D&D Cartoon

D&D Cartoon – Tiamat at 1st Level Too Much

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Journey with us through the world of Dungeons and Dragons as we break down the D&D cartoon. We will be breaking down episode after episode. The first episode is The Night of No Tomorrow. We’ve already down the D&D cartoon adventuring party break down. As long as there is interest we’ll continue to explore this series.

D&D Cartoon – Tiamat at 1st Level Too Much Video

D&D Cartoon – Tiamat at 1st Level Too Much Video Transcription

Ted: “You started in a tavern as we begin our new adventure.”

Dave: “ Awesome man! I got my first level ranger. I’m ready to go.

Ted: “As you look around the tavern, you see many interesting faces, but before you have a chance to react, a loud cracking sound comes from above you.”

Dave: “What do I see?”

Ted: “As you look up The roof is being ripped off the building by a massive dragon. It grins and you see flames licking out of his nostrils.”

Dave: “A freaking Dragon, Ted a dragon. We’re only first level man. What are we supposed to do?Welcome to the Nerdarchy for nerds by nerds . I’m Nerdarchist Dave. And today I’m hanging out with this nerd.”

Ted: “Nerdarchist Ted. And today we’re talking about, you know, using Tiamat at first level.”

Dave: “Do you want practical D&D advice You can drop right in your game?”

Ted: “If the answer is yes, then don’t forget to crit hit that subscribe button and attune to that notification bell.”

Dave: “So we’re talking about the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon and we’re going to break it down. How you might use this as, you know, the building blocks of an adventure in your game.”

Ted: “So while there might be some review elements in here, this is more about, you know, how we can extrapolate D&D content from the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon.”

Dave: “Yeah, we went and watched it a bunch of times and now we’re going to dissect it and see what we come up with.”

Ted: “ All right. So first and foremost, we get right into the intro where he’s naming classes and given out magic items. And that’s typically how a D&D adventure start, right?”

Dave: “Oh yeah. All the time. Well, I mean, the funny thing about that is the way the series starts is it’s almost the starting in the center of the campaign, things have already happened. They’ve already been named as their classes. They’ve already been given these Uber powerful magic items, uh, by the mysterious figure, the Dungeon Master. Uh, and, and not only that, they know who this person is when he’s introduced in the very first episode. So it’s not like this is the beginning. They’re starting someplace in the middle and we’ve all, we already know there’s an overarching campaign going on and the campaign quest has already been given and the players are working towards that quest.”


Ted: “And that’s, you know, to, to get home.”

Dave: “ to get, yeah, absolutely to get home. But you know, I lean off to the way the, the adventure starts. This episode’s starts is a great way to start an adventure starts right off with action. It starts right off essentially with what I would call a random encounter.”

Ted: “Random encounter that, you know, in the early days of D&D , they didn’t really care about, you know, what your level was. If you were in an area, you would just roll on a chart and see what things might be in that area and what you might fight. Oh, you’re in a forest. Well, they’re just might happen to be a green dragon that’s lairing nearby and if it’s out surveying its terrain or it, you know, somehow gets wind of you tromping through, it’s going to come poking its nose. You have capacity to fight a creature of that level. It would just stomp you, but random encounters don’t care about that.”

Dave: “Thankfully, you know, in this particular adventure for their random encounter they did not have to deal with a green dragon.”

Ted: “No, they only have to deal with Tiamat the, uh, the, the queen of dark and evil dragons.”

Dave: “Well, in all fairness, Ted, back then Tiamat wasn’t a god yet. She was merely, she was, uh, she was…”

Ted: “Just a pitiful demon lord.”

Dave: “Yeah, she’s pitiful demon Lord. You know, I think she was the guardian of the first level of the Abyss or Hell one of them, I don’t, I don’t remember which, I feel like she was a demon Lord, but at the same time, I feel like she was the first level of guardian of hell, which would be devils, but I could be completely wrong. Folks. We’re going back like 20, 30 years. So there is that. But yeah, so, so that’s, that’s one of the things we pick up right away. Random encounter overpowered. But you know, one of the hallmarks of earlier editions of the game was, you know, it wasn’t so much about what you had on your character sheet, it was about how you kind of played the game. And you know, this is a good example of that. They’re able to outsmart Tiamat and the trick her into going into the cave and they seal it up and are able to get away and then, uh, introduced to their quest giver.”Dungeon Master

Ted: “We go into the nice, a Dungeon Master entry who’s got the ability to come and in and out of the game, just like, you know, when you’re sitting at the table sometimes your DM is talking and sometimes it’s just player interaction. Uh, so it was, it’s kind of interesting to see the DM being inserted as if they’re really a character that’s there.”

Dave: “Yeah, it’s, it’s very meta. It’s, you know, breaking the fourth wall, if you will. But also, what are the other things I want to point out about this at particular adventuring party. They don’t have a cleric. There is no healer.”

Ted: “There is no healer. So, you know, in the early days we had different, uh, different character classes, but they got a ranger, a cavalier, a thief, a magician, an acrobat, and a barbarian.”

Dave: “Yes. So they’re very martial heavy, uh, very, very skill heavy party. And well, they still do have a spell caster.”

Ted: “They got a magician.”

Dave: “They have a magician. But you know, back in early days of the game also, uh, every level had different titles and yeah, so if you’re Yo, you took you to like 10th level or something, but to actually be a wizard back in those days, well let’s move it along. So the quest giver shows up. The Dungeon Master, uh, you know, they’re all like, hey, we want to complete the main quest. Then he’s like, yeah, but we have a mini arc to do first. And that is to go to this village of Helix. They’re going to be seller, they’re going to have a big celebration. You should go check that out. Go north. And everyone’s like, why don’t we do And then they’re like, I don’t know, go north. How about we go north So I guess we’re going north. I would say that’s like the main adventure for that session for this session is to go to Helix.”

Ted: “Yeah, you’ve got, you’ve got a story arc or a session arc as some might, uh, wants to call it and you know here they’re presented with go here and there is going to be a clue that should hopefully help you in your overarching quest. So this could be a side quest, it could be you know, something where you’re taking a little jaunt to get more information. So there’s a lot of times that when you are building campaign ideas or session ideas, it’s good to have things that are going to loop back to your main quest. But you have the ability to introduce something on the side that is related and useful and it’ll, it’ll keep the, the, the campaign moving and keep the players interested because they like, like these guys they want to complete that main quest.”

Dave: “Also. One of the things that gets, or kind of early is a bit of a riddle right in that, and you know, Dungeon Master is like beware of Venger, the face of evil, the incarnation of evil. You’ll know him by his white hair, you know, so, and then they kind of leave and they go in their adventure and they, they run into a, another random thing. And that is a floating castle in the sky.”

Ted: “So I dig when you’ve got, you know, buildings, cities, towers, whatever have you that are floating. It’s just, you know, something that’s out of the ordinary and winds up becoming, you know, pretty memorable if you don’t have them all the time. So, right in the beginning, you know, they have to figure out how to get up. The answers are wind up being spoon fed to them and they encounter a magician of power.”

Dave: “They do. Uh, but before that they have to actually leave their animal companion behind because it’s a rope ladder and Unicorns don’t climb rope ladders.”

Ted: “Unicorns don’t climb a rope ladders, especially baby Unicorns.”

Dave: “ Right So it might not have his magical teleport ability yet where he could just zip up there. Uh, yeah. So yeah, they, they run into the, the magician, the wizard, the Mage, Merlin.”


Ted: “He’s got nice long gray beard, but he, his hair is white and they call him on it and he lifts his hat and the hair is attached to it. It’s like, oh no, I don’t have white hair. All the magical powers that I have, I don’t have that.”

Dave: “I can’t grow hair. Yes. You know, and then of course from there, what happens, but Tiamat shows up again.”

Ted: “And you know, the mighty demon Lord is, you know, wound up getting tricked and you know, this, this twice and the first 15 minutes of a TV show, you’ve got a super Uber powerful creature. Uh, if, if you have the ability that when you’re writing and you’ve got players that are creative and are willing to work with, you know, certain ideas, then you could have overpowered adversaries as long as there is easy ways or obvious ways that you might be able to have them come up with, well how do we deal with, how do we get away when a while still feeling heroic because you don’t want to be like, oh we just run away all the time.”

Dave: “Well also that to just be open to the players having solutions and not just shutting down their solutions, you know, because it all requires die roles or to attack rolls. But instead of them doing something interesting and tricking the, the bad guy and you know, in this case Tiamat gets trick twice. Like you said, Oh, you know, once into the cave and other time into the dungeon, they locked Tiamat up. And now the party, even though this is essentially, this is a side quest too, by the way, it’s not the main quest of going to Helix, but on the side quest or like given an option of, hey, here’s a powerful wizard. You have a wizard, does your wizard one to become an apprentice to this guy and the party is like, no way. He would never do that. And then the, you know, the Preston was like, yeah, I’m going to stay here and learn real magic.”

Ted: “So, uh, at this point in time, I guess we really need to, uh, you know, kind of summon our own Presto and, and do some magic.”

Dave: “Sure. Have at it you have the magic hat.”

Ted: “I have the hat. So hocus pocus help us not to go brokus.”

Dave: “Wow. Ted, when did you learn that trick?”

Ted: “Ah, you know, you watched a little bit of a D&D and you play a little bit of D&D and maybe you pick up some things.”

Dave: “I guess it’s time to thank our sponsor. Easy Roller Dice. Whether it’s your first set of dice or your 1 millionth set of dice, Easy Roller Dice for all your dice rolling needs. As always down in description, you can find a link to Easier Roller Dice backslash Nerdarchy as well as a one time coupon code for a whopping 20% off. Go get some easy roller dice.”

Ted: “We know time and time again don’t split the party don’t split the party and what does he do? He splits the party.”

Dave: “Sometimes it’s fun to support the party there to be honest with you.”

Ted: “Interesting things can happen if you choose to split the parts.”

Dave: “So from here the rest of the party goes on through the main quest, which is helix, which is really cool because in helix they have like the mayor and fortune tellers and his festival going on and and there’s all kinds of great ways for the, the uh, party, the players to interact with the world that isn’t just combat. There is, yeah, they’re playing games, they’re doing cool and fun things. In the meantime, Presto is still in the flying castle and here this is classic a D&D for you’re right, because in classic AD&D the worst things happened to the players when they work extra hard to make the bad stuff happen, they get tricked. A lot of the early adventure modules were really famous for this, especially like Tomb of Horrors . You would have to go out of your way to work your way into the death trap. And, and in this case, you know Presto gets tricked into performing a spell that’s in this Uber powerful spell book because Merlin or the person that’s, you know, masquerading as Merlin has basically just erased the name of the spell and replaced it with like the go home spell. So he’s like, oh great, I’m going to cast a spell of, we’re going to all get home. But no, what did we say The kids are going to helix to the celebrate the vanishing of the flight of dragons.”


Ted: “So no, Presto winds up getting tricked. He cast the spell being a good wizard, a good magician, if you will. And he undoes the original Merlin’s removing of the of the dragons and Lo and behold, the dragons come out of the cauldron, burst through the tower and begin trying to destroy helix yet again.”

Dave: “Yes, the, yeah, the, the fortune teller. It catches wind of this. The divining what is going to happen and you know, makes everyone aware of warns everyone. So of course the adventuring party rushes back to the castle realizing that they have been tricked.”

Ted: “All in all you’ve got to, we want the ability to bring the party back together to find a correct solution. You know, confidence is or raised, the magician is able to yet again can cast the spell in total rhyme sequence that he usually does.”

Dave: “Well you know, I would pick out like when instance too, that’s kind of a, it’s kind of interesting and it does come up in your game sometimes and that is nerfing a player and this case Presto performs the, the magic that will break the spell discovers he’s messed up. He’s discovers that Merlin has actually Venger, they’re not their arch nemesis. He has his hat taking from him, his source of power. So now he is kind of left powerless. But again, you know when we, oh the party kind of works together to fend off Venger, uh, you know, they, they released Tiamat again in order to go after Venger that create conflict between the two of those. And then the actual spell is recreated like you said, but he does it without as magic, you know, as he creates the original. So this is akin to that character getting nerfed in the game, but then being able to fall back and rely on their skills instead and save the day another way.”

Ted: “And if you were looking to do something like this, there is nothing that you know, represents the banishing of dragons. There’s nothing that represents, you know, the summoning of dragons that are spells that you would wind up using. They’re not even rituals that are are there. So these, these kinds of things could be enacted by just straight up skill roles for both of them. I would look at, you know, straight arcana or intelligence, you know, and you know, where you could also look at, you know, the, the fourth edition terminology of skill challenges and be able to have things, you know, that that work into it. Oh, you know, you’ve got a bard and well he’s going to inspire the wizard to have more confidence. You know, the, you know, the, the ranger is going to happen to, you know, make a nature check to know more about, you know, the particular dragons. You know, you can go in a lot of different varieties to have these similar effects happen even though there’s nothing mechanically to have these types of affects in your world.”

Dave: “Basically when you get into stuff, it really relies more on rulings than rules, but that’s fine. It’s all, you know, most of it is all narrative anyway with you know flavored in from you know, you’d want to do something, make a check what seems to be most relevant so you can incorporate that kind of stuff back into your game. Uh, in early days, there weren’t as many rules, so you had to make it up. Anyway. Fifth edition has gone kind of back in that direction, which I feel like you know, in some ways makes the game a lot better. And in other ways it hampers you a little bit because you, you don’t know what the rule is and the DM just has to come up with it. So it leans on the Dungeon Master’s discretion a lot more than it then it has, you know, in third and fourth edition. So, uh, pretty much wraps up the, the first episode of the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon. Uh, if you like these, we’re going to do more of them. We’re going to go through and break them down and, and kind of like look at things in Dungeons and Dragons term and end gamify , the TV series. What do you think? Did you enjoy this video? We’ve got a place where we can talk about it, discuss it. That is down in the Comments below while you’re down there don’t forget to like share and subscribe.”

Ted: “On your way down. Don’t forget to check out the description and that link to our sponsor. Easy Roller Dice.”

Dave: “So until next time,”

Both: ”Stay nerdy!”

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My name is Dave Friant I've been gaming off and on for over 27 years. But here is the thing it's always been a part of my life I've kept secret and hidden away. I've always been ashamed of the stigma that gaming and my other nerdy and geeky pursuits summon forth. Recently I decided screw it! This is who I am the world be damned. From now on I'm gonna be a geek, nerd, or however folks want to judge me and just enjoy life. Currently one of my greatest joys is introducing my 13 yr old son to table top RPG's.

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