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.
Critters watching the most recent episode of Critical Role on Oct. 15 witnessed a wonderful surprise when Fjord chose his paladin Sacred Oath. Dungeon Master Matt Mercer wove this critical character choice into the adventure narrative during a very cool scene that ended with the Mighty Nein’s warlock-turned-paladin taking his Sacred Oath of the Open Sea. I can only imagine how many other people beside myself immediately started searching around online to find out more details. Thankfully it wasn’t long before Mercer shared the information that this new paladin Sacred Oath for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons is available for all to see over at D&D Beyond. As an extra special bonus another custom subclass appeared as well and 5E D&D players can now follow the Way of the Cobalt Soul for their monk characters too.
Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is Halloween, which we discussed in our live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST on Nerdarchy Live to talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy, by signing up here. Speaking of Halloween we treat our awesome Patreon supporters with treats throughout the month including automatic entry into giveaways for RPG swag. We package up $50 or more in games and accessories every month, not just in October. No tricks! Patreon supporters also receive exclusive magic item cards and maps, digital books with content for Game Masters and players alike, opportunities to game with Nerdarchy and more. Check us out and discover the tier that fits best for you here.
Kobold Press knocks it out of the park once again with a collection of over 400 new monsters for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Tome of Beasts 2 follows a tradition of stunning monster books from the publisher filled with creatures to surprise, entertain and terrify 5E D&D characters and their players. I couldn’t wait to tear through my copy of the book along with Tome of Beasts 2: Lairs for a big boost of imagination and ideas for incorporating new creatures into my own adventures. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted look closer at the craven reptilian humanoids that worship evil dragons as demigods and serve them as minions and toadies in fifth edition Dungeons & dragons. Kobolds remain a staple of D&D from the very beginning and while their appearance changed over the decades from rat-dog humanoids into a more draconic form they’re still small, crafty and dangerous in large numbers. Volo’s Guide to Monsters punches these little buggers with lots of lore and rich material to strengthen their position in the 5E D&D multiverse and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything all but guarantees a surge in popularity so I’d better get to work reimagining kobolds for players and Dungeon Masters alike with some razzle dazzle.
It’s not unheard of for Game Masters to experience what authors refer to as a “sagging middle” and grow tired of preparing material for the same world time and again for players. And players may become frustrated when they hear a GM say they don’t really prepare and instead let players run with things, or become jealous when a GM states they’ve over prepared while you’re struggling to keep things engaging. None of these need be the case! Let’s discuss five ways to avoid a boring middle of your tabletop roleplaying game campaign.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted do their own thang and come up with a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons version of David S. Pumpkins, a bizarre character created for a Halloween sketch on Saturday Night Live in 2016 and revisited for the David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special in 2017. In the video they discuss the powers and abilities of the “Santa Claus for Halloween” in terms of player character options along with creating a character sheet for the absurd character played by Tom Hanks. But David S. Pumpkins is about as far from a 5E D&D character as they come and I’m not so sure he’d even work as a 5E D&D monster or NPC stat block either. The Halloween icon is his own thing after all. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discuss tips for players who suffer the curse of bad dice rolling. We delved into all the various fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons class features available to players whose funny shaped dice simply refuse to cooperate with them a couple of years ago through an examination of the support style of play, which you can check out here. Today I’m going to plumb our own 5E D&D content to see all the options we’ve come up with to assist those unfortunate folks whose dice never seem to work in their favor. So let’s get into it.
A new magic item for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons emerges from the Mage Forge! Nerdarchist Ted and our artist retainer Nelson Vieira hopped to it and came up with the Croak Cloak for October. Nelson crushed it illustrating this fun and froggy 5E D&D magic item. An creature decked out in this along with the collection of frog themed items in Muckwuggle, The Frog God sounds like a ton of fun to play or encounter as a champion of all frogkind.
Salutations, nerds, and we’re back with another 5 skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This time it’s Sleight of Hand’s turn in the skill challenge spotlight and I’m going to be honest with you, this one was kind of difficult because Sleight of Hand is one of those 5E D&D skills characters typically instigate themselves by pickpocketing or trying to pilfer small objects in plain view. However, I wasn’t about to skip this one just because it’s difficult. Be prepared though, because things are about to get a little bit wacky and I’m hoping you laugh as hard as I did about it.
Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is starting a campaign, which we discussed in our live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST on Nerdarchy Live to talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy, by signing up here. Speaking of starting a campaign our Dark Paths starts down a new path for our monthly rewards and presents a new being of malediction each month to exert their malignment on your Fifth Edition worlds. Each of these entry points can kick off a new campaign or creep into your existing adventures. It’s been a blast developing this new content and playing these adventures in our monthly one shots with Patreon supporters who get exclusive sneak peeks and playtest opportunities prior to receiving their rewards and before they’re available to anyone else through Nerdarchy the Store. Become part of the Nerdarchy community and get early access to new products, live chats and gameplays, our exclusive Discord channel, giveaways and more right here.
We think about games a lot around here. It’s no surprise since we built Nerdarchy as a tabletop game centric business from the very beginning. Every single day we’re creating and sharing our news, view and homebrews here on the website, on one or both of our two YouTube channels and through our Patreon. Primarily we focus our efforts on fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons for several reasons. We all love the game and 5E D&D in particular. It also happens to enjoy unprecedented success and attention worldwide, something our audience clearly gravitates towards along with untold others. But of course it’s not the only game around nor the only game we play. And after some soul searching and several long conversations and introspections it’s not even my favorite version of the game. How can this be? Let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take aim at a longtime audience request for an expert archer Character Build Guide for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Long range mobile specialists focused on archery is a personal favorite combat strategy of mine so this CBG holds a special place in my heart. The 5E D&D Deadshot Sniper CBG hits the bullseye with all the resources in their quiver from character creation to 20th level. And the special NPC or creature version inspired by the character build for Dungeon Masters ready to drop right into your game incorporates a bit of flair from one of my most beloved character types from a previous edition, which was a lot of fun to develop for 5E D&D. So let’s get into it.
Isn’t it a delight to crack open a new roleplaying game setting book for the first time? It’s wonderful fun discovering how the creators have reinterpreted classic tropes or generated genuinely unique ideas to delight their audience. I enjoy the fictional timelines, legendary people, ancient origin stories and so much more. It’s a pleasant waltz through someone else’s imagination and it’s inspiring! Although when it comes time to Game Master a campaign or write a new product for the setting it can be agonizing to get every little detail correct. Not long into the endeavor I invariably find myself wondering: How will I keep all of this lore in my head?
A scream shatters the midnight quiet. The distant peel of thunder forebodes a coming rainstorm, welcome among the red rocks of the desert. Cloth rustles against leather, metal occasional clinking as the merchant shuffles through her pack. These present scenarios, each evocative and distinct from the next. Whether it’s Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder or any other tabletop roleplaying game each session is just as much improv theater of the mind as it is a codified game. Fans of live plays like those found on Critical Role, Nerdarchy Live and any number of other streams know the value of evocative descriptions and setting the scene. And when it comes to immersing players few senses are as captivating as the sense of sound.