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Game Master Tips

Nerdarchy > Game Master Tips (Page 6)
5E D&D Tiny monsters

10 Tiny Terrors of 5E D&D

Not too long ago I took a look at the chonkiest bois in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. It turns out 5E D&D’s most massive monsters when it comes to hit points also stand at the top of the size chart with ten out of 13 boasting Gargantuan size. But big threats don’t always come in equally big packages. While there aren’t a whole lot of deadly creatures on the Tiny side of things there’s plenty to put adventurers in peril. So let’s get into it.

gamowrimo rpg campaign writing

Write the RPG You’ve Always Wanted During GamoWriMo — the NaoNoWriMo Spinoff for TTRPG Nerds

It’s November, which means National Novel Writing Month — also lovingly referred to as NaNoWriMo. Last year, Dael Kingsmill proposed a twist on our classic NaNoWriMo called GamoWriMo. The premise of NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write at least 50,000 words of a novel in a single month. GamoWriMo’s challenge was similar: take the niggling idea for an RPG campaign that just won’t leave you alone and get it to a playtest worthy state before the end of the month. Both challenges emphasize getting words on a page as opposed to immaculate quality.

5E D&D musical instruments tools

Listen to the Sound of Music | Tool Time with Musical Instruments in 5E D&D

In our continuing discussion of tools and proficiencies in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons it’s time we talked about a craft many appreciate and even more confuse with the existing Performance skill. Grab your kalimba and take a seat in the orchestra because we’re talking about instruments. As a quick note tool proficiencies are generally nebulous in 5E D&D and their applications vary depending on your Dungeon Master. These posts are meant as guides for those who don’t know where to start but many DMs already have established rules for how tools proficiencies work in tandem with skills. So make sure to ask how tool proficiencies work in your own games.

RPG game master player

Player Choices Foster RPG Division of Labor for Better Game Experiences

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted ponder the ins and outs of Dungeon Masters recognizing and respecting player and character choices in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The discussion applies to any tabletop roleplaying game and encompasses both mechanical and narrative choices during character creation and throughout a campaign. To me this speaks to paradigm shift in the RPG hobby. So let’s get into it.

RPG NPC GM tips

4 Ways to Make NPCs Likeable in your RPG Experiences

Salutations, nerds. I’m coming in with some tips and tricks to get player characters to like a the non-player characters in your tabletop roleplaying games. I know we’ve all been there before in situations where you worked really hard on a character for the party to interact with and they got there and just hated them out of the gate. There’s not much to be done about this. You can do everything right and still have that happen every once in a while. Here are some methods I’ve gathered to narrow the margin for error and throw an NPC at your party they’ll like both in and out of character.

D&D Ideas — Goblins

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is goblins, 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 goblins in Aces High a gang of goblins led by a resourceful boss take to the skies on giant bats to launch aerial assaults with an explosive new weapon — grenados! This fan favorite encounter and map flies off the page and into your games 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, by signing up here.

RPG player character

5 Ideas to Spice up Your RPG Character Backstory

If I’m being honest I’ve absolutely been That Guy who shows up to a tabletop roleplaying game session with several pages of backstory for my character. In all fairness these times are few and far between and the pages are usually full of narrative instead of exposition, but still Backgrounds are the life blood of your RPG character’s introduction. The events that shaped them up to this point help inform how you portray them and their introduction to the rest of the party. After musing on backgrounds, I wanted to share some ways that GMs I’ve played with have spiced up background elements in games I’ve been a part of. So, let’s cover five ways to make your character backstory more interesting!

5E D&D gelatinous cube Out of the Box Rubes Cube

Crafting your 5E D&D Gelatinous Cubes Encounter

Hello and greetings. I apologize if I tricked you into thinking this was about fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons table preparation. Nope! this is another crafting idea from the mind of Nerdarchist Ted. I was at the store looking for a new cat tree. Despite not seeing the tree made of carpet for my cats to destroy in the clearance aisle I saw a game that looked like it used tiny plastic cubes. I instantly thought of gelatinous cubes. It was worth investigating as a potential new fun crafting project for my 5E D&D games.

WizKids D&D Icons of the Realms: Fangs and Talons ki-rin tyrannosaurus rex

Brave the Dangers of Fangs and Talons with WizKids Miniatures

I have said it before and I will say it again — I love miniatures. Well, WizKids is back and they have brought the monsters! Releasing the second week of November D&D Icons of the Realms: Fangs and Talons offers some amazing monsters of all shapes and sizes. This also includes one of my new favorite miniatures.

power gaming

Consider Your Character Backstory Before Your Next RPG Experience

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted share their thoughts and perspective on the essentials of backstory for a tabletop roleplaying game character. A terrific post from Tribality got the wheels turning on approaching a character backstory not so much as a narrative piece of fiction detailing the events leading up to the adventuring life. Instead a great character backstory functions as a resource to inform game play in the present tense. So let’s get into it.

D&D Ideas — Frogs

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is frogs, 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 frogs in Scaling Up a tactical group of lizardfolk on unusual mounts and bolstered by a half-dragon ambush adventurers in the wilds. This gorgeously illustrated encounter and map leaps off the page and into your games 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, by signing up here.

superhero RPG

Running a Superhero RPG

It’s a time for masks and mayhem and for me this means superheroes! Superhero flavor can be found everywhere, even in more rigid tabletop roleplaying game systems like fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. What are Critical Role’s Mighty Nein or Vox Machina, if not superheroes in their own worlds? I’ve often thought many homebrew campaign settings feel a lot like fantasy superheroes in worlds where being super is more about aspiration and power development than power inaccessibility. But some people just want the unabashed superhero flavor in their RPG campaigns. Yet many Game Masters I’ve talked with don’t know where to start when it comes to supers.

‘Twas the Nightmare Before Father Winters’ Day for 5E D&D

It’s that time of year, when things go bump in the night and everyone gives cosplayers the pass they deserve. Halloween is one of my absolute favorite times of year and I really wanted to write something inspired by the season. I have several favorites when it comes to Halloween movies. Among my top tier are one most have likely heard of and one most have likely never known to exist.

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