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Author: Dave Friant

Nerdarchy > Articles posted by Dave Friant

Candlekeep Mysteries for 5E D&D Players and Dungeon Masters Alike

The newest fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons book, which releases on March 16, is Candlekeep Mysteries. In this anthology of 17 adventures all of the adventure hooks for your 5E D&D characters come from books found in the Candlekeep library in the Forgotten Realms. We previewed what Candlekeep Mysteries contains here. Today I want to explore some ways for 5E D&D players to use these Candlekeep Mysteries adventures beyond the obvious ones the Dungeon Master has at their disposal. One of my favorite things Candlekeep Mysteries offers is the section on Candlekeep itself.

5e Ranger

Attack of the 5E D&D Swarmkeeper Ranger from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

The ranger class really catches a lot of flak in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons over the vastness of internet discourse. Every Ranger Archetype since the 5E D&D Player’s Handbook like the ones in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything have attempted to fix these shortcomings. Essentially every Ranger Archetype since the PHB has done two things to greatly help the class. First they gain one additional known spell of 1st through 5th levels. The second thing is a way to deal more damage — typically an additional die per round. The Swarmkeeper is one of two new 5E D&D Ranger Archetypes introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.

5E D&D Twilight Domain cleric

Confessions of a 5E D&D Twilight Domain Cleric

Every Saturday morning I play in a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons game with a bunch of my internet friends. It started off as a Wildemount game where we ran through the Frozen Sick adventure included in the book. I wasn’t sure how long this campaign was going to last so I wanted to play a character who started off at 1st level with their subclass right away. In 5E D&D this means cleric, sorcerer or warlock. I hadn’t really played a 5E D&D cleric for more than a one shot at this point so I decided to play one for this campaign. At the time Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything hadn’t come out yet and the Twilight Domain was still Unearthed Arcana but I wanted to playtest it. So Tunk Girgunkil, variant human Twilight Domain cleric with an urchin background was born.

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything Artificer Brings Arcanapunk to 5E D&D

Several iterations of the artificer have appeared in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. There’s been three Unearthed Arcana versions, Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron, Eberron: Rising from the Last War and now Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. The artificer was introduced during 3.5 D&D with the Eberron campaign setting. Eberron brought what we at Nerdarchy like to refer to as arcanapunk to the D&D game. If you are a fantasy purist the artificer and arcanapunk might not be for you. Maybe you are like me and have gotten kind of bored with vanilla fantasy and want to spice it up a bit.


5E D&D Monster Spotlight — Chimera

The chimera is such a classic Dungeons & Dragons monster from mythology and has made an appearance in all of the editions of the game. In fifth edition D&D a chimera can be encountered in a few different environments — grasslands, hills, mountains and the Underdark. These are all straight out of the 5E D&D Monster Manual and I’d add the aerial environment as well. This gives us quite a few places we can drop an encounter in with a chimera. They enter gameplay during tier two with challenge rating 6. Chimera are quite formidable with a decent amount of hit points, a fly speed of 60 feet and three attacks per round, one of which can be replaced with its Breath Weapon. Let us not forget villains like to employ chimera as mounts. A single chimera would be a medium challenge for four 5th level characters. These nasty beasts average 53 points of damage on a single round when they use their Breath Weapon or 32 when they can’t. If this D&D monster is played up to its full hunter archetype this is significant damage potential.

Black Pages Book Series by Danny Bell Explores Urban Fantasy with a Twist

Black Pages is a series from best selling author Danny Bell. I’m going to do my best to give you a taste of the Black Pages series without spoiling it for anyone. Book One is Empty Threat and I just finished reading Book Two, Warning Call. After book one I’d certainly have called the genre urban fantasy, but by the end of book two, I’m having second thoughts. There is a lot of genre-mashing going on in this series. The stories in this series unfold around our protagonist, a young woman in her 20’s named Elana Black. Elana is a nerdy young woman with anxiety issues who works in a book store. When her tale begins she has a very special and unique ability — the power to walk between worlds. Specifically her world, which happens to be modern day Los Angeles. It’s kind of unique. While reading books she finds an opening into these stories where she can enter them, becoming fictional.

Dungeons & Dragons Takes Manhattan

I went on a fantastical adventure in Manhattan in New York City. The Cauldron is a magical gastropub experience located on 47 Stone St., New York City. It’s a pubΒ  catering to the nerdier elements of the city. One of the first sights to greet me as I entered the establishment was two young ladies playing Operation. That’s right, the game with a red-nosed guy who lights up and buzzes annoyingly when you fail to remove a piece from him without touching the sides.Β  The Cauldron’s aesthetic is that of a magical tavern as I made my way deeper in to see a 15 foot tree in the center of the bar. This is no ordinary tree — it has beer taps coming out of it. Magical wands activate the taps so patrons of this magical place can dispense their own ale. A true beauty to behold.

As cool as the surroundings are, I wasn’t on a sightseeing trip or even visiting to participate in the potion classes they hold. Oh, no, I came for the Dungeons & Dragons. Along with sharing my experience below including a photo gallery, you can watch the first episode of Cantrips & Casters I attended live in Manhattan.

D&D Cartoon

Bye Bye Magic Items: D&D Cartoon: The Hall of Bones Ep 3

Time to talk about the D&D Cartoon again. We discuss Episode 3 Hall of Bones and how to add lessons from it into your Dungeons and Dragons game. We believe whether you are the Dungeon Master or a player there is something to learn. Below there is the video and transcription.

Bye Bye Magic Items: D&D Cartoon: The Hall of Bones Ep 3 Video

Bye Bye Magic Items: D&D Cartoon: The Hall of Bones Ep 3Video Transcription

Dungeon Master

Dungeon Master Just Frakked Your D&D Backstory What Do You Do

Ever have your Dungeon Master totally ignore your D&D backstory? Here are some tips, tricks, and advice for DMs and players to get their game back on track. Below you’ll find the video and transcription.

Dungeon Master Just Frakked Your D&D Backstory What Do You Do Video

Dungeon Master Just Frakked Your D&D Backstory What Do You Do Video Transcription

D&D Campaign Ideas

D&D Campaign Ideas – 3 Ways Players Build the Game

Lets discuss a great way for a Dungeon Master to get their players involved in building their campaigns in 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. All of the D&D campaign Ideas don’t need to come solely from the Dungeon Master. Video and transcription below.

D&D Campaign Ideas – 3 Ways Players Build the Game Video

D&D Campaign Ideas – 3 Ways Players Build the Game Transcription Video


D&D Gith Race – What Character Class Should You Play

We look at the 5e D&D gith race and subraces. It’s time to pick the best character classes for both the githyanki and githzerai. Plus some unexpected choices as well. Below you’ll find the video and the transcription.

D&D Gith Race – What Character Class Should You Play Video

D&D Gith Race – What Character Class Should You Play Video Transcription

D&D Party

D&D Party Composition: Cohesion & Tactics| D&D Player Tips

It’s important for a D&D party to be able to work together inside and outside of combat. It can be a roleplay tool within Role-Playing Games. We go over player tips for gamers of any level of experience. We try to break it down by expereince levels, in game, out of game, in combat, and out of combat.

D&D Party Composition: Cohesion & Tactics| D&D Player Tips Video

D&D Party Composition: Cohesion & Tactics| D&D Player Tips Video Transcription

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