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Game Master Tips

Nerdarchy > Game Master Tips (Page 3)
WizKids Warlock Tiles Marketplace

WizKids Warlock Tiles Inspire TTRPG Encounters in the Marketplace

Tabletop roleplaying game adventures in town can emerge from many places. How much fun can you have in the marketplace? Given all the possibilities of events to unfold in an outdoor marketplace it is the perfect set up for fun and imaginative game play. Outdoor stalls make for ideal places for hit and run tactics by assassins or basic street thugs. Many marketplace features distract the eyes and block line of sight. A marketplace also incorporates elements for characters and creatures to interact with. Look at all the remarkable segments of chase scenes in movies and TV shows. It can all happen in a marketplace.

Chimera

5E D&D Monster Spotlight — Chimera

The chimera is such a classic Dungeons & Dragons monster from mythology and has made an appearance in all of the editions of the game. In fifth edition D&D a chimera can be encountered in a few different environments — grasslands, hills, mountains and the Underdark. These are all straight out of the 5E D&D Monster Manual and I’d add the aerial environment as well. This gives us quite a few places we can drop an encounter in with a chimera. They enter gameplay during tier two with challenge rating 6. Chimera are quite formidable with a decent amount of hit points, a fly speed of 60 feet and three attacks per round, one of which can be replaced with its Breath Weapon. Let us not forget villains like to employ chimera as mounts. A single chimera would be a medium challenge for four 5th level characters. These nasty beasts average 53 points of damage on a single round when they use their Breath Weapon or 32 when they can’t. If this D&D monster is played up to its full hunter archetype this is significant damage potential.

TTRPG Stock Sessions — Fancy Party

Salutations, nerds! Today I’m going to take a look at another stock session for tabletop roleplaying games in which we’ve got the biggest balls of them all! This series is going to be doing some party crashing. Or possibly attending legitimately with an invitation depending on what flavor you prefer. A stock session for a TTRPG is reusable scenario a Game Master can plug into campaigns that still feels different because of the specific characters involved and this one can be a good form break for parties who tend to do a lot of combat and traveling around and who tend to be excellent roleplay fodder. Most fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons parties spend a lot of their time in dungeons and on the road so seeing them all dressed up can be interesting. As before I’ll cover some of the decisions to make before running the Fancy Party TTRPG stock session.

5E D&D plant monster

Getting More from 5E D&D Monsters — Stonesnapper

The semi-sapient stonesnapper plant tends to grow where creatures that petrify like to make their lairs. The stonesnapper is a common fixture in many basilisk caves and there have been stories of medusae cultivating them and keeping them as pets in bygone eras. The flowers grow in vibrant colors, capable of motion and closing their petals around small objects. Their vines are also ambulatory. The stonesnapper doesn’t require much sunlight and in fact gets most of its nutrients by scooping up the leavings of creatures that have been petrified and then devoured — the crumbs left behind by things like gorgons, basilisks and medusae. The acidic fluid built up inside the stonesnapper in order to digest these leavings is a natural remedy for petrification. These plant monsters appear in Garden of Statuary, 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 opportunistic plant creatures along with the stat block as it appears in the book ready to drop into your games.

5E D&D dice coin flip Out of the Box

D&D Ideas — Dice

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is dice, 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 dice it may be a Coin Flip to determine fortune or misfortune but the roll of the dice generates the effect every step of the way across a strange dungeon hazard. A floor made of giant coins, each promising fortunate or unfortunate effects, challenges heroes to cross 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.

TTRPG Stock Sessions — Flashback and Memory

Salutations, nerds! Today I’m going to examine the concept of stock sessions for tabletop roleplaying games. In particular I’m thinking about the idea of delving into a character’s memories and exploring their backstory a little bit in a flashback! A stock session for a TTRPG is reusable scenario a Game master can plug into campaigns that still feels different because of the specific characters involved. Think of it kind of like how a good chunk of anime have a beach episode. That’s what I mean.

D&D Ideas — Invisibility

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is invisibility, 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 invisibility in Three Eyes Are Better an imp uses it’s power to turn invisible to manipulate a budding warlock and cause no end of strife for adventurers. A devious imp uses lures heroes into a destructive trap — battling a magic wielding cyclops — 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 alliances

Thrust Player Agency Upon TTRPG Players with Questions to Engage

Whether I’m acting as Game Master or not the thing I dislike the most about any tabletop roleplaying game experience is a group who interacts in isolation from each other. As a player I want to interact with the other players through our characters and as a GM I hope to see this behavior from the people in the group. There’s several reasons for this and a technique I began using a few years ago helps tremendously. So let’s get into it.

Use This Circle of the Moon Druid for Your Next 5E D&D Game

When it comes to fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons the druid is probably my favorite class. Reasons for this abound. The 5E D&D druid is super versatile and comfortably fills the role of healer, defender, controller or damage dealer. Even when players focus on one particular aspect through one of the Druid Circles and other choices druid characters can still fill the other roles in a pinch. Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted cover one such aspect in a discussion about different Wild Shape forms a druid (specifically a Circle of the Moon druid) might use.

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.

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