Salutations, nerds! It’s that time of the week again and we’re going to be talking about Performance skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. As usual, the point here isn’t to send characters off on some grand epic quest so much as to provide a momentary stumbling block giving those skill heavy 5E D&D characters a chance to shine! So without farther ado prepare your world to be a stage. I hope you’ve all practiced those soliloquies.
We receive requests fairly regularly around the ol’ Nerdarchy offices and we’re happy to oblige whether they’re character builds for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, Game Master advice or in this case an appeal for more flumph! Over on our Facebook page we were asked, “Could you do an article about the flumph? They are the red headed step child of the aberration family.” Flumphs have been a part of D&D since 1981’s Fiend Folio, a sourcebook of monsters for first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and appear in every edition since. In 5E D&D flumphs appear in the Monster Manual and several adventures. In my own homebrew setting they exist canonically on the shores of the Undersea of Fallen Stars where they were encountered by the cast and crew of Ingest Quest, the 5E D&D Spelljammer campaign over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel. Like so many D&D nerds out there I think flumphs are pretty cool but if I’m honest I don’t know a whole lot about these aberrations. So let’s get into it.
If you’re like me and easily distracted by shinies then this is the post for you because today we’re talking about jeweler’s tools in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons! As a quick aside proficiencies are a core mechanic of 5E D&D. However, tool proficiencies don’t fit neatly into the mechanic due to their more nebulous nature. Your own Dungeon Master might rule things differently from how we present things in this post so talk with your own DM and ask how they treat tool proficiencies, especially if you make that a core component of your character. With that out of the way let’s cover jeweler’s tools and how you might use them in your own game.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take a look at the savage raiders and pillagers with stooped postures, low foreheads, and piggish faces with prominent lower canines that resemble tusks in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Orcs have been a staple of D&D and fantasy in general forever, typically as a threat looming in the wilderness on the edges of civilization. Volo’s Guide to monsters does a good job expanding on orcs for 5E D&D essentially as divinely driven destroyers, a pretty one note portrayal. Campaign settings offer a window into different kinds of orc societies like you’ll find in Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount and Eberron: Rising from the Last War and Dave and Ted climb in through that window to make themselves at home and offer up three new ways to reimagine orcs for players and Dungeons Masters alike by adding just a few simple details.
Salutations, nerds, and today we’re going to to be talking about five flash skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons based on Perception. For example, did you notice the word ‘to’ was written twice in the previous sentence? The point of these is to give you a quick 5E D&D challenge to throw at characters for a moment of conflict when you need one or feel the need to slow things down. None of them are meant to send the party on some epic quest (though it’s always possible with the right — or wrong — group of players). Let’s get ready to roll some Perception checks.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take a look at the small, black-hearted, selfish humanoids that lair in caves, abandoned mines, despoiled dungeons, and other dismal settings in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Goblins have been a staple of D&D and fantasy in general forever, usually as a threat to heroes because of their vast numbers and malice. Interestingly enough 5E D&D hasn’t expanded a whole lot on goblins beyond the regular old goblin in the Basic Rules and goblin boss in the Monster Manual, mechanically anyway. Instead goblins are explored more culturally like the Batiri goblins from Tomb of Annihilation and this is exactly the kind of path Dave and Ted take even further in the video to illustrate how any creatures — even ubiquitous ones like goblins — can be reimagined in exciting new ways for players and Dungeons Masters alike by adding just a few simple details.
Plants are one of those things in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons that perpetually perplex me. Many fantasy video games with a crafting system incorporate herbalism and have at least a small list of specific plants used as ingredients in various potions, dyes and the like. However, 5E D&D hasn’t provided extensive coverage for plants as of yet (at least, not at the time of this writing). What’s more it’s explicitly stated in official materials that proficiency with an herbalism kit allows you to concoct healing potions at half cost. It absolutely blows my mind how many people don’t know this or think it’s tied to alchemist’s supplies. As a quick disclaimer, while proficiencies are a core mechanic of 5E D&D, tool proficiencies are distinctly more nebulous than those for skills or weapons and your own Dungeon Master might rule how to apply tools differently from how we present here. With that out of the way let’s talk about the herbalism kit.
Hey folks! In the first Snakes on the Brain installment I introduced you to several snake themed spells commonly used by reptile and serpentine monsters and races. These spells came from Dragon Magazine No. 235 and provided a cool flavor to the tried and true spell lists we have from official fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons content. In this part I’ve pulled some spells from Dragon Magazine No. 330 as well as a bit of lore and a new way to cast spells with a snaky vibe. These snake magic spells could also be encountered in the hands of those who associate with serpents and would be perfect in the hands of a yuan-ti backed snake cult. Combined with the spells from the first go around these spells also make a great framework for a snake themed spellcaster in 5E D&D. I can imagine a druid draped in snake bones and living snakes making his way through a dungeon dealing out coiling, venomous wrath upon all his opponents.
Salutations, nerds. We’re back with another set of five flash skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This time we’ll be tackling Nature, which covers quite a few things. Per usual the point here is not to send 5E D&D characters on some epic quest but instead to give them a momentary diversion for those moments in the game where they’re breezing through the adventure too fast and you need to slow things down, or when you have a player who keeps trying to roll a certain skill when you don’t have anything for it so you can give them a little spotlight. So, without further ado, Nature checks.
So, Dungeon Master, your party just defeated the Tarrasque (again!) and are bored with the yet another campaign against the evil archlich Evil McBadguy. They’re so powerful they yawn at any monster you throw at them and you can only use so many two headed, tentacled T-rexes. What to do? My first answer is play an edition of Dungeons & Dragons where the characters aren’t superheroes at 1st level but that’s just me. Get off my lawn.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discuss changing up your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons games through worldbuilding and getting weird with your campaign ideas. According to the 5E D&D Player’s Handbook “the many worlds of the Dungeons & Dragons game are places of magic and monsters, of brave warriors and spectacular adventures. They begin with a foundation of medieval fantasy and then add the creatures, places, and magic that make these worlds unique.” With such a succinct description for the Worlds of Adventure where our campaigns take place and stories emerge we’ve got a great starting point for developing our own ideas for nonstandard games. Since we’ve got a tremendous number of posts here on Nerdarchy the Website exploring nonstandard campaign ideas along with tips and suggestions from the video this feels like a terrific opportunity to mash all these things together. So let’s get into it.
Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is Being a Better Player, 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. Out of the Box has arrived! The shipment of the hardcover edition was delivered to our fulfillment center and packages have already begun to go out for delivery. We are sending copies to Kickstarter supporters and late backers first, followed by preorders received through Nerdarchy the Website. There’s still plenty of work to be done shipping books and making sure everyone receives them along with the other accessories like custom Nerdarchy dice and art prints and we’re incredibly excited to reach this point! If you missed the Kickstarter campaign and late backer options never fear — we ordered plenty of extra copies. Now it’s up to you to conjure arcane energy and make them all vanish. Visit Nerdarchy the Website and check out Out of the Box: Encounters for Fifth Edition here. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates, info on how to game with Nerdarchy and ways to save money on RPG stuff by signing up here.