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Nerdarchy > Dungeons & Dragons  > Monsters (Page 7)
5E D&D Icewind Dale Rime of the Frostmaiden

5E D&D Adventurers are the Warmest Place to Hide for the Blood Rime Monster

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.

Evil Druids and the Evil Beasts, Elementals and Plant Creatures Serving Them in 5E D&D

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.

5E D&D golden chimera good monster

Encounter the Golden Chimera and Other Good Monsters in Your 5E D&D Game

A chimera in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons combines the most terrifying traits of the creatures that comprise its form to make it a being destined for evil. What if you flipped that around? An entity that exemplifies the best ideals of its component creatures becomes a golden chimera. The lion is still proud, but rather than being a ruthless hunter for prey it hunts evil with fierce skill and deadly precision. The dragon aspect is drawn from a metallic variety, hoarding knowledge and wisdom to share and exchange with others rather than greedily gathering gold and treasure. The majestic eagle head gives the creature not only more hunting skill but a sense of honor and duty.

If You’ve Got a 5E D&D Mind Flayer Campaign, Flaunt It!

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted tackle a GM 911 from the community. In this fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s campaign mind flayers turned important NPCs into thralls. Volo’s Guide to Monsters goes into detail about these agents of the elder brains, and they’ve requested some insight. Specifically they’d like to know how to create encounters and adventures designed for characters to discover, identify and deal with the unique version of thralls described in VGtM. This is one of the rare cases where I’ve got a much different view than Dave and Ted on how to approach the situation and thankfully Nerdarchy the Website provides a perfect place where I can share my thoughts on the matter. So let’s get into it and take a different approach to using mind flayers and their thralls in 5E D&D.

Invoke Planar Powers with Hero Forge Celestials and Infernals in 5E D&D

In the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, or really any fantasy based roleplaying game the theology is very important. In the real world, where we all live our daily lives, I think a smaller amount of people think about their immortal soul than those who live in a world where it is incontrovertible that magic exists and there is an afterlife. It is even possible to visit the realm of the dead or come back to life. With this in mind and considering there are agents working both sides, why are angels and fiends not seeing more of a hand in the events of the mortal world? We know there are playable races with divine or fiendish blood, and we hopefully do not need a biology lesson of the birds and bees to know how you got there, but why are the celestials not serving major cities as advisors, looking out for a family line? Or why are their not infernals attempting to do the same?

Monster Morale with Meaning for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! Today we’re going to talk about monsters and their tendency to fight to the death every single time in tabletop roleplaying games like fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Now, I’m not saying they should break and run every single time but morale is a real thing. Dungeon Masters have a tendency to get into the middle of a game and hit a point where we’re thinking about the things on the battlefield just as things on the battlefield for the adventurers to hit then vend treasure and experience points from. But it matters why the monsters are on the field and what they’re trying to accomplish. A group of goblins who got bullied into joining this fight by a much larger hobgoblin probably aren’t going to stick around, for example, after their hobgoblin bully gets decapitated. Consider what monsters are trying to take and what they’re trying to protect. What are the stakes for your 5E D&D antagonists and creatures and what happens if they lose? Is it going to be worse than dying?

Playing D&D in the World of Avatar: The Last Airbender

I just blew though the Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix in about four days and really enjoyed this television series. If you are looking for a great TV show to binge I cannot recommend this strongly enough. To me it is clear the creator of this is a fan of Dungeons & Dragons with all the hybrid animals, which has always been a classic D&D staple originating with the owlbear. The challenge in running a D&D game in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender is a heavy on unarmed martial combat. This is easily fixed with characters either taking a level in monk or taking the feat Tavern Brawler. (The name of the feat does not mean you are limited to bar fights.) We should not get attached to how things are named unless it take us down a hole we cannot escape from. So let’s get into it further.

5E D&D monster actions

Tame Monsters with the Creature Keeper 5E D&D Warlock Patron

It may be my recent kick of Monster Rancher on Amazon Prime or it may be my continued obsession with the monster taming genre on the whole but I’ve kept mulling over a monster taming campaign for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. A lot of it is sparked by the Bestiary of Benevolent Monsters right in our own Nerdarchy the Store here and I just couldn’t get it out of my head — there had to be a way to tame some of the amazing creatures in this supplement. At first I thought making a new Ranger Archetype would be the way to go but ranger just didn’t quite capture it for me. Then I figured maybe it could be a feat? But I quickly realized it would require multiple feats and end up becoming far too complicated. Then it hit me — warlock! Suppose there were an Otherworldly Patron whose motives were less sinister and more misunderstood? Maybe this patron wants to protect all life? But no, because druids and clerics already serve the gods and the fey. I needed something else, a different theme. At last I had an epiphany. I would return to the roots of what I wanted to recreate — monsters! Thus was the inspiration for the Creature Keeper, a being (not quite a god) all about protecting the lives of monstrosities.

Give Your Monsters Personality with Alignment in 5E D&D

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.

Hooked on Adventure — Too Many Gnolls

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.

New 5E D&D Magic Rings from the Gaze of the Void Eye

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.

Hooked on Adventure — A Froghemoth in Your Throat

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.

The Time is Now for 5E D&D Mummy Lords

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.

Crafting New Randomized Beholders for D&D

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?