5 D&D tools to enhance your game (and make it a little easier to run)
Are you familiar with Kobold Fight Club? It’s a great online tool for building encounters, you can plug in any creatures from any D&D book and get an idea of how your party would fare against them. Unfortunately, KFC (Kobold Fight Club, not the fried chicken place), is starting to wind down. It’s still up at the time of writing but with increasing reports of it being sporadic.
But there are other resources out there, that perform the same or similar functions such as Kobold+ Fight Club, Battleplan and Goblin Fight Club.
There are also other tools for other aspects of your game, some well-known, some not so much, from shops to name generators, here are a few I keep in my repertoire.
1. Kassoon backstory generator
We’ve all built a character with an overly angsty and cringe backstory, right? Right!? Well, Kassoon is a great resource with several functions but the backstory generator is a gold mine. Select a few options such as Race, Class, Background, etc and the backstory generator will give you… well… a backstory. It won’t be a deep dive into a fully fleshed out character but it’s a brilliant frame for you to build on. From family to employment, enemies to lifestyle, Kassoon’s backstory generator takes the stress of the minutiae out of backstory and lets you focus on the badassery of your character. Just leave some friends and family alive for your DM to work with, they like that.
2. 5E Shop Generator
Your players want to pawn some of their spoils or grab a few bits and bobs, fair enough. You can go through the usual momentum killer of looking up prices and deciding whether the merchant has this or that item or you can pop into the 5E magic shop generator.
It has presets for different settlement sizes or you can customise how many items of certain rarities and categories are in the shop, it’ll even come up with an amusing name for you, if needed. It has a mark-up/discount slider, useful if your players piss off the merchant or your Bard puts those seduction skills to good use for a change. Plus, anyone donating on Patreon gets a few extra benefits.
This thing will change your life, or at the least make it mildly less irritating in those moments when you need a shop for your D&D games. Either way, very useful.
3. Fantasy Name Generator
Does exactly what you think it does. Keeping this little baby open at all times will serve you well when your players inevitably speak to the one NPC you didn’t account for and it’s not just for D&D. Not much else to say about this one. Use it, and save yourself from getting caught out using Brian for the twentieth time.
4. The Homebrewery
Ready to take the leap into making your own homebrew items or campaign to share with your table? You’re going to want to visit the Homebrewery.
It uses Markdown language to make your pdf look like proper 5e content but don’t worry, you don’t need a computer science degree to use it. You’ll get an easy-to-understand tutorial courtesy of Homebrewery that’ll give you the knowledge you need to get that document looking professional and making you look like an absolute whizz.
5. Your Group
Cheesey, I know, but your best resource is the people you play with. Ask them what they enjoyed and where they can see improvement, keep this informal though, the last thing anybody wants is a fourteen-page questionnaire on how your last session went. Just a quick message on what they enjoyed or didn’t will usually garner the sort of response you need but be willing to honestly hear constructive criticism, it can be hard but will pay dividends.
I’ve been lucky enough to earn the odd “Oh, man, that was great!” and even one or two “Ooooooh”s, these are priceless. I’ve always made note of what situations raised these responses and done my upmost to cultivate them in future sessions, which can be far harder to do naturally than it sounds. Anytime a player expresses excitement, make a note of it.
These tools are a drop in the ocean of resources available to you, get out there and find the ones that suit you the most. You’ll wonder how you ever ran games without them.