Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted speak with confidence about playing a coward in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The discussion makes a clear distinction between expressing a character’s fear in the game itself and approaching circumstances and scenarios with undue trepidation from the players themselves. Say what you will about 5E D&D, a significant portion of the game involves characters fighting monsters and inserting themselves into dangerous situations. This could be a rich source of roleplaying and character development for those who hold fear in their hearts. At the same time it’s important to recognize the cooperative group dynamic and an ally who runs away or hides as a matter of course puts companions in a tough spot. As a huge advocate for a support style role in 5E D&D I thought it might be useful to share some ways characters can contribute to their party’s success while still expressing their character’s fears, so let’s get into it.
A while back over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted looked at all the spells in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons to determine the most expensive ones to cast. Part of the research for the video involved noting all the spells with expensive material components, both those consumed in the casting and the ones where the component is not consumed and therefore reusable. Any time you take a close, thoughtful look at the minutiae within 5E D&D you can find new inspiration for characters, adventures and campaigns and what I took away from this video research is a new appreciation for one of the oldest spells in D&D — Leomund’s secret chest.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted find frosty inspiration from the upcoming Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden and create a fast and dirty monster for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. A blood rime is an ooze creature attracted to warm blood found in arctic regions and since Dave and Ted hammer out the basics in the video, here on the website we’ll get down to crunchy brass tacks and put together a stat block along with some lore to give Dungeon Masters some ideas on how to incorporate this cold terror into their 5E D&D games. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take a closer look at some new ways for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons characters to gain mastery in one of their capabilities or discover the ability to do something completely new. In other words they’re talking about 5E D&D feats and in particular the recently released Unearthed Arcana 2020 — Feats playtest document. This Unearthed Arcana presents 16 new feats to add new twists to characters whether through magic, martial prowess or mastery of new techniques. You can check out these playtest feats here and hear what Dave and Ted had to say below while I take a look at some other practical applications and do a bit of speculation. So let’s get into it.
One of the scenarios RPG players face time and time again is the inconsistent group. For many the greatest villain in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons or any tabletop roleplaying game is Scheduling. Oh, the trials and tribulations involved with maintaining an RPG player group on a regular basis. Online gaming goes a long way towards mitigating this challenge because it’s easier than ever to find people to roll funny shaped dice with but what about keeping one group of people together consistently enough to complete a long campaign, or even a few sessions to finish a single adventure? Personally I frequently run into an issue getting a group to meet more than once with any consistency. I still manage to satisfy my gaming itch, but whether as a player or Game Master I yearn to experience a protracted RPG campaign following the same group of characters. While going through some notes I came across one with a potential way to circumvent some of the issues I’ve faced keeping an adventuring group together. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted commune with the natural world to come up with the best magic items for druids in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Like the previous 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 but instead of following the factor of three model I’m going to lean 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 druid. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted put on their thinking caps to explore using dump stats and low ability scores in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. They talk specifically about Intelligence in this case, discussing different approaches for roleplaying and perspectives on how and why a character might have a low score. This broad topic can apply to any RPG, even games without a specific Intelligence score or even ability scores at all. Portraying a character with below average smarts can be a lot of fun but this particular ability score, like a lot of nonphysical attributes in any game, can also be tricky. It’s a lot easier to imagine an exceptionally strong or agile character or conversely a weak or clumsy one but when it comes to what we often refer to as mental stats roleplaying becomes a bit more challenging. Since Dave and Ted cover Intelligence itself, I’m curious about different kinds of intelligence. You may have heard the term ’emotional intelligence’ before and this got me thinking of ways for RPG characters to display their own types of intelligence inspired by other ability scores. So let’s get into it and come up with ideas for characters who dump Intelligence to showcase their own smarts in 5E D&D.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted explore the dark side of druids in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. In the video they share three ideas for evil druid concepts to explore in 5E D&D from a Dungeon Master’s perspective. Creating villains informed by character classes presents a unique opportunity to homebrew new custom creatures and NPCs. Our approach to these sorts of creatures involves plucking class features, spells and other player character abilities and modifying them to creature traits. If you plan to create your own evil druid antagonists for your 5E D&D campaigns I highly recommend this method as opposed to creating a player character version of a creature. But that’s a discussion for another time. Right now we’re taking the next step when it comes to evil druid villains and considering the minions serving them. Who or what does the bidding of an evil druid? Let’s get into it and find out.
A chimera in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons combines the most terrifying traits of the creatures that comprise its form to make it a being destined for evil. What if you flipped that around? An entity that exemplifies the best ideals of its component creatures becomes a golden chimera. The lion is still proud, but rather than being a ruthless hunter for prey it hunts evil with fierce skill and deadly precision. The dragon aspect is drawn from a metallic variety, hoarding knowledge and wisdom to share and exchange with others rather than greedily gathering gold and treasure. The majestic eagle head gives the creature not only more hunting skill but a sense of honor and duty.
A recent conversation over at Nerdarchy the Discord along with a thread I saw on Twitter today coalesced into this very post you’re reading right now. In both cases players of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons lamented the lack of exciting combat action options represented in the rules of the game. In one case the conversation stemmed from player perspective and the other from a Dungeon Master. I’m here with great news for both these 5E D&D fans — the answers they seek are inside the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted bite into creating a new character option for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons with the gnoll. Gnolls occupy an unusual space among humanoid races of the Material Plane. Their demonic origins as mutated hyenas transformed in the wake of the demon lord Yeenoghu’s rampages puts them closer to fiends than humanoids and indeed the 5E D&D team expressed as much not too long ago. But it’s not difficult at all to reimagine these classic creatures whether as regular humanoids with traces of demonic blood in a fraction of their population like in Eberron or simply as hyenalike humanoids without any connection to demonic influence. At any rate you can check out Dave and Ted’s discussion and find their take on gnolls as a playable race for 5E D&D and for a bonus a couple of gnoll racial feats if you want to play the quintessential gnoll character in your next game.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted release the kraken and talk about regular ol’ monsters and mythic monsters from Mythic Odysseys of Theros for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Mythic monsters represent unique and extremely powerful creatures whose undeniable influence on the campaign setting catapult them into new dimensions of peril for adventurers. Along with these special new threats MOoT presents a collection of existing classic monsters whose presence in the setting shapes the stories and myths of the land. Extrapolating from this material gives Dungeon Masters and players a useful perspective for worldbuilding and how specific monsters — and how they’re viewed by people living in the world — can be a great resource to inspire storytelling and adventures in your own 5E D&D games. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the Discord a discussion came up about downtime activities in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The brief conversation made me think of my experience playing through Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and how the Dungeon Master incorporated downtime into the campaign. Near the end of our first session the DM asked what each character did on their own following the session events and since everyone grew heavily invested into the theme and vibe of the adventure we all agreed on the ideal downtime activity — carousing. Described in chapter 6 of the 5E D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide carousing, along with several other activities, offer things for characters to do between adventures. Carousing became a staple of our campaign and I thought I’d share how it made an impression for my group and added to the overall storytelling experience. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted spread their wings and come up with a new Arcane Tradition for wizards in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Order of the Peacock began with a funny meme and Dave came to our video planning meeting pitch in hand for a new subclass. Nerdarchy’s experience at D&D In A Castle 2019 already gave us a head start with all the research we did for our triple connected epic campaign, so let’s get into it and show off the plumage of this Order of the Peacock wizard subclass for 5E D&D.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted share their first impressions of The Expanse RPG, a Modern AGE rules set game from Green Ronin. I didn’t know anything about The Expanse — roleplaying game or otherwise — before video planning. Afterwards further reading of the rule book and binge watching the series on Amazon Prime brought a fresh perspective on genre and fandom inspired RPGs. The Expanse RPG provides a window into several themes and elements including more than one science fiction subgenre, shipboard life stories, travel and tension. Can you guess I’ve become a fan? Nowhere near a Screaming Firehawk certainly, but then again it’s only been a few days. So let’s get into it.