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Author: Robin Miller

Nerdarchy > Articles posted by Robin Miller

3 Ways to Handle NPC Conversation Without Breaking the Flow of Your RPG

Salutations, nerds! Every once in a while the NPCs in a tabletop roleplaying game talk to each other and this has a tendency to become super awkward for a Game Master. Few GMs enjoy the feeling of narrating back and forth with themselves while a group of players wait on hold. Today I’m going to be sharing three ways to handle this circumstance during an RPG session.

Worldbuilding Through Perspectives on 5E D&D Adventurers

Salutations, nerds! How do the layfolk in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons settings react to adventurers coming to town? I’ve played in a lot of settings handling these circumstances in a lot of different ways and today I want to pick this apart a little bit because there are basically three schools of thought on the matter. Imagine you’re living a basic life in your home town and Superman comes to town. This is the frame of mind I want you in for this 5E D&D discussion..

Planning Your RPG Experiences in Scene Structure

Salutations, nerds! Today we’re going to talk about a little thing I learned from my White Wolf days helpful not only in Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop roleplaying game related endeavors but also in my fiction writing and I’m hoping it helps you too. This is the concept of thinking in scene structure for your RPG experiences.

Torghast World of Warcraft dungeon

Tabletop Takeaways from World of Warcraft’s Torghast, Tower of the Damned

Salutations, nerds! I’m going to take a break from our usual tabletop roleplaying game related content to talk to you for a moment about a massive multiplayer online RPG — World of Warcraft’s new procedurally generated dungeon Torghast, Tower of the Damned. Over the past couple of weeks I have been in there almost every day. Mind you it’s incredibly difficult and hard content is usually anathema to a person like me. I don’t even want to do the regular dungeons because it takes me a while to get the mechanics down. There’s just something different about this one.

Kate Sheridan comics and D&D

Managing Unexpected Sidekicks in 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! Today we’re going to talk about what happens when your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons party decides to adopt an NPC you didn’t expect them to like. (AKA the thing I do that is the bane of every Dungeon Master I have ever had!) If it makes you feel any better though I’ve had my share of players doing this to me as well. I have some wisdom to share on how to keep track of these 5E D&D character and creature sidekicks and make sure to keep things straight as you go.

chaotic neutral alignment

In Defense of Chaotic Neutral Alignment in 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! Today we’re going to take a moment to talk about alignment in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons because let’s be honest, it’s just one of those bottomless topics there are a thousand things to say about. No, really. I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about alignment, what it means and how people play it in 5E D&D. this conversation like so many other conversations about alignment started with the words chaotic neutral.

5E D&D adventurers motivation This Is Your Life Xanathar's Guide to Everything

5 Sources of Motivation for 5E D&D Adventurers

Salutations, nerds! Today I’m sharing five reasons a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons character might be out adventuring. So often at the table a Dungeon Master asks what the party is doing at the beginning of a session and players pause before admitting they don’t know. This is fine! Sometimes you figure out a 5E D&D character’s motivations as you’re playing. Today I want to go down a list of reasons your character can run with and what kinds of adventurers fall under these umbrellas.

In RPG Play Everyone’s Responsibility is To Each Other

Salutations, nerds! Today we’re going to talk about sharing responsibility when it comes to tabletop roleplaying games and the ultimate responsibility — to the other people at the table. The important part of a good tabletop RPG is making sure everyone has fun. That’s you and everyone else whether you’re the Game Master or a player. On paper this sounds like a big part of what the GM is there for and in a sense this is correct but the GM has a lot of things they’re already responsible for keeping track of and as a player it’s a good idea to keep tabs on each other’s mental weather.

RPG game master player

Subpar Character Optimization is a Foolish Perspective for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! There’s a lot of discourse online about optimization of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons character creation and what options to take when you level up. And honestly…we’re still talking about this? A lot? In 2020? In 5E D&D? This has to be an exaggeration. Excuse me a minute while I do a quick online search — oh. Oh, I guess we are.

Doing Your Part as an RPG Player to Create Cinematic Combat Encounters

Salutations, nerds! Today we’re looking at combat in a tabletop roleplaying game and how you as a player contribute to describing them and fostering a more cinematic experience. I can imagine some of you reading this tentatively thinking, “But isn’t this the Game Master’s job?” And actually you’re right — to an extent. Players possess some degree of agency when it comes to how their RPG characters fight is perceived. Now the discussion becomes how to get those cool moves across without being an attention hog.


4 Components of Crafting NPCs for your RPG Experiences

Salutations, nerds. Let’s sit down and talk a little bit about how to craft a good NPC for tabletop roleplaying games like fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. We’ve talked about how to get characters and players to like an NPC and today we’re going to get down to the base designs for 5E D&D or any RPG of choice.

5E D&D frost king arctic hobgoblin

Expanding Frost King’s Arctic Hobgoblin Frost Raiders for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! We’re taking a powder to revisit Frost King’s arctic environment for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. I’ve been thinking a lot about colder places lately and if you remember our vikinglike hobgoblin frost raiders I have new features and traits for you to slot onto these creatures to make your 5E D&D adventurers’ excursion to the frozen tundra more memorable and challenging. Along with these new components you’ll find a couple of other goodies to pair nicely with the myth and magic waiting to be discovered on the frozen tundra. So let’s get cracking.


4 Ways to Make NPCs Likeable in your RPG Experiences

Salutations, nerds. I’m coming in with some tips and tricks to get player characters to like a the non-player characters in your tabletop roleplaying games. I know we’ve all been there before in situations where you worked really hard on a character for the party to interact with and they got there and just hated them out of the gate. There’s not much to be done about this. You can do everything right and still have that happen every once in a while. Here are some methods I’ve gathered to narrow the margin for error and throw an NPC at your party they’ll like both in and out of character.

5E D&D animal handling skill checks

5 Survival Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! We’ve done it. We’ve made it to the last skill in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. I hope you’re prepared to make some Survival checks because as suggested by the title, we’re going to get into five skill challenges to give more skill based 5E D&D characters a moment to shine without taking over your entire game. Hopefully. As a note, per the usual each skill challenge is geared toward small moments of conflict to show those hard earned skills off and give a little more conflict to situations that would have otherwise gone smoothly. So without farther ado let’s dig into Survival.

5E D&D Deception skill check Stealth skill challenge

5 Stealth Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds. We’ve arrived at the penultimate set of skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Be proud of me because you have no idea how tempted I was to skip Stealth, go straight to Survival and make a joke about how you failed your Perception checks. I resisted the urge! So today is all about you making 5E D&D NPCs fail their Perception checks, so let’s get to it. As a note, per the usual each skill challenge is geared toward small moments of conflict to show those hard earned skills off and give a little more conflict to situations that would have otherwise gone smoothly. They are not intended as hooks to bigger adventures but as you well know, no plan survives first contact with the players so know your table and be prepared for what they’re likely to do with what you hand them. Now, roll for stealth.

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