Five Fun Things All Nerds Should Check Out

Those of us who love Dungeons and Dragons, video games, science-fiction, and things of that ilk should check out these awesome ideas. We enjoy fun new activities too. So here’s a list of some of my favorite things that I’ve found recently:

  1. D&D Beyond

    Wizards of the Coast, the creators of Dungeons and Dragons, have created a the beginnings of a digital platform to put all of your D&D related information. This includes tools like a spell compendium, character creation, and Dungeon Master Campaign help. They basically took all of the 5e rules and made them digitally available as well. It’s in Beta right now, so not all of these tools are available at the moment. But they will be! Not only will this be helpful for players to have digital character sheets and spells, but I can already here Dungeon Masters across the internet sig in relief. Running a D&D campaign is difficult, especially when you have ten different documents on your computer just with the story, NPCs, and location description. Hopefully the end product is going to be user friendly.

  2. Oxygen Not Included

    Personally, I’m a fan of Markiplier’s game videos on YouTube, and recently he began to play Oxygen Not Included. That’s how I heard about the game. This game is a simulation, where you try to keep a space-colony full of adorable “copies” or “duplicates” alive. It’s in Alpha and it already looks great and seems to play pretty darn well. You have to keep oxygen levels up, grow food, keep things hygienic, decorate, and generate power among other things to keep your people alive.

  3. Mass Effect Andromeda

    I’ve been posting a lot about Andromeda on this blog, and I will most likely continue to do so. Despite there being a lot of negative reviews, I love Andromeda. I have not finished it yet though. I’m most definitely biased because Mass Effect holds a special place in my heart. If you enjoyed the other Mass Effect Games then just know that Andromeda is my favorite one out of all of them. If you haven’t played Mass Effect then do it. I highly recommend it, especially for those of you who enjoy RPGs with a great story and wonderful characters!

  4. Giant In The Playground

    I personally love the Roleplaying Game Forum. That is where I get a lot of inspiration and ideas for my Dungeons and Dragons campaign. The website was created to mainly to promote and sell The Order of the Stick comics. I generally use the site for a source of creative thought.

  5. The Name of the Wind Book Series

    If anyone has seen the author of The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss, on Critical Role (he was a guest a few times) the you understand how much thought he puts into his characters. To be honest I’m only on the first book even though the second book has already been out for a bit. Despite that, I feel very solid on putting this book series on my list because I love the way Rothfuss writes and creates these intricate stories. Throughout the book it feels like the story is one that is a part of a bigger world. I’m not quite sure how to describe it. It feels like this is one story within a world that feels legitimate and real.

 

I hope you enjoy checking out at least one of these things! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

-Sabrina Arnold (iwouldliketonerd)

Things to Know for Your First D&D Campaign

Here’s what I learned during my first Dungeon Master Experience.

Becoming a Dungeon Master for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign can seem pretty daunting, so as a first-timer here is what I have learned so far:

Organization is key

If you’re not organized then the campaign will be spent looking for that rule that you think exists instead of exploring the world you’ve laid out for them. Having notes on locations, npcs, and quick rules helps a lot. Your players will ask questions and you should be prepared to answer them. Tonight I had a Tabaxi ranger questioning an herbalists about how a specific illness was transmitted. Then a player wanted to insight check someone else and, as a DM, you have to know what rolls the person being scrutinized has to make to try to contest that check. Some people can sit down at a table with minimal preparation and improvise everything, which is seriously impressive, but I know that I have to be organized to present the story in a way that doesn’t pause the game all the time.

Improvisation will always happen

The players will almost never do what you expect and a DM can’t create and remember every single detail of a story before it plays out. You have to leave a lot of it open and have a general idea of how things work or how characters act and what they know. It’s the most challenging part, but it also keeps things so interesting. It’s what keeps D&D from being monotonous. Embrace the improvisation!

There’s a story and your players will break it

For weeks I had molded and repeatedly altered a story that I thought would be easy to follow and have twists and turns that made it fun for the characters. They did not do what I thought they would. Let’s just say that my main villain hiding in plain sight was ousted by a Half-Orc paladin using their Divine Sense in that short span of time the villain was around. That’s how my fiend was found out, and I won’t get to do that elaborate and dramatic reveal that I had planned down the line. And that’s the beauty of a game like D&D because the players aren’t being railroaded down a certain linear path.

Be open with your players

Before my campaign I had a chat with my players about what they wanted in a D&D game and some things to remember. We discussed how everyone wanted to roleplay and how sometimes things can get tense during a game, so just keep in mind that people are playing as a character and those emotions may be vastly different from how they feel about you as a real person. For example, the Tabaxi and a Lizardfolk player got along surprisingly well; whereas, the Half-Orc was not a fan of the Tabaxi. The feeling was mutual and they got in an argument, in character mind you, and were completely fine after the game ended. Allow for that tension and resistance in your game because it makes the game feel more real, but check in with your players to make sure all is well afterward.

Have fun

Honestly the purpose of Dungeons and Dragons is to have fun. Both the DM and the players get to stretch their creative muscles and everyone shares this world that is theirs. It’s a special place, really.

I’m very excited to continue my campaign and see what happens. I know I have so much more to learn as both a player and a DM. Let me know what you’ve learned during your campaigns below!

-Sabrina Arnold (iwouldliketonerd)

Thinking About Playing D&D?

I started a Dungeons and Dragons group with friends and this is what I learned.

Dungeons & Dragons has been around since 1974 and usually brings with it the idea of solitary nerds playing in their mother’s basement. During this past year a group of my friends and I decided to get together and try it out. What baffled me was the game had no board. After the Dungeon Master (the person who creates the campaign and upholds the rules) tells you of your surroundings then it’s up to you. Declare what you’d like to do then a roll of the dice will decide whether or not it works. It’s not very difficult to start playing, but it helps to have someone in your group who knows what they’re doing. The most surprising part is you can do anything you want. Thinking about creating a school for magic users? Go for it. Is your character not strong enough to take on a giant? Coerce the giant into thinking you’re it’s long lost cousin, Vinny. Did you come across a village that needs help? You could just walk away and do nothing for them. You get to play how you want.

D&D may be a game for nerds, but is that such a bad thing? You can use your creativity to develop worlds and characters while making memories with friends. Enjoy playing strategy games? Love to role-play? Dungeons and Dragons has many different aspects that cater to varying types of people. Personally, I love coming up with backgrounds for all of my characters and painting objects for the battle map. Plus each group can tailor the game to fit how they want to play. My group is focused on fighting, but we’re beginning to throw in more story. My current character is a male mountain dwarf named Pyso Alnoch. Each race has unique characteristics and advantages, for example dwarves are resistant to poison. The Dungeon Master has decided that we can use Pathfinder to create parts of our characters, so Pyso is a Lore Oracle instead of one of the 5th edition classes, like sorcerer or fighter. Critical Role and other D&D groups online are a good source to see what a game looks like. If none of your friends want to start a game with you then search out your local board game store to find a group.

All in all D&D has been an amazing experience for me. It allows for friendship, creativity, and strategy.

If you have any questions or want to let me know about your favorite D&D moment then feel free to comment or contact me.

-Sabrina (iwouldliketonerd)