Xanathar's Guide to Cleavin' a Goblin Clean in Twain (feat. D&D)


The character would be a somewhat different version of a Warforged that had been created hundreds of years ago and owned by what was essentially the eastern Faerun version of the East India Company, and it would have…

Actually I think I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let me start over a bit.

The idea was that, in some way, the party would come across a large metal sphere. It looked old, and there were barely-visible seams running around it in various places.

When they touch it, it would start to hum, and then a magical rune vaguely resembling a wheel would appear, hovering about an inch from the surface, and it would begin to turn. After a few moments, the wheel would turn into some kind of guild-crest-looking symbol, and a calm, soothing voice would emanate from it.

“Thank you for choosing the ThayCo. Dynamic Robothaumic Operations Platform Pod. Please select the configuration package that best suits your or your client’s needs.”

The guild crest symbol would then disappear, and a grid of 12 symbols would take its place.

  • An axe
  • A lute
  • A winged mace
  • A small tree
  • A shield with a sword crossed over it
  • A fist
  • A helmet over a sunburst
  • A bow and arrow
  • A dagger in a lock
  • A staff wreathed in a twisting aura
  • An eye in a five-pointed star
  • A fireball

this sounds like fun + canon is made to be set aflame and kicked over a cliff


Basically the core idea is that, instead of picking all my own classes and skills and whatnot, I would let the party pick for me, for better or for worse.

When I levelled up, it would say something along the lines of “Operations environment exceeds current configuration. Please select an upgrade package.” And then in a lower, sped-up voice “Performance not guaranteed. Package availability subject to local laws and regulations. All upgrades provided at additional charge, please see your nearest ThayCo. hall or branch office for details.”


give em a (toned down) rod of lordly might as their primary weapon and you are g2g


really hope someone got the thayco joke



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Thak zero





Why is it that I only have good ideas for characters when it’s NOT time to make a character

I got invited to a second game and I’m just drawing a blank on what character to make for it


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“I try to convince the goblins to unionize”

edit: it worked???


You may enjoy this podcast called No Rangers Allowed where we do this, literally, every session


Ok so I’m playing a Wizard this time and I need some clarification from someone more knowledgeable in how wizards work

What exactly is the difference between spells that are in my spellbook vs. spells that I have prepared?

Ok I know it sounds like a dumb question but hear me out.

When I created this character, it told me to pick 3 cantrips and 6 level 1 spells. As I was choosing, a couple times in this process I went “wait, that’s a ritual, which means I don’t have to prepare it, right? I’ll take something else instead”, but then later, after the game had already started, I realized “wait, doesn’t that mean I don’t know that spell at all?”

But then that only confused me more, because “if these are the spells that are in my book, how many of them are prepared?”

It’s worth mentioning that I’m playing this game over Roll20, which, as far as I can tell, doesn’t have a special area for keeping track of what spells you have prepared, which only added a straw to the pile of my confusion.

And since the text goes out of its way to explain why copying a spell from a scroll into your book costs gold, that added realism only highlights the question of “where do spells you learn at level-up come from?”.

Also I’ve heard a couple times someone say “you have all of the cantrips”, but if that’s true, why did I have to pick three?

I have so many questions.


As I understand it, you have a certain number of spells in your spell book. From those spells, you can prepare a different certain number of spells and those are the spells you can cast.

To do so, choose a number of wizard spells from your spellbook equal to your Intelligence modifier + your wizard level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

So the spells in your book are all the spells you can possibly cast. The spells you prepare (total # = Int mod + level) are the list of spells you can actually cast at a given moment. You can change prepared spells at the end of any long rest.

You always have your cantrips prepared. They don’t count against your number of prepared spells. You just know them and can cast them at any time.

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The spells in your spellbook are the total universe of all spells you can use. The spells you have prepared are the ones you can spend your slots on and cast, right now. You take your spellbook and pick your smaller list of prepared spells every time you rest.

There’s a formula for how many spells you can prepare: your Int mod + wizard level. So, if you have an Int mod of 3 and are level 2, you can have 5 spells prepared. You might have 10, or 15, or 20 in your spellbook to choose from. Every time you wake up from a long rest, you’ve got to take those 20 and winnow them down to the 5 you want to be able to cast.

There’s no mechanical limit on the number of spells you can have in your spellbook. Theoretically you could eventually get access to every single wizard spell in the game. Except for the 2 free spells you get every levelup, the rules don’t provide for any mechanics to ensure you have a steady stream of spells coming into your spellbook. It’s entirely a roleplaying thing you have to work out with your DM.

No other class can learn their entire spell list like this, and it’s one of the wizard’s main strengths. The preparation mechanic is to temper this huge versatility and force you to make choices, but still allow you to be flexible.

To cast a spell as a ritual you can cast it straight from your spellbook, without having it prepared. When you do this, it also does not cost a spell slot. However, it can only be cast at the default level (i.e. you can’t cast it at a higher level for more benefits) and it takes 10 minutes to cast. Ritual spells tend to be utility spells, or at least have a utility function, that normally aren’t time-sensitive, which allows you to prioritize more immediate combat spells on your prepared list.

None of this shit applies to cantrips. You don’t have to copy them into your spellbook, or prepare them, or use slots, or anything. You just always know them and can always cast them whenever you want, and you automatically get more as you level up.

This is a roleplaying thing that the rules just leave it to you to make up. A default assumption is that during offtime your character tinkers and does research and on levelup discover their new spells on their own. But you can take your character concept and explain this however you want.


god damn it shrug

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oh also

I have no idea what this could mean, it is not facially true. Unless it was a jokey way of referring to the fact that wizards get more cantrips than anyone else, which is true.

EDIT oh wait I think I get what they meant now: they meant you always have available to cast all of the cantrips you selected, you don’t need to prepare them. But it’s a hella confusing way of wording that concept


what are good flavors for giving my wizars players more spells


HEY. This reminds me that I wrote some combat tweaks that I’ve been fiddling with for a long time and that I’m pretty happy with. The main goal was to make the 5e combat rules significantly more historically accurate at the expense of not much additional cruft or damage to the general heroic fantasy atmosphere. A secondary goal was to give melee combatants a bit more to think about while in combat and when choosing equipment.

I know 5e is very down on crufty floating modifiers, +1s and -2s everywhere, and I am aware that these rules add a couple of those back in which would probably be poo-poohed by the official WOTC people, but fuck it we’re all adults and we can handle a couple of -2s especially when we’re melee people and don’t have much else to think about. I very consciously tried to minimize them though and stick to dis/advantage wherever it made sense.


Medium and heavy armors must be fitted to their wearers. Wearing unfitted armor gives -2 AC, eliminates any Dex bonus to AC, and gives disadvantage on all Dex checks.
Armor may be fitted by an appropriate professional for one-quarter the purchase cost.
Magical armors automatically fit any wearer of the same general size and shape.

Naked 9+Dex
Clothing 10+Dex
Gambeson 11+Dex
Mail Shirt 12+Dex

-2 penalty to any Stealth check.
Full Mail 13+Dex (max 2)
Coat of Plates 14+Dex (max 2)
Brigandine 15+Dex (max 2)

Disadvantage on any Stealth check.
Breastplate 16
Plate Harness
17 vs. bludgeon
18 vs. piercing
20 vs. slashing

Helm +1 AC
A creature must be proficient in some kind of armor to properly wear a helm. While worn, a helm gives its wearer disadvantage to any Perception checks. It takes one action to don a helm, and a minor action (as drawing a weapon) to take it off.

Shields only grant their AC bonus if the wielder is aware of the attacker.
Buckler +1 AC
A buckler may be drawn to the ready simultaneously with a weapon as a minor action.
Shield +2 AC
It takes a minor action, as drawing a weapon, to ready a shield. To draw a weapon and ready a shield simultaneously requires an action.


Two-Weapon Fighting
In order to attack with two weapons, the offhand weapon must be light, and the mainhand weapon may not be versatile.

Any opponent Large or smaller entering the range of a reach weapon provokes an AO, unless they too are wielding a reach weapon. The opponent may use their action to evade this AO.

Grapple range weapons
When attacking with unarmed, a mainhand dagger, or half-swording, a combatant may make an extra attack when he takes the attack action, in addition to any other extra attacks granted by other game features. The victim, however, has advantage on attack rolls made against the attacker, until either the beginning of the attacker’s next turn or until the attacker leaves the victim’s reach.


Unarmored targets are vulnerable to any slashing damage.

Light/medium armored targets suffer a -1 AC penalty against piercing damage.

Heavy armored targets suffer a -1 AC penalty against bludgeoning damage (this penalty is already factored into the entry for Plate Harness, above).

The DM makes this categorization call for any non-humanoid creature based on common sense. Ex: unarmored = wolf or leopard; light/medium = grizzly bear; heavy = giant spider or dragon. Any vulnerability/resistance/immunity in the stat block overwrites these effects.

If a weapon offers multiple damage types, the attacker may choose whichever he pleases when he makes his attack roll.


1d4 piercing in melee.

Reach. Finesse.

1d4 bludgeoning, versatile 1d6. Reach. Finesse.

15’ reach. A pike has reach even on other weapons with reach. It has disadvantage, however, against any target within 5’.

These stats apply to any basic one-handed cut-and-thrust sword. Ex. Viking-era sword, arming sword, broadsword, sidesword, saber, dao, falchion, messer.

These stats apply to any one-handed, thrust-centric sword. Ex. Spatha, spadroon, jian, smallsword.

Slashing or piercing.

Slashing or bludgeoning.

May be half-sworded. Half-swording requires two hands and does 1d6 piercing damage.

New weapon. Heavy, two-handed. Does 1d10 bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing.

All crossbows are simple weapons.

Heavy Crossbow
Requires 2 actions to load. These actions need not be consecutive. The user may use her move+action to load in a single round.


Dual Wielder
When two-weapon fighting you may wield any one-handed weapon in either hand. You may take advantage of the reach rules as above, but only with one of your weapons per round, even if both of your weapons have reach.
(+1 AC and draw/stow 2 weapons as written)

Heavy Armor Master
Addition: instead of imposing disadvantage, heavy armor only gives you a -2 penalty to Stealth checks.

Polearm Master
Bonus 1d4 attack also applies to pollaxe and spear.
Bonus 1d4 attack may only be made against enemies within 5’.
The AO described in the reach rules above is now made with advantage. In addition, you also gain a non-advantage AO against any other approaching creature not fitting the criteria (i.e. larger than Large or also wielding a reach weapon). The creature may use its action to cancel your advantage, but not to evade the AO altogether.

Shield Master
Addition: you may draw a weapon and ready a shield as a single minor action.


don and doff are short for “Defense: ON” and “Defense: OFF”, right?