. For any dads or anyone else with 1 on 1 gaming experience, what are some good house rules to add? I was thinking of bonuses like doubling his proficiency, giving him an extra HD per level, extra actions, etc to make his character more survivable. Especially at low levels, as a single unlucky critical hit can end his game. But I don’t want to break the game.

Something I’d rather not do is just throw 1 enemy at him at a time. We had 2 encounters so far. The 1st encounter with 2 goblins was successful but he almost died. The 2nd encounter with 3 goblins had him drop to 0 HP, but I wrote it off by saying they captured him instead of killing him outright. For his next session he’ll have to find a way to escape.

So rather than just giving him 1 thing to fight every time, what are some other ways I can make his character more survivable while giving him exciting fights?

If it matters, he’s a 1st level fighter.

dnd 5e – Does Mind whip prevent bonus actions if you take away an action?

The text for mind whip states

You psychically lash out at one creature you can see within range. The target must make an Intelligence saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 3d6 psychic damage, and it can’t take a reaction until the end of its next turn. Moreover, on its next turn, it must choose whether it gets a move, an action, or a bonus action; it gets only one of the three. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage and suffers none of the spell’s other effects

Meanwhile, the rules state

[…] anything that deprives you of your ability to take actions also prevents you from taking a bonus action.

If the target chooses a bonus action, it technically shouldn’t be able to do so, as it was deprived of its action. Or is this a case of specific beats general?

dnd 5e – How do I help a player terrified of their character dying in combat?

Call them on their bull****

D&D is a game about heroic characters risking their lives several times a day, I personally always play characters who want to survive, and will concentrate on staying alive, but there is a difference between being cautious and spoiling the game by not participating in combat encounters with the rest of the players.

I would say that there is a place for that style of play, but clearly not in your game, so you just need to tell them to knock it off.

I don’t suggest handing out items to make their life easier, or making up new rules, or anything to gently ‘encourage’ them. This player has made a commitment to play a game with other people and their responsibility is to participate with the rest of the players. Remind them of that.

Maybe this player just doesn’t like the style of game you play, and would prefer if everyone else ran away and was far more cautious too, but the quicker you identify that the quicker you can get on the same page – even if that page doesn’t include your player who refuses to join in.

You can then help them build the right character for them

As an example I currently play a wizard with 19 AC, a druid with 19 AC, a paladin with 21 AC and a monk with 22 AC. Both the wizard and paladin have access to the shield spell, my paladin prefers shield to smite, and my monk has defensive dualist taking his AC to a potential 27! My casters will stay at the back, use spells to increase defence, hide behind trees and keep out of line of sight, but they don’t run away. My paladin will use his slots to stay alive rather than dishing out damage, but will put himself in front of the squishy characters. My monk will look for the easiest targets to stun and let the barbarian take the damage, but all of them contribute.

This is active defence. Running away is not.

Rogues are notoriously squishy, especially if they are melee for some crazy reason, this probably doesn’t help your player feel very safe because everything hits them. You could help create them a character who won’t be so vulnerable after the conversation about participation.