Armor rarity in 5e

While writing an earlier post I noticed some oddities in the distribution of magic armor types in the Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG) magic item tables. To summarise, the cheapest armor types in each weight category (padded, hide and ring mail armor) are never enchanted. The next cheapest types (leather, chain shirt, scale, chainmail) appear at… Continue reading Armor rarity in 5e

Weapons in 5e

I have seen a few discussion threads about homebrew weapons, often with a homebrewer asking whether their new weapon is balanced or appropriate. I also saw yesterday a thread where a GM was asking for inspiration to make a wider selection of weapons than a narrow range that their group seemed to have settled into.… Continue reading Weapons in 5e

Magic items by character level in 5e

Last month I posted one piece about magic item distribution and another about level advancement. Here, I’m going to bring them together and see what they mean for magic items by level. I confess that this feels a bit redundant because since the earlier posts I’ve acquired the official 5e book Xanathar’s Guide to Everything,… Continue reading Magic items by character level in 5e

Experience and character advancement in 5e

If you look at the table for level advancement by experience points, in the DnD 5e Player’s Handbook (PHB) p15, you can see that not only do you need more experience points for each level, but that the additional number needed to progress from one level to the next increases as your level gets higher.… Continue reading Experience and character advancement in 5e

Magic items in the 5e DMG

I’ve seen some people in my various DnD Facebook groups confused about magic item distribution in 5e. And I realized that, although there is information in the Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG) such as item rarity and function, and tables for randomly generating items found in loot hoards, the thinking behind item design and distribution isn’t… Continue reading Magic items in the 5e DMG

Essentialism

I’ve touched on this in recent posts, but I want to explain what I mean by ‘essentialism’ as an approach to race. It is a very dated idea that I think most people now understand doesn’t reflect the real world, but it was prevalent in the British Empire (and other colonial societies), baked into the… Continue reading Essentialism

Dragons in core 5e

I’ve looked over the information in the core 5e Monster Manual about dragons and analysed it to bring out some universals, some patterns of variation, and some less-patterned specifics. These might be of interest if you’re a GM running 5e dragons (or especially if you’re considering homebrewing dragon stat blocks), or a crunch-oriented player in… Continue reading Dragons in core 5e

Humanoid hybrids in 5e

I would like to review the evidence for interbreeding between different humanoid races in official core 5e DnD material. I suggest that the amount of interbreeding implies that several of these races qualify as a single species, if such a scientific term can be applied to fantasy creatures. (This point is relevant to a few… Continue reading Humanoid hybrids in 5e

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Pick’n’mix race for 5e

I’m keen to develop a version of race in fantasy roleplaying games that doesn’t bake in the notion that people are divided by ancestry into essentially separate groups that differ dramatically from each other. (Later note: in 2021 I ended up doing a number of further posts on this theme. Here is a summary post… Continue reading Pick’n’mix race for 5e