Dungeons & Dragons for Experienced Players
What is this, exactly?
This page is my attempt to make life easier for people playing Dungeons & Dragons 5E. Some of the links you find here will be to things I have made for Dungeons & Dragons myself. Other links are to things I compiled from official Dungeons and Dragons material, to make it easier to find what you need/want. Other links are to things which I have nothing to do with at all, but other people have instead created, and which you may find useful. May you find something to help you while you browse through the lists. And if you think of something which should be added but isn’t, feel free to let me know about it.
My bits- hopefully they are helpful
I have made a list of available races and subraces so that they would all be together in one spot with just a brief summary of what each one is (and does) to help make the massive list of possible races and subraces a bit less overwhelming. It can be found here.
I have also made a list of available subclasses in the hopes that having them all in one place together with just a brief summary of what they each are will help to make the massive list of subclasses a little less overwhelming. It can be found here.
There are plenty of apps available to play Dungeons and Dragons and they do loads of different things. Instead of putting these in alphabetical order, I am going to start with D&D Beyond, because it has lots.
D&D Beyond This app is the official Wizards of the Coast app, so it has all of the official content and all the bells and whistles. They also sponsor Critical Role, so there’s that as well. There is a free version, but it only has the rules from the basic set (i.e. not the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, or Monster Manual) included. With the free account you can make up to 6 characters and 8 encounters, and can roll from the app digitally if you want to, as well as allowing you to add homebrew items. You can also buy any of the other official D&D books (or other resources) for about the same price as a physical copy costs, and then use any of that content as well. There are also book bundles which you can buy at a discounted price together (~10% I understand). There are also 2 paid subscription tiers, the first offering unlimited character & encounter creation and the second allowing DM’s to share all the content which they have purchased with their players.
5E Companion App This free app is apparently vital for druids to help keep track of wildshapes. It allows you to set up character sheets on the app, but also allows DM’s (or druids or polymorphing classes) to keep track of other creatures’ stats as well.
5th Edition Character Sheet This free app is an app version of your character sheet. It gets rave reviews. Supposedly costs $3 to get the the feature which allows you to level up? I haven’t used it. Perhaps I should.
DMDJ This app lets you play background sounds of all sorts for your game. Not free, but not far from it.
DM Minion for 5th Edition This free app lets DM’s organise their notes & manage players, monsters, & encounters, including combat.
EncounterPlus This app for iOS helps DM’s coordinate everything they need to keep track of.
Spells List D&D 5E This lists all of the spells for easy access when you can’t remember what one of the spells does.
Squire Character Manager This manages multiple characters, rapidly updating their stats based upon changes in their circumstances.
We need a set of dice to play D&D. But we really, really, really want that other set as well. Some of us have a problem with buying dice. No judgements here. This is some of the places that make better dice. But these are all good dice; none of your crummy dollar store dice which always land on the same side each time.
Chessex Pretty, pretty dice. If you’ve been to a game store, you’ve seen Chessex dice. They are everywhere. You can’t go wrong with Chessex dice, and you can even buy a pound of their factory seconds. They understand our illness.
Dice Envy Pretty, pretty dice.
Die Hard Dice Pretty, pretty dice, along with very flashy dice accoutrements.
Forged Pretty, pretty metal dice, along with very flashy dice accoutrements.
Google In a pinch if you want to roll some dice but left them at home, go to Google and type in “roll 3d8” (or whatever combination of dice you need) and Google will roll them for you. Less pretty, but free and convenient.
Kraken Dice Pretty, pretty dice
Norse Foundry Pretty, pretty dice made of all sorts of fancy materials, along with very flash dice accoutrements. Very expensive, but very pretty and flash.
Level Up Dice Pretty, pretty dice made of semi-precious stones or metals or other fancy things. Very expensive, but very pretty and flash.
Q Workshop Pretty, pretty dice.
Skullsplitter Dice Pretty, pretty dice, along with very flashy dice accoutrements.
Wyrmwood Pretty, pretty dice, along with very flashy dice accoutrements, including D&D tables. Very expensive, but very pretty and flash.
5E Tools This web page is chockers with useful stuff rom as many of the official books as you want. Info about monsters, races, classes, feats, spells, tables from the books, and so much more. Bookmark this.
Combat Wheelchair This wheelchair rocks.
The DM’s Tavern These spell cards you can print out are really nice.
DOTS RPG Project This is an organisation helping make RPG’s become more accessible for visually impaired people. You can download free templates for braille dice for 3D printers (including fate dice, unrelated to D&D).
Donjon I can’t overemphasize how many insanely useful things are on this website. I linked it to the calendar, but there are a billion gajillion useful bits and bobs on here, including random monster encounters based on your party size and level, random treasure generator, random magic shop generator, random name generator, random inn generator, random weather generator, random spellbook generator, etc. etc. I use this so often. I wept with joy when I found this initially. Helps so much when the party does something entirely unpredictable- they have no idea I am making stuff up on the fly. These people deserve medals.
Fantasy Name Generator This one has a lot of choices to pick from.
Goblinist Random Encounter Generator This is crazy helpful.
Incompetech Print out your own graph paper! Free and easy, with loads of options for all your graphing needs.
The Riddle Ages A collection of authentic Old English riddles, for your borrowing pleasure.
Help with homebrews
D&D Beyond Homebrew Page See what D&D Beyond users have made for homebrews and see if any of it appeals to you.
D&D Wiki Homebrew Page This has so much homebrew stuff on it that other people have uploaded. Try some out or see if it gives you any ideas.
The Homebrewery lets you print out your homebrew creations so that they look like official Dungeons and Dragons products, for free. Shiny!
Reddit sub for homebrews so you can discuss ideas with others who have done this before.
D&D Sage Advice These are all the dungeons from the One Page Dungeon competitions- over 800 of them. All free.
Dyson’s Dodecahedron This is a nice collection of more than 1,000 beautiful, free maps.
Inkwell Ideas Random Generators Lots of free random geenrators: for worlds, magic shops, inns, towns, cities, dungeons, trinkets, or superheros (OK, the last one’s less useful for D&D, but could be elsewhere)
RPG Mapshare This is a collection of over 1,300 free maps and a lot of RPG images as well for mapping.
Dave’s Mapper This online free tool makes maps of dungeons, caverns, cities, towns, and spaceships.
Dungeon Scrawl This free online tool makes beautiful maps, and makes them soo easy to make. Lots of dragging to make corridors and rooms, with a good number of different art styles.
Master the Dungeon This free online random town generator is one that I enjoy using quite a lot.
ORBIS The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World OK, so I wasn’t quite sure where to put this, but it’s really cool and damn useful. I guess you could change the names of the cities and use the map yourself? If nothing else, the fact that it tells you how long it would take to get from one place to another either by foot, porter, ox cart, horse, fast carriage, horse relay, or military forced march, depending upon which routes you take and if you use boats at all, and how much it would cost, makes my nerdy heart quiver uncontrollably. Plus, history!
PosteRazor This website takes images and blows them up & cuts them up into a number of pages which can then be taped back together to make a huge poster. Great for big battle maps.
Random Dungeon Map Generator Entirely online, entirely free. Makes a random dungeon map for you instantly.
RPG Map Editor 2 This free program can be run either online or downloaded. I have used this and really like it. Makes nice smaller scale projects, like buildings or town blocks.
Watabou’s map generators This web page has several options for different types of maps; I like some more than others.
Worldographer (Hexographer 2) I have a copy of this and I quite like it. It makes worlds, cities, buildings, and dungeons- lots of different scales. You need to purchase this program.
Atlantis Miniatures They have a smaller selection of absolutely beautifully sculpted minis.
Crooked Dice This company makes some amazing, and some unique, minis. Need minis of The Young Ones? They have you covered.
Dark Sword Miniatures This company makes beautiful pewter minis. The owlbear with cubs in particular makes me envious.
Games Workshop They have loads of minis, but they are incredibly expensive.
Hero Forge Lots of places make minis, but if you want a mini custom designed by you, this is where you go.
Oathsworn Miniatures This company makes beautiful minis, and is particularly recognised for creating female minis who are not in ridiculous metal bikinis, but are instead wearing proper, normal clothing. Also loads of cool anthropomorphic animals. Great stuff all around.
Otherworld Miniatures More beautiful, unique minis. I particularly like their Owlbear II. I have a bit of an owlbear thing maybe?
Ral Partha Back when Dungeons and Dragons just was getting started, these were the minis everyone was hungering for. They are still around, producing beautiful minis. Get some for the nostalgia, or just because they look really good.
Reaper Miniatures So many beautiful minis from all these companies, so little money and time.
Strata Miniatures Two words: Combat wheelchairs!
Troll and Toad Miniatures This company sells lots and lots of D&D minis.
Wizards of the Coast The people who make Dungeons & Dragons also sell miniatures. Lots and lots of them, from companies they license the rights to. They are very nice and very diverse. If you’re looking for a particular type, they probably have it.
Music & sound effects
Musical accompaniment and sound effects can enhance a game. There are a number of good places to go to score background sounds.
Ambient Mixer This site is less about the background music and more about the background ambient sounds. Also has different sounds on different tracks, so you can mute or drop the volume on just one track if you want, as well as change the frequency of certain sounds, which is really nice. It also appears that they have more than 80,000 sound profiles set up, which is impressive.
Incompetech This website has loads of royalty free music. Having royalty free music isn’t that big of a deal for your home game, but if you are streaming publicly it becomes an issue. Also, it’s free and doesn’t have ads, so it still beats YouTube for many people. It also has Matt Mercer’s iconic big bad music.
MyNoise This website is similar to Ambient Mixer, but with slightly fewer option and far, far fewer soundscapes to choose from. The ones they have are nice though.
Syrinscape A large selection of background sounds. There is a 30 day limited free trial and 4 paid tiers.
Tabletop Audio There is a large selection of longer pieces to provide a particular ambience to your game. All free.
YouTube Obviously, there is a lot of free options here. The ads are annoying though & obviously ruin the mood, if you don’t subscribe to Premium, which is not free. There is another music service out there as well, but they refuse to properly pay the artists whose music they are using, so I am not even going to mention them.
There are plenty of options for playing D&D online. Here are a few of them:
Discord Lots of people play over Discord. I understand that the sound quality is better than other options; I find it better than Roll20, which was pretty bad. It is pretty flexible, if you put a little time into it to start. It’s also free, unlike many of the other options, which I consider to be a good thing. Money should not be a barrier to playing Dungeons & Dragons.
Fantasy Grounds There are 2 paid tiers for this, as well as a free tier, but you can only play with the free tier if someone at the most expensive tier invites you to play with them.
Foundry Virtual Tabletop This website has a single paid tier.
Roll20 This website lets you play for free, and also has a paid premium subscription.
Runehammer Virtual Tabletop Patreon members can DM with this program, and they can invite anyone to play for free under them in their game.
World building/campaign managing tools
There are quite a few world building programs out there for DM’s. I personally don’t use any of them, so I have little to say about any of them except that they exist. Everyone seems to have strong opinions on which is best. I have no horse in this race.
Campfire This appears to be more for coordinating storylines than a full worldbuilder, but I can see it working for many people. It has a 10 day free trial and 2 pricing tiers.
Chronica This has 1 free tier and 4 paid tiers. Oddly, each tier cover a campaign, not a user, so if you want to run 2 or more campaigns, you need to purchase a separate additional tier memebership for each campaign you are running.
Dungeonomics This is a free program- no paid tiers at all.
Fantasia Archive This is a free, offline worldbuilder.
Kanka This has a free tier as well as 3 paid tiers.
LegendKeeper This is in beta testing and apparently has been for years. Not sure what that means. You have to pay to get in on the beta testing. It’s also apparently online only.
Obsidian Portal This has a free tier, which doesn’t look like it would be enough to support a campaign, and a paid tier.
OneNote This is a Microsoft app for taking notes which allows you to link them to a limited extent. Its free, and some people seem to like it for this.
One Stop for Writers This also seems to be more for coordinating storylines than a full worldbuilder. It has a 2 week free trial as well as 3 paid tiers.
Realm Works This world builder has 2 paid tiers.
Scabard This has a free tier and 3 paid tiers.
Scrivener This also seems like more for coordinating storylines than a full worldbuilder. There is a free trial for 30 days, a paid version, & a cheaper version for students and teachers.
Trello This also seems to be less worldbuilding than some of the others, but I could be wrong there. It has a free tier and 3 paid tiers.
World Anvil This has a free tier as well as a number of paid tiers.
World Scribe This world builder runs on your mobile device- if that’s what you are looking for, this may be the one for you. Also, it’s free, which is a good price.
There are loads of name generators out there, and they are a godsend for DM’s who are caught off guard by their players’ actions. Not all name generators are equal. You will find some more useful for your campaign than others.
Fantasy Name Generators This site gives you a LOT of options for different races/time periods/other stuff. You can find your favourites and bookmark them in case of desperate need.
The Medieval Names Archive This has resources for finding (or making) authentic names from the medieval period.