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superhero RPG

Running a Superhero RPG

It’s a time for masks and mayhem and for me this means superheroes! Superhero flavor can be found everywhere, even in more rigid tabletop roleplaying game systems like fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. What are Critical Role’s Mighty Nein or Vox Machina, if not superheroes in their own worlds? I’ve often thought many homebrew campaign settings feel a lot like fantasy superheroes in worlds where being super is more about aspiration and power development than power inaccessibility. But some people just want the unabashed superhero flavor in their RPG campaigns. Yet many Game Masters I’ve talked with don’t know where to start when it comes to supers.

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything

Multiclass Without Multiclassing Courtesy of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted go through all the character classes in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons to sample the 1st and 2nd level features making multiclass dips so juicy. Plenty of video comments notwithstanding they make it clear early in the video they’re looking at broadly useful class features. So while the whataboutism as regards specific or niche character concepts do indeed make perfectly valid sense in many cases this simply isn’t the scope of the video. What is very pertinent when discussing mutliclass options in 5E D&D though is Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. So let’s get into it.

D&D Ideas — Kobolds

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is kobolds, which we discussed in our 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. 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. Speaking of kobolds in Wooden Dragon a group of kobolds keep the legacy of their dragon overlord alive after a group of adventurers do what they do through some crafty carpentry and a magic ring. You can find this gorgeously illustrated encounter and map along with 54 other dynamic scenarios to drop right into your game in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here.

5E D&D NPCs

Two Critical Qualities to Make Your 5E D&D NPCs Memorable

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted dance to the beat of a different drum and use a group of NPC musicians from a recent game of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons as a jumping off point for discussing this dwarven band in greater detail. Several key points emerge, ones I took note of as salient points to keep in mind for any individual or group of NPCs for 5E D&D or any other RPG. This 5E D&D dwarven jug band wonderfully illustrates what makes NPCs so compelling. So let’s break it all down and get into it.

5E D&D low constitution health

3 Iconic Fantasy Characters Who Dumped Constitution

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted go the distance to examine the health, stamina and vital force of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons characters. The mere thought of dumping Constitution in 5E D&D or any edition of the game — or any game at all — is anathema for many players. Say what you will about being weak or clumsy or dumb, a character with poor health faces some tough obstacles in any game incorporating physical danger. Is a 5E D&D character with low Constitution doomed? Here’s three fantasy characters who suggest anything but, so let’s get into it.

5E D&D monsters hit points tarrasque zariel tiamat gold dragon red dragon

Who Are 5E D&D’s Chonkiest Bois? Meet the Monsters with the Most Hit Points

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted scoop up all the dice they can muster and discuss the myriad ways to roll a myriad of weapon damage dice in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. They draw the dividing line at making weapon attacks as opposed to spellcasting and if your 5E D&D playstyle leans more towards setpiece battles and sporadic cinematic combat you can really pile up the damage dice without as much concern for resource management over time. In other words, pull out all the stops for those crucial combat scenarios. Why would an adventurer need to deal such prodigious damage? Monsters in 5E D&D boast some hefty hit points potential so let’s get into it and take a closer look.

5E D&D Halloween ghost bar

D&D Ideas — Halloween

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is Halloween, which we discussed in our 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. 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. Speaking of Halloween we treat our awesome Patreon supporters with treats throughout the month including automatic entry into giveaways for RPG swag. We package up $50 or more in games and accessories every month, not just in October. No tricks! Patreon supporters also receive exclusive magic item cards and maps, digital books with content for Game Masters and players alike, opportunities to game with Nerdarchy and more. Check us out and discover the tier that fits best for you here.

5E D&D bytopia kobolds worldbuilding

Creating 5E D&D Bytopia Kobolds Through Worldbuilding

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted look closer at the craven reptilian humanoids that worship evil dragons as demigods and serve them as minions and toadies in fifth edition Dungeons & dragons. Kobolds remain a staple of D&D from the very beginning and while their appearance changed over the decades from rat-dog humanoids into a more draconic form they’re still small, crafty and dangerous in large numbers. Volo’s Guide to Monsters punches these little buggers with lots of lore and rich material to strengthen their position in the 5E D&D multiverse and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything all but guarantees a surge in popularity so I’d better get to work reimagining kobolds for players and Dungeon Masters alike with some razzle dazzle.

Scare the Heck Out of Your 5E D&D Halloween Game with David S. Pumpkins

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted do their own thang and come up with a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons version of David S. Pumpkins, a bizarre character created for a Halloween sketch on Saturday Night Live in 2016 and revisited for the David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special in 2017. In the video they discuss the powers and abilities of the “Santa Claus for Halloween” in terms of player character options along with creating a character sheet for the absurd character played by Tom Hanks. But David S. Pumpkins is about as far from a 5E D&D character as they come and I’m not so sure he’d even work as a 5E D&D monster or NPC stat block either. The Halloween icon is his own thing after all. So let’s get into it.

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game Without Rolling Dice

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discuss tips for players who suffer the curse of bad dice rolling. We delved into all the various fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons class features available to players whose funny shaped dice simply refuse to cooperate with them a couple of years ago through an examination of the support style of play, which you can check out here. Today I’m going to plumb our own 5E D&D content to see all the options we’ve come up with to assist those unfortunate folks whose dice never seem to work in their favor. So let’s get into it.

5E D&D nerdarchy dark paths

D&D Ideas — Starting a Campaign

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is starting a campaign, which we discussed in our 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. 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. Speaking of starting a campaign our Dark Paths starts down a new path for our monthly rewards and presents a new being of malediction each month to exert their malignment on your Fifth Edition worlds. Each of these entry points can kick off a new campaign or creep into your existing adventures. It’s been a blast developing this new content and playing these adventures in our monthly one shots with Patreon supporters who get exclusive sneak peeks and playtest opportunities prior to receiving their rewards and before they’re available to anyone else through Nerdarchy the Store. Become part of the Nerdarchy community and get early access to new products, live chats and gameplays, our exclusive Discord channel, giveaways and more right here.

5E D&D deadshot archer sniper

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game as a Deadshot Archer Sniper

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take aim at a longtime audience request for an expert archer Character Build Guide for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Long range mobile specialists focused on archery is a personal favorite combat strategy of mine so this CBG holds a special place in my heart. The 5E D&D Deadshot Sniper CBG hits the bullseye with all the resources in their quiver from character creation to 20th level. And the special NPC or creature version inspired by the character build for Dungeon Masters ready to drop right into your game incorporates a bit of flair from one of my most beloved character types from a previous edition, which was a lot of fun to develop for 5E D&D. So let’s get into it.

5E D&D endings shadows

Threaten Your 5E D&D World with Horror Monsters If You Dare

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted dismiss the abstraction of hit points and delve deeper into monsters who don’t care how tough your character is in combat and other dangerous situations. Instead these threats target something much more precious — and difficult to recover. Monsters causing ability score damage, loss or reduction in 5E D&D are few and far between and thankfully so since recovering from these effects ain’t no walk in the park. At the same time they represent a different kind of horror and a campaign highlighting these awful creatures might just make players never look at things the same way ever again. So let’s get into it.

D&D Wizards

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game as a Blood Magic Expert

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted tap into blood magic and discuss whether the concept is evil by its very nature when it comes to fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Also Ted crushes one of the best video intros to date, so it’s worth a watch for this alone. But did you know Nerdarchy already put together our ideas for a 5E D&D blood magic expert? In fact there’s more than one iteration of blood magic floating around. So let’s get into it.

Dreams of Fire Nathaniel Wayne Council of Geeks

Discover Dreams of Fire by Council of Geeks’ Nathaniel Wayne

What do you get when you mash elemental magic and a tale of escape and intrigue? Suppose you combined a world of electropunk technology with whimsical faeire dangers? What you get when these things collide is the novel Dreams of Fire. Dreams of Fire is an upcoming electropunk fey novel of intrigue and self discovery by Council of Geeks YouTube sensation and debut novelist Nathaniel Wayne. I had the privilege of interviewing Nathaniel about their upcoming work over on my YouTube channel. What’s more, beyond this interview, Nathaniel graciously agreed to answer a few more questions in the form of text, and I’ve included that interview below.

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