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Nerdarchy > Dungeons & Dragons  > Monsters (Page 10)

Dreams and Nightmares for the Lord of Dead Dreams in 5E D&D

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.

vampire werewolf 5E D&D

How to Play a Vampire or Werewolf Character in 5E D&D

One of the awesome people from the Nerdarchy community recently sent us a GM 911 question we were happy to help them answer. We discussed the topic during our Monday Patreon live chat, and we invited the questioner to join us while we talked about it and hung out with the rest of the viewers. I’m happy to report they were more than happy with the ideas we shared, thanked us for the help and became a Patreon supporter themselves. So, a win all around! It was a great question and one I think a lot of players and Dungeon Masters in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons grow curious about at some point in their D&D experiences. How do we approach the idea of playing a vampire or a werewolf in 5E D&D?

Kobold Press Warlock Grimoire

Cracking Open the Warlock Grimoire from Kobold Press

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!

A Mouthful of 5E D&D Villain Actions Inspired by Matt Colville

When Nerdarchist Ted pitched the idea for a video response to Matt Colville’s Action Oriented Monsters video I was all in. I’d just watched the video myself and fallen in love with the idea of Villain Actions for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. We’re no strangers to creating new 5E D&D monsters. And like Matt mentions, making creatures in the style of player characters feels kludgy and needlessly complicated and time consuming. But while we’ve generally kept to the existing monster resources like legendary and lair actions, and striving to include action economy options like bonus actions and reactions, Matt took things to the next level by developing a new kind of action — the Villain Action. Like any good Dungeon Master, when I spot a cool idea I steal it for my game. So while Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discuss the ins and outs of Villain Actions on the Nerdarchy YouTube channel, I’m gonna try my hand at creating some of my own.

D&D Ideas — Fast and Dirty Monsters

Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. This week it’s all about something we like to refer to as Fast & Dirty Monsters. More about that below. We’ve got a couple announcements. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy, by signing up here.
  1. The Pledge Manager is live. You can select your tiers, add-ons, or even late pledge. If you somehow missed the Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition Kickstarter you can still get in on it. Check out the Pledge Manager here.
  2. Next up, the release of the Nerdarchy the Convention trailer is out there in the wilds as well. Check it out here.

(Re)Discover Monsters with Meaning Inside Tome of Beasts Pocket Edition

Everything old is new again! Kobold Press is set to release Tome of Beasts Pocket Edition on Oct. 29 according to Amazon (where you can preorder here) and I recently received an advance copy. I’ve long considered Tome of Beasts to be an integral part of my fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons experience. It’s been a minute since flipping through the pages, and getting the pocket edition was a great opportunity to remind myself why I dig the book so much. If I’m honest I’d never read the introduction so starting there was in order.

Tales of Terror 5e Miniatures — Something Wicked (Foundations) This Way Comes

I’m taking a page out of Nerdarchist Ted’s playbook today to share some news about some highly detailed miniatures to augment your tabletop roleplaying experience. Wicked Foundations: Tales of Terror 5e Miniatures is a live Kickstarter campaign featuring some truly creepy and terrifying minis along with storytelling material to help Game Masters bring the fear!

Running Aberrations and Their Followers in Dungeons & Dragons

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.”  — H. P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

When considering aberrations in your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons games it is important to remember the nature of these horrors. Minds and bodies made of stuff from beyond your campaign world, aberrations are truly alien things without connection to the physical laws and regular psychology of even the most foreign minds. Mastering the presentation of aberrations can be tricky, and to keep them from presenting as nothing more than just another monster require subtlety and often restraint.

D&D Monsters — Kobolds Mounted for Combat

Kobolds are insanely popular D&D monsters. So much so that players want to adopt them as henchmen and followers. Others want to play them as player character races. They’ve gone under bit of a transformation from the kobold from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. In 3.5 D&D they went from being a combination of rat, dog, and lizard to little dragonmen claiming to be the descendants of dragons. Not too long ago we did a video pairing up D&D monsters. Kobolds mounted on other monsters seemed like a lot of fun. We even put together a pay what you want product over on the Dungeon Masters Guild — Kobold Cavalry Encounter. Grab it here.

New Circle for Druid 5E D&D — Worshipping the Froghemoth

Nerdarchy recently partnered with Pacesetter Games & Simulations as well as Vallejo Paints. Use the promo code staynerdy15 for a 15 percent discount on their products. We’ve taken this partnership and built some and cool content for 5E D&D. We kicked things off with Horris the Horned Lord. Most recently we moved on to Abalor the Abhorrent and a dark druid 5E Circle — the Circle from the Beyond. Abalor is based off of the froghemoth model from Pacesetter. It’s a great looking model. You can see it below as painted by Jake Kosman using Vallejo Paints. The froghemoth D&D monster was reintroduced into 5E D&D in Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Part of the awesome Nerdarchy, Pacesetter, and Vallejo team-up is a contest to win a froghemoth both painted, unpainted, and the paints to paint your very own froghemoth miniature. There’s a bunch of ways to enter the contest to win the minis and paints. Check it out here.

D&D Villains: The Charming Monster

Salutations, nerds! I’m back, and ready to hop back into some villainous discussion, and today we are going to be talking about the charming monster. I’m talking about the succubus who smiles even as you know she’d flay you alive if you let your guard down. The nobleman with the winning smile who pays the party with one hand while he’s bribing a pirate mercenary to shake you down for the artifact you refused to sell him with the other. The comely vampire with a high body count. These are the villains who try to charm their way out of trouble. The ones who might try (and sometimes succeed) in seducing party members— often to horrifying results. There is no disgusting description to go with this monster, I’m afraid, they simply are a picture of beauty and grace and are made monstrous

Monstrous Humanoids in 5E D&D

Over the years Dungeons & Dragons has offered many different races for players to choose from. I know that some Dungeon Masters are very much against anything that does not look normal. Let’s forget the dragonborn and tielfing and play with humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes and halflings. With those races there are plenty of options even without all the subrace choices. But if you are like me you enjoy all the choices and you want to play the things that are bizarre and interesting. If you happen to look around this site you will see many different monstrous humanoids I statted out for 5E D&D and even made up some of my own, so feel free to poke around. I’ve had a fondness for monstrous humanoid races from the beginning of my roleplaying days. The Complete Book of Humanoids was always my favorite, with races like the wemic, the ogre mage and of course the dino people — saurials. I used this book over and over again playing second edition AD&D. And now Deck of Many has an free PDF designed for anyone who enjoys anthropomorphic characters for 5E D&D.

5E D&D Monsters Become BFFs and Adventurers Pay the Price

One of my favorite things about Dungeons & Dragons is the monsters. There’s so many incredible creatures throughout the history of D&D! My go-to method for creating adventures in my own games is starting with a monster and developing ideas from there. It’s no surprise the Monster BFF series from Nerdarchy the YouTube channel ranks high on my list of likes. In this series the crew takes two or three 5E D&D monsters, puts them together and discovers what sort of encounter emerges. I’ve had the privilege of sitting in on two planning sessions for these videos and contributing ideas. The first one got me hooked enough to work on an adventure based around the monster pairing. And the second one, in the video below, I helped turn into Nerdarchy’s first Monster BFF product over on the Dungeon Master’s Guild. The Roper Wrangler’s got ropers (duh), it’s got fomorians, it’s got faerzress, it’s got an Underdark location — basically it’s got deadly peril for adventurers who stumble across this encounter. Because sometimes a creature’s gotta hit a creature with another creature.

big monsters

Big Monsters Have More to Love for Exciting D&D Encounters

Part Dungeon Master creativity, part player buy-in, exciting D&D encounters with big monsters in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons have a lot of moving parts to consider. Whether a low level party needs to deal with an awakened tree situation, or a group of characters at the pinnacle of their adventuring careers take on the tarrasque — or Tiamat herself — there’s more to consider than hit points and armor class. Adventuring ain’t easy, and anything from a pack of goblin bandits all the way up to Acererak itself are dangerous foes. But when huge and gangantuan sized D&D creatures squares off against the party, the threat escalates by orders of magnitude. A clever DM looks beyond the stat block, and collaborates with the players to create an immersive and memorable experience.