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If D&D Abilities Were Written The Way Players Try To Use Them

2 Minute Read
Apr 16 2019

There are two versions of D&D: the way the rules say the game works, and the way that players want the game to work. One long-suffering DM has written up that edition of the game.

Comedian/long-suffering DM Stephen Buckley, DM of Second Best, a D&D Comedy Podcast, posted a list to the internet yesterday which speaks to many players and DMs on a visceral level. Titled “If Spells and Abilities Were Written How My Players Use Them” it offers us a look into a world where Charm Person lets you perfectly mind control your hapless target, wild shape lets you become a Kraken, and sneak attack gives you access to every d6 in a one-mile radius.

People have been all over this and it’s not hard to see why. Everyone can relate to players getting an idea in their head and deciding that’s the way the rules must work. Other examples include:

  • Stealth checks working exactly like invisibility
  • Guidance always works retroactively
  • Short Rests restore everyone’s abilities and only take 10 minutes
  • Rolling a 20 on an Ability Check granting you perfect, immutable success at the thing you’re trying
  • Insight Checks working just like Zone of Truth

It’s comforting, in a way. These problems seem to be universal, and that kind of unites us all, even if it is in banging our heads against our collective tables. Either way, these few examples are only the start. I’m sure you’re already shouting “That’s how it is in MY game TOO!” at the screen (I know I was when I read this). The screen won’t hear you, but the comment section will. It’s time to turn the reins over to you, the internet. It’s your turn to share with us the follies, foibles, and creative interpretations of the rules from around your table.

How does your own table use their spells, abilities, magic items, and other nonsense?

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