Can the School of Necromancy feature Command Undead be used on very powerful undead?

The Command Undead feature says

As an action, you can choose one undead that you can see within 60 feet of you.

Unlike the spell Animate Dead it does not specify that it has to be a small/medium humanoid. So am I able to attempt to Command powerful undead such as liches, drago-liches, death tyrants, death knights, etc.? I know that they would be hard to keep under control because of the saving throws and their intelligence, but can I try, or does Command Undead not work on them at all?

How powerful is the Blood Hunter class?

Someone sent me their character sheet for a session today and asked if they could make a Bloodhunter. I looked over some of their abilities and it seems pretty strong, but maybe that’s because I’m still pretty new to DnD and trying to DM for people. Still, I was wondering if others knew if it was OP or pretty balanced? I should also note we roll for stats (roll 4 dice take the highest 3), so they have fairly high attributes.

How can I use powerful NPCs without overshadowing the player characters?

I’ve been playing P&P for years and have taken my first tentative steps into DM’ing over the last year, mostly leading One-Shots. I am also a passionate world-builder and so I jumped at the chance to use one of my most developed worlds as a home-brew setting. For the most part, this has worked out well and the players like the setting – but I’ve started to notice a trend that’s troubling me.

The setting contains A LOT of NPCs and they range from “average joe” to “movers and shakers of the world” in terms of power and competence. And I find myself somewhat at loss how to handle interactions between the latter and the PCs. On the one hand, those NPCs are meant to be badass, smart and proactive and I want to do them justice. But on the other hand, I don’t want the players to get the feeling that they are being reduced to assistants or – even worse – spectators.

Avoiding them until the PCs are powerful enough to meet them as equals is an option, but I often run into the problem that the “here be cool adventures” and the “here be VIP NPCS” parts of the setting often overlap. So sure, I could send my players to clear out a monster-infested mine or retrieve stolen goods – while the NPCs prevent the brewing civil war, slay the dragon, fight a dead god… all off-screen. Yay?

I have used the “but our hands are tied!”-approach in the past, where powerful NPCs showed up but they were crippled/captured/bound by bureaucracy, which explained why they couldn’t do anything and needed the PCs help. This usually works, but I am afraid of overusing it. It gets kinda weird when characters that are usually competent suddenly can’t do anything every single time the PCs get involved. Plus, it would be rather hard to take them seriously after a while.

And the thing is: I like those NPCs. I spent a lot of time writing them. And I want to use them and I want to play them right and not reduce them to damsel/dudes in distress for the sake of the adventure all the time. (And, I admit it: I want my players to like them.) But the focus should be on the PCs. I want them to be the heroes, to have the spotlight and be awesome. They are the main characters and I want the story to reflect that.

So…. How do I manage that? How can I have a setting filled with powerful NPCs and still let the PCs be the main heroes, while still maintaining some logic?

How powerful is Planar Binding?

The Planar Binding spell is the answer to the classic trope of dark mages summoning and binding demons to their service. But what is the extent of this spell’s capacities in 5e?

1. What scope of orders can be given? Can suicidal orders be given? Even further, could you order the being to repeatedly attack itself until death (the closest thing to suicide in 5e)? Can you order a bound creature to be a “willing” participant in a spell? Spells like Plane Shift and True Polymorph depend on the willingness of the target to avoid saves.

2. Can truly any fey, celestial, fiend, elemental be bound? MToF added stats for demon princes and a lord of hell, could such fiends (assuming you could beat the resistances) be bound?

3. Does a creature need to understand your orders to obey? This might seem like a dumb question, but certain beings might have too low intelligence to understand language, what kind of orders can they be given?

How to incorporate powerful allied heroes in a fighting scene in Masks?

I understand what an powerful allied hero should do in a fight to make the fiction interesting (be powerful but not quite powerful enough to get it handled all by them self; be powerful but ignore parts of the situation etc…). What I have trouble with is, how do I incorporate these things in the flow of the game?

Let’s get a bit more specific with an example: The Legacy’s dad is a powerful and well respected super hero. The big bad villain is the Legacy’s family arch-nemesis and is about to attack their stately home. The Legacy, their team and their dad are present to defend it.
I start to describe the scene. What the Villain does, who their allies are and what they do and how the Legacy’s dad is fighting them. So far so good. The dad can be presented as a strong hero here who is simply outnumbered due to the huge amount of allies of the Villain. So the heroes have to step in an help.
But during the play I have trouble to keep this narrative alive. I start with “What do you do?” And the players describe their actions. They trigger some moves (Asses, Unleash, Engage…) and we play them out. They either succeed or they fail. In the latter I make a GM move and let something bad happen. Then I go back to asking “What do you do?”.

My issue now is, I have limited agenda over the fiction when the players succeed with their rolls. The only times I’m able to come up with stuff on my own it has to be something bad. Sure, I can make the Villain badly beat up the Legacy’s dad and that feels like a good GM move. But if that’s the only interaction the Legacy’s dad has during the whole encounter, it makes him feel weak and useless.

tl;dr: How do I make the NPC hero feel strong while following the usual flow of “PCs trigger moves that succeed and they do something cool or they fail and the GM does something horrible”?

One of the PCs is too much powerful, how can I handle it? [4th tier one-shot session]

I’m going to run a 4th Tier One-Shot very soon, I have told all my players to build a 20th level character. One player built a powerful artificer (armorer subclass) that outshines every other PC, I will provide his saves, AC and so on:

Saves

  • Strength: +13
  • Dexterity: +7
  • Constitution: +17
  • Intellogence: +19
  • Wisdom: +16
  • Charisma: +6

AC: 26

HP: 183

Temporary HP: 20

Spell DC save: 20

Spell attack bonus: +12

I am perplexed and, to be frank, a little frightened by those saves, the AC too. I have also double checked his character sheet and nothing is wrong or miscalculated.

Should I nerf this build? If Yes, how?

I did not know well this class, I think I made an error allowing it, didn’t I?

How would you balance this situation?

PS: I’d like to specify that I am NOT a long experienced DM, I have run other epic level one-shots before and those went fine, but I clearly lack of experience.

PPS: if necessary I’ll post the complete character sheet.

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How powerful is the suggestion spell? [closed]

I’m currently running a character that is very charismatic, and uses suggestion to win favor with NPCs. But the spell is only 2nd level so isn’t too powerful and I work with my DM for Judgement calls on how far I can push the limits of the spell.

I wanted to start a discussion how far you would allow a suggestion spell go? For example if a PC wanted to use the spell to end a feud between two families would you allow it? Would it need to be cast at a higher level for something this powerful?

What are my options when other members of the party think my character is too powerful?

I’ve recently started playing DnD 5e with a group of friends, all of whom are very inexperienced – myself and the DM included. We all agreed at the start we were aiming for a very casual game initially in order to get a feel for the rules and then move in a direction we all agreed with.

Without going into too much detail the party consists of a Paladin, Rogue, Sorcerer, Bard, and my Ranger. We’re all at level 3, and there’s a couple of instances where planning (and fortune) have meant I am noticeably better in combat. My HP rolls have been very high (I have 35 HP) while the rest of the group have 24, 18, 17, and 14. In addition whilst I am not particularly aiming to create a particularly meta-gamed character I am trying to choose complimentary skills, and last session was using various skills/spells to deal far more damage than the others in combat (we also missed a rule which meant I should have done a couple of checks for concentration, but that’s our inexperience and I’ve made a note to check that thoroughly in future).

Now at this point a couple of the guys got a bit put out because they weren’t really able to do much, as I was typically able to go first in any combat due to high DEX, and dealt such insane damage that the guys going last did nothing. In addition the combats are quite short and fulfilling, and truth-be-told I’m not overly enjoying it either. One of the guys said the (dreaded) phrase – that I was meta-gaming my guy to be better than everyone else.

I pointed out that:

  1. The session started in a city where my low CHA, and my character having a somewhat introverted background, meant I didn’t get much to do. I had basically accepted that session would be in the city with little combat and was completely fine with that.
  2. Everyone agreed (and I didn’t press the issue) to leave the city very quickly because they were all anxious to fight stuff again. I was quite content exploring the city and wanted to find out more about a potential side quest I considered more interesting.
  3. Some of the party are not really set up for combat, and are more suited to the city RP, though I accept that doing literally nothing in a given combat is extremely frustrating I was basically giving my stuff to the bard to sell for me in the city.
  4. Any skills I have chosen were those I thought fitted what I thought the character would tend towards by himself in terms of background and ambitions – I’m not particularly leveling with any meta in mind.
  5. I have been incredibly lucky with HP rolls.

All-in-all I honestly don’t want to be harming the game for others, so I’ve been talking to the DM about trying to adjust myself to being more in line with the others. I already offered to the DM after my last HP roll to do it again, and he has agreed if we feel it is needed, but we will come up with an in-game reason for that to happen. What else can I do in order to make the game better for the rest of the players?

EDIT: I can explain a few more things now:

It boiled down to the setup I had of:

Longbow with 17 DEX and Archery as a fighting style, then using Hunter’s Mark and Colossus Slayer to get 3+D10+D8+D6 damage to the bosses, or using two Shortswords and doing something similar. The checks I mentioned were the concentration to keep the spell going after I took a hit.

To my mind, whilst yes I am aiming to make myself good at Combat, that doesn’t seem like I’m deliberately trying to find niche rules to suit me, but just choosing things wisely (and appeared a fairly standard Ranger setup when I later checked. One of the guys and I played Warhammer Fantasy alot, so we’re not unaccustomed to working out what is best to use, it’s two of the other people who had the opinion I was somehow playing the system.

My suggestion to the DM was either I go for the Beast Master route and rejig a few things, as people have also pointed it is considered not as strong, but it doesn’t fit the character well, or we find some reason to drop probably the HP, as at the moment with some guys being really fragile it’s hard to up the difficulty in his opinion as we’ve nearly had people die to Goblins. I have pointed out (as other have here) that other classes will get better later, but people seem to hear none of it. I’m not particularly stung by criticism of what I am doing – I’m just trying to fit in with the team and play my role accordingly.

Also thank you to whoever added tags etc. Apologies as I am somewhat new to this site.