The year winds to a close and reflecting on time passed naturally comes to mind. Later this week you’ll see Nerdarchists Dave and Ted’s thoughts on 2020 and Nerdarchy’s highlights from the year. I’m also looking ahead to 2021. For a lifelong nerd and now full time nerdy content director focused on tabletop roleplaying games I spend a lot of time thinking about the hobby professionally and personally. When I look ahead to the future of the TTRPG industry what I see is tinted with shades of what I hope emerges along with what I can assume is a reasonably informed view. So let’s get into it.
Salutations, nerds! Today we’re going to talk about what happens when your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons party decides to adopt an NPC you didn’t expect them to like. (AKA the thing I do that is the bane of every Dungeon Master I have ever had!) If it makes you feel any better though I’ve had my share of players doing this to me as well. I have some wisdom to share on how to keep track of these 5E D&D character and creature sidekicks and make sure to keep things straight as you go.
An element often under reported within tabletop roleplaying game character creation is fashion. I know you are going out to save fair maidens, rid the country of treasure stealing fire breathing dragons and stop evil liches from raising armies of undead. Mighty fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons adventurers are busy and may think they have no time for fashion but this is another element of roleplaying that can bring your game to the next level. When you think about 5E D&D character design a character’s fashion style should be taken into consideration. Fashion can illuminate so much more about your character without spoken words leaving an impact on other players, NPCs and the Dungeon Master.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted excavate ideas and concepts about ruins in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. If I’m honest after our recent live chat on the subject and accompanying newsletter I’m tapped on fresh ideas about ruins in 5E D&D at the moment. Fortunately I recently binge watched a terrific series and came up with a sideways approach to the topic I think can be useful for players and Dungeon Masters alike. So let’s get into it and see what we can takeaway from Marvelous Mrs. Maisel when it comes to ruins for our 5E D&D characters and campaigns.
All things considered 2020 wasn’t too shabby for the Nerdarchy crew. We continued to grow across the board from Nerdarchy the YouTube channel to right here on the website where the quality and quantity of content increased dramatically. We started a second YouTube channel for our longform and live video content at Nerdarchy Live. Our Patreon got a needed refresh with more benefits for supporters and we’re super excited about the refined game content we produce every month and Nerdarchy the Newsletter evolved into a vibrant weekly dispatch with a huge subscriber list. Nerditor Doug (me) celebrated a one year anniversary as a full time employee while staff writers Robin and Steven became more involved in creating new content. Later this week we’ll be publishing our year end retrospective so keep an eye out for it but for now we’ll continue a tradition started last holiday season. So I’ll give you back over to Steven for the Nightmare Before Critmas Part 2. — Nerditor Doug
As I write this the sun has set on the shortest day of the year — Winter Solstice. (For my friends of the Goddess: have a peaceful solstice.) My semester finally ended with a flurry of papers (the last being thirty pages long.) Now it’s a waiting game. So now, what to write about? Hmm. Last year I wrote about the Deities & Demigods book I received for Christmas decades ago. Shall I write about the many different ways St. Nick has been adapted for D&D? Been done. No, instead I’ll write about April Fool’s day.
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted go to the well to discuss lore in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. In general lore is a body of traditions and knowledge on a subject or held by a particular group and typically passed from person to person by word of mouth. This definition applies in our 5E D&D games too and encompasses both the lore presented in the game materials produced by Wizards of the Coast as well as the details specific to your world whether it’s your version of existing settings like Forgotten Realms or something you’ve created wholecloth. So let’s get into it.
I can’t even guess how many times I relied almost exclusively on a great map to help run a fun tabletop roleplaying game session. Vibrant maps catch your eye, inspire your imagination and evoke a sense of realism and being there. Details provide touchstones for description and dynamic scenarios, scenery hints at fantastic locales and the space on a map simply provides context for the adventure space. So a book of ready to play, immersive and indispensable fold-out maps that fit in your backpack and make a Game Master’s life easier makes the best kind of resources for your RPG collection.
Take something core to the understanding of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and creating something new with it represents one of the joys of worldbuilding. A fresh perspective on an old topic tends to light a fire under other forms of creation. The trick is creating something new without breaking the logic of the setting you’re creating for your 5E D&D games like I’m doing for the City of Anvil. Once your world has a theme or consistency creating within these guidelines is key.
Salutations, nerds! Today we’re going to talk about sharing responsibility when it comes to tabletop roleplaying games and the ultimate responsibility — to the other people at the table. The important part of a good tabletop RPG is making sure everyone has fun. That’s you and everyone else whether you’re the Game Master or a player. On paper this sounds like a big part of what the GM is there for and in a sense this is correct but the GM has a lot of things they’re already responsible for keeping track of and as a player it’s a good idea to keep tabs on each other’s mental weather.
Every Tuesday evening at Nerdarchy Live the team gathers for a weekly tabletop roleplaying game session at 8 p.m. eastern. While preparing for our next one with Nerdarchist Ted running a dungeon delving reality game show with fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons I realized something about myself — I like playing tank characters. This led to an intriguing discussion tying in nicely to a recent video over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel where Nerdarchists Dave and Ted zoom through a conversation about the fastest 5E D&D character. So let’s get into it.
Renowned YouTuber Jorphdan’s (the PH is silent) normal repertoire includes Dungeons & Dragons lore videos on everything from Forgotten Realms to Spelljammer. Spurred by My 30 Day World challenge put out by Absolute Tabletop and a Fantasy World Building Guide from WebWriter.net, Jorphdan concocted a challenge to end this 2020 — 30 Days of RPG World Building! If you missed out on NaNoWriMo or GamoWriMo never fear because there’s still plenty of time to do #My30DayWorld challenge!
Salutations, nerds! There’s a lot of discourse online about optimization of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons character creation and what options to take when you level up. And honestly…we’re still talking about this? A lot? In 2020? In 5E D&D? This has to be an exaggeration. Excuse me a minute while I do a quick online search — oh. Oh, I guess we are.
This post continues worldbuilding for the City of Anvil for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons (or any fantasy tabletop roleplaying game really). Part 1 lays out the City of Anvil into four distinct quarters and explores the history and socio-economic circumstances within the walls of the city. Anvil’s Royal Quarter received a closer look too and here I’ll visit each of the other three districts — the Dwarven Quarter, Bazaar and Commons. Taken as a whole the City of Anvil presents a vibrant location for 5E D&D adventurers to call home and with the limitless potential within the city walls they may experience epic quests right at home.
People are defined by their culture. In the fantasy genre species tend to take all of this language, education, wealth, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities and habits into one melting pot and we risk falling into monolithic thinking. In the City of Anvil for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons citizens have their own take on cultural views but it may also be important to consider larger communities tend to break into zones as well. New York City has boroughs, San Francisco is famous for China Town, London has East and West sides as well as different English accents just in the city alone. The City of Anvil is no different.