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How Background Enhances Your D&D Character

The notion of your D&D character having a background is integral to fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. It grants you a precious few skill proficiencies, and a combination of tool and language options. While background was a part of 4E, it wasn’t nearly as prominent or impacting as it to your D&D character in this edition, and I think the reason for making background such a big deal is directly related to the attempt of 5E to harmonize mechanics and roleplay.

D&D artifacts

D&D Ideas — Artifacts

Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. This week we are talking about artifacts — uber-powerful magic items that can reshape your D&D campaign world. But before we dive into that, an update on the Facebook page. I’ve regained access, but I wouldn’t say control. The forces of evil are still listed as the owners of the page. I’ve got it unpublished but not deleted. These people won’t have to be subjected to the nonsense that has been going over there. I’m convinced I won’t be booted off the page by these evildoers again. We are fighting to get it back before we initiate the self destruct mechanism. We are leaving that for the last resort.

D&D house rules

D&D Ideas — House Rules

Welcome once again to the Nerdarchy Newsletter. Today’s topic is D&D house rules. Before getting into it, we’ve made a small change to our Patreon-only Live Chat and our Weekly Live Chat. Recently we streamed our first Patreon-only Live Chat. Just login to Patreon and you’ll be able to find the post to it. It’s recorded and you can watch it even if you can’t be there live. We haven’t decided 100% on the format and right now we are doing live Q&As. In future we might do them more as live content creation videos. Our weekly Live Chats will be on Tuesday nights. They will be live on YouTube for anyone that wants to come hang out with us. Both happen 8 p.m. eastern time.
warlock

5 Eldritch Invocations to Empower the Warlock’s Eldritch Blast

ELDRITCH BLESSSSTTTT!

As many veteran players of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons know, eldritch blast is one of the most powerful cantrips, and its exclusivity to the warlock class is essential to its niche in the game. By allowing for multiple attack rolls, having a high damage die grade, being of the force damage type, and possessing such a long range, this cantrip is accused by many to be too powerful. However, like most things in the D&D 5E, this cantrip’s exclusivity to warlocks is partly what makes it so well balanced. Unlike other full spellcasting classes, warlocks get extremely few spell slots.

One way the class makes up for this is by granting special spell-like abilities through Eldritch Invocations, often passive adjustments to how your character plays. Eldritch Invocations grant things like new or improved senses, low level spells at-will, higher leveled spells on a cooldown, or modify your premier cantrip (you guessed it): eldritch blast.

Today, I’ll be introducing 5 original Eldritch Invocations for use at your table. All of these work to enhance the warlock’s signature cantrip!

D&D fey eladrin 5E D&D teleport

D&D Ideas — Fey

Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. It has been trying a week. If you are a fan of the Nerdarchy Facebook page you may have noticed some weirdness over there. On Monday the page was hijacked, or stolen if you would. We would appreciate anyone who reaches out to Facebook on our behalf. We are working on getting the page restored, but haven’t had a ton of headway yet. We were also given the sad news that Nerdarchy writer, community mod, and friend James Leslie has passed. His friends and family are in our thoughts. He will be missed. [NERDITOR’S NOTE: It was a great pleasure to work with James here on the site. He put his heart into everything he did, including a lot of terrific writing. You can check out James’ posts here.]

Top 5 Ideas for Political Campaigns

First let me get this out of the way: yes, I know the title is terrible and punny. If you’re here for the top 5 ideas for political campaigns to run for your local office or the presidency, you’re in the wrong place. This article is about political campaigns for your roleplaying games like fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons (and no, I’m not taking sides on Sam vs. Liam for president of D&D Beyond). There are a myriad of ways the politics in your RPG world are going to affect your player characters and nonplayer characters alike. Not sure where to begin? Never fear! I’ve got a video on my YouTube channel dealing with just that topic!

D&D Ideas — Sci-Fi in D&D Fantasy

Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. Last week on the live chat we discussed adding sci-fi in D&D in honor of the Monte Cook Games Kickstarter Arcana of the Ancients. Initially it was just about taking the concepts of the Ninth World and Numenera to convert to the 5E system. The Kickstarter is so successful and has unlocked so many stretch goals that will be doing a straight conversion of the Numenera campaign setting for the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons set. There will be a handbook for just running sci-fi and weird science — the original objective for the Kickstarter. Then there is going to be a corresponding monster book, some adventures, and finally the campaign setting. The Arcana of the Ancients Kickstarter has ended by now and was a huge success.

Truer Strike — An Answer to True Strike (AKA the Worst D&D Cantrip)

Okay, folks. We’re tackling the elephant in the room today, the thing so many other channels and blogs have addressed… because I’m feeling especially masochistic. Seriously, though, true strike is arguably the single worst cantrip in all of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. In order to properly address it, let’s start by analyzing just what makes true strike so underwhelming.

dress-up

D&D Ideas — Critical Role Legend of Vox Machina Kickstarter

Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. This week our topic is Critical Role and their Legend of Vox Machina Kickstarter to get their first D&D campaign, or at least parts of it, animated. We’ve been trying to do this topic for the last few weeks, but gremlins got into the Nerdarchy Streaming computer which had us shut down for a bit. But we are back up to streaming on Saturdays. Since you are on the newsletter, here’s some news. Streaming on Saturdays is going to get moved to a weeknight, maybe Monday or Tuesday. Look for the upcoming announcement.

RPG engaging players

How to Increase Suspension of Disbelief in Your Roleplaying Game

Tabletop roleplaying games are legitimately one of my favorite means of storytelling. There’s something incredibly special about about gathering your friends together for a night of fun and enjoyment. Instead of catching up on your favorite streaming show or spending a small fortune getting drinks, everyone sits around a table to collectively craft their own stories with their own original characters. But let me stop myself before I gush off topic. To set up this discussion, I first have to talk about “suspension of disbelief.” Boiling it down, suspension of disbelief happens when a storyteller (or Game Master) and their audience (or players) both understand that a work of fiction is not real, but all parties agree to suspend their disbelief. There’s a sort of unspoken contract between storytellers and audiences that certain core aspects of a fiction story (i.e. the existence of magic, other races, fictional technologies, etc.) are going to remain unaddressed outside of the fact they’re presumed to be true.

D&D Wizards and Their Words

We recently did a video about fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons called: D&D Wizard 5E — 3 Deadly Spells Verbal Components Only. In making that video we created a list from the wizard spell list of spells that only require only verbal spellcasting components. It occurred to me we haven’t put the list anywhere for the folks who might be interested the rest of the spells we came up with. It also occurred to me we’ve go the perfect place to put that list, with us having a website and all. D&D wizards have at least one spell at every level they can cast only using verbal spell components. This opens up a lot of possibilities. For instance in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons a wizard could focus only on verbal spellcasting components.

D&D Wizards

D&D Ideas — Blood and Bone

Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy newsletter. This week our topic is Blood and bone. Before we jump into it I want to apologize. For the last couple of weeks haven’t been able to run our Saturday Live Chat sessions. The Nerdarchy streaming laptop went down and failed its death saves. Fear not! We got it to the temple and had a team of clerics work on it. They were able to resurrect it. This past Saturday we were back at and talking about Critical Role’s The Legend of Vox Machina Kickstarter and what it means for our beloved hobby.

D&D villain hero

D&D Ideas — Villains

Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. Sorry for the late newsletter. The Nerdarchy computer went down causing all kinds of issues. Luckily we were given a loaner to see us through. This week we will be talking about D&D villains. Before we jump into that I just want to let you know we launched two new series this week on the YouTube Channel. One is inspired by the Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon that we thought would be fun. The other comes from you, the viewer.s There were many requests for us to do the best character class for all the races after we picked the best race for class series. We started with D&D Dwarves — What is the best 5E Character Class.
D&D artificer Unearthed Arcana

D&D Ideas — Artificer

Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. This week we’ve been inspired by the Unearthed Arcana release of the Artificer Revised. With that it was an easy topic for a weekly live chat this past Saturday as well as a great topic for the newsletter. But before we get into discussing artifice, the artificer, and it’s place in a D&D game, it’s Monday which means we had a video go up today- D&D Death From Real World Threats. You can watch it here.
D&D renown factions

D&D Ideas — Renown

Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. This week we are going to dive into renown in Dungeons & Dragons. You can find rules for it in Chapter 1 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. You can find additional information in Chapter 2 of the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica. Renown gets discussed right in the introduction of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. These three sources alone will give a ton of information and suggestions on how to use renown specifically, which is great for running D&D and using renown in Forgotten Realms or the world of Ravnica. We will explore other options and ideas below from the Nerdarchy team. Remember — just because those are official D&D campaign settings doesn’t mean you can’t pull them apart and reassemble them for your homebrew D&D campaign.

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