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Wringing Out 5E D&D Challenge Rating and Encounter Building

Pack mentality is a hell of a drug. I always get a kick out of the chorus of cries whenever the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons challenge rating system comes up. The most recent time made me realize I’ve been remiss all this time. The Nerdarchists made a video about it and just about every other YouTuber who talks about 5E D&D too. Social media conversations, in person conversations, blogs (even this one!) all weigh in mostly to chime in on how it confuses them, doesn’t work for them or provides impractical guidance to them. I’m in a sassy mood this weekend so I’ll summarize — they fail to understand the whole because they focus on one or a only a few parts. Let’s get into it.

D&D Ideas — Vaults

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is vaults, which we discussed in our weekly live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST on Nerdarchy Live to talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of vaults in Wooden Dragon a very unusual magic item may just reveal clues to forgotten treasure vaults. Kobolds pilot a wooden dragon construct to terrorize travelers and exact a toll to pass. along with 54 other dynamic scenarios in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

Candlekeep Mysteries for 5E D&D Players and Dungeon Masters Alike

The newest fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons book, which releases on March 16, is Candlekeep Mysteries. In this anthology of 17 adventures all of the adventure hooks for your 5E D&D characters come from books found in the Candlekeep library in the Forgotten Realms. We previewed what Candlekeep Mysteries contains here. Today I want to explore some ways for 5E D&D players to use these Candlekeep Mysteries adventures beyond the obvious ones the Dungeon Master has at their disposal. One of my favorite things Candlekeep Mysteries offers is the section on Candlekeep itself.

5E D&D demiplane

D&D Ideas — Possession

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is possession, which we discussed in our weekly live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST on Nerdarchy Live to talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of possession in Island in the Storm adventurers can ease a restless spirit’s forlorn imprisonment but only if this ghost can take over one of them body and soul. An imprisoned ghost pleads with the heroes to possess one of them in a bid to escape her island exile along with 54 other dynamic scenarios in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game as an Ever Living One

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted call on ancient spirits to transform a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons character into Ever Living Ones. This 5E D&D character build focuses on one particular Eldritch Invocation and squeezes in a whole bunch of class features to keep themselves topped off in the hit points department. Dive into danger whatever way appeals most with a mastery of manipulating the most precious of resources. So let’s get into it.

5E D&D Muk Goblin

Sit for a Spell at the Gobble Inn with Muk for 5E D&D

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted devise a business plan for the Gobble Inn as a memorable location for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. In the video they come up with several fun concepts and ways to incorporate this location into a 5E D&D game. I couldn’t help but think of the adorable goblin Muk who’s two Dungeon Masters Guild titles introduce and present a bunch of awesome activities, adventure hooks and light hearted fun in and around his home in Dankwood (while also generating money for Extra Life, a charity uniting gamers around the world to play games in support of their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital). So let’s get into it.

D&D Ideas — Cults

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is cults, which we discussed in our weekly live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST on Nerdarchy Live to talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of cults in Enemy at the Gate a manipulative guard acts as the agent of some greater villain in your world, perhaps with their own cult of agents and followers… A deceptive oni makes life difficult for the heroes by stopping them at a town gate and disrupting their lives along with 54 other dynamic scenarios in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

5E D&D oceans encounters Out of the Box

D&D Ideas — Oceans

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is oceans, which we discussed in our weekly live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST on Nerdarchy Live to talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of oceans in Fish Food a chance encounter on the high seas leads to a potential trifecta of terror: drowning, water issues and being lost at sea. A pleasant sea voyage turns upside down by attacking water enemies and a rapidly sinking ship along with 54 other dynamic scenarios in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game as a Spell Assassin

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take precise aim at a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons character who puts a sneaky spin on their magical attacks. The Spell Assassin leans into their rogue training to get the drop on adversaries with the Assassinate feature and take them out through a deadly spell salvo. Dabbling in a few disciplines compiles a very particular set of skills for this 5E D&D character over the course of their adventuring career. So let’s get into it.

5E D&D time Out of the Box

D&D Ideas — Time

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is time, which we discussed in our weekly live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST on Nerdarchy Live to talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of time in All That Remains time may have forgotten the story of a great battle and the heroes who fought and died but with a little curiosity and a lot of elbow grease adventurers can discover the past. A strange fog filled with the ghosts of a battle fought long ago form around an excavated monument along with 54 other dynamic scenarios in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

disney frozen 2 nokk elsa

RPG Elements Abound in Disney’s Frozen 2

Nerdarchy talks about always seeking inspiration from everything but I was not expecting so much fuel for my imagination in Disney’s Frozen 2. I have always loved Disney’s animated movies and I might be behind the times on this one but as a father I can enjoy watching these movies with my kids. We just finished watching Frozen 2 and even for a movie about an ice enchantress set in a fantasy world there are loads of things I am ready to incorporate right into my own tabletop roleplaying games and my own personal magical RPG setting.

Channel Your 5E D&D Druid’s Inner Circe with a Wild Shape Optional Class Feature

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted double, double toil and trouble themselves discussing witches in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Fire burns and caldrons bubble while they go over what it means to be a witch, different approaches to bringing out a character’s witchy nature and the possibilities for new 5E D&D classes and subclasses. Inspiration for the topic comes from the video’s sponsor Hexbound: A Witchy Supplement for 5E from Hit Point Press. One of the ideas they brought up during the video captured my imagination — using the druid Wild Shape feature in a distinctly witchy way. So let’s get into it.

Chimera

5E D&D Monster Spotlight — Chimera

The chimera is such a classic Dungeons & Dragons monster from mythology and has made an appearance in all of the editions of the game. In fifth edition D&D a chimera can be encountered in a few different environments — grasslands, hills, mountains and the Underdark. These are all straight out of the 5E D&D Monster Manual and I’d add the aerial environment as well. This gives us quite a few places we can drop an encounter in with a chimera. They enter gameplay during tier two with challenge rating 6. Chimera are quite formidable with a decent amount of hit points, a fly speed of 60 feet and three attacks per round, one of which can be replaced with its Breath Weapon. Let us not forget villains like to employ chimera as mounts. A single chimera would be a medium challenge for four 5th level characters. These nasty beasts average 53 points of damage on a single round when they use their Breath Weapon or 32 when they can’t. If this D&D monster is played up to its full hunter archetype this is significant damage potential.

5E D&D dice coin flip Out of the Box

D&D Ideas — Dice

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is dice, which we discussed in our weekly live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST on Nerdarchy Live to talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of dice it may be a Coin Flip to determine fortune or misfortune but the roll of the dice generates the effect every step of the way across a strange dungeon hazard. A floor made of giant coins, each promising fortunate or unfortunate effects, challenges heroes to cross along with 54 other dynamic scenarios in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

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