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D&D Ideas — Goblins

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is goblins, which we discussed in our weekly 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. Speaking of goblins in Aces High a gang of goblins led by a resourceful boss take to the skies on giant bats to launch aerial assaults with an explosive new weapon — grenados! This fan favorite encounter and map flies off the page and into your games along with 54 other dynamic scenarios in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here. 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.

5E D&D Unearthed Arcana dragon monk ranger subclasses

What Do Your Unearthed Arcana Subclasses Say About Your 5E D&D Character? Part 5

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted do what they do and pour over the latest Unearthed Arcana 2020 — Subclasses, Part 5 for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This new playtest document presents two new subclasses for 5E D&D. Way of the Ascendant Dragon monks revere the power and grandeur of dragons while Drakewarden rangers use their magical connection with nature to form an enduring bond with a minor dragon, a drake. Dave and Ted cover the subclass specifics in the video and here I’ll look at these 5E D&D playtest subclasses with a mind towards what sort of characters they might represent. So let’s get into it.

Follow the Steps to Make Best Use of 5E D&D Skills

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted explore fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons skills every character should have or at least the three skills that keep coming up most often in their games. I’ve got a different Perception on when, how and what particular skills get checked during a 5E D&D game. (See what I did there?) So let’s get into it.

RPG player character

5 Ideas to Spice up Your RPG Character Backstory

If I’m being honest I’ve absolutely been That Guy who shows up to a tabletop roleplaying game session with several pages of backstory for my character. In all fairness these times are few and far between and the pages are usually full of narrative instead of exposition, but still Backgrounds are the life blood of your RPG character’s introduction. The events that shaped them up to this point help inform how you portray them and their introduction to the rest of the party. After musing on backgrounds, I wanted to share some ways that GMs I’ve played with have spiced up background elements in games I’ve been a part of. So, let’s cover five ways to make your character backstory more interesting!

power gaming

Consider Your Character Backstory Before Your Next RPG Experience

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted share their thoughts and perspective on the essentials of backstory for a tabletop roleplaying game character. A terrific post from Tribality got the wheels turning on approaching a character backstory not so much as a narrative piece of fiction detailing the events leading up to the adventuring life. Instead a great character backstory functions as a resource to inform game play in the present tense. So let’s get into it.

D&D Ideas — Frogs

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is frogs, which we discussed in our weekly 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. Speaking of frogs in Scaling Up a tactical group of lizardfolk on unusual mounts and bolstered by a half-dragon ambush adventurers in the wilds. This gorgeously illustrated encounter and map leaps off the page and into your games along with 54 other dynamic scenarios in Out of the Box. Find out more about it here. 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.

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.

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