Updated: Feb 11
World Anvil (or WA) is perhaps one of the most useful tools available for anyone out there creating RPG game content (heck, for anyone attempting to organize any content). Getting around in World Anvil can appear daunting, but it is really just a matter of patience and experience. From the ability to organize everything about your game, to tracking characters and monsters, to map creation, to even rolling dice right on the page, World Anvil is a Dungeon Master's dream.
Where does one get started? Well at the source, of course - https://worldanvil.com
One of the things I like the most about WA is that it is both freeform and organized all at the same time. If you want to create a hyper-detailed document with links, shortcodes, history, pictures, videos, etc. you absolutely can. Documents can have secret information available to just a few players, they may include rumors or information you want to know as the DM, but not have visible to anyone else. An article may be restricted by access levels, so if you have a co-Dungeon Master who needs to see something in your setting, you can set it up that way. You could also limit a character sheet, for instance, to be just available to that one player.
If, however, if you are just looking to capture some basic information about an encounter, or a tavern, or just a note you can do that too! There are very few "required" fields when you start a new document. You have the ability to make it as simple or as complex as you would like.
World Anvil is a tool that can be used by Gamemasters, Writers, Creatives, or Gamers themselves. All of the tools available in World Anvil are useful on one level or another. A Gamemaster can track their campaign, build maps, create catalogs of monsters; a writer can keep track of their story's timeline, characters, interactions, motives, and more; gamers can post their characters, roll-dice, and keep a detailed history of their character's exploits and achievements!
Below are a few of the features available in World Anvil that make it a World Class application:
Another great tool in WA is "Heroes" which essentially gives your players (or you, as the GM) the opportunity to create profiles (including stats) for your characters or NPCs! It gives them a very "social media"-like feel that includes a timeline where players can add notes, quotes, or anything they'd like to record about each session. As the Gamemaster, you can use the same tool to record information about interactions with the party, or changes that need to be made based upon actions your players make.
While not one of its top features, embedded dice are nevertheless extremely useful and powerful. As seen in the picture above from their blog, the embedded dice rolls can be very specific and take some of the overhead off of the Gamemaster when they are running a game. Imagine a scenario where there are a wide variety of rolls to keep up with - maybe they are non-standard rolls, for example. By plugging them into World Anvil in advance of the game, a Gamemaster can have those unique or one-off rolls already coded and ready to go!
Don't remember what that modifier was supposed to be for creature XYZ? No problem! Just embed it when you're doing your prep / write-up and it will be there for you when needed!
Map Tools in World Anvil
MAPS! From the WA website, this quick video shows you just how interactive maps can get in your setting. Upload a map, and use an engine similar to "Google Maps" to create location flags, routes, and more! I have even created scenarios that can be run entirely from the maps, including dice rolls!
(This doesn't even begin to touch the interactivity that will become available when their Dungeon Fog partners release their newest version, 100% compatible with World Anvil!)
I have created an entire act in one of my upcoming modules for our Eryphir campaign setting that has the module built into this "Google Maps" feature. The location is indicated on the map. Clicking the location reveals the description and any necessary statistics. Dice rolls are even embedded in the pop-up so that the Gamemaster does not even have to scroll down the page to find the information.
All that being said, the adventure itself is still whole - you could still scroll down the page for more information and fidelity on any particular bit of information. The point is, you don't have to! If you are familiar with the adventure, just jump around in the map and be done!
There are tons of features available in World Anvil and we could not be happier using it as our "go to" platform for development and publishing. If you check it out OR you use WA, be sure to comment below or tell us on FB or Twitter how you like it!