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Author: Doug Vehovec

Nerdarchy > Articles posted by Doug Vehovec (Page 33)

Top Ten D&D Monstrous Humanoids

The gift that keeps on giving! Nord Games’ Ultimate Bestiary: Revenge of the Horde inspired not one but TWO videos on the Nerdarchy YouTube channel, plus a review here on the website. And now its generating another post.

In the video above, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted and Nate the Nerdarch talk about their favorite monstrous humanoids in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. They each choose two, discuss the appeal and explore a bit why and how they’ve used them in games, either as player characters or as a Dungeon Master.

It’s worth noting that there is no official “monstrous humanoid” designation in D&D. There’s just straight-up humanoids. Many of them are most certainly monstrous though! Also, despite appearing in the Revenge of the Horde book, ogres and trolls are not humanoids – they’re giants. But in defense of the book, there is no claim made limiting the creature types to humanoids, simply “classic monstrous races.”

And minotaurs are monstrosities.

According to the current D&D Beyond monster database containing material up to and including Tales from the Yawning Portal, there are 231 humanoids in official D&D content. Many are individuals from various adventures and campaigns like Pharblex Spattergoo, an NPC from Hoard of the Dragon Queen. Aside from official sources, there’s plenty of third-party material like the Ultimate Bestiary.

character class

Making a Pact with Warlock Patreon from Kobold Press

Since 2012, the Kobold Press imprint has produced some of the best-received third-party content for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Their biggest release – both in terms of sheer size and tabletop roleplaying game culture penetration – is the Tome of Beasts. The 433-page book of monsters is a staple on the shelf of countless D&D players, as iconic and indispensable as the Monster Manual for many Dungeon Masters (myself included).

The material produced by Kobold Press runs the gamut and truly includes something for everyone who plays D&D. Everything from a complete campaign setting to new schools of magic, Game Master guides, the 2017 Ennie Award-winning Kobold Guide to Plots and Campaigns and the recently released Prepared 2: A Dozen One-shot Adventures for 5th Edition offer valuable resources for D&D DMs and players.

But if even all of that isn’t enough, esteemed game designer Wolfgang Baur and the team at Kobold Press launched a new project designed to give even more cool material on a regular, ongoing basis. The Warlock is a Patreon-fueled project in the form of a booklet containing new maps, monsters, character options and more. You can find out all about it and pledge your support here.

D&D Gen Con adventure

D&D adventure within adventure at Gen Con 50

D&D Gen Con adventureA couple of days have passed since returning home from Gen Con 50 adventure. Decompression and recovery efforts were successful – getting back to the gym and catching up on sleep work wonders!

All the physical stuff is unpacked, flipped through wistfully, played again, read, and admired now on the shelf. So I thought I’d unpack the intangibles to share. The memories, experiences and lessons for fellow nerds and gamers.

I love me some tabletop games, and this trip to gamers mecca did not disappoint. But of all the games in all the world, that sweet, sweet D&D is my favorite.

5th edition dungeons and dragons

D&D Spelljammer Warlock: Stars are Right

D&D Spelljammer warlock

The Owl looking appropriately star warlock-y. [Art by Jesse Ochse from ArtStation]

In a previous installment on Spelljammer content for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, the warlock peered into oblivion and came back with some nifty new options courtesy of Deep Magic: Void Magic from Kobold Press. But can darkness exist without light? (Actually, yes – in physics terms darkness is an absence of radiation.) But where’s the fun in that? New options for a D&D game is the juice!

There is a balance to the encroaching Void in my home campaign of D&D taking place in a Spelljammer-esque setting. A warlock can strike a bargain with a star drake in the same fashion as with a void dragon. The Illumination Pact warlock acts as a counterpoint to the Void Pact. In both situations, excellent material from Kobold Press does the heavy lifting. For the Illumination warlock, Deep Magic: Illumination Magic is the source material.

Star drakes and void dragons both appear in the Tome of Beasts. Both of these amazing creatures fired my imagination on all cylinders when I began conceptualizing the Spelljammer elements introduced to a traditional D&D campaign early on. I won’t reveal too much about the specifics here, since my players read these articles. But as more is revealed to them through our gameplay sessions those details will be shared.

This material is an evolving work in progress stemming from my home game. Although it’s inspired by the Spelljammer setting, it can be adapted for any D&D campaign.

warlock

D&D Spelljammer Warlock: Into the Void

D&D warlockIn a past article I mentioned customized warlock pacts in my fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Spelljammer campaign.

It came up again during a live chat with Nate the Nerdarch.

With my feet now held to the eldritch fire by publicly mentioning it twice, I’d better put money where my pact-making mouth is and get into it.

This material is an evolving work in progress stemming from my home game.

Although it’s inspired by the Spelljammer setting, it can be adapted for any D&D campaign.

Gen Con 50: Live Stream Your Game with Maze Arcana’s Expert Help

Rolling dice? Roll that camera!

Gen Con 50 celebrates gaming history with a milestone for North America’s largest tabletop game convention.

“How to Live Stream At Home: the Hands-on Approach with Maze Arcana & Blackmagic Design” gives gamers the tools and knowledge to become part of that rich history and share their own unique experiences with the vibrant, growing tabletop game community.

A seminar and two workshops are open for registration. The events from some of the most popular and professional live streaming tabletop gamers partnered with leaders in the professional studio equipment industry aim to empower others to reach out and connect with the greater community.

Participants have chances to win thousands of dollars in giveaways including video cameras, technical studio equipment and applications over the course of the events, too. Check the links ahead and at the bottom to preregister and make sure you have a spot in these events.

Starfinder

Q&A: Starfinder RPG from Paizo Inc.

Starfinder RPG Paizo

The cover for the Starfinder Core Rulebook, from Paizo Publishing

2017 is a huge year for tabletop roleplaying games. Rich and rapid growth of the industry has ushered in a new golden age for what we all know is the greatest hobby in the world.

Or perhaps it’s a space age. With all the space fantasy and science fiction themed RPGs entering the marketplace, it might be more accurate to say tabletop RPGs are the greatest hobby in the universe.

Leading the fleet of these myriad cosmic game enterprises, Starfinder is set for launch on Aug. 17 at Gen Con 50 where the hardcover version drops, with the PDF version of following in September. Preorders are open now, so you can head over to Amazon here and get your copy of Starfinder reserved.

Nerdarchist Ted had an opportunity to playtest the game in a live stream event run by Owen K.C. Stephens, game designer and developer for Paizo. If you missed that event, you can still watch the VOD on WebDM’s YouTube channel. And in the video above Nerdarchist Dave welcomed Stephens to the live chat to talk about Starfinder as well.

Here on the website, we had a chance to pose some questions to Rob McCreary, a senior developer at Paizo Inc. and founding member of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game development team. McCreary also holds the distinction of being the first author in the Starfinder Adventure Path line (among many other distinctions in his career!). Incident at Absalom Station kicks off the Dead Suns adventure path and is available for preorder now, with a scheduled release date of Sept. 5.

RPG player character

How a Poll Created a D&D Character – #NerdyProject

D&D character

The cover of the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide illustrates a diverse group of D&D characters. [Art by Tyler Jacobson]

In the video above from the Nerdarchy YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted build and add flavor to a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons character. The character specifics – race, class and background – were chosen by the Nerdarchy Twitter community through a series of blind polls.

The #NerdyProject was a series of 11 polls. Each one narrowed down the field of possibilities for each of the three D&D character aspects. Creating and administering the polls was a lot of fun. Based on the video content and comments the fun continued for the Nerdarchists and community, too.

Now that the polls and D&D character build are complete, I thought it might be interesting to peel the curtain aside and give people a peek at how each poll was put together. The polls were blind – answer choices were purposely vague – and the reasoning behind answer options might be of interest to those who participated or anyone who watched the video.

GM’s Can Create an Adventure in Five Easy Pieces

In the video above from the Nerdarchy YouTube channel Nerdarchist Dave, Nate the Nerdarch and Nerdarchist Ted explore an approach to creating tabletop roleplaying game adventures. Based on the Five Ws – traditional basic information gathering and problem solving steps – this method makes creating adventures for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons or any RPG much easier.

By asking yourself who, what, where, when and why a Game Master turns what could be a daunting task into a quick process. Preparing RPG adventures this way provides a solid foundation for both GM and players. Building on the basic structure you create is absolutely possible. But this simple method alone offers ample material to work with at your gaming table for fun, rewarding experiences.

D&D stuff

A D&D Player Needs All the Stuff, a D&D DM Needs Even More Stuff!

In this ArmorClass10.com-sponsored video Nate the Nerdarch and Nerdarhchists Dave and Ted approach the idea of bookkeeping for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons or any tabletop roleplaying game from several avenues. Pregame preparation, character maintenance and efficiency during play are some of the topics discussed.

The standout aspect for me is preparing for a game session by making sure you have all the materials you need. My group meets to play D&D or whatever game we get into at a local coffeeshop. There’s a private room we reserve in the back to while away the evening rolling funny-shaped dice and speaking with funny-sounding voices. Every session requires a mental checklist before heading out the door to account for all the necessary stuff. And then a double-check. And then a quick assessment of more stuff that might be needed.

Elven Tower Maps a Course Through D&D Content Creation

Elven Tower maps

2017 Ennie Award nominee Elven Tower creates maps and original content for D&D and other RPGs

Derek Ruiz – or Derek von Zarovich as he’s widely known to fans on the internet – is an 2017 Ennie Award nominee for best website. A year ago he was an English  teacher. With the flip of a coin, he launched Elven Tower and now “maps” his way forward to continued success as a content creator for D&D and other RPGs. In August, Elven Tower celebrates its one year anniversary. Along with his Ennie Award nomination, Ruiz won the One Page Dungeon contest earlier in 2017 with his entry “Where are the Villagers?”

“I had this idea. I’m going to do something with the internet – start a website or something. I had two options, because this is going to be out of love. This is going to be something that I enjoy. Either it was going to be something about D&D, or it was going to be about science. Believe it or not I just flipped a coin, and I said okay, this is going to be about D&D.” – Derek Ruiz

D&D 5E Spelljammer Makes the Most of Monsters

It’s been a few weeks since the last trip into the wildspace of Spelljammer for D&D 5E. My home game dabbled in a few one-shots and welcomed a new, first time Dungeon Master. Origins came and went, and several Nerdarchy projects kept me from sharing more insights into the exploits of a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Spelljammer campaign.

Then I saw this tweet from Mike Mearls the other day.

And the enthusiastic replies.

And a long list of other Spelljammer fans sharing affection for the setting.

And fan groups on Facebook, Google+ and more.

We’re out there, Wizards of the Coast! While I can’t speak for all of us, it’s encouraging to know the folks behind the game we love include all of our favorite aspects from its rich history in their grand vision. In time, I’m confident we’ll get our Dark Sun, Al-Qadim, Dragonlance and Eberron fixes in official capacities.

D&Dized Spider-Man build for D&D 5E

Spider-Man D&D 5E build

Spider-Man in Columbia Pictures’ “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” [Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures]

As a dutiful nerd and lifelong comic book fan, I went to see “Spider-Man: Homecoming” on opening weekend. There will be no spoilers for the film in this article, but I will say that it is a fantastic movie. It’s also worth noting I’m typically not that much into action movies in general and my critical eye is more than average when it comes to superhero movies.

But all that aside, what I’ve really been thinking about all day is a character build to represent Spider-Man in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The Nerdarchy YouTube channel has a long history of D&Dizing fictional characters and objects, and it sounded fun to take a shot at this iconic, beloved Marvel Comics character. My previous crack at D&Dizing something – the Sword of Omens from Thundercats – was tons of fun to work on.

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