Over on the Nerdarchy YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted battle with the idea of an all artificer party for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Exploring this popular video series here on the website and sharing my take on the concept of single party composition remains my favorite writing gig. Artificers in 5E D&D cover a lot of bases with a wide variety of skills and magic, also holding the distinction of being the only official character class from outside the Player’s Handbook. Artificers appear in Eberron: Rising from the Last War with three subclasses to form a foundation in our D&D campaign setting of academia for each particular character class. Students at Artificer Specialists hone their craft at invention with the top minds in the field. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take a look at magic items in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons with an eye towards the ones particularly beneficial for a warlock. Like the discussion on top magic items for rogues this is an unusual topic because it’s rare for a character to choose magic items. However there’s a few opportunities I can think of off the top of my head. In Adventurers League play items can be traded on a one-for-one basis for items with the same rarity at a cost of 15 downtime days unless they’re playing at the same table. Games beginning beyond 1st level often allow for players to choose magic items too, like in our own monthly fan one shots. And in the Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign I’m currently running, one of the NPCs in town acts as a magic item broker who takes requests, and I imagine other 5E D&D adventures contain similar opportunities. But this is Top 10 by a Factor of Three! All the official content gets thrown out the window as we browse homebrew magic items at D&D Beyond looking for the best ones for warlock characters. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted read between the lines of tabletop roleplaying game rulebooks and discuss the unwritten rule, at least insofar as fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons is concerned — the Rule of Cool. While it may be implied in text and encouraged in practice there is really no codified passage on how to implement this concept. I vacillated on my perspective with this notion, especially since it comes on the heels of a recent video about Rule Zero. On the one hand when it comes to storytelling games like 5E D&D I rather enjoy both aspects — the storytelling and the game parts. On the other, the distinction between the two best I figure is one relies on a game’s rules from which to make a ruling and the other essentially ignores the rules completely.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted answer a question from the RPG community. This time around a player looking to play fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons for the first time followed the most classic advice for finding a game — offer to run one yourself! This first time Game Master comes in with a concern almost as old as D&D itself, explaining how a player in their campaign reads ahead in the official adventures they’re playing through and comes to each session with intimate knowledge of what lies ahead. Puzzles are solved with ease, hidden elements lay bare before them and crucial decision points fall in their favor far too often for the player’s claim of getting lucky. In the video Dave and Ted offer several suggestions for handling these situations but I’m curious if there’s any opportunity to make this work in the GM’s favor. Call it metagaming or cheating, can we find a way to turn spoilers into assistors? Let’s get into it and find out.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted explain one of the most often misunderstood options in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons — spell slots and multiclassing. Chapter 6 of the Player’s Handbook is all about Customization Options, which essentially covers multiclassing and feats. (Yes, both of these are optional 5E D&D features — not core to the game!) How many spell slots does your Eldritch Knight fighter/Fiend warlock character have? Can you use Sorcery Points to get back cleric spell slots? Why can’t you cast fireball if your overall character level is 5th and you’ve got 3rd level spell slots?! All of these questions and more are covered in the video so what I’d like to do is side step the discussion but keep the focus on spell slots. These expendable resources determine how, what and how often a character can manipulate and dole out magical energy. But they can also be used for all sorts of other things in 5E D&D too. Every class comes with some feature or resource, and recently Unearthed Arcana playtest documents explore using these resources in new and unusual ways. I like the sound of this very much.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted drill down on what’s known in tabletop roleplaying games at Rule Zero, more specifically as this gaming tradition is described in the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide. The common understanding of Rule Zero as it pertains to RPGs like 5E D&D is a reminder to players that a Game Master has to exercise common sense and can to supersede the rules when the they would ruin enjoyment and fair play. With this in mind following Rule Zero in practice comes down to one thing: trust. There’s a responsibility from all participants in an RPG, GM and players alike, so this trust goes both ways and the results are fun experiences for everyone involved.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted answer a GM 911 from a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons player looking for guidance. In this case the player plays a high level assassin character and wishes to start their own assassin’s guild. They’ve already spoken with their Dungeon Master who expressed skepticism about the character’s ability to do this. In the video Dave and Ted go over things to consider when it comes to establishing an organization like this in general, with particular focus on an assassin’s guild. Starting a business of any kind is quite an undertaking whether it’s here in the real world or part of your fantasy campaign setting. Creating a business where the product is murder adds quite a few wrinkles depending on the nature of the setting. If you’re a 5E D&D DM or player interested in exploring this sort of scenario in your game you’re in for a treat!
Are you awakened? Do you have the mental fortitude to manifest your will into being, warping the very fabric of reality itself? Psionics have been a staple of Dungeons & Dragons worlds since the early days. Traditionally psionic powers stem from Intelligence, but the latest Unearthed Arcana 2020 — Psionic Options Revisited for fifth edition D&D offers new perspectives and options, leaving the traditional Intelligence exclusive model. So let’s talk about flavor and what the different subclasses look like contextually when it comes to psionics in 5E D&D.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted answer a GM 911 for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. One of the players in their game keeps trying to over impose their backstory into the campaign without considering the party or the ongoing story. The disruptive player adds things on the fly about their backstory and other players feel this hinders the rest of the party. They’re already followed the best advice — a respectful conversation — but it didn’t work and the Game Master doesn’t want to essentially destroy this other character by ignoring an important part of their makeup. In the video Dave and Ted touch on several suggestions and for my 2 cp the best solution isn’t to work on ways to move around or past this scenario. Instead, this seems like a great opportunity to expand on a bit of valuable player advice and rather than avoid this, lean into it.
Over on the Nerdarchy YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted battle with the idea of an all fighter party for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. We’ve had a lot of fun exploring this popular video series and here on the website I’m sharing my take on the concept of single party composition. An all fighter party in 5E D&D covers combat with aplomb. You might think party composition like this lacks diversity outside a fight though, but you’d be mistaken. Because fighters focus primarily on pure combat this leaves plenty of creative space to round out your fighter with diverse skills and features. In a D&D campaign setting of academia for each particular character class, students at Martial Archetypes receive certified training in combat technique but there’s a wide array of electives to help shape hearts and minds for more than fighting. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel we create a lot of video content. There’s thousands of videos celebrating our passion for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop roleplaying games. (But yes, mostly D&D. We love the game!) One of our favorite videos to make are the Adventurers League Character Build Guides. We come up with a character concept and put it together soup to nuts. Along the way we explain why particular choices get made, building a character from 1st-20th level. Mechanical elements certainly factor heavily into decision making but practical reasoning and roleplaying share equal importance. For a little inside baseball it is almost always the latter ideas where a CBG begins. At the moment we’ve got 32 CBGs over at Dungeon Masters Guild, all pay what you want. Nine of them have achieved copper bestseller or better status, and there’s also four other PWYW products over there, which are encounters or adventures you can drop right into your 5E D&D game. Today I’m here to share one of my favorite CBGs, one I’ve been playing in a wonderfully fun game run by Esper the Bard on his YouTube channel.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted compare and contrast racial feats for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Elemental Evil Player’s Companion introduced racial feats to 5E D&D with Svirfneblin Magic, a remarkable feat for one of my personal favorite character options in D&D. Deep gnomes rock y’all and you could do a lot worse than a svirfneblin Abjuration wizard with the Svirfneblin Magic feat. Protip: Pretty awesome for a deep gnome Circle of Spores druid too. It’s a great feat and you’ll note in the video makes the list with Dave and Ted too. But they cover all the ins and outs and ups and downs of racial feats in 5E D&D. My curiosity piqued after noticing of the 17 racial feats divided up among nine races (plus one with a racial size prerequisite) only one of those races meets the criteria for just a single feat. Being human fulfills the prerequisite for Prodigy — another well regarded one in the discussion — and no more. I think we ought to remedy this and create a new 5E D&D feat just for humans. So let’s get into it.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted get back to basics and discuss the paladin class for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. In the video they look across all of the 5E D&D books with paladin content. There are paladin subclasses in the Player’s Handbook, Sword Coast Adventurers Guide and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and Dave and Ted share an overview of the character class plus weigh in on their personal gaming experiences. Outside of official sources there are countless Sacred Oaths created by players all over the world. We’ve created one recently for our April early access Patreon rewards. The Oath of Vanity included with Hairable Ideas as a follow up to 2019’s popular Beardomancy will hit the store next month but you can get it now along with all our other supporters at the $2 level plus get immediate access to years worth of previous rewards. Check it out here. Over at Dungeon Master’s Guild there’s currently 681 products tagged as character options with warlock content too. But there is another source of homebrew content I’m looking at today — D&D Beyond, where people have used the homebrew tools there to create 600 Sacred Oaths for 5E D&D paladins. Let’s get into it and take a closer look at some!
During a recent conversation with Nerdarchist Ted he told me about a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons game he ran. Each month Ted runs a live stream game sponsored by RPG Crate. Time was a factor for these sessions, which typically run about two and a half hours. Because the adventures included in the monthly subscription box are packed with content Ted streamlines things to adjust for his group and the time constraint but in the most recent session the game threatened to end before the party reached a satisfying conclusion. Ted felt in a pickle. An idea sprang to his mind, and he utilized player agency in a wonderful way as a solution. His DM tale stuck in my mind and I’d like to share some thoughts on how player agency can be an incredibly useful tool for a Dungeon Master. So let’s get into it and as bonus I pulled the video of Ted’s game. Enjoy!
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted share their arcane research into Unearthed Arcana 2020 — Spells and Magic Tattoos. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Unearthed Arcana present something other than subclasses. We saw Class Feature Variants last November, a couple of takes on the artificer around spring 2019 and Sidekicks in Dec. 2018. It’s a terrific treat to see something different! Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing new subclasses (almost as much as designing them) but expanding what fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons can do beyond character class features gives us more tools to explore our worlds as we tell stories of fighting monsters and finding treasure as they progress in power. In the case of \this latest playtest material I’m thinking about interesting ways to add content from the Unearthed Arcana document into 5E D&D campaigns.