FAQ (DnD Guideline)

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Rather than me repeating the same explanations over and over, I will try and collect them here.

What's The Deal With This Site?[edit]

I think there's two main things to note:

  1. This is a wiki. That means that anyone can edit (almost) any page. When you put your writing on a wiki, you are giving permission for it "to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will" (as the edit page disclaimer puts it).
  2. The aim is to make content that anyone can drop into their regular D&D game. It's not a repository for personal content solely for your own use. That means if something is unfair (by allowing a PC to much be more powerful than the PCs), it should be made balanced. If something is unclear or doesn't read well, it should be rewritten. If something unnecessarily contradicts the design standards in the core rulebooks, it should (as much as possible) be made to conform. One caveat is that we have sections for campaigns and sourcebooks that might be allowed to deviate somewhat.

As for external perceptions of the wiki, two more notes:

  1. There are only a handful of editors who review other's work. That means that poor quality pages might be sitting on the wiki for years before someone gets round to dealing with it. In the meantime, you get groups laughing and pointing at it, instead of editing the page and trying to improve it (or at least leaving a constructive message). You don't even need an account, you just press "edit".
  2. On the other hand, when we do try quality control, we sometimes upset the original writer, who then bemoans "the elitist admins of D&D Wiki ruining the work of others".

In short, we can't win! All I can ask is that you have fun making or improving pages; if there's a change you don't like, revert it and explain why on the talk page, but take it on the chin if it gets reverted back.

What are "Narrative Durations"?[edit]

Durations in 5e serve a narrative purpose. "1 minute" is shorthand for "about the length of one combat". "10 minutes" is shorthand for "a short period of time not in combat".

  • You would never have a duration of "4 rounds" or "10 rounds". Most combat encounters last 4 to 6 rounds: use 1 minute.
  • Similarly, you wouldn't have a feature that reduces ritual casting from 10 minutes to 1 minute. There isn't much narrative difference between a 1 minute casting time and a 10 minute casting time: neither can happen in combat, and they are both less than the next step, 1 hour.
  • And again, durations such as 30 minutes, 4 hours should not be used. Use 1 hour (a bit of a day) or 8 hours (most of the day).
  • I shouldn't have to point this out, but I've seen editors do this, there should be no durations measured in seconds.

What is "Round-Counting"?[edit]

In 3rd edition (and earlier), many effects lasted for a number of rounds. For example, something might be said to last "1d6 rounds", or "1 round/level". The problem here is that if there are many effects in play, you now have the added paperwork of tracking how many rounds each effect has lasted for: what I call "round-counting".

This was designed out of D&D in 4th and 5th edition, such that an effect's end condition is checked for each round: no logging is required.

For example, 3rd edition slow lasts for 1 round/level. 5th edition slow has affected creatures repeat the saving throw at the end of their turn.

If a feature is expected to last for a good portion of a combat encounter, in 4th edition it might simply last the length of the encounter; in 5th edition we say it lasts for 1 minute.

Similarly, if you have the urge to write "1 minute/level" or "1d6 minutes", in 5th edition it should be "10 minutes".

The same principle applies to features that require a cooldown. Instead of "it can be used again in 1d6 rounds", a powerful monster's attack in 4e or 5e might have a Recharge: a die roll made at the start of its turn that determines if its usable again.

Why Should Ability Score Prerequisites Be Odd-Numbered?[edit]

The odd numbers for prerequisites has been a WotC standard since 3rd edition. Disregarding odd numbers, only even-numbered ability scores are relevant, since only they contribute towards a modifier (the actual game statistic). By making odd numbers matter for prerequisites, it makes an increase to any ability score value desirable.

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