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Game Master Tips

Nerdarchy > Game Master Tips (Page 2)

The Five Room Backstory for 5E D&D Characters

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted look at ways for a Dungeon Master to use a character backstory as a resource to create dungeons for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Building on their ideas I’m curious about approaching from the opposite end and exploring how players can set their DMs up for success by constructing their character backstory like a dungeon for 5E D&D. So let’s get into it.

Start Your 5E D&D Campaign with a Single Encounter

How long is a typical session of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons? When I was much younger with many fewer responsibilities my friends and I gathered to play D&D for a lot longer than the game sessions I experience these days. Scheduling and time management are factors in this as well as the influence of online gaming both streamed or simply using communication software to connect with fellow players. Newer Dungeon Masters and those curious about what life is like on the other side of the DM screen already have lots to consider (and feel anxious about) and session length is rarely something I see discussed when it comes to 5E D&D or any other tabletop roleplaying game for that matter. So let’s get into it.

D&D Ideas — Guilds

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is guilds, 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 guilds in Phoba’s Bet a guild or other organization dispatches a very special kind of bounty hunter to track down an adventurer who did them wrong. A rogue medusa leverages heroes into paying for her dark services or simply hunts them while seeking a cure for her curse 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.

Make Flanking More Dynamic in Your 5E D&D Game

Flanking is an optional rule from fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons I’ve heard much debate on. The usefulness and overpoweredness of flanking and lacks thereof emerge in many 5E D&D discussions. Flanking is certainly a strange rule and much as I stated in the D&D Tag about the rules I just don’t get advantage is both generic and complicated — a bizarre duo to say the least. Nerdarchists Dave and Ted address this concern and others in a recent video. After watching I got to thinking about ideas to make 5E D&D combat more dynamic and homebrew rules to make combat faster paced and, well, engaging.

Taking Inspiration from the Language of Flowers for Your RPG Campaign World

Salutations, nerds! Today I’m writing about flowers in tabletop roleplaying games. Specifically I’m thinking about how back in the Victorian era people were way extra and liked to make codes out of everything. How ladies held their fans was a language in and of itself to the point the hand they carried it in could indicate whether or not they were available for someone else to pursue. In a culture that really didn’t like saying things outright there was a lot of reading between the lines — a lot of implication. Floriography, or the language of flowers, says this poignantly. If you’ve ever wanted to passive aggressively flip someone the bird this was a really excellent way to do so.

5E D&D Wildemount races

Adventurer as a Culture in Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Salutations, nerds! Today we’re gonna rhapsodize a little bit about adventurers as a culture in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop roleplaying games. A little definition delve first off. Any time more than one person participates in and shares something they are participating in a culture. It could be a super small one. Your local comic book store where you go to play Magic: the Gathering has a culture made up of the references and inside jokes that have come up there and that is a culture you participate in.

D&D Ideas — Tag

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is tag, 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 tag in Shell Game adventurers learn to share the burden and work in tandem — especially when they’re marked by weird energies! An oddball moment occurs when adventurers face a series of puzzling circumstances 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.

Giving Characters Status in the RPG World

Salutations, nerds! Today we’re going to talk about fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons characters in positions of leadership and I’m going to do my best to make a case for letting them have status in your gaming world. And yes, I am talking about allowing for a rogue to become the leader of the thieves guild, or have a mage take a place in a circle of high sorcery. I know a lot of Dungeon Masters who won’t allow for these sorts of circumstances so first I’m going to address some of the reasons why not and then we’re going to move right along to the reasons why I think it’s at least worth trying in one of your campaigns. Ready? Okay.

5E D&D frost king arctic hobgoblin

Avoid Boring 5E D&D with Bureaucracy

You’ve made it! The domain is saved, you and your party are renowned for your successes and the big baddie behind the first big bad has been soundly beaten. You’ve mastered rare and powerful magics. New upstarts look to you and yours as an example of what could be. Mechanically, you’ve just reached 10th level as a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons adventurer. Now what?

Wringing Out 5E D&D’s Eldritch Adept Feat for More Eldritch Invocations

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted contemplate the potential of the Eldritch Adept feat for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons characters. The new Eldritch Adept feat found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is available for 5E D&D characters with the Spellcasting or Pact Magic features and allows them to learn one Eldritch Invocation option of their choice from the warlock class. Let’s get into it.

D&D Ideas — Tragedy

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is tragedy, 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 tragedy in Mirror, Mirror adventurers encounter a forlorn spirit with a tragic tale they can help resolve. A Hearth Hope reflects on their former life and seeks to carry out one last task 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.

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..

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