20 Questions: How I run D&D

Or how I would if I were to run D&D, which I haven’t been for a while


Untimately: 20 Quick Questions: Rules

Here are 20 rules clarifications that are likely to be needed anyways at some point.

  1. Ability scores generation method?
    Roll 3d6, and assign to an attribute; repeat until you’ve run out of attributes.
  2. How are death and dying handled?
    I was doing 0 = dead, but now I’m thinking Trollsmyth’s Death and Dismemberment table
  3. What about raising the dead?
    Absolutely, if you can afford it.
  4. How are replacement PCs handled?
    They just show up, as soon as I can work them in. They start at 1st level.
  5.  Initiative: individual, group, or something else?
    Group, only rolled at the start of the encounter. I’ve never understood why a side would sometimes get two turns in a row. If you have an initiative bonus or penalty you may go before or after the rest of the group.
  6. Are there critical hits and fumbles?
  7. How do they work?
    Currently damage dice are “exploding”; I’m considering switching to Arduin charts, just because.
  8. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?
    You’re penalized by 1 AC if you’re not wearing your helmet.  It should probably be more, but then so should shields.
  9. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?
    Absolutely.  Foes are granted cover; if the roll is a miss because of cover, compare the roll to see if it would hit your friend’s AC.
  10. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?
    Not only will you sometimes need to run, you probably should avoid fighting if you can help it.
  11. Level-draining monsters: yes or no?
    Yes, though I can’t recall the last time somebody ran into one.
  12. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?
    Absolutely. A better way to look at it is “Are there going to be cases where a PC who would have died gets off because of a succesful save?”
  13. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?
    Not at all. I should probably make people at least make a guestimate given their standard gear, but I don’t.
  14. What’s required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?
    You have to wait for downtime before I even calculate XP.  You need to find or buy new spells.  Training is an optional way of turning gold into XP or higher stats.
  15. What do I get experience for?
    Treasure, killing monsters, minor xp for doing something that amused the GM. XP for treasure is one of those things I think is important in order to reward not fighting everything.
  16. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?
    Description.  Roll the dice as a save if you didn’t describe something that by rights ought to have found it.
  17. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?
    Absolutely.  Per the D&D Basic rules (as I remember them) 2d6 vs. morale, when 1st ally dies, and when half the allies are dead. At the GM’s option if something spectacular like a critical happens.
  18. How do I identify magic items?
    Try them.  Or cast Identify, or pay a Wizard back in town to do it.
  19. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions? Can I create magic items? When and how?
    Of course, if you can afford it.  Potions can be quite reasonable, permanent items cost a lot.  Nobody’s gotten to high enough level to create any magic items except scrolls.
  20. What about splitting the party?
    Be my guest.  Unless you mean overland or in the city, in which case running errands that will get hand-waved is fine, but I encourage the players not to go on separate adventures as a courtesy to each other and to me.

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