Over on Twitter I saw Nerdarchy friend Mini Terrain Domain Jake shared a graphic from Arcane Emporium with 20 D&D related scenarios called Never Have I Ever: D&D DM. The idea is for each thing you have done on the list, add one level and then see what level Dungeon Master you are according to these parameters. I thought it might be fun to share this here with y’all, and I’ll go through the list myself to find out what level DM I am after 30+ years of rolling funny shaped dice. Afterwards I fully expect you to share your results in the comments too! So let’s get into it and find out what I have and have not done as a D&D DM.
Since late July 2019 devastating bushfires have ravaged large swaths of Australia, the worst the country has experienced in decades. Persistent heat and drought make the problem even worse. Entire towns have been consumed by wildfires, thousands of homes destroyed or damaged and over 7.3 million hectares have burned across Australia — an area larger than Belgium and Denmark together. Because the D&D community includes people from all over the world, we have some personal touchstones to the terrible situation going on in Australia through the creators and people living there who we become friends and fellow gamers with online and at conventions. So it is incredibly wonderful to see the RPG community doing what it can to help. When I saw just now there is a Fight Fire with Games campaign going on at Dungeon Masters Guild and DriveThruRPG I knew right away we had to share this news here on the site.
Third party creators publish new content for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons every single day. Many times each day. Since I’ve written this sentence there’s probably been a dozen titles published online along with crowdfunded projects and the like. But it’s noteworthy to see the Warner Bros.-owned comic book publishers DC Comics announcing a sourcebook based on The Last God comic book series for D&D. The Last God: Tales from the Book of Ages debuts in comic book retailers and participating digital retailers on April 29.
A mysterious new title from Wizard of the Coast showed up on Amazon last week and now we know it’s the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount! The D&D Team at WotC teams up with Critical Role’s Matt Mercer for an official collaboration on a new book detailing the continent of Wildemount where the second campaign of Critical Role takes place. Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount includes player options such as subclasses, magic items and more along with detailed information about the campaign setting, resources for Dungeon Masters and some really cool sounding new material for 5E D&D.
The Nerdarchy crew experienced a tremendous year in 2019! We grew by leaps and bounds, earning a Silver Play Button for the YouTube channel, creating a wildly successful Kickstarter, organizing Nerdarchy the Convention and growing the website right here by hiring me full time along with staff writers Megan R. Miller’s increased role with us and the author and writer of this very post, Steven Partridge. Steven is a remarkable writer, a creative powerhouse and really a good-natured and great hearted fellow. The whole Nerdarchy crew is so happy to have him as part of the family. Steven regularly contributes fun, intriguing content here to help inspire better games and better friendships. Please go visit his website to see all the stuff he is up to here. But that’s enough of me hijacking his holiday tale! — Nerditor Doug
Did you know the Extra Life D&D team has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last few years for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? One of the ways they raise money is through special products available through the Dungeon Masters Guild. The most recent of these is Mordenkainen’s Fiendish Folio, Volume 1: Monsters Malevolent and Benign, a collection of monsters for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The creatures contained within first appeared in the Fiend Folio, a classic title from first edition AD&D. Back when I was a fledgling young nerdy D&D player the Fiend Folio was very special. There was one older kid in the neighborhood who had a copy and everyone loved flipping through there. The death knight lurked in there. And drow. And svirfneblin! I can’t wait to see what this new iteration contains. So let’s check it out.
When the dice come out for a tabletop roleplaying game, many of us like to play a hero. Often we gamers think of our characters as heroes and we like to have them perform heroic actions. Sure, sometimes it can be fun to play the bad guy, but at its heart of hearts, tabletop RPGs were originally based around the notion of heroes working together to overcome evil and obstacles. If one looks back at the roots of RPGs, the original Dungeons & Dragons was much based upon epic fantasy, a genre of literature teeming with heroes of one stripe or another.
Today, Rogue Blades Foundation (RBF) seeks to promote heroes and all things heroic within literature. What is RBF? A literary publisher of heroic fiction and heroic-related nonfiction.
The holiday season is in full swing! Families gather around large meals and share time with one another… possibly even play a session of D&D together? In the spirit of the season, I was trying to think of a topic that might thematically represent this time of year. Ideas danced in my head like sugar plums… Sorry, I couldn’t resist. However, it did strike me that a common element when it comes to holidays is food.
When season one of The Mandalorian ends following chapter 8, I’ll be a sad Disney+ viewer. I subscribed to the new streaming service only to watch this show. Incidentally The World According to Jeff Goldblum keeps me coming back, too. Even though I’ve got to wait one long week between chapters of The Mandalorian, I’ve been keeping the bounty hunt going at the gaming table. Right around the time the show premiered I’d gotten a copy of Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery from Nord Games. Never a greater wretched hive of scum and villainy had I come across for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. A 5E D&D campaign immediately formed. The players loved it, I loved running it and we’re keeping it going. Nord Games helped created the seedy underworld with Skulduggery and engage the players through interesting encounters with Wandering Monsters. After Chapter 3: The Sin, I think Critical Hit Tables for Players and Critical Fail Tables fit the tone for this dangerous and complicated, Mandalorian inspired bounty hunter campaign. (Still no spoilers.)
The cute little green creature won our hearts with their expressive oversized ears and adorable attitude in the world of scum of villainy all around. And the clever way Emi Tanji, along with Adam Lee and Chris Lindsay packaged them up with fun children’s activities plus a fantastic way to introduce fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons to kids is, like it says on the tin, design genius. I’m talking of course about Adventure with Muk. The 44-page PDF over at the Dungeon Masters Guild caught my attention with the cover featuring Muk the goblin. Like many DMs Guild products from Wizards of the Coast all monies received from sales of this Adventure with Muk are donated to Extra Life. It makes me proud to be part of the D&D community and see these and other creators providing us opportunities like this to give. For the record, I’m just as smitten with baby Yoda as you.
I’ve been watching the promotional video and pouring over the details for the Dungeon Draw | RPG Cards Kickstarter. My mind reels with the possibilities. Cards have long been my favorite kind of accessory for tabletop roleplaying games. Many of my favorite types of games are card based in general. Curating a deck of cards to enhance your own RPG campaigns sounded pretty cool. Custom cards, even better. Creating your own RPG cards whole cloth, now we’re getting somewhere. Becoming part of a creator community and marketplace for designing and sharing your custom cards, decks and artwork for others? You really are cooking up a little scheme here, aren’t you Dungeon Draw?
Hail and well met! I’m Sophie, and I’ve been invited to contribute to this esteemed community. I know — big deal. So, let me tell you my qualifications. Well, to start with, I’ve been playing hobby and tabletop roleplaying games since 1977. I started Dungeons & Dragons with the basic “blue box” edition back in 1978. That means I have dice older than some of you. Probably most. However, it’s not just that I’m older than the Nerdarchy guys, I also spent 13 years working in the gaming community.
When it comes to fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons I tend to run a lot of one shots and shorter campaigns. I like this scenario just fine because I’m always finding inspiration for new campaigns and gaming with new friends. After watching chapter one of The Mandalorian last week my first thought was wow! This Disney+ show is incredible. And my second thought was this would make an awesome 5E D&D campaign. A party of bounty hunters navigating the underbelly of scum and villainy sounds like tremendous fun to me. I found a lot of inspiration from Nord Games Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery for a bounty hunter campaign. Now with two chapters of The Mandalorian available for viewing, we’ll match it with a second chapter developing this idea. So let’s get into it. (And don’t worry — still no spoilers!)
Have you been keeping up with Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition? We experienced phenomenal success with our first Kickstarter, and because of that we were able to grow as an entity in so many ways. Not the least of these is hiring me as a full-time Nerdarchy content director, at least in my opinion! We’re incredibly excited about the book we’re putting together. Seeing all the extraordinary art being created to bring all 55 encounters to vivid life on the pages, the evocative maps and all the bells and whistles like custom Nerdarchy dice really make us proud of this project and we cannot wait to get these things into your hands and on your gaming tables. But we’d be lying if we didn’t say we’re overjoyed about our ultimate stretch goal — Nerdarchy the Convention!