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D&D Party Composition — Playing an All Paladin Party

Over on the Nerdarchy YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted explore the idea of an all paladin party for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This video series continues to prove popular and I’m sharing my take on the concept of single party composition here on the website. Playing an all paladin party in 5E D&D makes for one strong party with solid defense, offense, buffs and healing — the total package, right? While Dave and Ted share their insights into 5E D&D party composition in the video I’m more concerned about a different kind of strength from a paladin — the strength of their conviction. When it comes to a campaign setting of academia for each particular character class, let’s get into it and see how students at Sacred Oaths get graded on how well they uphold the tenets of their oath and not how awesome they are in combat.

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Any Adventurer Can Become a Warhammer Slayer in 5E D&D

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted borrow some inspiration from the Warhammer Fantasy universe and share ideas about the dwarven slayers of the setting. In the video they consider various fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons options to recreate the iconic dwarf warrior for 5E D&D. I used to play Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay decades ago and definitely recall these berserkers from their appearance right on the cover of the rulebook. While we planned the video and did some research, what really captured my attention is the process to become a dwarf slayer and how they take a name from the ferocious creatures they slay. In my imagination any 5E D&D character might aspire to become such a slayer. Instead of marking out a character path to simulate these slayers I think it might be fun and interesting to come up with some special goals and rewards for adventurers who dedicate the entire fiber of their being to the hardest and most destructive life of battle that they can possibly find.

Worldbuilding Opportunities Through Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount — Spells

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted unravel esoteric arcane mysteries from Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount and discuss new spells for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons in the latest book. Powerful magic energy called dunamis manipulates fundamental forces of the multiverse to alter time, potential and gravity. Dunamancers study this ancient magic and gain the ability to control those forces through deeper understanding of cosmic mysteries. The collection of new 5E D&D spells in the book represent a handful of known dunamis spells, and they are powerful. A terrific sidebar offers suggestions for introducing dunamis spells into your campaign so if we’re looking for collaborative worldbuilding for Dungeon Masters and players, the rubber meets the road here. Crunchy spell effects notwithstanding, introducing new spells presents a great opportunity for DMs and players to collaborate, explore and expand on a campaign setting together.

Worldbuilding Opportunities Through Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount — Classes

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted continue their look through Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount with a look at the new fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons subclasses in the latest book. Echo Knight fighter, Chronurgy Magic wizard and Graviturgy Magic wizard join the ranks of official  subclasses in the 5E D&D multiverse and the same things interest me about these options as the new races in the book. Shove all the crunchy bits aside, new character options present fantastic opportunities for worldbuilding and whether it starts with a Dungeon Master or the players in the adventuring party, any component of character creation or development becomes a wealth of ways for DMs and players to collaborate, explore and expand on a campaign setting together.

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Entangle Your 5E D&D Characters with New Beardomantic Feats

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discuss how wizards can make meaningful choices for feats in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. in 5E D&D wizards for the most part rely on a single ability score — Intelligence — for their features and abilities, including their spellcasting. So when a wizard character reaches 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th levels and earns an Ability Score Improvement, once the character hits that sweet 20 Intelligence the option to choose a feat becomes tremendously appealing. And of course a human variant character can choose a feat right at 1st level. In the video Dave and Ted go over several groups of feats a wizard can take to increase effectiveness in combat, lean into their scholarly side or enhance their already impressive spellcasting potential. Over here on the website we thought it would be fun to create a new feat or two designed with wizards in mind. And since we’re giving away three free digital Adventures & Supplements we’ll tie them into Beardomancy, one of our most popular products that’s getting a follow up in just a few days from now.

5E D&D Wildemount races

Worldbuilding Opportunities Through Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount — Races

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted cracked open a fresh copy of Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount to go over the new player options for races for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons characters. Dave and Ted talk about the new races and their mechanical attributes, and in that regard the book contains five new options: pallid elf, lotusden halfling, draconblood and ravenite dragonborn and orcs of Exandria. New player options are always a welcome addition to 5E D&D and it’s fun to examine new races to see what classes they mesh with through their traits and attributes. But what really interests me about Character Options — Races in Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount isn’t the crunchy parts at all. Rather, I’m fascinated by the example of worldbuilding through all the existing options we already had and how Matt Mercer takes things we already know and enriches his own campaign setting with them. Worldbuilding doesn’t start or stop with a Dungeon Master, and the most basic component of character creation offers a terrific example of how this aspect of the game provides fertile ground for players and DMs to collaborate and build things together.

Top 10 5E D&D Summoning Spells by a Factor of Three

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted carefully conjure some conversation about summoning spells and effects in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. There’s 17 spells with the summoning tag in official 5E D&D sources according to D&D Beyond and of course untold numbers of homebrew and third party creations. Looking at homebrew summoning spells at DDB there’s currently 818 spells with the power to conjure things into existence. Unlike the analysis of illusion spells, this time we won’t limit the list to wizards. Spells that add more creatures into the mix can be challenging to manage for players and Dungeon Masters alike. But it’s also fun to play a conjurer or summoner. I played a character focused on summoning in an earlier edition and I had a great time organizing info and collecting miniatures for the various creatures they could conjure. There’s definitely a few homebrew summoning spells I discovered while writing this I would have enjoyed casting back then. So let’s look at the homebrew summoning spells at D&D Beyond and see what sorts of strange conjurations a spellcaster can call forth.

Theros? But What About Your Favorite D&D Campaign Setting?!

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted speculate on what we might see in the upcoming fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons book Mythic Odysseys of Theros. Since I already shared my own speculation in the post we published when we discovered the new book before any official announcement that’s not going to work here. Instead I’ll take the opportunity to consider a perspective we see and hear a lot as regards MOoT and the previous Magic: the Gathering material brought into the 5E D&D multiverse, Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica. There’s a lot of D&D players out there who see these M:tG settings crossing over with D&D taking away from the game and giving short shrift to campaign settings of the past they’d like to see updated for 5E D&D. According to Wikipedia there’s nearly 30 official D&D campaign settings in the game’s history, last updated March 14, 2020 to include Exandria. The campaign setting for Critical Role’s adventures became an official part of the D&D multiverse with the release of Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount.

5 Amazing RPG YouTube Channels to Binge while You’re Stuck at Home

With everyone staying at home of late we’re all sure to binge through many of our watchlists, and some of us might even (finally) catch up on Critical Role! However, what should you watch once you’ve burned through our backlog of Nerdarchy videos? Well, lucky for you that’s exactly what we’re discussing today! There’s a wealth of amazing content creators in the RPG YouTube community, and today we’re shouting out five of them we think deserve more love! The RPG community is full of people with a wide array of tastes, from discussions on mechanics and running the game, to art, deep dive lore and livestreaming games. Our list is purposely diverse in these areas, so no matter what your taste you’re sure to find something in our list you enjoy!

Shapechangers are Taking Over Your 5E D&D Campaign

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.

D&D Ideas — Demiplane

Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. This week’s topic is demiplane, which we discussed in our exclusive Patreon live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST with Patreon supporters and talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy, by signing up here. The website for Nerdarchy the Convention is live! Our first annual event takes place Halloween weekend 2020 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. We’re hosting this convention for nerds, by nerds in our own little sort of miniature plane with defined limitations and variable traits. As the site continues to grow we’ll be updating regularly with new guests, events and announcements up until it’s time to let the games commence. Check it out here.

Top 10 5E D&D Homebrew Magic Items for Exploration by a Factor of Three

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted carefully analyze the best magic items for a exploration in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This is another unusual conversation topic, like the one on magic items for 5E D&D rogues. Players rarely get an opportunity to choose their character’s magic items. But it’s worthwhile to keep an eye out for particular magic items during the course of adventures. There’s two other situations I can think of when players have control over their characters’ magic items. In Adventurers League play items can be traded on a one-for-one basis for items with the same rarity. Making a trade costs each player involved 15 downtime days unless they’re playing at the same table. The other scenario is games beginning beyond 1st level. In our own monthly fan one shots we give players an option to choose magic item(s) for their characters this way, and I’ve played in many games with the same guidelines. Protip: for a tier 1 adventure or campaign try letting players choose one rare magic item to start and see what happens. So let’s get into it and look at homebrew magic items for exploration from D&D Beyond.

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Top 10 5E D&D Homebrew Druid Circles by a Factor of Three

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted circle back to the basics and discuss the druid class for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. In the video they look at all of the 5E D&D books with druid content. There are subclasses in the Player’s Handbook, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica and Dave and Ted look over the character class as a whole plus weigh in with their personal gaming experiences. Outside of official sources there are countless Circles created by players all over the world. We’ve created at least one ourselves and there’s more from the D&D design team included in Unearthed Arcana playtest documents as well as terrific third party products containing new options for druid players. Over at Dungeon Master’s Guild there’s currently 625 products tagged as 5E D&D character options with druid 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 291 Circles for druids. Let’s get into it and look at the best ones from three different perspectives.

D&D Ideas — Food

Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. This week’s topic is food, which we discussed in our exclusive Patreon live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST with Patreon supporters and talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy, by signing up here. The website for Nerdarchy the Convention is live! Our first annual event takes place Halloween weekend 2020 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. Halloween candy could be considered food, so there’s your bridge to the newsletter topic. As the site continues to grow we’ll be updating regularly with new guests, events and announcements up until it’s time to let the games commence. Discover more info about Nerdarchy the Convention here.

Hooked on Adventure — Reversal of Fortune

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.

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