Ask Gorebad.

goreDMIf you would like to comment on any of the topics I have covered, or wish to ask a question or propose a NEW topic you would like me to address, please feel free to leave a comment bellow.

Please note: If you wish to disagree with anything I have said in a particular topic please do so respectfully and come prepared to site source or detailed experiences that back up your opinion. This way we can have a discussion about it and all can benefit from the ensuing discourse. If you just post a flame or rant about the site or anyone’s comments expect to be removed!

38 thoughts on “Ask Gorebad.

  1. I am fairly new to being a DM, I have been playing D and D for about 8 months and we are playing 5th edition. I am having a problem getting some of my players to roelplay their characters and no matter what i try they don’t seem to get it or want too. They treat playing D and D like playing WOW and they see the character sheet and character as just a bunch of stats. They don’t bring any personality to the characters and its making me disappointed. Three of the players roleplay but these two just won’t. Any advice on how to get them into to roleplaying side of the game??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Try not to get disheartened Tallen. First of all full on role play is not for everyone. That being said it IS a big part of a Role Playing Game (hell its in the title). Clearly the two players in question want to play the game. The goal here is to get them comfortable with playing their character as an actual entity and not just as a set of statistics. One thing i would ask is do you talk in the second or third person as the Dungeon Master? What I mean is would you say “The Innkeeper asks you if you would like another drink?” or would you say “Would you like another drink this evening my good sir?” and do so as the innkeeper speaking to the character.

      I can tell you from experience you will get better role play from your characters if YOU yourself role play each NPC and refrain from using the “the NPC asks you” method. In any case I can definitely give you some advice, but I will do so in the form of a post. look for that tomorrow =)


  2. The site is really odd to navigate, so I assume I’m making a new question for you? This is all I could find to ask a question, but here’s my question: Which sites do you use to make a player character sheet? And do you have any links you could spare? For 3.5, simply because my friend has a lot of sheets and wants to get into it. Thanks in advance!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Papasan123. I am not one hundred percent sure if you are asking what site you can get 3.5 character sheets from, or if you are asking is their an online character generator so I will answer both. Firstly here is a link to where you can get character sheets:

      This is a link to a good online 3.5 character generator:

      When it comes to making characters for my players however, we do it by rolling the dice, going through the players handbook and filling in the character sheets by hand. We typically do not use an online generator. I hope this answered your question: )
      Also I added some info on the homepage to help make it a little more friendly to navigate.


  3. Gore,

    I asked you about this in your stream on HRR and you asked me to post here so here it goes. I’m in a campaign with 6 people. 5 players and the DM. We have two players who severely slow play down. One is a rule stickler and argues every rule Almost with the DM. The other is constantly slowing play always over very small ridiculous points. One of the biggest is always arguing about recovering arrows during and after encounters (and refusing to buy more than 1 quiver) and arguing over how he didn’t get the full time span on his torch and the DM owes him 5 more minutes with it, etc. Little things like that which causes okay to be slowed by the both of them. I am a new player to D&D myself and find these situations very frustrating as it’s hard to continue with the RP aspect when we’re constantly stopping play to have these individuals argue with the DM. The DM is also new as well and it is obvious he is quite unsure how to handle these situations. I was looking for some advice to pass along to the DM on how to handle this and recommendations as a player to what I can to and help him out. How would you handle these two with your many years of experience?

    Thanks in advance,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Crankshaft57. Great question and is worthy of a blog topic. So tomorrow (Tuesday, July 21st 2015) I will make this the daily topic for you and others who I know struggle with these issues. =)


  5. Just leaving a comment here to say great job on the blog.
    I like the fact that this comes across as a “real world” blog and that you have not tried to make it to wordy or pretentious. Some of the other blogs I have read that address the same goals, are just to boring to read, and it seems as though the author is more interested in the writing than the message. This blog speaks to to real players and dungeon masters of D&D.
    For anyone else reading this comment, I worked for TSR (The original company behind dungeons and dragons) for many years and on many aspects of the game. I am still in the Role Playing Games industry and I am currently a games mechanic designer as well as free lance journalist. I have played with and have coached many great dungeon masters over the years in my line of work. A recent article I published lead me to finding Gorebad and his channel Howreroll whilst I was conduction research on live D&D streaming. I watched over thirty different channels and I can honestly say I fully endorse him as a great and experienced dungeon master and I religiously enjoy watching Howreroll the only D&D channel I choose to follow.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Gorebad. Love the blog.
    I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition now for 6 months, and I love the game. I play with 5 friends and my Brother is the DM. One of our players is constantly taking over the game session. He hogs the lime light, and the rest of us hardly seem to get a look in. I mentioned it to my brother, but he says we should just speak up more. The thing is this guy has played D and D for years, and keeps lecturing us on the mistakes we are about to make. Typically he is right (unfortunately), but now everyone just follows his lead and the game has become boring. Do you have any advice on how to resolve this, or what we should do?

    Thank you for your time.


    1. Hi Ratchet55.
      Ultimately it is the Dungeon Masters job to resolve this issue. He can do this in a number of ways. Firstly i would (as the Dungeon Master) pull him aside and say something along the lines of “Hey buddy, you are way more experienced than the other players, and its great that they have you to learn from. I want them to have the chance to learn and grow so lets allow them to make mistakes and grow from them. To do this I need you to pull back a little for me.”
      Alternatively he could set up a player action rotation around the table based on Initiative or simply going left to right. In this case he asks the question in turn and directly to the individual players ” What is your character doing?” this way you eliminate the chance to vocalize on the behalf of others. Finally he can even make sure that the most dominant player is asked this question last.

      Definitely one thing you and the other players should do is stick to your guns. Just remind him that you are playing your character due to how you think he would act.

      Hope that helps.


  7. Hey Gore, Ive asked this before in HRR and never got an answer. I was just wondering what your favorite part of creating Homebrewed adventures is (Are?). I personally love the fact that I can populate my world with anything my mind can come up with.


    1. Hi Shammyren.

      For me I enjoy creating a working and viable world. I enjoy developing the geography, and going through all the thought processes to make it viable and believable. I love developing the regions, there cultures, history, political positions etc. The key Non Player Characters for each region and their relationships. I have always felt that If you are going to make your own world, then it should be developed enough to be believable and real for your players. Anyone can draw a map, stick a forest a town and a mountain on it but to bring it to life takes so much more =).
      I also enjoy the story writing process of campaign creation, and plot development aspects. My campaigns are always thought out from start to finish with room to change through out. One of my next topics will be a series on world development and campaign creation, so keep an eye out for that….


  8. Hey Gore!

    So I’ve been watching HRR for a while now and decided to delve into the world of Tabletop RPGs and have had a few sessions of my first ever campaign. Overall it has been great, though I think I need all the advice I can get. The campaign is played on Roll20, with other people I have not ever actually met before. I’ve always been a bit timid, and I’ve had a little trouble getting comfortable roleplaying my character. Do you have any tips on how to roleplay your character better or become more comfortable doing so?


    1. Hi Colin.
      Sure. First off I have a blog topic on “how to encourage players to role play” so I would suggest reading that. The first thing to remember is Everyone in your game is in the same boat as you. This being said, no one is going to think your a fool or an idiot for Role Playing your character. The things that I always suggest to any player are as follows. Write your characters back ground story (if you haven’t already been encouraged to do so). When you give the character a little depth it is easier to figure out who he is. What kind of personality would he have? Is he ill tempered? How socially adept is he? etc. The other thing is you should try to get comfortable in first person speaking. that is “being” the character. Get into the habit of saying “I attack the Orc” vs “my character attacks the Orc”. When speaking to an NPC, speak to him as if he is a real person and you are your character. Avoid using phrases that put you in the third person. Now If your DM doesn’t lead by example it makes it harder, because most people will follow the DMs play style. If he says things like “The Inn keeper asks you if you would like a drink” instead of, The inn keeper says “what can i get for you then my good sir?” or how I would do it, “Greetings stranger. I haven’t seen you around here before. You look weary, can I get you a room for the night and a nice supper and a drink to start you off?” It makes it harder to BE the character.
      That being said even IF your DM doesn’t do first person, you still can. One thing about role playing, is like every thing else, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. As you get to know the other players and the DM and the familiarity level increases, it will become easier too. Its always harder Role Playing in front of strangers. This being said, once you get a few campaigns under your belt, you will find it easy to Role Play in any situation. I do it in front of hundreds of viewers, or rooms full of spectators. Once it felt awkward, now it feels natural.
      I hope this helped.
      Good luck and thank you for watching and supporting HowReroll……… =)


  9. Ahoy there Gorebad, I just wanted to suggest an idea for a blog: “Helping players cope with losing their character” I know you have probably lost count of how many characters you have personally slain as a DM, and I’m sure that the player reactions were quite varied. I love you guys, and the entire HowReroll community. (Somebody stole my name on this site, so I added ‘hrr’ to let you know who the genuine NeoGambit is)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi NEO =) Hmmm well i don’t know if helping the cope is necessary (if you cant cope with character lose, you probably have other bigger issues that I can’t help with) but I could definitely do a topic on understanding that character lose is part of the game, and how to view it =)


  10. I have a random R20 question, Gorey. 🙂

    If I wanted to mess around with making a new campaign for personal funsies, but it wouldn’t be in a universe that uses traditional classes/races/magic/etc (The Mistborn Universe, for example. No magic, but the characters ingest and burn one or more different metals/alloys inside themselves to gain specific abilities), what kind of character sheet would you recommend using?


    1. Well that really depends on what game system you want to use as your base mechanics. If you are going to use D&D 5e for example I would say use that sheet and just get creative with the “other and notes” sections. You can also create and upload your own character sheets (all be it a good bit of work, and effort). Also you do not HAVE to use an actual character sheet inside roll20. you can just use the base template and while you wont be able to set up any macros from the sheet, you can just email every player a .pdf or.doc sheet, and have them manually edit it and email it back adjusted at the end of a game session. In fact half of the time our players on Howreroll don’t use the digital roll20 sheet during game play, they prefer an actual sheet on their table =)

      Hope that helps a little.



  11. Hey Gore,

    I’m a somewhat new DM of about a year and a half, and haven’t had terribly much experience actually playing the game with others.
    One of the situations that rarely ever comes up in play in my games is party separation. In an upcoming session for my current campaign, the party has the possibility of being separated by a cave-in, with those on the wrong side having the more obvious option to backtrack and go through a harsh mountain pass to proceed.
    What would be the most effective way of making sure that both groups of players are involved/engaged enough?

    Good health to you,


    1. Hi Cryptonomicon. Well firstly my golden rule about party separation is avoid it unless it is directly necessary for the story. Now even if you do your utmost not to give the party a reason to split, the buggers are going to do it anyway. So here is what I do. Firstly, try to divide time equally and proportionate to the split, Ie if three people went one way, spend six minutes with them, and if two went another way spend four minutes with them and rotate. Encourage them to be thinking about what their characters are going to do next WHILE you deal with the other players, and remind everyone (if necessary) to remember they are separated and currently oblivious as to what is going on with the other group 9to avoid Meta gaming). also it is a good idea to encourage the other players to “ENJOY” the game play occurring for the other group as it happens.
      The thing to avoid is taking too long with either group. The longer the players sit un involved the more the game session will degrade, so keep the time spent as short as you can, and switch frequently, but of course spend ENOUGH time so as they can achieve….

      all the best.



  12. Hey Gorebad,

    First off I’m a big fan of HowWeRoll – love your goup’s style of gameplay.
    My question is a bit random – I read on an article in an old copy of Dragon about someone who was disabled and couldn’t play video games, but found D&D the perfect game because it used theatre of the mind. In fact other players would help roll his dice. Do you have any experience with disabled players or have any thoughts on this? I found the article inspiring and it made me like D&D even more!

    Keep rolling,

    – Morbius

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually I have a couple of experiences with this very thing.
      I used to game with a guy whos brother was confined to a wheel chair and had cerebral palsy. He could hear and comprehend just fine, but could only really “DROP” the dice and not roll them. So his brother would put the dice in his hand and hold a small tray about 6 inches bellow his hand to allow the dice to drop into it, and thus he technically was able to roll dice. His brother used to also speak for him by saying WE do this and WE do that. The laughter and smiles always showed through as his brother approved. He was just glad to be included and get to play. It also really helped him with his social stigma and outlook on life.

      The other occasion was while I was running a game at Gencon in the UK. We had a Blind player, who was also partially deaf. He played just fine. Yes he had to trust us on the results of dice, and we had to speak very concise for him to hear, but none the less it didn’t stop him playing. I am excited to say they now make braille dice for the blind (which is fantastic).

      Thanks for writing =)

      all the best.



  13. Hey, Gorebad! Would you be interested in reviewing some of our D&D products? Your site’s focus on DMs, and making their (our) job easier, appeals to me and closely aligns with my product line. I’ve read some of your posts and like your voice. Please let me know if you’re interested.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Gorebad

    I’m about to start a 4e campaign and was reading through the rules. I was a little confused when it said that after an extended rest you regain all lost hit point, in real life you don’t just suddenly heal all wounds over night. I was thinking about having the characters have to do a heal check and use bandages before an extended rest to regain hit points but first want to see what your thoughts are. cheers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there.
      Well I can start by telling you I feel much the same way about 4e and 5e healing.

      That being said lets take a look at a couple of things.
      What are Hit Points and what does loss of Hit points represent?
      Well to put it simply as you take Hit point damage, you are getting cuts, bumps, scraps and non vital woulds, that as they accumulate can result in unconsciousness and death.
      As you mentioned, in real life, it is harder to recover from such woulds. For example. If you tumbled down the side of a small cliff, and suffered no serious damage, I think we all know that the next day you would feel pretty sore, and the day after even more so. it would take several days or more to “shake off” the injuries of the tumble, and as many who work out a good deal can tell you, muscles are often the most sore 48 hrs after they are taxed.

      Dungeons and Dragons however uses a fairly simple damage and healing system, and the more recent editions (4e and 5e) treat healing in a deliberate NON realistic way. This is great for an action heavy or combat heavy style games.
      In prior editions, natural healing was slower. for example in 3.5 the rule was as follows:

      Natural Healing: With a full night’s rest (8 hours of sleep or more), you recover 1 hit point per character level. Any significant interruption during your rest prevents you from healing that night.
      If you undergo complete bed rest for an entire day and night, you recover twice your character level in hit points.

      I personally found this to be more realistic, as it allows for reasonable healing but also does not just let you “bounce back” after going from 90 to 3 Hit Points in a single day. This being said the game was designed with that in mind.

      In 4e you get “healing surges”. Most healing actions require you to spend a surge in order to heal.
      You get one healing surge per combat (Second wind) and can use as many healing surges as you like (and have available) during a short rest. Then some specifics allow for other surge uses. For example. A paladins lay on hands in 4e allows him to use one of HIS healing surges to heal another, and can do this one per day equal to their wisdom bonus. A clerics cure light wounds spell allows a character to heal a number of Hit points equal to their healing surge value WITHOUT spending a surge.
      An extended rest (6 hour rest in 4e) restores all your spent surges and restores any lost Hit Points.

      Now as I mentioned above, in regards to healing in 3.5 the game was designed with that in mind, so you also have to realize that 4e in general ‘EXPECTS” you to be using these healing mechanics.

      This is where me move to Home brewing.
      So I totally get that you want to make natural healing more realistic in your game. Before you change the healing rule, you do have to be mindful of how it will impact the game in other ways.

      On our live show Howreroll, I (after a lot of testing, theory crafting and consideration) Home brewed the healing in our 5e game.

      The players did not like how unrealistic 5e healing was, and we all felt that it took something away from the tension aspects of the show.
      I for one do not hold with finding ways to “ROB” your players of the mechanics, so while I know some DMS would say “I just interrupt them when I do not want them to heal, or come up with some way to prevent them from getting a long rest” I prefer to look at it differently. If you find yourself trying to find ways to break the mechanic, then you should CHANGE the mechanic to better fit your game. so with this in mind, I set out to find a good compromise.

      Magical healing in 5e restores less Hit Points than say 3.5 so I had to consider this in my adjustment to the healing mechanic. The Hit Point Ratios and AC is also different for monsters in 5e than it was in 3.5, so this too had to be considered.
      In the end this is what we decided upon.
      A short rest heals 5% of your Max Hit Point total, plus your Constitution bonus, and a Long rest healed 20% plus your Constitution.

      This allowed for a more realistic Natural healing rate, but still allowed enough natural healing to compensate for the magical healing being diminished.

      I wont tell you how I would handle it exactly, because honestly I am not at your table, and only you and your players can really decide on how you want to Home brew the healing mechanic in your game.
      I will instead comment on your suggested resolution of requiring bandages and a heal check. I would not make the healing totally dependent on the use of the bandages, or success of the heal check. Instead I would provide a base healing mechanic and then grant additional healing based on the other factors. So you WILL heal some Hit Points regardless, but will heal more if bandages were used, and a successful heal check is made. This way you avoid a simple bad dice roll from preventing any recovery.

      I hope this helped.

      All the Best.



  15. Hi Gore! Christian Bagger from Twitter! Well as I said, I’m prepping to DM and play d&d for the first time in like 10 years, and I started because I found some dudes, who had never had the pleasure of playing d&d but alwaysed wanted to try it. They did however, but the other guys that they were playing with were “memers” and made socially awkward people, and yea … that was not what he expected, so I felt bad about it, because I know how fun D&D can be, so I decided to take the rains and make up a homebrew world (with the Forgotten Realms deities), and a homebrew campagin and just research every mechanic, getting tips, looking for DM pitfalls, and are prepaired to suck and fail miserable at dming first, but if we at least can have fun and excitement, well that is what d&d is all about so I’m not too woried.

    So I might come here and ask you several questions, and I don’t expect that you answer all of them, and if you don’t have time, I don’t want you to feel that you should be obligated to answer my questions so do at in any pace you want! And I don’t expect anything ^^

    Well the first thing I’m a bit confused about in 5e is how the crit system works. 3.5 (which is the only edition I’ve played, but because it’s such a long time ago, I think 5e simplicity helps a lot ^^), is a lot more straight forward. I’ve seen various interpretation on how the 5e critical mechanic works, and personally what I get out of it is this:

    – you put an extra die to your attack
    – you then roll twice
    – then you add your modifiers as normal

    Is that correct ?
    Because as far as I’ve observated on the internet is that no one seems to think about the describtion that you have to roll twice, and only seems to put in an extra die and that is it.

    I don’t personal mind rolling twice, my concern is, that they start at lvl 1, and every monster can then potentially 1 hit them, but then again I can keep them artificial save from crit, just in the beginning.

    – If you have any other tips, that you’ve not already written about here in your blog, I will more than happily accept that ^^

    Hope hearing from you soon!

    Kind regards


    1. Hi Bagger.

      Sorry for the delay, I have been very busy of late.

      so lets start by looking at this.

      Critical Hits

      “When you score a critical hit, you get to roll extra dice for the attack’s damage against the target. Roll all of the attack’s damage dice twice and add them together. Then add any relevant modifiers as normal. To speed up play, you can roll all the damage dice at once.

      For example, if you score a critical hit with a dagger, roll 2d4 for the damage, rather than 1d4, and then add your relevant ability modifier. If the attack involves other damage dice, such as from the rogue’s Sneak Attack feature, you roll those dice twice as well”.

      So you do not roll for damage twice, you roll the listed damage dice twice. In other words if the attack does 1d4 you roll 2d4. If it did 3d6 you would roll 6d6. then you would add modifiers due to stats etc.

      Some people choose to just DOUBLE the damage rolled, others choose to just say it did max damage (as home brew variants). The reasons for this is because even with lots of dice, your critical hit can be underwhelming if a lot of ones get rolled.

      So to clarify the amount of dice are doubled, but you do not also roll those dice twice. just twice the number of dice once.

      Happy Gaming.



  16. Hi Gore (again)
    I’m about to start DMing a new campaign and want the characters to be more local to the world. So I guess I was wondering if you have any tips on inspiring players to create a good back story.


    1. Hi.

      Well the first thing I would do is talk to your DM, Get him to describe an area in depth to you, some of the NPCs you could know, the landmarks and places around that area that you could and would be aware of, and some local history. This will start to give you a local feel, as your character will know more about his starting area and those that dwell in it. I would then begin at childhood, and create a few young friends (or not depending on his initial upbringing) and give them a little bit of background. then advance the character a few years at a time until you get to the current starting point. It is important to realize the level that you begin play at and make sure the back story reflects that. If you are starting at level one, you have not yet experienced many heroic things or major dangers, so a backstory full of deeds you have done is probably not in the cards. However if you are beginning at level five, you have some experiences under your bet, so need to account for them in your backstory. Hope this helps.

      Happy Gaming..



  17. Hi Gorebad,

    A buddy and I just finished polishing and releasing a DnD 5e AL CCC module and we’re looking for people who could run it and encourage reviews, both from DMs and players. Is this something you’d be interested in doing?



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