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Game Master Tips

Nerdarchy > Game Master Tips (Page 20)

D&D Ideas — Unseen Enemies

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is unseen enemies, 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. Visit us over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel here and hit that notification bell so you don’t miss these live chats on Mondays at 8 p.m. eastern, plus our regular three videos each week where we talk about D&D and other RPGs. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy, by signing up here. With the COVID-19 pandemic situation we want to assure everyone we’re following all the guidelines and regulations, and practicing safety and preventative measures like social distancing, and we strongly urge everyone to do the same. Our partners and employees health is our No. 1 priority. Visit Coronavirus.gov for the latest news, updates and developments.

D&D Party Composition — Playing an All Paladin Party

Over on the Nerdarchy YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted explore the idea of an all paladin party for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This video series continues to prove popular and I’m sharing my take on the concept of single party composition here on the website. Playing an all paladin party in 5E D&D makes for one strong party with solid defense, offense, buffs and healing — the total package, right? While Dave and Ted share their insights into 5E D&D party composition in the video I’m more concerned about a different kind of strength from a paladin — the strength of their conviction. When it comes to a campaign setting of academia for each particular character class, let’s get into it and see how students at Sacred Oaths get graded on how well they uphold the tenets of their oath and not how awesome they are in combat.

5 Resources to Make Your Online Tabletop Roleplaying Game Epic

Stuck at home? Wallet feeling a little parched? Need a distraction to whittle the time? Then why not try playing a tabletop roleplaying game like Dungeons & Dragons, Fantasy AGE or something else online? Following up our previous article on online gaming let’s talk some more about resources that can bring your online TTRPG to the next level.

D&D alliances

Title and Nicknames are 5E D&D Loot that Costs Nothing

Salutations, nerds! We’re going to talk about something fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons players absolutely love to flash around, something that doesn’t break your game or have a value in gold points. All it takes is a little creative thought on your part. I’m sure most of you have read or at least seen Game of Thrones so you’re probably aware of the nicknames pretty much everyone in the series has. The Mountain, the Hound, the Imp. Sobriquettes, kennings, titles in 5E D&D — that’s what we’re going to be talking about today.

warhammer dwarf slayers 5E D&D

Any Adventurer Can Become a Warhammer Slayer in 5E D&D

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted borrow some inspiration from the Warhammer Fantasy universe and share ideas about the dwarven slayers of the setting. In the video they consider various fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons options to recreate the iconic dwarf warrior for 5E D&D. I used to play Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay decades ago and definitely recall these berserkers from their appearance right on the cover of the rulebook. While we planned the video and did some research, what really captured my attention is the process to become a dwarf slayer and how they take a name from the ferocious creatures they slay. In my imagination any 5E D&D character might aspire to become such a slayer. Instead of marking out a character path to simulate these slayers I think it might be fun and interesting to come up with some special goals and rewards for adventurers who dedicate the entire fiber of their being to the hardest and most destructive life of battle that they can possibly find.

Worldbuilding Opportunities Through Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount — Spells

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted unravel esoteric arcane mysteries from Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount and discuss new spells for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons in the latest book. Powerful magic energy called dunamis manipulates fundamental forces of the multiverse to alter time, potential and gravity. Dunamancers study this ancient magic and gain the ability to control those forces through deeper understanding of cosmic mysteries. The collection of new 5E D&D spells in the book represent a handful of known dunamis spells, and they are powerful. A terrific sidebar offers suggestions for introducing dunamis spells into your campaign so if we’re looking for collaborative worldbuilding for Dungeon Masters and players, the rubber meets the road here. Crunchy spell effects notwithstanding, introducing new spells presents a great opportunity for DMs and players to collaborate, explore and expand on a campaign setting together.

Worldbuilding Opportunities Through Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount — Classes

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted continue their look through Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount with a look at the new fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons subclasses in the latest book. Echo Knight fighter, Chronurgy Magic wizard and Graviturgy Magic wizard join the ranks of official  subclasses in the 5E D&D multiverse and the same things interest me about these options as the new races in the book. Shove all the crunchy bits aside, new character options present fantastic opportunities for worldbuilding and whether it starts with a Dungeon Master or the players in the adventuring party, any component of character creation or development becomes a wealth of ways for DMs and players to collaborate, explore and expand on a campaign setting together.

Getting More from Mind Flayers in Dungeons & Dragons

When I say mind flayer or illithid I am certain thoughts of a tentacle faced creature looking to consume your brain or dominate your mind come rushing into your thoughts. With a long gaming history every single mind flayer I have encountered or even heard about has been a villain, set out to control the subterranean worlds where they live and serve the elder brains as well as themselves. Long ago in the early days of Critical Role Matt Mercer used an illithid to aid the party because it helped with the mind flayer’s personal goals. Did they separate on even and just terms? No, they did not. It goes to show you really should be wary of trusting an illithid. Before I dive into this, Hero Forge has just released the Octofolk over on their website, allowing you to make mind flayer custom miniatures for your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons games or a close approximation and they look incredibly sweet. I have already designed my first one and I am eagerly looking forward to getting the miniature.

5E D&D Wildemount races

Worldbuilding Opportunities Through Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount — Races

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted cracked open a fresh copy of Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount to go over the new player options for races for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons characters. Dave and Ted talk about the new races and their mechanical attributes, and in that regard the book contains five new options: pallid elf, lotusden halfling, draconblood and ravenite dragonborn and orcs of Exandria. New player options are always a welcome addition to 5E D&D and it’s fun to examine new races to see what classes they mesh with through their traits and attributes. But what really interests me about Character Options — Races in Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount isn’t the crunchy parts at all. Rather, I’m fascinated by the example of worldbuilding through all the existing options we already had and how Matt Mercer takes things we already know and enriches his own campaign setting with them. Worldbuilding doesn’t start or stop with a Dungeon Master, and the most basic component of character creation offers a terrific example of how this aspect of the game provides fertile ground for players and DMs to collaborate and build things together.

5E D&D myths mythology

D&D Ideas — Myths and Mythology

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is myth and mythology, which we discussed in our exclusive Patreon live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST with Patreon supporters and talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. You can get the Nerdarchy Newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, along with updates and info on how to game with Nerdarchy, by signing up here. Characters can become part of an ancient myth themselves in Standing Warning, one of the 55 encounters from Out of the Box, our wildly successful first Kickstarter. We kept the Pledge Manager open as long as we could so people who missed backing the live project had an opportunity to get the book and all the add ons at presale prices. But the book goes to the printer soon and that means the Pledge Manager is closing! March 23 will be the final day of the live Pledge Manager, so there’s still a few hours to take a look and discover the best things for you and your players including custom Nerdarchy dice, Game Master screen and resource decks, the book itself and the ArcKnight pack and more. Check out the Out of the Box Pledge Manager before it closes March 23 here.

Challenging Epic Heroes — High Level 5E Monster Design from Monster Mastermind Ryan Servis

Hey there readers! Ryan from 2CGaming here, and I’m an expert in Tier 3 & 4 play for fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a tough area of the game to play in. The players are likely wielding characters of obscene power and your monsters are struggling to keep pace. Everything is more complicated and the hours you just spent carefully constructing your arch-lich villain got smashed to smithereens by a paladin scoring a lucky critical hit on turn one. These problems are hard to overcome and are omnipresent in high level 5E. But fear not, for these obstacles are not insurmountable. It’s totally worth the effort too, as high-level games are uniquely spectacular when run well. I’m here to share with you a process by which we make Tier 3 & 4 games some of the most exciting experiences at your game table by showcasing how we at 2CGaming approach monster design.

Top 10 5E D&D Summoning Spells by a Factor of Three

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted carefully conjure some conversation about summoning spells and effects in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. There’s 17 spells with the summoning tag in official 5E D&D sources according to D&D Beyond and of course untold numbers of homebrew and third party creations. Looking at homebrew summoning spells at DDB there’s currently 818 spells with the power to conjure things into existence. Unlike the analysis of illusion spells, this time we won’t limit the list to wizards. Spells that add more creatures into the mix can be challenging to manage for players and Dungeon Masters alike. But it’s also fun to play a conjurer or summoner. I played a character focused on summoning in an earlier edition and I had a great time organizing info and collecting miniatures for the various creatures they could conjure. There’s definitely a few homebrew summoning spells I discovered while writing this I would have enjoyed casting back then. So let’s look at the homebrew summoning spells at D&D Beyond and see what sorts of strange conjurations a spellcaster can call forth.

Theros? But What About Your Favorite D&D Campaign Setting?!

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted speculate on what we might see in the upcoming fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons book Mythic Odysseys of Theros. Since I already shared my own speculation in the post we published when we discovered the new book before any official announcement that’s not going to work here. Instead I’ll take the opportunity to consider a perspective we see and hear a lot as regards MOoT and the previous Magic: the Gathering material brought into the 5E D&D multiverse, Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica. There’s a lot of D&D players out there who see these M:tG settings crossing over with D&D taking away from the game and giving short shrift to campaign settings of the past they’d like to see updated for 5E D&D. According to Wikipedia there’s nearly 30 official D&D campaign settings in the game’s history, last updated March 14, 2020 to include Exandria. The campaign setting for Critical Role’s adventures became an official part of the D&D multiverse with the release of Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount.

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