A Necropolis of Civilized Undead Awaits Inside the Death Pit for 5E D&D

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Salutations, nerds! Imagine a sordid tale of betrayal, magic, a Necropolis and severe unsanitary conditions. Something lurks in the cavern of refuse. Something displeased with the way its dead things have been treated. That’s right, we’re talking about The Death Pit. This is our upcoming Patreon reward content for March, so if you’re not subscribed to the Patreon and any of the stuff I’m rambling about over here interests you, sidle on over and subscribe here. We share early access to these Fifth Edition products before they make their way here to the store on the website. Every month we create new products with material for Game Masters and players alike, ready to drop right into your 5E D&D games. In February we stumbled upon an ancient mystery of the Forgotten Oasis. Within Death Pit you’ll find churchgrims (both regular and corrupted), a master necromancer and his three apprentices, the dead (both civilized and shambling), as well as an angry half-elf who may or may not be a murderer. And let’s not forget the Death Pit itself.

5E D&D necropolis undead
Death Pit explores the tenuous relationship between the town of Blackwood, the nearby Necropolis and the Death Pit between them. This work in progress cover image captures the dark, foreboding atmosphere inside. [Art by Ashkan Ghanbari]

Precarious balance of life and death and undead

What do you do when you have a Necropolis largely civilized and cultivated but once in a while somebody’s brain rots a little too much and they go savage? Apparently somebody thought it was a good idea to seal off a certain area in the gorge and just lock them in there. After a while, there start being too many dead things to fit, and when the shamblers start to spill out and cause trouble for the local townsfolk, the mayor of Blackwood enlists the help of none other than your adventuring party to figure out what’s causing the problem and put a stop to it.

“Heroes Needed for Sensitive Matter: Anyone bold enough to undertake a daring job involving the risk of life and limb for the betterment of this humble settlement should see Mayor Daeron Lucivax in town hall post haste. Utmost discretion is required. Payment of at least 200 gold coins upon completion.”

But the mayor of Blackwood has secrets, and so does the Death Pit, and if you don’t watch your step you may well just end up a shambler yourself. After all, there’s no such thing as an unrisen body in a place where so many necromantic energies have coalesced.

Get ready to dance with the dead and solve a little mystery while you’re at it. If you’re subbed to the Patreon, as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Get all your spells prepared, throw on some armor and don’t get bitten.

Otherworldly Patron — Necrogrim

You have made a deal with a corrupted guardian spirit, filling you with necromantic energies and protecting you from them to a certain extent. The Necrogrim has great compassion for the undead, both civilized and shambling, and desires to return those shamblers to a place of peace and protect the ones that keep their minds.”

Making a pact with the Necrogrim provides warlocks a unique connection to necromancy and undeath. The undead see you as one of their own, and you can manipulate necromantic energy to create a phantasmal familiar. At higher levels your Necrogrim patron gives you power to awaken mindless undead and shroud an area with a necromantic pall of doom.

From video to 5E D&D content to your games


Like a lot of our products, the concepts and themes for Death Pit begin at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel. Nerdarchists Dave, Ted and Ryan and Nate the Nerdarch brainstorm ideas after finding inspiration for the Death Pit from a gruesome real life location. Ideas like these are fun because they are the seeds to build encounters, adventures or even whole campaigns. It is fun to take ideas from every day life and figure out how they can be used as set pieces for playing 5E D&D.

From there we reimagine the ideas and develop new material for 5E D&D, then give it to our Patreon supporters as part of their rewards. During our exclusive Monday Patreon live chat we chat with these folks about how they’ve used these products in their games, share previews of upcoming projects and listen to their valuable feedback to help us create the best content we can both for them and the larger 5E D&D community when these digital books hit the shelves here at Nerdarchy the Store. In our monthly one shots we often playtest the content further.

We revisit these products frequently through website posts with enhanced content where we create new stuff inspired and informed by these products that can be used for any 5E D&D campaign but with a special connection to the published material. For example our Lord of Dead Dreams has developed into a major villain with new monster minions, motivations and powerful magic items related to the dastardly ogre mage’s trade in illicit dream substances. You can find enhanced content like that free here on the site. Ted has mentioned he’s working on something called a Croak Cloak to go along with our Muckwuggle book and I’m eager to see what it’s all about. — Nerditor Doug

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Speculative fiction writer and part-time Dungeon Master Megan R. Miller lives in southern Ohio where she keeps mostly nocturnal hours and enjoys life’s quiet moments. She has a deep love for occult things, antiques, herbalism, big floppy hats and the wonders of the small world (such as insects and arachnids), and she is happy to be owned by the beloved ghost of a black cat. Her fiction, such as The Chronicles of Drasule and the Nimbus Mysteries, can be found on Amazon.

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