Welcome to the Link Trove. We've been crawling the internet, collecting quality sites, awesome tools, campaigns, stories, tips, tricks, and homebrews to help you play the best tabletop game you possibly can. Click on a category below to get started, or just start scrolling. If you find a broken link or have a contribution to the trove, let us know @SpielKnights
We enjoy all the sites we’ve listed below, but for a select few must-clicks, we’ve given them a gold star.
Wonderdraft Even Tolkien would be jealous of these maps
Some of the most gorgeous maps have been created with this program. Wonderdraft is not for the faint of heart, but rewards those with patience. This mapmaker particularly shines when designing continents and large land masses.
Inkarnate The gold standard for amateur mapmakers
Perhaps the most popular mapmaking software. This website contains free and pro versions to make almost every fantasy map you can imagine, from small towns to vast continents. When you're new to mapmaking and still want beautiful maps, you have to give Inkarnate a try.
Arkenforge When you want maps, music, and a campaign manager
A premium mapmaker but with lots of bells and whistles that make it worth the price, Arkenforge is a passion product to bring better maps to online gaming. Part mapmaker, part campaign manager, one of Arkenforge's most useful functions is the ability to export its maps into virtual tabletops, like Roll20. A simple user interface also makes this program less intimidating than others.
Dyson's Blog Free maps to use and inspire
Dyson is a professional fantasy mapmaker and shares free maps for everyone's use. These maps are fantastic when you need a quick dungeon on the fly. They can also spark adventure ideas on their own. There are a LOT of free maps here, so get exploring!
Do you just want to draw a line and have a realistic coastline just appear? You have to try this out. The free demo offers a surprising amount of tools to draw the fantasy map you've always wanted. This tool is also great when drawing "political" maps where you can use splotches of cover to designate different kingdoms.
One of the first and best mapmakers out there, ProFantasy has multiple modules depending on the map you're looking to make, from continents to small towns and individual rooms in castles. These products have done a lot of the work for you. After creating the base layout, it's a matter of dragging-and-dropping the hundreds of map symbols at your convenient disposal.
Dungeon Painter is a promising program you can pick up off of Steam for a reasonable price to draw and customize your dungeon and world maps. The program features a grid as a design base, and emphasizes easy portability to Roll20 and other virtual tabletops. Boasting an impressive asset library, you can make your dungeons as varied and detailed as you please.
While we at Spiel Knights support customized map making, those with a little cash on hand can visit this site to purchase printed, beautiful, ready to use battle maps for your next tabletop game. Maps are double-sided and can accept dry erase markers. Great art for a great value.
Want a new fantasy map? Instantly? Just go here and done. Creates a fantasy world on the spot, complete with countries, politcal divisions, cultures, religions, topography, it's insane! Want something different? Refresh the page and get something entirely new. Comes with a map saving feature, and it's completely free! (Note: This is a very special site -Jim)
RPG Tinker Create full-stat NPCs instantly
An unbelievably useful website when you need to generate an NPC on the fly. Select a template, race, and hit dice, and you have some elite dwarven guards you hadn't expected your party to attack. The NPC is fully statted and ready to play immediately. The randomizer also doubles as a name generator!
Need a name? Need an inn? Need a surprise adventure? Just missing some dice? Donjon is for you. This free, low-hassle site will bring a fantasy game instantly to your fingertips. One of the coolest features is the random campaign, which generates a one-page a PDF of a new area that you can further customize.
Not sure what to throw at your players, or just need some monsters to fit the encounter environment you've designed? This random encounter generator allows you to throw in the level of each player, set the general difficulty of the battle, and with a click you have your monsters. Don't like? Click again! This generator also generates the XP earned for the fight, simplifying your DMing bookeeping life by an order of magnitude.
When the PC's have left the prepared path, as they often do, sometimes you need to come up with an NPC, monster, inn, or place quickly. This randomizer is useful when you need a quick story with a kick of flavor. You can also run these tables to design adventures of your own.
When you need a World of Darkness character sheet, you come here. Mr. Gone has designed WoD character sheets for decades, and this website has character sheets for every game in the WoD universe. Best of all, they're free!
DnD Spells All of the D&D 5e spells. On the internet.
This glorious project has gathered all of the D&D 5e spells available and put them on the internet. You can create "spellbooks" to assemble your character's spell collection into an easy-to-read PDF format. Want to build an eldritch knight? You can filter spells by school! A fantastic time-saver for any of your casters.
Unsure what to do with the "character portrait" part of your character sheet? Just select a common race and gender, and it will generate a portrait for you! Keep clicking until you get something you like. Pictures are downloadable and come with randomized personality traits to spark inspiration for your new character.
D&D Beyond Your first stop for Dungeons & Dragons
The official digital toolset for Dungeons and Dragons. Comes with a powerful character generator tool to make your next adventurer. The site also contains news and current content for the game.
Don't let the 90's website design fool you, this place is a bounty of role-playing resources. Check up on the latest news, find even the most obscure game systems, browse an active forum, and read "actual plays" or detailed recaps of other people running role-playing games.
This is a one-stop shop to look up a quick spell or grab a monster. The entire D&D bestiary is alphabetized, and you can copy monster ability macros for use in Roll 20. Players and DMs alike will enjoy the all-encompassing spell list. The site also includes an intuitive point buy generator and a randomizer to help flesh out your starting character backgrounds.
EN World is a great resource when you want to know the latest soundbites of what's happening in the Tabletop RPG community. Get news on the latest campaign modules, dirt in the industry, and more. The site also hosts a forum and a large set of gaming resources.
Tribality News and reviews for tabletop games
This website offers well-written and enjoyable reviews of D&D products, as well as a variety of articles about the tabletop gaming world. A site you'll want to visit again and again for new content.
Reddit RPG Your hub for all RPG info
When news breaks in the RPG industry, you'll probably learn it from Reddit first. Surprisingly non-toxic, this sub-reddit is packed with resources and lots of information to get you started on your gaming adventures. Be sure to check out the Beginner's Guide and the related subreddits page.
Simply put, the largest cache of original D&D content that you will not find anywhere else. New monsters, magic items, and campaign adventures galore lie here, only a paid PDF away. This site also does a great job of taking older edition content and re-purposing it for 5th edition.
Want to have a mini on the gaming table that actually looks like your character? Customize your figure here by race, clothing, equipment, even pose. Miniatures can be manufactured from a variety of materials, or you can use a 3-D printer to make them yourself.
No pirates here. This is the go-to place for legitimate brand-name RPG systems and custom content. Pick up your next adventure in PDF format, or pay a little more for physical copies.
Kobold Press Custom adventures in the world of Midgard
A fifth-edition publisher that has been making a name for itself, Kobold Press releases regular content for Dungeon Masters seeking out that next great adventure. Many of the company's adventures take place in the grand world of Midgard, a high-level fantasy world inspired by European folklore.
Nord Games Exciting new content for your game
Nord Games is putting out some great content for the D&D universe. Particularly intriguing are their custom card decks: Decks for treasure, decks for wandering monsters, and decks critical hits and failures. They also have interesting books about new worlds, new monsters, and diabolical NPCs to add that twist you're looking for.
Created by a player with decades of gaming experience, this site sells sourcebooks for the fantasy world of Zyathe, a richly detailed world with great art and compelling lore. A great change of pace when you want to throw your characters into a completely new world.
Frog God Games has been in the publishing business for a while now, and they boast a large library of adventures for D&D and Pathfinder. Even reading the descriptions and viewing the cover art of these books will inspire adventure. If you want to get started exploring the Lost Lands, pick up Bard's Gate, their marquee product about adventures in a fantastic city.
Virtual Tabletop (8)
Let's play online!
Token Stamp Turn any picture into a virtual game piece
An amazingly simple and effective site to get the player token you need for your game. Select your picture and drag it onto the webpage for instant token creation. It's quick and free!
Roll 20 Easy online tabletop play with your friends
Roll20 has, simply put, revolutionized online tabletop gaming. This site presents free software that connects all of the players to the same map and battle grid. Online character sheets allow you to quickly roll common attacks, and a basic code makes dice rolling and whispering a breeze. If you're new to virtual tabletop gaming, Roll 20 is a great place to start. There are also more features for pro members.
A premium product, Fantasy Grounds is a virtual tabletop program with polish. Licensed with some of the most popular tabletop products, this program carries tables of all the equipment, monsters, and spells you'll need. A step up for players who want a quality virtual experience and are willing to pony up some money for it.
Do yourself a favor and download the 30-day trial. D20PRO doesn't mess around and takes its mission as a VTT innovator seriously. Use automation to speed up battles, and enjoy the wide variety of map features and character sheet customization. While the cost may be a deterrent for some groups, this VTT delivers a quality experience.
Foundry A new VTT with powerhouse potential
This new virtual tabletop program places an emphasis on running fun games with a significant focus on automation, such as putting your common attacks or spells into a hotkey bar that can handle all of the rolls with a single click. The DM will need to pay a one time cost, but this VTT is free for players. While computers will need to be ready to handle a high-graphics experience, you are in for a treat.
Astral Tabletop is a free virtual tabletop that emphasizes ease of use but still retains important features such as dice rolling, automated attacking, live chat, and file storage. Import your own maps, or purchase their premium subscription to get a huge asset library. The program is also integrated with smartphones and devices, so you can bring Astral to the real-life gaming table as well.
Syrinscape Background music for your games
This company makes music for role-playing games. More than just music on a 15 minute loop, players can immerse themselves in soundscapes such as the sounds of street life in Waterdeep or a pitched dragon battle. Music can be bought in just the packs you need, and a friendly user-interface allows you to adjust the flavor of your scenes as needed.
Shmeppy An online wet erase game mat
Use Shmeppy to sketch out a rough dungeon or building layout. You can use Shmeppy to run a game, but this browser-based program is ideal for sketching out future battlemaps and dungeon floor plans. Get fancier elsewhere, but start here!
Campaign Management (5)
Organize your homebrew world
Scabard Your entire campaign in one place
World BuildingCharacter Sheets
This easy to use, seamless campaign manager helps keep you organized. The free version is surprisingly powerful, and its simple, wiki-like style makes it easy to put your campaign online with little effort.
WorldAnvil Organize your homebrew universe
World BuildingSoftwareInformationCharacter Sheets
Offering free to premium subscriptions, WorldAnvil is a place to let your imagination run wild when designing your homebrew world. Too many loose scraps of paper lying around? This product will keep your notes, characters, and world organized.
Chronica An intuitive campaign manager that is fun to use
Chronica is a straightforward, browser-based campaign manager with lots of free features that prod you to create the homebrew world you've always dreamed of. You're free to go complex or keep it simple. You'll have to check out the campaign shops, where items can be bought and sold! It may be the one thing that actually motivates players to check out your page :)
Campfire Get your novel/campaign organized
This software is designed for people who want to get their future novel organized and their campaign world written down. Create individual pages for characters, countries, and plots, then link them together. The program does not create a wiki for others to see; this is your own diary. There is a free trial and a one-time purchase option.
If you're looking for a simple campaign manager where you can just have a place to make wiki entries and record some adventure logs, this is the site for you. This campaign manager is completely free, although premium features are also available. This site creates a vanity URL of your campaign name that anyone can visit!
What can one say? Dungeons and Dragons is the tabletop role-playing game that started it all. You play as a heroic character in a magical fantasy setting where monsters of all kinds inhabit an enormous world. 5th edition in particular is a well-made system that is easy to learn and fun to play. If you don't know where to start, start here!
Also known as WoD, NWoD, CofD, White Wolf, and probably more, World of Darkness is a modern era game where secrets lurk just beneath the surface. WoD is the base game, but expands into new realms depending on the type of supernatural foe you wish to run. This system places a heavy emphasis on telling a great supernatural story.
Pathfinder When you want rich fantasy and min/max dreams
Pathfinder is a truly rich and impressive role-playing game that is a worthy successor to the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons. If you're looking for a modern take on a more classical D&D experience, Pathfinder will not disappoint. While more rules-intensive, players will be rewarded for understanding and playing their character's class to the best of its potential.
The iterations of this system have been many, but there's nothing like holding a lightsaber and knowing how to use it. Correct Disney and George Lucas 90's canon by shooting Greedo first and saving the galaxy from destruction. Star Wars is a great game to jump into because everyone already knows something about this universe. Take that starting point and hyperjump into a galaxy far, far away.
Hackmaster Humor wrapped inside a death trap
Beginning as a comic strip and a parody of D&D, Hackmaster has emerged as a system in its own right. While definitely not for amateurs, Hackmaster is a brutal but hilarious game that rewards players who use their heads. Swords hurt. Falling boulders kill. You have to work as a team to have any hope of getting out of that dungeon alive. Also, the honor system is flippin' hilarious.
Produced by famed designer Steve Jackson, GURPS has one of the most detailed character creation designs in the tabletop world. That detail, however, opens up genres and eras to support any roleplaying game you can dream up. Superhero battles, space rangers, detective film noir, wild west, alien invasions, or even time traveling, the Generic Universal Role Playing System can handle it all.
Longstanding but underrated, L5R presents a roleplaying storytelling system with an Asian theme. Travel back to medieval times in the Far East, swing swords, delve into the mystic arts, and encounter foes from this world and beyond.
The game mechanic is a 2d6 roll for contested or difficult situations. Yet within that simple mechanic, PbtA has spawned dozens of roleplaying games of all types. Ready to simplify the rules and escape the D&D mold? PbtA has your ticket.
Set in a fantasy world when gods still walked the earth, Exalted lets you play a comic book style superhero capable of amazing feats. Defeat fantastic monsters, conquer kingdoms and serve the gods in an uber-high fantasy world.
Now rolling into its 7th edition, Call of Cthulu is your go-to game when you want to get weird, creepy, and scared. Fans of mystery and people who don't get TOO attached to the lives of their characters will find a warm, slimy place to enjoy a good horror game.
FATE Simple rules, great games
FATE is a flexible roleplaying system that's easy on the game mechanics. Skill roles fall within a set range, known as "bounded accuracy," to keep rules simple and fun. FATE is actually a base game for many other games, each which have some bells and whistles to suit that game's flavor. The custom + and - dice are not required but highly recommended!
Critical Role is the livestream/podcast/YouTube phenomenon that revolutionized Dungeons and Dragons forever. Join Vox Machina and the Mighty Nein as they romp around Tal'dorei and Wildemount. There is a lot of content, but no worries, you can start with Season 2 and you won't miss a beat!
Matthew Colville Game designer shares tips and strategies
It's kind of hard to believe that a bearded man in his gaming room can capture your attention instantly, but Matt pulls it off every time. Novice DM's should check out his "Running the Game" playlist for tips on getting a great campaign up and running. Matt has years of experience and contacts in the gaming industry. He's able to share that knowledge with you in a fun and witty way and make you feel like you're one of his friends.
WASD20 Watch this channel if you want to make maps
World BuildingEssentialGoodiesCustom Content
This channel has your standard goodies on role-playing tips and tricks, but what makes Nate's channel stand out are his videos on map drawing and map design. They are essential viewing to getting you started and remaining inspired. At least watch "10 rules for more realistic fantasy maps" so you know where to put those rivers!
Guy is loaded with information that will help you run a great game. I recommend going to the "All of Great Game Master" playlist and start with his oldest videos from back in 2014. The advice is solid and timeless. You're in for a treat, and you'll be inspired to become a great GM yourself.
Web DM Entertaining long-form discussion on D&D
Pruitt and Jim are genuine D&D fans who love the game and want to teach you more about it. This channel has a conversational feel, just as if you were chatting with fans around the table. If you're in the mood for a longer but calm conversation, this is the perfect channel for you. Be sure to check out their video about Dark Sun!
Just as their name states, this channel is about two dudes talking about Dungeons & Dragons. What sets this channel apart from the others is the tutorial aspect for the players. They really teach you how to run your class better, and there is always something new to discover in the D&D world.
Taking20 Witty commentary on everything D&D
Cody uses a simple format of talking behind a green screen background with straightforward graphics, but his delivery is very effective and the editing is polished. This commentary channel explores min/maxing your classes, utilizing broken combos, and getting the most out of the rules that role-playing games have to offer.
Nerdarchy Gaming advice, player tips, and world-building
Nerdarchy is a long-running gaming chat channel focused primarily on D&D but touches on other systems as well. With over 1,000 videos, the nerdarchists discuss tips for handling classes and issues that can come up during games. There are many chat videos with special guests you will certainly nerd-out for.
The Glass Cannon is an ongoing campaign featuring the Pathfinder system. This podcast makes for exceptional listening due to its production quality and the fact that its players are actors and comedians, allowing them to use their skills to draw you deeper into an amazing game that has spanned years.
Leaving this out of the link trove would just make me a mark for Dram Enterprises anyhow. It is a Dungeons & Dragons podcast elevated to an art form. You'll love the stories and tales of these greedy adventurers, and you'll keep coming back for more.
Justin Gary, the creator of Ascension, hosts an interview podcast with industry designers across board games, card games, digital games, and of course the tabletop world. The podcast brings up ideas and concepts behind games you can use to improve your own creative life.
The McElroys are already podcast professionals, but even they were caught off guard with the success of The Adventure Zone, a podcast about a D&D game played by three brothers and dad. Season One is the gem, but listen to their other seasons as well as they explore different and interesting roleplaying systems across genres.
Get some players, get them drunk, and record a podcast. Formerly known as Drunks & Dragons, Greetings Adventurers! starts with a group of amateurs who know absolutely nothing about the game, but then they get better, and better, and better! An entertaining listen to discover how fun playing games with friends can be.
More popularly known as YMIAT, this podcast continues to rise above the others for its great storytelling in an impressive and ever-growing homebrew world. The latest campaign dives into roleplaying Pokemon, which you don't think should work but rather impressively does.
Dungeon Delve An official D&D podcasting source
Not sure where to begin your podcasting gaming journey? Start here! Dungeon Delve is an official Dungeons & Dragons podcast that features actual plays from D&D designers, members of the famed "Acquistions Incorporated" team, and other guest dungeon masters.
Haven't you always wanted to take that card or board game in your head and make it real? This site lets you do that! Apply art to cardboard and cards. Pick out game pieces. Make one special game for yourself and friends, or start that board game business!