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Roleplaying

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Help! My RPG Group is Falling Apart! | Handling Conflict at the Table

You’ve done it! You finally have a few sessions of tabletop roleplaying games under your belt and everyone had a good time. Sure, there were hiccups along the way but you did it! You actually got through the first major arc of the campaign you wrote and everything is going swimmingly. Then, it happens. It’s not your fault. It might not be anybody’s fault. Or worse yet: maybe it is someone’s fault. Sooner or later every gaming group will fall into conflict. Whether it’s an argument about the rules, a character’s actions or any number of other things, players are human and conflict is bound to happen both at the table and away from it. Dungeons & Dragons is fundamentally a social activity. This means there will be growing pains like there are with any other social group. If you’re the Dungeon Master, your players may even look to you to referee their bout. Stay calm. Breathe. Let’s talk about this.

D&D Ideas — Anniversary

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is anniversary, which we discussed in our live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST and talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of anniversary, we’re celebrating a bit of one ourselves. This very newsletter turned three! We’ve been sending RPG thoughts along with special deals and other news straight to inboxes since 2017. 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. Visit us over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel here and hit that notification bell so you don’t miss these live chats on Mondays at 8 p.m. eastern, plus our regular three videos each week where we talk about D&D and other RPGs.

With the COVID-19 pandemic situation we want to assure everyone we’re following all the guidelines and regulations, and practicing safety and preventative measures like social distancing, and we strongly urge everyone to do the same. Our partners and employees health is our No. 1 priority. Visit Coronavirus.gov for the latest news, updates and developments.

D&D Ideas — Chaos

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is chaos, which we discussed in our live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST and talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of chaos, whenever you roll the bones you never know how things will turn out. In Taking Chances we’ve got a ton of minigames you can drop in your games for players and characters to engage with along with new items, tool sets, character options and an adventure. Check it out here. 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. Visit us over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel here and hit that notification bell so you don’t miss these live chats on Mondays at 8 p.m. eastern, plus our regular three videos each week where we talk about D&D and other RPGs.

With the COVID-19 pandemic situation we want to assure everyone we’re following all the guidelines and regulations, and practicing safety and preventative measures like social distancing, and we strongly urge everyone to do the same. Our partners and employees health is our No. 1 priority. Visit Coronavirus.gov for the latest news, updates and developments.

5E D&D Exploration is All Around You — More Than You Think!

Recently I saw a poll online about the pillars of play for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons — combat, exploration and social interaction — introduced in the Player’s Handbook right in the Introduction. The poll refers to exploration as the forgotten third pillar and asks respondents what this part of 5E D&D means to them and why they love or hate it, with answer choices of More Exploration, Pointless or I’m Not Sure. The attached conversation delved deep and answers varied all over the place. Overwhelmingly the poll calls for more exploration (73%). If I’m honest this discussion always bewilders me. Two of the pillars — combat and social interaction (why isn’t it called communication by the way?) — seem clear to players. You’re fighting creatures or talking with them. It stands to reason the rest of the time you’re exploring. As the PHB states, character activities fall into one of the three pillars so when you’re not in combat or conversation it seems pretty obvious the rest of the time you’re exploring, right?

Making an Elaborate Character Backstory Work for Your D&D Campaign

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted answer a GM 911 for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. One of the players in their game keeps trying to over impose their backstory into the campaign without considering the party or the ongoing story. The disruptive player adds things on the fly about their backstory and other players feel this hinders the rest of the party. They’re already followed the best advice — a respectful conversation — but it didn’t work and the Game Master doesn’t want to essentially destroy this other character by ignoring an important part of their makeup. In the video Dave and Ted touch on several suggestions and for my 2 cp the best solution isn’t to work on ways to move around or past this scenario. Instead, this seems like a great opportunity to expand on a bit of valuable player advice and rather than avoid this, lean into it.

RPG game master player

5 Tips for How to Run Games for Larger Groups

How many players are in your Dungeons & Dragons group? While some struggle to find anyone to play with my experience is the vast majority of us are forced to turn others away who want to play, just due to sheer numbers. With tabletop roleplaying games more popular than ever, large gaming tables are the new standard. There are a variety of hiccups and bumps on the road stemming from a larger gaming group, and while the glamour of streamed games like Critical Role might suggest running a large group is easy it’s important to remember many productions of D&D games have entire crews behind the scenes, ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

RPG player character

Prepare for Extreme Adventurers League with this 5E D&D Character Build

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel we create a lot of video content. There’s thousands of videos celebrating our passion for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop roleplaying games. (But yes, mostly D&D. We love the game!) One of our favorite videos to make are the Adventurers League Character Build Guides. We come up with a character concept and put it together soup to nuts. Along the way we explain why particular choices get made, building a character from 1st-20th level. Mechanical elements certainly factor heavily into decision making but practical reasoning and roleplaying share equal importance. For a little inside baseball it is almost always the latter ideas where a CBG begins. At the moment we’ve got 32 CBGs over at Dungeon Masters Guild, all pay what you want. Nine of them have achieved copper bestseller or better status, and there’s also four other PWYW products over there, which are encounters or adventures you can drop right into your 5E D&D game. Today I’m here to share one of my favorite CBGs, one I’ve been playing in a wonderfully fun game run by Esper the Bard on his YouTube channel.

D&D Ideas — Law

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is law, which we discussed in our live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST and talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Speaking of law, the clever kobolds in the free Seizing the Means encounter we created take the laws of magic and genetics into their own hands to control the evolution of their tribe. You can check that out here. 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. Visit us over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel here and hit that notification bell so you don’t miss these live chats on Mondays at 8 p.m. eastern, plus our regular three videos each week where we talk about D&D and other RPGs.

With the COVID-19 pandemic situation we want to assure everyone we’re following all the guidelines and regulations, and practicing safety and preventative measures like social distancing, and we strongly urge everyone to do the same. Our partners and employees health is our No. 1 priority. Visit Coronavirus.gov for the latest news, updates and developments.

With This 5E D&D Human Racial Feat, You Got This!

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted compare and contrast racial feats for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Elemental Evil Player’s Companion introduced racial feats to 5E D&D with Svirfneblin Magic, a remarkable feat for one of my personal favorite character options in D&D. Deep gnomes rock y’all and you could do a lot worse than a svirfneblin Abjuration wizard with the Svirfneblin Magic feat. Protip: Pretty awesome for a deep gnome Circle of Spores druid too. It’s a great feat and you’ll note in the video makes the list with Dave and Ted too. But they cover all the ins and outs and ups and downs of racial feats in 5E D&D. My curiosity piqued after noticing of the 17 racial feats divided up among nine races (plus one with a racial size prerequisite) only one of those races meets the criteria for just a single feat. Being human fulfills the prerequisite for Prodigy — another well regarded one in the discussion — and no more. I think we ought to remedy this and create a new 5E D&D feat just for humans. So let’s get into it.

5 Tips to Make Your Games Grittier and More Dangerous | Exploring Grimdark in your RPG

Sure, your party just dethroned the tyrant, but is the person they put in his place really any better? Is there a good option among the solutions to your party’s current problem? These and many other questions lead to themes explored in grimdark. Grimdark seems to be a staple of fiction at present. Audiences love exploring the viscera of violence, the corruption of political systems, fluid morality and the consequences of actions — even those traditionally deemed heroic. We can look to things like A Game of Thrones, The Witcher and others for examples of dark fantasy settings with grimdark themes.

What Constitutes Bad Roleplaying at the Tabletop?

Salutations, nerds! I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what constitutes bad roleplaying and I know there’s a lot of talk about this sort of thing floating around the internet as regards tabletop roleplaying games like fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Let me start by saying we’re not going to be talking about elitist nonsense today. So if you clicked this thinking you were going to find some vitriol about people playing pink haired characters with cat ears, look elsewhere. Also I’m going to go roll a pink tabaxi after this. Instead, after a lot of consideration and deliberation I’ve come to the conclusion a lot of what people consider to be bad roleplaying actually boils down to selfish roleplaying.

Mounts in D&D

Top 10 5E D&D Homebrew Paladin Sacred Oaths by a Factor of Three

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted get back to basics and discuss the paladin class for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. In the video they look across all of the 5E D&D books with paladin content. There are paladin subclasses in the Player’s Handbook, Sword Coast Adventurers Guide and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and Dave and Ted share an overview of the character class plus weigh in on their personal gaming experiences. Outside of official sources there are countless Sacred Oaths created by players all over the world. We’ve created one recently for our April early access Patreon rewards. The Oath of Vanity included with Hairable Ideas as a follow up to 2019’s popular Beardomancy will hit the store next month but you can get it now along with all our other supporters at the $2 level plus get immediate access to years worth of previous rewards. Check it out here. Over at Dungeon Master’s Guild there’s currently 681 products tagged as character options with warlock 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 600 Sacred Oaths for 5E D&D paladins. Let’s get into it and take a closer look at some!

3 Ways to Add Unearthed Arcana Spells and Magic Tattoos to your 5E D&D Game

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted share their arcane research into Unearthed Arcana 2020 — Spells and Magic Tattoos. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Unearthed Arcana present something other than subclasses. We saw Class Feature Variants last November, a couple of takes on the artificer around spring 2019 and Sidekicks in Dec. 2018. It’s a terrific treat to see something different! Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing new subclasses (almost as much as designing them) but expanding what fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons can do beyond character class features gives us more tools to explore our worlds as we tell stories of fighting monsters and finding treasure as they progress in power. In the case of \this latest playtest material I’m thinking about interesting ways to add content from the Unearthed Arcana document into 5E D&D campaigns.

Stepping from your Friendly Local Gaming Store into the Friendly Global Online Community of Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

Greetings, fellow nerds! With current events limiting social interaction and preventing in person play there has never been a better time to try playing your favorite tabletop games online. There are many options available but I am here today to inform you of a particular free community that is growing on Discord. The Ghostsong Guild is a West Marches and Adventurers League inspired gaming group that specializes in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and we are looking for additional players and Dungeon Masters to join us. We do not limit the amount of characters that you can have. That way you are always free to try new things and have more fun. Characters persist and progress through various challenges presented by multiple DMs — making each character’s journey a unique story intertwined with the stories of other players!

D&D Ideas — Unseen Enemies

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is unseen enemies, which we discussed in our live chat. We hangout every Monday evening at 8 p.m. EST and talk about D&D, RPGs, gaming, life and whatever nerdy stuff comes up. Visit us over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel here and hit that notification bell so you don’t miss these live chats on Mondays at 8 p.m. eastern, plus our regular three videos each week where we talk about D&D and other RPGs. 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. With the COVID-19 pandemic situation we want to assure everyone we’re following all the guidelines and regulations, and practicing safety and preventative measures like social distancing, and we strongly urge everyone to do the same. Our partners and employees health is our No. 1 priority. Visit Coronavirus.gov for the latest news, updates and developments.

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