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Game Master Tips

Nerdarchy > Game Master Tips (Page 11)
RPG sound music out of the box girl with the dragon snafu

D&D Ideas — Music

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is music, 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. Speaking of music, in Girl with the Dragon SNAFU when adventurers visit an inn filled with music, laughter and lots of conversation they discover a whole lot more going on off stage than the performance on stage. This and 54 other dynamic encounters ready to drop right into your game come straight Out of the Box 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.

Wage Secret Chest Wars with Classic Spells in Your Next 5E D&D Game

A while back over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted looked at all the spells in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons to determine the most expensive ones to cast. Part of the research for the video involved noting all the spells with expensive material components, both those consumed in the casting and the ones where the component is not consumed and therefore reusable. Any time you take a close, thoughtful look at the minutiae within 5E D&D you can find new inspiration for characters, adventures and campaigns and what I took away from this video research is a new appreciation for one of the oldest spells in D&D — Leomund’s secret chest.

D&D Spelljammer live stream

5E D&D Feats for the Future from Unearthed Arcana

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take a closer look at some new ways for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons characters to gain mastery in one of their capabilities or discover the ability to do something completely new. In other words they’re talking about 5E D&D feats and in particular the recently released Unearthed Arcana 2020 — Feats playtest document. This Unearthed Arcana presents 16 new feats to add new twists to characters whether through magic, martial prowess or mastery of new techniques. You can check out these playtest feats here and hear what Dave and Ted had to say below while I take a look at some other practical applications and do a bit of speculation. So let’s get into it.

Spice Up Boring RPG Fantasy Worldbuilding by Removing Humans

Fantasy is a broad genre when it comes to tabletop roleplaying games. However, it seems that whether it’s Tolkien, Le Guin, Adeyemi or Salvatore, humans are an inescapable staple in settings and conflicts. Don’t get me wrong, I love humans. Most of my friends are human. But I have to wonder if we lose a degree of creativity by presuming fantasy must include humans? Today, I want to explore some ways excluding humans in your RPG worldbuilding can really step up your game.

Play Your Next 5E D&D Campaign as a Pod Person in an Adventure Simulator

One of the scenarios RPG players face time and time again is the inconsistent group. For many the greatest villain in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons or any tabletop roleplaying game is Scheduling. Oh, the trials and tribulations involved with maintaining an RPG player group on a regular basis. Online gaming goes a long way towards mitigating this challenge because it’s easier than ever to find people to roll funny shaped dice with but what about keeping one group of people together consistently enough to complete a long campaign, or even a few sessions to finish a single adventure? Personally I frequently run into an issue getting a group to meet more than once with any consistency. I still manage to satisfy my gaming itch, but whether as a player or Game Master I yearn to experience a protracted RPG campaign following the same group of characters. While going through some notes I came across one with a potential way to circumvent some of the issues I’ve faced keeping an adventuring group together. So let’s get into it.

5E D&D puzzles skills

D&D Ideas — Dungeons

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is dungeons, which we discussed in our live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST and talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of dungeons, in Council of Three a magical puzzle confronts dungeon delvers and depending on how this goes they might receive a boon, a trap or even a future adventure. This and 54 other dynamic encounters ready to drop right into your game come straight Out of the Box 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.

5E D&D animal handling skill checks

5 Athletics Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! I’m back this week with another set of skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and this time around we are dealing with Athletics — the things that strain the body and make you push to go faster and farther. The kind of skill challenge that boil down to one solitary question: Dost thou even hoist? As previously, the idea is you could take any of these five Athletics skill challenges and drop them right into your 5E D&D game to give a character who leans heavily on this skill a moment to shine and solve a smaller problem.

5E D&D forgery kit tool proficiency

Fake It to Make It! | Tool Time with Forgery Kit Proficiency in 5E D&D

His tools an extension of himself, the hammer and anvil announced their master’s work with the rhythmic clang! Clang! Clang of… Wait, “forgery kit?” I thought it was “Forge kit?” Oh, nope. That makes more sense. Apparently, a forgery kit has nothing to do with a forge and everything to do with paper, which would just burn up in a forge. So, yeah! Today, we’re talking about the forgery kit in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Tool proficiencies are a staple in 5E D&D and their relationship to skills can seem concealed at best, as we’ve discussed in previous posts. That being said, every Dungeon Master treats tool proficiencies a bit differently so if you’ve got questions, ask your DM how they treat tools and tool proficiencies. All DMs are encouraged by the Dungeon Master’s Guide to adjust rules to suit their tables, so be flexible with your DM.

Evil Druids and the Evil Beasts, Elementals and Plant Creatures Serving Them in 5E D&D

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted explore the dark side of druids in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. In the video they share three ideas for evil druid concepts to explore in 5E D&D from a Dungeon Master’s perspective. Creating villains informed by character classes presents a unique opportunity to homebrew new custom creatures and NPCs. Our approach to these sorts of creatures involves plucking class features, spells and other player character abilities and modifying them to creature traits. If you plan to create your own evil druid antagonists for your 5E D&D campaigns I highly recommend this method as opposed to creating a player character version of a creature. But that’s a discussion for another time. Right now we’re taking the next step when it comes to evil druid villains and considering the minions serving them. Who or what does the bidding of an evil druid? Let’s get into it and find out.

5E D&D golden chimera good monster

Encounter the Golden Chimera and Other Good Monsters in Your 5E D&D Game

A chimera in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons combines the most terrifying traits of the creatures that comprise its form to make it a being destined for evil. What if you flipped that around? An entity that exemplifies the best ideals of its component creatures becomes a golden chimera. The lion is still proud, but rather than being a ruthless hunter for prey it hunts evil with fierce skill and deadly precision. The dragon aspect is drawn from a metallic variety, hoarding knowledge and wisdom to share and exchange with others rather than greedily gathering gold and treasure. The majestic eagle head gives the creature not only more hunting skill but a sense of honor and duty.

Make Your 5E D&D Combat Action Packed with Action Options

A recent conversation over at Nerdarchy the Discord along with a thread I saw on Twitter today coalesced into this very post you’re reading right now. In both cases players of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons lamented the lack of exciting combat action options represented in the rules of the game. In one case the conversation stemmed from player perspective and the other from a Dungeon Master. I’m here with great news for both these 5E D&D fans — the answers they seek are inside the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

D&D Ideas — Dragons

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is dragons, which we discussed in our live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST and talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of dragons, in Wooden Dragon adventurers encounter a very unusual and strangely chatty dragon blocking the road. This and 54 other dynamic encounters ready to drop right into your game come straight Out of the Box 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.

5 Arcana Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! It’s Arcana day. I’ve been doing this for a couple of posts now as part of the D&D Skills 101 series but let me rehash for those of you just joining us. The idea is you can take any of these five skill challenges and drop them right into your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons game to give a character who leans heavily on any particular skill a chance to shine and solve a smaller problem. Or to eat some time if your adventure is going by a little bit faster than you expected. Because we all like extra stumbling stones. Today we’re going to be focusing on Arcana in 5E D&D, so put on your wizard’s hats and lets get to work.

5E D&D Worldbuilding Insights from Mythic Odysseys of Theros Mythic Monsters

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted release the kraken and talk about regular ol’ monsters and mythic monsters from Mythic Odysseys of Theros for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Mythic monsters represent unique and extremely powerful creatures whose undeniable influence on the campaign setting catapult them into new dimensions of peril for adventurers. Along with these special new threats MOoT presents a collection of existing classic monsters whose presence in the setting shapes the stories and myths of the land. Extrapolating from this material gives Dungeon Masters and players a useful perspective for worldbuilding and how specific monsters — and how they’re viewed by people living in the world — can be a great resource to inspire storytelling and adventures in your own 5E D&D games. So let’s get into it.

5E D&D carousing downtime

Enhance Your 5E D&D Experience the Noisy, Lively Way Through Carousing in Your Downtime

Over at Nerdarchy the Discord a discussion came up about downtime activities in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The brief conversation made me think of my experience playing through Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and how the Dungeon Master incorporated downtime into the campaign. Near the end of our first session the DM asked what each character did on their own following the session events and since everyone grew heavily invested into the theme and vibe of the adventure we all agreed on the ideal downtime activity — carousing. Described in chapter 6 of the 5E D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide carousing, along with several other activities, offer things for characters to do between adventures. Carousing became a staple of our campaign and I thought I’d share how it made an impression for my group and added to the overall storytelling experience. So let’s get into it.

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