We’ve had D&D cursed items on the brain for it seems like a month now at least. Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus motivated us to look at some of the darker and more evil D&D magic items and artifacts. Some of them are really nasty! Part of our discussions led to thinking about curses in general and cursed items in particular. And then on top of all that, the Cursed Collective Kickstarter from Session Zero launched, with Nerdarchists Dave and Ted contributing to the project with cursed items they designed.
Unearthed Arcana is flowing like elven wine! New playtest stuff for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons in the free Unearthed Arcana documents get all the D&D nerds excited. We’ve been enjoying the steady stream of cool new toys to wonder about, and the most recent share from Wizards of the Coast presents three new subclasses for D&D — Twilight Divine Domain for clerics, Circle of Wildfire for druids and Arcane Tradition Onomancy for wizards. Imagining how new content adds to a D&D campaign is always a lot of fun so let’s get into it.
I went on a fantastical adventure in Manhattan in New York City. The Cauldron is a magical gastropub experience located on 47 Stone St., New York City. It’s a pub catering to the nerdier elements of the city. One of the first sights to greet me as I entered the establishment was two young ladies playing Operation. That’s right, the game with a red-nosed guy who lights up and buzzes annoyingly when you fail to remove a piece from him without touching the sides. The Cauldron’s aesthetic is that of a magical tavern as I made my way deeper in to see a 15 foot tree in the center of the bar. This is no ordinary tree — it has beer taps coming out of it. Magical wands activate the taps so patrons of this magical place can dispense their own ale. A true beauty to behold.
As cool as the surroundings are, I wasn’t on a sightseeing trip or even visiting to participate in the potion classes they hold. Oh, no, I came for the Dungeons & Dragons. Along with sharing my experience below including a photo gallery, you can watch the first episode of Cantrips & Casters I attended live in Manhattan.
The Pledge Manager is live. You can select your tiers, add-ons, or even late pledge. If you somehow missed the Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition Kickstarter you can still get in on it. Check out the Pledge Manager here.
Next up, the release of the Nerdarchy the Convention trailer is out there in the wilds as well. Check it out here.
One of the things we enjoy the most about tabletop roleplaying games is the collaboration taking place between Game Masters and players during a game. The emergent stories spun from game sessions, interaction between player characters with campaign settings and the way player agency impacts GM guidance and adventure direction is the juice! The art of the encounter in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons or whatever game you’re playing has as much to do with how players connect with content as it does the content GMs create. A good GM presents engaging scenarios. A great GM works with players, guiding the group through creating the story of their characters. There’s a shared responsibility to making encounters better.
Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. This week in the live chat we talked about using tools in D&D and ways a Dungeon Master might allow players to use them in a game. Moreso we delved into whose responsibility it is to make tool more relevant during gameplay. 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.
Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus released recently. The fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign adventure is the latest from Wizards of the Coast, and as always the creative D&D community is sharing their enthusiasm for the hellish new quest. In sales, Descent into Avernus is No. 173 on the Amazon Best Sellers Rank for books, and No. 3 for Dungeons & Dragons behind the Player’s Handbook and the Essentials Kit. New players continue to discover the game and the PHB + Essentials Kit sales, with Descent into Avernus right behind, suggests they’re diving right into the hobby. And there’s a ton of content being created by gamers and designers to support Descent into Avernus, too.
In one of the recent videos on the Nerdarchy YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discussed poison in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, taking a look at the history of poison in earlier editions. Using poison in D&D has evolved over the decades for sure, and the conversation raised some interesting points. There are plenty of comments on the video too, offering lots of different perspectives. I’ve got my own thoughts on the subject, so let’s get into it and, at least from my point of view, answer the question if using poison in D&D is evil.
Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. Apologies this week is coming a bit late. We’ve had a bunch of behind the scenes stuff going on of late. But on a personal note my wife (Nerdarchist Ted’s sister) had hip replacement this week so we’ve had some extra things on our plate. You’ll be getting two newsletters kind of closer together than usual because of that. 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. Now on to it. This week is all about that sweet, sweet D&D treasure.