Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted set down the dumbbells for a moment to explore using dump stats and low ability scores in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, specifically about Strength this time. In the video they discuss different approaches for roleplaying, perspectives on how and why a character might have a low score and what it means to have low bodily power, athletic training and raw physical force. It’s interesting to note in 5E D&D Strength scores run higher than you might imagine as compared to real life. An average Strength score of 10 represents power perhaps greater than you would expect. Nevertheless in context low Strength is low Strength. In the first part of this series we looked at how Intelligence can be represented through different ability scores but this time around the same approach doesn’t work as well. Instead I thought it would be fun to look at the character classes and see how a character with Strength as their dump stat might still be effective or at least how much impact it might have on the adventuring career. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted hail an airship and get starting Exploring Eberron through the character options included in the Dungeon Master’s Guild book produced by the megapopular Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting’s original creator. Eberron is an extremely rich and detailed setting beloved by D&D players from its very beginning. Exploring Eberron illustrates wonderfully how curating character options creates a tremendous opportunity to show, rather than tell, what is special about your world. Exploring Eberron includes several subclasses for 5E D&D characters to choose from specially tailored to the setting, and of course Nerdarchy plans to explore them all. In the case of the Way of the Living Weapon monk I’m going through the book to find the connection points between the Monastic Tradition and the larger world it comes from. So let’s get into it.
Tabletop roleplaying gamers enjoy unprecedented numbers of add-ons and accessories for the fantastic games we play. Whether you roll your funny shaped dice with friends virtually or gathered around a table the options for enhancing one of the biggest draws for any RPG — customizing your character — offer a huge scope of choices. If you’re like me you might create Pinterest boards to find inspiration for your characters (seriously, try it and see how fun and useful it can be!). As fun and fruitful as it can be to discover evocative artwork to represent your character, it’s way cooler when you can design your own custom character art yourself! Ancient Lair followed up their Campaign Medals Kickstarter with Custom 2D Miniature Website, a new web based application that lets you customize 2D miniatures for use in your physical or virtual table top adventures.
The follow up to 2017’s Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, on Nov. 17, 2020 fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons upcoming Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything must indeed possess powerful magic to contain so much stuff in 192 pages — the exact page count of its predecessor according to Jeremy Crawford, principal rules designer of the game. The product of 18 months work the book includes material for Dungeons Masters and players of 5E D&D alike. I had an opportunity to join the press briefing with Crawford and Greg Tito, communications and press relations director for D&D and let me tell you, sitting on this was really exciting. Reading and hearing what players speculated on and wanting to say, “You’re all right! It’s all in the book. All the character options and new stuff you’re guessing about are inside!” So let’s get into Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted explore crafting a magic item as a plot device leading to more fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons adventure. During one of our weekly live chats Ted took inspiration from the bag of beans, a magic item that’s been part of D&D since the earliest days and even way back then advised Dungeon Masters how “thought, imagination and judgment are required with this item.” While researching the bag of beans further for this here post I came across a story shared by a player about this magic item’s tremendous impact on their very first 5E D&D campaign. Turns out campaigns and adventures across the history of D&D experienced the ups and downs of this kooky magic item. So let’s get into it and look at some first hand accounts of how the bag of beans affected some D&D players and give you some ideas for your own games.
Anyone interested in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons can play the game for the rest of their lives and experience unique circumstances in every session without dropping a single penny on the game or accessories. If the only content you incorporate comes from the free Basic Rules there’s still a wealth of possibilities for worldbuilding, character creation and adventures filled with incredible D&D magic, memorable villains and flexible character options. Or, if you’re like us and our friends from Kobold Press you get a kick out of designing your own material like spells, magic items, races, classes and every little nuanced thing you can dream up to drop into your games and share with other players for theirs. At either end of this broad spectrum and everywhere in between your 5E D&D games really come alive as players and their characters discover the campaign world and what makes yours unique. Let’s get into it.
Several of the most fun and memorable Dungeons & Dragons adventures I’ve participated in involved the Feywild and fey themes. I love the myth and magic of fairy courts in tales from our own world’s history and culture and especially the portrayal of the Twilight Realm of Faerie in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic books. I borrow heavily from that fabled writer and in my own setting the Feywild is represented by the Dreaming World to contrast with the Material Plane called the Waking World. So you can imagine my excitement when Through the Veil: Tales of the Feywild released at Dungeon Masters Guild. Producer and Project Lead Elise Cretel — @DNDElise on Twitter and a Dungeon Master I’ve got great respect for — sent me a copy and I am more than happy to signal boost this terrific book of fey adventures for fifth edition D&D.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted get bawdy and revel in what the satyr offers as a playable race for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Satyrs are longtime D&D monsters across all the editions and make their debut as a character race option in Mythic Odysseys of Theros. The new race boasts some powerful traits and in the context of MOoT begins play even more powerful with the addition of Supernatural Gifts. This is an important distinction because the default assumption for campaigns in the Theros setting includes a curated selection of playable races. All that said, what I’m interested in doing here is expanding the breadth of satyr adventurer life through creating some special satyr racial feats for 5E D&D characters. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted find inspiration to come up with the best magic items for bards in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Like the other discussions on top magic items for various character classes in 5E D&D this is an unusual topic because it’s rare for a character to choose magic items. However there’s a few opportunities I can think of off the top of my head. In Adventurers League play items can be traded on a one-for-one basis for items with the same rarity at a cost of 15 downtime days unless they’re playing at the same table. Games beginning beyond 1st level often allow for players to choose magic items too, like in our own monthly fan one shots. These looks at 5E D&D magic items are difficult for an entirely different reason though. The best of anything is subjective, if for no other reason than campaigns are as diverse as the people playing them. This time around we’re going to stick to looking at homebrew magic items at D&D Beyond and leaning into the subjectivity. For each type of magic item (excluding potions and scrolls) I’ll consider the rating, views and adds for each kind and choose the one I think best serves a bard. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted examine an old spell and give it the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons treatment. In previous editions clerics and druids could channel divine power to cast sticks to snakes and thereby transform ordinary sticks into — wait for it — snakes. Back in those days of yore many spells could be cast inversely too and this was one such spell with the amazing ability to transform dangerous snakes into, you guessed it, sticks. (It could also be used to counterspell sticks to snakes.) This spell from the Alteration school of magic, what would now be transmutation, became known for much more than frightening folks with miracles straight out of sacred texts. Quarterstaves, arrows, axe hafts, spear shafts and more were juicy targets to transform into wriggling reptiles. Dave felt nostalgic for this oldie but goodie and felt it would be fun representing in for 5E D&D, so here it is for you to drop right into your own games.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted feel the magic and hear the roar, discussing the best class for leonin in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Leonin let loose on the 5E D&D scene by way of Mythic Odysseys of Theros, an exciting addition to the multiverse from the planes of Magic: The Gathering. Leonin are lionlike humanoids and in the lore of M:tG developed a culture strongly valuing honor and religion. The leonin of Theros developed differently in terms of culture, making a conscious effort to separate themselves from other races and largely abandoning deity worship. As the second and most recently catlike humanoid official 5E D&D race option it seems to me people gravitate towards leonin over tabaxi and all viewers of the video left lots of great comments with their own leonin character ideas. I got caught up in the fun too so I thought I’d share some of them here and create a very special leonin NPC you can drop right into your game too. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted do the heavy lifting during a discussion about carrying capacity and how much characters can push, drag or lift in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This topic came about through a discussion at Nerdarchy the Discord about opportunities to put great physical Strength to use outside of dealing more damage with melee weapons along with a casual conversation about encumbrance in 5E D&D. Because I play in a lot of one shots and short campaigns I try out lots of different characters and make a point to explore everything they’ve got to offer during play. Since I recently played a very strong goliath character (an Extreme Adventurer!) I was ready to Hulk out on this topic and we had a lot of fun crunching the numbers for the strongest adventurers in the multiverse. Let’s get into what you can do with such immense power in 5E D&D.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted saddle up to discuss the ups and downs of a mounted adventuring party in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. They go over things like logistics and campaign ideas highlighting mounts and mounted characters in the video. I’m eager to share what official 5E D&D material becomes crucially important as regards mounts and mounted characters. No small number of online discussions about this and many other topics often gloss over, straight up ignore or simply illustrate lack of awareness about the mechanics we’ve already got available. You can see this circumstance arise when it comes to special actions characters can do too, explored more in depth here. We’ll start with mounted combat and go from there, so let’s get into it.
Over on the Nerdarchy YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted naturally take a disciplined look at the idea of an all monk party for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Here on the website we take a different approach to this popular video series, exploring my take on the concept of single party composition. Monks in 5E D&D combine extreme mobility and damage dealing power in a very self sufficient class. But it’s a different kind of class we’re focusing on here when it comes to our D&D academia campaign setting, the conceptual frame for this series. Instructors at Monastic Traditions use martial science to provide a way of training students in a results driven atmosphere that brings mind, body and spirit together. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted get down and dirty to talk about fighting dirty in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. It’s an unusual topic because fighting dirty essentially means not playing by the rules, which is kind of how the whole tabletop roleplaying game experience operates. Unlike fighting dirty in something like a Mixed Martial Arts competition, character actions don’t simply occur and become subject to rules after the fact. The question then becomes how can 5E D&D character fight dirty by using the rules themselves? At the end of the day fighting dirty embodies a willingness to do something to win that an opponent is unwilling to do under the assumption everyone plays by the same rules. So let’s get into it.