6 ways to improve your Dungeons & Dragons game
Dungeons & Dragons has firmly established itself in mainstream culture and in the lives of many, in part thanks to a global catastrophe that has driven the vast majority of people into their homes and an urgent need for escape (and a certain group of self-proclaimed individuals “nerdy a– voice actors”).
But a slight increase in interest doesn’t always mean a game is the most accessible or engaging when you’re first starting out, especially when playing remotely. I encountered this problem firsthand when entering the D&D community during such a difficult time, and I doubt I was alone.
That’s what inspired this list.
This article covers resources that will enhance your gaming experience, remote or otherwise, in a variety of ways. In an attempt to make a balanced list, and by no means exhaustive, I’ve included resources that each touch on a particular aspect of the game, such as character creation or player communication. Also, excuse me in advance if your favorite tool didn’t make it here; the D&D fandom and its contributions grow every day, and it’s hard to keep up! Feel free to let me know your D&D picks in the comments below.
That said, let’s go.
One of the most popular resources today, D&D Beyond is an official partner of Wizards of the Coast and comes across as a complete digital toolkit for gaming. And, to be honest, it lives up to its description extremely well. With comprehensive guides, an interactive character creator and sheet creation system, a dungeon master (DM) encounter builder, and digital access to books you can purchase, D&D Beyond is user-friendly and packed to the brim. useful content for new and old players. And this is only the free version.
If you want to take your game a step further, the app’s two subscription plans (starting at $5.99 per month) have additional perks, such as access to homebrew content created by other users, the ability to share gear with your players, unlimited character slots, and more. Note that when creating characters with this app, some character options are locked unless you purchase the book they appear in or purchase them a la carte, which may be an inconvenience for some. But even if you don’t pay to play, the free offers available more than prove D&D Beyond’s worth as a tool.
D&D is inherently a tabletop game, and when playing remotely… well, tables are kind of irrelevant. Enter Roll20a virtual table that supports not only D&D but many other systems such as Scout, Call of Cthulhuand world of darkness. The site has an awesome interactive grid with easy ways to upload game items like cards and character tokens. Plus, the built-in dice rollers include modifiers for easier combat, journal tabs for your character sheet, text and voice chat capabilities, and a jukebox feature for musical immersion tied to programs like the famous table audio. You can also find a party to play with by searching the listings on Roll20’s Join a Game board, which offers filters for refined search options if, for example, you don’t want to play a game with mature content.
Roll20 is currently free, but if you want to expand your storage, remove ads, find more games listed than the two included in the standard free version, and access other benefits, subscription plans range from 4, $17 to $8.33 per month. (Check it out.)
Are you in love with the character sheet you created on D&D Beyond, but also want to use Roll20 or other virtual tabletop programs? No problem! Created by Youness Alaoui (more commonly known as KaKaRoTo), Over 20 is a free browser extension that seamlessly connects the two. Simply install the extension on your Chrome toolbar and launch both websites while making sure the plugin is active. You should then see a scroll button added to the sidebars of the D&D Beyond character sheet. It allows you to roll directly into your game’s chat or display the characteristics of an item or spell to the rest of your party.
After the Flash dress-up doll games died, my fellow Art Challenge players and I let out a collective cry of despair. How would we create character tokens now? How could we show original monsters beyond mere verbal description? Then we discovered Joel Simon‘s Artbreeder and the community breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Recommended by our editors
art breeder lets you merge or “mirror” images from five categories ranging from portraits to landscapes, taking the concept of face morphing to another level. In addition to browsing the extensive community image catalog, you can upload your own files and customize them using different filters or “genes” that you can introduce. When you’re done tweaking, just save the image to your account. That rainbow-haired elf with an ugly facial scar you wanted to create? Go ahead and make them! You have nothing to lose except all the hours you’ll spend creating fantastic characters, which you clearly already enjoy doing if you love D&D.
Random generators can be a writer’s best friend, and what’s playing D&D if not helping to write and guide a collaborative story with your friends? Don Jon is a collection of random generators that run the gamut from name creation to entire dungeons, maps, and encounters depending on your party size and current level. Lists detailing monster, spell, and magic item stats are also available, if you don’t want to dig into the Player’s Handbook. For players, an excellent range of reference sheets cover the finer points of combat, such as action economy and conditions, as well as an initiative tracker to keep an eye on the order in which players and NPCs take turns.
DM, this one’s for you! If you want a space to exercise your creativity and create a world where your players can thrive, Global anvil is something to seriously consider. With over 25 item templates for you to create a lore book for your world, space for interactive maps to link story events to specific locations, and a timeline feature for plotting historical events, the program encourages you to dive into the details and embrace your inner world builder.
If you can’t get enough of the free plan, higher-tier paid options like the Master, Grandmaster, and Sage plans offer additional perks like relationship boards and diplomatic websites, the ability to add co -authors, discussion forums, and even monetization options if your world and the antics in it become popular enough.
Do you like what you read ?
Sign up for Tips & Tricks newsletter for expert advice on how to get the most out of your technology.