A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons
Category Archives: Reference Material
December 17, 2020Posted by on
How do I know if I have the first printing on the Monster Manual or a later printing?
If I go to my local game store to buy a new copy of the Monster Manual (or the Player’s Hand book or …) because my copy is worn out, I want to make sure that I get the latest printing so it will contain all of the latest updates and reversions. But when I get there how do I know which printing of the book is on the shelf?
One way that usually works on D&D books, and most others, is to look for the printer’s key, also known as the number line. You can typically find it on the second or third page just under the ISBN number.
The example shown above on the left is a first edition. The printer’s key is:
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Numbers are removed with subsequent printings, so if “1” is seen then the book is the first printing of that edition. If it is the second printing then the “1” is removed, meaning that the lowest number seen will be “2”.
In the example images above the one on the right is the 11th printing.
October 18, 2020Posted by on
Tables for Determining Encounter Size
This is for Dungeon Masters. I created it a few months ago and have found it very useful when creating encounters for my 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons games. Using guidelines found in the Dungeon Master’s Guide I worked on the math to come up with simple tables that I could reference to make the encounter neither too hard nor too easy for my Player Characters.
There are separate tables for 3, 4, 5, or 6 characters of any level (1 through 20). Just find the table for the number of PCs – their average character level – and if you want it to be an easy, medium, hard or deadly encounter. There is also an “Any Level” encounter table if you want to use that. Then read across the table to find how many monsters you will need based on the monsters challenge rating (CR).
This makes for a lot of tables. Each of these single page PDF files has a separate table for Any Level encounters, Easy encounters, Medium encounters, Hard encounters, and Deadly encounters.
PC Levels 1-5 for 3 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 1-5 for 4 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 1-5 for 5 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 1-5 for 6 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 6-10 for 3 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 6-10 for 4 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 6-10 for 5 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 6-10 for 6 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 11-15 for 3 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 11-15 for 4 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 11-15 for 5 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 11-15 for 6 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 16-20 for 3 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 16-20 for 4 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 16-20 for 5 characters: Download HERE
PC Levels 16-20 for 6 characters: Download HERE
There is also a single PDF file that contains all of the above: Download HERE
If you find these useful let me know.
October 7, 2020Posted by on
5E – Dice Rolling Character Sheets
The pandemic has made a change to the way I am running D&D games. Running a virtual game of Dungeons and Dragons made me realize how useful it would be if your Player’s Character Sheet would roll your the dice for you. So I took my Character Sheets (you can find then HERE) and figured a way to to add dice rolling. These are my results..
Download a sheet by clicking on the underlined word.
DICE ROLLING Character Sheets: For each class there is a 4 page character sheet: Artificer, Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
Class Feature Sheets: These are the same feature sheets that are available on my previous Character Sheets post, repeated here for your convenience. Artificer, Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
Simple DICE ROLLING Character Sheet:This is a 2 page character sheet if you don’t need the class information: download it HERE
Multi-class DICE ROLLING Character Sheet:This has 4 general pages plus an additional 12 pages – one for each class in the Player’s Handbook: download it HERE
Magic Item Record Sheet: The character sheets may not provide enough space to track all of your character’s magic items. If your character requires more space than available on this one page simply copy the file under a different name for each page required. You can scroll the text if the magic item description is too long to fit in the box. If you intend to print the page you should abbreviate long descriptions to fit in a single box, or split the description across two or more boxes. download it HERE
Using the Dice Rollers
I tried several free PDF viewers, and the one that works best with these is Adobe Reader. I recommend you download your Character Sheet and use Adobe Reader to fill it out.
Box by box instructions for filling in the Character Sheets can be found HERE. The only difference is that on these sheets clicking on any red text will generate and display a dice roll.
On the upper right corner of each page there is spot that looks like this #____ Previously, this is where you could put a version number if you had multiple versions of the same sheet. This has been re-purposed to display the results of any dice roll you may indicate just below that line. For example if you enter 4d12+6 and then click on the red = sign it will roll four 12 sided dice, add them together and add 6 to the total. Above the line it will display the results of that roll. Above that it will show the result of each die rolled. This same space on page 1 is also used to display the results of an ability check, a saving throw, a skill check, or an initiative check. The results of an initiative check will also be displayed in the initiative box. You can override the number in the initiative box by typing in a different number if need be.
The attack bonus box for each weapon will now roll 1d20 and add the attack bonus to the roll. It displays the result of the roll in the same box. There is also an ADV (advantage) and a DIS (disadvantage) box that you can check to roll 2d20 and pick the highest (for advantage) or lowest (for disadvantage) of the two before adding the attack bonus. If a natural 1 is rolled (for advantage two natural 1s must be rolled) it will display MISS in red letters. If a natural 20 is rolled (for disadvantage two natural 20s must rolled) it will display HIT in green letters and will check the CRIT box.
The damage box for each weapon will now roll the indicated number of dice of the indicated size and add the indicated bonus. It displays the result of the roll in the same box. It also shows the results of each individual die roll. If the CRIT (critiacl hit) box is checked the number of dice rolled will be doubled.
For spellcasting characters, clicking on the spell attack modifier (on page 4) will make a spell attack roll and display the results of that roll on the #____ line at the top of that page.
October 5, 2020Posted by on
This is a form-fallible Magic Item Record Sheet for keeping a list with descriptions of your Dungeons and Dragons player character’s magic items.
This was created for use on your monitor during play; you can scroll the text if the magic item description is too long to fit in the box. If you intend to print the page you should abbreviate long descriptions to fit in a single box, or split the description across two or more boxes.
August 29, 2020Posted by on
What equipment do I start with?
Many that are new to this game find equipping their character to be difficult. Even using an on-line tool such as “D&D Beyond” can be confusing.
It’s really fairly simple. First you must choose a class and a background for your character. Here is an example using the 5E version of the Player’s Hand Book to equip a Cleric with an Acolyte background:
If you want to simply use the standard equipment do this:
1) Go to the “Class Features” section for your chosen class (“Cleric” in this example is on page 57). Look under “Equipment” in this section to find your list of starting equipment.
2) Then go to the section for the background that you have chosen (“Acolyte” in this example is on page 127). Look under “Equipment” in this section to find a list of the rest of your equipment and starting gold pieces.
If you would rather select all of your own equipment you can do this:
1) Go to the “STARTING WEALTH BY CLASS” table (on page 143) to determine your starting gold. For a cleric it reads 5d4 x 10gp. You simply roll five 4 sided dice, add the result together and multiply by 10.
2) Go shopping! Using the tables for “Armor”(p. 145), “Weapons”(p. 149), “Adventuring Gear”(p. 150) and “Tools”(p. 154). You can equip your character using your starting gold to purchase what you like. You will not likely want to buy a mount or other animal, tack, harness, drawn vehicle, or any trade goods – but if you do there are tables with prices listed for those as well.
If if you want me to do it for you:
1) Go to my post HERE
2) Download a Ready-To-Play first level character sheet for whichever race and class you want to play. If you don’t want to use my sheet, you can just reference the equipment on page 2 to use on your preferred character sheet.
Now your character is equipped to start his first adventure!
June 3, 2020Posted by on
To the best of my knowledge, the list below contains all the official races for fifth edition dungeons and dragons (as of June 3, 2020). There are several Plane Shift and Unearthed Acana (UA) Player Races, buy I have not included these because they are not considered official fifth edition content.
These are the books where the races can be found:
Acquisitions Incorporated (AI), Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG), Eberron: Rising from the Last War (ERftLW), Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (EEPC), Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica (GGtR), Locathah Rising (LR), Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (MToF), Mythic Odesseys of Theros (MOoT), One Grung Above (OGA), Player’s Handbook (PHB), Princes of the Apocalypse (PotA), Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide (SCAG), The Tortle Package (TP), Volo’s Guide to Monsters (VGtM), Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron (WGtE)
- Aarakocra (EEPC)
- Aasimar: Basic (DMG)
- Aasimar: Protector, Scourge, Fallen (VGtM)
- Bugbear (VGtM) , (ERftLW)
- Centaur (GGtR), (MOoT)
- Changeling (ERftLW), (WGtE)
- Deep Gnome/Svirfneblin (EEPC), (SCAG), (MToF)
- Dragonborn (PHB)
- Dwarf: Duergar (SCAG), (MToF)
- Dwarf: Mountain or Hill (PHB)
- Elf: Eladrin, Sea Elf, or Shadar-kai (MToF)
- Elf: High, Wood, or Drow (PHB)
- Firbolg (VGtM)
- Genasi (PotA), (EEPC)
- Gith: Githyanki or Githzerai (MToF)
- Gnome (PHB)
- Goblin (VGtM), (GGtR), (ERftLW)
- Goliath (VGtM), (EEPC)
- Grung (OGA)
- Half-Elf (PHB)
- Half-Elf: Variant (SCAG)
- Halfling: Ghostwise (SCAG)
- Halfling: Lightfoot or Stout (PHB)
- Half-Orc (PHB)
- Hobgoblin (VGtM), (ERftLW)
- Human: standard or variant (PHB)
- Kalashtar (ERftLW), (WGtE)
- Kenku (VGtM)
- Kobold (VGtM)
- Leonin (MOoT)
- Lizardfolk (VGtM)
- Locathah (LR)
- Loxodon (GGtR)
- Minotaur (GGtR), (MOoT)
- Orc (VGtM)
- Orc: Eberron (ERftLW)
- Satyr (MOoT)
- Shifter (ERftLW), (WGtE)
- Simic Hybrid (GGtR)
- Tabaxi (VGtM)
- Tiefling (PHB)
- Tiefling: Bloodline Variants (MToF)
- Tiefling: Winged Variant (SCAG)
- Tortle (TP)
- Triton (VGtM)
- Verdan (AI)
- Warforged (ERftLW), (WGtE)
- Yuan-Ti: Pureblood (VGtM)
May 24, 2020Posted by on
To the best of my knowledge, the table below contains all the official subclasses for fifth edition dungeons and dragons (as of May 24, 2020). There are several Unearthed Acana (UA) subclasses, buy I have not included these because UA is not considered official fifth edition content.
These are the books where the subclasses can be found.
Eberron Rising from the Last War (ERftLW), Explorer’s Guide to Wildmount (EGtW), Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica (GGtR), Player’s Handbook (PHB), Sword Coast Adventure’s Guide (SCAG) and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (XGtE)
|Alchemist||ERftLW (p. 58)|
|Artillerist||ERftLW (p. 59)|
|Battle Smith||ERftLW (p. 60)|
|Path of the Ancestral Guardian||XGtE (p. 9)|
|Path of the Battlerager||SCAG (p. 121)|
|Path of the Berserker||PHB (p. 49)|
|Path of the Storm Herald||XGtE (p. 10)|
|Path of the Totem Warrior – Bear||PHB (p. 50)|
|Path of the Totem Warrior – Eagle||PHB (p. 50)|
|Path of the Totem Warrior – Elk||SCAG (p. 122)|
|Path of the Totem Warrior – Tiger||SCAG (p. 122)|
|Path of the Totem Warrior – Wolf||PHB (p. 50)|
|Path of the Zealot||XGtE (p. 11)|
|College of Glamour||XGtE (p. 14)|
|College of Lore||PHB (p. 54)|
|College of Swords||XGtE (p. 15)|
|College of Valor||PHB (p. 55)|
|College of Whispers||XGtE (p. 16)|
|Arcana Domain||SCAG (p. 125)|
|Death Domain||DMG (p. 96)|
|Forge Domain||XGtE (p. 18)|
|Grave Domain||XGtE (p. 19)|
|Knowledge Domain||PHB (p. 59)|
|Life Domain||PHB (p. 60)|
|Light Domain||PHB (p. 60)|
|Nature Domain||PHB (p. 61)|
|Order Domain||GGtR (p. 25)|
|Tempest Domain||PHB (p. 62)|
|Trickery Domain||PHB (p. 62)|
|War Domain||PHB (p. 63)|
|Circle of Dreams||XGtE (p. 22)|
|Circle of the Land||PHB (p. 68)|
|Circle of the Moon||PHB (p. 69)|
|Circle of the Shepherd||XGtE (p. 23)|
|Circle of Spores||GGtR (p. 26)|
|Arcane Archer||XGtE (p. 28)|
|Battle Master||PHB (p. 73)|
|Cavalier||XGtE (p. 30)|
|Champion||PHB (p. 72)|
|Echo Knight||EGtW (p. 183)|
|Eldrich Knight||PHB (p. 74)|
|Purple Dragon Knight||SCAG (p. 128)|
|Samurai||XGtE (p. 31)|
|Way of the Drunken Master||XGtE (p. 33)|
|Way of the Four Elements||PHB (p. 80)|
|Way of the Kensei||XGtE (p. 34)|
|Way of the Long Death||SCAG (p. 130)|
|Way of the Open Hand||PHB (p. 79)|
|Way of the Shadow||PHB (p. 80)|
|Way of the Sun Soul||XGtE (p. 35)
SCAG (p. 131)
|Oath of the Ancients||PHB (p. 60)|
|Oath of Conquest||XGtE (p. 37)|
|Oath of the Crown||SCAG (p. 132)|
|Oath of Devotion||PHB (p. 85)|
|Oath of the Oathbreaker||DMG (p. 97)|
|Oath of Redemption||XGtE (p. 38)|
|Oath of Vengence||PHB (p. 87)|
|Beast Master||PHB (p. 93)|
|Gloom Stalker||XGtE (p. 41)|
|Horizon Walker||XGtE (p. 42)|
|Hunter||PHB (p. 93)|
|Monster Slayer||XGtE (p. 43)|
|Arcane Trickster||PHB (p. 97)|
|Assassin||PHB (p. 97)|
|Inquisitive||XGtE (p. 45)|
|Mastermind||XGtE (p. 46)
SCAG (p. 135)
|Scout||XGtE (p. 47)|
|Swashbuckler||XGtE (p. 47)
SCAG (p. 135)
|Thief||PHB (p. 97)|
|Divine Soul||XGtE (p. 50)|
|Draconic Bloodline||PHB (p. 102)|
|Shadow Sorcery||XGtE (p. 50)|
|Storm Sorcery||XGtE (p. 51)
SCAG (p. 137)
|Wild Magic||PHB (p. 103)|
|The Archfey||PHB (p. 108)|
|The Celestial||XGtE (p. 54)|
|The Fiend||PHB (p. 109)|
|The Great Old one||PHB (p. 109)|
|The Hexblade||XGtE (p. 55)|
|The Undying||SCAG (p. 139)|
|School of Abjuration||PHB (p. 115)|
|School of Bladesinging||SCAG (p. 141)|
|School of Chronurgy Magic||EGtW (p. 184)|
|School of Conjuration||PHB (p. 116)|
|School of Divination||PHB (p. 116)|
|School of Enchantment||PHB (p. 117)|
|School of Evocation||PHB (p. 117)|
|School of Graviturgy Magic||EGtW (p. 185)|
|School of Illusion||PHB (p. 118)|
|School of Necromancy||PHB (p. 118)|
|School of Transmutation||PHB (p. 119)|
|School of War Magic||XGtE (p. 59)|
Some official books also contain re-skins. These aren’t new subclasses but present some different options for some official subclasses. (Thank you to Matt Paluch).
|New Subclass||Reskin of|
|College of Fochlucan (SCAG p.123)||College of Lore (PHB)|
|College of New Olamn (SCAG p.123)||College of Lore (PHB)|
|College of the Herald (SCAG p.124)||College of Lore (PHB)|
|The Circle of Swords (SCAG p.127)||Circle of Moon (PHB)
Circle of Land – Forest (PHB)
|The Moonshea Circles (SCAG p. 127)||Circle of Land – Coast, Forest, or Mountain (PHB)|
|Order of the Dark Moon SCAG (p. 129)||Way of Shadow (PHB)|
|Order of the Hin Fist (SCAG p. 129)||Way of the Open Hand (PHB)|
|Order of the Yellow Rose (SCAG p. 129)||Way of the Open Hand (PHB)|
|Order of the Companion (SCAG p. 132)||Oath of Crown (SCAG)
Oath of Devotion (PHB)
|Order of the Gilded Eye (SCAG p. 132)||Oath of Devotion (PHB)
Oath of Vengeance (PHB)
|Order of Samular (SCAG p. 132)||Oath of the Crown (SCAG)|
|Izzet League member (GGtR p.66)||Any PC with a Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature has access to League-only spells.|
March 9, 2020Posted by on
There are a lot of different things that can affect your character’s AC. New players sometimes struggle with this and even experienced players can sometimes get it wrong. Here is a checklist that might help.
How to calculate your Armor Class (AC)
First you calculate what armor class you get from your armor, then add your shield and lastly add any other bonuses or penalties you may have.
A) Figure your Base Armor Class. This depends on what type of armor you are wearing.
• Start with 10.
• Add your Dexterity Modifier. Note that this can be a negative number.
• If you are a Barbarian you also add your Constitution Modifier.
• If you are a Monk you also add your Wisdom Modifier.
This total will be your base armor class.
• Start with your Dexterity Modifier. Note that this can be a negative number.
• If you have Padded or Leather armor add 11.
• If you have Studded leather armor add 12.
This total will be your base armor class.
• If your Dexterity Modifier is 2 or higher, Start with 2.
• If your Dexterity Modifier is 1 or lower, Start with your Dexterity Modifier. Note that this can be a negative number.
• If you have Hide armor add 12.
• If you have Chain shirt armor add 13.
• If you have Scale mail or Breastplate armor add 14.
• If you have Half plate armor add 15.
This total will be your base armor class.
• If you have Ring mail armor your base armor class is 14.
• If you have Chain mail armor your base armor class is 16.
• If you have Splint armor your base armor class is 17.
• If you have Plate armor your base armor class is 18.
B) Add your shield if you are using one.
• If you have a Shield add 2 to your base armor class.
C) Add any magical adjustments.
• If you are using magical armor add it’s magical bonus.
• If you are using a magical shield add it’s magical bonus.
• If you have any other magical items or magical adjustments to you armor class add those.
D) Add any miscellaneous adjustments.
• If there are any rules or features of the game that add or subtract from your armor class add those.
The total of all of this will be your armor class (AC).