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Geek and Sundry GM Tips with Satine Phoenix…and Nerdarchy!

GM Tips Geek and Sundry Satine Phoenix

Thanks to so many awesome Nerdarchy fans and supporters, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted were able to make it out to Los Angeles earlier this year to appear on GM Tips with Satine Phoenix. The Geek and Sundry program features different Game Masters each week tackling topics and themes to help the tabletop roleplaying game community. Satine is a tireless advocate for the hobby and has become a great friend to Nerdarchy, and everyone here was incredibly stoked when she made the invitation to appear on her show.

Nerdarchy on GM Tips

Off-the-Cuff Home Brew Games is the focus of Nerdarchy’s GM Tips episode. Fans of our You Tube channel and website are intimately familiar with the improvisational and personal creation approach to roleplaying games, particularly fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons in the spotlight of a lot of our content. In live stream games like the Scarlet Sisterhood of Steel and Sorcery and recorded game plays like the twin campaigns run by Nerdarchists Dave and Ted, Nerdarchy fans can discover the Gryphongaffe setting as it grows and develops right alongside the players – and the Dungeon Masters!

NerdarchyOn GM Tips, the guys discuss their philosophy on creating memorable adventures and experiences for players without a need for copious notes, crafted encounters or preplanned scenarios, all within unique campaign settings. It’s worth noting that Nerdarchy by no means discounts any other methods of running or playing D&D or any roleplaying game. Whether your gaming group runs published adventures like Tomb of Annihilation or Out of the Abyss, adventures within a setting of your own creation guided by the GM’s notes and XP-budgeted encounters, or any other method, as long as everyone at the table has fun you’re doing it right!

In the episode, the guys share their insights on several techniques, methods, tips and tricks for GMs to run immersive, player-driven stories that evoke the spirit of collaboration that makes D&D and other RPGs such a fun and unique experience. Definitely check out the GM Tips video to hear everything the guys have to say. Here’s a quick rundown of some points that emerge:

  • Appeal of homebrew settings compared to published campaign settings
  • How to run adventures with little or no preparation or written material
  • Importance of listening to players and letting them drive stories forward, aid in creation and world build
  • Gaming as an extension of friendship
  • Rolling with changes in the direction of a story
  • Taking notes during play
  • Fostering drama and group dynamics
  • Arranging a buddy system at the gaming table
  • Favorite gaming moments
  • It’s still a game – have fun!

Nerdarchy would like to thank Geek and Sundry for the incredible opportunity to visit the LA studio and appear on GM Tips with Satine Phoenix. It was an unforgettable experience! Nerdarchists Dave and Ted had an awesome time meeting everyone there, making new friends and new relationships as well as the chance to meetup with Nerdarchy fans and play some D&D. We love all our amazing fans and we’re so grateful for the Nerdarchy community as we continue to grow and share our love for gaming with people all over the world.

Stay nerdy!

 

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Deck of Beasts: Kobold Press Is Holding All The Cards!

Kobold Press deals a winning hand with Deck of Beasts

Kobold Press Deck of BeastsGreetings Nerdarchy readers! Has anyone told you that you are awesome today? Well you are, and I believe that awesome people deserve equally awesome things. That being said, I have had the immense pleasure to speak to Kobold Press’s Wolfgang Baur and Inkwell Ideas’ Joe Wetzel about a product they created that has not only amazed me but impressed me. Their creative minds have shuffled together to deal us the amazing, the stupendous, the inspiring Deck of Beasts and Sidequest Decks!

What are these items I speak of you ask? Well let me tell you dear Nerdarchy reader about a dark age in gaming where one would have to lug around entire books just to include one monster. These days, the dark ages if you will, your Dungeon Master would have to turn and reference things which could take up valuable time. As a Dungeon Master, I always wanted to show the amazing artwork detailing the monster they were facing.

Despite my illustrious ability to spout adjectives with prolific prose, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words. Well this is where the Deck of Beasts comes in. Continue reading Deck of Beasts: Kobold Press Is Holding All The Cards!

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Making a Pact with Warlock Patreon from Kobold Press

Since 2012, the Kobold Press imprint has produced some of the best-received third-party content for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Their biggest release – both in terms of sheer size and tabletop roleplaying game culture penetration – is the Tome of Beasts. The 433-page book of monsters is a staple on the shelf of countless D&D players, as iconic and indispensable as the Monster Manual for many Dungeon Masters (myself included).

The material produced by Kobold Press runs the gamut and truly includes something for everyone who plays D&D. Everything from a complete campaign setting to new schools of magic, Game Master guides, the 2017 Ennie Award-winning Kobold Guide to Plots and Campaigns and the recently released Prepared 2: A Dozen One-shot Adventures for 5th Edition offer valuable resources for D&D DMs and players.

But if even all of that isn’t enough, esteemed game designer Wolfgang Baur and the team at Kobold Press launched a new project designed to give even more cool material on a regular, ongoing basis. The Warlock is a Patreon-fueled project in the form of a booklet containing new maps, monsters, character options and more. You can find out all about it and pledge your support here. Continue reading Making a Pact with Warlock Patreon from Kobold Press

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Gen Con 50: Live Stream Your Game with Maze Arcana’s Expert Help

Rolling dice? Roll that camera!

Gen Con 50 celebrates gaming history with a milestone for North America’s largest tabletop game convention.

“How to Live Stream At Home: the Hands-on Approach with Maze Arcana & Blackmagic Design” gives gamers the tools and knowledge to become part of that rich history and share their own unique experiences with the vibrant, growing tabletop game community.

A seminar and two workshops are open for registration. The events from some of the most popular and professional live streaming tabletop gamers partnered with leaders in the professional studio equipment industry aim to empower others to reach out and connect with the greater community.

Participants have chances to win thousands of dollars in giveaways including video cameras, technical studio equipment and applications over the course of the events, too. Check the links ahead and at the bottom to preregister and make sure you have a spot in these events. Continue reading Gen Con 50: Live Stream Your Game with Maze Arcana’s Expert Help

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Q&A: Starfinder RPG from Paizo Inc.

Starfinder

Starfinder RPG Paizo
The cover for the Starfinder Core Rulebook, from Paizo Publishing

2017 is a huge year for tabletop roleplaying games. Rich and rapid growth of the industry has ushered in a new golden age for what we all know is the greatest hobby in the world.

Or perhaps it’s a space age. With all the space fantasy and science fiction themed RPGs entering the marketplace, it might be more accurate to say tabletop RPGs are the greatest hobby in the universe.

Leading the fleet of these myriad cosmic game enterprises, Starfinder is set for launch on Aug. 17 at Gen Con 50 where the hardcover version drops, with the PDF version of following in September. Preorders are open now, so you can head over to Amazon here and get your copy of Starfinder reserved.

Nerdarchist Ted had an opportunity to playtest the game in a live stream event run by Owen K.C. Stephens, game designer and developer for Paizo. If you missed that event, you can still watch the VOD on WebDM’s YouTube channel. And in the video above Nerdarchist Dave welcomed Stephens to the live chat to talk about Starfinder as well.

Here on the website, we had a chance to pose some questions to Rob McCreary, a senior developer at Paizo Inc. and founding member of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game development team. McCreary also holds the distinction of being the first author in the Starfinder Adventure Path line (among many other distinctions in his career!). Incident at Absalom Station kicks off the Dead Suns adventure path and is available for preorder now, with a scheduled release date of Sept. 5. Continue reading Q&A: Starfinder RPG from Paizo Inc.

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Elven Tower Maps a Course Through D&D Content Creation

Elven Tower maps
2017 Ennie Award nominee Elven Tower creates maps and original content for D&D and other RPGs

Derek Ruiz – or Derek von Zarovich as he’s widely known to fans on the internet – is an 2017 Ennie Award nominee for best website. A year ago he was an English  teacher. With the flip of a coin, he launched Elven Tower and now “maps” his way forward to continued success as a content creator for D&D and other RPGs. In August, Elven Tower celebrates its one year anniversary. Along with his Ennie Award nomination, Ruiz won the One Page Dungeon contest earlier in 2017 with his entry “Where are the Villagers?”

“I had this idea. I’m going to do something with the internet – start a website or something. I had two options, because this is going to be out of love. This is going to be something that I enjoy. Either it was going to be something about D&D, or it was going to be about science. Believe it or not I just flipped a coin, and I said okay, this is going to be about D&D.” – Derek Ruiz

Continue reading Elven Tower Maps a Course Through D&D Content Creation

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Web DM Talking D&D and RPG Gaming (What Else?!)

Web DM D&D

Web DM D&D

Nerdarchist Dave made a pact with patron of the internet and welcomed Jim Davis and Jonathan Pruitt from Web DM to the Nerdarchy live chat. Braving the possibly haunted wing of the hospital where he works, Pruitt joined his friend and co-host Davis to talk nerdy about D&D.

As content creators, Pruitt and Davis got started by seeking to fulfill a need they felt was missing. They dive into the history of Web DM, what inspired them to create their YouTube channel and how it all came together. The Web DM guys and Nerdachist Dave connected over their mutual astonishment when they learned there was an internet audience hungry for D&D discussion. Continue reading Web DM Talking D&D and RPG Gaming (What Else?!)

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D&D Adventurers League Community Manager in the house

Nerdarchist Dave and Assistant Web Editor Doug, coming off of Origins Game Fair, welcomed D&D Adventurers League Community Manager Robert Adducci for a live chat. The Nerdarchy team at Origins met Adducci and many other great people there, and were happy to have him join us to talk nerdy for an afternoon.

D&D Adventurers League communityAdventurers League is the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons organized play program. It offers a way for people to get involved in a larger campaign and community. Previously limited to in-store play, the program has widened to include conventions and even home games – as long as the DM abides by Adventurers League rules.

These rules are essentially the standard D&D rules. There are a few elements specific to Adventurers League play designed to maintain a consistent experience across the board. That way, Adventurers League players know what to expect no matter where they take their characters and log sheets for Adventurers League games. Continue reading D&D Adventurers League Community Manager in the house

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Nerdarchy Talks Shop With TL Frasqueri-Molina

If you like Nerdarchy’s daily livechats (or even if you haven’t seen much of them and are curious), you absolutely do not want to miss out on watching Nerdarchist Dave’s interview with TL Frasqueri-Molina. She is the Senior Enterprise Project Manager at Legendary Digital Networks (they’re responsible for Geek and Sundry and The Nerdist, if you weren’t already aware), and she is nothing short of effervescent. She even joined in on the roll call, it was fantastic. Suffice it to say, we were incredibly lucky to have her on for this, she just seemed so incredibly happy to be here.

It isn’t every day we have a guest with so much vibrancy and enthusiasm, not to mention experience in her field. This is definitely one that you want to go back and watch. In this video, she talks a lot about her work with LDN (and admit it, you know you’re interested in some insider stories about what goes on at Geek and Sundry), some of the amazing people she’s met in her life as a nerd, and her experience running Tomb of Horrors.

TL Frasqueri-Molina brought her charm and enthusiasm to the Nerdarchy live chat. Photo courtesy of Twitter

This is more than just an interview about a shared interest, friends. TL has a way of taking her enthusiasm and optimism and making you really feel it.

Naturally, don’t forget to subscribe to Nerdarchy on YouTube if you haven’t already, where all of these live chats happen at noon EST with a variety of nerdy guests and live games. Also, bear in mind, here on Nerdarchy.com we update regularly with various nerdy articles and check us out on Facebook and Twitter for good times and dank memes. We’re also staying nerdy on Instagram. Also, if you’re interested in helping out the channel and the website, head on over to Patreon where you can get all kinds of extra content and have your questions prioritized for awesome guests like TL Frasqueri-Molina!

Stay nerdy, guys and gals!

 

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Pixelscapes gets psychedelic with D&D monster art

Pixelscapes D&D monster art

Jen Gagne of Pixelscapes stopped by the Nerdarchy live chat with Nerdarchist Dave to talk psychedelic D&D monster art, drawing, sculpture and of course gaming. She’s an amazing artist, unafraid to be bold with her color selection, and she’s been gaming for a really long time.

 

Gagne streams her art on Twitch at 8:30 EST on most Saturday and Sunday nights, and various paraphernalia of her awesome work can be found here in her online shop. Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter, where she frequently takes requests for what monster she’s going to draw next! There’s still plenty of creatures left in the Monster Manual and Volo’s Guide to Monsters to get Gagne busy, and with Tomb of Annihiliation added to the mix she’ll have plenty to keep her busy.

Pixelscapes – more than D&D monster art

Pixelscapes D&D monster art
The troglodyte token, chosen by Nerdarchist Dave in honor of the Scarlet Sisterhood of Steel and Sorcery. Art by Jen Gagne/Pixelscapes

Let’s be real for a second; Gagne is not only incredibly talented as an artist but she is also a kind and genuine person, and it’s so rare to find those two things in the same place. Definitely consider watching her interview to see some examples of her work, including a really awesome insect she sculpted using wire and straight razors.

Of course don’t forget to subscribe to Nerdarchy on YouTube, where there are live chats  at noon Eastern with nerds like you who are working within the subculture to create content, and change the gaming industry.  There are also live games, GM 911 responses to questions from viewers, gaming news, product reviews and fifth edition D&D builds for characters from popular culture. Obviously you’re already on Nerdarchy.com, or you wouldn’t be reading this, but don’t forget to check back regularly because we’re updated every day with new articles on all things geek. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter. Check us out on Patreon, where you can support Nerdarchy and get loads of cool stuff like opportunities to game with Nerdarchy, extra content for your game and opportunities to have your questions for guests pinned to the very top of the list!

Finally, don’t forget to stay nerdy!

 

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Matt Mercer of Critical Role talks Tal’Dorei with Dungeon Life

Matt Mercer Critical Role

Dungeon Life’s Todd Kenreck was one busy journalist at Wizards of the Coast’s Stream of Annihilation June 2-3, 2017. On his Twitter feed, Kenreck shared that he was able to score 29 interviews with various D&D dignitaries, including the inimitable Matthew Mercer, actor and Dungeon Master for Geek and Sundry’s Critical Role. Continue reading Matt Mercer of Critical Role talks Tal’Dorei with Dungeon Life

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Jeff Mach talks steampunk and geek culture with Nerdarchy

Jeff Mach steampunk

Jeff Mach creates geek events like Steampunk World’s Fair

Jeff Mach from Jeff Mach Events stopped by for a Nerdarchy live chat to talk about conventions, steampunk culture and creating strange, wonderful new homes for people whose interests lie outside the norm. As one of the east coast’s largest creators of unique events for non-normal people, Jeff Mach Events runs the world’s largest indoor Renaissance Faire, Wicked Faire, Steampunk World’s Fair and more. Continue reading Jeff Mach talks steampunk and geek culture with Nerdarchy

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Wayward Leather puts Designs on Nerdarchy Live Chat

Nerdarchists Dave and Ted welcomed artist and craftsperson Mellie Z. to the Nerdarchy live chat to talk shop about her fantasy-themed leatherwork creations. Mellie hand-crafts fantastic pieces for display, wearable garments and accessories, bags and “monster boxes.”

Mellie Z.
Mellie Z. creates handmade, fantasy-themed leatherworks.

Her work has been shown at conventions like Dragon Con and the Steampunk World’s Fair, gotten compliments from luminaries like Stan Lee and joined the collections of nerd-culture icons like award-winning author George R.R. Martin and Nerdarchist Ted himself, who loves his Ludlow the Mimic bag. (Mellie’s policy is that anything she creates that has a face gets a distinctive name.)

Mellie shared a few tips on leatherworking including insights into her process, both technical and creatively. During the chat she answers Nerdarchy fan questions and quickly became a viewer favorite.

In addition to her convention and fair appearances where her work is on display and for sale, Mellie maintains a website and etsy store where items are available for purchase. She also offers custom pieces and commissions.

Wayward Leather Design
One of Mellie Z.’s most eye-catching creations.

After you watch the live chat, head over to Wayward Leather Designs’ website where you can get your own monster box or bag, view a gallery of Mellie’s work and find an event calendar showing where she’ll be next. You can also follow her on Facebook to stay updated on her work and connect with other fans, and on Instagram where you can discover photos of all her creations (and random cat pictures, too).

As always, Nerdarchy Patreons get priority access on asking questions for daily live chat guests as well as exclusive monthly rewards and chances to game with Nerdarchy. Be sure to like, share and subscribe to the video and the Nerdarchy YouTube channel, follow on Twitter and Facebook so you never miss out on content and, as always, stay nerdy!

 

 

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Stream of Annihilation highlights what’s fantastic about D&D

It’s no fluke that an enormous and continually-growing slate of streaming game play has emerged alongside 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. When Greg Tito joined Wizards of the Coast’s marketing team a couple of years ago as communication manager, adding more streaming programming to their schedule was one of his goals to expand the audience for D&D. Continue reading Stream of Annihilation highlights what’s fantastic about D&D

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Satine Phoenix is living the nerdy dream

Nerdarchist Dave got three special guests for the cost of one when he welcomed Satine Phoenix to the Nerdarchy live chat. Hanging out on her birthday from her home/studio in sunny Los Angeles, Phoenix shared her morning chatting live and answering questions. Nerd culture colleagues Ruty Rutenberg and Ivan van Norman hung out in the background and made a few guest appearances in the chat to say hello and talk about their own gaming projects.

Satine Phoenix
Satine Phoenix joined Nerdarchist Dave to start her birthday off by staying nerdy for the daily live chat.

A proud nerd and Dungeons & Dragons fanatic, Phoenix stays plenty busy as the co-creator of Maze Arcana, host of Geek and Sundry’s GM Tips, co-creator of the graphic novel “New Praetorians” and many other endeavors that bring together her passion for art and tabletop roleplaying games.

Dubbed the “Queen of D&D” by Time magazine, she organized “Celebrity Charity Dungeons & Dragons” at Meltdown Comics in LA, a charity event to raise funds for Reach Out and Read, a national non-profit organization that advocates for childhood literacy. She co-hosts Game School on the TSR Podcast Network.

Satine Phoenix is one busy gamer.

During the chat, Phoenix discussed the impact D&D has had on her life, shared lore and behind-the-scenes stories from Maze Arcana and talked about the incredible opportunities her passion for gaming has brought to her life.

Nerdarchist Dave and Phoenix also talk about the inclusiveness of gaming culture, staying creative, engaging with the community and the pride they both share in making sure to maintain safe, fun environments for any and all players who join their games. Nerdarchy fans will be happy to note that Phoenix is one herself, a longtime viewer of Nerdarchy’s YouTube videos.

Phoenix will also be part of the upcoming Stream of Annihilation from Wizards of the Coast, a live-streamed event to announce the next 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons product and a new lineup of Twitch shows including Fury’s Reach. This new campaign will feature two different groups of players. Phoenix will DM for one group that will stream on Tuesdays, with Rutenberg DMing a Wednesday group. The two parties will adventure in the same setting simultaneously and their actions will affect each other and the world around them.

If you enjoy the live chat with Satine Phoenix, be sure to check out past live chats with game industry insiders, fellow GMs and content creators and many more. Like, share and hit that subscribe button to stay nerdy and never miss new content from Nerdarchy. Daily live chats stream Monday-Thursday at noon EST. Nerdarchy Patreon supporters get to submit questions in advance and have priority for live chat guests, along with giving monthly exclusive content, opportunities to game with Nerdarchy and more.