The following links contain information compiled from a series of articles written by Skip Williams and other Wizards of the Coast writers (yes, this is a shameless plug, as well as a note to say that we take no credit whatsoever for the information) that help people better understand a variety of game mechanics.
They are well worth the time to read through for those needing any clarifications on the presented subjects. The main reason that we have compiled them here is for ease of reference and reading, for ourselves and our players. Having to flip through multiple pages on the WotC site to go from one part of an article to the next was a bit of a hassle, not to mention having to find the previous or next article in the series. Hence, here they are.
This list will be added on to and updated as needed and as time permits (for they are pumping these articles out with greater frequency nowadays), with proper notation & credit to these written works.
In addition to the official D&D articles compiled below, here are a couple additional articles of reference that you may be interested in reading, that we have compiled from a few roleplaying sourcebooks.
This list, too, will expand in future.
The Nature of Evil
Running an Evil Campaign
All About Stacking - By Skip Williams
Players being what they are, a DM can sometimes face a bewildering array of magical effects. For example, a stalwart member of your party wears gauntlets of ogre power, a +2 chainmail, a heavy shield, a ring of protection +1, and boots of striding and springing. Assuming the character in question is a human with a Strength score of 16 and a Dexterity score of 13, what is the character's initiative, speed, Armor Class, attack bonus, and Reflex save bonus after receiving or using the spells aid, barkskin, bull's strength, cat's grace, doom, expeditious retreat, mage armor, prayer, shield, and shield of faith?
If this question makes your head spin, you can relax. The answers are right in the descriptions for the spells and items mentioned.
All About Sneak Attacks - By Skip Williams
It seems that some DMís and players out there just can't agree on how the sneak attack ability really works. To be sure, a clever player can deal out a big pile of damage through sneak attacks. A 20th-level rogue fighting with two weapons could deal 40d6 points of damage or more in a single round of sneak attacks, which is enough to make most DMís cry "foul" the first time a PC tries it.
All About Spell-like Abilities - By Skip Williams
The grinning demon vanishes with a smirk and a mocking bow, the coy dryad bewitches the woodsman with no more than a fetching look, the trio of loathsome hags turns the hero into a toad with naught but a derisive cackle. That's three examples of spell-like abilities in action. What are spell-like abilities? Why are they called that? How do they work? Read on to find the answers these questions and to a few others that tend to pop up in connection with spell-like abilities.
All About Polymorphing - By Skip Williams
The ability to change forms has been part of fantastic lore since the dawn of time. From the werewolf to the doppelganger to wizard, creatures that can assume another guise and masquerade as something they're not are justifiably admired and feared. So, it's no surprise that the D&D game allows for several different modes of shape shifting. Dealing with a monster or character in a different form can get confusing; exactly what happens when a wizard polymorphs into a bluebird? Just what can a druid do when wildshaped into wolf? If you get a feeling of impending doom whenever someone even mentions the polymorph spell, read on and fear polymorphing no longer.
All About Movement - By Skip Williams
For a game that's all about deeds of valor and daring, D&D has a vast number of rules that govern just how one gets from place to place. All in all, this is a good thing because it allows characters endless options for accomplishing things and it empowers DMs to build challenges that literally require players to think on their feet.
Reading Spell Descriptions - By Skip Williams
Players and DM's often find it remarkably difficult to agree on exactly how particular spells function in the game. In the heat of battle, exactly what a spell can do, how and where it can be cast, and even whether a saving throw is allowed can prove dreadfully tricky to pin down. What seemed clear enough when casually reading the rulebooks in quiet solitude can seem maddenly vague when a valued player character's life hangs in the balance or when a particularly loathsome villain is about to go down to a well-deserved defeat.
All About Invisibility & Incorporeality - By Skip Williams
No matter how many pictures or props we use in our games, we still must "see" the game world through our minds' eyes. Sometimes, that proves very difficult indeed. Invisibility is a concept most of us think we understand, but questions about handling unseen creatures always seem to crop up when such creatures enter play (and those questions seem to generate more trouble than the creatures themselves).
Page Last Updated Feburary 15th, 2005
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