D&D-flavored sourcebooks you can use to play almost any RPG

Many independent tabletop game companies start out by publishing campaign setup manuals and dungeon mods designed for Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition (to be more precise, designed for free, open-source J&D 5th System Reference Document). Some indie tabletop game designers take a different approach by releasing system-independent sourcebooks – treasure troves of world-building, lore, non-player characters, maps, and quests designed to be broadly compatible with any Tabletop RPG set in the heroic dungeon-crawling fantasy genre so iconic of J&D. The following source books are especially worth checking out for their highly creative world settings and detailed presentations of people, creatures, and adventures.


Content posted by third parties for Dungeons & Dragons became legally possible with the publication of the first system reference document for the Dungeons & Dragons Edition 3.5 rules in 2003. The developers of Wizards of the Coast released this set of core game rules to make J&D 3.5e more accessible to novice tabletop players while encouraging smaller-scale publishers to create content compatible with J&D rulebooks and campaign settings. In the decades to come, SRDs for 3rd, 4th and 5th J&D libraries inspired by campaign modules, custom classes and dungeon exploration scenarios created by independent developers; some groundbreaking original tabletop RPGs like Scout or the superhero Mutants and Brains have even been built around the core of the D20 ruleset to J&D.

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The sources listed below are not built around the Fifth Edition SRD Dungeons & Dragons adventures, or even any particular tabletop role-playing game system. At the same time, these sourcebooks are steeped in the vibe of classic heroic fantasy RPGs, painting vivid images of savage and untamed worlds filled with vast wilderness, awe-inspiring supernatural creatures, and the ruins of civilizations rich in culture and culture. ‘story. These sources can easily be used with the rules of Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition, Scout second edition, the beginner-friendly fantasy RPG Quest, or any other role-playing game about outings and adventure.

Skyrealms: D&D-Style Fantasy RPG Sourcebook AND Coloring Book

Indie System RPG Sourcebooks Dungeons and Dragons Friendly Skyrealms

celestial kingdomscurrently being funded on Kickstarter, is a “system-neutral fantasy” sourcebook” with 48 pages of creatures, mini-dungeons, spells, items and magical places designed by game designer Iko for J&D– Fantastic style campaigns. It also happens to be an adult coloring book with detailed online images of Emobeasts, Furlings, Crystal Slugs, Lostronauts and other surreal creatures drawn by illustrator Evlyn Moreau. The setting of celestial kingdomsTrue to title and theme, is a view of floating islands, quirky characters, and strange “Color Magic” secrets that characters can master during their adventures, adding narrative weight to the colored pencils and/or or crayons that players doodle with while illuminating the sourcebook imagery.

The Dark Of Hot Springs Island Has An Old School D&D Flair

System Independent RPG Sourcebooks Friendly For Dungeons And Dragons The Dark Of Hot Springs Island

The Darkness of Hot Springs Island is a hexcrawl compendium made by Swordfish Islandsa publisher of campaign mods, RPG zines and sourcebooks like Across bordersinspired by the early classic Dungeons & Dragons module Stay in the frontier lands. On the premise side, The Darkness of Hot Springs Island is centered around a detailed map of an island chain divided into hexagonal spaces used to help the game master create an RPG story. As player characters travel around this island, the game master can consult the sourcebook to see what type of creatures, ruins, secrets, or treasures occupy each of the hexes on the map. The setting of The Darkness of Hot Springs Island is particularly imaginative and lively, providing game masters with resources such as dense descriptions and illustrations of strange creatures, elven ruins, cursed objects and vegetation as well as biographical sketches of bickering factions and major NPCs who seek to control the precious resources of Hot Springs Island.

Carved In Stone is a source book on the ancient Picts of Scotland

System Independent RPG Sourcebooks Dungeons and Dragons Friendly Carved In Stone

carved in stone, although this is an RPG sourcebook, it is not a more traditional game J&Dstyle fantasy world like the Forgotten Realms. Rather, it is a resource intended to take modern players back to the landscape of 7th-century Scotland, populated by cultures of Pictish peoples struggling to find their own identity following the departure of the Roman Empire. of Britain and the migration of invading peoples. like the Anglo-Saxons. In many ways, carved in stone, as Kickstarter funded RPG setup guide, aims to refute the stereotype of Scottish murderers painted blue and wearing a kilt popularized by films such as Brave heartinstead of using clear descriptions and colorful illustrations to delve into the banality and spectacle of Late Antiquity Scotland.

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The entire carved in stone book will highlight the stories, art, diets, clothing, cities, livestock, wild game, and beliefs of the common Pictish – in other words, it’s RPG content about communities as well as great kings, queens and heroes. The title carved in stone itself refers to the standing stones used to mark boundaries and travel routes in ancient Scotland – pillars frequently carved with icons, illustrations and inscriptions in Ogham script.

A thousand thousand islands, a fantastic scenery of Southeast Asia

System Independent RPG Sourcebooks Dungeons and Dragons Friendly A Thousand Thousand Islands Zine

The system independent RPG zine bundle called thousand thousand islands is compatible with Dungeons & DragonsScout, and nearly every other heroic fantasy tabletop RPG system, but has a setting that sets it apart in many ways from the Western Fantasy worlds popularized by J&D. Each individual zine in the A Thousand thousand islands bundle was written by a Southeast Asian tabletop game creator and depicts a different side of a fantasy island archipelago inspired by the cultures, stories and myths of Southeast Island nations such as Malaysia , Indonesia and the Philippines. The meat of this thousand thousand islands zine is made up of eight set booklets, each describing a different fictional location – a “river kingdom of ruins and crocodiles” called MR-KR-GR, a “maritime nation of teak knights and living shipscalled Korvu, etc. Hantu, monsters frequently mentioned in actual Malaysian folklore.

Next: Four Creative RPGs From The Philippine Tabletop Gaming Renaissance

Sources: Heavenly Kingdoms/Kickstarter, Swordfish Islands, carved in stone/Kickstarter, thousand thousand islands


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