Does the racial trait from Innistrad Provincial Origin, Stensia and the feat Tough stack?

The Player’s Handbook feat Tough:

Your hit point maximum increases by an amount equal to twice your level when you gain this feat. Whenever you gain a level thereafter, your hit point maximum increases by an additional 2 hit points

and the Innistrad human provincial origin Stensia racial trait Tough:

Tough. Your hit point maximum increases by 2, and it increases by 2 every time you gain a level.

Seems to have the same name and effect. Do they stack?

Custumizing Your Origin and Reincarnate

The druid spell Reincarnate says "The reincarnated creature recalls its former life and experiences. It retains the capabilities it had in its original form, except it exchanges its original race for the new one and changes its racial traits accordingly."

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything includes optional rules for "Customizing your Origin" (pp. 7, 8), which allows you much more flexibility in assigning the ability score modifiers, languages, proficiencies, and personality obtained as "racial traits".

In the case that Tasha’s optional rules are in force, and with DM approval, what happens to a character that is the subject of the reincarnation spell?

Are the original choices made at character creation ‘imported’ to the new form?

Are the new racial traits able to be modified freely, as the old ones were at character origin?

Or does the new form possess the ‘standard’ racial traits of its race, since Tasha’s specifically applies to character creation?

There are several related question on how reincarnation affects racial traits and feats, but none specifically address the customization option in Tasha’s:

If a Variant Human is Reincarnated, would they lose the feat and skill proficiency they started with?

Do you lose racial feats when Reincarnated out of your race?

How does reincarnation affect feats and ability score increases?

How are bonus feats affected by reincarnate?

What is the origin of “Improved”, “Lesser”, and “Greater” in spell names?

In D&D 3rd and 5th edition, many spells have variants that begin with the words "Lesser", "Greater", or "Improved" attached to the name of the basic variant of the spell. Some other less common words are "Minor", "Major", and in Pathfinder, "Communal".

I’ve always thought that was cool and interesting.

But I don’t think I played any other roleplaying game that used these terms; nor any such video game that predates D&D 3.0. I also didn’t see these words in fantasy books or in real life.

In fact, these spell names are probably where I see the word "lesser" the most in all English.

Did the template of names like "Lesser (something)" and "Greater (something)" originate with D&D 3, or is it older?

What is the sound’s origin of an audible Alarm targeting a cubic area?

The Alarm spells reads as (emphasis mine)

You set an alarm against unwanted intrusion. Choose a door, a window, or an area within range that is no larger than a 20-foot cube. $ [\dots]$ . You also choose whether the alarm is mental or audible.

$ [\dots]$

An audible alarm produces the sound of a hand bell for 10 seconds within 60 feet.

If I choose to cast an audible Alarm targeting a door or a window, the description is pretty clear: the sound can be heard within 60 feet from that object, i.e. within a sphere$ ^\dagger$ centered in the object and with radius 60 feet.

What will the sound’s origin be if I target a cubic area whose side is strictly greater than 5 feet?


$ ^\dagger$ I always consider the 3rd dimension.

What is the historical origin of 5e plate-based armors?

This question came to mind when I was searching for historical examples of "half-plate" and found the term conspicuously missing from reliable sources. As far as I can tell, "half-plate" seems to be a term coined for use in fantasy and role-playing game settings.

Similarly, I’m somewhat confused about how a "breastplate" came to describe an entire category of armor when, so far as I know, breastplates are usually nothing more than components in larger suits of armor.

So, I’m curious to see if there’s any information on the origin of plate-based armors in D&D 5e, such as:

  • historical examples which may have inspired these armor classifications
  • pop culture or previous editions of D&D which may have influenced the development of these armor classifications

For the purpose of this question "plate-based armors" means the breastplate, half-plate, and plate armor in D&D Fifth Edition.

I should also clarify that I’m not interested in discussion on leather armor and chain mail (on its own), as there’s already a slew of information (and controversy) on the historical origins of these armors.

Were Gebbeth the / an origin of Intellect Devourers?

On this blog, a response posting from one Michael Rooney makes the claim (05/10/2019)

[The nature of the Intellect Devourer] was reshaped by Dave Trampier’s art. If you read the original description (in the little brown books—most of which is the same as the 1e MM’s), there’s nothing about it looking like a brain, only the legs are described. That’s because the original monster is an emulation of the gebbeth in LeGuin’s A Wizard of Earthsea: a taloned, faceless thing that possesses its victims’ bodies. Interestingly, LeGuin got the idea for a gebbeth after looking at a microscopic tardigrade (the water bear), with its hook-like legs and no head.

Apart from this quote (and another citing it), I haven’t found any references on the internet connecting Intellect Devourers to gebbeth, and I haven’t read Earthsea.

Does anyone have a source confirming or refuting this?

Related: Do Intellect Devourers need to Eat?
Related: Were Illithids inspired by Cthulu?

What is the origin of Faerun’s languages?

I’m not a D&D pro but I’m writing a thesis about how Tolkien created his languages and which was/is their following influence.

A friend of mine told me that the languages of Faerun are inspired by Tolkien, isn’t it?

I would like to find something technical about the origins of Faerun languages.

Have you got any suggestions? What is the origin of Faerun’s languages?

[Just to be clear: how inventors developed the languages, on which basis]

What is the point of origin for a square area of effect?

The spellcasting rules for areas of effect state:

A spell’s description specifies its area of effect, which typically has one of five different shapes: cone, cube, cylinder, line, or sphere. Every area of effect has a point of origin, a location from which the spell’s energy erupts. The rules for each shape specify how you position its point of origin. Typically, a point of origin is a point in space, but some spells have an area whose origin is a creature or an object.

A spell’s effect expands in straight lines from the point of origin. If no unblocked straight line extends from the point of origin to a location within the area of effect, that location isn’t included in the spell’s area. To block one of these imaginary lines, an obstruction must provide total cover.

Notably, square is not one of the shapes defined, yet there exist several spells which have a square area of effect, such as entangle or Evard’s black tentacles.

The spell grease tells us in its description:

Slick grease covers the ground in a 10-foot square centered on a point within range.

But this clarification is not present in the descriptions of entangle and Evard’s black tentacles.

So what is the point of origin of a square area of effect when it is not specified in the spell description?

Is there a limit on the number of Proficiency Swaps as part of Customizing Your Origin in Tasha’s?

Tasha’s has a section on replacing proficiencies granted by race in the section on customizing your origin and provides the example of swapping elven proficiency with a longbow for a tool proficiency. Does that mean you could swap all 4 weapon proficiencies from Elven Weapon Training for any 4 weapons or 4 tool proficiencies instead?