Of all the Adventurers League Character Build Guides we’ve done, this one might be my favorite. I should preface by letting you know I think this almost every time. What captures my attention more than anything in these guides are the character backgrounds and narratives we come up with for each one. Whether it’s a pure class 1-20 levels or a mashup of several classes, each choice from race to deciding between ability score improvements or feats and go-to spell loadouts make every character unique. The thing I love about the witch doctor is before Nerdarchists Dave and Ted get around to choosing their first class level, the character already has a rich story, fertile grounds for roleplaying and an impressive set of skills and knowledge.
Unearthed Arcana is flowing like elven wine! New playtest stuff for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons in the free Unearthed Arcana documents get all the D&D nerds excited. We’ve been enjoying the steady stream of cool new toys to wonder about, and the most recent share from Wizards of the Coast presents three new subclasses for D&D — Twilight Divine Domain for clerics, Circle of Wildfire for druids and Arcane Tradition Onomancy for wizards. Imagining how new content adds to a D&D campaign is always a lot of fun so let’s get into it.
One of the things we enjoy the most about tabletop roleplaying games is the collaboration taking place between Game Masters and players during a game. The emergent stories spun from game sessions, interaction between player characters with campaign settings and the way player agency impacts GM guidance and adventure direction is the juice! The art of the encounter in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons or whatever game you’re playing has as much to do with how players connect with content as it does the content GMs create. A good GM presents engaging scenarios. A great GM works with players, guiding the group through creating the story of their characters. There’s a shared responsibility to making encounters better.
Salutations, nerds! Today we’re going to be talking about fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons NPC relationships and reputation in D&D, something some player characters are very good at and others…not so much. Some PCs take the attitude that NPCs are basically just Popsicle sticks with faces painted on them who are supposed to vend gold because they were charming enough. Your job as the Dungeon Master is to make those NPCs feel like real people, and sometimes real people aren’t going to pay you more no matter how well you rolled because they just don’t have it.
Alkemancy Arcane Tradition for Wizards and a New School of Magic? Review of Deep Magic: Alkemancy by Kobold Press
If you’ve been keeping up with my review series on the Deep Magic: Alkemancy supplement for 5th Edition from Kobold Press, you know that last time was rough, but we’re not done yet! This supplement also contained a whole new school of magic: Alkemancy. Of course, this was accompanied by an Arcane Tradition subclass for wizards. As a note before we dive in, I was provided a free copy to review. This in no way skews my opinions. With that out of the way, let’s dive in!
Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. This week in the live chat we talked about using tools in D&D and ways a Dungeon Master might allow players to use them in a game. Moreso we delved into whose responsibility it is to make tool more relevant during gameplay. 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.
We’ve been talking a lot about tools in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons around the Nerdarchy HQ lately. The topic was the focus for a recent weekly live chat and newsletter, and came up again during a later live chat too. One set of D&D tools in particular — the gaming set — inspired our upcoming monthly Patreon rewards too. Rolling Bones is all about games within the games of our D&D campaign settings and adventure worlds. Our talk and writing about tools and gaming sets got me thinking about minigames in D&D in different ways. So let’s get into it.
In one of the recent videos on the Nerdarchy YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discussed poison in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, taking a look at the history of poison in earlier editions. Using poison in D&D has evolved over the decades for sure, and the conversation raised some interesting points. There are plenty of comments on the video too, offering lots of different perspectives. I’ve got my own thoughts on the subject, so let’s get into it and, at least from my point of view, answer the question if using poison in D&D is evil.
I was privileged to receive a review copy of Kobold Press’s new Deep Magic: Alkemancy supplement for 5th Edition in order to review it. The notion of potion making is nothing new to the fantasy genre, and I was eager to hop onto this. I love seeing new rules from passionate third-party publishers that I can use at my game table. That being said, this supplement is rich with content, and I cannot possibly cover all of the different aspects in a single article. As such, I’ll be writing a series of articles, each detailing different aspects of the book, and I’ll culminate the whole thing in a video review, over on my YouTube channel, once I finish the articles here. With all that out of the way, let’s dive into this overview!
Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. Apologies this week is coming a bit late. We’ve had a bunch of behind the scenes stuff going on of late. But on a personal note my wife (Nerdarchist Ted’s sister) had hip replacement this week so we’ve had some extra things on our plate. You’ll be getting two newsletters kind of closer together than usual because of that. 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. Now on to it. This week is all about that sweet, sweet D&D treasure.
Hello! For the last few months, Tales of the Old Margreve from Kobold Press has been burning a hole in my bookshelf. The kobolds blessed me with a hardcover copy of Tales of the Old Margreve and a copy of the Margreve Player’s Guide. It’s no secret I’m a huge KP fan, and the Margreve stuff is no exception. Part campaign setting guide, part adventure, and part new player options, like my favorite KP products, Tales of the Old Margreve adds new dimensions to fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons games whether you play in the Midgard setting, another established world or your own creation. Let’s get into it. At the end you’ll find an exclusive coupon code to expand your Old Margreve experience.
It’s Pride Month, and I love it! For those who maybe aren’t as familiar, Pride Month is a time when Queer people (or people part of the ever-growing LGBT+ community) the world around celebrate love, life, and happiness. It’s a time of rainbows and good vibes and all that other stuff.
A couple of notes before delving into this article:
- I’m coming at this topic from my own perspective as a Queer person who loves tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs, for short).
- I’ll be using the term “Queer” (with the capital “Q”) to reference the LGBT+ community in its many contexts.
With the increasing visibility of Queer people in our society, the question for many Game Masters inevitably comes up, “Should I include Queer characters in my worldbuilding?” Rather than tell you you’re a jerk if you don’t or try to convince you why you should, let’s have a frank discussion about the reasons you might or might not want to take Queer people into consideration when it comes to your RPG worldbuilding.