• Justin Handlin

7 Most Common Mistakes DMs and Players Make in 5e D&D

Updated: May 17, 2021

7 Most Common Mistakes DMs and Players

Make in 5e D&D

Crit Academy dives into the article 10 Most Common Mistakes DMs and Players Make in 5e D&D from https://dungeonsmaster.com/ We are also joined by Aelx Bomb to get her thoughts on this article as well as a sneak peek into the new Initiative & intrigue actual play podcast that launches Friday May 21st.

RPG Phatloot Giveaway: Into the Forest of Wyrms Temple of the Demonic Cult

The adventure kicks off in Boareskyr Bridge with a caravan escort, making its way to the gnomish town of Hardbuckler, before delving into the Forest of Wyrms. Three side quests with different twists add spice to this adventure: Restless undead from a past battle threatens a farmhouse on the Trade Way; A strange statue with magical tears sought by a wizardess; A gnoll and his family have forsaken their evil God and seek solace and an ability to raise his family in peace.

Winner: Steven.lusk.1983

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Character Concept:

Cadmus the Warrior Saint

I've always been a big fan of Paladins, and in one campaign I played in the Jade Regent adventure path but we ran it in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy (and had the Dungeon Fantasy RPG existed then, we probably would have used that). "Cadmus" was a Warrior-Saint, which is about the purest version of the paladin that exists in GURPS, thanks to a Pyramid Article. Cadmus was a sword-and-axe fighter, a servant of Pharasma the death goddess. Selfless, law-abiding, and ritualistic. He was a pretty upright character (but not, as they say, "lawful stupid." His signature weapon was "Shrivener" which was a "Named Possession," allowing it to grow in capabilities as Cadmus gained experience. That's still a great mechanic. But he fought, he healed, he had personality, and he'd judo throw folks over his shield. Plus, once a session, he could invoke "Righteous Fury" which added a random but large number of stat boosts to his sheet for 3d6 seconds. That was either "Sir Cuisinart" or a few turns of mongo death. Which was often enough. But I love playing paladins and Cadmus was memorable and effective and fun.

Monster Variant:

Chrysalis Golem

Origin: Gold Dragon Wyrmling

Lost Features: Flying, fire immunity, swim, breath weapons, bite

New Features:

Damage Immunities. Poison, psychic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks that aren’t adamantine

Condition Immunities. Charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned

Immunitable Form. The golem is immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form.

Magic Resistance. The golem has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Magic Weapons. The golem’s weapon attacks are magical.

Resonating Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d10 +4) bludgeoning damage and becomes sheathed in a resonating energy until the start of the golem’s next turn. If the target willingly moves 5 feet or more before then, the target takes 4 (1d8) thunder damage.

Sonic Resonance (Recharge 5-6). The golem emits a magical sound. Each time it uses its sonic resonance before finishing a short or long rest, the resonance grows louder and the effect is different, as detailed below. Each creature within 100 feet of the golem and able to hear the sonic resonance must make a saving throw.

First Resonance. Each creature that fails a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw is frightened for 1 minute. A frightened creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Second Resonance. Each creature that fails a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw is deafened and frightened for 1 minute. A frightened creature is paralyzed and can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Third Resonance. Each creature makes a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 22 (4d10) thunder damage and is knocked prone. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isn't knocked prone.


Secret Poisonous Portals

This encounter finds the characters in a complex structure filled with a series of rooms with secret doors. This could be a dungeon, a nobleman's mansion, a thieves’ den or similar location. Once they enter a room, the door they entered through is barred and under the effects of the arcane lock spell. The characters must pass through the area using a skill challenge that takes them through the series of rooms while the rooms fill with the poisonous, yellow-green fog of the cloudkill spell on initiative 10. The nature of the poisonous gas forces the characters to act quickly in this time-sensitive situation. The characters must gain 6 successful skill checks before gaining 3 failures. Characters are clever and skill challenges are malleable. If a player offers a potential solution not listed here, allow it so long as it makes sense. This could take the form of a feature, spell or clever use of tools.

Detecting the Door.

Investigation DC 15. The character feels around the walls, floors and ceilings and locates a mechanism that pulls down, pivots centrally, pulls indeed and up or slides to either direction that reveals a door.

Perception DC 19. The character can spot a faint hidden catch, thin handholds at the edges, a faint ridge along the side or similar feature indicating a door's presence.

Opening the Door.

Athletics DC 19. The character attempts to use brute strength to force open the door, punching, pushing, pulling, kicking or lifting the door open.

Thieves’ Tools DC 14. The character is able to use pins, hooks, wire and additional tools that fit into a latch, padlock or similar locking mechanism.

Success and Failure. Success and failure in this challenge are measured by the threat and damage of the poisonous gas. If the characters fail the skill challenge, they still escape the poison rooms, but must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or gain one level of exhaustion.

Magic Item:

Scorch Rose

Wondrous, uncommon

This red and orange flower can only be found around lava pits or near an area where lava flows regularly. When you cast a spell of 1st-level or higher that deals fire damage, you can add the scorch rose to the material components of the spell. If you do, targets that take fire damage from the spell must succeed a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or begin burning and take an additional 2d4 fire damage at the start of each of its turns for five turns. If the target or an ally within 5 feet of the target can use an action to put out the burning flames and end this effect. The scorch rose is consumed by the spell.

Dungeon Master Tip:

Build Suspense

Suspense relies on making sure that you build toward a climax with powerful and vibrant narration. For example, “Water drips from the ceiling of the dungeon corridor ahead. As you make your way, roll a Perception check. An 18, nice! You hear a strange scraping sound in the distance, as though something heavy and sharp were being dragged across the cavern floor. The sound is growing louder, as though the source is closing in on your location.” Using a build-up like this before you reveal the monsters and start the encounter is one way to build suspense and anticipation in the minds of the players.

Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

Top 5 Uses for the Forgery Kit Skill

  • Deception. A well-crafted forgery, such as papers proclaiming you to be a noble or a writ that grants you safe passage through hostile territory or on a naval vessel, can lend credence to any deceptive lie.

  • Investigation. When you examine objects such as artwork or official documents, proficiency with a forgery kit is useful for determining how an object was made and whether it is genuine.

  • History. A forgery kit combined with your knowledge of history improves your ability to create fake historical documents or to tell if an old document is authentic.

  • Other. Knowledge of other tools makes your forgeries that much more believable, allowing you to combine the expertise of both. For example, you could combine proficiency with a forgery kit and proficiency with a cartographer's tools to make a fake map.

  • Quick Fake. As part of a short rest, you can produce a forged document no more than one page in length. As part of a long rest, you can produce a document that is up to four pages long. Your Intelligence check using a forgery kit determines the DC for someone's Intelligence (Investigation) check to spot the fake.


RPG Phatloot Giveaway: Tap Untap Burn 5 Color Mana Spell Point Variant Rules

Replace spell slots and the eight schools of magic with spell points and the five color magic paradigm. This book redefines spellcasting for DUNGEONS & DRAGONS 5th Edition

Winner: Jobsdelgado

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