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Author: Robin Miller

Nerdarchy > Articles posted by Robin Miller (Page 10)

Speak With Dead #05: In the Spirit of Good Counsel

Dear Maxillae the Mad,

speak with dead

Portrait of a Lady, by Gustave Jean Jacquet (1846-1909)

My dear uncle passed away a fortnight ago and left his estate split between myself and two other cousins as he had no children himself. I received among other things a framed portrait of a beautiful woman that had been hanging in his personal study. No idea who she is but it is a beautiful painting.

However, since receiving said painting, this woman has started appearing in my dreams and at night when I’m woken I can hear a woman screaming outside my house. Three days ago my chickens were dead. Two days ago, some wild dogs. This morning I found two men dressed in black dead on my front porch whom I took to be attempted burglars. Their faces were twisted in silent screams of horror.

Do I get rid of the painting? I feel there’s a spirit at unrest but at the same time she has shown me no harm or ill will aside from lack of sleep and walking my dreams.

Please help!


Restless Dreaming

Gaming Has Changed My Media Expectations

Gaming media characters

Jon Heder, as the titular Napoleon Dynamite, and Aaron Ruell as Kip engage in a nerd battle in the independent film “Napoleon Dynamite.”

Arguing about media is a staple of the nerd subculture. We spend an inordinate amount of time going over our favorite shows, movies and books with a fine-toothed comb picking out small details and jabbing at each other with them, because as nerds it’s just what we do. It shouldn’t be a huge surprise, then, that my friend group is no exception to this.

I’m not going to lie, much of the time it’s my fault. I am a total killjoy to watch a movie or anime with, because I absolutely hate it when the main character does everything.

No Campaign for Old Men: Shout Out to Older Protagonists

Hey, nerds. Today we’re going to talk about character ages. Most people go for younger protagonists, younger D&D characters. Twenty-somethings tend to be the staple in most games I’ve been involved in, and that makes sense to a degree. Part of the allure is wanting to watch a character mature, play them from an early age and see them grow into someone else, especially if you’re starting at Level 1 and don’t have a lot of room for back story.

But not every campaign starts at Level 1 and that’s to say nothing for NPCs and other works of fiction. There’s a place for older characters; it’s something I don’t see done often, but I’d like to see it done more.

Speak With Dead #03: The Nature of Evil

evil necromancer

Dear Maxillae the Mad,

My druid circle disagrees with my use of undead in the line of duty. Death is just as much a part of nature as life, and I only raise those whose spirits I have communicated with and that have consented to helping me. How can I make the others see that I am not evil just because my practices are unconventional?


Dear Departed,

As a practicing necromancer, I do some pretty evil things and I’m all right with that. So believe me when I say, I wouldn’t be judging you if what you were doing was evil, but if the spirits are all right with it, I don’t see how it qualifies. People just get really iffy about dead things walking around for some reason.

The thing is, if they’re bound and determined to think what you’re doing is bad, they’re going to think so no matter how you frame it. And all of the spells designed to detect that sort of thing are currently calibrated to both by default.

Unfortunately, there is no way for you to prove your goodness. The people around you don’t trust you, plain and simple. In that case, you need to decide what means more to you: the ability to be yourself, or the seeming respect of those around you. I know which I would pick if it were me. Respecting you on the conditions of your being someone you are not is in no way real respect.


Maxillae the Mad

A Little Rant About Stupid Armor


An example of not-so-stupid armor.

Stupid armor

Hey, nerds, today we’re going to talk about something stupid. Specifically, stupid armor.

There are a few quick ways to get my jimmies rustled, and putting a character in a skimpy outfit and trying to claim it’s somehow battle armor is one of the big ones. There is a time and a place for drawing something kind of outrageous and enticing, and what is supposed to be full plate is not that.

D&D Dwarves

30 Fantasy Gaming Flash Encounter Ideas

Sometimes games don’t flow like we expected them to. You planned to take three hours, and your players get through most of the quest in one. Not everything that happens at the Dungeons & Dragons table has to be part of some epic happenstance, however. Sometimes, small things stand on their own and aren’t at all part of the bigger picture. We as Dungeon Masters need them because it helps us control the pacing of the game.

So here are 30 quick and simple small scenarios you can throw at your players in a flash when things are a little bit slow or you think you’re going to run out of game before you run out of game time.

Going Out In a Blaze of Glory: Thoughts on Character Death

more to your classHey nerds! You may already know some of us met up this past weekend at Origins, and I’ve got to say it was a blast. I was so excited to get to meet Nerdarchist Dave and Staff Editors Ty and Doug in person. Getting to hang out together was really awesome, and one of the things we got to do was play in a one-shot together, DMed by Kobold Press’s Stephen Rowe (who was coincidentally just in a daily live chat).

Let me lead off by saying it was pretty amazing and I have legitimately never been that into a combat before. But something else happened. That was my little brother, Max, experienced his very first character death.

Nerdarchy Talks Shop With TL Frasqueri-Molina

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDHBR90gfu8 If you like Nerdarchy’s daily livechats (or even if you haven’t seen much of them and are curious), you absolutely do not want to miss out on watching Nerdarchist Dave’s interview with TL Frasqueri-Molina. She is the Senior Enterprise Project Manager at Legendary Digital Networks...

Pixelscapes D&D monster art

Pixelscapes gets psychedelic with D&D monster art

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpwEd5KoR-0&t=2736s Jen Gagne of Pixelscapes stopped by the Nerdarchy live chat with Nerdarchist Dave to talk psychedelic D&D monster art, drawing, sculpture and of course gaming. She’s an amazing artist, unafraid to be bold with her color selection, and she’s been gaming for a really long...

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