I can’t be held down friends. You thought I was going to keep it going on the chromatic spectrum for introducing a dragon, but here we go doing a pivot to elemental dragons enclosed in the wonderful Tome of Beasts. While I have a deep love for the chromatic dragons, I do find them a bit restrictive at times. Because they are so iconic and interesting, it feels wrong to step outside their prescribed niches. The additional types of dragons and drakes in the Tome of Beasts allow for not only a wider range in dragon types and D&D dragon lairs but built-in personalities running a much wider gamut. Let’s roll into the bullies of the sky: the wind dragons and wind dragon lairs.
Another month comes with it another wonderful Nerdarchy Patreon reward. For July 2018, Critical Hit Publishing brings us a wonderful supplement by the name of The Wyestone Horror. This document is packed with interesting items, new monsters, and a great adventure appropriate for a spooky one-shot. Let’s go into some of the aspects I really enjoyed about this Patreon reward and where it has legs beyond just the one-shot held within.
More Marvel Cinematic Universe talk within the honored halls of Nerdarchy. As I scribe away on scrolls and interdimensional glyphs, I ponder on the MCU films in D&D terms and how the limitations they had could easily be fixed at the gaming table. Let’s explore what I believe to be the largest weakness of the collective movies and how you can take advantage of the MCU’s failure to infuse a clever narrative arc and create your own Infinity War D&D campaign. Oh, fair warning, super minor Infinity War spoilers.
There are two aspects of Dungeons & Dragons history that I love to include as often as I can in my campaigns. I find dungeons so important to D&D that it’s rare I will run even short arcs without them. The iconic nature or sheer power that comes with introducing a dragon into the narrative and the reaction you get from players when they find out there are rumors of a dragon… To me, these separate are wonderful, but together make for the set piece that brings D&D to firing on all cylinders. Let’s explore the different D&D dragons and the lairs they might make in a world where dungeons are reality. Let’s start out with one of my favorites: the Black Dragon.
The Nerdarchists are talking about adventures beyond the material plane. I will admit, I don’t care much for D&D extraplanar adventure. I tend to run a much lower fantasy. Not the lowest of fantasy, but beings from other dimensions and dimensional travel are things almost unheard of and fraught with danger. However, after re-watching some Thor: Ragnarok and watching Nerdarchists Dave and Ted get into the topic, I’m here to throw in some extra ideas that you might want to use in your upcoming adventures.
The Nerdarchists continue their excavation into the world of demons and devils with part two of the D&D Blood War in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. This time we’re talking about demons. I have long found demons and devils themselves to be a bit boring as villains themselves, but the idea of a mortal cult that worships a demon, now that is something that ignites my interest. When you really think, it can be a complicated concept. A group of mortals that are so devout in their beliefs, they are willing to sacrifice themselves, or at the very least risk themselves, in service to an extraplanar being. Getting into the psychology and trying to parse it all out is a lot of fun and with the great tables in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, the creativity flows so easily. Using these tables, let’s start a cult together… for you next adventure arc, that is.
Goatfolk. The Beastmen. The Faun. They come by many names across many mediums. The Nerdarchy crew was inspired to create a stubborn, bearded race that wasn’t dwarves. This lead them to write us up a goatfolk 5E player race for your Fifth Edition games and I think we can christen these cloven-hoofed creatures with a proper encounter idea.
Nerdarchy has been putting together content for your D&D game via Patreon for several years now. Like with everything we do we constantly strive to improve and get better to provide higher quality value to our fans. To that end we’ve changed our process creating Patreon content. We have enlisted the writer Sean McGovern from the Dungeon Master’s Guild and PowerScore RPG Blog.
In 2017, some folks on the Nerdarchy team put together a free adventure for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons in recognition of International Tabletop Day. And for 2018 we’re at it again, and stepping up our game! To coincide with the revamp and relaunch of our Patreon rewards, we’re giving away a free download package of special rewards to everyone in the RPG community to help celebrate this most special of days on April 28. Empusia, Curator of Souls is a total package of D&D magic items, monsters, allies, enemies, dynamic and lost lore.
Every now and then, as a Game Master you hit a speed bump. Either you hit writer’s block, or you have an off night where players couldn’t make it and you need a quick one shot. What do you do? You haven’t had any coffee in a while and you’re in a slump. No worries, the Limitless Adventures Team has you covered. Off the success of the original Limitless Encounters, the team has come back strong with Limitless Encounters 2.
NPCs for any D&D occassion
Many a Dungeon Master has encountered a creative wall when it comes to creating interesting, believable nonplayer characters for Dungeons & Dragons. Some only need a brief description and a name, but others can become key points in a campaign setting. They give an identity and culture to the world of the game.
It can be a challenge, though – it’s hard to predict which NPCs your party will take interest in and seek out in future sessions, and sometimes you have to come up with an NPC on the fly when the session takes an unexpected turn. Enter Limitless Adventures’ Non Player Characters vol. 1. The book contains 100 pre-written NPCs with descriptions, stats and loot that can be put into any campaign.
The book organises NPCs into eight categories: ally, charge, contact, foe, hireling, merchant, sage, and quest giver. Some NPCs fit into multiple categories, so the book’s chapters are more broadly sorted into allies, contacts, foes, merchants, and arch enemies. Each character includes a name, a brief description, stats, treasure, and quest hooks that can be found for each under the Further Adventure subtitle.
In the video above from the Nerdarchy YouTube channel Nerdarchist Dave, Nate the Nerdarch and Nerdarchist Ted explore an approach to creating tabletop roleplaying game adventures. Based on the Five Ws – traditional basic information gathering and problem solving steps – this method makes creating adventures for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons or any RPG much easier.
By asking yourself who, what, where, when and why a Game Master turns what could be a daunting task into a quick process. Preparing RPG adventures this way provides a solid foundation for both GM and players. Building on the basic structure you create is absolutely possible. But this simple method alone offers ample material to work with at your gaming table for fun, rewarding experiences.
Derek Ruiz – or Derek von Zarovich as he’s widely known to fans on the internet – is an 2017 Ennie Award nominee for best website. A year ago he was an English teacher. With the flip of a coin, he launched Elven Tower and now “maps” his way forward to continued success as a content creator for D&D and other RPGs. In August, Elven Tower celebrates its one year anniversary. Along with his Ennie Award nomination, Ruiz won the One Page Dungeon contest earlier in 2017 with his entry “Where are the Villagers?”
“I had this idea. I’m going to do something with the internet – start a website or something. I had two options, because this is going to be out of love. This is going to be something that I enjoy. Either it was going to be something about D&D, or it was going to be about science. Believe it or not I just flipped a coin, and I said okay, this is going to be about D&D.” – Derek Ruiz
Sometimes games don’t flow like we expected them to. You planned to take three hours, and your players get through most of the quest in one. Not everything that happens at the Dungeons & Dragons table has to be part of some epic happenstance, however. Sometimes, small things stand on their own and aren’t at all part of the bigger picture. We as Dungeon Masters need them because it helps us control the pacing of the game.
So here are 30 quick and simple small scenarios you can throw at your players in a flash when things are a little bit slow or you think you’re going to run out of game before you run out of game time.