Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted look at how current events could change the Dungeons & Dragons hobby forever. Social distancing and stay and home guidelines affect tabletop roleplaying game enthusiasts around the world whose in person player groups are on hold or or exploring ways to play games like fifth edition D&D online. Physical accessories like miniatures and terrain represent some of the changes this different way to play can manifest, since these types of accessories often remain shelved, replaced by web cameras and virtual tabletops. My own gaming takes place almost exclusively online ever since my longtime home group dispersed due to moves and relocations but we’ve kept up getting together and playing for a few years now. Like Dave and Ted mention in the video there’s valuable takeaways from online gaming we can bring back to our in person sessions in the future and as someone used more to the former than the latter I hope these observations enrich your RPG experiences too, so let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take a look at magic items in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons with an eye towards the ones particularly beneficial for a barbarian. Like the discussion on top magic items for rogues 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 particular looks at 5E D&D magic items are very difficult for an entirely different reason though. Subjectivity rules the day, and for our Top 10 by a Factor of Three method here at the website it gets quite noodly when all the official content gets thrown out the window as we browse homebrew magic items at D&D Beyond looking for the best ones for barbarian characters. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take on a community request for how to run 0th level characters and adventures for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. During the early playtest stages of 5E D&D when it was called D&D Next I recall a starter adventure designed with decision points and prompts. This gives me some ideas to start from and explore another way to structure a 0th level adventure for 5E D&D, so let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted get swole with the Muscle Mage, a quirky character concept for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The concept of a wizard more into physical fitness than academic research sounds like a blast to explore during play and makes me think of two different ways to represent this idea as a 5E D&D character. Things might get weird here but we’re talking about a wizard more inclined to punch monsters in the face than stand in the back casting fireball so we’re starting from an unusual place anyway. Time to flex my imagination and get into it with two versions of a 5E D&D muscle wizard.
Are you excited to learn about the latest Dungeons & Dragons storyline? The tradition of exciting spectacle events from the D&D team continues this year with D&D Live 2020: Roll w/ Advantage. While people across the globe continue to stay safe by staying home, the adventures roll on through this virtual event welcoming all gamers to celebrate the D&D community and support Red Nose Day with the most star studded D&D event ever assembled.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take a closer look at Unearthed Arcana 2020 — Subclasses Revisited. The latest playtest document from the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons design team brings revisions to subclasses from previous Unearthed Arcana documents. In this case we see the Phantom rogue, Genie warlock and Order of Scribes wizard. In previous documents these were the Revived, Noble Genie and Archivist respectively, with the last one reimagining a subclass for artificers during an Unearthed Arcana pass before we got the official version in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. While Dave and Ted go over the subclass specifics in the video, here we’ll look at these 5E D&D playtest subclasses revisted with curiosity about what sort of characters they might represent. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted get wrapped up discussing the mummy lord for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. I took a close look at this creature entry in the 5E D&D Monster Manual after watching The Mummy, a 2017 film starring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella and Annabelle Wallis. It blew me away! The classic monster’s representation in the game is spectacular and if I’m honest I couldn’t believe we don’t see mummies and mummy lords featured more prominently in adventures. They make incredible antagonists with built in features and flair practically begging to become an ongoing antagonist keeping adventurers on their toes.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted present a killer combo for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The discussion involves various cloud based spells and monsters to pair with these effects to create dangerous combat encounters along with ways for players to bring about these conditions as well. Essentially these combos aim towards two goals: making combat more dynamic and discovering ways to elevate creatures into more significant threats. One of the video comments likened these combos to lair actions. I’ve utilized these special scenarios presented in the 5E D&D Monster Manual many times in my own games and I thought it could be useful and fun going through monsters with these special actions to see what’s on the menu. Plucking these from a stat block and dropping them into a combat encounter gives a Dungeon Master a wide selection of ready made ways to punch things up.
Over on the Nerdarchy YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted battle with the idea of an all artificer party for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Exploring this popular video series here on the website and sharing my take on the concept of single party composition remains my favorite writing gig. Artificers in 5E D&D cover a lot of bases with a wide variety of skills and magic, also holding the distinction of being the only official character class from outside the Player’s Handbook. Artificers appear in Eberron: Rising from the Last War with three subclasses to form a foundation in our D&D campaign setting of academia for each particular character class. Students at Artificer Specialists hone their craft at invention with the top minds in the field. So let’s get into it.
I’ve been playing and running a lot more games recently and reflecting on them made an observation that might be useful for players and Game Masters alike. Maybe I’m late to the dance here or perhaps I’ll find there’s not much substance to it after all but nevertheless here we are introducing a topic. In broad strokes the idea is using the point of a game to anticipate and prepare for what comes next. When it comes to fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons or any tabletop roleplaying game it’s important for me to know what players are supposed to do during play. For more on this perspective check out What You Do and How You Do It Are Two Different Things in RPGs. When you know the point of a game your games run smoother from both sides of the table. This may stray into metagame territory so let’s get into it find out.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take a look at magic items in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons with an eye towards the ones particularly beneficial for a warlock. Like the discussion on top magic items for rogues 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. And in the Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign I’m currently running, one of the NPCs in town acts as a magic item broker who takes requests, and I imagine other 5E D&D adventures contain similar opportunities. But this is Top 10 by a Factor of Three! All the official content gets thrown out the window as we browse homebrew magic items at D&D Beyond looking for the best ones for warlock characters. So let’s get into it.
Over on Twitter we received a request to imagine the characters from The Office as fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons characters. As banner waving 5E D&D enthusiasts and (in my case anyway) a proud Dunderhead how can we refuse? I’ve already tipped my hand indicating this exercise focuses on the US version of the television series. Since realistically the employees of Dunder Mifflin would more than likely be commoners and other generic NPCs instead we’ll assume the day to day operations of the Scranton branch are an epic campaign and give them class and subclass options from 5E D&D.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted read between the lines of tabletop roleplaying game rulebooks and discuss the unwritten rule, at least insofar as fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons is concerned — the Rule of Cool. While it may be implied in text and encouraged in practice there is really no codified passage on how to implement this concept. I vacillated on my perspective with this notion, especially since it comes on the heels of a recent video about Rule Zero. On the one hand when it comes to storytelling games like 5E D&D I rather enjoy both aspects — the storytelling and the game parts. On the other, the distinction between the two best I figure is one relies on a game’s rules from which to make a ruling and the other essentially ignores the rules completely.
For our April Patreon rewards we released Hairable Ideas, a follow up to last year’s Beardomancy. This proved one of our most popular products ever! Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons players and Dungeon Masters alike enjoyed adding beardomancy magic to their campaigns and player wizards following this new Arcane Tradition. One of the players in Nerdarchist Ted’s D&D In A Castle 2019 campaign played a School of Beardomancy wizard as a matter of fact. So when April rolled around this year we knew we wanted to take another trip to the Beard Dimension and came up with lots of new spells and subclasses drawing on beardomantic energy. Of course there’s monsters and magic items too, but one of the snippets left on the cutting room floor was Hairable Terrain, an encounter based on the content and a play on our classic Terrible Terrain material. Since Hairable Ideas is now over at Nerdarchy the Store we thought it would be fun to include this encounter here on the website in a post. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted explore the basics of homebrew content for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Creating homebrew content for 5E D&D ranges from something like a simply house rule to a massive project preparing material for release like our very own Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition. Between our YouTube channel, newsletter, Patreon and right here on the website we create homebrew content essentially every day so we’re no strangers to the process on a small or large scale. To go along with the video discussion I thought it would be fun to share a peek behind the curtain at one of the homebrew monsters in our upcoming monthly Patreon rewards.