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Dungeons & Dragons Online (or DDO) is the MMORPG counterpart to the pen-and-paper game we all know and love (mostly based on edition 3.5). As such, it has all the dice-rolling, kobold-smacking goodness of Dungeons and Dragons, with all the button-mashing, leet-speaking addiction of an MMORPG.

It was launched by Turbine in 2006 as Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach. The game has since been renamed Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited. (The latest update appears to have removed Eberron Unlimited from the logo, but is still referred to as such in reference materials and on the main website.) It is based in the campaign world of Eberron (yeah, the Magitek one) and is set on the fictional continent of Xen'drik. After years of being a pay-to-play game, it was rebranded as a free-to-play game with premium content that could be accessed by becoming a VIP (which is simply maintaining a paid subscription) or spending Turbine Points on it. The player character is initially thrust into a plot that involves an evil Devourer cult, sahuagin, a dragon, and a lot of snow.

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For the last 14 years (and going), steady updates have added an extensive amount of new content, including new classes, new races, epic levels, many adventures, new realms beyond Eberron, character progression revamps, and much, much more.

For additional examples, see Eberron for the main setting, and the Dungeons and Dragons page for general gameplay tropes.


Contains examples of:

  • Absurd Altitude: If you're running the Vault of Night raid and have a newbie in group, tell them it's tradition to cast or put on an item with feather fall and jump off the side after you've finished. You're so high up you can see the curvature of Eberron itself. You invariably float down to the Marketplace, but about 10 feet off the ground - whether you're under the effects of feather fall or not - you die. Yes, this does make you a giant troll, but the view is incredible.
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  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Vorpal weapons are sharp enough to sometimes get instant kills or deal massive damage against foes. In fact, the Vorpal prefix can apply to any melee or ranged weapon, even on minimum level 1, including blunt weapons like maces and handwraps, so your punch is so sharp it can literally cut someone's head off.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: ALL of them! Why else would there be monsters down there for you to kill? It helps that Stormreach is built on the ruins of a Giant civilisation.
  • Actual Pacifist: You get bonus experience for completing a quest without killing anything. This is nearly impossible in many cases, but a select handful of quests are uniquely suited for evading all the mooks with Invisibility and/or Dimension Door, allowing a player to run them very quickly and collect that bonus. In particular, the quest called "Frame Work" will earn you compliments and extra loot for catapulting yourself straight to the end boss without setting off any alarms.
  • Adaptational Badass: The Lord of Blades is much stronger than he is in the main setting.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Wayward Lobster and The One-Eared Bugbear Inn.
  • Alien Sky: Xoriat, Dal Quor, and the Demonweb. Xoriat has red clouds everywhere, and space seems to be rippling. Dal Quor looks like space with a purple tint to it and with buildings floating around. The Demonweb is a purple void with occasional red "stars" and bits of rock connected by webbing.
  • All Monks Know Kung-Fu: The Monk class can follow two prestige paths, both a type of Warrior Monk where you are a Whirling Dervish of punching destruction or a serious bane to undead or extra-planar creatures with some Cleric abilities. The Monks have it cool by using Ki Manipulation and not spellpoints (mana) to power their elemental and special attacks.
  • All Trolls Are Different: These ones are tall, green, have tusks, and regenerate health rapidly unless doused with fire or acid.
  • Allegedly Free Game: The game is officially free to play, but only a fraction of the many, many adventure packs are actually free. Your options are to subscribe monthly as a VIP, or to spend DP (premium currency) to unlock piecemeal content. You can get small amounts of DP just by playing, but the amount of grinding from this alone would be absurd.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Everything to the Kobolds. There is an early quest chain in the Stormreach where you have to deal with two Kobold clans infesting the waterworks and capturing people. Much later in the game you can return to the waterworks in a high level quest to fight a new infestation of Beholders and other various nasties. The first thing you see upon entering are all the Kobolds scurrying past you to the exit you just came from in sheer panic at the new tenants displacing them.
  • An Adventurer Is You: And everyone ELSE, too! Including several of the NPCs, apparently, but they're worse at it than you are.
  • Annoying Arrows: Especially in lower level quests, most enemies with ranged attacks are pretty pathetic compared to enemy spellcasters, typically serving only to interrupt you when trying to use switches and buttons rather than doing meaningful damage.
  • Another Dimension: Shavarath, Xoriat, Dal Quor, the Demonweb, and a couple of demiplanes are all accessible as part of quests.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Several.
    • Hirelings will automatically cast whatever they think is useful so you often don't need to micromanage them. They will also automatically use rest and resurrection shrines if they need to. They can also teleport directly to you if they get lost, and their deaths don't count against your experience bonus for flawless victory.
    • Most quests with one exception include a bow and a few arrows near the parts that require you to hit a ranged target lever to open a gate or lower a bridge just in case you don't have one.
    • Completing any quest chain that gives unique rewards three times will let you pick from all of the unique items instead of the usual random list.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can only fit 6 people into a typical party quest. For raids, you're allowed 12 heads.
    • The game justifies that in the Zawabi's Revenge raid, the Djinn that teleports you to the quest says he only has energy to transport 12 people into the Demon Queen's refuge.
  • Arm Cannon: The Artificers' Rune Arms.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Some of the battle themes in the Maleficent Cabal Chain. Most prominent in "Under The Big Top".
  • Back Stab: Rogues get bonus sneak attack damage for attacking any monster not targeting them, even from the front. And everyone gets an extra +2 added to their accuracy roll for attacking a monster in the back.
  • Bag of Holding: Including sew-on pockets that can hold fifteen sets of plate mail. And then you can get another inventory page by paying an NPC to craft a broken Portable Hole into a literal pocket dimension. There are also bags for holding crafting ingredients, gems, and collectables looted from mobs, so that you can save on inventory space.
  • Ball of Light Transformation: The game features Ghaele Eladrin that can take the shape of a lantern archon.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Comes in the quests "Finding the Path" and "I Dream of Jeets", and also comes in the final boss battle of the Harbinger of Madness chain.
  • Beef Gate: Any npc or trap found in a quest that's two or more levels above you, especially on Reaper mode. You can certainly join the quest, but you'll usually die in one hit from any mob that targets you. Likewise most traps will be instantly lethal as soon as you get too close to them. This doesn't stop low level players grouping with high levelers to somewhat bypass Level Grinding, which is especially helpful since all players are encouraged to reincarnate and try a different race or class, gaining a nice little cumulative boost to stats from each past life.
  • Big Bad: There is no singular villain of the whole game, but there are adventure packs, quest chains, and story arcs with villains such as Horoth, the Black Abbot, the Stormreaver, the Devourer of Dreams, and Lolth.
  • The Big Guy: The melee classes: Fighter, Barbarian, Paladin, and sometimes Monk. Clerics have a bunch of Hit Points and good armor, and shields, too.
  • Blackout Basement: The quest "Rainbow in the Dark", where the only source of light is a scepter that you have to carry to the end of the dungeon. You can use certain attack spells and Runearm blasts to light the way.
  • Body Horror: The Harbinger of Madness chain is centered around strange creatures called the Taken. While they look creepy enough on their own, it gets worse when you learn how they're made. They were created by a Mindflayer "Artist" who crafted them out of kidnapped Stormreach citizens.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: Justified Trope as you do not fight her in her home base but in a place she invaded, but the room where you fight the Medusa Ambassador in a mid-level quest has a mirror in it, hidden behind a sliding panel, you can lure her there, with predictable results.
  • Boss Subtitles: Most named enemies have a subtitle under their names, some of them quite funny.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Happens a few times.
    • The Cultists in the Korthos Island chain, and their dragon. Upon being freed, the dragon kills her controller and leaves.
    • Near the end of the Maleficent Cabal chain, Yewil d'Phiarlan and her troops are victim to this, and eventually Die As Themselves.
    • The Silver Flame agents who were sent into the Cursed Crypt. Also, if you linger too long in there, the player characters.
    • You find out that this is the case after picking up the first journal in Let Sleeping Dust Lie with regards to the Crimson Feet.
    • The cultists in Lords of Dust.
    • Silver Flame agents again in Wrath of the Flame. By the same person who brainwashed Yewil back in the Big Top.
    • Pretty much any and all Inspired.
    • And finally, in a late-game raid, the Lord of Blades himself, by quori. Though he likely would have tried to kill you on his own anyway.
  • Breast Plate: Averted for the most part; armor for characters in general tends to look more or less the same whether you're playing a guy or a girl. The Armor Appearance kits, on the other hand...
    • After the update that turned the game into Eberron Unlimited, a number of these kind of armors have shown up for female characters. They even vary in... erm, "capacity" depending on race.
  • Breath Weapon: Artificer Iron Defender pets have a fire and acid variation. Characters with the Draconic Incarnation Epic Destiny can also learn a Dragon Breath attack.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • The DDO Store has tomes that provide permanent boosts to a characters stats and skills, and they're generally quite expensive for what you are getting. Some tomes are available through normal gameplay or the auction house, but the highest numbers are only available for real money.
    • Some of the special classes, races, and other features like Veteran Status can be unlocked by raising your favor with various factions, but you can also buy them off the DDO Store or be a VIP (monthly subscriber).
  • Call-Back : When Gnomon reveals his true intentions, he mentions causing damage by killing innocents and attacking other religions. Why is this a callback? One of the earlier quests involve him ordering you to kill a group of Sovereign Host followers, calling them heretics.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The Big Bad of the new Sharn saga is Lucian Vaunt, an entrepeneur with great vision who wants to put labor saving Magitek devices into the hands of the common people. Vaunt claims to have invented wondrous devices that ordinary people with no magical ability can use, free of the need for any Power Source like the mana that casters have. The devices actually do work, however the Dark Secret that Vaunt doesn't want anyone to find out is that the devices use necromancy to draw power from the lifeforce of their users - which will slowly kill off all of Vaunt's customers.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Switching armor takes time but swapping between or to robes and outfits is instantaneous.
  • Character Alignment: In-universe and part of character creation. In general, player characters are not allowed to be evil, and this only impacts a few things. Most obviously, some classes are alignment-restricted and therefore mutually exclusive. Some divine spells can only be cast by or damage certain alignments, but they're not particularly good spells. Some weapons can only be wielded by certain alignments or penalize you with a negative level, but many of these weapons are simply not optimal. For example, there are evil weapons that penalize good-aligned characters, but there are very, very few good-aligned enemies worth using those weapons on.
  • Character Customization: Given the freedom to multiclass in up to three classes, the extensive enhancement trees, epic destinies, feats, stats, and skills, there are limitless directions to take any character, and the meta for "best builds" changes all the time.
  • Circus of Fear: A quest line set in the House Phiarlan Quarter concludes with you visiting a travelling carnival...which happens to be run by Devils.
  • Class and Level System: Much like D&D 3.5 core.
  • Climbing the Cliffs of Insanity:
    • Jumping (or getting thrown) off of the top of Tempest Spine while wearing a feather-falling item can make you float a really long way. Jumping (or getting thrown) off of the top of Tempest Spire while NOT wearing a feather-falling item can make you die from falling damage, and your teammates are going to be reluctant to come pick up your corpse so you can get your loot, because it is a long way back up, and likely involves running past fields of fire elementals.
    • The Coalescence Chamber in the Vale of Twilight, filled with several very deep shafts, will make the best of friends want to tear each other's throat out and pick-up groups wind up with squelching angry, inexperienced and frustrated players about 90% of the time.
  • Compelling Voice: Bards. Compelling enemies to sit still and listen to your lute, to compelling your allies to feats of Heroism. Also, the Charm/Dominate Person/Monster spells, and Suggestion.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: At least in terms of computer-controlled casters. They have no spellpoints bar and ignore the cooldown rules on spells that limit a player's spell use, especially obnoxious when the computer caster in question is a healer who can full-heal themselves repeatedly and quickly. Damage almost never interrupts their spells, either, as if enemies have all of their spells quickened.
    • In a somewhat related note, computer-controlled ally Hirelings have no metamagic feats and thus can't improve any of their spells in a pinch.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Swimming IN lava causes a moderate amount of fire damage, but nothing serious. But walking right next to it (or on those metallic catwalks in the Firebrand Mines and Burning City) seems to have no ill effects.
  • Creator Cameo: Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson are the DM/narrators in two different series of quests.
  • Death Is Cheap: Although many years old at this point, DDO has always had a much looser stance on death than tabletop D&D calls for. Every tavern has a spirit binder that offers to resurrect you for free if you should die and be without hope of rescue. Most dungeons also have multiple resurrection shrines that can infinitely revive you if your soul stone is within range or can be carried there. At higher levels, almost all player characters will be packing resurrection items or scrolls and it's not uncommon for multiple players to attempt rezzing you at the same time just seconds after you die.
  • Double Entendre: Jeets Shimis (speaking to the female cleric Cellimas): "Ha, I still got plenty of stamina! I can go all night long!" Jeets in general has a lot of things to say similar to this, usually related to Cellimas. "Tell her to keep her knickers on." "Don't worry, Cellimas. I'm here to watch your behind, now."
  • Dual Wielding: It's one option for melee characters, generally requiring high dexterity and the corresponding two-weapon fighting feats in order to be properly effective. Rangers get some of the feats for free, but Fighters also get plenty of free combat feats in general.
  • Dump Stat: Most classes and builds will have at least one stat that offers marginal, if any benefit. However, that stat should never be constitution, which grants fortitude saves (useful), and hit points (your first and last defense against anything not an instant kill).
  • Dungeon Crawling: Given that this is a D&D game, a large number of quests involve delving into sewers, mazes, caves, and labyrinths. Virtually all of them are infested with dozens of monsters.
  • Dungeon Punk: With a late 2011 update, the world of Eberron reemphasized how Dungeon Punky it is by now filling it with gadgeteers of gears and magic: The Artificer class.
  • Eldritch Location: Xoriat, Dal Quor and the Demonweb all have weird skies and lack a real surface.
  • Elemental Powers: Sorcerers and Druids can specialize in an elemental power. Likewise, Monks can go at it "Avatar"-style through attacks and stances that channel Air, Earth, Wind and Fire.
  • Elite Mooks: There seems to be a couple of these in every major dungeon. Commonly referred to by the players as "nameds," or "named monsters" because they have a name and a treasure box.
    • Can be more specifically referred to as "orange-" or, in higher levels, "red-names". Reds are normally "bosses," in the sense that they command the other enemies. Most of them are just Pallet Swaps or regular Mooks.
    • Champion mooks, who are granted a random buff, all of them include extra damage. A random concentration of two or three champions can be more deadly than a Boss Battle. And may the Flame have mercy on you if you stumbled on an orange named Champion.
  • Enemy Mine: Pretty much the entire storyline in the Necropolis quests regarding The Emerald Claw and the Silver Flame.
  • Escort Mission:
    • The crazed, ineffective magic attacks of Coyle, an NPC you must protect for 15 eternally-long minutes in a Ruins of Threnal quest chain, were once the stuff of legend. It used to be a quest failure if he died, which was very easy to have happen. The developers eventually added an option to give him a Tap on the Head as needed, and nowadays he is immortal and it's merely an optional objective to prevent him from ever suffering a Non-Lethal K.O..
    • Gladewatch Outpost Defense involves protecting the captain of a defense regiment while she defends the outpost from attacking goblinoids and ogres. Oh yeah, and she left her soldiers at home too, so it's just your team and her. She tends to run off to attack whenever a new enemy spawns. You can try to talk her out of it, but even then you have to make sure she doesn't see anything hostile on the way to wherever you're hiding her. It's also a quest failure if you let even a single enemy inside the outpost.
    • In many of the quests added after a certain point in time, the developers generally have escortees who can fight or make themselves invincible, but not both at once. Your character can even say in dialogue on one occasion, "I dislike escort missions. They always die too easily or fall off ledges and there's nothing I can do about it," to which the VIP makes it very clear that you don't need to worry about his safety.
  • Fanservice Pack: Game updates in late 2010 added armor kits, which allows a player to make their character's armor or clothing more cosmetically exciting, intimidating, or attractive. Female outfits and robes often (among other things) Bare Your Midriff, add a Cleavage Window, or grant a Leotardof Power.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Fred the Mind Flayer is your contact for feat retraining and pops up in several random quests as an innocent bystander or in need of rescue, and always responds to the player in a friendly or benign way. In the quest "Night Falls on Stormreach", he just happens to be nearby during a crisis and can be enlisted to save dozens of innocent lives just by asking him nicely.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The Artificer class.
  • Game Master: Each quest has a dungeon master providing narration in the same way that a tabletop session might include. One of the quest areas is even GM'd by Gary Gygax himself, and another by fellow D&D creator Dave Arneson. Other than that, all quests are managed entirely by scripted events and combat AI.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: As of Update 22, you can visually show off goggles over your character's forehead. They still work, though.
  • Golem: the Warforged race, a living construct that players can choose to use. Not-so-nice golems populate the dungeons as well.
  • Good Is Dumb: In the case of the Catacombs, a crypt under the tower of the Silver Flame. You'd think a church dedicated to destroying the undead could deal with an undead infestation in their basement, but no, it's time to call in the adventurers. Adventurers who, by the way, are likely to destroy each and every sarcophagus they find so they get more experience points, and will expect you to pay them with expensive magic items when they're done.
    • The Silver Flame is a bit of a Corrupt Church in places, mired in their own bureaucracy that hobbles them from working as well or as effectively as they could.
    • The Good Is Dumb trope is actually lampshaded by Archbishop Dryden, who refers to the guards as "quarter-wits." At the time he was possessed by his wraith brother, so we don't know how valid this statement is.
    • They also had a rakshasa in their ranks for several years, and no one had a clue.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Collectibles, trade-able items, quests, favor... take your pick.
  • Hit Points: Notably changed from the paper-and-pencil version in that every character starts with the Heroic Durability feat, granting 20 hit points. Toughness's effect is also increased from just 3 HP to 3 HP at 1st level and 1 HP every level thereafter, without losing the stacking ability of the original.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Belashyrra, one of the daelkyr, appears as an Arc Villain. He looks like a man with long blond hair, but he's covered in chitin armor and speaks in a distorted double voice.
    • Most of the Quori are also this.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: All civilized areas make you regenerate health, but it's much faster to visit a tavern and eat food to recover from a near-death experience. Healing while questing is more often handled through rest shrines (representing an 8-hour rest) or magic, but there are some special food items that provide healing anytime, such as Tasty Ham.
  • Interface Screw: Being affected by blindness also turns your view of the game world entirely black. You can still otherwise play normally and navigate with the minimap. In old versions many years back, blindness was permanent until magically cured, so you could occasionally find blinded adventurers stumbling around Stormreach. Nowadays, it lasts for well under a minute.
  • Invisible Wall: There are some places in Stormreach harbor or marketplace that you just can't get your character to go, despite logic. This was made especially evident when Turbine released the Head In The Clouds festive buff; your character can jump insanely high, but if you jump too high you hit your head on Stormreach's invisible ceiling.
  • Involuntary Dance: The Otto's dance line of spells: Resistible, Irresistible, and Sphere of Dancing. Nearly all creatures with minds (including the player characters) can be affected by it. Many monsters have unique and amusing dances, which completely locks them down while they are being hacked to bits.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: An Epic Destiny allows powerful ranged Ki Manipulation. Later updates also allow a new Monk class tree, the Henshin Mystic, to weaponize ki this way (albeit not as dramatically as Son Goku).
  • Killer Rabbit: Dogs and wolves are surprisingly deadly, and wolves are even cute furballs. More Hit Points than the average mook, hitting like trucks, and possessing a trip attack capable of causing you to Pratfall at which point you are helpless for a second or two. At equivalent levels, it means dogs and wolves are more dangerous than The Legions of Hell themselves.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire is generally one of the highest-damage elements and doesn't have too many opportunities for saving throws, tempered by having the largest list of enemies with immunity. Still, there are ways to bypass that immunity with the right build.
  • Knight Templar: Inquisitor Gnomon of the Silver Flame. He has characters wipe out a shrine to the Sovereign Host. Turns out that he's actually a powerful rakshasa working for the Lords of Dust who has been trying to ruin the Silver Flame from within.
  • Large Ham: Lars Heyton coincidentally has the same initials as this trope. "Sahuagin SCUM! Keep coming, I won't die that easily!"
  • The Legions of Hell: The Devil Legions. In fact, the same type of devil in that page's image appear here.
  • Le Parkour:
    • Running around on top of the buildings in the Stormreach marketplace can be kinda fun, and it's an integral part of the Easter event's egg hunt.
    • Players with light or no armor and high Jump skills often use this way to get about town very quickly. For Monks, it fits their Wuxia style.
  • Level Grinding: DDO discourages the type of level grinding that is common in similar games. You are rewarded the most for doing new quests, or at least a variety. Farming or grinding the same quest over and over will eventually stop granting any meaningful reward. However, equipment grind is a very big deal at high levels; some of the most powerful equipment is crafted from rare ingredients or is rarely dropped, so you may need to run a certain quest many times before you get the gear you want.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: This tends to be very inconsistent between updates. At any given point in time and for any given level, casters or melee can be the powerhouse of a group.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: The common fate of enemies who die to a cold weapon or cold-related spell.
  • The Lost Woods: The King's Forest. the Storm Horns and, minus a lot of woods, the Underdark.
  • MacGuffin: The entire game is filled with enough of these for an adventurer to open their own shop. From the early-level Seal of Shan-to-Kor, to the three artifacts for the Demon Queen, to the ridiculous Sigil Frame of eight pieces in the last Necropolis quest, this game lives and breathes this stuff.
  • Mad Artist: The main antagonist of the Harbinger of Madness series is a Mindflayer artist, Yaulthoon, who specializes in making sculptures...by turning kidnapped Stormreach citizens into monsters called the Taken.
  • Made of Explodium: Lots of stuff.
    • Trap boxes explode if you critically fail when trying to disarm them, certain barrels will explode if you hit them with anything (including but not limited to: your fists, swords or clubs, arrows, crossbow bolts, shurikens, and elemental magic (even ice magic), symbols of fire ignite if you go anywhere near them, and if you kill an enemy with a fire attack, its corpse will light on fire and burn away. Frozen enemies explode into ice fragments.
    • In the "Irestone Inlet" quest, you rig a boat with barrels of gunpowder and light the fuse. It's even possible to do this without the guards on board realizing you're there. If you're standing too close to the boat when it blows up, the shockwave pushes you away.
    • Players in the quest "Siegebreaker" encounter an entire room filled with explosive barrels that cascade their explosions. There are two huge super-barrels that will outright kill anyone on exploding if the player is on the same plane of the things. The Dungeon Master voice puts a light on this humorously.
    • Also the "Blown to Bits" quest, where the crates of weapons get Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Even has an optional golem boss who offensively uses mines.
    • Or "Explosive Situation", in which a Too Stupid To Live merchant fills a warehouse with high explosives in Stormreach, a city with possibly the highest crime rate in... just about anywhere, really, and then acts surprised when it gets robbed.
  • Magitek: The cranes in Stormreach Harbor in Eberron, for instance. Also pretty much every light source in the game, except the sun and a few fire pits.
  • Mana Potion: The rather expensive Potions of Mnemonic Enhancement, which restore your Spell Points.
  • Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest:
    • The Slayer bonus, which gives you experience for killing X amount of enemies in a wilderness instance.
    • Certain dungeon quests, such as "The Butcher's Path," will also have you killing X amount of monsters as one of your objectives on the quest, either as a main objective, or as an optional objective for extra experience.
    • The later-released Monster Manual provides you with bonus EXP and Turbine Points for killing certain amounts of certain types of monsters.
  • Master Poisoner: The Ninja Spy has its own brand of deadly damage-over-time poison that even works on bosses.
  • Meat Moss: Shows up often in quests where the Plane of Xoriat is involved.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms:
    • The Warforged, created and given souls by ancient and vaguely defined magic.
    • There's also the Iron Defenders, which Artificers get as pets, and which you fight every now and then.
  • The Medic: Don't leave Stormreach without one. If an enemy comes with his own healer, he's first on your list to kill.
  • Min-Maxing: A staple of most any character build. Many skills — Search, Disarm Device, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Bluff — are pretty much all-or-nothing and soon become useless if not maxed out. Every character should also be good at participating in combat. Some classes have virtually no use for some stats, such as intelligence for a cleric. Caster classes also get enough spell points that they scarcely ever have need to swing a weapon, even at low levels.
  • Mind Screw: The quests "Delirium" and "Acute Delirium", both involve the forces of Xoriat in a local inn. All sorts of strange things happen, from a mini-boss fight with a kitchen key to constructing an airship out of furniture.
  • Mr. Smith: In the quest "Missing", the prime suspect of a series of disappearances is a Warforged wearing a hat named Mister Smythe. He is actually a Beholder wearing a Warforged costume.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The defeat of the Black Abbot (Necropolis Part Four) is what sets the events of The Thirteenth Eclipse story arc in motion.
    • The following counts, in a way. Inquisitor Gnomon urges you to kill followers of the Sovereign Host, calling them heretics. Then, in a more recent update, you accompany him on a trip to a cult base. Turns out that he's actually one of the "Lords of Dust", and that he used his position in the Silver Flame to distract them from the cult's actions, and to cause damage by attacking innocents and those of other religions.
    • Another example from the quest "Acute Delirium". After retrieving Belashyrra's Scepter, you must use it to close a Xoriat Portal that was opened earlier. However, it backfires and opens a portal to Belashyrra's prison in Khyber, allowing him to escape. The only way to complete the quest is to give him the Scepter so that he can wreak havoc upon Eberron.
  • No OSHA Compliance: House Deneith's trash incinerator, "The Pit," is a multi-level subterranean building dug out around two Lava Pits, which are inhabited by man- and equipment-eating Oozes. The only way to move from one level to the other is to use a network of twisting, railing-less walkways that extend across the lava pits. In addition, the system's "Security System" is really just a series of deadly traps that blast said narrow walkways at 10-second intervals. The system is electrically powered, and the circuit breakers inexplicably channel the electricity through the room they're housed in. In addition, if you turn the trash incinerating furnaces on in the wrong order, you'll blow up half the city. (You can't do this because the rooms unlock in order, but it's stated in the quest introduction)
  • One-Hit Kill: Any of the dozen or so death effect spells, like Finger of Death, Destruction, and Implosion. The Grandmaster of Flowers epic destiny also has the power "Everything is Nothing," which allows you to quite literally rip your enemies out of the multiverse, killing them instantly. Should the save be made, they still take 1000 points of damage, and must save again in order to reduce that damage to 500. Bosses can't be blown out of reality, but they do take the damage.
    • There are also vorpal, slaying, banishing, smiting, and disruption weapons that kill most mooks of the appropriate type outright or deal a thousand bonus damage to strong foes.
  • Opening the Sandbox: You leave Korthos and get to Stormreach, and BAM! Look how many quests are suddenly available to you! Then, you play through all the free stuff, and if you decide to upgrade to a premium account, look at how many MORE dungeons you can buy!
  • Optional Stealth: Some quests encourage you to take a stealthy approach, but it is pretty much never required. You would think a quest named "Stealty Repossession" might require stealth, but its requirement is based on kills, not the number of alarms you set off. Some quests can be completed very easily with clever use of Invisibility.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Short, bearded, gruff people who like beer and digging. Except perhaps for the Duergar, who will kill you on sight. Oddly, most NPC dwarves in Stormreach have no facial hair at all and are quite polite. The lore for them plays this straight, though.
  • Oxygen Meter: Swimming underwater will display an oxygen meter based on your swim skill. The water breathing spell and "underwater action" items give you Super Not-Drowning Skills. Warforged do not need to breathe and inherently have no oxygen meter.
  • Poison Is Evil: The Spinner of Shadows has poison so deadly that death is certain without the help of an ethereal flame inside her prison. Other enemies have some nasty poison attacks. Averted with the Ninja Spy and some spell casters, who use their poison on the side of good.
  • Power Creep: The game was released more than a decade ago (in 2006) and has multiple expansions, so this is inevitable. The quality of loot at any given level has increased massively, such that randomly generated loot is much better than the old quest chains with named items of same level. Epic destinies at level 20 can give your character an outrageous power boost.
  • Physical God: Lolth, who managed to smash a hole in reality between Eberron and the Forgotten Realms, breaching Silver Flame wards in the process. Also, the top few members of the Devil Legions could qualify, since while not actually gods they are immortal beings of incredible power.
  • Platform Hell:
    • "The Pit" quest, again. Two rooms involve platform puzzles. One involves running around on pipes while jets of steam push you backwards and fire elementals shoot at you, but is relatively easy if you are prepared for it. The other one involves co-ordinating at least four team members, two of whom must be simply ludicrous at platforming (jumping some 15 feet horizontally to catch some crosswise pipes and pull yourself up) while your friends on the ground deal with equipment-eating oozes that respawn indefinitely while manipulating the correct valves for the platforming team. Also, if you get hit while using a valve, your action stops. Oozes are immune to almost all status effects and most elemental magic (varies by color)? Oh, and watch out for the hobgoblins with bows, and the room at the top that's full of exploding barrels an ooze drops down in that room and tries to attack you, occasionally igniting the boxes.
    • As stated above, "The Coalescence Chamber." You have to navigate up a winding spiral of narrow ledges while being assaulted by troglodyte snipers and sorcerers. The real pain in the ass here is that jumping will sometimes cause you to be pushed away from the ledge, resulting in a hair-tearing plummet all the way back down to the bottom. Note that it's usually impossible to make your way back up without help from fellow party members because the monsters respawn.
    • "The Tear of Dhakaan" also has a couple platform sections... with most of the platforms trapped. Imagine the surprise of many players who, going in for the first time, realized that their first leap landed them in the middle of an acid spewer.
  • Press X to Die: You can type "/death" into the chat/command box to kill your character. This can be useful for teleporting to a distant tavern that you've asked to be resurrected at (although your equipment will be damaged if you /death outside of a tavern). It can also be used while incapacitated, occasionally handy if you won't be rescued but a resurrection shrine is nearby.
  • Prestige Class:
    • Some of the prestige classes from tabletop are available as enhancement lines, meaning that you can reset them for a small platinum fee whenever you choose.
    • Epic Destinies, available at level 20, are also a sort of prestige class. With sufficient grinding, any character can adopt any Epic Destiny, even if it's a mismatch for their normal class.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: There is no gameplay difference between male and female characters. Naturally, this causes several male players to create female characters.
  • Religion of Evil
    • The Devourer cult on Korthos.
    • The Dark Six cult on Sorrowdusk.
    • The Vulkoorim in Menechtarun, a group of drow who worship the scorpion god Vulkoor.
    • The cult of the Black Abbot in the Necropolis.
    • The cult of the Spinner of Shadows
    • The Path of Inspiration.
    • The Lord of Blades cult.
      • Interestingly enough, the player can be a follower of this cult as a Warforged. These include Warforged Paladins. Who are like every other paladin, paragons of goodness.
    • The cult/empire of Lolth.
    • It's easier to count the religions that aren't this, actually.
  • Repeatable Quest: Adventures are infinitely repeatable on four different difficulty levels each. The first play on each adventure/difficulty combo gives an array of experience bonuses, while subsequent replays start adding penalties, eventually hard-capping the XP gain at a very low number for extreme repetition. Even though you can repeat quests, you probably shouldn't (except if you are hunting for specific items available only in that quest).
  • Resurrection Sickness: Being resurrected will afflict you with a minor debuff for one minute. If you die and get resurrected again within this minute, the debuff will be more and more severe each time until you are able to stay alive long enough to recover. The point of this is to prevent cheesy suicide tactics; whatever keeps killing you is only getting harder and harder to fight because of the stacking debuffs.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: There are several boss monsters that are or were imprisoned in some fashion. Three of them are arc villains, and can be punched out. The Devourer cult at the beginning of the game tries to release a "Devourer beast" that cannot be punched out, meaning that you have to reverse their efforts to thaw it out. The Spinner of Shadows, sealed for eons in the plane of Khyber, is another canned boss that led to a MUCH more powerful goddess.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Permadeath has been a common self-imposed challenge by pledging to delete your character should he or she be killed. Eventually, the developers added the periodic Hardcore server that makes permadeath no longer self-imposed; a character's death on the Hardcore server will teleport and trap them permanently in a Limbo-like realm.
  • Sentry Gun: Magefire Cannons, and to a lesser extent, the Artificer's Flame Turret spell.
  • Shattering the Illusion: The first section of the "Partycrashers" quest takes place in the Phiarlan Illusionarium, which is packed with illusionary enemies and traps that can, and will, hurt you. The only way to get past them is to destroy the Dragonmarks of Shadow that created them.
  • Shoot the Mage First: Killing the casters first is a good rule to follow, given the general danger of spellcasters in D&D in general.
  • Shout-Out: Stuffed to the gills with them. From Heavy Metal references all over the place such as a scorpion boss named Schenker to a quest called Running with the Devils to a bard themed sword with the enscription Anthem of the heart; Anthem of the mind to Star Wars flavored quotes in NPC text to MythologyGag's to other D&D properties (for example, in the quest Fear Factory there's an optional locked door behind which first you find a dead Acrobat. Further down you fight an undead Cavalier, Ranger, Magician, and Barbarian. Popular theory is the Thief sold them out. Makes the end of DungeonsandDragons a bit Harsher in Hindsight.)
  • Squishy Wizard: Sorcerers and Wizards gain less health per level than most other classes.
  • Standard Fantasy Races: It started with six: Humans, Elves, Halflings, Dwarves, Warforged, Drow. More options have been steadily added on a regular basis.
  • Steampunk: Considering the setting, the game has this and Dungeon Punk all over the place, from the low-level The Waterworks and Shan-To-Kor, to the advanced adversaries in the Cannith Manufactuary. The Menace of the Underdark expansion, however, sticks to the high-fantasy campaign settings when you visit the Forgotten Realms.
  • Summon Magic: Every spellcasting class except Paladin and Artificer has access to either the Summon Monster or Summon Nature's Ally line of spells, Artificers can summon a stationary fire-shooting turret, and any player can hire a mercenary to fight beside them. There's an associated Feat (Augment Summoning) that makes all summoned creatures and hirelings more powerful.
  • Taken for Granite: in one quest, a Medusa has petrified every palace guard and noble in a palace. It can (temporarily) happen to her thanks to a mirror placed there.
  • The Can Kicked Him: Enforced Trope. A challenge named Moving Targets has an optional objective of killing a boss in the toilets.
  • Time Travel: The Chronoscope Raid, where you go back in time to the Devil invasion in the Stormreach Marketplace.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Somehow Tremas got it into his head that it would be a good idea to kill a powerful devil by aging him to death. Devils are immortal, and since Tremas is a tiefling there is no reason why he would not know this (having likely worked with them for his entire adult life). He still acts surprised when it fails, though.
    • The Delirium and Acute Delirium quests were caused by an apprentice who wanted to show off to his girlfriend with a scepter created by the Lord of Eyes, the Daelkyr Prince of Madness. You can guess what happens...
    • House Deneith's tower is heavily-protected from the ground but has a completely undefended airship dock at the top. The tower guards even point out the enemy would have to fly like a bird to attack. They're fighting pirates, who have airships. Guess what happens. Luckily for them, Visbane wasn't as oblivious to this as the rest of them.
  • The Undead: They tend to be Goddamn Bats to rogues, because a +5 Holy Shortsword of Disruption is a mite costly at lower levels (and can't be used anyway until you're much higher in character level). On the other hand, they are loveable for wizards, especially if you have Command Undead (LV2 Necromancy specialisation spell) to turn them into your temporarily allies. Bonus point for Skeletal Knight summon for Wizard class.
  • Understatement: After you destroy the Quori Mindsunder in "Misery's Peak," the Dungeon Master notes that the dragon you just freed from its power looks "very annoyed" — as she uses her ice breath on the Mind Flayer that had her under its thrall and turns it into a popsicle.
    • Unintentional example: The game uses the same tooltip to indicate whenever you detect a way to defuse a trap. This leads to some hilarious moments when, as you run straight into a spike pit / tunnel filled with acid jets / fire beam / whatever, the game will merrily inform you: "Your acute senses detect that danger is nearby." (Better still, this doesn't happen if the trap can't be defused!)
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Fred, the resident Eldritch Abomination brain-eater/feat retrainer. Also Hennespyra, the Argonnessen emissary, who periodically flies into Stormreach as a gigantic white dragon and lands right next to the bank in the Marketplace before bothering to assume humanoid form.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: A number of quests require a minimum number of people to coordinate levers and buttons, or to pass items to each other; trying to tackle the quest while shorthanded can render it unwinnable. Such quests warn you ahead of time that it needs two or more player characters, and that hirelings may not be enough.
  • Up to Eleven: Reaper Mode was created to be the most challenging difficulty level and is available on almost every quest. It is further subdivided into "skull" levels; 1 skull is somewhat harder than Elite, while 10 skulls is suicide to all but the most powerful players.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Plenty of them:
    • Anything that does stat damage is not very useful, with the exception of reducing an enemy's saves for a follow up instant death spell.
    • Turn Undead, which can incapacitate or destroy targets but seldom works on anything powerful enough to be worth fighting in the first place.
    • Fear, which mostly causes weak enemies to run away and thus take longer to kill.
    • Bosses, of course, are largely immune to stat damaging, along with all other forms of instant death, level drain, paralysis, charm, stun, petrification, knockdown and immobilization.
  • Vancian Magic: Played straight on points one (spells do one thing and only that one thing) and three (spell levels, caster levels, must rest to recharge spells), averted on point two: spellcasting players have a Mana Meter.
  • Villain Ball: Suulomades apparently grabbed this while planning his attack on Stormreach. As opposed to simply waltzing through a city where not a single living soul is strong enough to take him on, he sends an army of mid-level Mooks to do his dirty work while he was back on Shavarath. This resulted in the devils losing the battle when it could have been won with very little effort.
    • Tremas also does this when he tries to kill Suulomades by aging him to death. Suulomades then does it again while overlapping with Lawful Stupid by taking Tremas to Shavarath to face the prescribed punishment (torture) instead of entering a battle that his much weaker minions are losing.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Averted. Malicia is the main antagonist of a level 5 story arc, and is also the main antagonist of a level 18 quest. In both cases she is of a higher level than the characters.
  • Violation of Common Sense: "The Pit," yet again. Often the general strategy of the Pit, when going from up high to a lower point, is to jump off and use your feather-falling boots to survive, and steer yourself to the next area. Jumping off cliffs as shortcuts in general tends to be this.
    • One of the quests has you launching yourself from a ballistae to get into enemy settlement. Good time to get your Feather Falling boots on? No. If you keep them on, one of the ballistae will launch you in a wolf pack led by Mini-Boss Alfa. Others? They'll just send you to the other side of the level to run back again.
  • You All Look Familiar:
    • Inverted. The NPCs are fairly varied... it's the player characters who tend to all look the same.
    • The enemy NPCs (i.e. monsters) will all use the same character model. Any given batch of cultists will look an awful lot like any other given batch of cultists.
    • The final quest of Korthos Island has the player (or player in front, if in a party) turn a corner to see several cultists dressed in all white marching in a 2x3 formation. All identical down to walking in step.
  • You Have to Burn the Web: Some of the earlier quests involve webs that block your progress. You can get through them with a cutting weapon, a flaming weapon, or a fire spell... Or any other mundane weapon, or your fists, or any kind of attack spell. It's worth noting though, that the webs WILL simply shrivel away if you light them on fire.
    • The actual Web spell can be burned away with a fireball or burning hands spells or some other fire area effect.
    • Some higher-level quests have web curtains which cannot be burned or damaged in any way, but as soon as you kill the spiders involved, the webs part obligingly.
  • Zerg Rush: Kobolds and zombies are fond of this tactic. There is a quest where the player must kill 200 kobolds, who come in large waves.
    • Another quest cranks this up where you have to beat 200+ hobgoblins and bugbears, which are significantly more of a threat due to almost half of them being casters and require strategy rather than brute force to thin out. The last wave contains ogres.

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