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The Power of Words | Adjusting Vernacular for Immersion in Your RPG

Words have power. Just ask Ursula Le Guin. Plus, language is so much a staple of stories and storytelling we’ve even codified it in tabletop roleplaying games into a proper mechanic. When it comes to the words our RPG characters use perhaps the question isn’t, “What words should I say?” but rather, “What words would I say?” This brings us to today’s topic — vernacular. Okay, I know it’s a big word but vernacular is the everyday language used by ordinary people. Speaking of, now’s probably as good a time as any to forewarn this article contains cursing and a dissertation on cursing and racial slurs. So if you’re not comfortable with either of those topics or reading some everyday curses then maybe seek out another of many articles.

5E D&D tool proficiency disguise kit

From Performers to Pickpockets | Tool Time with the Disguise Kit in 5E D&D

Tool proficiencies are a staple in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and their relationship to skills can seem concealed, at best, as we’ve discussed in previous posts. That being said, every Dungeon Master treats tool proficiencies a bit differently so if you’ve got questions, ask your DM how they treat tools and tool proficiencies. All DMs are encouraged by the Dungeon Master’s Guide to adjust rules to suit their tables, so be flexible with your DM. With all the disclaimers out of the way, let’s talk about the disguise kit in 5E D&D.

What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’? | Tool Time with Cook’s Utensils in 5E D&D

Okay, I know I started out the last article mistakenly talking about the wrong type of cobbler but this time fruit cobbler applies! Desserts! Breakfast! Elevensies! Lunch! Afternoon tea! Dinner! Supper! Yep, we’re talking about food today so get cozy with your favorite snack as we dive into a conversation about cook’s utensils! Tool proficiencies are a staple in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and their relationship to skills is muddy, at best, as we’ve already discussed in a previous article. That being said, every Dungeon Master treats tool proficiencies a bit differently so if you’ve got questions, ask your DM how they treat tool proficiencies. All DMs are encouraged by the Dungeon Master’s Guide to adjust rules to suit their tables, so be flexible with your DM. With all the disclaimers out of the way, let’s talk about cook’s utensils in 5E D&D.

Peering Into Shadows with One of Those Bastards 5E D&D Live Play

Over at our second YouTube channel Nerdarchy Live the crew brought our private game to the public. Every Tuesday 8-10 p.m. we stream our live play fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons game. Currently we’re playing a campaign with Dungeon Master Megan R. Miller called Those Bastards. This campaign began several years ago as a convention one shot and when Megan’s turn to be the Game Master arose we decided to bring it back. To help you catch up and get familiar with the characters and setting we’ve been writing here on the website. This installment comes from Nerdarchist Ted and aims to shed some light on the Shadow Magic sorcerer and big brother to a gaggle of half siblings.

How’s your Shoe Game? | Tool Time with Cobbler’s Tools in 5E D&D

A staple of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, tool proficiencies seemingly conflict with the prevalence of skills, so where do they fit into the game? That’s exactly what we’re here to discuss in this new series of articles! Please note: tool proficiencies and how to use them are less defined in the 5E D&D rules than skills. As such the options and explanations presented here might differ from how your own Dungeon Master treats tools and tool proficiency. On top of that, any DM can adjust rules to fit their own table at their discretion, so check with your DM if you have specific questions about how they deal with tools in their own games. And with all the necessary caveats out of the way, let’s horn in on cobbler’s tools!

5E D&D frog demon

Monstrous Mutations and New Froggy Feats for 5E D&D

Looking for a creepy abomination or an ultimate big bad sure to strike horror into your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons players? Then the swampy Muckwuggle is just what you need. While reading up on Muckwuggle, the Frog God from Nerdarchy the Store I got more eldritch horror vibes than my dark fantasy loving soul knew what to do with. While this content has everything to get you started on your dark fantasy trek into the swampy planar wastes, I’ve devised some feats I think compliment this beautifully. The best part of these 5E D&D feats is each also contains an optional detriment, called a bane, or perk called a boon. This allows them the versatility of being used as blessings for evil followers and servants to the frog god or wretched curses for its enemies.

Playing D&D in the World of Avatar: The Last Airbender

I just blew though the Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix in about four days and really enjoyed this television series. If you are looking for a great TV show to binge I cannot recommend this strongly enough. To me it is clear the creator of this is a fan of Dungeons & Dragons with all the hybrid animals, which has always been a classic D&D staple originating with the owlbear. The challenge in running a D&D game in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender is a heavy on unarmed martial combat. This is easily fixed with characters either taking a level in monk or taking the feat Tavern Brawler. (The name of the feat does not mean you are limited to bar fights.) We should not get attached to how things are named unless it take us down a hole we cannot escape from. So let’s get into it further.

Supernatural Gifts of Theros Spark 5E D&D Storytelling

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted bestow Supernatural Gifts on heroes from Mythic Odysseys of Theros, the latest fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons official release. The new Theros campaign setting reimagines mythological tales from our own world’s Greek tradition and arrives for 5E D&D from Wizard’s of the Coast’s other huge game Magic: The Gathering. Gods of Theros exert tremendous influence over the setting from the cosmology down to the commoners living in the poleis (cities) of the world. Most assuredly the lives of heroes intersect with gods, starting with character creation where they receive Supernatural Gifts to help them achieve their goals.

Knock on Wood! Now, let’s get crackin’ with Carpenter’s Tools! | Tool Time with Carpenter’s Tools in 5E D&D

A staple of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, tool proficiencies seemingly conflict with the prevalence of skills, so where do they fit into the game? That’s exactly what we’re here to discuss in this new series of articles! Please note: tool proficiencies and how to use them are less defined in the 5E D&D rules than skills. As such the options and explanations presented here might differ from how your own Dungeon Master treats tools and tool proficiency. On top of that, any DM can adjust rules to fit their own table at their discretion, so check with your DM if you have specific questions about how they deal with tools in their own games. And with all the necessary caveats out of the way, let’s dive into carpenter’s tools!

D&D warlock eldritch blast

Playing a Warlock Like a Creepy Occultist in 5E D&D

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted crack open their eldritch tomes and take a closer look at one of the iconic spells for warlocks in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Next to eldritch blast a warlock’s most recognizable spell puts a terrible curse on creatures through hex, a 1st level enchantment for warlocks only that scales beautifully with their Pact Magic feature. Hex brings a lot to the gaming table for damage output but if I’m honest it’s the other portion of the spell effects most intriguing to me. With this in mind let’s start with hex and see what creepy directions a warlock can take as a true occultist in 5E D&D.

5E D&D cartographer's tools tool proficiency

Mapping the Road to Adventure | Tool Time with Cartographer’s Tools in 5E D&D

In fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons tool proficiencies are kind of the proverbial odd man out, slotting into the game alongside the much more prevalent mechanic of skill proficiencies. That’s what we’re talking about in this series of articles. Please note tool proficiencies and how to use them are less defined in the official rules than skills. As such, the options and explanations presented here might differ from how your own Dungeon Master treats tools and tool proficiency. On top of this any DM can adjust rules to fit their own table at their discretion so check with your DM if you have specific questions about how they deal with tools in their own games. And with all the necessary caveats out of the way, let’s dive into our topic!

When I Get That Feeling I Want Natural Healing

Natural healing is good for me when it comes to fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted rest up for the next adventure by taking a look at natural healing throughout all the editions of D&D. Aside from the obvious mechanical differences discussed in the video it’s worth noting how methods of natural healing in D&D affect the style of gameplay and storytelling. The core premise of D&D — solving puzzles, talking with other characters, battling fantastic monsters and discovering fabulous magic items and other treasure — remains the same but how stories and adventures progress and more importantly how long these things take in game time changes dramatically. You’ll find no edition wars here, or disparaging words about any editions of D&D. I’ve loved ’em all and I enjoy each more than the previous (yes that means 4E D&D is my second favorite). So let’s get into it.

5E D&D monster actions

Tame Monsters with the Creature Keeper 5E D&D Warlock Patron

It may be my recent kick of Monster Rancher on Amazon Prime or it may be my continued obsession with the monster taming genre on the whole but I’ve kept mulling over a monster taming campaign for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. A lot of it is sparked by the Bestiary of Benevolent Monsters right in our own Nerdarchy the Store here and I just couldn’t get it out of my head — there had to be a way to tame some of the amazing creatures in this supplement. At first I thought making a new Ranger Archetype would be the way to go but ranger just didn’t quite capture it for me. Then I figured maybe it could be a feat? But I quickly realized it would require multiple feats and end up becoming far too complicated. Then it hit me — warlock! Suppose there were an Otherworldly Patron whose motives were less sinister and more misunderstood? Maybe this patron wants to protect all life? But no, because druids and clerics already serve the gods and the fey. I needed something else, a different theme. At last I had an epiphany. I would return to the roots of what I wanted to recreate — monsters! Thus was the inspiration for the Creature Keeper, a being (not quite a god) all about protecting the lives of monstrosities.

Save Me, Online Gaming! You’re My Only RPG Hope

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted look at how current events could change the Dungeons & Dragons hobby forever. Social distancing and stay and home guidelines affect tabletop roleplaying game enthusiasts around the world whose in person player groups are on hold or or exploring ways to play games like fifth edition D&D online. Physical accessories like miniatures and terrain represent some of the changes this different way to play can manifest, since these types of accessories often remain shelved, replaced by web cameras and virtual tabletops. My own gaming takes place almost exclusively online ever since my longtime home group dispersed due to moves and relocations but we’ve kept up getting together and playing for a few years now. Like Dave and Ted mention in the video there’s valuable takeaways from online gaming we can bring back to our in person sessions in the future and as someone used more to the former than the latter I hope these observations enrich your RPG experiences too, so let’s get into it.

Top 10 5E D&D Homebrew Magic Items for Barbarians by a Factor of Three*

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take a look at magic items in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons with an eye towards the ones particularly beneficial for a barbarian. Like the discussion on top magic items for rogues this is an unusual topic because it’s rare for a character to choose magic items. However there’s a few opportunities I can think of off the top of my head. In Adventurers League play items can be traded on a one-for-one basis for items with the same rarity at a cost of 15 downtime days unless they’re playing at the same table. Games beginning beyond 1st level often allow for players to choose magic items too, like in our own monthly fan one shots. These particular looks at 5E D&D magic items are very difficult for an entirely different reason though. Subjectivity rules the day, and for our Top 10 by a Factor of Three method here at the website it gets quite noodly when all the official content gets thrown out the window as we browse homebrew magic items at D&D Beyond looking for the best ones for barbarian characters. So let’s get into it.

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