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RPG Trickster Character NPCs: When and Where to Use Them

NPC trickster
John de Lancie portrayed Q in several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Salutations, nerds.

I’m willing to bet, at one point or another, a lot of you have come into contact with a roleplaying game nonplayer character who played a little bit like Q from Star Trek.

The trickster NPC sweeps into your RPG, snaps their fingers, causes a boatload of trouble for the player characters and there isn’t anything you can do about it.

If it happened with a good Game Master, you were probably able to kick their butt afterward, but most of the time that isn’t the case and the only person who has fun is the GM sitting behind the screen going “haha look how frustrated you guys are.”

Yeah, it pretty much sucks. Except for when it doesn’t. Continue reading RPG Trickster Character NPCs: When and Where to Use Them

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D&D Product Review: Limitless NPCs Vol.1

D&D NPC
Limitless Non Player Characters vol. 1 from Limitless Adventures.

NPCs for any D&D occassion

Many a Dungeon Master has encountered a creative wall when it comes to creating interesting, believable nonplayer characters for Dungeons & Dragons. Some only need a brief description and a name, but others can become key points in a campaign setting. They give an identity and culture to the world of the game.

It can be a challenge, though – it’s hard to predict which NPCs your party will take interest in and seek out in future sessions, and sometimes you have to come up with an NPC on the fly when the session takes an unexpected turn. Enter Limitless Adventures’ Non Player Characters vol. 1. The book contains 100 pre-written NPCs with descriptions, stats and loot that can be put into any campaign.

The book organises NPCs into eight categories: ally, charge, contact, foe, hireling, merchant, sage, and quest giver. Some NPCs fit into multiple categories, so the book’s chapters are more broadly sorted into allies, contacts, foes, merchants, and arch enemies. Each character includes a name, a brief description, stats, treasure, and quest hooks that can be found for each under the Further Adventure subtitle. Continue reading D&D Product Review: Limitless NPCs Vol.1

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E70 YR1- 5E D&D Bard our First look Podcast

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podcast

Episode 70 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

Another look at one of our first look vids. This time we are going over the bard in 5e D&D.

Bard Performing Their Way Through D&D 5E| Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Classes

5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Classes Bard Performing Their Way Through D&D 5E

Nerdarchy sits down to discuss yet another class out out of the player’s handbook of D&D 5e. This time we are looking at the bard and how they hold up in 5th edition dungeons and dragons. Bards could very well be the least used class at our table.

I suspect that may begin to change though. The bard in 5e is far different than any iteration of the game to date. It feels like it’s own thing like never before. They are full on spell casters and the best skill monkeys in the game far exceeding what the rogue can do.

They also spells that are unique to them while at the same time they are able to dip into everyone elses spell list. Depending what archetype you go with determines if you’ll be more spell caster like or more fighter like. Bards what you guys think of them?

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E69 YR1- D&D 5E Ranger Our 1st LOOK Podcast

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podcast

Episode 69 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

In this episode we go back to the first time we looked at the 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons ranger. We examine the two archetypes. They will be later remained conclaves and a revised ranger will appear featuring an all new beast master.

Ranger surviving the wilds of D&D 5E| Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Classes

5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Classes Ranger surviving the wilds of D&D 5E

Nerdarchy delves into 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons with the ranger. We also compare rangers throughout the editions of dungeons and dragons.

We universally enjoy the ranger in D&D 5e with only a couple glaring spots we don’t. House rules to the rescue. Let us know what you think about the ranger in the newest edition of D&D.

 

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No Campaign for Old Men: Shout Out to Older Protagonists

Hey, nerds. Today we’re going to talk about character ages. Most people go for younger protagonists, younger D&D characters. Twenty-somethings tend to be the staple in most games I’ve been involved in, and that makes sense to a degree. Part of the allure is wanting to watch a character mature, play them from an early age and see them grow into someone else, especially if you’re starting at Level 1 and don’t have a lot of room for back story.

But not every campaign starts at Level 1 and that’s to say nothing for NPCs and other works of fiction. There’s a place for older characters; it’s something I don’t see done often, but I’d like to see it done more. Continue reading No Campaign for Old Men: Shout Out to Older Protagonists

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

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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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E59 YR1- NPC’s and Poison from the 5E DMG Podcast

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podcast

Episode 59 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

We continue with our deep dive into the 5e DMG. This is another double sized episode. Many of the Dungeon Master’s Guide videos we did were broken down into smaller vids. We would really drill down on the content.

Non Player Characters or NPC’s in the 5th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide

Non Player Characters in the 5th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide
Nerdarchy discusses NPC’s in 5e D&D from the DMG. This an excellent section in the dungeon master’s guide describing eight different types of non-player characters and their roles in a role-playing world.

Even how a NPC can move through various roles through out an adventuring parties careers. There also some great non player character creation tables for creating fast npc’s on the fly. All valuable for any kind of RPG.

Poison in D&D More Talk From the 5th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide

Poison in D&D More Talk From the 5th Edition Dungeon Masters Guide
Nerdarchy gathers to talk about poison in the newest edition of dungeons and dragons. We take look at the 5E poison list in the DMG.

Followed by a discussion about all of the different poisons in the game so far. What talk about poison would be complete without mentioning the poisoner’s kit and the crafting and harvesting of poison.

Also if you are in the market to buy poison we talk about the prices listed in the dungeon master’s guide as well. Also each of the Nerdarchist give their favorite poison as well.

 

 

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

out of the box encounters
mimic
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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30 Fantasy Gaming Flash Encounter Ideas

Sometimes games don’t flow like we expected them to. You planned to take three hours, and your players get through most of the quest in one. Not everything that happens at the Dungeons & Dragons table has to be part of some epic happenstance, however. Sometimes, small things stand on their own and aren’t at all part of the bigger picture. We as Dungeon Masters need them because it helps us control the pacing of the game.

So here are 30 quick and simple small scenarios you can throw at your players in a flash when things are a little bit slow or you think you’re going to run out of game before you run out of game time. Continue reading 30 Fantasy Gaming Flash Encounter Ideas

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D&D grung and other monsters are people, too

D&D monsters

Monsters as notable NPCs and player characters in D&D is something I’ve touched on in past columns, including last week’s exploration of the similarities between a TTRPG GM and a Swiss Army knife. Since then, I ran the “Grungle in the Jungle” adventure idea for my gaming group. Inspired by Stream of Annihilation’s One Grung Above from WotC Product Manager Christopher Lindsay this adventure puts the players in control of a band of grung from Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Continue reading D&D grung and other monsters are people, too

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E52 YR1- Nerdarchy Talks Tabletop Sci-Fi RPGs| Pros and Cons of RPG Genres Podcast

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podcast

Episode 52 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

We delve back into our Pros and Cons series for tabletop role-playing games this time with the Sci-Fi Genre. This series is all about discussing reasons to play specific tabletop RPG genres. We look at the good, the bad, and the ugly for gaming.

Nerdarchy Talks Tabletop Sci-Fi RPGs| Pros and Cons of RPG Genres

Nerdarchy Talks Tabletop Sci-Fi RPGs| Pros and Cons of RPG Genres
Another episode of the good, the bad, and the ugly of Role-Playing Genres.

Today we are looking at tabletop sci-fi RPGs.

We mention about games like Star Wars Edge of Empires, Star Frontiers, GammaWorld, Numenera, Shadow Run, and more. We discuss some of the problems of the Sci-Fi genre as well as solutions to those problem.

 

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E47 YR 1- Nate World Builds For New Players| Game Master Tips Podcast

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Episode 47 Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

We delve into one of Nates campaigns for this GM tips. This is a game was running for players that aren’t Nerdarchy. Matter of fact he is the only nerdarchist in that game.

Nate World Builds For New Players| Game Master Tips

Nate World Builds For New Players| Game Master Tips Nerdarchy sits down to talk about world building in Nate’s corner of the campaign world. The group he is currently game mastering for are all new to 5th edition dungeons and dragons. All of his players are inexperienced with RPGs and none have gamed with this edition of Dungeons and Dragons. He shares stories fro his game and how well all the players have taken to role-playing. Sounds like he’s got an interesting mix an elf, half-orc, tiefling, and aasimar.

 

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Garibay NPC Kit (Ruby Dove) – One D&D 5E wizard for each race

The next installment in the Garibay NPC Kit Series. Please find below nine Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition wizards, one in each of the game’s races from the Player’s Handbook, ready to make your game more colorful, fun and memorable.

Nine distinct flavors of D&D wizard

KEY

Race Class (Background)

Name

Melee Ranged Armor

Aspect 1

Aspect 2

Aspect 3

Continue reading Garibay NPC Kit (Ruby Dove) – One D&D 5E wizard for each race

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E44 YR1- The Underdark Drow, Duergar, and Svirneblin Oh My| Terrible Terrain Podcast

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podcast

Episode 44 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

This another episode where we did a terrible terrain video. Our terrible terrains are about the environment and locations just as much as it is about monsters or NPCs.

In this case we discuss the Underdark and how different races from there might interact with each others, outsiders from the world above, and how they affect the landscape of the underdark.

The Underdark Drow, Duergar, and Svirneblin Oh My| Terrible Terrain

The Underdark Drow, Duergar, and Svirneblin Oh My| Terrible Terrain Welcome to Nerdarchy and another edition of terrible terrain. This is where discuss the mundane settings of our world and how they would be shaped by creatures of fantasy inhabiting them. More specifically monsters and creatures from the realms of D&D. This time we are going to be exploring the under dark and three of its inhabitants- dark elves, gray dwarves, and deep gnomes. We’ll talk about their undercities and the wilderness in the under dark around their homes.

 

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E43 YR1- We’re Talking The Maze Marauding Minotaur |Dungeons & Dragons Monsters Podcast

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podcast

Episode 43 of Nerdarchy the Podcast Year One

Here is another one of our early Dungeons and Dragons Monster vids. Minotaur has been a favorite monster for our group from the beginning. My love for this monster has roots in Dragonlance.

I’ve been hooked since I was first introduced to the character Kaz and Huma. Also the pirate/viking feel of Krynn minotaurs is a lot of fun.

We’re Talking The Maze Marauding Minotaur |Dungeons and Dragons Monsters

We’re Talking The Maze Marauding Minotaur |Dungeons and Dragons Monsters The minotaur is a classic monster not only from the various editions of dungeons and dragons but greek mythology. I’ve always been draw to the brutish power of this D&D monster. It was one of the very first monstrous races I ever played in a RPG game. On Krynn the Dragonlance setting minotaurs were one of the player character races. Later in the humanoids handbook for 2nd edition AD&D the minotaurs would surface again. In 3.5 D&D they’d come back yet again with Savage Species another great D&D book about playing monster characters in the game. From behind the DM’s screen I’ve always enjoyed pitting these monsters against my players. Feel free to share your monster stories with us.