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
You know those childhood shaping Studio Ghibli movies? Whether it’s the bloody Princess Mononoke or the captivating Howl’s Moving Castle there’s always been something special about the fantastical worlds crafted by the Japanese production company. Today, I want to hone in on one aspect they get really right: the idea of the magical crone. To avoid spoilers for Critical Role Episode 96 onward, skip the following spoiler section. All the spoiler people gone? Cool.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted roll some funny shaped dice and talk about all the ways a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons character can become a dice master. Between the halfling Lucky trait, Lucky and Bountiful Luck feats and a slew of class features the probability of creating a fun, effective dice master character for 5E D&D is quite high. These characters step beyond inexplicable good fortune to begin actively manipulating chance. Call it fate, destiny, karma or kismet the dice master character sees the cascade of cause and effect and inserts themselves into the process. Pretty heady stuff! Dungeon Masters can certainly get in on the action too, and odds bending creatures, areas or magic items can be weal for DMs and woe for adventurers. In Fat of the Land a Rural Pig Sty became a low level adventure for 5E D&D giving adventurers a chance to investigate strange goings on leading back to a small family farm. In this encounter unusual behavior spreads through a town to the misfortune of all.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted hop into One Grung Above to examine the grung as a playable race for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. D&D players from all over (myself included) fell in love with these small humanoid frogs who made their 5E D&D debut in Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Despite their monster entry showing grung as neutral evil slavers, the accompanying art portrays them as cute and the One Grung Above one shot from 2017’s Stream of Annihilation showcased how fun a party of grung adventurers can be. The stats and features for grung player characters have been around for a couple of years through the Dungeon Master’s Guild and were recently added to D&D Beyond to the delight of an army of grung aficionados, with all monies Wizards of the Coast would receive from sales of the product donated to Extra Life. But all that is only prologue to what I’m interested in exploring — creating some special grung feats for 5E D&D characters. So let’s get into it.
Hello! We are introducing a new series here on the website. In Hooked on Adventure we’ll take inspiration from our 3D printed terrain and miniatures to create encounters for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons you can drop right into your game. In Cultivating Chaos we turned the Rural Chicken Coop into an engaging low level adventure for 5E D&D pitting adventurers against demonic forces to save a family farm. In this encounter strange disappearances and transformations lead back to a small farm with a dark history. To enhance the encounter we used Dungeonfog, an online map maker and authoring tool designed for Game Masters, to create a map image for the Rural Chicken Coop. Check out Dungeonfog and use the promo code NERDARCHY to get 10% discount on your first annual and annual-CL (Commercial-License) order here.
Hello! We are introducing a new series here on the website. Nerdarchist Ted takes inspiration from our 3D printed terrain and miniatures to create encounters for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons you can drop right into your game. For his first foray into this territory Ted takes a closer look at our Rural Chicken Coop and designs a fun low level 5E D&D encounter. It’s not uncommon for starting adventurers to take on work clearing out giant spiders or rescuing kidnapped townsfolk from goblins. For this encounter Ted spices things up with Abyssal forces terrorizing a rural homestead and sowing chaos. To enhance the encounter we used Dungeonfog, an online map maker and authoring tool designed for Game Masters, to create a map image for the Rural Chicken Coop. Check out Dungeonfog and use the promo code NERDARCHY to get 10% discount on your first annual and annual-CL (Commercial-License) order here.
Wow, D&D Spell Effects: Halaster’s Tumultuous Templates and D&D Icons of the Realms: Spell Effects: Mighty Conjurations are a mouthfuls for sure. If you are like me than you really dig using battle mats, miniatures terrain and effects to get more visual with your fifth edition Dungeon & Dragons or other roleplaying games. So I want to tell you about these two wonderful sets from WizKids. Halaster’s Tumultuous Templates and Spell Effects: Mighty Conjurations both allow you to add these lasting effects at your table so players and Dungeon Masters alike will have no question where any effects are, ending any potential dispute.
As promised in The Secret History of Giants I’m following up with The Secret History of Mermaids and Creatures of the Deep, by Ari Berk. Along with The Secret History of Hobgoblins this series’ compelling cover art and design caught my attention and as a folklore and kitschy monster stuff fan I ordered them. Along with being enjoyable reads these interactive children’s mythology books are filled with fun ideas for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Let’s dive into The Secret History of Mermaids and Creatures of the Deep bring some fresh ideas to the surface for our 5E D&D games.
Over at Nerdarhcy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted shot a video response to Making Enemies in 5E Witchery from Zee Bashew. The idea is taking the way monsters and monster hunting are presented in the world of The Witcher and apply the concepts to 5E D&D. What I really dig about this approach is how it encompasses several components to help players create more engaging and exciting stories together with the Dungeon Master. Since we started playing a Nerdarchy team campaign last week with a fresh party of 1st level characters I thought it would be fun and useful to use the Witcher style monsters discussed in the videos by Zee Bashew and our own Dave and Ted to create a terrifying monster for the Adventurers of Adventure to face off against. So let’s get into it, lay down the ground rules and create a Witcher style monster for 5E D&D.
Browsing around Amazon recently I saw a recommendation for The Secret History of Giants, by Ari Berk. The compelling cover art and design caught my attention and I'm a sucker for folklore and kitschy monster stuff so I ordered a copy. Turns out the book...