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Character Builds

Nerdarchy > Dungeons & Dragons  > Character Builds (Page 8)

How D&D Beyond Revealed the Elegance of a Classic D&D Fighter

It’s no secret how big a fan I am of D&D Beyond, the digital toolset from Curse. All the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons content from Wizards of the Coast is in one place with amazing connectivity. One of the most exciting facets of DDB is the Campaign feature. Dungeon Masters can organize players and adventuring material together in one place. There’s some really cool stuff DMs can do with the Campaign tools already, but I’ll get more into the DM side of things in a later installment, using a certain Space Pirate-fighting bounty hunter’s adventures as an example. For now, I want to talk about being a player in a DDB campaign.

D&D Ranger Beast Master: Beast and Ranger are One

The video above from the Nerdarchy You Tube channel is part of the ongoing series “New Ways to Use Recovery Dice in D&D.” In each installment, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted and Nate the Nerdarch discuss alternative uses for hit dice, presenting class-specific options. Focusing on each character class as they appear in the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook, the options are designed to provide one use for the class in general, plus an additional use specific to each archetype.

One of the class archetypes for the D&D ranger, which is a point of contention among many players, is the Beast Master. A few Nerdarchy staff writers and i recently discussed the Beast Master archetype, and part of our conversation dovetailed with the alternative hit die option in the video.

5th edition

Unusual Builds Tell A Story All Their Own

5th editionYears ago, in my great grandfather’s time, the emperor sent out citizens to colonize the wild lands and expand the Empire.

This is how we came to live north of the wall. There we found and settled lands that were more fertile than any the empire had ever seen. The game was plentiful, the water clean, and the soil rich.

We flourished, growing from a settlement to a village growing to a bustling town with every family having its own land.

And then the Greenskins came.

5th edition dungeons and dragons

D&D Spelljammer Warlock: Stars are Right

D&D Spelljammer warlock

The Owl looking appropriately star warlock-y. [Art by Jesse Ochse from ArtStation]

In a previous installment on Spelljammer content for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, the warlock peered into oblivion and came back with some nifty new options courtesy of Deep Magic: Void Magic from Kobold Press. But can darkness exist without light? (Actually, yes – in physics terms darkness is an absence of radiation.) But where’s the fun in that? New options for a D&D game is the juice!

There is a balance to the encroaching Void in my home campaign of D&D taking place in a Spelljammer-esque setting. A warlock can strike a bargain with a star drake in the same fashion as with a void dragon. The Illumination Pact warlock acts as a counterpoint to the Void Pact. In both situations, excellent material from Kobold Press does the heavy lifting. For the Illumination warlock, Deep Magic: Illumination Magic is the source material.

Star drakes and void dragons both appear in the Tome of Beasts. Both of these amazing creatures fired my imagination on all cylinders when I began conceptualizing the Spelljammer elements introduced to a traditional D&D campaign early on. I won’t reveal too much about the specifics here, since my players read these articles. But as more is revealed to them through our gameplay sessions those details will be shared.

This material is an evolving work in progress stemming from my home game. Although it’s inspired by the Spelljammer setting, it can be adapted for any D&D campaign.

Nerdarchy Arcana: D&D Rogue Archetype – Jester

D&D arcane trickster

Arcane Trickster

Ever since I picked up my copy of the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook, I’ve been annoyed with the arcane trickster. I’ve always felt it was a waste of an opportunity, like they wanted to have an arcane rogue archetype, but they didn’t know what to do.

So they just slapped a limited stock of wizard spells in there because enchantment and illusion spells are rogue-ish. Perhaps they felt that because D&D rogues rely on Intelligence for investigation for looking for traps or identifying locks, they should just stick with the sole Intelligence spellcaster.

A D&D rogue archetype with chutzpah

However, rogues can also rely on Charisma. Using just the Player’s Handbook, the assassin’s Imposter ability uses Charisma, and that doesn’t even include the mastermind or the swashbuckler, two class archetypes that include Charisma skills, but not Intelligence ones.


D&D Spelljammer Warlock: Into the Void

D&D warlockIn a past article I mentioned customized warlock pacts in my fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Spelljammer campaign.

It came up again during a live chat with Nate the Nerdarch.

With my feet now held to the eldritch fire by publicly mentioning it twice, I’d better put money where my pact-making mouth is and get into it.

This material is an evolving work in progress stemming from my home game.

Although it’s inspired by the Spelljammer setting, it can be adapted for any D&D campaign.

RPG player character

How a Poll Created a D&D Character – #NerdyProject

D&D character

The cover of the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide illustrates a diverse group of D&D characters. [Art by Tyler Jacobson]

In the video above from the Nerdarchy YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted build and add flavor to a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons character. The character specifics – race, class and background – were chosen by the Nerdarchy Twitter community through a series of blind polls.

The #NerdyProject was a series of 11 polls. Each one narrowed down the field of possibilities for each of the three D&D character aspects. Creating and administering the polls was a lot of fun. Based on the video content and comments the fun continued for the Nerdarchists and community, too.

Now that the polls and D&D character build are complete, I thought it might be interesting to peel the curtain aside and give people a peek at how each poll was put together. The polls were blind – answer choices were purposely vague – and the reasoning behind answer options might be of interest to those who participated or anyone who watched the video.

D&Dized Spider-Man build for D&D 5E

Spider-Man D&D 5E build

Spider-Man in Columbia Pictures’ “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” [Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures]

As a dutiful nerd and lifelong comic book fan, I went to see “Spider-Man: Homecoming” on opening weekend. There will be no spoilers for the film in this article, but I will say that it is a fantastic movie. It’s also worth noting I’m typically not that much into action movies in general and my critical eye is more than average when it comes to superhero movies.

But all that aside, what I’ve really been thinking about all day is a character build to represent Spider-Man in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The Nerdarchy YouTube channel has a long history of D&Dizing fictional characters and objects, and it sounded fun to take a shot at this iconic, beloved Marvel Comics character. My previous crack at D&Dizing something – the Sword of Omens from Thundercats – was tons of fun to work on.

NPC Kit (Ruby Dove) – One D&D 5E wizard for each race

The next installment in the Garibay NPC Kit Series. Please find below nine Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition wizards, one in each of the game’s races from the Player’s Handbook, ready to make your game more colorful, fun and memorable.

Nine distinct flavors of D&D wizard


Race Class (Background)


Melee Ranged Armor

Aspect 1

Aspect 2

Aspect 3


NPC Kit (Sapphire Dagger) – One D&D 5E Fighter for Each Race

You are a busy Dungeon Master. While there are lots of great adventures bouncing around the ranging, wide Internet (both free and pay versions), it is always useful to have some quick NPCs at hand to populate a tavern, throw a shoulder at a PC while they walk down the bustling street of your fantasy city or to meet a Player Character with a ready blade when they have a few too many hit points. Please find below 9 Dungeons & Dragon 5E Fighters, one in each of the game’s races, ready to make your game more colorful, fun and memorable.

D&D Design diary: Blue Magic primal path

[The ongoing live stream RPG review series is on hiatus this week because reasons. In their place enjoy a peek behind how I sussed out my idea for a new primal path for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons barbarians.]

With my first foray into creating content for Wizards of the Coast’s Dungeon Masters Guild, I offered my own take on a popular concept: the blue mage from Final Fantasy lore.

Gaming like a box of chocolates: D&Dizing Forrest Gump

Gump running

Run, Forrest, run! The Mobile Feat in action.

Yes, this week I’m doing something silly. The idea occurred to me during a recent road trip. Behind the wheel of a car for hours on end, I had to have something to think about, and a Fifth Edition D&D version of Forrest Gump came to mind. Once I started thinking about it, Gump has a lot more talents than I initially thought.

And to be clear, all references are to the movie version of Forrest Gump, as I’ve not read the books the character is based upon.

I’ll provide some explanations below, but first, his stats:

Forrest Gump — D&D style

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