Having been inspired by all the animated D&D stories popping up on YouTube, Nate the Nerdarch decided to try his hand at an old D&D adventure of ours. Back in the early days of our gaming group things were quite different than they are now. Currently we enjoy creating collaborative stories between Dungeon Master and player. This was not always the case.
Delving back into Nerdarchy’s homebrew campaign setting Chimes of Discordia for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, I want to talk to about some of our D&D cosmology and our Realm of Chaos or the Chaos Realm. We have this Stranger or Traveler god that either was spawned from the Realm of Chaos or created the Chaos Realm with their birth. Like many creation myths the multiverse started out as chaos. Powerful beings that would come to be known as gods came forth from somewhere else, looked upon the chaos and brought order to it. They gathered up all of the chaos and cast it out and far away. That mass of chaos condensed and built up over the ages.
I started talking about using the mind flayer and beholder in our homebrew campaign setting in a previous article. Mainly I covered the beholder re-imagined as dread spheres. In the previous article I talked about the idea of a Chaos Realm and powerful beings known as Travelers. One of these creatures took control of an elven city named Karsha Luceen.
The beholder was introduced with the first Dungeons & Dragons supplement, Greyhawk in 1975. The mind flayer first appeared in the official newsletter of TSR Games, The Strategic Review No. 1 in spring 1975. These are two of the most iconic Dungeons & Dragons monsters in the game. I’d love to know how many players have met their end to one of these two baddies. Of course D&D is rife with monsters what makes the beholder and mind flayer so special. I think it’s because they are so alien and bizarre that they really capture the imagination of players and Dungeon Masters alike in a way that very few other Dungeons and Dragons Monsters do.
Nerdarchy plays fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons in the our own campaign setting Chimes of Discordia. The world is Ulthe-Ganya, a hodgepodge one of our early campaigns we are currently doing in D&D games. In that world there is our god of war Stromguard, the lord of battle, bloodshed, and warfare. He is a brutal being that lives for strife and conflict. It is only fitting he has champions to match his demeanor. His followers are drawn from warriors, soldiers, and more primitive tribal peoples. Mechanically his followers in our campaign setting will be drawn from the barbarian, fighter, and War Domain cleric character classes. Some outliers would be bard (skalds), ranger, monk (brawlers), and paladin. Paladins in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons have become holy warriors dedicated to a particular oath. The most violent and warlike of these might find that oath sworn before the altar of Stromguard. Two oaths in particular stand out for Stromguard — Oath of Conquest and Oath of Vengeance. These champions are both revered and feared even among the faithful of Stromguard.
This year it looked like I’d be attending Origins Game Fair 2018 solo. My fellow Nerdarchist and colleagues in Nerdarchy couldn’t get away from their muggle lives and jobs. It so happens my wife had been recently been laid off from work after being diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease and wouldn’t have any obligations holding her at the home front. I invited her to come along rather than worry about things we have no control over. I was hoping she’d be able to take her mind off some of our troubles for a bit and treat it like a mini vacation. The only problem is the Origins Game Fair is a bit of a Nerd Mecca for tabletop gamers. It’s a whopping five days of tabletop card, board, and RPG games.
At Origins Game Fair 2018 I had the pleasure of running through True Dungeon alongside my wife Stephanie and Dan Dillon. My wife is more nerd adjacent than actually being a gamer herself. Dan on the other hand has written a ton of published material through Kobold Press as well as being on the latest Wizard of the Coast product D&D Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage.
Friday, May 18, 2017 was the Wizards of the Coast release of Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes to specific FLGS and digitally through D&D Beyond. This is the newest D&D book from The Wizards of the Coast team. Wide release for this 5E D&D book will be on May 29.
The folks over at the PR company for the WOTC team, 360 Public Relations, is always good about getting us early copies so we can show them off to the fans. We always give them away. It’s still nice to get the free 5E D&D swag even if we don’t keep it most of the time. Speaking of which you can get in on a give-away running to May 31 for one of five copies of Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes.
We decided to do a video response to an article over on the Jimmi Waz Ere website. We copied the article below for convenience, as well as our thoughts on the 10 Things You Need to Respect About D&D Etiquette video. By all means if you like Jimmi’s article click the link below to take look at the articles he’s got on his site and show him some love by sharing and commenting on the original article.
We had recently did a series on Playing D&D without Filling Party Roles. We did a video for each party role and how play without them both as the Dungeons Master and a player. As a follow up we thought we’d combine some of the lessons we took away from that series as well as go into the opposite direction.
We do several different types of D&D character builds here at Nerdarchy. There is a series we call D&Dize. In those videos we take fictional characters from movies, TV shows, novels, video games, and comic books and stat them up using fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Then there is just our normal or regular D&D Character Builds. These builds are based off of standard tropes in D&D. Each of these 5E D&D character builds are optimized to really good at a specific part of the game and fit into typical D&D tropes.
We recently looked at the Deep Magic series Chaos Magic PDF over on the YouTube Channel. Nerdarchy has become great fans of the Kobold Press Deep Magic series. There’s tons of options for players and Dungeon Masters alike in this series.
We decided to take a stab at creating a good necromancer for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Nerdarchy has had a cantankerous relationship with our fans when it comes the wizard tradition of necromancy. We are of the philosophy of if you animate dead you are creating evil creatures, which is an evil act.
D&D monsters — the game is full scary ones, but sometimes you need to ramp things up a little more. Or maybe you want a particular monster to fit a specific role or theme. For instance you want a beholder that has been touched by the demiplane of shadow. We had a viewer to challenge us to just do that: merge the undead shadow D&D monster with the iconic beholder. Nerdarchist Ted and I accepted this challenge and did it as part of the Nerdarchy Fast and Dirty D&D Monsters series.
Small things or changes can greatly effect the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons gaming experience. Like how easy it is to figure out what the magic items in the dragon’s hoard do. In earlier editions of D&D the identify spell existed, but it wasn’t as potent when it came to examining magic items.