Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discussed the best race to play a blood hunter in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. If I’m honest the blood hunter class confuses me. I get the gist of it, and it certainly captures the flavor of both The Last Witch Hunter movie and The Witcher stories that inspired and inform the class features and flavor. Blood hunters got a lot going on with their rites, curses and Orders. This 5E D&D character class designed by Critical Role’s Matt Mercer combines martial prowess with blood magic creating a risk vs. reward scenario for characters who can push the limits of their own safety to increase the power of their class features. But I’m not here to dissect the blood hunter or even puzzle out this noodly character class. Instead I’m looking through the material and imagining all the ways I can swipe from this collection of class features to create new things for my own 5E D&D campaign. So let’s get into it.
I ate up The Mandalorian every week until the final episode of season one dropped this past Friday. The Disney+ show hooked me immediately and the series takes the top spot for Star Wars productions in my book. I enjoy the show so much I started running a bounty hunter campaign for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons inspired by the show after the first episode. I know there’s a Star Wars RPG, several of them in fact but 5E D&D suits my needs just fine. The final episode of The Mandalorian takes the series protagonist full circle from where his most important job began, so it’s only fair to wrap up this bounty hunter campaign walkthrough the same way. Bounty hunting is a complicated profession, no need to further complicate things. When I prepped for the first session of our 5E D&D bounty hunter campaign I took a lot of inspiration from Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery from Nord Games. Here at the end of the journey it’s got plenty of juice to help finish off the campaign. Let’s get into it.
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted came up with ideas for a classic fantasy character concept, a centaur knight. The image of an half human, half horse warrior in shining armor captivated me since I was a little kid and after helping plan this video, watching it and putting the Character Build Guide together I’m thinking about how awesome this concept is all over again. This got me thinking how there’s not a whole lot of centaur action going on in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, at least not in my experience. Centaurs get a bump in Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica, there’s a centaur mummy in Tales from the Yawning Portal’s Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan and the terrifically named Centaur of Attention encounter in Dragons of Icespire Peak. And that’s about it in beyond the Monster Manual entry. Never a better time like the present to take a closer look at centaurs and by extension fantasy cultures for our 5E D&D campaign settings.
If you’ve been following along with this series on creating a bounty hunter campaign inspired by The Mandalorian for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons you’ll notice I’ve mentioned a book called Remarkable Inns several times. This nearly 90 page resource details 8 distinct taverns and inns with wonderful detail along with tips and options for developing your own memorable establishments and everything that goes on within. When I prepped for the first session of our 5E D&D bounty hunter campaign, Remarkable Inns became an important tool for worldbuilding and providing an avenue to two very different paths the bounty hunting characters could take to begin their first contract. Let’s get into it.
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted took a look at the Simic hybrid and vedalken races from Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica. In their discussion they talk what character class to play for both of these fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons races. Like the rest of the videos in this series they consider which 5E D&D character class makes a good fit for the race’s ability scores and features, along with some ideas for unexpected character classes. The world of Ravnica presents a very different place than a traditional D&D setting, and not just because a vast, sprawling city covers the whole of the known world. Powerful guilds rule the Ravnica planar city, and both the Simic hybrid and vedalken share common ground with one in particular. The Simic Combine happens to be my favorite of the ten guilds. And since Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica contains so many juicy random tables let’s take a look at them from a Dungeon Master’s point of view and see what sorts of adventures might await Simic hybrid and vedalken adventurers in a 5E D&D campaign.
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted took a thorough look at the new character class for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, the artificer. 5E D&D players have been champing at the bit for some time to see an official version of this longtime favorite class first seen in D&D 3.5. Artificers are a integral part of the Eberron campaign setting, so it’s only natural the 5E D&D version comes in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. Since Dave and Ted covered the artificer class in great detail in the video below, I’m going to take a look at the class from a Dungeon Master’s point of view.
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discussed the hottest new Unearthed Arcana — Fighter, Rogue, Wizard. In the playtest document, Wizards of the Coast presents a new take on a classic mechanic in Dungeons & Dragons history: psionics. Wielding the power of their minds, practitioners of psionics present a prickly scenario in various edition of D&D. Often a later add-on to an edition of the game, only in first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons were psionics included in the Player’s Handbook. In the book, all characters have a chance to gain a psionic ability based on a lucky percentile dice roll. Meanwhile in the Star Wars universe, Force sensitive creatures can tap into the energy field created by all living things to achieve mind over matter effects. Whether in 5E D&D or a galaxy far, far away, what’s a creature without psionics supposed to do in the face of creatures with incredible mental powers? When you’re playing in a bounty hunter campaign inspired by the complicated profession of The Mandalorian, you’ve got to ask yourself: did that 5E D&D psionic creature use all 6 of their power points or only five? I hope you feel lucky. (No spoilers.)
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted discussed an overview of Eberron: Rising from the Last War for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The Eberron campaign setting remains hugely popular, since it was first introduced for third edition D&D. Everybody loves warforged, and artificers, and dragonmarks and elemental airships. But my favorite thing about Eberron only shows up in a few paragraphs at the end of Chapter 2: Khorvaire Gazetteer. Y’all can have Sharn, Breland, Droaam and the Mournlands. I’ll take Xen’drik.
Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted shared their insights on the best tier 1 spells for the brand new official artificer class for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The artificer in 5E D&D has undergone a lot of playtesting, with several versions presented through Unearthed Arcana. With the release of Eberron: Rising from the Last War the artificer firmly found a place as the first official new character class for 5E D&D outside of those found in the Basic Rules and Player’s Handbook. But it’s not only players who get to have all the fun with the new artificer class. One of the new creatures in the book gives me a great idea for an ongoing bounty hunter campaign inspired by The Mandalorian and there’s a Challenge 0 entry with a lot of potential. I’m looking at you, magewright.
When we revamped the Nerdarchy Patreon in early 2018, one of the biggest changes we implemented was our Patreon rewards structure. Previously there were individual support levels giving access to more of our monthly rewards. We had Mage Forge, Monster Menagerie, Friend or Foe, Terrible Terrain and Lost Lore rewards. These digital packages included new magic items, monsters, NPCs, encounters and player options like spells, backgrounds, races and subclass options respectively. We took a big step and combined everything into a single product, giving supporters at the $2 level and above early access to our new Fifth Edition products before they get added to Nerdarchy the Store. We launched this new initiative with Empusia, Curator of Souls. And in celebration of International Tabletop Day we put it in the store for free. (It’s still there!) We’ve continued to create full color digital products every month since. And while our design skills have improved since then — both in terms of game design and layout — one of my favorites remains the Lord of Dead Dreams. This was our followup to the free launch title. Since it’s been about a year and a half since creating it I thought it would be fun to look back and see what new ideas come to mind.
With The Mandalorian Chapter 4: Sanctuary streaming now on Disney+ we are halfway through the first season of this amazing series. Thankfully season 2 is already ordered. Between chapters of the show here on the website we’ve been exploring and developing ideas for a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons bounty hunter campaign. For each installment we’re taking inspiration from various books created by Nord Games. In my home game group I’ve been putting these ideas into practice along with players in our 5E D&D bounty hunter campaign and so far we’re all loving it and having a fantastic time. After watching Chapter 4: Sanctuary I knew immediately which Nord Games product would help next. Ultimate Bestiary: Revenge of the Horde feels like the perfect fit. So let’s get into it and see how the book will help ramp up the action, tension and drama of our bounty hunter campaign for 5E D&D. (Still no spoilers.)
When season one of The Mandalorian ends following chapter 8, I’ll be a sad Disney+ viewer. I subscribed to the new streaming service only to watch this show. Incidentally The World According to Jeff Goldblum keeps me coming back, too. Even though I’ve got to wait one long week between chapters of The Mandalorian, I’ve been keeping the bounty hunt going at the gaming table. Right around the time the show premiered I’d gotten a copy of Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery from Nord Games. Never a greater wretched hive of scum and villainy had I come across for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. A 5E D&D campaign immediately formed. The players loved it, I loved running it and we’re keeping it going. Nord Games helped created the seedy underworld with Skulduggery and engage the players through interesting encounters with Wandering Monsters. After Chapter 3: The Sin, I think Critical Hit Tables for Players and Critical Fail Tables fit the tone for this dangerous and complicated, Mandalorian inspired bounty hunter campaign. (Still no spoilers.)
When it comes to fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons I tend to run a lot of one shots and shorter campaigns. I like this scenario just fine because I’m always finding inspiration for new campaigns and gaming with new friends. After watching chapter one of The Mandalorian last week my first thought was wow! This Disney+ show is incredible. And my second thought was this would make an awesome 5E D&D campaign. A party of bounty hunters navigating the underbelly of scum and villainy sounds like tremendous fun to me. I found a lot of inspiration from Nord Games Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery for a bounty hunter campaign. Now with two chapters of The Mandalorian available for viewing, we’ll match it with a second chapter developing this idea. So let’s get into it. (And don’t worry — still no spoilers!)
In just a few days Eberron: Rising from the Last War releases and we’ve been abuzz around Nerdarchy HQ. We’re all excited for the unique, compelling campaign setting to get official fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons support. But there’s a whole lot of content out there already for the Eberron campaign setting, and thankfully the Dungeon Master’s Guild collects it all for the D&D community. A lot of players today might not have discovered the hobby back then, so there’s literally a whole world for them to explore. Adventures and resources from Eberron’s past offers a tremendous resource to inspire 5E D&D games. And at the moment, the DMs Guild is offering Eberron titles for 20% off. They’ve also curated bundles of classics and other select titles for 70% off!
If you’re like me and what I suspect are tens of thousands of other nerds, you fired up Disney+ today and watched episode one of The Mandalorian. And since you’re here I’m going to assume you’re also a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons player. Taking those two things into account, it can’t be far from the truth that a lot of us were not only blown away by the premiere of this new streaming show and our first thought was “this would make an awesome bounty hunter 5E D&D campaign!” And I just got a copy of Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery from Nord Games so I’m going to use this Game Master’s Toolbox book to help. If this sounds cool to you, I’ll give you a promo code for 20% off the book and everything else in your cart from Nord Games when we’re done. So let’s get into it. (And don’t worry — no spoilers!)