Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted took a look at the Simic hybrid and vedalken races from Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica. In their discussion they talk what character class to play for both of these fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons races. Like the rest of the videos in this series they consider which 5E D&D character class makes a good fit for the race’s ability scores and features, along with some ideas for unexpected character classes. The world of Ravnica presents a very different place than a traditional D&D setting, and not just because a vast, sprawling city covers the whole of the known world. Powerful guilds rule the Ravnica planar city, and both the Simic hybrid and vedalken share common ground with one in particular. The Simic Combine happens to be my favorite of the ten guilds. And since Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica contains so many juicy random tables let’s take a look at them from a Dungeon Master’s point of view and see what sorts of adventures might await Simic hybrid and vedalken adventurers in a 5E D&D campaign.
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discussed the hottest new Unearthed Arcana — Fighter, Rogue, Wizard. In the playtest document, Wizards of the Coast presents a new take on a classic mechanic in Dungeons & Dragons history: psionics. Wielding the power of their minds, practitioners of psionics present a prickly scenario in various edition of D&D. Often a later add-on to an edition of the game, only in first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons were psionics included in the Player’s Handbook. In the book, all characters have a chance to gain a psionic ability based on a lucky percentile dice roll. Meanwhile in the Star Wars universe, Force sensitive creatures can tap into the energy field created by all living things to achieve mind over matter effects. Whether in 5E D&D or a galaxy far, far away, what’s a creature without psionics supposed to do in the face of creatures with incredible mental powers? When you’re playing in a bounty hunter campaign inspired by the complicated profession of The Mandalorian, you’ve got to ask yourself: did that 5E D&D psionic creature use all 6 of their power points or only five? I hope you feel lucky. (No spoilers.)
Salutations, nerds! They’re having a fancy party in Fairy and you the patrons have been cordially invited. Today I want to talk about the December Patreon content going out on the Dec. 5. Surprise! It’s a Christmas Party in the Winter Courts. Within you will find some cool party favors like masks of glamour to wear to the festive party and a dueling cane, a few fierce pixies and constructs, some fun denizens of the Winter Court and 7 new Winter Spells, as well as a map and small adventure at this Winter Court Soiree.
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted shared their insights on the best tier 1 spells for the brand new official artificer class for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The artificer in 5E D&D has undergone a lot of playtesting, with several versions presented through Unearthed Arcana. With the release of Eberron: Rising from the Last War the artificer firmly found a place as the first official new character class for 5E D&D outside of those found in the Basic Rules and Player’s Handbook. But it’s not only players who get to have all the fun with the new artificer class. One of the new creatures in the book gives me a great idea for an ongoing bounty hunter campaign inspired by The Mandalorian and there’s a Challenge 0 entry with a lot of potential. I’m looking at you, magewright.
When we revamped the Nerdarchy Patreon in early 2018, one of the biggest changes we implemented was our Patreon rewards structure. Previously there were individual support levels giving access to more of our monthly rewards. We had Mage Forge, Monster Menagerie, Friend or Foe, Terrible Terrain and Lost Lore rewards. These digital packages included new magic items, monsters, NPCs, encounters and player options like spells, backgrounds, races and subclass options respectively. We took a big step and combined everything into a single product, giving supporters at the $2 level and above early access to our new Fifth Edition products before they get added to Nerdarchy the Store. We launched this new initiative with Empusia, Curator of Souls. And in celebration of International Tabletop Day we put it in the store for free. (It’s still there!) We’ve continued to create full color digital products every month since. And while our design skills have improved since then — both in terms of game design and layout — one of my favorites remains the Lord of Dead Dreams. This was our followup to the free launch title. Since it’s been about a year and a half since creating it I thought it would be fun to look back and see what new ideas come to mind.
With The Mandalorian Chapter 4: Sanctuary streaming now on Disney+ we are halfway through the first season of this amazing series. Thankfully season 2 is already ordered. Between chapters of the show here on the website we’ve been exploring and developing ideas for a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons bounty hunter campaign. For each installment we’re taking inspiration from various books created by Nord Games. In my home game group I’ve been putting these ideas into practice along with players in our 5E D&D bounty hunter campaign and so far we’re all loving it and having a fantastic time. After watching Chapter 4: Sanctuary I knew immediately which Nord Games product would help next. Ultimate Bestiary: Revenge of the Horde feels like the perfect fit. So let’s get into it and see how the book will help ramp up the action, tension and drama of our bounty hunter campaign for 5E D&D. (Still no spoilers.)
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discussed the best classes to play for locathah and tortle characters in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Both of these aquatic adjacent races were introduced to 5E D&D through DMs Guild products where all the monies Wizards of the Coast receives from sales of the PDFs are donated to Extra Life. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $30 million for sick and injured kids. Maybe it’s the single class party composition series we’ve been doing or the Hell & High Water expansion for 1985 Games’ Dungeon Craft product line, but adventuring parties sharing a common element have been on my mind lately.
When season one of The Mandalorian ends following chapter 8, I’ll be a sad Disney+ viewer. I subscribed to the new streaming service only to watch this show. Incidentally The World According to Jeff Goldblum keeps me coming back, too. Even though I’ve got to wait one long week between chapters of The Mandalorian, I’ve been keeping the bounty hunt going at the gaming table. Right around the time the show premiered I’d gotten a copy of Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery from Nord Games. Never a greater wretched hive of scum and villainy had I come across for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. A 5E D&D campaign immediately formed. The players loved it, I loved running it and we’re keeping it going. Nord Games helped created the seedy underworld with Skulduggery and engage the players through interesting encounters with Wandering Monsters. After Chapter 3: The Sin, I think Critical Hit Tables for Players and Critical Fail Tables fit the tone for this dangerous and complicated, Mandalorian inspired bounty hunter campaign. (Still no spoilers.)
Curse of Strahd is widely considered one of the best Dungeons & Dragons adventures of all time. And nestled in the back of the book, Death House is an optional mini-adventure designed for 1st-level characters to introduce them to Barovia and advance them to 3rd level. I’ve run Death House a few times myself, and played it several more. Most recently I played in a pick-up game proposed by DM Elise on Twitter. The experience was inspiring, and after a lengthy conversation with a friend I started to wonder, is Death House a great 5E D&D starter adventure, or the greatest starter adventure? Let’s get into it and don’t worry — only the mildest of spoilers ahead.
When it comes to fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons I tend to run a lot of one shots and shorter campaigns. I like this scenario just fine because I’m always finding inspiration for new campaigns and gaming with new friends. After watching chapter one of The Mandalorian last week my first thought was wow! This Disney+ show is incredible. And my second thought was this would make an awesome 5E D&D campaign. A party of bounty hunters navigating the underbelly of scum and villainy sounds like tremendous fun to me. I found a lot of inspiration from Nord Games Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery for a bounty hunter campaign. Now with two chapters of The Mandalorian available for viewing, we’ll match it with a second chapter developing this idea. So let’s get into it. (And don’t worry — still no spoilers!)
Salutations, nerds! Last week we talked about setting up for a revolution plot. We explored reasons your power hasn’t been overthrown by revolutions already, and if all that is true, how to motivate your PCs to go ahead and overthrow them in the first place. Today, we’re going to talk more about 5E D&D worldbuilding and what you have to knock out from under your ruler’s legs to disrupt their power base. In other words, the stuff likely to actually happen in the campaign, at the table.
If you’re like me and what I suspect are tens of thousands of other nerds, you fired up Disney+ today and watched episode one of The Mandalorian. And since you’re here I’m going to assume you’re also a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons player. Taking those two things into account, it can’t be far from the truth that a lot of us were not only blown away by the premiere of this new streaming show and our first thought was “this would make an awesome bounty hunter 5E D&D campaign!” And I just got a copy of Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery from Nord Games so I’m going to use this Game Master’s Toolbox book to help. If this sounds cool to you, I’ll give you a promo code for 20% off the book and everything else in your cart from Nord Games when we’re done. So let’s get into it. (And don’t worry — no spoilers!)
It’s hard to believe over two years passed since Kobold Press launched Warlock, a Patreon-fueled project in the form of a booklet containing new maps, monsters, character options and more for Fifth Edition. Like it says on the tin, the most ambitious goal for Warlock is a yearly publication of the Warlock Grimoire, a hardcover collection of the entire year’s booklets plus more monsters, dark lore, secret encounters and Deep Magic. And now Warlock Grimoire exists! I received my copy in the mail and while a wealth of cool content waits within the nearly 300-page pocket-sized edition, my favorite part is the introduction. Why? Because before I interviewed Kobold Press head honcho Wolfgang Baur, someone advised me not to call Warlock a zine, but here in the intro to Warlock Grimoire, Wolfgang himself dubs the monthly booklets zines. Vindication!
Salutations, nerds! I hope you’re ready to do some 5E D&D worldbuilding because today we’re going to be talking about revolutions and empires, and what you need if the tabletop roleplaying game storyline you’re planning on running has to do with unseating someone currently in power. Please note, this is going to be a quick run down, not a comprehensive list. I’ve got the span of a quick article to do this — nope, two. Two quick articles. I’ve done the thing again where I had more to say than I thought I did. Ahem. But. I’m going to try to give you enough to springboard off of and hopefully enough to get the gears turning in your head for what you want to do with your plot. Got your notebooks out? Ready? Let’s dive in.