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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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Out of the Box D&D Encounters, Series 2, #6 – Lonely Boat

out of the box encounters
A Mimic doesn’t have to appear like the traditional treasure chest.

Out of the Box hasn’t featured an aquatic encounter in a long time, so I think we’re overdue. I’m not sure how many followers and players will remember this simple rule of physics, but the material of an item (its density) is less important than its shape and volume (based on displacement). If an object is the right shape as to spread out its volume to account for its density, so long as it’s water resistant or water proof, it should float. That’s why boats made of steel float.

Therefore, if we take a creature out of its element (Mimic) and put it in a place where it’s adapted to fit something (a boat and not a chest), we have a creature in a place we’d never expect to find it. This is less of a classic re-skin and more of an adaptation, which occurs in nature all of the time. Continue reading Out of the Box D&D Encounters, Series 2, #6 – Lonely Boat

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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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Out of the Box D&D Encounters, Series 2, #5 – Spider Mine

dungeons and dragons

spiderInspiration for encounters can come from a number of sources. Common ones are books, movies and other literary or performance arts. This latest one comes from one you might not expect – an old game. Minesweeper. In this case, the field isn’t a logic exercise to reveal where a mine or other explosive device might be. Instead, we will use a natural creature – a spider. Continue reading Out of the Box D&D Encounters, Series 2, #5 – Spider Mine

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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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Garibay NPC Kit (Sapphire Dagger) – One D&D 5E Fighter for Each Race


You are a busy Dungeon Master. While there are lots of great adventures bouncing around the ranging, wide Internet (both free and pay versions), it is always useful to have some quick NPCs at hand to populate a tavern, throw a shoulder at a PC while they walk down the bustling street of your fantasy city or to meet a Player Character with a ready blade when they have a few too many hit points. Please find below 9 Dungeons & Dragon 5E Fighters, one in each of the game’s races, ready to make your game more colorful, fun and memorable. Continue reading Garibay NPC Kit (Sapphire Dagger) – One D&D 5E Fighter for Each Race

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D&D Design diary: Blue Magic primal path

[The ongoing live stream RPG review series is on hiatus this week because reasons. In their place enjoy a peek behind how I sussed out my idea for a new primal path for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons barbarians.]

With my first foray into creating content for Wizards of the Coast’s Dungeon Masters Guild, I offered my own take on a popular concept: the blue mage from Final Fantasy lore. Continue reading D&D Design diary: Blue Magic primal path

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Top Ten: Things I Want to See In Fifth Edition D&D

Well, it has been awhile since I did a top ten, and I always loved doing them, so let’s have some fun! I recently started playing in a Fifth Edition D&D game and that has inspired me to think on all the things I want to see in this amazing edition. Maybe we can get a vote on what people like and I will try to bring it to reality. Who knows, the sky is the limit with writers on the loose. These will be pulled from pop culture or roleplaying games, especially earlier editions of Dungeons & Dragons. Without further delay, here is my list in no particular order. Continue reading Top Ten: Things I Want to See In Fifth Edition D&D

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“Smells Fishy” – Out of the Box D&D Encounters #48

kuo-toaI once found a free adventure online that delved into a concept that D&D has often covered, but essentially in reverse. We have seen Underdark versions of several surface races. Duergar, Derro, Drow, Svirfneblin, etc., have all been a part of D&D for decades, and the public has accepted them as part of the D&D canon. It’s often the case whereby we will take any number of surface races and apply this non-specific “Underdark template” to these races. However, this online adventure did one thing that, at least to my experience, has never been done before – it turned that concept around in 180 degrees. It had surface, swamp dwelling Kuo-Toa. Perhaps this is due to a particular and very popular MMORPG that shall remain unnamed in this article. Continue reading “Smells Fishy” – Out of the Box D&D Encounters #48

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Exhumed Enchantments (Jade Wolf) – New 5E D&D Inspiration PC Options

Dungeons & Dragons
Mike Mearls

On January 20, 2017, Mike Mearls, Chief Architect of the Dungeons & Dragon 5E Rules Set, tweeted that he often forgets to give out inspiration frequently in his games and because of that he has wanted to give additional options players can activate by spending an Inspiration Point. Mearls’ first Dungeons And Dragons 5E Inspiration PC Option is to let players take an additional action between other Player Characters (PC) and NPCs’ turns when they spend an Inspiration Point. Brilliant! Continue reading Exhumed Enchantments (Jade Wolf) – New 5E D&D Inspiration PC Options

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It’s time for a 5th Edition D&D Unearthed Arcana book

5th edition D&D Unearthed Arcana
The original Unearthed Arcana book by Gary Gygax for First Edition Dungeons & Dragons.

Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons has been around for more than a couple of years now. Since its inception, it has been obvious the game’s publisher Wizards of the Coast is doing something different with this edition when it comes to the number of publications. Earlier versions of D&D had lots and lots of books, from rules books to adventure modules, travel guides, setting guides, etc. Some might even suggest the third edition of the game was somewhat notorious for this.

Fifth Edition, however, has a slimmer number of publications beyond the core books. There is nothing wrong with this. Wizards of the Coast is obviously focusing upon a different strategy and it seems to have worked for them considering the popularity of the game. And in all fairness there have been some adventure modules and other books released, plus there have been fairly regular free pdf documents offered on the Wizards of the Coast website, not the least of which have been the Unearthed Arcana series which provides new but unofficial rules for Fifth Edition.

The Unearthed Arcana series appears to be rather popular, especially since recently Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford wrote on the site that they were going to focus more on Unearthed Arcana in months to come and that the Sage Advice column would be on standstill temporarily.

One might think, or maybe even hope, this means the material used in Unearthed Arcana over the last couple of years might be released sometime in the next year as an official publication in book form.

The future of Unearthed Arcana?

Unearthed Arcana 5th edition D&D Unearthed Arcana
The Unearthed Arcana book for Third Edition Dungeons and Dragons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is no secret Wizards of the Coast has made use of the Unearthed Arcana materials to test rules and to learn from the feedback of gamers. This is great! Not everything released through the Unearthed Arcana has been a winner, and I think Mearls and Crawford would agree, but there has been quite a lot that has been excellent, though maybe a few tweaks here and there might be nice.

That being said, we now have nearly two years’ worth of Unearthed Arcana material for 5e D&D, yet little of it is official.

In my opinion, it is time for that to change. Wizards of the Coast needs to seriously consider an Unearthed Arcana book, or something similar, which would gather together materials approved by the publisher.

Why do this? And why now?

Right off the bat, I can point to gamer dissatisfaction. I don’t mean to say there are droves of D&D fans out there who are foaming at the mouth because there aren’t more books, but there are a few, and one of the most common criticisms I see leveled against Fifth Edition is that it doesn’t have more books, especially books concerning new and/or additional rules expanding upon classes and races and player options.

To repeat, Wizards of the Coast is utilizing a different strategy than before. However, while I understand and actually appreciate that strategy, I do feel it is time for a new book providing additional rules. In fact, I appreciate this so much that only a few weeks ago I wrote an article titled “In Defense of Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons and its streamlined approach.”

Also, so far Wizards of the Coast has been hesitant to release digital versions of its 5e D&D books. This is also a different strategy than many game publishers are following today, but again, it seems to be working. It also solidifies the current books as official while making the online works unofficial. There’s nothing wrong with this, but for gamers who are sticklers for what is canon and what isn’t, this might raise some concerns, possibly even creating some confusion; if nothing else, when some dungeon masters are only willing to use material from the actual books (or even just the core books), it makes it harder for some players to find a game they enjoy.

We need more 5th Edition

5th edition D&D Unearthed ArcanaAdmittedly the adventure modules and other books that have been released beyond the 5th edition Player’s Handbook and the Dungeon Master’s Guide have included some new rules for classes, magics, and the like, but there has not been much of that and it is still rather limiting. Not everyone wants to purchase adventure modules, many players and dungeon masters being more interested in creating their own worlds and adventures. Some gamers simply want more rules so they can play with them in their own settings.

Also, there has been some 5th edition material released by other companies and individual game creators, but again, for those who are sticklers, much of this material will not seem to be canon, and some of it might not even live up to expected standards.

Maybe Wizards of the Coast has plans for an Unearthed Arcana book. I hope so, and the sooner the better. Either way, I’m not enraged or even annoyed, but it is something I would like to see.

It’s time. No, I don’t want the publisher to change its strategy, nor do I want to see a glut of new D&D books hitting the market, but I feel gamers have patiently waited long enough. We’ve had a couple of years now to learn 5th Edition, to experiment, to learn the ins and outs, and we need more material, preferably material which focuses upon expanding the rules instead of another campaign or adventure book. We need more official 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons material as related to the rules, especially for character generation. An Unearthed Arcana book would be appreciated.

It’s time for a 5th Edition D&D Unearthed Arcana book
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Rethinking Finesse in 5th Edition D&D


rapierA brief history of Finesse

The idea of using Dexterity to influence melee attacks in Dungeons & Dragons officially came about in Third Edition D&D with the Weapon Finesse Feat. Before that, all melee attacks were based upon Strength unless one’s DM came up with a house rule. For the first time, this allowed lighter combatants to stand toe to toe against heavier opponents, at least if wielding a rapier, dagger or a handful of other weapons.

Along comes Fifth Edition, and instead of making Finesse a Feat, it becomes a property of particular weapons (All in all, I personally consider this an improvement, though I have a quibble or two I’ll mention later). However, there is a subtle difference between how Finesse works in Fifth Edition than in earlier editions.



In Fifth Edition D&D, Finesse weapons use not only Dexterity, but can also use Strength. This might seem a minor difference, but it can be an important one.

The Fifth Edition Difference

The notion of Finesse as a Dexterity modifier for attacks seems to continue to hold, at least in my experience. Most wielders of Finesse weapons tend to be of the lighter sort, your Fighters with rapiers, Rogues with shortswords and daggers, etc. This makes a certain amount of sense because the majority of Finesse weapons are of the lighter sort and more fitting to agile combatants. Continue reading Rethinking Finesse in 5th Edition D&D

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Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition Adventure Hook

adventure hook

Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition Adventure Hook

– Faslemil’s Glade

by J. Scott Garibaydungeons and dragons fifth edition

Faslemil’s Glade – A quiet area where Faslemil is buried \ Population 0
Scrilstarg – Village near Faslemil’s Glade \ Population 800
Wilmvoln Tower – Former home and arcane laboratory of Oda of Tangran \ Population 0
Jofleth – Town near Wilmvoln Tower \ Population 3,700

Faslemil – Gold Shadow Dragon (Adult)
Jedumtre – Faslemil’s son
Iscalon – Human Paladin (Folk Hero)
Oda of Tangran – Elf Wizard (Sailor)
Quess – Human (Female) Fighter (Mercenary) Continue reading Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition Adventure Hook