Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted cracked open a fresh copy of Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount to go over the new player options for races for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons characters. Dave and Ted talk about the new races and their mechanical attributes, and in that regard the book contains five new options: pallid elf, lotusden halfling, draconblood and ravenite dragonborn and orcs of Exandria. New player options are always a welcome addition to 5E D&D and it’s fun to examine new races to see what classes they mesh with through their traits and attributes. But what really interests me about Character Options — Races in Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount isn’t the crunchy parts at all. Rather, I’m fascinated by the example of worldbuilding through all the existing options we already had and how Matt Mercer takes things we already know and enriches his own campaign setting with them. Worldbuilding doesn’t start or stop with a Dungeon Master, and the most basic component of character creation offers a terrific example of how this aspect of the game provides fertile ground for players and DMs to collaborate and build things together.
Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is myth and mythology, which we discussed in our exclusive Patreon live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST with Patreon supporters and talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. 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. Characters can become part of an ancient myth themselves in Standing Warning, one of the 55 encounters from Out of the Box, our wildly successful first Kickstarter. We kept the Pledge Manager open as long as we could so people who missed backing the live project had an opportunity to get the book and all the add ons at presale prices. But the book goes to the printer soon and that means the Pledge Manager is closing! March 23 will be the final day of the live Pledge Manager, so there’s still a few hours to take a look and discover the best things for you and your players including custom Nerdarchy dice, Game Master screen and resource decks, the book itself and the ArcKnight pack and more. Check out the Out of the Box Pledge Manager before it closes March 23 here.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted carefully conjure some conversation about summoning spells and effects in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. There’s 17 spells with the summoning tag in official 5E D&D sources according to D&D Beyond and of course untold numbers of homebrew and third party creations. Looking at homebrew summoning spells at DDB there’s currently 818 spells with the power to conjure things into existence. Unlike the analysis of illusion spells, this time we won’t limit the list to wizards. Spells that add more creatures into the mix can be challenging to manage for players and Dungeon Masters alike. But it’s also fun to play a conjurer or summoner. I played a character focused on summoning in an earlier edition and I had a great time organizing info and collecting miniatures for the various creatures they could conjure. There’s definitely a few homebrew summoning spells I discovered while writing this I would have enjoyed casting back then. So let’s look at the homebrew summoning spells at D&D Beyond and see what sorts of strange conjurations a spellcaster can call forth.
Hello adventures and adventurer planners of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. At Nerdarchy cleave to the concept that whether you are a player looking to make a backstory or a Dungeon Master developing an adventure hook you can get inspiration from anywhere. I am always looking at whatever I am doing to see how it can inform or inspire the games I run and the material I create. If you are familiar enough with Nerdarchist Ted, you are probably aware of my go to game. If not you can check it out here. Recently I have been bingeing the Locke & Key show on Netflix. I am not going to spoil the show so worry not. All you need to know for this post, which is in the trailer, is there is a house and it has keys that are magic. This is a simple enough concept to run with.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted carefully analyze the best magic items for a exploration in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This is another unusual conversation topic, like the one on magic items for 5E D&D rogues. Players rarely get an opportunity to choose their character’s magic items. But it’s worthwhile to keep an eye out for particular magic items during the course of adventures. There’s two other situations I can think of when players have control over their characters’ magic items. In Adventurers League play items can be traded on a one-for-one basis for items with the same rarity. Making a trade costs each player involved 15 downtime days unless they’re playing at the same table. The other scenario is games beginning beyond 1st level. In our own monthly fan one shots we give players an option to choose magic item(s) for their characters this way, and I’ve played in many games with the same guidelines. Protip: for a tier 1 adventure or campaign try letting players choose one rare magic item to start and see what happens. So let’s get into it and look at homebrew magic items for exploration from D&D Beyond.
You know those childhood shaping Studio Ghibli movies? Whether it’s the bloody Princess Mononoke or the captivating Howl’s Moving Castle there’s always been something special about the fantastical worlds crafted by the Japanese production company. Today, I want to hone in on one aspect they get really right: the idea of the magical crone. To avoid spoilers for Critical Role Episode 96 onward, skip the following spoiler section. All the spoiler people gone? Cool.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted circle back to the basics and discuss the druid class for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. In the video they look at all of the 5E D&D books with druid content. There are subclasses in the Player’s Handbook, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica and Dave and Ted look over the character class as a whole plus weigh in with their personal gaming experiences. Outside of official sources there are countless Circles created by players all over the world. We’ve created at least one ourselves and there’s more from the D&D design team included in Unearthed Arcana playtest documents as well as terrific third party products containing new options for druid players. Over at Dungeon Master’s Guild there’s currently 625 products tagged as 5E D&D character options with druid content too. But there is another source of homebrew content I’m looking at today — D&D Beyond, where people have used the homebrew tools there to create 291 Circles for druids. Let’s get into it and look at the best ones from three different perspectives.
Salutations, nerds. We have arrived at our wizardly destination for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. You know, the ones in the pointy hats who constantly gather up in big towers and work together. As I was mentioning last week wizards group up in order to...
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted dicuss the potential for indulging fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons players and the all too familiar scenario of creature collection. Anything from a cute and cuddly critter to a fearsome monstrosity appeals to lots of players interest in taming beasts, raising their own monsters or otherwise gathering pets. They start by wondering what a 5E D&D Conjuration Wizard Fight Club might entail and proceed to break all the rules by talking about it — in front of a camera no less! When it comes to organized conjured creature combat Nerdarchy advocates ethical and nonviolent treatment of any and all summoned, conjured, created, fabricated, imagined or regular real world creatures.
Organizations in your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign world provide so many benefits for a Dungeon Master. Factions, guilds, cabals and any other collection of people sharing a common goal or interest can be quest givers, sources of information and structures for contextualizing any 5E D&D campaign setting. Even in the bleak land of Barovia, an organization like the Keepers of the Feather tells you something about the setting. In The Mandalorian, the titular character belonged to an organized tribe of warriors and the bounty hunter guild. In the first part of this series we went through the process of creating a guild for 5E D&D starting with the Dungeon Master’s Guide. The Adventurers of Adventure is an adventuring guild characters can join and gain renown with, earning benefits along the way. With Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica in hand the AoA can expand options for its members with Guild Spells and Contacts. The fly by night adventuring guild’s operating budget is pretty slim, so the selections might not top industry standards but hey — it’s free spells! So let’s get into it and proceed to step 2 of creating a guild.
Welcome once again to the weekly Nerdarchy Newsletter. This week’s topic is food, which we discussed in our exclusive Patreon live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST with Patreon supporters and talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. 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. The website for Nerdarchy the Convention is live! Our first annual event takes place Halloween weekend 2020 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. Halloween candy could be considered food, so there’s your bridge to the newsletter topic. As the site continues to grow we’ll be updating regularly with new guests, events and announcements up until it’s time to let the games commence. Discover more info about Nerdarchy the Convention here.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discuss Unearthed Arcana 2020, Subclasses Part 3. The latest playtest document for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons includes new subclasses for the artificer, druid and ranger. During our look through of this Unearthed Arcana it was the Circle of the Stars druid’s Starry Form feature that sparked a thought leading to uncovering the upcoming Mythic Odysseys of Theros book several days before the title leaked and was then officially announced. I wonder what the next leak will reveal? Until then, while Dave and Ted go over the Armorer, Circle of the Stars and Fey Wanderer in the video, over here we’ll continue looking at these 5E D&D playtest subclasses with curiosity about what sort of characters they might represent. So let’s get into it.
Salutations, nerds! Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons sorcerers are on the menu today and as opposed to wizards, who are constantly gathering up in big towers and working together, sorcerers don’t tend to really travel in groups all too often. Regardless, we’re going to push forward and see what we can discover together about sorcerers in groups. Wizards will get their own turn, but where they have this tendency to group together in order to share their studies and research, in 5E D&D sorcerers just get their power from a variety of sources and don’t really have to share anything in order to use their magic. But there are plenty of other reasons for sorcerers to group up, including self preservation.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted dive into the School of Illusion magic for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. More than any other school of magic, illusions in 5E D&D rely heavily on the Dungeon Master. There are 33 illusion spells across the official sources of 5E D&D and of course countless homebrew and third party creations. Browsing through the homebrew illusion spells at D&D Beyond I see there’s currently 1,433 of them! If we limit these lists to illusion spells for wizards we only lose 1 official spell (silence) but a whole bunch of homebrew ones, bringing the number down to 904. Since the nature of illusions in 5E D&D depends largely on how the DM reacts to them, it’s up to you and your group to determine how much versatility and power (or lack thereof) illusion magic holds. So let’s instead look at the homebrew illusion spells for wizards at D&D Beyond the way we looked at homebrew magic items for rogues and see what mystifying magic we discover.
Snakes get a bad rap in our world. As a kid I recall people always being afraid of snakes with numerous claims about them being slimy, creepy and scary. The fact they have no legs and feet, in a way, makes them alien to most other things people interact with. When you add into the mix most snakes either crush their prey while it is alive or poison it to death or so it is comatose for consumption makes for a creature that can live up to part of its reputation. But worry not, snakes and not slimy. Their scales are smooth and like many reptiles fairly cool to the touch. My son is getting a snake for a pet as soon as the kind he wants is available from a local dealer. Not to get too deep on it, he is getting an egg eating snake from Africa so he does not make his sister upset by feeding mice to a snake. She just got mice as pets for Christmas. With snakes on the brain I was very excited to see Hero Forge release two snakelike options during their Treasure Tuesdays in February — serpentfolk and nagas.