Remember how monsters were such a big thing in the ’90s and early aughts? If you grew up in that time (like I did) then you’d be hard pressed to have avoided any number of monster themed TV shows, games and the like. Shows like Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Animorphs and many more showcased monsters in a variety of contexts from creepy to vicious to the occasional twist or subversion of the benevolent monster. And then you had the genre that really grabbed my young attention and held it for hours — monsters as allies and companions. I remember waking up at the ghastly hour of 5 a.m. many days just to watch Monster Rancher (now on Amazon Prime and I’m stoked!). As soon as I got off school I watched Pokémon then Digimon before starting on homework. Something about having a loyal friend just as big and scary as the things opposing the main characters made those shows special. It made it feel like the heroes had a real shot at winning, and it gave into the power fantasy of fighting fire with fire. It also helped teach me not to judge people and situations by initial impressions. After all, if the heroes in my favorite shows and games could befriend monsters, maybe making friends in general wasn’t as scary as I often felt.
In this fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons adventure a party catches wind of villagers gone missing. If you’ve played D&D for any length of time this scenario arises fairly commonly — someone or groups of people often need rescuing — with perilous circumstances on both sides. In this case a Demon Priest of Yeenoghu orchestrates a diabolical plan to swell the ranks of gnolls in the area. Thankfully adventurers take up the cause to put a stop to the demonic designs.
Are your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons adventurers afraid of the dark? After a jaunt into a world perpetual darkness to face the threat of the Void Eye, they will be. I felt inspired to create some new stuff to go along with Gaze of the Void eye over at Nerdarchy the Store. You might find this new NPC shadow assassin and their powerful magic rings useful to add as a precursor to an evening adventure or to take your campaign in an unexpected direction. Lair of the Void’s Eye should challenge 4-6 characters of 10th-14th level, plus there’s new Shadow Spells, magic items, creatures including Bharagru the void eye and tools for traversing a 5E D&D world of darkness.
Most of the time when a D&D Dungeon Master calls for everyone to roll initiative you have two choices. Your characters can stand and fight looking to slay whatever creature stands before them or they can run away to live another day. Player characters rarely seek to keep their opponents alive in battle, and hostile monsters definitely do their best to kill adventurers. On rare occasions combat might cease and segue to a roleplaying discussion. In this encounter a group of villagers tasks adventurers with occupying the attention of a froghemoth while they perform a ritual to restore its mind. For the villagers you can use grung, bullywugs or any swamp dwelling race you like. When I ran this, I used grung as I had a grung character in the party.
D&D Petrification Tip No. 1: An Adventure with Lifelike Humanoid Statues Definitely Puts You in Peril
Salutations, nerds! It’s time again to share the inside track on upcoming content for Nerdarchy the Patreon. Allow me to present to you the Garden of Statuary. Every month supporters at the $2 level and above receive early access to digital products bound for Nerdarchy the Store. The themes for June are stone and petrification so bring along your basilisks for new stone themed magic items, an NPC with a stone fist and a chip on his shoulder, a handful of new monsters and an adventure featuring them all.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted get wrapped up discussing the mummy lord for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. I took a close look at this creature entry in the 5E D&D Monster Manual after watching The Mummy, a 2017 film starring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella and Annabelle Wallis. It blew me away! The classic monster’s representation in the game is spectacular and if I’m honest I couldn’t believe we don’t see mummies and mummy lords featured more prominently in adventures. They make incredible antagonists with built in features and flair practically begging to become an ongoing antagonist keeping adventurers on their toes.
Over two years ago we had one of our writers make a fun way to look at beholders in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons in a different way. What if their eye rays and central eye were different spell options than what is listed in the book? It is a great post and I have played around with it for sure. You can check out the original D&D Beholder — Randomized! post here. With the world in a state of pandemic I have been doing a lot more crafting and I have gone in many directions. However, today I found inspiration to make a D&D beholder even though I had actually just finished a pretty kick ass beholder last weekend. But who am I to argue with inspiration?
Salutations, nerds! April is starting to wind down and that means it’s time for May. We’re heading to the beach to discover a tropical island cove and the denizens living there in our upcoming Patreon rewards. Every month supporters at the $2 level and above receive early access to digital products bound for Nerdarchy the Store. Wizard’s Wake serves as the centerpiece for this Fifth Edition supplement. This non-euclidean shipwreck holds loads of interesting booty inside. There are five new magic items, four new monsters and a couple of new player races inspired by some of the creatures of the Galapagos Islands. Clerics can put their faith in the Travel Domain and the Circle of the Sea lures druids with powers inspired by the enigmatic anglerfish.
[caption id="attachment_64454" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Some werefrogs have allegiance to no one, and may have been descended from spawn of Ramenos or some other frog power. Many current day werefrogs are linked to Muckwuggle. They are known as the Batrachians. [Art by Ashkan Ghanbari][/caption] Werefrog Medium humanoid, neutral...
When I say mind flayer or illithid I am certain thoughts of a tentacle faced creature looking to consume your brain or dominate your mind come rushing into your thoughts. With a long gaming history every single mind flayer I have encountered or even heard about has been a villain, set out to control the subterranean worlds where they live and serve the elder brains as well as themselves. Long ago in the early days of Critical Role Matt Mercer used an illithid to aid the party because it helped with the mind flayer’s personal goals. Did they separate on even and just terms? No, they did not. It goes to show you really should be wary of trusting an illithid. Before I dive into this, Hero Forge has just released the Octofolk over on their website, allowing you to make mind flayer custom miniatures for your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons games or a close approximation and they look incredibly sweet. I have already designed my first one and I am eagerly looking forward to getting the miniature.
Salutations, nerds! Things are about to get a little hairy in April. All right, that was almost a bald faced lie. Things are about to get a lot hairy. That’s right, we’re revisiting Beardomancy. And if you liked the beardomancer, get ready, because you’ll be in for a good time with the Hairible Ideas supplement for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Last April’s Beardomancy was so popular with players (and us!) that we couldn’t bear to part ways with the strange world of the Beard Dimension. This time around it’s not only wizards who’re having a good hair day, with beardomantic energy affecting five other classes, new magic items and spells, and literally every creature in the entire game.
Hey there readers! Ryan from 2CGaming here, and I’m an expert in Tier 3 & 4 play for fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a tough area of the game to play in. The players are likely wielding characters of obscene power and your monsters are struggling to keep pace. Everything is more complicated and the hours you just spent carefully constructing your arch-lich villain got smashed to smithereens by a paladin scoring a lucky critical hit on turn one. These problems are hard to overcome and are omnipresent in high level 5E. But fear not, for these obstacles are not insurmountable. It’s totally worth the effort too, as high-level games are uniquely spectacular when run well. I’m here to share with you a process by which we make Tier 3 & 4 games some of the most exciting experiences at your game table by showcasing how we at 2CGaming approach monster design.
Never one to leave a writing series dangling, I promised in The Secret History of Merfolk to follow up with the third and final book in the series by Ari Berk. The Secret History of Hobgoblins presents another tapestry of folklore and kitschy monster stuff...
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted fulfill a community request to create a master of disguise for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. In the video Dave and Ted discuss skill, feats, class features and spells players have to work with for making a master of disguise character. There’s plenty of options in 5E D&D for characters seeking to disguise themselves, from mundane to magical means including inherent abilities like a kenku’s Mimicry trait and a changeling’s Shapechanger trait. Players who focus on their character’s ability to alter their appearance open avenues to adventure a more straightforward character might not find easily accessible. But for Dungeon Masters, fear not! You’ve got even more tools to work with including a robust list of creatures whose mastery of disguise open up pathways for you to introduce adventure too — right under the party’s noses! Let’s get into it and take a look at creatures with the Shapechanger trait making them masters of disguise for 5E D&D.
“Welcome to the Balip — Nop Pop. Trust me, it sounds more terrifying if you spoke my native language. Here we are freedom fighters, naturalists and, well, if I may be so bold, heroes! I am sure by now you have seen or at least heard of the Planar Zoo. Ran-Kitra has been taking creatures from their homes and putting them on display. Humans, orcs and other intelligent species are taken from their families and shoved into unfamiliar surroundings to be watched by those who purchase tickets. It is up to us to rescue them and return them to their native homes.” — Excerpt from a recruitment speech for Balip — Nop Pop