A mysterious new title from Wizard of the Coast showed up on Amazon last week and now we know it’s the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount! The D&D Team at WotC teams up with Critical Role’s Matt Mercer for an official collaboration on a new book detailing the continent of Wildemount where the second campaign of Critical Role takes place. Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount includes player options such as subclasses, magic items and more along with detailed information about the campaign setting, resources for Dungeon Masters and some really cool sounding new material for 5E D&D.
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discussed the best race to play a blood hunter in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. If I’m honest the blood hunter class confuses me. I get the gist of it, and it certainly captures the flavor of both The Last Witch Hunter movie and The Witcher stories that inspired and inform the class features and flavor. Blood hunters got a lot going on with their rites, curses and Orders. This 5E D&D character class designed by Critical Role’s Matt Mercer combines martial prowess with blood magic creating a risk vs. reward scenario for characters who can push the limits of their own safety to increase the power of their class features. But I’m not here to dissect the blood hunter or even puzzle out this noodly character class. Instead I’m looking through the material and imagining all the ways I can swipe from this collection of class features to create new things for my own 5E D&D campaign. So let’s get into it.
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted addressed a concern from the video audience community regarding character build guides for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. They share a great discussion on the motivation to create character build guides and character builds in general. These days we imagine and create characters for 5E D&D but building characters is a nerdy tradition throughout all the editions of the game. I certainly created far more 2E AD&D characters than I ever played, and we played a lot. Since we outline and research video discussions together as a team, I thought it would be fun to share how we arrive at our version of character build guides for 5E D&D. So let’s get into it.
Approximately every single day someone, somewhere asks the D&D community how to get started, the resources they need and what books and accessories to buy. Content creators love this question! It’s like candy and they might as well ask for links to everyone’s third party products. I kid (but not really). The most common response points people towards the core rulebooks: Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide. For tighter budgets, the PHB makes a solid standalone start. Those looking to invest more money into getting started could do worse than Volo’s Guide to Monsters, or Xanathar’s Guide to Everything for more player options. Then of course there’s widely beloved products like Tome of Beasts from Kobold Press. You could add The Lazy Dungeon Master and Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master to your shelf for deeper insights into running the game. And adventures! Holy moley there’s a lot of them. Gotta have adventures to run for the burgeoning game group, right?
You don’t need any of these things. And you could play D&D on the regular for the rest of your life without spending a single copper piece.
Over on the Nerdarchy YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted explore the idea of an all barbarian party for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. People really enjoy the video series and I’m having a blast with the concept here on the website. Playing an all barbarian party in 5E D&D looks to split in the video comments between people who think it sounds great or who are already playing such a campaign, and those who feel like there are too many drawbacks. Dave and Ted can give you the insights into 5E D&D party composition and over here we’re continuing to build the scenario we started with the all bard party — a campaign setting of academia for each particular character class. So let’s get into it and consider what an all barbarian party composition in a 5E D&D academic setting could look like.
Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is alliances, and we’ve got a promo code to go along with this week’s Product Spotlight from Nerdarchy the Store, plus an update on our end of the year mega giveaway and changes coming to our 2020 schedule. 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. Speaking of alliances the image below is from our wildly successful Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition Kickstarter. In Dinner Party, alliances between adventurers themselves get put to the test. The Out of the Box Pledge Manager reamins open for late pledges. You can get your hands on the book and all the add-ons including presale badges for Nerdarchy the Convention, or upgrade your badge to Legendary or Artifact level. There’s also a FREE encounter Seizing the Means you can download for a sneak peek at the sort of content you’ll find in the book. Check it out here.
The Nerdarchy crew experienced a tremendous year in 2019! We grew by leaps and bounds, earning a Silver Play Button for the YouTube channel, creating a wildly successful Kickstarter, organizing Nerdarchy the Convention and growing the website right here by hiring me full time along with staff writers Megan R. Miller’s increased role with us and the author and writer of this very post, Steven Partridge. Steven is a remarkable writer, a creative powerhouse and really a good-natured and great hearted fellow. The whole Nerdarchy crew is so happy to have him as part of the family. Steven regularly contributes fun, intriguing content here to help inspire better games and better friendships. Please go visit his website to see all the stuff he is up to here. But that’s enough of me hijacking his holiday tale! — Nerditor Doug
Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is travel, and we’ve got a few more new segments including a Product Spotlight from Nerdarchy the Store, an update on our end of the year mega giveaway and changes coming to our content release schedule. Speaking of travel check out the image below from our wildly successful Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition Kickstarter. In Down on the Farm, adventurers encounter an unusual merchant with a very select clientele. The Out of the Box Pledge Manager remains open for late pledges. You can get your hands on the book and all the add-ons including presale badges for Nerdarchy the Convention, or upgrade your badge to Legendary or Artifact level. There’s also a FREE encounter Seizing the Means you can download for a sneak peek at the sort of content you’ll find in the book. Check it out here.
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discuss another entry in the go-to D&D spells series. This time they’re looking at druids for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and the 3rd-5th level spells they gain access to during tier 2 play. Animals, plants and weather control feature prominently in druid spellcasting so it’s no surprise the spells that made the cut. Druids are so versatile and have access to a wide range of spells and effects, and they clearly have powerful connections to nature. The hardest thing about making the list of go-to spells was narrowing it down because the druid spell list contains so many incredible spells. In the recent Unearthed Arcana — Class Feature Variants all the 5E D&D classes get a little something new to play with, with druids getting an expanded spell list in the collection of playtest material. Let’s check it closer and see if anything supplants Dave and Ted’s picks.
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted came up with ideas for a classic fantasy character concept, a centaur knight. The image of an half human, half horse warrior in shining armor captivated me since I was a little kid and after helping plan this video, watching it and putting the Character Build Guide together I’m thinking about how awesome this concept is all over again. This got me thinking how there’s not a whole lot of centaur action going on in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, at least not in my experience. Centaurs get a bump in Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica, there’s a centaur mummy in Tales from the Yawning Portal’s Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan and the terrifically named Centaur of Attention encounter in Dragons of Icespire Peak. And that’s about it in beyond the Monster Manual entry. Never a better time like the present to take a closer look at centaurs and by extension fantasy cultures for our 5E D&D campaign settings.
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discussed a killer combo for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Using poison coated daggers and the animate objects spell a character could drop some serious damage (and serious coin) with the right kind of poison. In the video they mention several varieties of poison from the 5E D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide and brainstorm a few ideas how to inject a little poison into the storytelling adventure of your game. Like most of our talks about games the fun part is imagining how these things play out at the gaming table and make the story of the adventuring party more interactive. On one hand, a player interested in trying out this killer combo could explain their intention to the Dungeon Master and hash it all out during downtime. On the other, the quest for poison could become a central theme for a campaign. Either way the players initiate the course of action, and with the DM guiding them towards telling the story of their characters the games become more memorable experiences.
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted took a look at the Simic hybrid and vedalken races from Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica. In their discussion they talk what character class to play for both of these fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons races. Like the rest of the videos in this series they consider which 5E D&D character class makes a good fit for the race’s ability scores and features, along with some ideas for unexpected character classes. The world of Ravnica presents a very different place than a traditional D&D setting, and not just because a vast, sprawling city covers the whole of the known world. Powerful guilds rule the Ravnica planar city, and both the Simic hybrid and vedalken share common ground with one in particular. The Simic Combine happens to be my favorite of the ten guilds. And since Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica contains so many juicy random tables let’s take a look at them from a Dungeon Master’s point of view and see what sorts of adventures might await Simic hybrid and vedalken adventurers in a 5E D&D campaign.
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted took a thorough look at the new character class for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, the artificer. 5E D&D players have been champing at the bit for some time to see an official version of this longtime favorite class first seen in D&D 3.5. Artificers are a integral part of the Eberron campaign setting, so it’s only natural the 5E D&D version comes in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. Since Dave and Ted covered the artificer class in great detail in the video below, I’m going to take a look at the class from a Dungeon Master’s point of view.