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Game Master Tips

Nerdarchy > Game Master Tips (Page 9)
5E D&D yuan-ti snake magic spells

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game with Snakes on the Brain and Cast More Snake Magic Spells

Hey folks! In the first Snakes on the Brain installment I introduced you to several snake themed spells commonly used by reptile and serpentine monsters and races. These spells came from Dragon Magazine No. 235 and provided a cool flavor to the tried and true spell lists we have from official fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons content. In this part I’ve pulled some spells from Dragon Magazine No. 330 as well as a bit of lore and a new way to cast spells with a snaky vibe. These snake magic spells could also be encountered in the hands of those who associate with serpents and would be perfect in the hands of a yuan-ti backed snake cult. Combined with the spells from the first go around these spells also make a great framework for a snake themed spellcaster in 5E D&D. I can imagine a druid draped in snake bones and living snakes making his way through a dungeon dealing out coiling, venomous wrath upon all his opponents.

5E D&D archer

5 Nature Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds. We’re back with another set of five flash skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This time we’ll be tackling Nature, which covers quite a few things. Per usual the point here is not to send 5E D&D characters on some epic quest but instead to give them a momentary diversion for those moments in the game where they’re breezing through the adventure too fast and you need to slow things down, or when you have a player who keeps trying to roll a certain skill when you don’t have anything for it so you can give them a little spotlight. So, without further ado, Nature checks.

5E D&D mythic monster

D&D Ideas — Campaign Finales

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is campaign finales, 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 campaign finales we recently wrapped up season one of Those Bastards! on the channel. The Nerdarchy crew took this week off before we begin a new campaign on Sept. 15. Check out the trailer for Moon Rises, a brand new Cypher System live play game here. We’re also excited to say Out of the Box: Encounters for Fifth Edition hardcover edition shipping began! Thousands of copies arrived at the fulfillment center recently and packages continue to ship regularly. Kickstarter supporters and late backers ship first, followed by preorders placed at Nerdarchy the Store. We made sure to order a hefty print run but they won’t last forever. Check it out and add Out of the Box to your collection of awesome RPG stuff 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.

Disaster in Your RPGs!

So, Dungeon Master, your party just defeated the Tarrasque (again!) and are bored with the yet another campaign against the evil archlich Evil McBadguy. They’re so powerful they yawn at any monster you throw at them and you can only use so many two headed, tentacled T-rexes. What to do? My first answer is play an edition of Dungeons & Dragons where the characters aren’t superheroes at 1st level but that’s just me. Get off my lawn.

5E D&D campaign setting worldbuilding

Create Unforgettable Experiences Through 5E D&D Worldbuilding

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discuss changing up your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons games through worldbuilding and getting weird with your campaign ideas. According to the 5E D&D Player’s Handbook “the many worlds of the Dungeons & Dragons game are places of magic and monsters, of brave warriors and spectacular adventures. They begin with a foundation of medieval fantasy and then add the creatures, places, and magic that make these worlds unique.” With such a succinct description for the Worlds of Adventure where our campaigns take place and stories emerge we’ve got a great starting point for developing our own ideas for nonstandard games. Since we’ve got a tremendous number of posts here on Nerdarchy the Website exploring nonstandard campaign ideas along with tips and suggestions from the video this feels like a terrific opportunity to mash all these things together. So let’s get into it.

RPG game master player

D&D Ideas — Being a Better Player

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is Being a Better Player, 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. Out of the Box has arrived! The shipment of the hardcover edition was delivered to our fulfillment center and packages have already begun to go out for delivery. We are sending copies to Kickstarter supporters and late backers first, followed by preorders received through Nerdarchy the Website. There’s still plenty of work to be done shipping books and making sure everyone receives them along with the other accessories like custom Nerdarchy dice and art prints and we’re incredibly excited to reach this point! If you missed the Kickstarter campaign and late backer options never fear — we ordered plenty of extra copies. Now it’s up to you to conjure arcane energy and make them all vanish. Visit Nerdarchy the Website and check out Out of the Box: Encounters for Fifth Edition 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.

Through the Looking Glass | Tool Time with Glassblower’s Tools in 5E D&D

What mineral derived substance is more prevalent in the daily lives of construction workers, jewelers, churches and nearly everyone else in the fantasy world? If you answered glass, congratulations! You got it right, and we’re talking all about glass today when it comes to fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. After a hiatus from this series we’ve returned with our coverage of tool proficiencies in 5E D&D to go over what they contain, how to use them and creative applications for your games. As a quick disclaimer, while proficiencies are a core mechanic of 5E D&D, tool proficiencies are distinctly more nebulous than those for skills or weapons and your own Dungeon Master might rule how to apply tools differently from how we present here. With that out of the way let’s talk about glassblower’s tools.

5E D&D yuan-ti snake magic spells

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game with Snakes on the Brain and Cast Snake Magic Spells

Hey folks! Dungeons & Dragons has a long history of really cool spells and Nerdarchy recently went over one of my all time favorites — sticks to snakes — updating it for fifth edition D&D for a second time (once in a recent video and several years before through Lost Lore). This all got me thinking of other old spells I came across in my decades playing D&D. I started looking through old supplements and Dragon Magazines and realized there had been a good number of snake themed spells uncovered from several sources, notably the 3.5E D&D’s Complete Arcana and two issues of Dragon Magazine (Nos. 235 and 330). There are plenty of other snake spells out there but these three sources provided a good sampling of serpentine arcana from previous editions. I have done my best to update them to 5E D&D standards and language. After these updated spells I included a few original spells of my own creation to bring some new among the old. Many of these old spells are likely intended for a Dungeon Master to use against adventurers but, like most spells there is no reason they can’t be used by player characters. I hope you find these spells useful for your adventurers or monsters in your 5E D&D games.

5 Medicine Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations nerds. We’re back again with another set of flash skill challenges for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and this time we’re talking about Medicine. If you ask me this is one of the more neglected skills in 5E D&D since there are so many healing spells to cast. Of course a couple of these could be solved with a quick healing spell but the vast majority of them require an actual skill check and this is, in fact, the idea. The idea here is to give you a few small encounters based around a skill challenge you can drop into your 5E D&D game to slow the action down and give characters a chance to flex their skills they don’t get to use perhaps as often. Let’s get to it, shall we?

5E D&D winged kobold

D&D Ideas — Fast and Fun Combat

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is fast and fun combat, 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. Creating new material for RPG fans to drop right into your games to help speed combats up, spice up adventures and generally foster more fun at the gaming table is what we’re all about. Stay tuned as we explore a new path soon with exclusive content like magic item cards with custom art and maps for your incredible adventures. Find out more about this new direction and how you might be able to see your own ideas immortalized with custom art and game design 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.

Put the Sparkle on Your 5E D&D Game with WizKids Sapphire Dragon

Dragons are an important part of Dungeons & Dragons. Lets face it — they’re built right into the name of the game I have been playing for almost 30 years. Gem dragons came to my notice in third edition D&D through the Monster Manual 2, an edition with five such books as well as several others with monsters. But when you have something as amazingly powerful as gem dragons do you really want them to be a throw away in a sequel book? Dragons have a rich lore, with metallic dragons being the good ones and chromatic dragons the bad ones. There is a bit of safety built into knowing you can trust the dragon or if it will betray you or eat you because of the scale color. Granted, dragons are individuals who have their own set of ideals and morals, but good is good and evil is evil. So how do you handle neutral gem dragons represented the middle ground like the sapphire dragon in 5E D&D?

5E D&D Deception skill check Stealth skill challenge

5 Investigation Skill Challenges for 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! Continuing with the theme of five flash encounters for the skills in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, today we’re talking about Investigation. So put your detective hats on, get out your magnifying glasses, because we have some small mysteries to solve today. The idea here is to give you a few small encounters based around a skill challenge you can drop into your 5E D&D game to slow the action down and give characters a chance to flex their skills they don’t get to use perhaps as often. Investigation comes up fairly frequently anyway and sometimes it can be nice to have investigation for investigation’s sake. So with farther ado…

5E D&D myths mythology

D&D Ideas — Lore

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is lore, 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 lore, Standing Warning is one of several Out of the Box encounters with opportunities for customized lore drops baked right into the description for the encounter. 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 bag of beans magic item

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game in the Bag of Beans Magic Item Campaign

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted explore crafting a magic item as a plot device leading to more fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons adventure. During one of our weekly live chats Ted took inspiration from the bag of beans, a magic item that’s been part of D&D since the earliest days and even way back then advised Dungeon Masters how “thought, imagination and judgment are required with this item.” While researching the bag of beans further for this here post I came across a story shared by a player about this magic item’s tremendous impact on their very first 5E D&D campaign. Turns out campaigns and adventures across the history of D&D experienced the ups and downs of this kooky magic item. So let’s get into it and look at some first hand accounts of how the bag of beans affected some D&D players and give you some ideas for your own games.

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