Over five years ago we sent out the very first Nerdarchy the Newsletter on Aug. 23, 2015. The inaugural message was delivered to 14 people who received a special message from Nerdarchist Dave along with an invitation to what would become the Company of the NAG and the platform for our monthly community one shot games still taking place to this day.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted go the distance to examine the health, stamina and vital force of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons characters. The mere thought of dumping Constitution in 5E D&D or any edition of the game — or any game at all — is anathema for many players. Say what you will about being weak or clumsy or dumb, a character with poor health faces some tough obstacles in any game incorporating physical danger. Is a 5E D&D character with low Constitution doomed? Here’s three fantasy characters who suggest anything but, so let’s get into it.
What do you get when you mash elemental magic and a tale of escape and intrigue? Suppose you combined a world of electropunk technology with whimsical faeire dangers? What you get when these things collide is the novel Dreams of Fire. Dreams of Fire is an upcoming electropunk fey novel of intrigue and self discovery by Council of Geeks YouTube sensation and debut novelist Nathaniel Wayne. I had the privilege of interviewing Nathaniel about their upcoming work over on my YouTube channel. What’s more, beyond this interview, Nathaniel graciously agreed to answer a few more questions in the form of text, and I’ve included that interview below.
Blood. Pain. Terror. For most these words evoke dread, but for the Reaver they trigger glee, excitement and promise. Some Reavers come to their powers through dark rituals or actions horrific and unspeakable and others are born with an innate connection to primal bloodlust, which fuels their sadism. Here is a homebrew fighter subclass for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons — the Reaver Martial Archetype. If you’re seeing this post for the second time, it’s due to some technical issues we had with the site, but this fighter subclass was just too good to lose.
In my last piece I wrote about one of the modules I wrote back in the Mesozoic era. “After all our 12 year old minds, while imaginative, couldn’t spin a coherent narrative. I still have a dungeon I wrote back then called Torth. It’s… um… well, the Plan 9 of modules. Made no sense.” Within hours, the stalwart and suffering editor sent to me “I am curious about Torth! Although my opinion of Plan 9 is colored by Ed Wood, which I’ve seen several more times than the actual Plan 9 haha.” [NERDITOR’S NOTE: That’s me!] However, by that point the semester was concluding, work was piling up, and I couldn’t do it. Now the semester is done (I earned 2 A’s and an A-) and here I am sitting on the couch writing about something I wrote some 40 plus years ago. Get off my lawn.
Giantkin are a longstanding tradition in fantasy fiction and folklore. Whether it’s Jack and the Beanstalk or Attack on Titan it seems the notion of being smaller than another person is one of our most intrinsic fears. However, in the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons monsters and other frights are manifest staples of everyday life, and sooner or later people will fall in love or otherwise reproduce. That’s where the giantborn (offspring of human and giant relations) come into play! The idea for giantborn first occurred to me as belonging in my homebrew campaign setting, based on my own published novel The Mis-Adventurers: An (Almost) Epic Tale. However, this race could just as easily fit into any setting.
Never one to leave a writing series dangling, I promised in The Secret History of Merfolk to follow up with the third and final book in the series by Ari Berk. The Secret History of Hobgoblins presents another tapestry of folklore and kitschy monster stuff...
Just like at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel with its thousands of videos celebrating tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons, here on the website we’ve got thousands of posts too. Since 2014 we’ve been writing and posting new content here many times each week and this post marks the 2,064th publication. Since we constantly strive to improve our craft and recognize what readers, viewers and fans want we took a look at all the published posts to try and glean some useful info. The results track with what we already knew to some extent but with much sharper image came into view that’ll help us create more of the kind of content people enjoy. All this aside we thought it would be fun to share the Top 10 Most Popular Posts of All Time from Nerdarchy the Website. So let’s get into it.
As promised in The Secret History of Giants I’m following up with The Secret History of Mermaids and Creatures of the Deep, by Ari Berk. Along with The Secret History of Hobgoblins this series’ compelling cover art and design caught my attention and as a folklore and kitschy monster stuff fan I ordered them. Along with being enjoyable reads these interactive children’s mythology books are filled with fun ideas for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Let’s dive into The Secret History of Mermaids and Creatures of the Deep bring some fresh ideas to the surface for our 5E D&D games.
Browsing around Amazon recently I saw a recommendation for The Secret History of Giants, by Ari Berk. The compelling cover art and design caught my attention and I'm a sucker for folklore and kitschy monster stuff so I ordered a copy. Turns out the book...
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.
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
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Blessed Yule! Phew! Happy Hogswatch! *Wipes sweat from brow* There are a ton of holidays this time of year, and that last one mentioned is what sparked the inspiration for this article. Hogswatch is a fictional holiday presented in the Discworld. During my annual re-read of Hogfather by Terry Pratchett I got to thinking about creating original holidays in fantasy worlds.
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.
Black Pages is a series from best selling author Danny Bell. I’m going to do my best to give you a taste of the Black Pages series without spoiling it for anyone. Book One is Empty Threat and I just finished reading Book Two, Warning Call. After book one I’d certainly have called the genre urban fantasy, but by the end of book two, I’m having second thoughts. There is a lot of genre-mashing going on in this series. The stories in this series unfold around our protagonist, a young woman in her 20’s named Elana Black. Elana is a nerdy young woman with anxiety issues who works in a book store. When her tale begins she has a very special and unique ability — the power to walk between worlds. Specifically her world, which happens to be modern day Los Angeles. It’s kind of unique. While reading books she finds an opening into these stories where she can enter them, becoming fictional.