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Character Stories

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Ajani Adversary of Tyrants 5E D&D fighter martial archetypes

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

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted enjoy looking at fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons homebrew content contributed to D&D Beyond. While they explore homebrew magic items on the DDB website — including one from Matt Mercer — I’m taking a look at another 5E D&D class and the homebrew subclasses folks created there. (There’s lots of these posts whether for homebrew subclasses, magic items, spells, feats and more floating around for the curious.) This time around my gaze turns to my favorite D&D class. Fighters come equipped with the best foundation to manage one third of the game. In other words as we like to say around here fighters fight. This leaves tremendous space to add variety to a fighter character. There are fighter subclasses in the Player’s Handbook, Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and outside of official sources there are countless Martial 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. Now it’s time to check out the Top 10 homebrew Martial Archetypes. There’s currently over 325 homebrew of them 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.

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.

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 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 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.

D&D-izing Galvatron from Transformers: The Movie

While scheduling social media posts recently I came across a great D&D meme inspired by Transformers: The Movie. I mean of course the 1986 animated film and not the Michael Bay series of movies. To each their own but for my two energon cubes the animated movie rocked then and still rocks now. I saw it in the theater when I as nine and every so often I’ll watch it again for fun and it still holds up. One of the best parts of the movie is the transformation of Megatron into Galvatron, an upgraded form bestowed by Unicron after the Deception leader was nearly destroyed in a deadly assault against their Autobot enemies. At this point in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons there’s so many character options without even delving into third party stuff and it got me thinking what the villainous minion of Unicron might look like in 5E D&D terms. Curious? Here’s a hint.

D&D elves subrace

Wilderness Adventurer Couture

Going on an adventure in the wilderness? Here are different categories of heroes for wilderness adventures for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Whatever the case may be for you it is best to make sure you are prepared to become one with nature in the fashion sense. Asking around and doing your research is the perfect start!

5E D&D frost king arctic hobgoblin

5E D&D Warlocks are Dumb (or) Eldritch Blast Spammers

It’s only clickbait when the crucial bit of information you really want to know is omitted! But since you’re here reading you might as well stick around. After years of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons games playing all but one character class I’m nearing the end of my first campaign playing a warlock for the first time. I have thoughts. Spoiler alert: these thoughts are about reconciling what always bothered me about warlocks, how spamming eldritch blast is the way to go and to a lesser extent confirming what I’ve always suspected — The Undying Otherworldly Patron sucks. So let’s get into it.

Is Your TTRPG a Film or a Series?

At the same time all of us tabletop roleplaying game nerds enjoy the renaissance of gaming we’re currently in there’s an equally exciting renewal in the entertainment world when it comes to storytelling. Ongoing and limited series on TV and the growing number of streaming services give audiences — and creators — opportunities to develop rich worlds and deeply complex characters. The best recent example is WandaVision, the Disney+ miniseries continuing the story of Wanda Maximoff and Vision established in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This incredible series crystalized some ideas I’ve been exploring about how and when character development during a TTRPG campaign. So let’s get into it.

TTRPG Stock Sessions — Nightmare and Phobia

Salutations, nerds! At the time of writing this post I am getting ready to run a session going along with the subject matter. Hopefully by now the players involved have already done it and there won’t be any chance of spoilers. Today I’m focusing on character phobias in tabletop roleplaying games and the nightmare stock sessions where they’re brought manifest for the characters to deal with during the TTRPG experience.

TTRPG Stock Sessions — The Time Loop

Salutations, nerds! Today I’m going focusing in on Groundhog Day. Not the movie but the concept of being stuck in a time loop as a tabletop roleplaying game stock session. This episode comes up in a lot of places. The first one coming to mind right now being the Supernatural episode where the brothers Winchester die repeatedly and have to live the day over. The time loop TTRPG stock session comes with a warning label — It’s frustrating to deal with. The time loop is a concept you want to make sure players are okay with before bringing it to the table. All the advice you see about how parties need clear goals is really hard to pull off in a situation like this so proceed with caution. After you’ve cleared it with your TTRPG group here are the things you have to hammer out.

TTRPG Stock Sessions — The Heist

Salutations, nerds! I’m back with another tabletop roleplaying game stock session to dissect and analyze. Today I’m taking a closer look at one of my personal favorites — the heist. There’s something valuable held behind closed doors in a secure facility. Something TTRPG characters need, want very badly or have been hired to retrieve. This archetype is part of the reason why I love Shadowrun so much as a setting. The game is 80% heist jobs, which by the way are great because they leave plenty of opportunity to tackle the adventure from whatever direction the players approach. A heist can be done via a lot of roleplaying, lying to people to get into position or purely through stealth. Characters can go loud and blast their way in or save this option for a last resort.

TTRPG Stock Sessions — Fancy Party

Salutations, nerds! Today I’m going to take a look at another stock session for tabletop roleplaying games in which we’ve got the biggest balls of them all! This series is going to be doing some party crashing. Or possibly attending legitimately with an invitation depending on what flavor you prefer. A stock session for a TTRPG is reusable scenario a Game Master can plug into campaigns that still feels different because of the specific characters involved and this one can be a good form break for parties who tend to do a lot of combat and traveling around and who tend to be excellent roleplay fodder. Most fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons parties spend a lot of their time in dungeons and on the road so seeing them all dressed up can be interesting. As before I’ll cover some of the decisions to make before running the Fancy Party TTRPG stock session.

TTRPG Stock Sessions — Flashback and Memory

Salutations, nerds! Today I’m going to examine the concept of stock sessions for tabletop roleplaying games. In particular I’m thinking about the idea of delving into a character’s memories and exploring their backstory a little bit in a flashback! A stock session for a TTRPG is reusable scenario a Game master can plug into campaigns that still feels different because of the specific characters involved. Think of it kind of like how a good chunk of anime have a beach episode. That’s what I mean.

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