There are a lot of ways to run a D&D campaign. You can play a prewritten quest beat by beat, concoct a DnD homebrew adventure that’s entirely your own creation, or use a mix of both. If you’re interested in creating homebrew material for your game, there’s a ton of resources out there – so we’ve pulled together this beginner’s guide as your perfect starting point.
The worldwide DnD homebrew community is a wonderful creative engine. It doesn’t matter if it’s user-created DnD maps, original 5e spells, brand new DnD monsters like the bizarre Man Man Man, custom DnD classes, ingenious new DnD races, or just general worldbuilding advice; if you’ve got a D&D homebrew question, someone on the internet has answered it.
Below, we’ll explain how to use these homebrew rules and list several fantastic places from which to start your journey. Let’s start off with the basics.
What is DnD Homebrew?
Homebrew is really simple, but can take many forms. Homebrew refers to any addition, module, or change that is not in an official D&D sourcebook. This can range from monsters, to spells, to subclasses, to magic items, and so much more. Because D&D is, at its core, a game all about imagination and storytelling, many players frequently add unique features to the game.
These additions can spice up your game, and keep it interesting for those who have been playing for so many years they have every sourcebook memorised . It’s become so common, even, that popular virtual tabletop sites like Roll20 and D&D Beyond include mechanisms for adding custom elements during character creation.
The best thing about using Dungeons and Dragons homebrew material is taking what’s great about the game and making it fit your style. Whether that involves creating an underwater civilization, or having your party fight a new monster that popped into your head, there are tons of ways to fit wild ideas into your adventures. Homebrew can be applied on the level of individual characters, or entire worlds – the limit really is your imagination.
DnD homebrew tips and tricks
While it can be really fun to add homebrew material to your game, there are some things first-time homebrew Dungeon Masters (DMs) should watch out for. Here’s a couple of DnD homebrew tips to ease you in:
Find the Balance
Whether you’re using homebrew material in a pre-existing quest, or running a campaign in a setting that’s entirely your creation, it’s important to make sure you’re not using too much. Adding homebrew to a prewritten campaign can make it more interesting and entertaining, but it also adds a lot more work on the DM’s end. Make sure you don’t add too much right away, especially if it’s your first time running a game.
If you’re running a campaign completely from scratch, also make sure that you don’t homebrew every aspect, or you won’t be playing D&D anymore. Striking a balance between official material and homebrew creations ensures your campaign is both interesting and understandable. When using homebrew for the first time, err on the side of “less being more” until you’re comfortable. Once you get comfortable, you can start adding more.
Find Established Resources.
Making stuff up is at the very core of D&D, so the temptation to make everything up yourself is a very real one. However, if you’re just starting out, try utilizing the thousands of online homebrew resources out there. Often having been tested, they’ll round out the edges of your creation and make sure it’s fighting fit. Plus, once you get the hang of brewing your own material, you can share your concoction for others to try!
Free Online Homebrew Resources.
If you want your creations to feel like they came right out of a sourcebook, check out these sites that will give your homebrew material that sweet glean of faux-officiality.
Homebrewery allows you to input any text you want, and generate a custom sourcebook page, making it look like it came straight out of the Players Handbook.
Dungeon Masters Guild
The DM’s guild is a place where DMs come together to create and post incredible homebrew content. There’s lots to be inspired about here.
DND Unleashed is continually getting updated with new and exciting D&D homebrew material, so it’s a great one to keep bookmarked.
There’s many more resources out there, so remember to keep your eyes peeled for any useful material as you scour the internet. Remember a little homebrew goes a long way at first, but once you get the hang of it, you probably won’t want to do anything else.