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Campaign Settings

Nerdarchy > Roleplaying Games  > Campaign Settings (Page 6)
D&D Spelljammer live stream

Spoiler Alert! D&D Beyond Ingest Quest Campaign Management Tips

Following on the heels of Ingest Quest episode 1, the live stream fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Spelljammer game, I shared some tips on managing and running a campaign using the D&D Beyond tools for keeping all your adventure information in one convenient place along with tooltip creation for easy reference to monsters, magic items, conditions and more. As the campaign continues, the public and private notes grow right alongside the characters and story. This presents a challenge for quickly finding what I need during play. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution.

Worldbuilding: Where to Begin with a Homebrew Campaign Setting

You’ve been playing roleplaying games for a bit now. It might be Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons, Savage Worlds, or untold countless possibilities. The problem is you don’t like the setting. It almost fits the image in your mind but not quite. You’ve looked around, found some old campaign setting material at secondhand stores or eBay but no luck. So, what do you do? How do you make the world you want too? Don’t worry – Nerdarchy is here to help. Over the past month or so you’ll have seen some changes in the Nerdarchy landscape. We have Nate the Nerdarch and Kienata running the Nerdarchy After Dark late-night build sessions. We’ve posted some articles for items like World Anvil and Realm Works to help you organize things. However, none of these really give a starting point. Why not fix that now? Let’s look at how to start.

Midgard Heroes Handbook 5E Kobold Press

5E Midgard Heroes Handbook from Kobold Press Awaits the Bold

The kobolds at Kobold Press have done it again! The Midgard Heroes Handbook for 5th Edition is already available from the Kobold Press store, with physical copies starting to arrive in the hands of gamers this week. This 216-page hardcover book contains everything a player needs to create a character for the Midgard campaign setting and features the same top quality content we’ve come to know and trust from Kobold Press.

fantasy worlds

Worldbuilding: My D&D Campaign Setting Approach

My usual week is taken up with many mundane tasks. Between getting my son up and ready for school, generally keeping the house and preparing materials for games, videos and articles, I keep pretty busy. One thing I try to do is keep my articles about things I think others will find interesting to read about.

A rule of thumb I go by is if someone can read my article and use something in it either in their games or elsewhere in their life (the interdisciplinary applications of the Reroll Rule Problem for example) then I have succeeded in my task.


Dark Sun Ever Mindful of D&D Psionics

D&D psionicsLike Nerdarchists Dave and Ted and Nate the Nerdarch mention in the video above, psionics has been a part of Dungeons & Dragons since 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. In the interest of utmost accuracy, the supernatural power of psionics were first introduced to D&D in Eldritch Wizardry, a 1976 supplemental rulebook for the original edition. Also of note are the other now-iconic facets of D&D included in that 60-page digest: the druid class, demons and demon lords like Orcus and Demogorgon, mind flayers, and artifacts like the Rod of Seven Parts and Axe of the Dwarvish Lords.

With those bits of long forgotten secrets behind us now, let’s turn our clairsentience to the future. Based on hints and bits of information shared through social media and in interviews, a fifth edition D&D iteration of Dark Sun is almost certain.

We’ve already got the mystic class available through the Dungeon Master’s Guild, giving D&D players the opportunity to utilize the awesome power of psionics in D&D 5E.

Now we only await the introduction of the sun-scorched setting of Dark Sun.

5th edition dungeons and dragons

D&D Spelljammer Warlock: Stars are Right

D&D Spelljammer warlock

The Owl looking appropriately star warlock-y. [Art by Jesse Ochse from ArtStation]

In a previous installment on Spelljammer content for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, the warlock peered into oblivion and came back with some nifty new options courtesy of Deep Magic: Void Magic from Kobold Press. But can darkness exist without light? (Actually, yes – in physics terms darkness is an absence of radiation.) But where’s the fun in that? New options for a D&D game is the juice!

There is a balance to the encroaching Void in my home campaign of D&D taking place in a Spelljammer-esque setting. A warlock can strike a bargain with a star drake in the same fashion as with a void dragon. The Illumination Pact warlock acts as a counterpoint to the Void Pact. In both situations, excellent material from Kobold Press does the heavy lifting. For the Illumination warlock, Deep Magic: Illumination Magic is the source material.

Star drakes and void dragons both appear in the Tome of Beasts. Both of these amazing creatures fired my imagination on all cylinders when I began conceptualizing the Spelljammer elements introduced to a traditional D&D campaign early on. I won’t reveal too much about the specifics here, since my players read these articles. But as more is revealed to them through our gameplay sessions those details will be shared.

This material is an evolving work in progress stemming from my home game. Although it’s inspired by the Spelljammer setting, it can be adapted for any D&D campaign.


D&D Spelljammer Warlock: Into the Void

D&D warlockIn a past article I mentioned customized warlock pacts in my fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Spelljammer campaign.

It came up again during a live chat with Nate the Nerdarch.

With my feet now held to the eldritch fire by publicly mentioning it twice, I’d better put money where my pact-making mouth is and get into it.

This material is an evolving work in progress stemming from my home game.

Although it’s inspired by the Spelljammer setting, it can be adapted for any D&D campaign.

D&D 5E Spelljammer Makes the Most of Monsters

It’s been a few weeks since the last trip into the wildspace of Spelljammer for D&D 5E. My home game dabbled in a few one-shots and welcomed a new, first time Dungeon Master. Origins came and went, and several Nerdarchy projects kept me from sharing more insights into the exploits of a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Spelljammer campaign.

Then I saw this tweet from Mike Mearls the other day.

And the enthusiastic replies.

And a long list of other Spelljammer fans sharing affection for the setting.

And fan groups on Facebook, Google+ and more.

We’re out there, Wizards of the Coast! While I can’t speak for all of us, it’s encouraging to know the folks behind the game we love include all of our favorite aspects from its rich history in their grand vision. In time, I’m confident we’ll get our Dark Sun, Al-Qadim, Dragonlance and Eberron fixes in official capacities.

Mad Max Fury Road & The Dark Fantasy Art Influences of Brom


Furiosa’s black war paint beside Brom’s painting from 10 years prior.


So I may lose nerd cred here, but I was only just able to see the fantastic, nitrous injected film that was Mad Max Fury Road this past weekend.  I don’t feel I can add much to the discussion of the cultural significance of the film, but there is one unique slant regarding the visuals that I might offer.

Fury Road explodes like an oil tanker flame-throwered and jack-knifed into the desert wastes at 60 mph with rich, detailed costumes, weapons, and vehicles- I was simply floored by how visually extravagant this film was!  The many muted tones of the film giving the few instances of vibrant color an incredible punch!

It was full of dark fantasy imagery coupled with something else- maybe call it a “Rust Punk” aesthetic with all of it’s super-charged, lethal, heap of junk vehicles.  For those less well-versed in dark fantasy imagery, it tends to have a more threatening and fetishized look about it.  The first name that comes to mind when I think “dark fantasy” is:  Gerald Brom, or to many, just simply Brom.

D&D campaign settings

Top 5 D&D Campaign Settings and Forgotten Realms is NOT on the List

Hello and well met. I’m here to discuss my top 5 picks for D&D campaign settings through out my 30+ years of the game. First and foremost we will be skipping Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms. I find these to be the most generic of D&D campaign settings. They could literally be anyone’s homebrew game. Oh wait, Forgotten Realms was Ed Greenwood’s. Nothing against those settings it’s just there isn’t anything really different in them. The only reason Forgotten Realms is interesting at all is because of the amount of detail that has gone into it, with tons of authors having written in that setting. Even with all of that it strikes as being incredibly generic. Personally if I’m going to play in a generic setting I’d rather just run my own homebrew.

The Desert World of Athas — Dark Sun Campaign Setting

Hello friends, Nerdarchist Ted here to talk about Dungeons & Dragons campaign settings. Today I would like to talk about Dark Sun or the desert world of Athas. With most D&D campaign settings the world is mostly good. That is not the case in Dark Sun. In most campaign settings magic is prevalent and not harmful at its core.  In the desert world of Athas magic destroys life just by being cast.

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