Weird D&D advice-column questions

Here's a roundup of some of the weirdest questions posed to Dungeon Magazine's "Sage Advice" column for dungeon masters and players of TSR's Dungeons and Dragons.

Help, My Half-Elf Is Pregnant! The 11 Strangest Questions From The D&D 'Sage Advice' Column (via Neatorama)


  1. Here’s my my favorite Sage Advice column, from Dragon’s first April Fool’s issue (#36):

    Question: My recipe for pork sausage seems to have a mistake in it — it calls for four cups of sage. This amount seems a little excessive. Could it be a misprint?
    Answer: Yes, the recipe should call for four tablespoons of sage.

    Question: I am interested in acquiring large amounts of sage. Where should I look?
    Answer: Try the yellow pages of your phone book. Look under “Herb dealers — Sage”.

    Question: In the folk song “Scarborough Fair” there is a line that goes, “Parsley, something, rosemary, and thyme.” What word am I missing?
    Answer: Sage.

  2. Article has the wrong title. It’s the answers that are hilarious.

    (Plus, is it me? It’s an RPG, guys. Make up your own answers.)

    1. Shadow, part of the point of having things like the Sage is so that people have standardized answers and know what to expect. Also, so it helps when there are disagreements within a group.

      What actually annoys me is that they spent so much time answering silly questions and not answering very basic questions (such as what happens when you lose a psicrystal.)

  3. I would never abide by this rule at my table. What if a mage lost his hands? And don’t say it’ll never happen. Remember Bigby? And all that nutso overcompensating he got into?

    But no, for real. Shocking Grasp. With my penis.

    1. The /tg/ (traditional/tabletop games) board on 4chan had a running joke about monks using their “flurry of blows” attack with their penis.

  4. I would argue a “to each their own” method of approaching this. Ie maybe your specific mage headbutts for “touch” effect spells; if so, he / she always needs to headbutt. Regardless, if for some reason said mage can no longer use their preferred method, a learning process should be undertaken in order to switch to a new method.

  5. Q. I think my bi-polar, half-elf/half-orc assassin girlfriend (with 18/00 STR) is sleeping with another man. What should I do?

    A. Let her.

  6. Sadly, I can remember why elves, half elves and half-orcs don’t have souls. AD&D said that they had spirits rather than souls and were tied to a reincarnation cycle. As I recall that came from the AD&D Dieties and Demigods book.

    The things that I have commited to long term memory.

  7. as someone who grew up on D&D and Dragon magazine. i survived the expedition to the barrier peaks, and let me tell ya, you can’t handle the expedition the barrier peaks!

  8. “Bows don’t do damage, arrows do.” would make a good t-shirt, especially with a picture of Charlton Heston in elf-garb holding a bow above his head. Or, with a slightly different picture, “Wands don’t kill people, Wizards do” would also be good.

  9. yeah, that’s 100% pure, unadulterated awesome. i shall now forward to all my friends, coworkers, and casual acquaintances.

  10. Funny thing is the rules have changed over the many incarnations of D&D.
    These days, in Dungeons and Dragons Online, when fighting bow users (hunters, guards, etc.) in close quarters, you WILL get beaten about the head by a longbow and take damage on a successful strike.

  11. I believe there’s specific reference in GURPS, and probably other systems, to one of the key uses of wands and staves being to extend the reach of a spell caster for “touch” purposes. So, choose your system carefully.

    And I can think of loads of non-pornographic situations where non-digital touching would be useful for spells — e.g., walking around with a “shocking grasp” spell going as a pickpocket deterrent or as an “active” defense against unarmed attack, casting a healing or defensive spell on the horse you’re riding while your hands are full, etc.

  12. I have a question for the audience regarding AD&D combat and number of attacks for monsters that are listed with more than 1 attack. Recently, re-discovered the game after a few decade hiatus, so cut me some slack if this is a really silly question:

    So, for example, if a monster has 4 attacks: 2 claw, 1 mouth and 1 tail… unless otherwise described, its assumed that it only attacks with one of those options, right? Not all 4 simultaneously… right or wrong or somewhere in between.

    The genesis of this question is that our current DM had a pair of monkey-like creatures attack a party of 5 characters and they absolutely mauled us because he was giving them a total 8 attacks per round.

    I could use the advice of a rules lawyer pretty please.

    1. As long as I know: YES.

      I remember doing 9 attacks at one player (who was really getting on my nerves) with one creature that appeared in the TSR 25th anniversary adventure pack (the Planescape one).

      87 points of damage in those ages were devastating, today is just meh… I miss the old days… and the Dragon Magazine.

      1. …but you still must roll to see if any of those attacks actually connect. It’s hardly ever automatic, unless the players are severely outclassed, in which case they shouldn’t be playing that level of module.

        Of course, it also matters where the players are standing, doesn’t it? Even a basilisk couldn’t actually gaze at players who manage to flank it. I always figured the DM’s discretion should take into account the relative intelligence of the monster encountered, as well as differences in physical characteristics.

        1. I think that may be at the heart of it… I don’t think there was much discretion given and we were horribly outclassed. I didn’t cause a stink when it was happening because we are all just getting back up to speed but on reflection it seemed unfair. So it feels like a little logic as to whether a creature can realistically engage with all those attacks at once given the field of combat should be in order. Claws and bite I can see happening all at once, but the tail too… depending on the situation that just doesn’t make sense. I was reading up on dragons in the rules compendium, and by that logic they would be biting and potentially doing a breath attack, all at once (plus claws, tail, spells, etc.). Some of them just don’t seem realistic to stack endlessly so I was expecting there to be some sort of rule… perhaps not. Still enjoying it, just that niggle was troubling me.

          1. I seem to remember the AD&D monster manual describing, for dragons specifically, in what range and directions a dragon can use each of its’ attacks (claws, bite, wing buffets, tail sweep, tail slap) as a function of size and age category. Also, I think it specified that of claws and wing buffets, a total of two could be used in a round, and maybe a few other conditions.

            So yes, it would depend the size, shape, dexterity, and skill of the individual monster.

    2. Version 3.5 of the AD&D system allows for the monkey creatures (or any creature/character) with more than one attack to use all of it’s available attacks as a full round action, often referred to as “Full Attack” This is a full round action, taking place of a standard action and move equivalent action for the round it is taken. A 5′ step is still allowed during that round however.

  13. Hey that’s a pretty important question. How else would you know how to respond when a player gets bored and decides he’s going to cast all his touch spells by roundhouse kicking things?

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