New D&D 5E Campaign Settings are Just Around the Corner

The site comicbook.com were the first to break the news. Obviously they spoke with Nathan Stewart, the Brand Director and Executive Producer of Dungeons & Dragons, at a recent event where he hinted at new campaign setting coming as early as this year.

This is good news indeed. The Forgotten Realms are not everyone’s cup of tea and D&D can be so much more than standard high-fantasy fare. Settings like Dark Sun, Spelljammer, Planescape, and Eberron have been fan-favorites for years, and many D&D players have hoped for their return in 5th edition.

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According to the article on comicbook.com we can expect treatments not unsimilar to the one of Ravenloft we’ve seen in the Curse of Strahd book. Personally this would suit me fine. I basically own almost every single book ever released for Eberron and one book covering the setting in broad strokes and including all the necessary rules would be all I need to get started.

A more subdued publication schedule compared to earlier editions also seemed to have served Wizards of the Coast fine, and the quality of the material released so far was pretty good. The only thing I and many other D&D fans missed was support for some of their favorite settings like the ones I’ve mentioned above. But this will probably be remedied in the coming months!

GM Binder

You might have had the same problem as I faced a couple of days ago. I wanted to create a short primer for my upcoming campaign for my players. I already had some ideas on what I wanted to write, and I knew I wanted it to look great, so that they might actually be reading it, but I wasn’t really in the mood of tinkering with QuarkXPress (or any similar software all day). That’s when I remembered GM Binder.

GM Binder is an online tool which is just awesome if you want to quickly create good looking documents for your D&D game. It uses a version of Markdown, a simplified markup language which is easy to learn but quite powerful. With the GM Binder editor you write your document in one window using the aforementioned Markdown language and in another window you can see what the final document will look like. If you are familiar with HTML or a similar markup language you should feel right at home.

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The resulting document can be shared via a link, can be exported as a PDF, or can be printed. The basic theme is based on the look of the current D&D 5E core rulebooks, but you can easily switch to another theme using so called “Snippets”. If you’re fluent in CSS you can also create your own theme or tweak the existing one.

Snippets are actually quite handy. There are snippets for inserting a cover image, for stat blocks, tables etc. With just a few button presses pregenerated elements are quickly inserted into your source code which can then customized by you. If you are not afraid of code, GM Binder is a great tool for quickly creating good looking documents for your D&D game (or any other game). The learning curve is definitely less steep than in professional desktop publishing tools and the results are quite impressive.

Listing all the features and a deeper look at all available snippets is beyond the scope of this post, so I recommend you check out GM Binder yourself. There are a couple of great example documents available and there’s an active community on Reddit.

GM Binder is free but you can support the creators on Patreon. I also should mention that there’s a similar tool called Homebrewery which shares a lot of GM Binder’s features. After trying out both I stuck with GM Binder because it was easier to use. If you’re looking for a tool which allows you to turn your homebrew material into a gorgeous-looking document, you definitely should check out both GM Binder and Homebrewery.

Kickstarter: Nothing Stays Forgotten

Recently Kendel Ventonda contacted me and let me know about the “Nothing Stays Forgotten” Kickstarter project. The roleplaying game has already been released in German under the name “Die Vergessenen Chronicles” a while ago. It’s obviously a fantasy roleplaying with original mechanics and a setting trying to avoid the more common tropes. Like in the (in)famous Talislanta, there are no humans (not 100% sure about that), no elves, no dwarves, etc. They are running the Kickstarter to raise funds for an English-language version including PDFs and hardcover books.

Personally I am not that interested in the project, since I have way too many unplayed RPGs in my collection already, but your mileage may vary. The artwork shown on the Kickstarter page is pretty cool, the mechanics sound reasonable (it uses a dice pool system), and it’s nice to see another German game trying to reach a wider audience. I am also sure that some of you will appreciate the non-standard fantasy setting.

The goal is to raise €16.000 within the next 45 days. At the time of this writing 16 people have backed the project so far and about €1000 have been raised. For more information, please check out the Kickstarter page.

A Roleplaying Games blog

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