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E62 YR1- From Madness to Spell Points Another Dive into the 5E DMG Podcast



Episode 62 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

We continue our delve into the Dungeon Masters Guide for 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. Yup we are going right in order so we end up with madness paired with the option rule for spell points.

Madness in D&D Straight from the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Dungeons Masters Guide

Madness in D&D Straight from the 5th Edition Dungeons Masters Guide
This one has been request several times so far madness in 5th edition dungeons and dragons. Nerdarchy plunges right into the depths of madness that awaiting us in the DMG.

We talk about how to use it as a game master or how it can effect you as a player in the game. No discussion from the new dungeon master’s guide would be complete without talking plot points for any dungeon masters looking for another spin on things.

Has madness creeped into your games? Has anyone had one of their characters driven mad by the wild schemes of their DM?

D&D Optional Rules Spell Points|Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide

D&D Optional Rules Spell Points| 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide
PG- 288 DMG Variant Spell Options

Nerdarchy tears once more into the DMG of 5e to talk optional rules for 5th edition dungeons and dragons. I didn’t think I’d see this one but here it is- Spell Points.

It’s really nice that wizards of the coast put this one in here. Especially for the 5e D&D sorcerer this pretty awesome it completely fixes what I see as being the sorcerer’s problems in this edition of dungeons and dragons.

Things get a little complex when you start to add multi-class spell casting into the mix. So spell points what you guys think?



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E57 YR1- 5E D&D DMG Villainous Class Options| Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide Podcast



Episode 57 of Nerdarchy the podcast Year One

So the deep dive into the 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide begins. We start with the darker side of player options and NPCs.

5E D&D DMG Villainous Class Options| Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide

5E D&D DMG Villainous Class Options| 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide

Nerdarchy has begun dissecting the new 5th edition DMG by wizards of the coast. We’ve already done our 1st impression video of the Dungeon Masters Guide now it is time to tear into the meat and potatoes of it.

This is a great looking D&D book full useful things for running the game whether you’re a new gamer or an experienced Game Master. In this video we look at the villainous options available for non player character, but would work just as easily for a player character.



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E56 YR1- 5E DMG Nerdarchy’s 1st Impression of the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide Podcast



Episode 56 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

Here is our 1st impression vid and podcast of the 5E DMG. We spent quite a bit of time doing micro break downs of the DMG from here on out. We cover each section individually. Going forward I’ll probably combine two or more sections for the podcast.

5E DMG Nerdarchy’s 1st Impression of the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide

5E DMG Nerdarchy’s 1st Impression of the 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide

We take a look at the D&D 5E Dungeon Masters Guide and give an over view about how we feel about it. Collectively we have looked at a lot DMG’s over the years. I must sat the 5th edition D&D dungeon masters guide is shaping uf to be one of my favorites. It contains a lot of the great stuff from all the previous editions of dungeons and dragons plus some new material as well. This book is essential to the new DM, but I feel more experienced Dungeon Masters and Game Masters will also find it a very useful RPG toolbox. Feel free to let us know down in the comments how this book is adding to your game.


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“Three Eyes Are Better” – Out of the Box D&D Encounters #40

In conjunction with previous encounters, this will also expand on the concept of making D&D monster encounters less “vanilla.” As seen in “Phoeba’s Bet,” this will be another foray into granting class levels to a normally predictable monster.

The monster in question this time is the (lowly) Cyclops. The Cyclops has classically been seen as a dim-witted, superstitious, and ill-tempered brute who might fall victim to any assortment of late-night infomercials. Whereas that preconception should bear some merit, and some elements may be contained in this encounter, leaving it as-is defeats the purpose of delivering an encounter that challenges preconceptions. Drawing from inspiration from such sources as Bugs Bunny (“The Abominable Snowman”) and Star Trek TNG “Samaritan Snare,” this encounter was designed to take on the concept of a danger interjected with moments of humor. Continue reading “Three Eyes Are Better” – Out of the Box D&D Encounters #40

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Want more 5e D&D potions? Look no further

D&D 5e potionsFor those who played Dungeons & Dragons prior to Fifth Edition, they might have noticed some old, favorite potions no longer appearing in the 5e Dungeon Master’s Guide. This makes sense as Fifth Edition is the most streamlined version of the game so far.

What to do, then, if you want to include those potions in your current 5e game? Simple. You turn to The Emporium of Uncanny Magic – Lost Potions from Insane Angel Studios, available at the DMs Guild in pdf format for only 99 cents.

What you get within this 8-page file are 27 potions which once shined in earlier versions of D&D. Not only that, but you also get rules for four potion curses and some information about the League of the White Lotus.

Many old favorites can be found here, such as the Oil of Impact, the Potion of Polymorph Self, and the Elixir of Hiding, all with rules for Fifth Edition D&D. Continue reading Want more 5e D&D potions? Look no further

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In Role Play, Description isn’t Always a Good Thing

Dungeons & Dragons
These are dice. They decide things in RPG combat, but they don’t describe the combat. Maybe we could learn from this.

The most dreaded words I can hear from a game master are, “Describe your attack.”

I’m not talking about describing complex character actions. That I understand. If the game master needs explanation on how one of my characters is trying to perform a certain act, especially an unusual one, that makes perfect sense.

No, I’m talking about the rather mundane, usually involving combat.

My character steps into a fight, swings his or her weapon. I roll dice. The weapon hits. I go to roll damage and … Continue reading In Role Play, Description isn’t Always a Good Thing

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What to do When a Magic User wants to make a Custom Spell | Game Master Tips

Almost everyone who has played a magic user long enough has gotten themselves into a tight spot where the spells they have are not what they need.

Either during other players’ turns or after the encounter is over we think of a custom spell that would have gotten the job done. One major problem with this custom spell…

it just don’t exist.


So you go to your Game Master and tell them all about how the encounter would have ended if you had this sweet custom spell you thought up.

“I want to have this spell I thought of that turns swords into water droplets,

every blade in my sight!”

The Game Master looks at you and says, “This custom spell is way too powerful, I won’t allow it”.

knights tomb What to do When a Magic User wants to make a Custom Spell | Game Master TipsThe magic user has been slain…

No, more like the player’s creativity has been slain.

Whenever a game master shuts down a player’s request, without considering how they could say yes to that player, the player has less incentive to passionately discuss creative solutions with that GM.

Do this too much and player’s will begin to see that thinking outside of the box of the strict rules as written is not going to happen while that game master is running the story.

A different way to deal with a magic user, who wants to make a custom spell idea, is to consider how it could work within the confines of the rules without being reduced to a different flavored fireball (i.e. sonic damage instead of fire damage).

What to do When a Magic User wants to make a Custom Spell | Game Master Tips

Before we get too into the thick of it I have organized a list of guide posts to keep in sight when crafting custom spells with a player.

  1. Ask the player all of the effects that they want to have occur when their magic user casts the custom spell
  2. Write the effects down and begin to shuffle those effects into the following categories:
    • What does it target and the number of targets a
    • If it deals, reduces, prevents, or heals damage- how many dice and which ones?
    • Is there a save
    • Is there an attack roll
    • Area effect, If so what type of area is affected.
    • What is the duration, is it instantaneous
    • Does it require a form of concentration to maintain.
    • What is the maximum range
    • Place any parameters that do not fit elsewhere here
  3. Write down other spells from the rules that have at least 1 factor in common with the custom spell.
    • note the level and any magic user type who have access to the spells
    • note any special restrictions on the spells
  4. Gather all of the info together and see how the custom spell compares to all of the known spells.
  5. I would say any spell that allows a magic user to have a power of another class should be considered with a high level of caution.
  6. If the new spell would deal or heal damage then their are guideposts setup in a chart found within the DMG for D&D 5e

Note: Make sure that as a Game Master you do not hand cure light wounds to the wizard and sorcerer without some type of binding restriction. At the same time don’t give extremely powerful non-thunder or non-psychic attacks to the bard without a lot of consideration.

What to do When a Magic User wants to make a Custom Spell | Game Master Tips

Going back to my original example the wizard is 5th level so destroying every blade that the mage can see is a bit out of their league when we consider other spells that have similar properties to the concept spell.

  • Shatter is 2nd level, deals damage in a radius to nonmagical objects that are not being worn or carried. Several parts are similar to the effect
    • area effect > than 1 target
    • damages / destroys nonmagical objects
    • Instantaneous, it does not have a duration
  • Stinking cloud is 2nd level, it has the chance of taking combatants out of the combat
    • from round to round (requires a save) to not be useless in combat.
    • It also requires concentration. But it has a large radius of 20 ft.
    • It can effect a large  quantity of people.
    • but once they pass the save they can be back in the combat
      • this differs from a blade turning to water because the blade can’t come back to the fight
  • Heat Metal is 2nd level, if used on a sword the person holding it needs to make a save or drop it.
    • this removes that weapon as a choice but does not destroy it.
    • It also doesn’t do any damage to the person after they drop it.
    • requires concentration
  • All of these spells have a range around 60 ft

By looking at these spells we get an understanding about the non-permanence of taking someone out of the fight with 2nd level spells and how there are not any spells that destroy weapons outright.

Well the player still wants to destroy it by turning it into water so let us see if we can make that happen.

Writing_Wizard What to do When a Magic User wants to make a Custom Spell | Game Master TipsNow you may have noticed that there are a lot of conditions on each of the spells above.

  1. Concentration
  2. saving throws
  3. 1 target (heat metal)
  4. noneffective against held or worn objects

These are all examples of conditions that restrict the power of a spell.

Similar to the classes and special abilities every spell breaks rules while applying new rules specific to the spell.

Let us consider making a spell a bit higher than shatter but able to focus upon a drawn nonmagical blade that is held by a person.

The person gets a saving through- lets say intelligence because if they figure out what is happening they can shield it from the wizard or sheath it before the spell turns it into a puddle.

rusty bucket What to do When a Magic User wants to make a Custom Spell | Game Master TipsLet us make it 3rd level for now (we can lower it later if we need to do so) with the ability to cast it at higher levels and higher level slots target more people.

It is an instantaneous effect so there is no need to concentrate or use up action beyond the action for the casting of the spell.

Standard spell components like iron rust in a vial of alcohol or something similar.

Let me know if that helped you out with your own spell creations in the comments below and be sure to check out other game master tip articles here and videos about game master tips over on youtube

Remember keep that gamer passion high by figuring out how to say yes to your players even when they ask you something that sounds a bit too wild.

Until next time,

Stay Nerdy