If you’ve been DMing for a while, chances are that you’ve put some work into creating custom monsters, classes, items, locations, and more for your characters. Or, as the DnD community calls it: Homebrewing.
Homebrew encompasses all kinds of original content for Dungeons and Dragons, from original races and house rules to simply a non-official campaign storyline. It typically isn’t allowed in tournaments or Adventurer’s League games, but is the lifeblood of home games, keeping the community alive with creativity and engagement.
Once you get started homebrewing, it’s hard to stop – luckily, there’s a large community out there, eager to see your creations, and share with you their own. You can even monetize it through Patreon, DMsGuild, or sales allowed by the Open Gaming License. Or you can simply share it for free.
If you’re looking to get started making your own, professional-looking homebrew, here’s a few resources to get you started!
DnD House Style Guide
The fastest way to make any homebrew look professional is to match the style and formatting of the official publications. You can do so in any formatting or illustration software, like Illustrator or Photoshop, by following the official Style Guide put out by Wizards of the Coast.
It’s sent out to their official collaborators, of course, but it’s also available for free on DMsGuild. It contains the fonts, formatting, and logos that you’ll need to make your stuff look legal, as well as an overview of how to craft the tone and difficulty of your content!
Naturalcrit’s The Homebrewery
If you don’t have the skills or the programs to create your own documents from scratch, don’t worry! Naturalcrit have created an easy-to-use website that handles most of the formatting for you: The Homebrewery.
This website allows you to craft pdfs by using a mix of web coding language and simple point-and-click commands. When it’s done, you can simply download a pdf of your finished documents, complete with accurate fonts and formatting!
You can also find numerous guides, samples, and resources online to use the site to best efficacy.
Find it here: The Homebrewery - NaturalCrit
If the Homebrewery isn’t your style, but you still don’t have the hang of formatting in Photoshop, there are other options. The GMBinder is one of those.
The coding process is a little more involved than The Homebrewery, but GMBinder comes with an inbuilt community to share your creations with, a slightly different look, and might be easier for some users. Plus, it comes with a GMB+ option, where for a small fee you unlock a great deal more features, formats, and document qualities than you can manage elsewhere.
Find it here: GM Binder
If you’re only using your homebrew for your own campaign, and not sharing it broadly online, you can use whichever art you can find online for your illustrations. But if you want to sell or share it, etiquette (and IP law) holds that you should either buy art, create it yourself, or use public domain illustrations. If you don’t have the time, skill, or money for the first two options, that leaves the final, and some searching to do on your part for good art.
Luckily, you can find plenty of public domain art online. One of my favorite websites to look for it is Wikimedia Commons, a massive database of art that has entered the public domain through age or voluntary placement. Any of the art here, you can safely use!
Find it here: Wikimedia Commons
DnD Edition Archive
Looking for inspiration for your next homebrew, or practice adapting your ideas into the 5e ruleset? Taking official content from previous editions and bringing it into the current edition is an easy and effect way to do it. You can find old rulebooks at your local game stores, bookstores, and even comic-book stores, but you can also find a great deal of previous content online.
One such repository is the DnD Archive. You can use it to easily search through the different editions, rulebooks, and sets easily, and find something that sparks your inspiration. It doesn’t have the entire content of each one, but it’s a suitable place to start, giving you the exact title to look up elsewhere.
Find it here: Dungeons & Dragons Archive (tsrarchive.com)
Wizards of the Coast Official Articles
Unearthed Arcana, Errata, Sage Advice, and Various News
If you’re looking for inspiration from official 5e content, you’re going to want to take a look at Wizards of the Coast’s official blog, where they release playtest material, rules alterations, and various announcements as they’re created.
These releases are great for keeping up to date with what kinds of content are going to soon be released, as well as how different types of DnD content tend to work. Rune magic, for example, is getting its own set of rules, so you might look at it to see if it works for you, or if you want to create your own ruleset for it!
You might also want to read through to find inspiration for upcoming settings, races, classes, and other features to incorporate or draw ideas from.
Find it here: News Archive | Dungeons and Dragons (wizards.com)
Do you have any resources for homebrewing that we’ve missed? Please feel free to share them in the comments below – we’re always looking for way to make creating custom DnD content easier for ourselves and the D20Collective community!