fbpx
Loader image
Loader image
Back to Top

Game Master Tips

Nerdarchy > Game Master Tips
RPG sound music out of the box girl with the dragon snafu

D&D Ideas — Background

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is background, 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 background in Girl with the Dragon SNAFU characters with a background in entertainment gain a leg up in uncovering more about the unusual relationship between a bard and his biggest fan. A mysterious woman holds draconic secrets and a lesser fiend hides behind it all unless characters find the truth and free her 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.

aarakocra 5E D&D flying character

Take to the Skies of 5E D&D as a Flying Character with This New Feat

Flying characters aren’t nearly as good as you think in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. I know, I know — coming out the gate with a polarizing statement like ths immediately raises eyebrows. However even Nerdarchists Dave and Ted agree with this much as evidenced by a recent video on flying characters in 5E D&D. While I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m an expert on the matter I do play a flying character in our Those Bastards! campaign, as Prudence the feral tiefling. As such I feel I can offer some key insights into playing and running 5E D&D games with flying characters.

Getting More from 5E D&D Monsters — Kangoram

Kangorams make spirited mounts. These bipedal creatures reach heights over 10 feet tall and their powerful legs mimic the bounding gait of part of their namesake while thick skulls and curling horns belie the other half. A ridge of bony plates runs down their back to the tip of their tail, which they balance on to deliver powerful kicks. Druids who understand these unusual beasts know the way to train them as a powerful mount lies in steering them away from their forward focus to exert control. These beast monsters appear in Chimes of Discordia: Fantastical Mounts, one of the digital fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons products we create for Patreon supporters and later for Nerdarchy the Store. Here you’ll find expanded 5E D&D content inspired by these exotic beast creatures along with the stat block as it appears in the book ready to drop into your games.

D&D Ideas — War

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is war, 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 war in Dogs of War adventurers who come upon a grisly scene may find themselves going to war with a dangerously deceptive adversary. When heroes find a scene of animal attack, a duplicitous shapechanger lures them in for a howling kill 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.

5E D&D oceans encounters Out of the Box

Failure is Fun in 5E D&D

Failure is fun. You read right — one of my favorite things in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons is failure. What’s more critical failure is one of my favorite optional rules to use in any 5E D&D game. Pulling from the Nerdarchy vault today I discovered a video from our archives that exemplify much of what I’m saying. Let’s talk about why.

D&D Ideas — Peace

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is peace, 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 peace in Argument the two sides of an ettin find themselves in conflict thanks to a peculiar magic item and clever adventurers can use this to their advantage to find a peaceful resolution with the rampaging giant. An ettin argues with itself after attacking a merchant caravan 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.

D&D Ideas — Schools of Magic

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is schools of magic, 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 schools of magic we created our own! The School of Beardomancy experiments with strange energies from the Beard Dimension and expanded to infuse many other Fifth Edition classes with beardomantic power, new spells, magic items and an ever-growing tangle of fun and flavor for your games. With April just a few days away you can count on another installment of this annual tradition for those who Meet Us at the Tavern. Get caught up with the happenings from the Beard Dimension with the original Beardomancy and follow up Hairable Ideas in anticipation of this year’s installment. Bring your beard to bear against foes and protect your allies with beardomantic energy here and tap deeper into the voluminous power of the Beard Dimension here.

D&D traps Nord Games

Incorporating Traps Effectively in 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! Today I’m writing about traps and how they work in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This is one of those things I don’t see in 5E D&D play as often as I used to and honestly it’s a bit of a shame. In this post I’m thinking about ways of incorporating traps into dungeons and instead of throwing a bunch of traps out for Dungeon Masters to use I’m going to break down what goes into a good one and how to make them satisfying for players. Ready? Let’s do this.

Wringing Out 5E D&D Challenge Rating and Encounter Building

Pack mentality is a hell of a drug. I always get a kick out of the chorus of cries whenever the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons challenge rating system comes up. The most recent time made me realize I’ve been remiss all this time. The Nerdarchists made a video about it and just about every other YouTuber who talks about 5E D&D too. Social media conversations, in person conversations, blogs (even this one!) all weigh in mostly to chime in on how it confuses them, doesn’t work for them or provides impractical guidance to them. I’m in a sassy mood this weekend so I’ll summarize — they fail to understand the whole because they focus on one or a only a few parts. Let’s get into it.

D&D Ideas — Vaults

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is vaults, 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 vaults in Wooden Dragon a very unusual magic item may just reveal clues to forgotten treasure vaults. 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.

dscryb undead giant RPG boxed text

Make RPG Experiences Come Alive Through Finely Crafted Boxed Text

My personal Game Master style has been described to me as descriptive and evocative and this greatly pleases me. Whenever I play a tabletop roleplaying game the juice for me is imagining what it is like for a character existing in whatever settings and surroundings the game entails. So when I’m behind the GM screen it’s important to me to elicit the same immersive experience for the other players. Conjuring vivid imagery of people, places and things helps players put themselves in their characters’ perspectives and brings the world and the game itself to more vibrant life. The folks behind dScryb feel the same way and they’ve put together a terrific resource to help GMs free up their time and create a sensory experience to help set the narrative tone, introduce scenes and spotlight what is important in your worlds of epic fantasy.

Keeping Old School D&D

Well, reader, it’s been a while.  My school work became rather overwhelming.  I figured you didn’t want to read about Decolonizing Western Uni-versalisms: Decolonial Pluri-versalism from Aimé Césaire to the Zapatistasi or such. I’ve still managed to play AD&D a little. It started as a second edition game but has become a hybrid first and second edition AD&D game. 

Get off my lawn.

Discovering RPG Conflict in Unexpected Places

Salutations, nerds! I’ve written about tabletop roleplaying games and what it means to be a Game Master in terms of scenes and what goes into making one. I’d like to touch on a brief recap regarding conflict in RPGs. The only metric that matters in terms of what makes a great RPG scene is if everyone involved in it enjoyed themselves. Some players are perfectly content to roleplay shopping scenes with no conflict. They’ll enjoy the conversations when the time to do so affords. These players are blessings and should not be taken for granted because they make a GM’s job easy. But there are those who won’t be satisfied with these circumstances and don’t mistake me — this doesn’t make them bad players! Conflict is the life blood of the RPG experience. Often the difference between a good story and a boring one is the good story understands a scene really begins when there is a conflict and ends when this conflict is resolved.

5E D&D demiplane

D&D Ideas — Possession

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is possession, 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 possession in Island in the Storm adventurers can ease a restless spirit’s forlorn imprisonment but only if this ghost can take over one of them body and soul. An imprisoned ghost pleads with the heroes to possess one of them in a bid to escape her island exile 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.

How to Evoke Fear in a TTRPG Character

Salutations, nerds! Today I’m writing about striking fear in the hearts of tabletop roleplaying game players. And no I don’t mean just in the sense of a player making an obscenely high attack roll and telling them they miss. I mean truly unsettling the players. This may just be a me thing but nothing turns me off of an adventure faster than someone telling me my character feels terrified. This is acutely true in a situation where my character wouldn’t even be unsettled. Some TTRPG characters may be really freaked out walking into a room strewn with viscera for example but a character with a history of murdering people and using their internal organs as a sacrifice to a dark deity probably isn’t going to be too bothered by these circumstances. And honestly forcing a character into having a fear response to a scenario that wouldn’t scare them is cheating.

Nedarchy the NewsletterJoin and Get $9.99 in Free Digital Products from Nerdarchy the Store!