The Nerdarchy crew has been hinting and teasing for a while, and working behind the scenes even longer, and now it is finally here — our very first Kickstarter! Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition went live this morning, July 15, at 6 a.m. eastern. We could not be more ecstatic about how this project came together. The team working to bring the Out of the Box Kickstarter to life is incredible and we jam-packed as much as we could into the campaign. If you’re an experienced Game Master, you’ll find new twists and clever turns on classic monsters, traps, hazards and random encounters. Newer GMs will discover helpful insights to use these encounters to fill gaps in time or story. And players of all levels can use Out of the Box encounters to introduce new adventure hooks and add fantastic new concepts to campaign worlds.
Out of the Box worth the wait
We’re all very glad we took our time and created a robust project for players of the World’s Greatest Roleplaying game of any level, plus account for different tastes as far as what sorts of content and products people might want. There’s everything from simply supported the campaign, to digital-only pledge levels, to complete packages that include our own library of previous digital products plus the incredible ArcKnight pack with flat plastic miniatures for creatures in each encounter, and physical maps of the core encounters.
And we’re super stoked about the stretch goals we developed! Not only will there be more encounters, with maps and minis, but we enlisted some of our friends in the RPG industry to participate too! If we reach our first stretch goal, we’ll unlock five more encounters — four from Nerdarchy and one from Dungeon Master’s Guild and Adventurers League Community Manager Lysa Penrose — all with their own maps, minis and the full Out of the Box treatment as the core content.
That’s just the beginning though, and our top stretch goal is so awesome, I can’t wait until we reach it. Seriously, it is beyond cool.
Origin of Encounters for 5th Edition
The origin of the Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition Kickstarter goes back pretty far in Nerdarchy history. One of our website’s most profilic and consistent writers, Mike Gould, has been a strong part of the Nerdarchy community since the earliest days. His insightful comments in so many of our videos segued into a very popular series here on the site called Out of the Box. Each week, Mike wrote up clever, engaging encounters to share. Inspired by his decades of experience with D&D, his passion for discovering new styles of play, and his zest for life in general, these thoughtful encounters are full of energy and imagination. When we first thought about creating our own Kickstarter, we talked to Mike about adapting the series and he was on board.
Since then we’ve been working to polish the written content and improve it with new customized monsters and magic. And along the way we assembled a remarkable team of artists, illustrators, cartographers, writers and more to cram anything we could into this box. So when you get your Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition you’ll have everything you need to create awesome memories with the players in your games.
As an editor, I’ve enjoyed working with Mike over the last few years. One of the things I appreciate the most about his encounters is the consideration for the players. No GM can account for everything a group of players might do, but Mike’s guidance in his writing really helps smooth over some potentially challenging scenarios and offers several possible outcomes or directions various encounters can go whether they’re combat, social or exploration focused. We’ve chatted quite a bit about being a GM and our thoughts and theories about these games we love, and Mike’s player character-first approach really helped shape my style for running these games.
Out of the Box encounters have found their way into my own D&D campaigns many times, and whether I picked a small piece from a larger encounter or one of them became an entire night’s gaming session, all of the times were so much fun for me and the players alike. Details like opportunities to use tools or skill proficiencies in new or unusual ways, how to run encounters depending on if they turn hostile or not, how to juggle some potentially unusual complications, or even just a heads up on how players might likely react to a situation make using these encounters so easy.
Our take on a D&D Kickstarter
Everyone at Nerdarchy and the whole Kickstarter team is certain Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition will be a valuable resource in your GM toolbox. Encounters are easy to scale and adapt to any setting or environment. Players will need to think outside the box to overcome the unique challenges, and a GM will be ready with maps, minis and material to present awesome, memorable encounters at any moment.
Because of the time we’ve already put into the written content, we can put so much energy into the art, cartography and extras to support the core material we already have. Finding the right encounter and all the maps and minis you need will be easily organized for you in the appendices along with stat blocks and entries for all of the new monsters and magic items within the encounters. And a quick reference guide at the beginning of each entry shows the suggested party level, environment, monsters and treasure in each encounter.
Here at Nerdarchy we will be honored to have you check out the Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition Kickstarter and find the pledge level that fits your needs. Not only the encounters themselves, but the options we created are with you, the Game Master, with your campaign, players and their characters in mind. We ask that you consider backing this book to bring these encounters to life at your table, and at ours.
And if you need some extra convincing, we asked a few of our friends and colleagues to share their thoughts on what Nerdarchy, and Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition, brings to the gaming table. Check out the video below to see more and hear what they had to say then head over to the Out of the Box Kickstarter page and discover the pledge level that’s best for you.
Nerditor-in-Chief Doug Vehovec is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio, with D&D in his blood since the early 80s. Fast forward to today and he’s still rolling those polyhedral dice. When he’s not DMing, world building, or working on endeavors for Nerdarchy or his own blog The Long Shot, he’s a newspaper designer, copy editor and journalist. He loves advocating the RPG hobby and connecting with other nerds and gamers on social media and his site thelongshotist.com.