Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. We were running late again! Between being away in the UK for D&D in a Castle and all the work for our Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition Kickstarter launch things have been crazy around here. If that isn’t enough we also had a couple of products in the Beast of a Bundle — 5E D&D related Humble Bundle which sold over 15,000 bundles to help RAINN. 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.
A character’s ability scores in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons are arguably the most influential part of who they are. Ability scores determine what your character can and cannot do, and to what degree. They determine what roles your character will tend toward and where their weaknesses lie. In D&D 5E, the standard rule set for calculating ability scores is to roll 4d6 and drop the lowest. However, there’s an alternate rule called “Standard Array,” which grants the character scores of 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, and 8. These are assigned to the six ability scores. Then, there’s also the point-buy system.
With how important ability scores are in this game, I wondered why there are so many options for calculation. Then, I got to wondering if the way one calculates their ability scores would affect gameplay, outside of mechanics. What am I talking about? Culture.
Firstly, I should clarify that when we discuss “class” in this post, we’re talking about the character class mechanic in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, not social class as it exists in our world. The character class system is an integral aspect of roleplaying games whether tabletop, video games, or whatever. That being said, have you ever stopped to think about what a class would look like in a story?
Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. This week’s newsletter is coming to you from Lumley Castle, across the pond in England. The topic of heroism feels even more appropriate somehow being in an actual castle. The Nerdarchy crew has been here all week as special guest Dungeon Masters for the D&D in a Castle event.
It’s Pride Month, and I love it! For those who maybe aren’t as familiar, Pride Month is a time when Queer people (or people part of the ever-growing LGBT+ community) the world around celebrate love, life, and happiness. It’s a time of rainbows and good vibes and all that other stuff.
A couple of notes before delving into this article:
- I’m coming at this topic from my own perspective as a Queer person who loves tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs, for short).
- I’ll be using the term “Queer” (with the capital “Q”) to reference the LGBT+ community in its many contexts.
With the increasing visibility of Queer people in our society, the question for many Game Masters inevitably comes up, “Should I include Queer characters in my worldbuilding?” Rather than tell you you’re a jerk if you don’t or try to convince you why you should, let’s have a frank discussion about the reasons you might or might not want to take Queer people into consideration when it comes to your RPG worldbuilding.
Campfire Writing Software is a tool for writers. It’s phenomenal for tracking everything from characters, to major plot lines, to world building, and more! I was provided a free copy to review, and boy, do I have thoughts. Spoiler alert (in case the article’s title didn’t give it away), I loved it! If you want to watch me go through it initially and get my raw thoughts, you can watch this week’s RPGtube video on my channel!
Writers and Game Masters have a ton of things in common. A writer’s main goal is to tell a good story to entertain their target audience and sell a profitable amount of their work. A GM’s goal is to facilitate fun through a good story and entertain their own target audience — the players. Because of these similarities, GMs can learn a lot from studying good storytelling tactics. In this week’s RPGtube video, I discuss my top five tips for GMs, as coming from the perspective of a writer.