Join 525 other followers
A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons
Tag Archives: Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition
October 1, 2022Posted by on
This question comes up quite often. There is no official clarification in either the Player’s Handbook or the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Jeremy Crawford said “A non-undead corpse isn’t considered a creature. It’s effectively an object.” But, dead creatures are not simply objects. If they were not still creatures they would not be valid targets for Revivify.
Time for another house rule.
House Rule: A dead creature (non-undead corpse) can be either a creature or an object, depending on the situation. It is immune to poison and psychic damage, but otherwise can be affected by physical and magical attacks.
As a creature:
- The creature has 0 hit points.
- The creature is unconscious.
- The creature can’t move, hear, see or speak, and is unaware of its surroundings.
- The creature can’t take actions or reactions.
- The creature is not affected by magical or mundane healing.
- The creature is an “unwilling target” for spells that target creatures.
- For any spell that requires an “unwilling target” to fail saving throw to be effected, the creature automatically succeeds on its save.
- The creature automatically fails all other saving throws.
- Attack rolls against the creature automatically hit.
- Any attack that hits the creature is a critical hit.
As an object:
- The DM determines its Armor Class and hit points. For example: if the object is a dead unarmored human it might have 3d6 Hit Points and an Armor Class of 15.
- The DM might decide that certain dead creature objects have resistance or immunity to certain kinds of attacks.
- A dead creature object always fails Strength and Dexterity saving throws, and is immune to effects that require other saves.
As a weapon, it is an object.
“An improvised weapon includes any object you can wield in one or two hands, such as broken glass, a table leg, a frying pan, a wagon wheel, or a dead goblin.” (PHB p. 147)
As a target for a spell, it depends.
If a spell specifically says it works on creatures, it works on dead creatures.
What the target of the spell can be, as defined in the spell description, determines whether or not a dead creature can be a target for any specific spell.
If the spell describes the target as a
Does that include a dead creature?
Creature or Object
Some specific spell examples:
Animate Object cannot be used on a dead creature.
Revivify, Raise Dead, Resurrection and True Resurrection all work on dead creatures.
Fabricate “You can fabricate a Large or smaller object …” In this case a creature would not be an object you could fabricate.
True Polymorph has no effect on a dead creature. For this spell, a dead creature is considered a creature with 0 hit points.
Telekinesis has separate descriptions for the target being a creature or an object. For this spell, a dead creature is considered an object.
August 19, 2022Posted by on
Thoughts on the Antimagic Field spell
(and, therefore, the Beholder’s Antimagic Eye Cone)
I recently ran a D&D 5E game where the PCs fought a beholder and a lot of questions popped up regarding what is and isn’t affected in its antimagic field. I made rulings at the table to not slow down play, but promised to look into it further to find what the official rules are and to come up with house rules for anything that might come up that haven’t been covered by any official rulings that I could find. This represents the results of my research and my current thoughts on this matter.
The description of the antimagic field spell is long and detailed. Please read it carefully. It tells you most of what you need to know. The core feature of the spell could be simply stated as “nothing magical works inside the area of effect of the spell”. The wording of the spell description goes on to explicitly define what that means. The problem is that it only “suppresses” magic in the area, and it doesn’t affect especially strong magic such as that “created by an artifact or a deity”.
Hopefully what I have come up with will help with your rulings at your gaming table.
Very few monsters are creatures or items created by magic. As a general rule, if the monster’s description does not specifically refer to the monster as “summoned or created by magic”, it remains but can’t use magic or magical abilities.
Here are a few specific examples.
Animated Armor, Flying Sword, Rug of Smothering: These are magically created items and as such “wink out of existence” while in an antimagic field.
Beholer: Beholer’s eye rays are suppressed in the area of an antimagic field.
Dragon: The Monster Manual does state that “Dragons are also magical creatures” (MM p. 86). However, they are not “created by magic” so they do not “wink out of existence” in an antimagic field. (The same is true of Fey creatures). Dragons in an antimagic field can’t use magic or magical abilities. A dragon’s breath weapon is not considered magical; it does work in an antimagic field.
Celestial, Elemental, Fiend (Fiends include demons, devils, hell hounds, rakshasas, and yugoloths.): While in an antimagic field they can’t use magic or magical abilities.
Undead (skeletons, zombies, vampires and the like): If they were summoned or created to only last for the duration of the spell that created them, they will “wink out of existence” while in an antimagic field. Otherwise they remain but can’t use magic or magical abilities.
Constructs (like golems, modrons, and such): If their description says that they were magically created, they will “wink out of existence” while in an antimagic field. Otherwise they remain but can’t use magic or magical abilities.
Magical Weapon Attacks: Some monsters (such as the deva) have magical weapon attacks. These attacks do not get any of the extra magical damage inside an antimagic field.
Magical features: Any feature that a monster possesses with the word “magic” or “magical” in it’s description, is suppressed in an antimagic field.
Other, possibly magical features: If a feature is not described as magical but the DM decides that, in his D&D world, that feature is magical, it is suppressed. Examples might include a fly speed without wings (such as death tyrant, for example), or a demilich’s Life Drain ability (This ability isn’t specifically described as being magical, but its description is very similar to a spell description). I would advise the DM to carefully considering the ramifications of any such rulings.
Clerics, Druids, Paladins, Rangers: Treat their divine magic spells the same as any other spells.
Clarification: Deities directly grant their worshipers the ability to cast divine spells; these spells are not directly created by the deity so are suppressed in an antimagic field like any other spell.
Divine Intervention: A Cleric’s Divine Intervention feature does function in an antimagic field.
Clarification: The Deity is directly doing the effect. If a deity personally creates an effect it overrides the antimagic field spell.
Monks: A monk’s ki is not considered magical, it works in an antimagic field. The Ki-Empowered Strikes feature says a monk’s unarmed strikes count as magical. That magic is suppressed in an antimagic field.
Creatures and objects summoned or created by magic
The antimagic field spell says: “A creature or object summoned or created by magic temporarily winks out of existence in the sphere.”
For any specific creature, you need to know what spell created it. Typically, if it was created by a spell with an Instantaneous Duration it will not be affected.
Concentration: An antimagic field does not end a concentration spell. The castor can maintain concentration while inside the antimagic field but the effect of the spell he is concentrating on is suppressed while he is in it.
You can’t cast any of the following spells while in an antimagic field, but here is what happens to these creatures or objects after they are created, once in an antimagic field.
Prismatic Wall: The spell description says: “Antimagic field has no effect on the wall.”
Polymorph: Polymorphed creatures are suppressed by an antimagic field spell.
Clarification: If created with the polymorph spell, you maintain it by maintaining Concentration, so it is suppressed in an antimagic field. If created with the true polymorph spell, it reads in part “If you concentrate on this spell for the full duration, the spell lasts until it is dispelled.” It can be dispelled, so it will be suppressed in an antimagic field.
Animate dead, raise dead, stone shape: Creatures created with these spells are not affected by an antimagic field spell.
Clarification: Any non-magical creatures or objects that were created by a spell with an Instantaneous Duration, such as these, are not affected.
Familiar: Your Familiar doesn’t disappear, but you can’t dismiss it or recall it while in an antimagic field. The same is true for your steed created with the find steed spell. They are a celestial, fey, or fiend that was brought to you by magic, but are not magically created creatures.
Goodberry: The magic potency of goodberries are suppressed. The same is true for the special effects granted by the food and drink created with the Heroes’ Feast spell.
Leomund’s secret chest: You can’t recall the chest while in an antimagic field.
Melf’s acid arrow: The arrow created with this spell is not magical, so you could cast the spell while outside the antimagic field and shoot it a creature that is inside.
Meteor swarm: The blazing orbs of fire created with this spell are magical, so they would disappear when they entered the antimagic field. The same is true for the globe of cold energy created by the Otiluke’s freezing sphere spell and the whip created by the thorn whip cantrip.
Planar ally: The celestial, elemental, or fiend that was summoned with this spell does not disappear.
Plant growth: Plants that have been affected by this spell are not affected by an antimagic field.
Blessings (DMG p. 227, 228): Blessings aren’t suppressed by an antimagic field spell.
Clarification: A blessing that a character receives from deity is a “magical effect created by a deity” so it can’t be suppressed by an antimagic field spell.
Charms (DMG p. 228): A charm can’t be used in the area of an antimagic field.
Telepathic communication: “A creature within the area of an antimagic field … can’t send or receive telepathic messages”. (MM p. 9)
This is far from an exhaustive list but perhaps, if you can follow my reasoning, this will help with other questions that may pop up. Please leave your suggestions, questions, and comments below (positive or negative).
July 25, 2022Posted by on
Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel
Available now on AMAZON.
What it is: D&D Adventure Anthology
Adventures Included: 13 Adventures
Theme: Adventures inspired by world folklore
Starting Location: The Radiant Citadel—a magical city in the Ethereal Plane
Contents: 13 adventures for characters levels 1–14, 11 monsters, and introduction of the Radiant Citadel
Best for: Dungeon Masters
I have just ordered my copy. Let me know what you think about this.
July 13, 2022Posted by on
Blank Class Ability Sheet
You can use this for a homebrew subclass or for non-PHB subclass.
Download your free copy of the form-fillable PDF HERE.
May 21, 2022Posted by on
Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse
is now available. Click HERE
Wizards of the Coast web site calls it:
“A bestiary of wondrous friends and foes for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.
Sparkling with the musings of the wizard Mordenkainen, this tome features a host of creatures for use in the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. Hailing from every corner of the multiverse, these creatures represent some of the most benevolent and malevolent forces that D&D heroes might face.
The book also gathers together fantastical peoples from many different worlds. Each of these peoples represents a race option when you create your D&D character, expanding on the choices in the Player’s Handbook.
Compiling and updating monsters that originally appeared in Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, this book presents friends and foes for any D&D campaign, many of them accompanied by the comments of Mordenkainen. The wizard has faced many of these monsters and peoples on numerous wondrous adventures. Now it’s time for you to venture forth and face these creatures yourself!”
I have been looking forward to this one.
April 22, 2022Posted by on
Wizards of the Coast has just announced several new products.
You can follow the links to their pages on Amazon.
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space Release Date: August 16, 2022
Dungeons & Dragons Accessories Set 1 Release Date: (Summer TBA)
Dungeons & Dragons Accessories Set 2 Release Date: (Summer TBA)
Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel Release Date: June 21, 2022.
Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse Release Date: May 17, 2022
April 13, 2022Posted by on
Lava Should NOT be Realistic.
My first inclination was to make the rules regarding lava as realistic as possible but eventually gave up. I have decided to not even try to make lava in D&D realistic. Here is why.
As I see it, you have two different options when coming up with house rules for lava in your D&D games. You can try to make interactions as realistic as possible or you can give it more of a fantasy feel. As an example, here are two different ways I might come up with house rules for falling into lava.
Falling into Lava (2 options)
Option 1 – Reality
- In the first second falling towards the lava, the air temperature rises to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point any exposed skin will immediately blister. It feels as though every inch of your skin is touching a hot stove.
- You fall for another second toward the lava, and now the air temperature has doubled to 410 degrees. At this point your hair and any clothes you were wearing ignite into flames.
- A second or two later you approach the surface of the pool of lava which is between 1200 – 2500 degrees Fahrenheit. You lose consciousness from the immense pain as your flesh is charring, your blood and fluids are boiling.
- You begin to asphyxiate as your lings are charring due to the hot gases above the surface.
- The superheated air is burning your lungs filling them with fluid much like a blister from a burn fills with fluid.
- You are have a cardiac arrest before you ever touch the lava. Your brain isn’t registering much if anything at all at this point.
- As you get closer to the lava the water in your body rapidly turns into steam, causing your cells to burst and rapidly swell your body. The pressure from the created steam passes the amount of pressure that your skin and muscles can tolerate, and they begin to tear apart – either in an explosion, or by creating large openings for said steam to escape.
- As your skull gets closer to the lava, the water inside your brain behaves similarly, causing your head to explode as the pressure from your brain boiling alive goes above the threshold of what amount of pressure pushing outward your skull can contain.
- When hitting this super dense substance at a high speed you may break your neck or crack your skull open.
- Then, resting on a bed of molten rock four times hotter than the broiler in an oven, you quickly burst into flames.
- In the blink of an eye, it is just your bones and ashes on top of the lava.
- Your bones are all burned to ash a few seconds later.
D&D reality house rule: If you fall into lava you die. No saves.
Option 2 – Fantasy
- You can sink into the lava like Gollum does in the movie “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.”
- Lava should be scary and potentially lethal but possibly survivable, like falling form impossible heights. Some examples where D&D rules aren’t very realistic:
- Fireball damage: The fireball spell does 8d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Objects that are worn or carried are not affected.
- Falling damage: A creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it falls, to a maximum of 20d6.
- Power Word Kill: This spell has no effect on creatures with more than 100 hit points.
- Also, lava would not make a good backdrop for an encounter if it was strictly realistic.
D&D fantasy house rule: Any creature that falls into lava or starts its turn there takes 55 (10d10) fire damage.
Here are the rest of my house rules regarding lava (these apply to magma as well). Whether it is because lava is different or for some other reason it is just more “fun” if works like this.
How lava behaves (in my fictional D&D world)
- You can think of lava as being similar to thick oatmeal that is extremely hot.
- Crust: It doesn’t normally form a “crust”.
- As long as it is in motion the surface stays liquid, hot, red, and glowing but there may be exceptions.
- When it stops moving and pools up it will form a crust after cooling for 24 hours. (It cools twice as fast if underwater.)
- The crust is 1 foot thick and does 1d6 fire damage per round to any creature that walks on it.
- After 10 days the crust will be 2 feet thick and no longer does fire damage when you walk on it.
- The crust continues to thicken one additional foot every 10 days until the lava all becomes solid stone.
- Lava rate of flow: It flows slowly enough that you can normally avoid it. Lava flows at 5 ft. per round (50 ft. per minute, 1/2 mph). This is the same at any angle or over any terrain, even straight down without any support.
- Swimming in Lava: Swimming speed in lava is 1/4 your walking speed, or 1/2 your swim speed.
- Walking on Lava: Even if you are immune to fire, you can’t walk on the surface without magic, such as the “Walk on Water” spell.
- Wading through Lava: If the depth of the lava is not above your shoulders you can wade through it. When wading through it, if its depth is no higher than your knees it is treated as difficult terrain, otherwise your speed is reduced to 1/4 of your walking speed..
- Immunity to Lava: An immunity or resistance to fire serves as an immunity or resistance to lava. However, a creature immune to fire might still drown if completely immersed in lava.
- Gasses: Lava doesn’t normally also have toxic or dangerous gasses emanating from it.
- How it spreads: When it reaches a relatively flat surface it will spread. As an example, in one round a 5 foot cube of lava will spread to fill 5 random adjacent 5 ft. spaces to a depth of 1 foot. Lava that is only 1 foot deep no longer spreads unless more lava is added.
- Being Close: When a creature enters to within 10 feet of the lava, or starts its turn there, it takes 1d6 fire damage due to the heat radiating off the lava. It takes this same damage if it is using the “Water Walk” spell to walk on the surface of the lava.
- Wading: A creature takes 5d10 fire damage each round when wading through a lava stream
- Falling In: Any creature that falls into the lava or starts its turn there takes 55 (10d10) fire damage.
- Objects: Any object that isn’t being worn or carried takes fire damage as a creature does. An object that is reduced to 0 hit points from taking fire damage from lava is completely destroyed.
- Dying: A creature that is reduced to 0 hit points from taking fire damage from lava is disintegrated and everything it is wearing or carrying is completely destroyed (no saving throw, no death saves).
Note: the damage is less than indicated in the DMG but I have added the no death saves and destroying all objects rules.