Dungeons & Dragons Online

The 3DF stack and why it helps a lot

This mostly works for online play but could work for games at the table too.

So i always had problems with planning, prepping and running my games. It always worked but it was either aweful to handle or unorganized. The current campaign im running is going really well, everything works and runs like a charm. So here are the tools/websites i am using, maybe this does help someone too.

So what does 3DF stand for?

Draw.io – A tool i use for prepping and planning. Its free, online (lokal version is also available) and opensource. You can use it via google drive, the app just needs to be added. You can use draw.io for many different things, you can create neatly connected diagrams, write stories and link it to whatever you want. Its a great tool to structure notes and create usefull connections.

Dungeondraft – A tool to create maps for your games. Its a one time purchase, only works lokal, there are maaaaany assets you can buy or download for free that help you create more interesting maps. It supports placing walls and lights and everything else you could imagine.

DnDBeyond – Most of you know it already. Its a neat (official too i think?) website to help with character creation, leveling and inventory management. You do need the books to access the character options though. PHB, XGtE and TCoE cover almost anything you need for character creation i think.

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Foundry – A VTT thats a one time purchase. If you dont know it yet, you should really look into it. I think its about 50$ but no more costs after that. You can use a (3rd party, 5$ a month) hoster to host it for you (you still need the foundry licence). You can also host it on your computer, you need some beefy upload though. Foundry comes with everything you need, dynamic shadows, special effects, music (better use a discord bot, saves bandwidth) and many different plugins and systems (5e, PF2, …)

So why does this all work so well together?

Well you can use DnDBeyond to roll any checks you want, it automatically applies boni and directly sends it to Foundry with the browser plugin (Beyond20). You can display spells, roll attack, savingthrows, anything. You create your map in Dungeondraft and export it in the Universtal VTT format, import it into Foundry and your map is done, walls and lights all set up.

What i also highly suggest:

D&D Beyond Importer – A Foundry plugin to import characters and all spells, items, classes, monsters (you have access too) from DnDBeyond and automatically creates a compendium for them. Pictures, stats, everything. You just pull them into the scene and you are done, beautiful tokens.

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Universal Battlemap Importer – A Foundry plugin that is needed to import the Dungeondraft maps into foundry. Free and easy.

Discord – Propably self explanatory

Kobold Fight Club – A good tool to get some idea for balancing, it helped me alot.

Since i got used to that workflow my prep time got so low i almost feel dirty. Planning and prepping the sessions propably takes the longest time. Creating maps is a hobby of mine so it always more fun than a chore, when the map is done, its only export and import and you can use it instantly. The tedious technical prepping time is almost gone.

Maybe someone finds this helpful.



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