How to Use the Rule of Cool | 5e Dungeons & Dragons | Web DM


Comments • 400

  • David Kordesh
    David Kordesh  4 days back

    You guys partially mischaracterized the rule of cool, though. It also tells the DM to defer to being confident in doing cool things instead of being goofy all the time. Make cool characters. Do cool descriptions. Rule of cool. Accept that the game at its best is cool, not just silly.

    • gamer-war-tanker8 8
      gamer-war-tanker8 8  2 weeks back

      When he said the cartoony part I just remembered the meta gaming squire, goose, and pigeon that was introduced into my game this Friday.

      • Capitan Smooth
        Capitan Smooth  3 weeks back

        The rule of kool...

        So deep that others think it's shallow. (Philosophical Kool)

        • Ryan Wisse
          Ryan Wisse  3 weeks back

          When it comes to action economy, when it comes to the players determining what they do (specifically new players) I make a point to remind them “your turn is approximately 6 seconds, you can do this thing, but what you’re telling me won’t fit in one turn” if they still want to do it then they’re locking themselves into spending multiple turns doing that thing

          • Hunter Burns
            Hunter Burns  4 weeks back

            Just want to say that you guys have been such a great help. As a DM youre guy's advice and input has made me a better DM and my players have benefited greatly due to you guys . Thank you

            • tropico boy
              tropico boy  1 months back

              I did this with one on my players caracters. He wanted to be evil but I said no evil PC's so I let him secretly feed info to a lich who Is connected to another players caracter.

              • Non Ya
                Non Ya  1 months back

                Geezer here...
                Thanks, have been wondering where this "rule of cool" came from, will blame Matt M. Anyone with other info please let me know.
                I am puting a campaign together, first in 3 decades. As in yester year I am including a homebrew rule that originated 4 decades back or so. Never cared for the beer and pretzel approach myself. That may be a bit dated. Loved the Star Trek vs Futurama reference.
                On my take. I always let players have the opportunity to try anything. Then apply cause and effect. Put winky on a stump and hit him with your sword, ouch. Cool points will not change that. At my table expending one of these points will provide an advantage (at least by 5e). But it will not null gravity, nope.
                Game on.

                • Caleb Jackson
                  Caleb Jackson  1 months back

                  Fastball specials are something I'll always allow, even in my most grimdark campaigns.

                  • Chad 1337P-De$tr0yer69
                    Chad 1337P-De$tr0yer69  2 months back

                    Seems like there doesn't need to be a rule as long as it's possible you roll.

                    • Tal Moore
                      Tal Moore  2 months back

                      Two words: Marisha Ray.

                      • RighBread
                        RighBread  2 months back

                        "We're not really playing a game, we're just sort of playing pretend where we describe really awesome scenes at each other."

                        That is the absolute best way I've heard this type of D&D style explained and I thank you for it. If people want to do that, no skin off my nose, but I haven't been interested in that style of play since I was about 13. I prefer to DM in a way that forces cool stuff to happen through adversity and limitations. If I say "Yes" to 100 crazy shenanigans my players come up with, the game becomes unexciting. But If I say "No" to 99 crazy shenanigans and "Yes" to one far-fetched plan that could maybe sort of be cobbled together and pulled off with enough good dice rolls, it's an incredibly memorable moment that the players will talk about for months or even years to come. I know it because I've made it happen.

                        • MOrdO Kai
                          MOrdO Kai  4 months back

                          I typically reserve my "RoC" improves for character driven rp, non combat, no-or-little mechanical impact cinematic things. I've been playtesting warforged and artificer, and my juggernaut battlesmith has obsessions with trinkets and diagramming gear he thinks is cool by using ritual identify to add drawings to his 'Journal'. A pc had a touching moment with an npc from their background, and before we left i took 1gp and put the minor light magical tinkering on it, added posts to hold a gem, and added a blue sapphire, popped the cameo out of a locket, had the npc record a 6 second long "i love you" message in a platinum coin, shaped a cover with a hole in it to expose the tip of the sapphire and turn it into a tiny blue talking bullseye lantern in a locket, then held it up in front of his face (i had 3lvls monk for four elements feature "elemental attunement" just for the tinkery effects you can do with it) and shaped the mist in the air into a small bust of glittering blue specks (a help me obiwan kenobi style hologram) and at that exact second sacrificed the materials, the minor magic in it, and shaped mist as secondary materials for "fabricate" and turned it into a permanent trinket, and put it into a tiny cardboard box that had sealing wax in it, and goldleafed the box and added a wax sealed ribbon (all found in my forgery kit ;D)... Yeah it skirts around having extra tinkerings active, let's other people turn on and off light which isn't a feature of the light effect, ignores regular crafting cost and time requirements (and the fact I'm trash at jewellers prof) and totally spits in the face of the line in fabricate's description "no magic items".... But how would you have ruled it at your table if that was my "let's get whacky and let your chaotic neutral show" moment? xP

                          • MOrdO Kai
                            MOrdO Kai  4 months back

                            I don't remember exactly when they added it, but 'improvise' is now on the official list of "actions/actions in combat/other actions" sections of the phb and dmg so antagonistic dm's can't pull the "you're only allowed to take listed actions" now it IS a listed action xD
                            Your character can do things not covered by the actions in this chapter, such as breaking down doors, intimidating enemies, sensing weaknesses in magical defenses, or calling for a parley with a foe. The only limits to the actions you can attempt are your imagination and your character's ability scores. See the descriptions of the ability scores in chapter 7 for inspiration as you improvise.
                            When you describe an action not detailed elsewhere in the rules, the DM tells you whether that action is possible and what kind of roll you need to make, if any, to determine success or failure."

                            • TheAfroDyyd
                              TheAfroDyyd  4 months back

                              I really get bored by some of these videos, because it feels like you cover some really basic stuff, and as an experienced DnD player and DM i just really dont wanna watch these. if anybody really needs these it means their noobs and really should watch them because they are filled with good insight of game, and how different people play it. Also you two are fun to listen to, when its a topic i'm not bored by.

                              • Joey_diomede
                                Joey_diomede  4 months back

                                "One take mfer"
                                Gold. Absolute gold.

                                • Shadows_Assassin
                                  Shadows_Assassin  4 months back

                                  I have a pretty solid idea of actions, but I tend to ask my DM for things like collecting dust/gravel, attaching it to the tip of an arrow or projectile and firing it at an enemy for a 1st turn blindness (advantage setup for other characters).

                                  Our tables rule of cool is keep it within the realm of possibility, however... if you can justify it logically, the DM may give you a DC to beat. Though I'll always respect if my DM says nah.

                                  • Spinomite Games
                                    Spinomite Games  4 months back

                                    An example of resource expenditure that I saw was a 20th level cleric using his channel divinity to ensure a paladin with stone skin could become a meteor and get the final blow on the boss. We all had to scatter and it was awesome.

                                    • Lunarimoths
                                      Lunarimoths  4 months back

                                      25:09 wow has pruitt learned ventriloquy?

                                      • TheSuperQuail
                                        TheSuperQuail  4 months back

                                        Hey! Dicemen. I get it!

                                        • Nunya Businesss
                                          Nunya Businesss  4 months back

                                          Our party had a dark-ish knight with ornate armor with skulls on the shoulders. Our magic users decided to have a little fun with it. They would go into stealth or cast Invis on themselves, make the eye sockets light up, and then they spoke through the skulls discussing all the dif ways the Knight and his ghost army could destroy the target. They would also use it to discuss strategy and such. The DM decided to go along with it and made it like a fear/confusion spell, gave it a DC, and sometimes made npc/monsters roll a save against it or run away/be paralyzed for x amount of rounds. And don't get me started on all the fun we had with the "Flask of Infinite Ales/Liquor" he gave my Arcane Archer lol. It was a hip flask that with the recitation of a simple cantrip could produce any kind of alcoholic times fun times...:D

                                          • William Canavan
                                            William Canavan  4 months back

                                            I expanded the DC scale up to 45. 30 is a joke. and honestly it's bad game design to describe DC30 as almost impossible and then have mid level characters easily make it.

                                            • voidcritter
                                              voidcritter  4 months back

                                              I find that I'm a bit more forgiving with bending the rules for the sake of coolness with martial classes than casters. Mostly because it's easier to do creative things with spells that still fall within the rules, but I find that martials often feel that they're not as capable of spectacle. It's about making all the players feel like they can be awesome.

                                              • William Ozier
                                                William Ozier  5 months back

                                                My basic approach has always been, if you give me a good rule of cool description, I'll allow it or maybe even provide a bonus on the roll; HOWEVER if you fail, then your failure will be a spectacular as you envisioned your success.

                                                • iMaquis Games
                                                  iMaquis Games  5 months back

                                                  2500 like hype! 🤘🏻

                                                  • Keegan Sullivan
                                                    Keegan Sullivan  5 months back

                                                    I really like some of the rule of cool stuff in DCC. The fighter has to get a certain number on their attack die and other characters have to spend luck. I think that's a good way of doing it and I've been thinking about how to translate that to D&D 5th

                                                    • Cido Galvan
                                                      Cido Galvan  5 months back

                                                      For a split second, I thought Jim was wearing Asuka's interface headset from Neon Genesis Evangelion lmao. Good stuff as always!

                                                      • Stopwatch
                                                        Stopwatch  5 months back

                                                        Did Unsleeping City use your old triangle backdrop?

                                                        • Joseph Hamilton
                                                          Joseph Hamilton  5 months back

                                                          Hot Take Alert: Games are fun!

                                                          • Lavender Spectre
                                                            Lavender Spectre  5 months back

                                                            Hey guys I absolutely LOVE alll your videos. You are by far the best D&D channel out there, just with the awesome story ideas. Anyways my players are going into the Abyss to rescue a trapped soul. I looked through your videos but didn't see one on layers of the abyss. Can you talk about that in an episode? :)

                                                            • Callum Ballantyne
                                                              Callum Ballantyne  5 months back

                                                              Nothing wrong with rule of cool if it's part of your expectations. I ran a campaign where it opened with a giant lizard chariot "car chase" across a desert. Can't do that with base rules and that was both awesome and unexpected.

                                                              • Dro250
                                                                Dro250  5 months back

                                                                Can you guys do something on Sci-fi RPGs? I LOVE the 40k universe!

                                                                • Silver Wing
                                                                  Silver Wing  5 months back

                                                                  I have had an issue with it wherr its more like. Dm:"Okay you hit" me:"okay i shoulder charge the enemy before swinging into hi-" Dm:"oh its unarmed thats 1d4" no im just trying to add flavor.

                                                                  • R_Panda
                                                                    R_Panda  5 months back

                                                                    Sounds like your DM is 13.

                                                                • d ford
                                                                  d ford  5 months back

                                                                  Thanks for that Price is Right at the end Pruitt! You at PaxWest?

                                                                  • d ford
                                                                    d ford  5 months back

                                                                    Boo, hoping to meet you guys, oh well maybe next! Love your show and you guys ROCK!

                                                                  • Web DM
                                                                    Web DM   5 months back

                                                                    Not this year!

                                                                • Matthew Bryant
                                                                  Matthew Bryant  5 months back

                                                                  If anybody came in my game tavern dressed like y'all at the intro.... I'm sorry but I would laugh them out...... Played with guys dressed like that (total neckbeards) that thought they were bad@$$3$....... Then tried to run things in MY place.....

                                                                  • Christopher Moore
                                                                    Christopher Moore  5 months back

                                                                    I love the dichotomy of the dnd books on one side and the expanse, Coriolanus and star wars books on the other!

                                                                    • Marshall Sonsteby
                                                                      Marshall Sonsteby  5 months back

                                                                      I love the barter system idea to do something cool!
                                                                      I'll give you x,y,z ... for this cool action
                                                                      Totally going to use this!

                                                                      • Yasac
                                                                        Yasac  5 months back

                                                                        My favorite way to teach new players action economy is present it in the 6 seconds format. An action takes 6 seconds, a bonus action is something you could do while doing that action (talking, simple quick action) and movement that you could do while performing that action. The more I can get them to visualize the logical possibilities of themselves as a person the quicker they seem to understand the rules so we can all attempt our cool hero moments. I try to give movie examples so we all stay on the same page. "My Legolas ranger character runs forward firing his bow twice, while yelling to the other party members" awesome and cinematic, while still within the rules. Doing all that while riding a shield down a set of that's going to need a pretty difficult roll but sure give it a shot, I'll enjoy describing the failure just as much haha. However having that shield fly off and kill an orc...that's where I would cut off the rule of cool or at the very least that had better be a natural 20 acrobatics roll and make it a d4 of damage, something nearly impossible and also restrict the actual impact of that cool move. Which is often how I make judgement calls for rule of cool. You can do the awesome thing, in the end it might not win the battle but at least you get the satisfaction of doing it, which is it's own victory. Cool but make a line that everyone can visualize so everyone can try to stay on the same page and it doesn't overwhelm your game.

                                                                        • Taylor Skaalrud
                                                                          Taylor Skaalrud  5 months back

                                                                          Tldr; Being Legolas in LotR is okay; being Legolas in the Hobbit trilogy is not okay.

                                                                          • Mads Åkjær
                                                                            Mads Åkjær  5 months back

                                                                            Being Legolas in any of those film is not okay. His player clearly knew the DM was unfaithful to his wife and blackmailed the DM to rule in his favor

                                                                        • Salt Efan
                                                                          Salt Efan  5 months back

                                                                          How I use "Rule of Cool": Do occationally allow improbable actions and plans that are not covered by the rules. Do *not* allow a natural 20 on the dice to automatically succeed a skill check or attempt at an action.

                                                                          • Elias Patrikis
                                                                            Elias Patrikis  5 months back

                                                                            Idea. Can you guys do a show on vechicles both land and sea. I know ghosts of saltmarsh expands on a lot of the naval rules but looking at things like a chariot say there is minimal support for that which seems like a shame given the visual of riding around in a chariot lancing orcs is amazing.

                                                                            • Floyd Wurst
                                                                              Floyd Wurst  5 months back

                                                                              Wow, this was very helpful! Not the first time I heard/read about the rule of cool but you covered a lot of nuances that I never tought about before. Realy liked the "tell me why your char wants to do this" thing allowing for memorable milestones in a character developement as well as the "what are you willing to pay for that stunt" approach.

                                                                              • Ravrohan
                                                                                Ravrohan  5 months back

                                                                                I remember back in Exalted first edition, there were Stunt rules and it was basically codifying the Rule of Cool. If the player made actions more interesting for the table, they got a bonus die for the attempt. It always made things more fun. After that, those of us who dm'd would adapt the rule to other games. Lower difficulty, a bonus die, positive modifiers, it depended on the game. Someone tried bonus xp for a little while, but that got out of hand and made things drag on. Essentially, reward extra somehow, it's really helped newer players ease into role-playing and imagining what was going on.

                                                                                • anti evergreen
                                                                                  anti evergreen  5 months back

                                                                                  impressive start

                                                                                  • K Dolo
                                                                                    K Dolo  5 months back

                                                                                    Unsleeping City. looks interesting, like a d20 version of Mage the Ascension

                                                                                    • Dee Cole
                                                                                      Dee Cole  5 months back

                                                                                      nothing about 5e is cool!

                                                                                      • Stefan Bednarczyk
                                                                                        Stefan Bednarczyk  5 months back

                                                                                        Hey, could you guys do an episode on Wyverns? I'm going to be starting a campaign and am trying to figure out how best to include them aside from being a stack of experience points for the players to slaughter, though they'll probably do it anyhow knowing my friends.

                                                                                        • Douglas Phillips
                                                                                          Douglas Phillips  5 months back

                                                                                          The shift from detailed hard rules like Pathfinder to simpler rules like 5e has made the rule of cool and similar things important. People are still used to that harder edged play style, and 5e needs a bit of Pat Rothfuss bullshit.

                                                                                          • gavin
                                                                                            gavin  5 months back

                                                                                            my personal philosophy on it is that when the "rule of cool" comes up it is a sort of minor failiure of the rules themselves. i dont begrudge this, the rules should be flexible as a GMed game is one of the main draws over just a video game. but the product that they are selling you is a set of rules and if you are needing to go off book often then that just means that this set of rules to play by is not the right set for you. there are plenty of systems out there from the crunchiest of peanut butter tables to systems so smooth it is basically just a framework to make rolls for the rule of cool. 5e is popular and so lots of peole know it and are familliar with it but sometimes it is just not the right pick.

                                                                                            for a super loose system i reccoment FATE CORE.

                                                                                            • TheMrVengeance
                                                                                              TheMrVengeance  4 months back

                                                                                              Well to be fair, they're called a Player's *Handbook*, and the Dungeon Master's *Guide.* And (at least last time I checked) they are fairly clear in stating that these *aren't* RULEbooks, but more like... guidelines. _[Insert Pirates of the Caribbean meme]_
                                                                                              So I agree that when you need to resort to the 'rule of cool' that's a moment where the guidelines fall short of prescribing the "rules", but I wouldn't say that's a failure of the system and/or that you'd be better of playing a different system. It's practically impossible to make "rules" that cover every eventuality in a TTRPG, not without becoming so vague and generic they turn useless anyway.

                                                                                              A recent example of a 'rule of cool' moment; a party was ambushed by surprise, leaving some people without armor and/or weapons, among which the party's ranger. The party's cleric then creatively solved (part of) that problem by casting Spiritual Weapon in the form of a bow and giving that to the ranger.
                                                                                              Now I don't think the DM allowing that course of action means that group shouldn't be playing 5E D&D.

                                                                                              Of course if you're 'rule of cool'-ing every single time your party tries to do something.. they yeah, maybe in that case you're playing the wrong system. If you literally can't play the way you all want without constant use of it. But allowing cool things every now and then because the rules either didn't foresee every possible interaction, or just because it's more fun that way.. that's fine IMO.