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EP 61 YR 1- From the DMG We make a NPC and Look Magic- Items Podcast



Episode 61 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

Another dive into the DMG for 5E. This time we take a look at making a NPC from the random generation charts as well an overview of the 5th Edition D&D magic items. Yes it’s another double sized episode.

NPCs for RPGs from the 5e DMG|Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

NPCs for RPGs from the 5e DMG| 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons

Nerdarchy creates an npc from the new 5e dungeon masters guide in this video. We had some fun with the random Non Player Character generator. As fun as dropping the dice are it was even more fun to come up with the stories to go along with the rolls.

One of the awesome things about this edition of dungeons and dragons dungeon masters guide is all the random generator tables in the book. They are great for when you are stumped as the Dungeon Master working on your next adventure.

A couple quick rolls and your writer’s block is slain like an unruly dragon. Feel free to weigh in on 5e’s DMG and the NPC section.

D&D 5e Magic-Item Over View| Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Dungeons Masters Guide

D&D 5e Magic-Item Over View| 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Dungeons Masters Guide

Nerdarchy gives their first impression of magic items in 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. We touch on most the changes briefly and point out some of the things we really like.

We also go into some of the changes that are throw backs to previous edition of dungeons and dragons as well as point out the 5e D&D magic item changes.


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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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“The Girl With The Dragon SNAFU” – Out of The Box #35 D&D Encounters

dragonIntroduction: To finish out the run of “Out of the Box” for 2016, I thought it would be appropriate to use the one creature that is likely the most difficult to run. A dragon. The problem with dragons is they are immensely powerful and capable of destroying a party outright within a few rounds if played to their potential. It then falls to the Dungeon Master to try and create an encounter that is both reasonable to the players and yet fair to the beast in question. You want the moment to be memorable, and the only way to do that is to do the creature justice.

Continue reading “The Girl With The Dragon SNAFU” – Out of The Box #35 D&D Encounters

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“Wooden Dragon” – Out of the Box #33 D&D Encounters

DragonIntroduction: One standard preconception modern gamers have about any fantasy world we game in is this – the common person is just as sophisticated as we are. Before you laugh, allow me to explain. It wasn’t too long ago in our history that we collectively believed the Earth was the center of the universe. We believed medicine was witchcraft. We believed tomatoes were evil. We believed that washing was bad for us. We believed that royalty were godlike beings. Visiting anything outside an hour’s walk was too far. News came by strangers, rumor, superstition, or what your local leader told you.
We’ve come a long way in our understanding of science, politics, geography, communication, and  travel. Planes, cars, modern roads, medicines, and the internet have connected the world in a way our ancestors in the Middle Ages could never have dreamed of. This advancement has created a sophistication that even the most ignorant among us have over our ancient counterparts.
Building an encounter around this ancient ignorance and lack of sophistication means that you can create a rumor in a local town, village, hamlet or crossroads that could spread fear and superstition as quickly as a virus. Something we would, with our modern understanding, quickly dismiss as something else would have been accepted as fact back in that day. This gives devious villains or monsters a method of terrorizing a populace, and may well be a great spark to start your campaign.
Presented below is one such circumstance whereby a clever and devious sort uses simply timing and puppetry to paralyze a populace. I present to you “Wooden Dragon.”
Environment: Wilderness – best suited for a rocky pass, but put it where it suits you.
Suggested level: 1-3
DragonDescription: Many campaigns start with a “bandit” encounter or some other highway robbery. This encounter is one such “highway toll,” but taken with a different spin. The players will be making their way though a winding pass where the view ahead is obstructed by the terrain – typically rocky and difficult to negotiate. The pass will have the sun peering through it (so time of day and your own personal geography is important here), when the players will encounter a striking silhouette. It will appear as if a large dragon head at the end of a stout neck is peering low around the pass, blocking it. It will have bright eyes and a gaping mouth. Smoke will be issuing from its maw. A loud roar will issue form the beast, and a voice, speaking in Common,  will proclaim, “Leave your valuables and turn back, and I might spare your lives!”
The dragon head awaits your response.
The players will have a few avenues open to them. The players can retreat. If they do so, the head will not move and no dragon will pursue. Feel free to keep this fact from the players though, unless they directly ask about it.
The players can talk to the dragon head. It will speak in a booming voice, and will only speak in Common. Characters who try to parley in Draconic will be met with silence and inaction. See below for why.
The players can charge and attack. Given the tables I’ve either played or DMed at, I’m betting this will be the majority of cases.
out of the box encountersThe Dragon Head is a construct of wood and canvas. It is operated by ropes and pulleys mounted to a framework behind the immediate pass out of view. It is being operated by a team of six Kenku, all of whom are being directed by Skrivix, the Bandit Captain. It’s he who’s talking, and the Kenku are supplying the roar. The head is equipped with a makeshift Flamethrower made from a clay pot of oil, some hosing, and a bellows. If the players flee, Skrivix will laugh and taunt the players. If they try to negotiate, Skrivix will demand their belongings or he will threaten to roast them alive. He will give unseen cues to the Kenku hiding out of sight to supply further roars, all of which will be magnified by the natural rocky structure of the pass.
Skrivix has three charges in his improvised flamethrower. If he feels pressed, he’ll use one to intimidate the players. Players who pass a successful Nature check (DC: 12, given the backlit sun) will easily determine something’s afoot. They’ll figure out this isn’t a real Dragon. It will take a further successful Insight (or even Perception) (DC: 10, given the Nature check) to figure out that deception is at hand.
If the party attacks the head, Skrivix will try to get off at least one gout from his improvised flamethrower. The flamethrower will act as a Burning Hands spell (Player’s Handbook, page 220, Dex save, DC: 13 for half damage). The head is made of wood and painted canvas, and if they attack it directly, it has an AC of 13 and takes 30 points to destroy or render inoperative. This will expose Skrivix to normal attacks. If the players use Fire attacks on the Dragon head, this might set the head ablaze if it actually catches fire (DM to determine, but fire and canvas are generally quite flammable). If the head does catch fire, roll a d20. On the first round, the flamethrower explodes on a five or less. Every round thereafter, add 5 to the chance. (10 or less, 15 or less, explode). If the head explodes, it forces a Dexterity saving  throw in a 10 foot radius, DC: 15, 4d6 Fire damage, save for half. Shrivix will have Disadvantage on this save. The Kenku behind the rocks will have Advantage on this save due to their cover. The players can try to shoot ranged weapons into the “mouth” of the head to hit Skrivix, and if so, he has three-quarters cover. This will afford him a +5 bonus to AC (making it an AC of 20).
 If the players attack the head in melee, the Kenku will abandon the puppet show and climb to the top of the rocks and shoot their shortbows down on the players. They will have +2 to their AC for cover. Characters can scale the rocky surface to engage the Kenku in melee with a successful Athletic check, DC: 12.
Skrivix will have a hard time trying to escape, even if he wanted to, but the Kenku certainly will if things go poorly.
Monsters: “Skrivix” – Bandit Captain (1) – As per Monster Manual, p. 344, except as noted.
Kenku (6) – As per Monster Manual , page 194.
out of the box encountersTreasure: Each Kenku will have some pocket change (3d6 gold pieces). Skrivix will have the same amount of gold, as well as 2 gems worth 50 gp each and a large silver key. The key, just as an object, is worth 10 gp, but feel free to have it belong to a lock of some kind in the future.
Complications: This encounter is pretty straight forward. It’s not intended to be too complicated. The worst thing that could happen is the explosion of the improvised flamethrower device. This is significant damage to a low level party, and may prove fatal. The improved flamethrower itself will be massively bulky and cannot be easily carried. The whole device is easily 200 pounds, takes three large components and at least two people to operate. It’s cobbled together and will not survive travel. If the players insist on trying, have an Intelligence/Tinker Tools check, DC: 20 to safely disassemble it and distribute the weight. If they fail this check, it either explodes or is rendered useless (50% chance of either one, see above for damage). Even then it will take a successful Intelligence (DC:15) to reassemble and to operate. Failure will have the same result as above. It’s up to the individual DM whether or not to allow this device.
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5th Edition Tome of Beasts – Dragons

tome of beasts

Every Dungeon Master loves access to new monsters.  And what Dungeon Master does not like using Dragons.  With the Open Gaming License we are starting to see 3rd party publishers getting hardbound products out as options to, well give us more options.

Kobold Press has released a new product out for Pre-order.  You can preorder your copy here.  We did a review on Daves copy that he got early because he backed the kickstarter.

I was sad when I found out that missed getting my own early copy.  When we looked at the pdf we were not disappointed.  There are so many awesome monsters in this book as well as some new beasts and NPCs to easily add into your game.

Today I am just going to talk about the Dragons that are in this book. Next week I will touch on some dragonsother monster groups.  I will keep this series going until the book is released.

In this book you get 6 new Dragon types for your 5th edition game.  Kobold Press does not give you any carbon copy of dragons that exist in your 5th edition monster manual but 6 new whole cloth creations that stand out as unique.

Almost all of the dragons have 4 separate stat blocks for the 4 age categories of Dragons: ancient, adult, young and wyrmling. I make my notes below

The cave dragon is a fierce beast that constantly needs to eat.  It lives underground where its sensitivity to sunlight keeps it safe.  But sadly living underground is not a place abundant with food.  It is not mindless and is a true dragon.  I compare this one with a white dragon with lower stats and its desire for food out weighs its desire for any coin.  Sorry adventurers if you are looking to slay a dragon Continue reading 5th Edition Tome of Beasts – Dragons

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Top 10 Anime Series When Designing Artifacts and Magic Items | Game Master Tips part 1

Whether you are a game master or a player, the unique weapons and special powers found in anime series can liven up a gaming experience.

Personally, I really enjoy watching anime. so doing game master “homework” is easy

While there are many places to draw inspiration from the following are my top 10 anime series when designing artifacts and magic items.

They are not listed in any particular order. As I have explained in previous lists for my top 10 anime series, I am not looking to go over all of the merits and weigh one series against the value of another.

There are plenty of other articles for that type of list.

Instead I am looking to give you a bank of anime series that you can check out when you are looking for inspiration when designing artifacts and magic items.

Top 10 Anime Series When Designing Artifacts and Magic Items | Game Master Tips part 1

For some of these series it has been several years since I have seen them, some of these have just finished, and a few are ongoing. All of the shows are readily available on Amazon and other stores where you can find anime series.

You shouldn’t have much difficulty acquiring them (except LofLH). For your convenience I have linked the names to places you can find them.

Top 10 Anime Series When Designing Artifacts and Magic Items | Game Master Tips part 1 the_Legend_of_the_Legendary_Heroes2. Legend of the Legendary Heroes: This anime series takes place in a made up world with swords and sorcery. Every kingdom has it’s own spells and that comes into play when identifying army groups.

Several characters go around and deal with people who have powerful items that shape the outcome of battles and the fates of the characters.

4. D. Gray man: A great series that follows the major character, Allen Walker, through a alternate magical turn of the 19th century. There are akuma (demons) who attempt to kill as many people as they can while exorcists, with special items and equipment, attempt to destroy them.

6.Fate stay night, unlimited blade works: For those familiar with the original anime adaptation, this version trumps the original in animation quality and storyline. There is a war going on between mages and all of them have servants with amazing weapons and powers.

Top 10 Anime Series When Designing Artifacts and Magic Items | Game Master Tips part 18.akame ga kill: A group of rebels fight against a oppressive government. Their weapons of choice, strange and wondrous artifacts from another era

10.Hunter X Hunter– there are a lot of peoples special powers and items that could easily be explained as being powers from items or strange and unique artifacts. They talk a lot about the power of the individual but it is an easy design alteration to make the powers into thematic magic items.

Top 10 Anime Series When Designing Artifacts and Magic Items | Game Master Tips part 1

As far as the game master tips go for using anime series for inspiration I like to keep an idea of where I am going with a particular campaign while watching.

Otherwise I can too easily latch on to a concept and go far from where I want to be headed with my campaign and sessions.

In short, use my top 10 anime series when designing artifacts and magic items to further the magical might in your story but don’t loose that part that makes it uniquely yours. Make sure you keep an element that separates the story you want to tell from the stories told by the other artists and writers.

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Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master Tips -part 2

This is part 2 of my Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master Tips –click here for part 1. This list is not in any particular rating order.

I didn’t want to do a countdown list for my Game Master Tips.

cowboy bebop Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master TipsWhy not? Well. Is Fullmetal Alchemist better than Cowboy Bebop?


Is it the scope of this article to reveal the #10 through #2 spots and why each one is worthy of the number I have chosen for them? Next, I slowly build up to the #1 greatest anime of all time for inspiration when writing fiction?

No, there are about 3 dozen or so top 10 anime series lists out there.

At least 3 dozen.

My purpose in writing this is not to add another top 10 anime series list to the stack.

Instead I am here to share my experience with you on these anime. As well as my game master tips  and how to use this list of top 10 anime series as your inspiration when writing fiction for your game.

Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master Tips

2.Cowboy Bebop: Follows a crew of people just trying to stay afloat as bounty hunters in the future. They are experts in their own way in a variety of skills. The setting is a great example of how technology could be used in the future when it comes to market places, advertisements, interplanetary  commerce, and living in and out of societal norms.

Space cowboys, bandits, and mercenaries are some of the antagonists and protagonists in a game based off of this show.

4. Blue Gender: A good example of future apocalypse where alien-like beings attack and eat humans on the humans’ home planet while survivors live on elsewhere. If you are considering futurist military campaigns or adventuring party vs. a dangerous, monstrous world then you should check this series out.

irregular at magic high school Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master Tips6. The Irregular at Magic High School:This is magic student meets techno magic. Wait, how is it technology and magic?

Well. They literally use a CAD system (casting assistant device) that has programs similar in scope to apps but for magical effects.

They work by using the magic energy of the practitioner as the energy input and the output is the magical effect.  There are a lot of interesting concepts within the series dealing with the CAD system.

It is a good example on how to fit magic into modern society. And how modern society would augment how magic is practiced.

8. Tower of Druaga– Put in at least three episodes of this one to get a good idea of the series. It is dungeons and dragons- tower style. A fantasy setting where adventures go to climb a mythic tower full of monsters, traps, and obstacles in the hopes of defeating the evil within.

Different levels are themed in a various styles, with many of them incongruous from one level to the next. Great inspiration for traps, monster/environment combinations, and entire dungeon levels

fullmetal alchemist Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master Tips10. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: Long show but it has a fantastic quantity of ideas to mine. There is the political military struggle. There is the adventuring party turning the terrible wrongs of the world around. There is the limitless potential and dark temptations of power. Both the series and setting have it all.

From the perspective of a gamer I think this series would run best as a mutants and masterminds game since the scope and variety of powers is huge. But I would not exclude running it as a level one D&D game. Where the heroes ascend through the military ranks in the hopes of enacting powerful changes in the world.

knights of sidonia Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master TipsHonorable Mention: Knights of Sidonia: An interesting societal setup. The future where humans are fleeing from menacing creatures.

It has some genderless humans and genetic alterations for photosynthesis. Overall an interesting story and campaign setting but not enough story wise to make it to my top 10 anime series when writing fiction.

At the same time it does still have a good background story and basis for a campaign as well as an interesting alternate human culture.

Subtract out the mechanized units and insert some space orcs and I am ready to play!

Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master Tips

There are many more anime series that are beneficial to checkout when writing fiction for your games. Obviously I am just going through my top ten for right now.

If you have some suggestions for your own top 10 anime series for inspiration be sure to let me knw what are your top 10 in the comments below.

Remember to share this with like minded individuals and until next time

Stay Nerdy!

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Top 10 Anime Series When Writing Fiction for a Game | Game Master Tips -part 1

There comes a time in every anime watching, RPG playing, nerd’s life when they are inspired by their top 10 anime series.

Below are my top 10 anime series for source material and some Game Master tips when writing fiction for your worlds.

Some of the worlds lend themselves to certain styles of play and certain types of players. Keep this in mind when you are writing fiction for your world.

This list is in no particular order, just my top 10 anime series for campaign inspiration. When writing fiction I like to stay within the theme of the game that I decide to run so when I list the anime I will start off with the flavor of fantasy that fits it the best. Then go into some non-spoiler descriptions of elements within that world. Continue reading Top 10 Anime Series When Writing Fiction for a Game | Game Master Tips -part 1

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Vampire kin- A Class / Monster Mash up | The Custom Path for Monk in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition part 2

Greetings fellow Nerdarchists and welcome.

This is part 2 of Vampire kin which is the second class in the series, Class / Monster Mash up.

Vampire kin- A Class / Monster Mash up | The Custom Path for Monk in Dungeons & Dragons 5th EditionIf you haven’t read through part 1 yet I invite you read it here. Also you can read the first of the series here -> Ghoul, Eater of the Dead.

Part 1 was all about what I am trying to accomplish here as well as background stories and build up of what it is to be a vampire kin. Below the article I wrote some clarifications in the comments.

Part 2 is all about the crunch, the features, the rules, the -whip out your class power calculators time-

Some may call this the game mechanics section…

Vampire kin- A Class / Monster Mash up | The Custom Path for Monk in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

Most of the information that pertains to this class / monster mash up can be found in the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition Player’s Handbook, starting on page 76.

Anything that is altered, removed, or added to the class will be written below. Now onto the Vampire Kin Monk Class.

For your reference: hit dice, hit points, armor, tools, proficiencies and bonuses, unarmored movement, and martial arts (claws) damage, saving throws, and skills remain the same.

If you want your vampire kin to be skilled at weapons take some fighter levels, be a dwarf, or elf, or add some class or race that makes the class more like you want it to be. I choose monk because there are many mechanics built into the class that adds to the vampire kin’s overall vampire feel.

1st level: Blood Drinker: You really are not satisfied without blood, preferably the blood of humanoids. You can live off of regular food but it is akin to living off oatmeal, plain oatmeal with a hint of rancidity to it. While blood tastes of rich sweet wine or fruits.

Many vampire kin cannot fend off the desire long enough to suffer this discomfort beyond a month. Those who’s spirit perseveres  willing find that to go more than 1 cycle of the moon without drinking at least your blood point total (1 hit point per level) results in gaining a level of exhaustion that does not go away until you drink the requisite amount of humanoid blood. This pattern repeats each month until 5 levels of exhaustion.

Instead of their speed being reduced to zero at 5 levels of exhaustion, the vampire kin moves at it’s top movement speed towards the first humanoid target and attempts to grapple / subdue them and bite. They will not let go willingly until they have consumed the required blood amount.

Vampire kin- A Class / Monster Mash up | The Custom Path for Monk in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition wolves fightingFeral Instincts: Your unarmored AC changes as per unarmored defense(with the same restrictions) and is based off instinctual movements gained by your new status as vampire kin rather than any martial fighting skill.

You also can claw and / or bite as per martial arts.

2nd Level: Blood Points- replace ki points for all uses in the class. You regain all of your blood points after a short or long rest.

Example: You are 5th level and have a total of 5 blood points. You spend 2 blood points and then decide to take a short rest. After that rest you now have 5 blood points.

Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition player's handbookspider climb3rd Level: Spider’s Agility: You have a climb speed equal to your movement. You may expend 1 blood point to cast Spider climb without Verbal, Somatic, or Components.

Ensnaring Grasp: When you spend 1 blood point for a flurry of blows you may strike one less time and instead attempt to grapple before or after striking.

Creature of the Night: You are more at home in the night than at any other time of day. Gain Darkvision of 60 ft, If you already have darkvision, increase it by 60 ft.

You gain Sunlight Sensitivity as per the Drow subrace in the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition player’s handbook, pg 24

Note about Deflect missiles– you no longer have it.

5th Level: Entrancing  Gaze: You no longer have stunning fist, instead you may spend an action and 1 blood point to Stun a person with your gaze. After you spend 1 blood point you may look upon someone within 30 ft of you and they must make a wisdom saving throw. If they fail they are Stunned and will only gaze upon you until the end of your next turn.

6th level: Vampiric Healing: As per wholeness of body, in the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition player’s handbook, page 79

11th level: Mesmerizing Presence: As per Tranquility, in the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition player’s handbook, page 80.

13th level: Tongue of the Moon: You may talk to nocturnal creatures and can effect them as though casting animal friendship. You may only have CR worth of nocturnal animals befriended equal to half of your level in vampire kin. You use your Wisdom Modifier when calculating DC for any saving throws the animal(s) my get.

15th Level: Timeless Body: As per- Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition player’s handbook, page 79- except You will not die of old age and you no longer need any food or drink but blood.

17th Level: Kiss of the Vampire: Replaces Quivering Palm- When you bite someone you may spend 3 blood points to lay claim to them by putting some of your blood into their body. Other vampires and vampire kin will recognize the target as marked by you.

As long as the target is on the same plane, you can use an action and 1 blod point to instinctively know the general direction and about how far away they are from you.  This lasts a number of days equal to your vampire kin level. Otherwise this is harmless unless you wish to exert your will upon the target.

  • Once per day you may spend 5 blood points to cast the spell Geas on the target
  • Once per day you may spend 3 blood points to cast the spell, Dream that effects the target regardless of race.
  • Once per day you may spend 8 blood points to cast the spell, Dominate Person as a 7th level spell upon the target

18th Level: Mist Form: As per Empty Body (4 blood points) except instead of turning invisible you can turn into Mist. In this form you are resistant to all damage but force, you are invisible in mist, and you may pass, unhindered, through any space that is not air tight.

20th Level: Unnatural Metabolism: Instead of perfect self. You now process blood into strength faster than before. When you roll for initiative if you have no blood points and you have bitten someone since your last rest you gain 4 blood points.

Vampire kin- A Class / Monster Mash up | The Custom Path for Monk in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

This is my first take at the vampire kin and it may need a bit o play testing and tweaking but when compared to all of the features a monk gets this is feeling on par.

Remember that they still have every monk ability that I did not expressly remove as noted throughout the build above.

Let me know what you think, I definitely reworked and created a lot more powers for vampire kin than I did for the previous class / monster mash up, the Ghoul because I felt the vampire kin needed it to feel vamp enough.

If you enjoyed it and would like to see other class / monster mash ups let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to share this with like minded people and until next time, Stay Nerdy!

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The Metabolist, a Psionic custom class for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition | D&D 5e

The Metabolist is a Psionic custom class for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition of my own creation. It is the psionic custom class that had class features similar to the way I will describe them below. So it is only fitting that I show off the almost finished version of the psionic metabolist first.

But before we get in to that, my fellow Nerdarchists, I have gathered together previous articles for your convenience if your are interested in what I have said previously about Psionics. Intro to Psionics and Psychic Warrior, Psychometabolist’s starting abilities and Class Features.  Psychoportationist, Psychokineticist,  Telepath, Claircognizant, Psychic Circuitry, and the Psychic Well.

And here is a short video of Nerdarchy’s thoughts about the legitimacy of Psionics and Balance of Powers.

The Metabolist, a Psionic custom class for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition | D&D 5e

Now that all the background information is out of the way, on to the main concept of Metabolists.

Some of you may know it by other names but it can be summed up by one concept- Alter Form. This discipline is completely about affecting the outside world through the alteration of the interior self, physically speaking.

They are the shifters, flesh crafters, and biological alchemists of Psionics. Growing reinforced skin and dense bones, slashing with talon-like claws, spitting poison, or creating a biological agent that renders those around you unconscious.  All of these fall within the realm of the Psionic Metabolist.

I made my own Psionics for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition because I wanted to show others how they could develop their own custom class without writing an entire separate book. 98% of the spell powers for the Psionic class are right out of the 5th edition spell list (I have written up 3 cantrips and 3 other powers). Everything else that gives the psionic feel is built into the class features of each discipline.

The Metabolist happens to be developed off of a combination of the Druid, Circle of the Moon and Sorcerer classes. Why those two class combinations? It will become apparent soon.

Onto the class features: Note- 1st through 20th level is the same for the Psionic class as it is in the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition Player’s Handbook for the Druid class when considering the following: Proficiency Bonus and Cantrips Known. For the Optional Spell Point rules that are used to fuel psionic powers look here (Dungeon Master’s Guide, pg. 288). Now onto the dungeons and Dragons 5th edition custom class: The Metabolist

Class Features

As a Psionicist, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points: Hit Dice: 1d6 per Psionicist level

Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + your Constitution Modifier

Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4)+ your Constitution Modifier per Psionicist Level after 1st

Proficiencies: Armor: none

Weapons: daggers, darts, sling, quarterstaffs, clubs, light crossbow

Tools: none

Saving throws: Wisdom

Skills: Choose any two: Arcana, History,Insight, Perception, and Religion

Starting equipment similar to sorcerer

1st level

  • Class Feature- Discipline: Metabolist, gain Strength as a saving throw, add Animal Handling to your list of skill choices.
  • Spellcasting:
    • As per Sorcerer except Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your Psionicist ‘s spells and use the DMG’s (pg 288) spell point system rather than the spell slots.
    • Number of Spells known as per Sorcerer.
    • Spell list as per Metabolist (see below)
  •  Alter Form: Flesh Armor
    • your AC can now be calculated as AC 10 + your Dexterity Modifier + your Constitution Modifier. You also gain 1 hp now and 1 hp each time you gain a new level in Psionicist. Flesh Armor is always active even if you use another way to calculate AC or take another form you still benefit from the non-AC features of Alter Form. It is your choice whether or not to use a shapes natural armor or your own fabricated armor rather than the Flesh Armor when calculating AC. Just like everything else in 5th edition, different ways to calculate AC do not stack.

2nd Level

  • The Metabolist, a Psionic custom class for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition | D&D 5e shapeshifting dopplegangerHumanoid Shapeshifter: You can use your action to magically assume the shape of a humanoid you have seen before (or sufficiently studied as per DM option). similar to Druid’s Wildshape ability but only humanoids. You can use this feature twice per short or long rest. You can assume Humanoid Shapes of 1/2 CR or lower but you cannot use their swim or fly speeds.The formula for CR max is 1/4 your level in Metabolist.
  • Exceptions: You do not gain any spellcasting feature from your new form. You may still cast spells and speak as long as the humanoid form has a mouth and hands/claws.

3rd Level

  • Metamagic: You become better at twisting spells to suit your need: Select two metamagic abilities except distance spell. While the metabolist does not have “Font of Magic” they may still spend their spell points on metamagic abilities but it must come from their available spell pool and they may not spend more points on metamagic in one round than they have levels in Metabolist

4th Level

  • Ability Score Improvement
  • Just a note: Your Humanoid Shapeshift progresses: Now the limit is CR 1 humanoids or lower as but cannot use any flight abilities.

5th Level

6th Level

  • Alter Form: Superior Alter Self. You gain the Alter Self spell. If you already had it you select another spell. In addition, your Alter Self spell can be cast as a bonus action and no longer requires concentration.

7th Level

8th Level

  • Ability Score Improvement
  • Just a Note: Your Humanoid Shapeshift progresses: Now the limit is CR 2 humanoids but you cannot use any flight abilities. You may now turn into monster type Giant as well as a humanoid

9th Level

10th Level

  • Metamagic: You become better at twisting spells to suit your need: Select two more metamagic abilities except distance spell

11th Level

12th Level

  • Ability Score Improvement
  • Your Humanoid Shapeshift progresses: Now the limit is CR 3 humanoids or lower.

13th Level

14th Level

  • Alter Form: Tough as Stone- Once per long rest you may activate Stoneskin without paying it’s cost in spell points or having it as one of your known spells

15th Level

16th Level

  • The Metabolist, a Psionic custom class for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition | D&D 5eAbility Score Improvement
  • Your Humanoid Shapeshift progresses: Now the limit is CR 4 humanoids or Giants. You may now shift as a bonus action.


  • Metamagic: You become better at twisting spells to suit your need: Select two more metamagic abilities except distance spell

18th Level

19th Level

20th Level

  • Ability Score Improvement
  • Your Humanoid Shapeshift progresses: Now the limit is CR 5 humanoids or Giants

The Metabolist Spells, a Psionic custom class for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition | D&D 5e

Spells are a work in progress. I will list the current working of the Metabolist’s spell list. The final list may change by the time the other discipline’s are complete.

Cantrips: Acid Splash, Blade Ward, Contact, Fatigue, Light, Poison Spray, Shocking Grasp, Spare the Dying, True Strike,

1st Level Spells: Animal Friendship, Compel Duel, Cure Wounds, Expeditious Retreat, False Life, Grease, Heroism, Inflict Wounds, Jump, Long Stride, Purify food/ drink, Shield, Sleep

2nd Level Spells: Alter Self, Barkskin, Darkvision, Detect Poison/Disease, Enlarge/ Reduce, Enhance Ability, Gentle Repose, Lesser Restoration, Pass without Trace, Prayer of Healing, Protection from Poison, Spider Climb, Zone of Truth

3rd Level Spells: Blur, Fear, Feign Death, Fly, Haste, Protection from Energy, Revivify, Slow, Waterbreathing

4th Level Spells: Deathward, Freedom of Movement, Polymorph, Stoneskin

5th Level Spells: Contagion, Destructive Smite, Greater Restoration, Insect Plague

6th Level Spells: Contingency, Find the Path, Globe of Invulnerability, Harm

7th Level Spells: Regenerate, Anti-magic Field

8th Level Spells: Holy Aura, Glibness, Clone

9th Level Spells: Shapechange, Foresight, Astral Projection

This is how my vision of the Psionic Class is looking so far as my custom Discipline, the Metabolist is concerned. The rest will have to wait.

Let me know what you think and until next time, Stay Nerdy!

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Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition – Monster Manual

Hello fellow gamers, Nerdarchist Ted here.  Today I want to talk about the 5th edition Monster Manual for D&D.  I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons since second edition.  There have been many changes in style layout and information contained in each edition of the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual.

The art styles of each edition is going to of course change as the style and abilities of art change with the times.  The rules for each type of monster will of course have to change to take into account the actual flow and dynamics of the new rules. Continue reading Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition – Monster Manual

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D&D 5E Character Customization and Fabulous 5E Feats

dungeons and dragons feat
1915 drawing from The War Illustrated describing an exploit of a Don Cossack. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello my fellow gamers, Nerdarchist Ted here with some more info for you.  Today I wanted to talk about Dungeons and Dragons character customization and feats.

Through out the evolution of Dungeons and Dragons there have been many ways to add flavor, back story, and character customization.

In second edition you had proficiencies both weapon and non-weapon and these translated mainly to weapon prof and skills in third edition and beyond. Continue reading D&D 5E Character Customization and Fabulous 5E Feats

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Game Master Tips- Crafting A Dungeon Crawl In Your Role-Playing Game

dungeon crawl

What is a role-playing game without a good dungeon crawl? Now if I’m giving game master tips to a newbie GM or DM I’d say when it comes to planning adventures less is more.

You don’t want to make your players feel like their always entering the “dungeon”. Sure every once and a while throw in the classic “YES” this is absolutely a dungeon crawl style adventure, but mix things up a bit.

What is dungeon-

For all intents and purposes when we are talking about a Dungeons and Dragons style game a dungeon is a confined space with defined boundaries limiting the choices your players have as to where they can go and has an objective for your players.

Continue reading Game Master Tips- Crafting A Dungeon Crawl In Your Role-Playing Game

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Holy Crap! Nerdarchy’s Top 10 Scariest Dungeons and Dragons Monsters (Part 1)

No story is complete without it’s villains and Dungeons and Dragons monsters are no slouches where villainy’s concerned. Over the years Dungeon Masters (or Game Masters) have been terrorizing their players with all kinds of critters faithfully supplied to them from their Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manuals as well as their own twisted imaginations.

So here is my top 10 scariest Dungeons and Dragons monsters list-

Continue reading Holy Crap! Nerdarchy’s Top 10 Scariest Dungeons and Dragons Monsters (Part 1)