Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted do their own thang and come up with a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons version of David S. Pumpkins, a bizarre character created for a Halloween sketch on Saturday Night Live in 2016 and revisited for the David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special in 2017. In the video they discuss the powers and abilities of the “Santa Claus for Halloween” in terms of player character options along with creating a character sheet for the absurd character played by Tom Hanks. But David S. Pumpkins is about as far from a 5E D&D character as they come and I’m not so sure he’d even work as a 5E D&D monster or NPC stat block either. The Halloween icon is his own thing after all. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted dismiss the abstraction of hit points and delve deeper into monsters who don’t care how tough your character is in combat and other dangerous situations. Instead these threats target something much more precious — and difficult to recover. Monsters causing ability score damage, loss or reduction in 5E D&D are few and far between and thankfully so since recovering from these effects ain’t no walk in the park. At the same time they represent a different kind of horror and a campaign highlighting these awful creatures might just make players never look at things the same way ever again. So let’s get into it.
A new book for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons released and with it another fantastic set of miniatures blows in from the north courtesy of our friends over at WizKids. Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frost Maiden pits players against a harsh winter environment and the denizens dwelling there. So whether you are running this adventure or looking for awesome winter themed miniatures these ones certainly inspire some great roleplaying games. The Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden set of miniatures comes with over 40 options in blind purchase boxes as well as a massive Chardalyn Dragon miniature as part of the D&D: Icons of the Realms series available for purchase singly.
We receive requests fairly regularly around the ol’ Nerdarchy offices and we’re happy to oblige whether they’re character builds for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, Game Master advice or in this case an appeal for more flumph! Over on our Facebook page we were asked, “Could you do an article about the flumph? They are the red headed step child of the aberration family.” Flumphs have been a part of D&D since 1981’s Fiend Folio, a sourcebook of monsters for first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and appear in every edition since. In 5E D&D flumphs appear in the Monster Manual and several adventures. In my own homebrew setting they exist canonically on the shores of the Undersea of Fallen Stars where they were encountered by the cast and crew of Ingest Quest, the 5E D&D Spelljammer campaign over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel. Like so many D&D nerds out there I think flumphs are pretty cool but if I’m honest I don’t know a whole lot about these aberrations. So let’s get into it.
Ultimate Bestiary Miniatures unleashes a horde of of monstrous humanoids on your fantasy campaign setting and your tabletop through the latest Kickstarter from our friends at Nord Games. Revenge of the Horde introduced us to these awesome creators in the first place and over the years they consistently go all out on their products whether they’re books, card decks or in this case tabletop miniatures — a lot of them.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take a look at the savage raiders and pillagers with stooped postures, low foreheads, and piggish faces with prominent lower canines that resemble tusks in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Orcs have been a staple of D&D and fantasy in general forever, typically as a threat looming in the wilderness on the edges of civilization. Volo’s Guide to monsters does a good job expanding on orcs for 5E D&D essentially as divinely driven destroyers, a pretty one note portrayal. Campaign settings offer a window into different kinds of orc societies like you’ll find in Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount and Eberron: Rising from the Last War and Dave and Ted climb in through that window to make themselves at home and offer up three new ways to reimagine orcs for players and Dungeons Masters alike by adding just a few simple details.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take a look at the small, black-hearted, selfish humanoids that lair in caves, abandoned mines, despoiled dungeons, and other dismal settings in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Goblins have been a staple of D&D and fantasy in general forever, usually as a threat to heroes because of their vast numbers and malice. Interestingly enough 5E D&D hasn’t expanded a whole lot on goblins beyond the regular old goblin in the Basic Rules and goblin boss in the Monster Manual, mechanically anyway. Instead goblins are explored more culturally like the Batiri goblins from Tomb of Annihilation and this is exactly the kind of path Dave and Ted take even further in the video to illustrate how any creatures — even ubiquitous ones like goblins — can be reimagined in exciting new ways for players and Dungeons Masters alike by adding just a few simple details.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discuss changing up your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons games through worldbuilding and getting weird with your campaign ideas. According to the 5E D&D Player’s Handbook “the many worlds of the Dungeons & Dragons game are places of magic and monsters, of brave warriors and spectacular adventures. They begin with a foundation of medieval fantasy and then add the creatures, places, and magic that make these worlds unique.” With such a succinct description for the Worlds of Adventure where our campaigns take place and stories emerge we’ve got a great starting point for developing our own ideas for nonstandard games. Since we’ve got a tremendous number of posts here on Nerdarchy the Website exploring nonstandard campaign ideas along with tips and suggestions from the video this feels like a terrific opportunity to mash all these things together. So let’s get into it.
Dragons are an important part of Dungeons & Dragons. Lets face it — they’re built right into the name of the game I have been playing for almost 30 years. Gem dragons came to my notice in third edition D&D through the Monster Manual 2, an edition with five such books as well as several others with monsters. But when you have something as amazingly powerful as gem dragons do you really want them to be a throw away in a sequel book? Dragons have a rich lore, with metallic dragons being the good ones and chromatic dragons the bad ones. There is a bit of safety built into knowing you can trust the dragon or if it will betray you or eat you because of the scale color. Granted, dragons are individuals who have their own set of ideals and morals, but good is good and evil is evil. So how do you handle neutral gem dragons represented the middle ground like the sapphire dragon in 5E D&D?
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted feel the magic and hear the roar, discussing the best class for leonin in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Leonin let loose on the 5E D&D scene by way of Mythic Odysseys of Theros, an exciting addition to the multiverse from the planes of Magic: The Gathering. Leonin are lionlike humanoids and in the lore of M:tG developed a culture strongly valuing honor and religion. The leonin of Theros developed differently in terms of culture, making a conscious effort to separate themselves from other races and largely abandoning deity worship. As the second and most recently catlike humanoid official 5E D&D race option it seems to me people gravitate towards leonin over tabaxi and all viewers of the video left lots of great comments with their own leonin character ideas. I got caught up in the fun too so I thought I’d share some of them here and create a very special leonin NPC you can drop right into your game too. So let’s get into it.
Dungeons & Dragons has a long tradition of making monsters that are a mashup of different things, creatures inspired by legends and mythology and creatures that are mixed together and combined. The owlbear is one such iconic monster mashup of D&D and over the years a few here and there get added to the game. Other creations pay homage to this tradition by combining creatures together as part of the worldbuilding. My kids and I watched Avatar: The Last Airbender and combined creatures abound in the series, sparking my imagination to create something new for 5E D&D.
When you look at prepainted miniatures for tabletop gaming WizKids continues to stay at the top of the game. Whether you are playing Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder or any number of other fantasy roleplaying games, miniatures from WizKids are great and the new City of Lost Omens set is no exception. I always look forward to the next set of miniatures from WizKids as each one gives me new options for threats to challenge characters and adventuring parties. In addition to the blind purchase in recent years WizKids began doing the nonblind purchase associated with each set. I am a huge nerd and collector when it comes to miniatures in particular. The minis included with City of Lost Omens inspired tons of ideas to bring to the gaming table already.
Nerdarchist Ted here to expand upon the lovely post written by Steven about the vulpin, a foxfolk race for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons right on our site here. I think this is a great start and I wanted to expand upon it by making a new racial feat available for the foxfolk race that captures some of the Japanese folklore about the mythical figures called kitsune. And for Dungeon Masters out there I’ve included a vulpin spirit caller ready to drop right into your campaign as an insightful NPC. Whether you’re a player or DM, or simply think foxfolk are really fun and cool you can create your own customized miniature and get it 3D printed — in full color — from the amazing Hero Forge.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted find frosty inspiration from the upcoming Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden and create a fast and dirty monster for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. A blood rime is an ooze creature attracted to warm blood found in arctic regions and since Dave and Ted hammer out the basics in the video, here on the website we’ll get down to crunchy brass tacks and put together a stat block along with some lore to give Dungeon Masters some ideas on how to incorporate this cold terror into their 5E D&D games. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted explore the dark side of druids in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. In the video they share three ideas for evil druid concepts to explore in 5E D&D from a Dungeon Master’s perspective. Creating villains informed by character classes presents a unique opportunity to homebrew new custom creatures and NPCs. Our approach to these sorts of creatures involves plucking class features, spells and other player character abilities and modifying them to creature traits. If you plan to create your own evil druid antagonists for your 5E D&D campaigns I highly recommend this method as opposed to creating a player character version of a creature. But that’s a discussion for another time. Right now we’re taking the next step when it comes to evil druid villains and considering the minions serving them. Who or what does the bidding of an evil druid? Let’s get into it and find out.