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Game Master Tips

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Dungeons and Dragons

Firearms Create Fantastic 5E D&D Storytelling Opportunities

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted get locked and loaded for a discussion of the place for firearms in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. They go over where and how firearms appear in 5E D&D and touch on perspectives related to included them in games. For me the question of whether firearms feel appropriate for D&D brings up a broader view of just what kind of fantasy D&D represents. So let’s get into it.

Improve Your RPG Experiences with Random Generators

The other day I was playing Dungeons & Dragons and the Dungeon Master started describing an NPC casting a spell. Rather than say the NPC begins an incantation he instead began performing an evocative chant that really brought me into the scene and the game. Needless to say I was very impressed. Not only had I thought this DM had seriously prepped the encounter but I thought we had overstepped what we should have been doing at the time.

RPG NPC GM tips

3 Ways to Handle NPC Conversation Without Breaking the Flow of Your RPG

Salutations, nerds! Every once in a while the NPCs in a tabletop roleplaying game talk to each other and this has a tendency to become super awkward for a Game Master. Few GMs enjoy the feeling of narrating back and forth with themselves while a group of players wait on hold. Today I’m going to be sharing three ways to handle this circumstance during an RPG session.

Worldbuilding Through Perspectives on 5E D&D Adventurers

Salutations, nerds! How do the layfolk in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons settings react to adventurers coming to town? I’ve played in a lot of settings handling these circumstances in a lot of different ways and today I want to pick this apart a little bit because there are basically three schools of thought on the matter. Imagine you’re living a basic life in your home town and Superman comes to town. This is the frame of mind I want you in for this 5E D&D discussion..

D&D Ideas — Comedy

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is comedy, 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 comedy in Wooden Dragon clever kobolds use a quirky magic item and ingenuity to make their way in the world. Kobolds pilot a wooden dragon construct to terrorize travelers and exact a toll to pass 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 plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

Quantum Leap into Your Next 5E D&D Campaign

While talking with a friend recently I mentioned the idea of a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign based on the totally awesome science fiction television series Quantum Leap. This is a friend who’s played in my campaigns many times over the years yet never stepped into the role of Dungeon Master. Our conversation was aimed at encouraging him to run a game sometime and after playing a session I showed him my notes to illustrate how it’s nowhere near as complicated as he suspected. I could tell he was still unconvinced but when I mentioned creating a campaign inspired by Quantum Leap his whole demeanor changed. If he’ll ever run such a campaign (or any campaign!) remains to be seen but it seemed like a cool idea so I’ll share it here too. Let’s get into it.

Weird and Wonderful Warlock Otherworldly Patrons of 5E D&D

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted talk about splashing some levels in warlock to gain the Gift of the Ever-Living Ones Eldritch Invocation from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. A warlock in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons makes pacts with beings more powerful and ancient than the mind can fathom. Rivaling the power of the gods warlock Otherworldly Patrons in 5E D&D are wily, wonderful and sometimes downright weird. Seeing this conversation got me thinking about the nature of splashing classes by taking only a few levels in a class to gain access to a particular feature and what that might look like in roleplay.

Planning Your RPG Experiences in Scene Structure

Salutations, nerds! Today we’re going to talk about a little thing I learned from my White Wolf days helpful not only in Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop roleplaying game related endeavors but also in my fiction writing and I’m hoping it helps you too. This is the concept of thinking in scene structure for your RPG experiences.

D&D Ideas — Inns & Taverns

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is inns & taverns, 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 inns & taverns in Keeper’s Teavern at a strangely opportune moment a magical tea house appears with an archmage within. A bit of tea to gain new powers? Yes, please. A supernatural guardian of the universe who knows the exact time and place certain people need to be at certain times appears 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 plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

3 Places of Power to Drop Into Your 5E D&D Game

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted explore places of power for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Discovering strange locales, forgotten sites and other regions rife with unusual energies comes up pretty often in 5E D&D games. Like any other sort of encounter these places of power represent a point in the story where forward progress stops to allow players to describe their characters’ actions. Engaging with places of power and interacting with what they find there can be a great benefit. Sometimes these benefits are mechanical in nature and sometimes characters walk away with intangible rewards like knowledge, a contact or a special new quest. So let’s get into it.

5E D&D Tasha's Cauldron of Everything group patrons A GROUP OF WIZARDS PLEDGES THEMSELVES TO THEIR PATRON, TASHA, THE WITCH QUEEN

5E D&D Players Gel through Group Patrons from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

All of the Dungeon Master’s Tools wrapped up with a deeper look at Natural Hazards but chapter four in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything holds many more terrific modules of content for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The book’s second chapter revisits a concept introduced with Eberron: Rising from the Last War and explores Group Patrons for 5E D&D. So let’s get into it.

Torghast World of Warcraft dungeon

Tabletop Takeaways from World of Warcraft’s Torghast, Tower of the Damned

Salutations, nerds! I’m going to take a break from our usual tabletop roleplaying game related content to talk to you for a moment about a massive multiplayer online RPG — World of Warcraft’s new procedurally generated dungeon Torghast, Tower of the Damned. Over the past couple of weeks I have been in there almost every day. Mind you it’s incredibly difficult and hard content is usually anathema to a person like me. I don’t even want to do the regular dungeons because it takes me a while to get the mechanics down. There’s just something different about this one.

Kate Sheridan comics and D&D

Managing Unexpected Sidekicks in 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! Today we’re going to talk about what happens when your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons party decides to adopt an NPC you didn’t expect them to like. (AKA the thing I do that is the bane of every Dungeon Master I have ever had!) If it makes you feel any better though I’ve had my share of players doing this to me as well. I have some wisdom to share on how to keep track of these 5E D&D character and creature sidekicks and make sure to keep things straight as you go.

5e D&D find familiar

D&D Ideas — Shops

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is shops, 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 shops in Fibble’s Fantastic Familiars a comical fellow seeks to sell a chaotic Oculider, which threatens to destroy his shop. All kinds of other creatures are here too. An innocuous visit to an exotic pet store reveals creatures with mysterious and mystical stories or fantastic fibs 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 plus snag a FREE GIFT by signing up here.

wesley burt fiendslayer paladin

Transforming Worldbuilding Lore into a New 5E D&D Paladin Sacred Oath

Over the past several days I’ve been doing a challenge for 30 days of worldbuilding and one of my viewers shared how she is building two worlds at once with this challenge. This inspired me to do the same. So while I have been building a comedic fantasy world through YouTube videos and exercises I’ve also been building a dark fantasy world called Aulmn for my second project. Part of worldbuilding is developing your own lore surrounding… well, everything. My launch point for this dark fantasy was a history of oppressive spellcasters leading to magical revilement. Then I started thinking about how spellcasting classes fit into the world and everything just snowballed from there. Recently Nerdarchists Dave and Ted talked about using Dungeons & Dragons lore and making up your own. This video hugely inspired many aspects of my worldbuilding. Today we’re covering one aspect of this lore and how it led me to develop a new paladin Sacred Oath for fifth edition D&D.

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