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


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?


I mean, except for the classes that just know their entire spell lists and can prepare any one of them they have the level for (like two classes in your current DnD party).


Go home you’re drunk


Update on my beloved frog Harriet:



Time to explore frog purgatory!


We’re all poor af living in the gutter so ain’t no way the party’s going to be able to afford that resurrection scratch.

I’m beyond devistated. Trying to come up with another character now. Only idea so far is Alan Tudyk as a The Warriors-esque thug from a themed gang.


Tbh if a DM laid this condition down on me I’d pick up my character sheet and walk out


Try to sell your DM on an Orpheus and Eurydice-style underworld soul heist?


then after making them go through all that setup, look backwards the first chance you get


There was another game jam so I did another crime.

I, uh, kinda thought the deadline was a few days later than it was and finished in a very big hurry. Didn’t have time to show it to other eyes before hitting “Publish”! Will probably maybe revise later when I’ve dwelled on it for a while!

Still it exists as the thing it is.




probably too fiddly sounding

It doesn’t come up in normal play because you either have your starting armor (which is already fitted) or magic armor (which doesn’t need to be fitted). It would be unusual, even in my campaign, to find anything else.


Yeah my thinking is that it increases realism while also giving starting players an interesting problem - if early on you find a better mundane armor that you can’t yet afford, you can’t just throw it on in the middle of the dungeon, you have to find some way to cart it back to town and get it fitted. Comes down to how much logistics you want in your dungeoneering I guess


I think it makes finding new thing insufficiently exciting


Finding new mundane armor is like… not exciting.

Think of it in the very few contexts when you don’t have access to your normal armor for whatever reason. Like you get captured and stripped of equipment. You bust out, you can’t just grab the first thing off the first guard you kill. Or you CAN - wearing unfitted plate is still better than nothing at all. And then when you do find your captured equipment, what a relief! You can slip into YOUR armor, ready for revenge…


novelty is the best revenge


I’d be awfully salty if I wound up in the position of having to buy new armor and it’s 25% more expensive unless the DM hand-waves it being properly fitted off the rack.


you could just include in your character sheet that your person is the exact right size for all the sample sales