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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.