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Subject: rec.games.frp.dnd FAQ: 1/9 -- Introduction
This article was archived around: Wed, 01 Jan 2003 11:57:23 -0600
Last-modified: September 2002
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Compiled by Joel Hahn
Last revised 09/26/02
Welcome to the Rec.Games.Frp.Dnd Frequently Asked Questions document!
TSR, Dungeons & Dragons, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, D&D, AD&D,
Dungeon Master, Dragon, Dungeon, Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, DragonLance,
Ravenloft, Planescape, Dark Sun, Mystara, Spelljammer, Birthright, and
Player's Option are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, a
subsidiary of Hasbro. Several other trademarks may also appear throughout
this work; the author hereby states that he is using these marks, including
the above-mentioned ones, in editorial fashion only, with no intention of
infringing in any way upon the trademarks. The author is not affiliated
with nor endorsed by Wizards of the Coast or Hasbro.
Throughout this FAQ, I use male pronouns. This is not meant to
belittle the contributions of female gamers, but rather to serve as a
simple generic pronoun.
Copyright notice, legal mumbo jumbo
This FAQ is copyright (C) 2002 by Joel A. Hahn. All rights reserved.
It may be redistributed freely, but only in its entirety; no part of it may
be changed, added, or deleted without permission (this includes but is not
limited to translations into HTML and translations to other languages).
This means you, bub!
Note for new users
Before I get into the nitty-gritty, there's one thing which must be
said. If you are new to Usenet, or if you aren't new but never heard
about the guidelines & helpful pointers for Usenet, there are six posts
you should go read as soon as possible in the newsgroup
news.announce.newusers. These have the subjects:
Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
Rules for posting to Usenet
A Primer on How to Work With the Usenet Community
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Usenet
Hints on writing style for Usenet
What is Usenet?
If your server does not carry news.announce.newusers, your sysadmin
is doing you a disservice--demand that it be added!
These files are also available via FTP from rtfm.mit.edu, in the
If you are new to Usenet, you should also think quite seriously about
regularly reading the newsgroup news.newusers.questions, as well as the
news.users.questions FAQ at <http://www.enteract.com/~katew/nnq/> (among
other places). Some of the topics discussed there are repeated here, but
the helpers there have and/or know about much more complete answers than are
For an in-depth look at some of the driving forces behind why Usenet
is the way it is, and how certain rules of netiquette came to be, see the
Net.Legends FAQ, which can be found at (among other places):
Now that we have that out of the way, on with the show!
Table of Contents
* designates topics which have been updated.
+ designates topics which have been added.
Part 1-----Introduction to rgfd
Copyright notice, legal mumbo jumbo
Note for new users
Table of Contents
* A1: What is D&D?
A2: What is rec.games.frp.dnd?
* A3: Where can I find the FAQ?
* B1: What is this "netiquette" thing anyway?
B2: So, what's the deal with this board?
* B3: Are there any gaming groups in my area?
B4: "...Me, too!"
B5: Why should I play *D&D instead of Rolemaster, Torg, or some other
B6: "D&D IS EVIL & SH*T, DON'T PLAY IT." What do I do when this gets
B7: Do those "MAKE MONEY FAST" ideas really work?
B8: If X fought Y, who would win?
B9: Where can I buy/sell old books, modules, & other stuff?
B10: How do I get past a certain point in this D&D computer game?
B11: Some people's posts go off the right edge of the screen; is my
newsreader broken or something?
B12: How creative should I get with my .signature file?
B13: Do I have to be an elementalist mage to post a "flame" or start a
B14: Where can I post this?
B15: Is all "d20" discussion on-topic here?
B16: Why hasn't anyone responded to my posts?
B17: I posted a question; why hasn't anyone answered it?
B18: Why isn't anyone talking about Al-Qadim?
B19: Would anyone like to start a campaign here on the newsgroup?
B20: I missed a message; could someone please repost it?
B21: Why are people telling me to stop writing my responses above the post
I'm responding to?
B22: What's wrong with posting with MIME or in HTML?
C1: What is the history of the D&D game?
C2: What does "TSR" stand for?
C3: What does "T$R" stand for?
C4: What is WotC's e-mail address?
C5: What is WotC's snail-mail address?
C6: What is WotC really working on in the way of TV shows and movies?
C7: What's the deal with WotC's copyright policy?
C8: Did TSR really try to trademark the word "Nazi"?
C9: Didn't TSR just "borrow" everything from J.R.R. Tolkien's works?
C10: How can I submit my latest work of literary genius to WotC?
C11: Where's Gary Gygax these days?
Part 4-----1) Meta 2) Misc. 3) Religion
D1: I've found a mistake in the latest TSR module; where can I report
D2: Where can I find a list of official TSR errata?
D3: What is a PBEM and how do I get into one or start one?
D4: What are the best *D&D products (books/modules/etc.) to get?
D5: What do those letter/number combinations on older modules and
handbooks stand for?
D6: What font did TSR use for Planescape and where can I get it?
D7: What is the chance of rolling up a character with all natural
D8: I heard TSR put some *D&D modules on the web; where are they?
E1: Wasn't there a Saturday morning cartoon about *D&D?
E2: What *D&D-specific comic books have been published?
E3: Whatever happened to SnarfQuest, What's New?, Wormy, and Yamara?
E4: While we're talking about it, whatever happened to Erol Otus?
E5: Wasn't there a TSR module that was banned?
E6: Wasn't there already a FIFTH edition of D&D?
E7: Now that 3rd ed. is out, are all my 2nd ed. sourcebooks obsolete?
E8: What was removed from Deities & Demigods?
E9: Was Legends & Lore really originally a 1st ed. book?
E10: What happened to my favorite TSR campaign world?
E11: Where did all the devils, demons, daemons, and the rest go?
E12: Who is this Cthulhu guy, anyway?
E13: What are the major changes in AD&D, 2nd ed. from 1st ed.?
E14: What are the major changes in D&D, 3rd ed. from AD&D, 2nd ed.?
E15: What is the Gazebo story? And what's the Head of Vecna?
E16: Isn't there a humorous "Dungeons & Dragons" skit out there?
F1: Is *D&D really the tool of the Devil?
F2: Yeah, but is *D&D really the tool of the Devil?
F3: Is Al-Qadim actually one of the holy names of Allah?
G1: What do those weird abbreviations mean?
G2: How do you pronounce...?
G3: How do you spell...?
G4: What is a "newbie"?
G5: What is a "Spoiler"?
G6: What is bandwidth? How does one waste it?
G7: What is "fluff?"
G8: Who's this "Monty Haul" character I keep hearing about?
G9: What is "munchkinism"? What does the Wizard of Oz have to do with
G10: What is "Spam"?
G11: When is a troll not green, rubbery, or regenerative?
G12: Are there any other terms I should be aware of?
Part 6-----Resources 1: Internet
H1: What other newsgroups are out there for role-playing junkies like
H2: Are there any FTP sites for *D&D?
H3: What does .zip mean? And why can't I read this file I just
H4: Are there any WWW pages for *D&D?
H5: Where can I download electronic versions of the 3rd ed. Player's
Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual for free?
H6: Where can I upload this neat program I just wrote?
H7: Is a complete index of Dragon Magazine available anywhere?
H8: Is there a complete list of every *D&D product TSR has ever
H9: Where can I find a complete list of every monster TSR has published
H10: Is there really an "AD&D Guide to Sex?"
H11: Where can I find the Net.*.Book?
H12: Are there any *D&D-related mailing lists?
H13: Are there any other *D&D-related resources on the Internet?
Part 7-----Resources 2: Non-Internet
I1: What magazine resources are there for *D&D ?
I2: What are some good books to read to get good ideas?
I3: Where should I start looking in a library for more information?
I4: What are some good fantasy movies to watch to get good ideas?
I5: What is some good background or inspirational music for *D&D games?
Part 8-----Gamespeak 1: For Player's Eyes
For Player's Eyes
J1: What books do I need in order to play?
J2: 2ND: Does the weapon proficiency "Ambidexterity" give me extra
J3: Is the use of poison automatically an evil act?
J4: What about slitting throats? Anything else?
J5: Are all orcs inherently evil? What about orc babies?
J6: 2ND: Can mages wear armor?
J7: I don't like the spell memorization system for clerics & wizards...
J8: What does "Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic Good/Neutral/Evil" really
J9: Is alignment really necessary?
J10: Can paladins have an alignment other than Lawful Good?
J11: What is a morning star?
J12: 3RD: How do Attacks of Opportunity work?
J13: 3RD: Ouch! How can I avoid attacks of opportunity?
J14: 3RD: When can I take a five-foot step?
J15: 3RD: What is "stacking"?
J16: But medieval combat wasn't anything like the way it is in *D&D!
Part 9-----Gamespeak 2: For DM's Eyes
For DM's Eyes
K1: What books do I need in order to be a DM?
K2: Which TSR campaign world should I use?
K3: 2ND: Stoneskin seems too unbalancing. What can I do?
K4: 2ND: What can I do about Bladesinging elves?
K5: 2ND: What can I do to prevent psionics from really unbalancing a game?
K6: How do you deal with critical hits?
A) Determination of criticals
B) Resolution of criticals
K7: 2ND: What can I do to make crossbows as useful as normal bows?
K8: How much do coins weigh?
K9: What can I do to make the hit point system more true to life?
K10: 2ND: The energy drain power of greater undead sucks. What can I do?
K11: 3RD: How do you apply multiple multipliers?
K12: 3RD: Is caster level a prerequisite for creating magic items?
K13: Where else can I look for info about being a Dungeon Master?
A1: What is D&D?
A: D&D is an abbreviation for Dungeons & Dragons, a fantasy role-playing
game originally published by TSR, now published by Wizards of the
Coast. It made its first public appearance in 1973, hit the general
market in 1974, and has been popular ever since. It is generally
thought of as the grandfather of all role-playing games. It was later
revised to become part of AD&D, or Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.
(The word "Advanced" has been removed from the name as of the 3rd ed.)
Dungeons & Dragons is the most widely recognized and played
For the purpose of preventing confusion, I use "*D&D" as a generic
term referring to all of the forms this game has taken over the years.
A2: What is rec.games.frp.dnd?
A: Rec.games.frp.dnd is a Usenet newsgroup dedicated to discussions
pertaining to AD&D, D&D, and anything else that happens to come
up. It was voted into existence by a result of 357 to 84 in May
1992, as part of "The Great rec.games.frp Reorganization". Here is
the charter for the group:
CHARTER: This unmoderated discussion newsgroup is for discussion of
the official rules and settings of the D&D family of
role-playing games, produced by TSR, Inc., including
Collector's Edition Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), Basic D&D,
Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (AD&D), and AD&D Second
Edition. This proposed newsgroup would include discussion of
TSR's rules and products and compatible products, such as:
character classes; character races; monsters; magic spells;
weapons; Greyhawk; the Forgotten Realms; the Known World;
Dark Sun; Spelljammer; RavenLoft; Hollow World; City State of
the Invincible Overlord; and so on. Crossposting between this
group and other groups in the rec.games.frp hierarchy is
discouraged, however issues of general interest that happen
to involve a D&D rulebook or setting are more than welcome.
Please note that Usenet charters do not stand alone, but rather are
fluid documents that are also affected by the charters of other
newsgroups in the same hierarchy, in this case, the other
rec.games.frp.* newsgroups. Thus, not every post that somehow involves
*D&D or *D&D products is accepted on rec.games.frp.dnd. See Section 2
for more information on where to post a particular message, and see
Section 6 for a listing, with brief descriptions, of all of the
newsgroups in the rec.games.frp.* hierarchy.
A3: Where can I find the FAQ?
A: The rec.games.frp.dnd FAQ (which you are currently reading) is posted
to rec.games.frp.dnd monthly, on the first of each month. This is the
best and easiest way to find it. It is also currently the only way to
get the latest version, outside of the web archives of Usenet, which
is located at <http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search>, and
the FTP archives of the news.answers newsgroup (a newsgroup just for
FAQs) at <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/games/dnd/>.
A slightly revised hypertext version of this FAQ is available through
the World Wide Web at <http://www.enteract.com/~aardy/faq/rgfdfaq.html>,
though it is not always updated as frequently as the text version is.
If you are desperate for a copy of the most recent version of the FAQ,
and can neither use the WWW, nor wait the less than thirty days until
the next public posting, then you can write the keeper at
<firstname.lastname@example.org>. I will consider every request, but there are often
better ways to get it in your hands than sending the entire thing via
***End Part 1***
Aardy R. DeVarque
Feudalism: Serf & Turf
Rec.games.frp.dnd FAQ: http://www.enteract.com/~aardy/faq/rgfdfaq.html