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5E D&D sapphire dragon gem dragon

Newest 5E D&D Unearthed Arcana Provides Path to Draconic Power

New playtest documents for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons have been rolling out recently and presenting new options for characters to explore. Unearthed Arcana 2021 — Draconic Options is the latest one to continue the trend with new race options, which revamps the dragonborn and kobold races for players. Both of these, especially the former, have widely been considered weak options despite the great affection players hold for them. It’s also interesting to note the alternating approaches as either lineage or race. Along with these fresh takes on draconic races this Unearthed Arcana presents a handful of feats and seven new spells for 5E D&D. So let’s get into it.

ghosts of saltmarsh xendros 5E D&D

Expanding 5E D&D Background Characteristics — Charlatan

Salutations, nerds! Alphabetical order dictates that today I’m writing about the charlatan background for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. When you look at the background options in the 5E D&D Player’s Handbook there are a number of background characteristics suggested for you to help define a character and spark your imagination for roleplaying and in this series I’m creating suggest some additional personality traits, ideals, bonds and flaws for you to play with on the off chance you’ve burned through all of those and are interested in some new ones.

aarakocra 5E D&D flying character

Take to the Skies of 5E D&D as a Flying Character with This New Feat

Flying characters aren’t nearly as good as you think in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. I know, I know — coming out the gate with a polarizing statement like ths immediately raises eyebrows. However even Nerdarchists Dave and Ted agree with this much as evidenced by a recent video on flying characters in 5E D&D. While I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m an expert on the matter I do play a flying character in our Those Bastards! campaign, as Prudence the feral tiefling. As such I feel I can offer some key insights into playing and running 5E D&D games with flying characters.

Getting More from 5E D&D Monsters — Kangoram

Kangorams make spirited mounts. These bipedal creatures reach heights over 10 feet tall and their powerful legs mimic the bounding gait of part of their namesake while thick skulls and curling horns belie the other half. A ridge of bony plates runs down their back to the tip of their tail, which they balance on to deliver powerful kicks. Druids who understand these unusual beasts know the way to train them as a powerful mount lies in steering them away from their forward focus to exert control. These beast monsters appear in Chimes of Discordia: Fantastical Mounts, one of the digital fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons products we create for Patreon supporters and later for Nerdarchy the Store. Here you’ll find expanded 5E D&D content inspired by these exotic beast creatures along with the stat block as it appears in the book ready to drop into your games.

D&D alliances

The Secret to the Best D&D Character Flaws

Salutations, nerds! A while ago I did a post about 10 flaws you can give your character that won’t bog down your game. Today I want to write about another school of thought regarding fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons character flaws. The goals here are to add another dimension to your character, not make you think too hard about adding something entirely new and avoid complications at the table. Make your 5E D&D character flaw a part of their best quality.

D&D Ideas — War

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is war, which we discussed in our weekly 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. Speaking of war in Dogs of War adventurers who come upon a grisly scene may find themselves going to war with a dangerously deceptive adversary. When heroes find a scene of animal attack, a duplicitous shapechanger lures them in for a howling kill along with 54 other dynamic scenarios in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

Top 10 5E D&D Homebrew Ranger Archetypes by a Factor of Three

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted have taken a shine to my posts over here looking at fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons homebrew content contributed to D&D Beyond. There’s lots of these posts whether for homebrew subclasses, magic items, spells, feats and more floating around for the curious. Since spring is in the air and I’ve been out working the garden this week I’ve got the natural world on my mind so today I’m focusing on the 5E D&D ranger. (Druids got their fair share already!) There are ranger subclasses in the Player’s Handbook, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and outside of official sources there are countless Ranger Archetypes created by players all over the world. We put the finishing touches one of the the ones we’ve created just this past week and shared it along with a bunch of other new subclasses, spells, magic items and creatures. I’ve definitely got the 5E D&D ranger on my mind and I’ll pluck out the Top 10 homebrew Ranger Archetypes. There’s currently over 925 homebrew of them so let’s get into it.

5E D&D oceans encounters Out of the Box

Failure is Fun in 5E D&D

Failure is fun. You read right — one of my favorite things in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons is failure. What’s more critical failure is one of my favorite optional rules to use in any 5E D&D game. Pulling from the Nerdarchy vault today I discovered a video from our archives that exemplify much of what I’m saying. Let’s talk about why.

5E D&D College of Eloquence bard Tasha's Cauldron of Everything

Speak Your 5E D&D Truth as a College of Eloquence from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted master the art of oratory to discuss the College of Eloquence Bard College for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Storytelling potential from this Bard College from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything ranks high in my book like most 5E D&D subclass options beyond the Player’s Handbook. Over the lifespan of any edition of the game the character options tend to become increasingly niche. As my perspectives grow and change I’m refining how I view the relationship between storytelling potential and mechanics and I’m curious to discover where I land on the College of Eloquence so let’s get into it.

D&D Ideas — Peace

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is peace, which we discussed in our weekly 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. Speaking of peace in Argument the two sides of an ettin find themselves in conflict thanks to a peculiar magic item and clever adventurers can use this to their advantage to find a peaceful resolution with the rampaging giant. An ettin argues with itself after attacking a merchant caravan along with 54 other dynamic scenarios in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

5E D&D College of Creation bard

Come to that Fantastic Note with College of Creation from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted strike a cosmic chord to discuss the College of Creation Bard College for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. When it comes to storytelling potential this Bard College from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything hits the ground running with extremely evocative introductory text. This flavorful section even folds some new lore into the D&D multiverse through the concept of the Song of Creation, which points to legendary draconic entities Bahamut and Tiamat as the first singers of this cosmic music. While my approach to 5E D&D starts with story more than mechanics I’m discovering the latter impacts my perspective more than it used to, at least as we continue these deep dives into the subclasses found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. So far they’ve all been oozing with storytelling potential but in many cases the mechanics either fall flat or illustrate power creep. I’m curious to see where the College of Creation falls so let’s get into it.

Make Your 5E D&D Spellcaster More Versatile with the Cantrip Mastery Feat

Feats are one of my favorite optional aspects of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Feats are fun and add a layer of unique customization to your 5E D&D character mirroring subclass features in terms of power level but a feat also allows you to distinguish your character’s flavor and development even beyond your other choices. Recently Nerdarchists Dave and Ted talked about the most popular homebrew feat creations on D&D Beyond. I cannot tell you how often I ponder what sorts of interesting feats I could concoct. Because I’ve been brimming with inspiration for making feats I want to share a new 5E D&D feat I concocted for full spellcasting classes called Cantrip Mastery. It’s inspired by the Optional Class Features from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, which allow players to swap spells out.

5E D&D acolyte background

Expanding 5E D&D Background Characteristics — Acolyte

Salutations, nerds! We’re about to go on a journey of new background characteristics for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The backgrounds in the 5E D&D Player’s Handbook and other sources include suggested characteristics to help define a character and spark your imagination for roleplaying. In this series I’m going to create additional personality traits, ideals, bonds and flaws for you to choose from during 5E D&D character creation. Maybe you’ve burned through all of the ones in the PHB and really want something new to chew on.

5E D&D path of wild magic barbarian tasha's cauldron of everything

Form Doesn’t Meet Function for Path of Wild Magic Barbarians from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted took a walk on the wild side to talk about the Path of Wild Magic Primal Path for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons barbarians. This unusual Primal Path is found inside Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Since my approach to D&D always centers on the story more than mechanics in 5E D&D the same as it did when I started playing the game with the classic Red Box whenever I check out new 5E D&D material from Wizards of the Coast, our own content or any other creators I’m most interested in how these characters, objects and places inspire the gaming experience. This applies whether I’m the Dungeon Master or not and my perspective often surprises people, these days mostly because of the sort of work I do. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything introduced lots of exciting new subclasses to the 5E D&D and I’m gonna explore my own deep feelings about the Path of Wild Magic and what it brings to the table.Let’s get into it.

5E D&D favorite characters

Describing Your 5E D&D Character in Memorable Fashion

Salutations, nerds! Today I’m writing about a moment many fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons players dread — when the Dungeon Master turns to you and says, “Introduce your character. Who are they and what do they look like?” Doesn’t it always kind of feel like there’s no good happy medium between too much detail and not enough? I aim to demystify this process and talk about three important things to remember when called upon to physically describe your 5E D&D character. The idea is to pin down things you’ll remember the next time you get caught unprepared. Fingers crossed this of some use to you but if not the first point is the most important.