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necromancer Speak with Dead

Shades of Magic in 5E D&D — Necromancers and Necromancy

Ah, necromancy. The gift that keeps on giving, even beyond death. In fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, the Arcane Tradition of Necromancy deals largely with animate dead and bringing other undead under your control. Nerdarchy’s longtime stance on bringing skeletons and zombies into the world remains rooted in the undead creatures’ evil nature, making this sort of magic straight up evil. But that’s Nerdarchists Dave and Ted. I’ve got my own opinions about necromancy, necromancers and their supernatural relationship to life and death. So I’m going to smudge the palette of black, gray and white necromancy for 5E D&D a bit and add a few more shades of magic.

D&D 5E downtime

D&D Ideas — Downtime

Welcome fellow Nerdarchist! It’s that time again for the three-headed beast that is Nerdarchy to lay down some gaming advice for Dungeons & Dragons via the weekly newsletter. Last week we experimented with something new and we’ll continue it. Both the live chat and the newsletter topic are the same. In this case we are talking about D&D downtime.
5E D&D druid magic cantrip

D&D Druid 5E — Best Race in Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons

Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons has given several character classes a facelift. The druid among them. Two of the druid hallmark abilities are spellcasting and wildshape. The D&D druid 5E gets wildshape earlier than most of the editions of D&D if not all. My first 1E D&D character was a druid. You could say I am a bit fond of druids throughout all of the editions of D&D. You might be wondering what all of that has to do with the title of this article. I’ll get to that on the other side of our best race to play character classes druid video.


Is D&D 5e Multiclassing Just for Power Gamers

Multiclassing has been a part of D&D 5E since nearly the beginning of the game. For that matter so have power gamers and power gaming. In the earliest days of Dungeons & Dragons, multiclassing was strictly the purview of the demihuman races. Humans could only dual class and the other races had level caps. With third edition Dungeons & Dragons the role of multiclassing greatly changed. In fourth edition D&D the multiclassing rules took a bit of a turn. D&D 5E realigned the rules back to a system like 3.5 D&D. Now let’s discuss multiclassing, power gamers, and D&D 5E.

5e D&D

Path of the Justicar Barbarian Paladin D&D Character Build

Nerdarchy recently switched how we do our 5E D&D character builds. Currently we are on a kick of creating Adventurers League legal builds. We are enjoying the limitations and challenges of exploring these builds. One of our latest was a barbarian paladin multiclass build. One of the things I really like about these character builds is crafting the story to go with them. The background behind this specific build was Nerdarchist Ted is joining an upcoming 5E D&D stream. You’ll be able to catch it over on the Mini Terrain Domain Twitch Channel. We do a little retooling of the barbarian character class. They get changed from being primal savage warriors. I would still call them primal, but instead of drawing from nature they pull their power from the history and past of their people.

D&D Barbarian 5E — Path of the Frost Wyrm

Nerdarchy has teamed up with Pacesetter Games & Simulations as well as Vallejo Paints to put together something special in our opinion, but we might be a bit biased. For one, both companies are sponsoring this article, video, and contest. So, disclaimer out of the way if you care about such things. Inspired by the Frost Wyrm miniature by Pacesetters Games & Simulations we came up with the concept of the Frost Wyrm barbarian tribe. As well as a brand new D&D barbarian primal path for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. For some extra inspiration we had our former intern Jake Kosman work his magic with Vallejo Paints.

Matt Colville

Strongholds and Followers from MCDM

Many of us look back at the old editions of Dungeons & Dragons with rose-colored glasses. Reminiscing about THAC0 and the uniqueness of the old races and classes. One thing I always liked though that slowly died out was strongholds as a level reward. This mostly died off after second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. There was the Strongholds and Builders Guide in 3.5, but I found it more of a Dungeon Master supplement and players never gave it a glance. This goes back to something removed from D&D — politics. Old settings like Birthright, Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, and Ravenloft all had factions that lead to a lot of political intrigue and plots. Due to this it was not uncommon for people to be awarded baronies in these games and used as quest points themselves. As the editions changed, we would see the leadership feat come and go, and followers and cohorts fall to the wayside. Now from the brilliant mind of Matt Colville and the creative staff from MCDM they have returned these things to the light with the 5E D&D supplement Strongholds & Followers. For those of you unfamiliar with Matt Colville you can check out his Running the Game series over here. Let’s take a look at the book.

Become a Legend in a 5E D&D Spell Duelist Campaign

One of the most recent videos on the Nerdarchy YouTube channel is the Ultimate Spell Duelist 5E D&D character build. From the initial planning discussion all the way through the comments on the video, my imagination was firing on all cylinders. And based on the video comments, a lot of other people were too. Like all the recent 5E D&D character builds, we set out to create a character legal for Adventurers League play. This of course limits our character options, but that makes it a fun extra little challenge, plus it’s really rewarding to consider not just mechanical benefits but roleplaying opportunities for these characters as well. Outside of Adventurers League play is where this character really got our creative juices flowing, from chances for personal character moments and growth to campaign implications. So let’s get into it.

5E D&D plant creatures

Plant Creatures Are Cooler the Zombies in 5E D&D

Nerdarchists Dave and Ted were back at it in the video below, coming up with ideas for replacing some commonly used 5E D&D monsters with alternatives. This series is one of my favorites. There’s so many awesome creatures in the D&D multiverse, from earliest sorts of threats like goblins and bandits all the way up to the eponymous dragons. All of them are fun for a Dungeon Master to deploy. But you can create some really memorable and unique experiences with the same sorts of encounters by simply swapping out the usual suspects. In the videos on the YouTube channel, they get into the ecologies and methods various creatures tend to employ before sharing their thoughts on other creatures that can fit the bill. In this case, they take a look at one of the all-time classic monsters — zombies — and give some ideas on achieving a similar feeling with a few different types of creatures.

D&D Magic

Magic Through the Editions of Dungeons and Dragons

We recently did a video about 5E D&D spells and how they affect the game. There is a huge difference between D&D magic now and throughout the editions of Dungeons and Dragons. We were discussed different effects various 5E D&D spells have on editions of Dungeons & Dragons compared to earlier version of the game. One of the comments I saw over and over again was some version of  “that’s just a bad Dungeon Master”.

I find it to be odd people think it’s a lazy DM issue, because a DM might want to challenge players with things that are negated by spells. Couldn’t the same be said about simply overcoming random encounters during watch? What about wanting to introduce survivalist elements to the game even if only for a short time.
Sure a DM could temporarily nerf 5E D&D magic in order to do this but that seems even worse to me. I don’t find either methods pleasing and think we’ve gotta look a little deeper into D&D spells and magic.

New Circle for Druid 5E D&D — Worshipping the Froghemoth

Nerdarchy recently partnered with Pacesetter Games & Simulations as well as Vallejo Paints. Use the promo code staynerdy15 for a 15 percent discount on their products. We’ve taken this partnership and built some and cool content for 5E D&D. We kicked things off with Horris the Horned Lord. Most recently we moved on to Abalor the Abhorrent and a dark druid 5E Circle — the Circle from the Beyond. Abalor is based off of the froghemoth model from Pacesetter. It’s a great looking model. You can see it below as painted by Jake Kosman using Vallejo Paints. The froghemoth D&D monster was reintroduced into 5E D&D in Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Part of the awesome Nerdarchy, Pacesetter, and Vallejo team-up is a contest to win a froghemoth both painted, unpainted, and the paints to paint your very own froghemoth miniature. There’s a bunch of ways to enter the contest to win the minis and paints. Check it out here.

D&D Fighter

D&D Fighter — Best Race in 5E Dungeons & Dragons

Our Best D&D Races for the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons classes seems to be a pretty popular series on our YouTube channel. This time we will delve into the D&D fighter. The fighter in 5E D&D is so much more interesting over the previous editions of Dungeons and Dragons. Because in 5E D&D a fighter can be built with either Dexterity or Strength as the primary ability score it makes for a lot options. Only the ranger is as flexible. Yes, I know other classes can be built using an alternate ability score but they usually are more interesting than optimized. But in the case of the ranger and fighter they loose any of their optimization.

We came up with 40 official D&D races optimized to play a fighter. That is a lot variety. When you factor in the seven different martial archetype subclasses to choose from you’ve got a lot of combinations.

D&D Magic Items

Crafting D&D Magic Items for the Wizard

The wizard one of the most iconic classes of the D&D game. An iconic image is the wizard holding an arcane tome aloft while speaking aloud an incantation. We took that as inspiration for creating some new D&D magic items — in this case specifically, the tome of holding. These magic items could be used by wizards for multiple functions.

D&D World Building

D&D Worldbuilding — Kobolds on the Path of the Dragon

D&D world building is all about making the game your own. It’s your chance as the Dungeon Master to lay brush to the canvas of the world and paint your own Mona Lisa. In this case Nate the Nerdarch came up with this idea, the Path of the Dragon. The concept is kobolds are hatched in clutches of eggs. But not all from kobold eggs, some emerge from dragon eggs. Sure, kobolds are still popping out of eggs laid by kobolds as well. Dragons in our world were banished by the gods and locked away in pocket dimensions to keep them out of trouble. A sect of dragons banded together an enacted a ritual to avoid the banishment.

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