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.
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.