With the ‘release’ of D&D Beyond, Wizard’s has finally taken 5e into the digital realm, full-force. As of this post, the Online tool for generating 5e content is currently in beta-phase and much like the system itself, a good deal of feedback and changes are expected to happen until the company officially releases the online tool.
The responses to D&D:BE(beta) have been mixed. As a friend of mine mentioned, some see the effort as too-little, too-late. Others find the pricing structure, forcing consumers to pay twice, both for hard-copy and identical online material, inherently troublesome in ways similar to the double-taxation fears of businesses the world over. But then there are many who are excited about the management tool all the same.
It’s worth noting that there a good deal of online resources that mimic most of the functionality of D&D Beyond that are already online and available completely free of charge. To that end, I wanted to list those here.
- https://roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e/BookIndex– A great resource that lists the entire Open Source content for 5e. Its fast, easily searchable and has a great presentation. Even better, it’s built into Roll20, one of the largest online platforms where players can meet for virtual games with folks from around the world.
- https://open5e.com/index.html – Similar to Roll20, this is another free online compendium for official 5e content. It’s only real different from Roll20’s version is its layout and presentation. Its most notable feature is that its a community built, open-sourced website driven by Python and allows Github pushes. If your’e looking to add to the site, they list a need for quality third-party content, so why not give it a try?
- http://www.orcpub.com/ – A great online tool for creating 5e characters, this website produces 5e Character Sheet pdfs, with tons of options and features, including a rules compendium, fully searchable spells and the ability to create and share custom content!
- DMSGuild-MPMBs-Fully Automated Character Generator – I really can’t express how much I dig DMSGuild and Wizards’ decision to open-source the rules for 5e. This handy character builder is a prime example why. The generator has a ridiculous amount of features and allows for printing of PDFs just like orcpub. It’s currently Pay-what-you-want on DMSGuild, or if you really want to chip in, you can support the creator through their Patreon.
- http://rpgtinker.com/ – A nice little website to create pre-generated 5e NPCs that you can throw at your players on the fly. The site generates class and racial options along with the ability to create level-specific characters.
- http://www.fantasynamegenerators.com – As a DM, I must say that this is probably one of my most visited sites. I simply love the ability to generate any sort of fantasy name with a click. The site is indexed across literally dozens of different categories from simple PC names, to the names of inns, towns, potions, poisons, ghosts, dragons and more.
- https://rpgcharacters.wordpress.com/maps/ – A nice blog filled with a quaint selection of battle-maps you can use when PCs decide to wander off course somewhere in your campaign world.
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ixiestudios.charactergenerator – A decent NPC generator for folks with an Android machine. It lacks the details found with RPGTinker but it a decent mobile option.