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Best in Show 5E D&D Magic Items for a Bard

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted find inspiration to come up with the best magic items for bards in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Like the other discussions on top magic items for various character classes in 5E D&D this is an unusual topic because it’s rare for a character to choose magic items. However there’s a few opportunities I can think of off the top of my head. In Adventurers League play items can be traded on a one-for-one basis for items with the same rarity at a cost of 15 downtime days unless they’re playing at the same table. Games beginning beyond 1st level often allow for players to choose magic items too, like in our own monthly fan one shots. These looks at 5E D&D magic items are difficult for an entirely different reason though. The best of anything is subjective, if for no other reason than campaigns are as diverse as the people playing them. This time around we’re going to stick to looking at homebrew magic items at D&D Beyond and leaning into the subjectivity. For each type of magic item (excluding potions and scrolls) I’ll consider the rating, views and adds for each kind and choose the one I think best serves a bard. So let’s get into it.

Old D&D Spell Sticks to Snakes Reborn for 5E D&D — Cast Down Thine Staff!

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted examine an old spell and give it the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons treatment. In previous editions clerics and druids could channel divine power to cast sticks to snakes and thereby transform ordinary sticks into — wait for it — snakes. Back in those days of yore many spells could be cast inversely too and this was one such spell with the amazing ability to transform dangerous snakes into, you guessed it, sticks. (It could also be used to counterspell sticks to snakes.) This spell from the Alteration school of magic, what would now be transmutation, became known for much more than frightening folks with miracles straight out of sacred texts. Quarterstaves, arrows, axe hafts, spear shafts and more were juicy targets to transform into wriggling reptiles. Dave felt nostalgic for this oldie but goodie and felt it would be fun representing in for 5E D&D, so here it is for you to drop right into your own games.

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game as a Pride Warrior Leonin

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted feel the magic and hear the roar, discussing the best class for leonin in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Leonin let loose on the 5E D&D scene by way of Mythic Odysseys of Theros, an exciting addition to the multiverse from the planes of Magic: The Gathering. Leonin are lionlike humanoids and in the lore of M:tG developed a culture strongly valuing honor and religion. The leonin of Theros developed differently in terms of culture, making a conscious effort to separate themselves from other races and largely abandoning deity worship. As the second and most recently catlike humanoid official 5E D&D race option it seems to me people gravitate towards leonin over tabaxi and all viewers of the video left lots of great comments with their own leonin character ideas. I got caught up in the fun too so I thought I’d share some of them here and create a very special leonin NPC you can drop right into your game too. So let’s get into it.

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game as a College of Ghosts Bard

Hey all! One of the more interesting elements of fantasy, mythology, folklore and even history is death and how people interact with it. In fantasy roleplaying games like fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons this is often represented through necromancy and the dark arts accompanying this sort of magic. I feel there is much more to death as an element of 5E D&D. Whether it is what happens when our characters die or how our characters interact with the dead and undead, I am not a believer in the idea all such goings on are inherently evil. History is full of people who have or claim to have a special connection with dead spirits — speaking to them, communing with them and even calling upon them in times of need. We see this represented in subclasses like the Path of the Ancestral Guardian for barbarians and both Grave and Death domains for clerics.

D&D house rules

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game as a Path of the Dragon Barbarian

Hey folks! The concept of racial feats and potential racial subclasses are great ways to add flavor and texture to a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign world. Special techniques, tricks and traits not only add to the depth of fantasy races and cultures but also allow for expansion of the themes of the various races by building off of distinguishing characteristics and traits. In my own campaign dragonborn are experiencing their own dark age where the dragons who stood as leaders and gods for their society have been stripped from the world by neighboring kingdoms. For these dragonborn barbarian is a great fit for a character class and to this end I created a Primal Path for the 5E D&D barbarian drawing upon the draconic spirituality and ancestry of the dragonborn.

octopath traveler nintendo switch

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game with the Boost System from Octopath Traveler

Many of us tabletop roleplaying game nerds are familiar with video games, particularly RPGs and JRPGs. Even those who don’t play JRPGs are at least aware of many common franchises — Final Fantasy, Tales, Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon and Persona just to name a few. A common theme among JRPGs is their story driven gameplay and novelty game mechanics. For many the name Shin Megami Tensei immediately evokes the idea of rock-paper-scissors style combat involving damage elements. Saying a name like Golden Sun evokes nostalgia and complex magic and class systems. All of this got me thinking about something. JRPGs are renowned for their creativity and innovation in a frankly restrictive game formula. Suppose we tried adopting certain gameplay elements from JRPGs? While a creative setting or feel is pretty easy to accomplish, mechanics get a bit crunchier as Nerdarchist Dave says. As an admitted JRPG addict I love thinking of ways to evoke this sort of feeling and structure in a tabletop RPG and mechanics aren’t nearly so inaccessible as you might think. So today I want to look at a mechanic from one of my recent obsession plays: Octopath Traveler and adapt a boost system into 5E D&D play.

Embrace the Hero Forge Foxfolk Spirit in Your 5E D&D Game

Nerdarchist Ted here to expand upon the lovely post written by Steven about the vulpin, a foxfolk race for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons right on our site here. I think this is a great start and I wanted to expand upon it by making a new racial feat available for the foxfolk race that captures some of the Japanese folklore about the mythical figures called kitsune. And for Dungeon Masters out there I’ve included a vulpin spirit caller ready to drop right into your campaign as an insightful NPC. Whether you’re a player or DM, or simply think foxfolk are really fun and cool you can create your own customized miniature and get it 3D printed — in full color — from the amazing Hero Forge.

5E D&D Icewind Dale Rime of the Frostmaiden

5E D&D Adventurers are the Warmest Place to Hide for the Blood Rime Monster

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted find frosty inspiration from the upcoming Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden and create a fast and dirty monster for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. A blood rime is an ooze creature attracted to warm blood found in arctic regions and since Dave and Ted hammer out the basics in the video, here on the website we’ll get down to crunchy brass tacks and put together a stat block along with some lore to give Dungeon Masters some ideas on how to incorporate this cold terror into their 5E D&D games. So let’s get into it.

druid

Best in Show 5E D&D Magic Items for a Druid

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted commune with the natural world to come up with the best magic items for druids in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Like the previous discussions on top magic items for various character classes in 5E D&D this is an unusual topic because it’s rare for a character to choose magic items. However there’s a few opportunities I can think of off the top of my head. In Adventurers League play items can be traded on a one-for-one basis for items with the same rarity at a cost of 15 downtime days unless they’re playing at the same table. Games beginning beyond 1st level often allow for players to choose magic items too, like in our own monthly fan one shots. These looks at 5E D&D magic items are difficult for an entirely different reason though. The best of anything is subjective, if for no other reason than campaigns are as diverse as the people playing them. This time around we’re going to stick to looking at homebrew magic items at D&D Beyond but instead of following the factor of three model I’m going to lean into the subjectivity. For each type of magic item (excluding potions and scrolls) I’ll consider the rating, views and adds for each kind and choose the one I think best serves a druid. So let’s get into it.

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game with New Sorcerer Metamagic Options

Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons wizards harness magic through understanding while druids commune with magic as a living force. Warlocks channel otherworldly energies into our own dimension, as do clerics (in a wildly different context). Paladins gain power through their ardor and devotion while rangers tame natural magics, often triggering primal energies within. Bards essentially fudge their way through things, hodgepodging lore together and weaving it into their performances, and numerous others possess magic in part, though their primary focus lies in martial prowess or self-discipline. Then there’s the sorcerer.

5E D&D golden chimera good monster

Encounter the Golden Chimera and Other Good Monsters in Your 5E D&D Game

A chimera in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons combines the most terrifying traits of the creatures that comprise its form to make it a being destined for evil. What if you flipped that around? An entity that exemplifies the best ideals of its component creatures becomes a golden chimera. The lion is still proud, but rather than being a ruthless hunter for prey it hunts evil with fierce skill and deadly precision. The dragon aspect is drawn from a metallic variety, hoarding knowledge and wisdom to share and exchange with others rather than greedily gathering gold and treasure. The majestic eagle head gives the creature not only more hunting skill but a sense of honor and duty.

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game with a Quintessential Gnoll Playable Race and Racial Feats

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted bite into creating a new character option for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons with the gnoll. Gnolls occupy an unusual space among humanoid races of the Material Plane. Their demonic origins as mutated hyenas transformed in the wake of the demon lord Yeenoghu’s rampages puts them closer to fiends than humanoids and indeed the 5E D&D team expressed as much not too long ago. But it’s not difficult at all to reimagine these classic creatures whether as regular humanoids with traces of demonic blood in a fraction of their population like in Eberron or simply as hyenalike humanoids without any connection to demonic influence. At any rate you can check out Dave and Ted’s discussion and find their take on gnolls as a playable race for 5E D&D and for a bonus a couple of gnoll racial feats if you want to play the quintessential gnoll character in your next game.

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game with Flair in This New Wizard Arcane Tradition

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted spread their wings and come up with a new Arcane Tradition for wizards in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Order of the Peacock began with a funny meme and Dave came to our video planning meeting pitch in hand for a new subclass. Nerdarchy’s experience at D&D In A Castle 2019 already gave us a head start with all the research we did for our triple connected epic campaign, so let’s get into it and show off the plumage of this Order of the Peacock wizard subclass for 5E D&D.

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game with a Primal Draconic New Playable Race

Hey folks! The idea of a draconic playable race for Dungeons & Dragons has been favorite of mine since the days when Dragonlance introduced me to draconians (which we could not play). There were also weredragons, half dragons, and even a race of dragon centaurs my friends and I made. Comic books and science fiction also presented many concepts of the dragon man. Dragonborn finally codified this idea into a playable race for characters in fourth edition D&D and finally we had something in official rules to allow players to engage the fantasy of playing some sort of dragon. Two articles in Dragon #182 and #183 introduced young me to the concept of the primal, elemental, nasty linnorm, based not on the more fairy tale versions of dragons we see commonly in D&D but on the sorts of draconic beasts from Scandinavian tales. It is from these very different dragons I developed the wyrmkyne for 5E D&D.

Play Your Next 5E D&D Game with a Crafty Vulpin New Playable Race

So, what does the fox say? Actually, we’re not going there. Today we’re coming at you with a new idea for a playable race in your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons games, regardless of setting. You know how you just wish you had some help whenever you lose something, whether it’s your keys, your work badge or possibly yourself after you took that wrong turn? Wouldn’t it be cool if there were some sort of planar race to help you out? Now there is! Let’s meet the vulpin, a humanoid fox race for 5E D&D.

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