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Roleplaying

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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.

Is the pen mightier? | Tool Time with Calligrapher’s Supplies in 5E D&D

Tool proficiencies are a staple of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons but with the prevalence of skills, 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 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 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 our topic!

Give Your Monsters Personality with Alignment in 5E D&D

Remember how monsters were such a big thing in the ’90s and early aughts? If you grew up in that time (like I did) then you’d be hard pressed to have avoided any number of monster themed TV shows, games and the like. Shows like Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Animorphs and many more showcased monsters in a variety of contexts from creepy to vicious to the occasional twist or subversion of the benevolent monster. And then you had the genre that really grabbed my young attention and held it for hours — monsters as allies and companions. I remember waking up at the ghastly hour of 5 a.m. many days just to watch Monster Rancher (now on Amazon Prime and I’m stoked!). As soon as I got off school I watched Pokémon then Digimon before starting on homework. Something about having a loyal friend just as big and scary as the things opposing the main characters made those shows special. It made it feel like the heroes had a real shot at winning, and it gave into the power fantasy of fighting fire with fire. It also helped teach me not to judge people and situations by initial impressions. After all, if the heroes in my favorite shows and games could befriend monsters, maybe making friends in general wasn’t as scary as I often felt.

D&D Ideas — Charm

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is charm, 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 charm, we’ve created quite a few magical trinkets of this variety, stashed away in the Mage Forge Vault. But! Someone cracked open the vault and absconded with a bunch of them over at Nerdarchy the Website 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 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. While we are at home following health safety guidelines we’re continuing to film our videos remotely and Live Chat Revivified streams weekdays at noon eastern with creators joining Nerdarchist Dave to talk nerdy and take questions from the live audience. 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.

Get Pumped for the 5E D&D Muscle Wizard

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted get swole with the Muscle Mage, a quirky character concept for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The concept of a wizard more into physical fitness than academic research sounds like a blast to explore during play and makes me think of two different ways to represent this idea as a 5E D&D character. Things might get weird here but we’re talking about a wizard more inclined to punch monsters in the face than stand in the back casting fireball so we’re starting from an unusual place anyway. Time to flex my imagination and get into it with two versions of a 5E D&D muscle wizard.

Hold My Beer! | Tool Time with Brewer’s Supplies in 5E D&D

Tool proficiencies are a staple of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons but with the prevalence of skills, 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 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 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 our topic!

Roleplaying Your Dump Stat in 5E D&D

Salutations, nerds! Today we’re coming at fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons from a player’s perspective looking specifically at how to play to your dump stat in a way that doesn’t ruin your fun. If we’re doing standard array for ability scores everybody has an 8 they must put somewhere. If we’re doing point buy it’s totally possible to have no dump stat at all but I’ve found in my experience more often than not you end up with more dump stats than you would have otherwise because people will sacrifice points out of more things to get those sweet 18’s out of the gate. The thing is, very rarely do you actually see people playing to the ability score they’ve dumped. I’m sure you’ve seen this too, where someone takes 8 in Intelligence and Wisdom so they can have good Strength and Dexterity but they never show the drawbacks of those low ability score in action. So today we’re going to talk about little ways you can show your 5E D&D dump stat through your roleplaying. Ready? Buckle up, let’s go.

RPG NPC GM tips

Dungeon Master Tips for Single Player 5E D&D

There have been recent discussions on a few platforms about the trials and tribulations of running fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons for a single player or two. The concerns are always the same. “How do I set up encounters? How do I challenge them without killing the player characters?” And so on. Low population games tend to have the same solutions. It’s usually the same refrain — less combat and more exploration and social interaction. To be fair this is a viable option but it is by no means the only one. Furthermore it is not necessary to add the dreaded Dungeon Master Player Character. Adding NPCs to the mix is a plan but it risks stealing the spotlight from the players and their characters. What follows are a few suggestions for 5E D&D to add party depth without losing focus on player fun. These options are all potentially NPCs the DM sort of runs but all have player character involvement.

What Do Unearthed Arcana Subclasses Revisited Say About Your 5E D&D Character?

Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take a closer look at Unearthed Arcana 2020 — Subclasses Revisited. The latest playtest document from the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons design team brings revisions to subclasses from previous Unearthed Arcana documents. In this case we see the Phantom rogue, Genie warlock and Order of Scribes wizard. In previous documents these were the Revived, Noble Genie and Archivist respectively, with the last one reimagining a subclass for artificers during an Unearthed Arcana pass before we got the official version in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. While Dave and Ted go over the subclass specifics in the video, here we’ll look at these 5E D&D playtest subclasses revisted with curiosity about what sort of characters they might represent. So let’s get into it.

D&D Ideas — Beyond

Welcome once again to the weekly newsletter. This week’s topic is beyond, 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 beyond, our most recent product cover refresh for Forgotten Oasis takes adventurers beyond time to an ancient temple lost to memory where they can come face to face with the Forgotten Goddess. Check it out at Nerdarchy the Store 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. While we are at home following health safety guidelines we’re continuing to film our videos remotely and Live Chat Revivified streams weekdays at noon eastern with creators joining Nerdarchist Dave to talk nerdy and take questions from the live audience. 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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