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E68 Yr1- Uncommon D&D Races- Half-Elf Podcast

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podcast

Episode 68 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

The deep dive through the Players Handbook for 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons continues with the half-elf from the uncommon races section of the book. Half-elves have been one of the worst races throughout the editions of the game.

But in 5E they really come into their own. Do seem to get the best of both worlds with 5th.

The Uncommon Races Half-Elf| Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Races

5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Races| The Uncommon Races- Half-Elf
Nerdarchy dissects the 5th edition uncommon race the Half-Elf. We talk both the good and the bad of 5e half-elves.

Unfortunately this race is one of the most bland of all the races when it comes to the fluff. Now when it comes to the mechanics of 5th edition dungeons and dragons the half-elf they is amazing.

Of all the races in this edition of dungeons and dragons half-elves are the most versatile of all the races aside from the human. Feel free to weigh in on your thoughts on the D&D Next half-elf down in the comments below.

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

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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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E60 YR1- Diseases, Tricks, and Hazards from the 5th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide Podcast

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podcast

Episode 60 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

Our first time combining three videos to create our podcast in our DMG deep dive.

Disease in Dungeons and Dragons 5e from the 5th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide

5E Dungeons and Dragons Disease in the 5th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide It’s time to delve back into the DMG.

This time we are talking disease. Diseases in the 5th edition dungeons and dragons dungeon masters guide are great as plot a device for your players.

Whether they are racing against the clock to cure disease spreading through the kingdom or maybe they’ve been infected and only have days to find a cure before they succumb this is a great way to add suspense your tabletop RPG.

This is a short section in the DMG, but reading it sparked a ton of ideas for adventures in my own campaign. Feel free to join the conversation and tell us what you think of disease in 5e D&D.

D&D Tricks to Befuddle Your Players Straight Out of the Dungeons and Dragons 5e DMG

D&D Tricks to Befuddle Your Players Straight Out of the 5e Dungeons and Dragons DMG

Nerdarchy continues to break down the 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide. This time we are looking at D&D tricks.

This section of the DMG is less than three quarters of a page yet there are so many seeds for creating or enhancing an adventure. Just looking at these gave us ideas for unique encounters, dungeons, adventures, and even character concepts.

It also has that old school AD&D feel to it. You really need to comb through the sections of the 5e DMG carefully or you may just miss the golden nuggets contained within.

Hazards of the 5e Dungeon Masters Guide| Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide

Hazards of the 5e Dungeon Masters Guide| 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide

Another jaunt into the D&D 5E dungeon masters guide this time to take a look at hazards. Hazards in the DMG are those threats that are sitting right there out in the open. The question is do you recognize them before it’s to late?

Whether it’s some harmless mold or a patch of quick sand does your adventurers have the knowledge or experience to recognize the danger. Hazards is another great little section of the DMG.

It gives you interesting ways challenge player characters in the game without using monsters or traps. It’s a place where any of the players at the table can shine by coming up with an interesting solution to the hazard at hand. Feel free to tell us about your experiences with hazards from the DMG or one’s you or your Dungeon Master has made up.

 

 

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E58 YR1- DMG Deep Dive with the Aasimar and Traps Podcast

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podcast

Episode 58 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

Time for another double feature podcast episode as we delve into the 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Masters guide.

 

Aasimar Straight From The 5E Dungeon Masters Guide| Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Races

5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Races| Aasimar Straight From The 5E Dungeon Masters Guide
Flipping through the dungeon masters guide we came across something we’ve always felt should be side by side with it’s tiefling counter part and that is the Aasimar.

It is a little weird to put one of these plane touched races in the players handbook and the other in the DMG. All that aside the D&D race is perfect for your cleric, druid, and paladin classes.

The abilities will be useful to any class though. Playing as a celestial touched character will offer up a ton of Role-Playing opportunities as we. What is your opinion of the Aasimar in this edition of dungeons and dragons?

Traps in D&D 5E Reviewing the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide

Traps in D&D 5E Reviewing the 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide
Nerdarchy is breaking the DMG for 5th edition dungeons and dragons wide open.

We are are crawling through it section by section and dissecting all the information a dungeon master would need to run a game of the worlds most popular tabletop role-playing game.

This time D&D traps. We look at their mechanics and the flavor provided for the sample traps given in the 5e DMG. I greatly enjoy mechanics and design of all most everything 5th. With traps WOTC does not disappoint.

 

 

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

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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

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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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E54 YR1- Monstrous D&D Player Characters In Your Campaign Setting Yay or Nay Podcast

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podcast

Episode 54 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

Monsters as player characters is a topic that has come up in our campaigns over the years. There something about breaking mold by playing the monster.

Monstrous D&D Player Characters In Your Campaign Setting Yay or Nay

Monstrous D&D Player Characters In Your Campaign Setting Yay or Nay We are talking monstrous character in an adventuring party would you allow it as the dungeon master? Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t allow races that aren’t in the players handbook.

Right now I’ve got two goblins along side all the the other races in the party. I know some game masters and players hate the idea of non standard races or monster races in their campaign worlds or settings. The question is how do you feel about it?

 

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E53 YR 1- Duergar Also Known As The Gray Dwarf Dungeons and Dragons Monsters Podcast

Episode 53 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

Time us to delve back into some D&D monsters. This time plumb the depths of the underdark for this edition of the podcast.

Duergar Also Known As The Gray Dwarf Dungeons and Dragons Monsters

Duergar Also Known As The Gray Dwarf| Dungeons and Dragons Monsters We continue with are Dungeons and Dragons Monsters series.

This time we plumbing the depths of the underdark to discuss the Duergar also known as gray dwarves. Gray dwarves are very interesting in their path into the monster manual comes from them being regular dwarves that were enslave by mindflayers.

The duergars captivity twisted them into what they are today. From slaves to slavers and tyrants of the underdark. In a lot of ways the duergar are like their other dwarf cousins. Only far more evil and sinister.

What you think of gray dwarves? Would you allow a gray dwarf player character in your game? We got the drow in the PHB, should the duergar been included as well?

 

 

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E51 YR1- Gnome Monastery- Secret Order of the Chained Fist| Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Organization Podcast

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podcast

Episode 51 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

Here is a little something we created for 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons on the fly. We built an organization and new monk tradition. It also lead us down the road of creating new threats and villains.

Gnome Monastery- Secret Order of the Chained Fist| Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Organization

Gnome Monastery- Secret Order of the Chained Fist| Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Organization
Nerdarchy dissects one of our secret organizations for our homebrew 5e D&D campaign.

Our monastery consists mostly of gnomes who have a secret they are keeping hidden deep in the forest. Our gnomish monks are protectors and wardens against something horrible.

We will at some point create a new monk tradition for monks in our campaign setting. What are the gnomes protecting or guarding? Is it an evil artifact, demon, or lost demi-god.

Our monks have been guarding their charge for centuries, but can they contain the evil forever? What you guys think about our gnomish monks?

 

 

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Out of the Box D&D Encounters, Series 2, #1: Stick in the Mud

Magic items as encounters has become an accepted option within this series. However, there’s one particular dynamic that has yet to be really explored fully – sentient items. Sentient items allow for a completely new approach to magic items as it not only allows the introduction of some cool magical effects, but essentially allows for the introduction of an unusual NPC into the group. Moreover, this NPC will enter into a special relationship with its owner/wielder. This relationship is somewhat symbiotic, as the sentient item will have its own motivations, personality, and “mental attributes.” When its motivations are subverted, a contest of personalities may occur whereby both the item and the possessor vie for control of the wielder. The winner of this contest then decides how the wielder acts for a time. This sort of relationship can open up a whole series of role-playing opportunities. However, if a potential player may take offense at such loss of control over their character concept, I would advise avoiding this sort of encounter. Continue reading Out of the Box D&D Encounters, Series 2, #1: Stick in the Mud

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New DM Handbook: Let Your Players Inspire Your World

New DM HandbookThis article is going to largely stem from my experiences when adjusting to my Platinum Dragonborn Oath of the Ancients Paladin Gladiator, but that’s largely because she was the only one of the group who I felt required significant adjustments to my world. This isn’t to say she dictated that my world needed to accommodate her. She made her character choices, and I chose ways I felt were best to accommodate her character. I didn’t do it just to accommodate her, but because Dungeons & Dragons is a collaborative story, and it’s made all the better the more everyone is willing to work together. In my opinion, my world has been made all the better for it, and I can’t imagine too many that wouldn’t benefit from some accommodation, either. Continue reading New DM Handbook: Let Your Players Inspire Your World

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Why Spell Casters Are Sexy

When first being introduced to DnD you will find a variety of classes that are presented before you and at first what draws attention to you might be something that suits your sexual orientation, masculine or feminine if you will.

Most women might be more drawn to being a druid or a sorcerer because of the more “feminine” tendencies of the class such as using will over strength, or being able to connect with nature through your “nurturing” sense” of things.  while this may be mostly true, this isn’t always the case and not always the back story.spell sorcerer DnD spell sorcerer DnD

While many men may be more drawn to being a fighter, paladin or ranger because of the weapon skills, strength specs or defense proficiencies just because that is what they may be more familiar with, (not that this is always the case, of course in general is what I refer too) still, not all men perceive things this way.

As players in a game that is full of different options we almost always will be drawn to what makes us more comfortable because we can relate more with the character we are trying to play. But what is it that really makes us uncomfortable?

Is it for a women the idea of being “strong” that might give someone an interpretation of us that is not really how we see ourselves based on societal standards, or the fear that being a half orc fighter means that we are “masculine” and not understood to some sense as a women that we strive to be as both feminine and enduringly tough?

spell sorcerer DnD spell sorcerer DnD That we are less “feminine” for being both strong and a badass? Or is it that a man might feel that playing a spell caster marks him as weak or not able to protect and defend as a “man” should In the ideal that society has placed on him, such as pretty much being an unstoppable robot of endless strength and genuine “manliness” that just comes with having a cock. (Hollywood).

While the public has de-evolved society by displaying these incredibly dull and false notions of what masculine and feminine means, it has also stunted the growth and character of many amazing and creative class builds that come to life when these flaws and absolutes of dualism between sexes are squashed. spell sorcerer DnD spell sorcerer DnD

Take Aragorn from the book series The Lord Of The Rings for example, while in the movie they didn’t portray his incredible skills in many of the arts that he was proficient in (I highly recommend reading The Silmarillion and The Lord Of The Rings books, especially if you call yourself a nerd), he was seen mostly as  a fighter/adventurer who gets the girl and helps saves the world.

In reality the story is more detailed than that, he was a man of Westerness who could not have been a king without being a warrior as well as a healer.  He was both warrior and healer and that was what made him a king to his people.  As a sorcerer, druid, wizard, cleric or bard, a lot of this classes ability comes from non- strength actions, ie, using will and magic over strength and raw force to conquer.

At first a player might look at these characters as intimidating or unfamiliar because of there spell casting rituals or book learned spells and see this as a more “feminine” way of playing; too “witchy” or “feminine” of rolls to play as a “man”.

spell sorcerer DnD spell sorcerer DnD As a “man” you should have some kind of sword or gun right? Wrong! The staff is a symbol in and of itself.  It’s an old symbol most cultures around the world have as a king/healer who is wise and confident in his wisdom; a person deserving respect and honor from his past actions.  Yet still, somehow, he has been spoken to be a crazy old fool with a  stick, a crow bringing bad news, or even a sex offender looking to trick women into infidelity, all rolls that leave the wise old male witch/sorcerer/spell castor to be an evil character, or some kind of screw up meant for hiding in the shadows.

While these ideals have been placed on these male character types it couldn’t be more far from the truth.  As a spell casting character you are not only in sync with the “psychic” or esoteric side of things it makes you far from being a “wimp” or “softy”if anything it makes you a scary yet powerful badass, one that is not to be messed with!  Your power comes from your understanding of the duality of life!

f1f6ee7598b5bb85fbb8297ecd8efba6The male and female sorcerers are incredibly well rounded in skill and strength, without the weapon of force to prove it! So give the spell casters a shot! Play one and see how much fun they can be! Personally for me, playing a Bard, has been one of my favorite characters so far because of how much I get to imagine and design!  I challenge you to get creative with what you bring to the table as both a man and women! Don’t be shy! Be weird and authentic with what comes into your mind!

As always, have fun and stay nerdy!

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Running a D&D game off the cuff – it can be easy

NPC
DragonsCrown-29
Does this Dungeon Master/wizard look panicked?

So you’re the Dungeon Master. There’s a game of Dungeons & Dragons in an hour or two. Unfortunately you’ve been busy all week and have not had time to prepare.

Don’t panic.

You can still run your game and look good doing it. It’s easy. Just follow the advice below.

First off, you need to take into account the relative strength of the party of characters with which you will be dealing. You don’t want the session to be too difficult, but you also don’t want it to be a walk in the park.

Next, you’re going to need a pen and paper. Hopefully you usually have those around when you’re planning to be the DM. Now, think of a monster, something simple, something basic, something with which you’re familiar. Orcs. Yeah, orcs will do. Everybody loves bashing on orcs.

Several Dungeons & Dragons miniature figures. ...
Several Dungeons & Dragons miniature figures. The grid mat underneath uses one-inch squares. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wait, you don’t have your Monster Manual handy? Don’t freak out. Orcs. Hmm, okay, orcs are pretty tough but not too tough, so … write down an Armor Class of 13. Yes, you’re making this up, guessing at it. Don’t worry. It doesn’t matter that much. Next up, put down +4 for the orcs to hit in combat (unless you know the characters are pretty tough themselves, in which case you can up that attack bonus to +5 or +6 or whatever … these don’t have to be standard, run-of-the mill orcs). For damage, put down a d10+2 (or +3 or +4 … again, depending upon the party strength). What is that d10? Well, that’s the damage for the battle axes the orcs are using. Why battle axes? Well, why not? You say the Player’s Handbook reads that battle axes do different damage? Don’t worry about it. Again, it’s not that important, at least not in the long run. Now for hit points. If these are average orcs, I’ll suggest giving them 15 hit points each, enough to pose a challenge because they usually won’t go down after only one hit, but you can give them more hit points if you think the party can handle it.

Keep in mind, you’re mainly trying to get through the session while ensuring everyone has a fun time.

orc screenshot axe
An orc with a battle axe. See how easy it can be?

Okay, how many orcs should you have? Again, it depends upon party strength. I’d suggest including about one orc per party member, plus have a boss. The boss can be as simple as an orc chieftain or captain or whatever. Give the orc boss extra armor, maybe an AC 18, and a couple of more pluses to hit and maybe another point or two of damage. Give him at least a dozen more hit points than your average orc, but twenty extra HP might even be better.

Now you’ve got your bad guys. You’ve got to come up with a mission for the party, a reason for them to go off on an adventure.

Keep it simple. This isn’t the time for long quests or overly complex plot lines. You’ve not had time to think of all that. Maybe the orcs have kidnapped someone who has to be saved. Or maybe the orcs are terrorizing a village and must be stopped. Maybe the orcs are just bandits who lay in ambush for the party. Again, simple, easy.

With a basic plot and some basic bad guys, you’re ready to go, right?

Well, yes and no. You’ve got your story ready for the players, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

The Relativist, a Psionic custom class for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition | D&D 5e dimensional_leap
Sometimes the Dungeon Master just has to jump into the deep waters.

For instance, you have to be ready to go with the flow. The players might take the adventure off into unexpected territory, so you should be mentally prepared to make up non-player characters on the fly. It helps here if you have some improvisational experience and are a quick thinker, but even if you don’t, just remember the party’s strengths and goals. Early on in a session you don’t want to make things too easy for the party, but you also don’t want to keep them baffled or frustrated. It will be best to have some complications and roadblocks, but eventually the party should be able to press ahead with the adventure, eventually coming to a conclusion, in this case probably a fight with the orcs and their boss. If you need other bad guys early in the session, just use your stats for the orcs but perhaps apply them to humans or dwarfs so the party isn’t facing the same villains all session long.

Don’t over think anything. If you make up an NPC with a stupid name, don’t worry about it. The players will probably have a chuckle at it. Besides, the NPC doesn’t ever have to show up again. Then again, if the NPC turns out to be fun for everyone, they might become a staple at your gaming table. If you need a bad guy suddenly, just use the orc stats, but describe the bad guy differently, maybe with a longsword instead of a battle axe.

If the adventure suddenly turns into a bloodbath for the party, there are ways to deal with this. If the orcs have been hit hard, maybe they will retreat. Or if it doesn’t seem completely cheesy and out of the blue, you can have someone else come in and save the party, though this should be used sparingly and should make some kind of sense; with a bit of foreshadowing, the party will know there is someone around who might be of aid. and this can keep the story from seeming as forced.

If things look particularly bad and you don’t have a problem doing it, you can always fudge some of your dice rolls and have the bad guys miss a number of attacks. Some dungeon masters don’t have a problem doing this while others abhor it, but either way, do you really want to kill off party members for what is basically a filler adventure?

Another thing to remember is that you do not want to run every session in this fashion. For that matter, you don’t want to run a lot of sessions in this fashion. The same old villains and their statistics will soon become no challenge for the players, which leads to boredom. You’ll get bored as well. Simple sessions are fine from time to time, but more complex stories and obstacles are needed to really keep interest high for your adventures.

Also, don’t feel bad if you’re improv skills aren’t all that great, or if you find it painful to have to think quickly on the fly. My suggestions aren’t for everyone. Every player and every dungeon master is different, and not everyone fits into a mold.

Most importantly, fake it until you make it. To repeat, don’t over think anything. Even if it leads to a mediocre gaming session, that’s better than no gaming session at all, and if your players are familiar with your style as a DM, they’ll be back next week or whenever. You don’t have to be perfect as a DM, you just have to be fair to the players and try to build up some fun.

Stay Nerdy!