D&D Beyond has just launched its Beta Version over at www.dndbeyond.com, and I’m really excited about what it means for all D&D players and DMs. What I wasn’t expecting to find there was a burgeoning community of D&D-folk ready and eager to share information and stories.

What I found blew my mind. Set into the forum signatures of one of the other users was a link to his work-in-progress website for his homebrew campaign world, Avarath. So, as I’m a homebrewer myself, I clicked the link to check it out. HOLY CRAP was I impressed!

The first thing that caught my eye was the beautiful region map on the homepage (further detailed here), which was very reminiscent of the WOTC region maps of Faerûn in its intricacy. I was instantly drawn in, and started browsing the rest of the pages. I was not disappointed…the copious amounts of content here kept me busy for well over an hour of just reading and exploring.

It seems as though he’s thought of everything. And not surprising. After chatting with the creator, I learned that this campaign world has taken several years to build up to this point, and has seen several Edition shifts over those years. Plus – like a good DM – he has let his players influence the world and help to make it what it is now. This is such excellent content!

I then read through the Campaign diary on the site, and became enthralled with the story. I even asked the creator if there was more to it because I wanted to know what happened next!

Then I found the section on House Rules, and how he was able to compile a really unique approach to character alignment tables – something he’s developed that actually helps players determine, based on their alignment, how likely they are to react in any given situation. He calls this Motive Traits, and I think it’s absolutely genius – especially for newer D&D players who may not know exactly what they can and cannot do while playing.

motivetraitsCapture

If you’re into large amounts of info-dump on new and exciting worlds like I am, definitely head over to his website – which is still in a BETA stage – and read up on Avarath because it’s quite a treat. I was laughing to myself (or at myself?) while drooling over his detailed maps, and then looking over at my pathetic attempts. I realized what I had been doing wrong this whole time, and I think it’s time to fix it.

That’s the best part about sharing information with other DMs and working together in this way…I can now improve my own homebrew world. I won’t copy Avarath, of course, but I can use what I’ve learned from that homebrew, and make mine even better than it was for my players.

Better still? He says he has plans of releasing a PDF of his campaign setting to everyone! I know I’ll be keeping my eye on the DM’s Guild for that!

Do you have a website for your own campaign setting that you want to share? Do so in the comments! I’ll check it out! Want to discuss homebrewing? Check out any of my posts under the World-Building tag on this site, and start a discussion in the comments! I’m more than happy to engage.

Until next time — Well Met!