Free DM Tools to Enhance Your D&D Prep

I’ve been a DM for a long time now. Not necessarily in terms of years, that’s only been the case for about three years. But in terms of hours spent in prep and at the table? Well, according to Gladwell, I’m an expert approximately five times over.

This started, in part, because of my aversion to spending money. D&D is a game where all you’re supposed to need is some dice, a few friends, pencils, and your imagination. So you can take your $30 Sourcebooks, your $50 mini packs, and your $3000 Modular Terrain Kits and shove it.

Of course, if I had the money, I would absolutely buy every single one of these in a heartbeat, frothing at the mouth and snapping at anyone who stands too close to me in the line at my local game store, but I digress.

When you don’t want to spend money on online character sheet managers, on map creators or on online play spaces, it can be easy to assume there’s no alternative to the priced product and spend hundreds of hours using a pirated copy of photoshop to make Character sheets and using your stolen whiteboard to draw battle maps.

But what if I told you I have found a veritable gold mine collection of tools that accelerate (and even automate) the D&D prep process and you won’t have to spend even a single CP?

Kobold Fight Club

Graffiti Photo by Dr Adamantium on Reddit

Kobold Fight Club is one of the best-known and most reliable online DM tools in the history of the game.

Created originally by Ian ‘Asmor’ Toltz and continued on by Fantasy Computerworks, Kobold Fight Club is the ol’ reliable of encounter balance calculators; allowing you to determine the balance and survivability of your upcoming combats by allowing you to enter in the number of players going into the encounter, their levels, and the number and exact type of monsters they’ll be meeting as well. In addition, the calculator will generate approximate XP earned and allows you to import custom monsters as well.

You can find the new Kobold Fight Club here.

Aurora Character Builder


Even if it wasn’t free, I would still be using Aurora to create my character sheets.

Aurora is one of the fastest, most detailed, and best-automated character creators on the market. Just create your character, tell the program your character level, and follow it through a curated flowchart of all available skills, spells, languages, backgrounds, and feats that you can possibly take. At the end, you’ll receive a detailed and concise character sheet that doubles as a form-fillable PDF.

The project’s development has been discontinued, but the program is still available and pretty tricked out for free. Additionally, the creators Patreon (priced at $1 a month) allows you access to all first-party (and even some UA) sourcebook content which can be installed into the creator.

You can find Aurora here.

Donjon Rpg Tools


This website would be a Godsend even if it lost all but two of its pages; the Action Reference Guide and the Initiative Tracker.

Gone are the days of, “Give me five minutes to create a full spread sheet to track initiative” and “Give me twenty minutes to scour the player handbook for a list of all possible generic actions and free actions I can tell you about” and enter the phrase said twice nightly at my tables, “Let’s check the Donjon”.

On top of this, it boasts an impressive number of random name, town, and quest generators, an array of dice rollers, map generators, and different rule sets so you can still use this under other TTRPG’s.

You can find Donjon RPG Tools here.



TabletopAudio cares about the one aspect of the game that never seems to get any love; the sound of it.

Beyond the impressive free library of scores and soundscapes made by professional composer and musician Tim (no last name provided), the site also holds an incredibly unique soundboard feature, allowing you to create and save scenes comprised of ambience, scoring, and sound effects.

You can find TabletopAudio here.



You know what ChatGPT is. The AI Chat bot with entirely too much knowledge and power which is taking over there world. What you might not know is it’s read every D&D sourcebook (and every other TTRPG) up to the September 2021 release of “Van Richtens Guide to Ravenloft”, and can automate the process of creating custom enemies, spells, items, quests, characters and more.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, and I’m hesitant to give our future God Emperor more control over humanity than it already has, but it does save me from having to come up with how many D6 of damage my PCs dream weapon, the Hotdog Shotgun, does in a turn.

Which is 2, by the way. 2D6 piercing damage.


You can find Chat GPT here.