How can a GM subtly guide characters into making campaign-specific character choices?

Note: the example I’m giving is D&D focussed, but the question is system-agnostic.

We’re in the early days of a new D&D group. If it keeps running, I’m planning to transition the players into Storm King’s Thunder once they reach 5th level. Storm King’s Thunder is an adventure that features a lot of giants.

I allowed the party to defer some character creation choices so we could get playing faster, and one of them has an unused language slot. The party also has a Ranger and the revised version of the class can, at higher levels, choose an epic foe against whom they get combat bonuses.

It would be very sensible if that unused language could turn out to be giantish and that the ranger could take giants as their epic foe. It would also be nice if I didn’t have to lay out to the players that there are giants in store later – they’re all new, and they won’t guess.

Are there any good story-driven ways that a GM can help "guide" players toward making character creation choices that fit the planned campaign?

How to output choices from a custom sortable checkboxes control via Customizer settings

I’m trying to dynamically output some settings from theme Customizer. I use this custom controls, Example 3.

How can I display the settings so that the selected options appear as well as in the order in which they were placed in Customizer?

So far I’ve tried without success:

    $  box = get_theme_mod( 'sample_pill_checkbox3' ) ;       switch ( $  box ) {                  case 'author':                 echo 'Author';                 break;                  case 'date':                 echo 'Date' ;                 break; } 

Basically, if Author and Date is selected and Date is placed first, so I would need to appear in the frontend, Date first then Author.

Thank you!

Paladin archer looking to combat optimize my 9th level choices

I am looking for any good point to improve my character. I’d like to be the “rock star” among my companions. This is my first character what i made. I already looked in all known guides: Bodhi’s, Cryptic’s, Deadeye’s Servant, Thallin’s, …

My companions are a Cleric and a Fighter.

The fighter’s primary role is to beat weak creatures and to keep away strong ones from us. He is using two kukris (using the weapon finesse feat) or one kukri with a heavy shield. He can have around 28-30 AC. So he is primarily a damage dealer and secondary a “tank“.

The cleric usually tries to save(like cure *** wounds etc.) us. If he isn’t doing that, he often uses Divine Power spell to kick out our enemies. He has Impaler of Thorns to do this job well. He is primary a “nuker” and secondary a healer(support). Both players have level 8 characters.

And finally I usually cast Bless and/or Bless Weapon (on the fighter) before an encounter from wands. When a situation requires, I use weapon bond, lay on hands class ability, and the Divine Favor (one reason of Fate’s Favored trait) spell which I prepare 3 per day. I use a Wand of Cure Light Wounds to fulfill our healing after combat needs.

In combat, I try to beat evil creatures as soon as possible via application of DPS.

My character

Name: Dranko Alignment: Lawful good Race: Human Hit Dice: 8 Class: Level 8 Paladin Deity: Iomedae

Point to buy attributes: 15 Attributes:

Attribut | stat | bonus | point to buy Strength | 12 | +1 | 2 Dexterity | 16 | +5 | 10 Constitution | 8 | -1 | -2 Inteligence | 10 | +0 | 1 Wisdom | 8 | -1 | -2 Charisma | 15 | +4 | 7 2+10-2+0-2+7=15


(with bonus from items, race, lvl points):

[Strenght] | 14 | +2 (Belt of Giant Strength +2) [Dexterity] | 20 | +5 (Snakeskin Tunic (Dex +2), race) [Constitution] | 8 | -1 [Inteligence] | 13 | +1 (Ring of Vast Intelligence +2, lvl point) [Wisdom] | 8 | -1 [Charisma] | 18 | +4 (Headband of alluring charisma +2, lvl point)


  • [1] Point-Blank Shot (Bonus Human Feat)
  • [1] Deadly Aim
  • [3] Precise shot
  • [5] Rapid Shot
  • [7] Manyshot


Save | Base | mod | misc. | total

Fortitute | 6 | -1 | 5 | 10

Reflex | 2 | 5 | 5 | 12

Will | 6 | -1 | 5 | 10


  • Oath of Vengeance


  • Magical Knack – +2 caster level to one spellcasting class up to your HD.
  • Fate’s Favored – Whenever you are under the effect of a luck bonus of any kind, that bonus increases by 1.


  • Snakeskin Tunic
  • Efficient Quiver
  • Belt of giant strength +2
  • Headband of Alluring Charisma +2
  • Composite Bow +2 (+1magic)
  • Ring of Vast Intelligence +2
  • Cloak of resistance +1
  • Boots of Levitate

Its cost is about 30 000 golds together. I gather items this during 8 level progressing.


  • Perception, Diplomacy, Use Magical Device [8 points]
  • Acrobatics [5 points]
  • Spellcraft, Sense Motive, Ride, Knowledge(religion, nobility, planes, nature, arcana), Heal, Handle Animal, Disable Device [1 point]

[What is my idea]

My idea is at 9 level, get feat Unsanctioned Knowledge. Problem is that I am very hesitant… I cant decide what should I pick. Here is the list of my ideas…

  • [1] Unseen Servant/Expeditious Retreat
  • [2] Heroism
  • [3] Haste/Channel Vigor
  • [4] Greater invisibility/Echolocation/Stoneskin/Divine Power

I looked for long duration buffs, that improve my combat skills or spells that complete our shortcomings.

Next plan is to get some useful feats like Clustered Shot[11], Weapon Focus[13]. After that maybe Shatter Defenses[15] + Dazzling Display[17], Steadfast Personality[15](Self Delusion [17]).

Sadly, we usualy don’t get a lot of money. So I write my item wish list….

-better enchants for composite longbow, -Pearl of Power to extend first(or higher) level slot, -Mithtil breastplate +2 or more, -Bracers of Archery, -Headband of Mental Superiority to save some item slots, -lot of scrolls to keep situational divine spells (for instance Endure Elements, Undetectable Alignment, Zone of Truth, etc…)

[My Questions]

My questions are mainly focused on my future 9 level. Books: Core, APG, UC, UM, ISWG

  • Is there any way to improve my combat skills more (attack rolls primarily) with my 9th level choices?
  • Which paladin spells should I prepare every day?

I have a separate question about what spells to take from Unsanctioned Knowledge: Unsanctioned Knowledge, best combat buffs for a paladin and small party?

Totem warrior animal choices [duplicate]

My question for today is, when a totem warrior barbarian chooses a 2nd animal after his 1st animal at level 3, do they get the first ability presented at level 3? Or do they get the new ability?

For example, lets say i chose the bear at level 3, and then at level 6 i chose the eagle. Will i get the eagle’s ability which was presented at level 3? Or is that option no longer available, and i’ll get the ability the eagle gives at level 6?

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What is the subspecies name for the standard race choices in the D&D 3.5 Players Handbook? What is appearance do these subspecies, and a few others?

I am playing D&D on a Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition module using the D&D 3.5 ruleset. Please note that this is not a Neverwinter Nights game question. This is a D&D 3.5 lore question.

I am having difficultly finding the subspecies name for the standard race choices offered in the Players Handbook. I am also having difficulty finding descriptions and images of their appearance online. I am avoiding 4e or 5e images and information because some of the lore has changed.

Here is my list of questions. Hair and skin is all I need for description. If you can have a picture link that would be very helpful. I will also gladly look at any online resource that answers my questions and saves people time from writing out their answers.

What is the standard elf race subspecies name in D&D 3.5? What is their suggested appearance?

What is the standard gnome race subspecies name in D&D 3.5? What is their suggested appearance?

What is the standard dwarf race subspecies name in D&D 3.5? What is their suggested appearance?

What is the standard halfling subspecies name race in D&D 3.5? What is their suggested appearance?

What does a deep dwarf look like?

What does a wild elf look like?

What does a wood elf look like?

What does a gray elF look like?

What does a forest gnome look like?

What does a lightfoot halfling look like?

What does a tallfellow halfling look like?

What is a tribal orc? What does it look like?

What is a deep orc? What does it look like?

What do you call a greedy algorithm that solves a combinatorial problem by optimizing the best k>1 choices altogether?

Suppose you have a problem which goal is to find the permutation of some set $ S$ given in input that minimizes an objective function $ f$ (for example the Traveling Salesman problem).

A trivial algorithm $ E(S)$ that find the exact solution enumerates all the permutations and outputs the one that minimizes $ f$ . Its time complexity is $ O(n!)$ where $ n$ is the size of $ S$ .

A trivial greedy algorithm $ G(S)$ that finds an approximation of the solution is:

 out[0] = select a good starting item from S according to some heuristic h_1. S = S - {out[0]} for i=1 to n-1 do:     out[i] = select the next best element using some heuristic h_2     S = S - {out[i]} return out 

Where $ h_1$ and $ h_2$ are two heuristics. Its complexity in time is $ O(n^2)$ assuming that $ h_2$ runs in constant time.

Sometimes I mix the two techniques (enumeration and greedy) by selecting at each step the best $ k$ items (instead of the best one) and enumerating all their permutations to find the one that locally minimizes $ f$ . Then I choose the best $ k$ items among the remaining $ n-k$ items and so on.

Here is the pseudocode (assuming $ n$ is a multiple of $ k$ ):

 for i in 0 to n/k do:     X = select the best k items of S according to some heuristic h     S = S - X     out[i*k ... (i+1)*k-1] = E(X) return out 

Where $ E(X)$ is algorithm that find the exact solution applied on a subset $ X \subset S$ rather than on the whole $ S$ . This last algorithm finds an approximate solution and has a time complexity of $ O(\frac{n}{k}(n \log k + k! ))$ assuming that $ h$ can be computed in constant time. This complexity can be comparable to $ O(n^2)$ if $ k$ is small although according to my experience the performances can be way better than the greedy approach.

I don’t think I invented this kind of optimization technique: do you know its name? Can you please include some theoretical references?

I know for sure it is not beam search, because beam search never mixes the best $ k$ solutions found at each step.

Thank you.

Player action choices on official adventure books

I’ve been running a few officially published adventure books during the last few months, but I never know how to convey the possible actions the players can take and I feel they lose a lot of possibilities because I’m not giving them enough knowledge and just letting them decide whatever they want to do without previous feedback.

For example, during one of the adventures, the players find a desecrated altar, and the book states the players can either pray with a DC 15 (religion) check or splash three flasks of holy water on the altar to cleanse it.

Should I even tell them, or is it just for my eyes in case they try to do it? And, in case they should know they can do it, how should I let them know? Should I simply tell them?

Can a sorcerer make independent spell-effect choices for a Twinned spell?

Can a sorcerer make independent spell-effect choices for a Twinned spell?

For instance, the Polymorph spell can be used on willing and unwilling targets; the unwilling can make a Wisdom save to avoid the effects.

The sorcerer’s Twinned Spell metamagic option creates a second instance of the same spell on 2 viable targets within range.

Does Twinned Spell force me to polymorph both targets into the same thing, or do I get to choose what each instance of polymorph does independently?

In this case I am trying to turn my friend into a T-rex, and an enemy into a goldfish.