9 Online Dungeon Master Tools To Help You Be the Best DM

Mara Franzen

Staff Writer

Mara (They/Them) has accidentally on purpose made their entire life about books and stories. Mara graduated with a B.A in creative writing and theatre and is halfway through an MFA in Creative writing. In addition to writing for Book Riot, Mara also has written for The Independent Book Review, Wargamer, and The Other Half, to name a few. They also work as a fiction editor with The Minison Project. Nearly all of their published articles can be found here.

With the new Dungeons & Dragons movie coming out, and the popularity of D&D actual plays on the rise, more and more people are looking into Dungeons & Dragons. As someone who has been playing for about nine years and DMing for three, I understand how daunting the hobby can be to get into. But fear not! If you are a first time Dungeon Master, or even an experienced one who could use a boost, you’ve come to the right place to find dungeon master tools to help.

One of the best things about D&D is how accessible it is online. There are a bunch of online resources, communities, and tools to help you out! Most of these dungeon master tools are cheap or free. All you have to know is what you need help with and the internet can take it from there.

But with so much available, how do you know what’s actually the best? Well that’s what we are going to be taking a look at today. We’ll go over everything from maps, to stat blocks, to online resources, and so much more.

Before we dive in though, all you really need to be the best DM is to listen to your players, and try to make sure that everyone at your table is having a fun and safe time. If you’ve done that, you’re already stellar! Now let’s dive in and see what dungeon master tools can help you take your game to the next level.

Maps, Maps, and More Maps!

Battle maps are a great way to make your game feel more lively, and help your players visualize what’s happening. Here are a few options.

  1. Inkarnate. This website has both a paid and free version, so you can shop around and see what works best for you. The website allows the user to make maps of cities, worlds, dungeons, and so much more. There’s tons of wonderful features to explore, and it opens up a world of opportunity
  2. 2-Minute Tabletop. This is a pay-what-you-want website with tons of tokens and pre-made maps that are predesigned to fit into Roll20 (which we’ll talk about in a bit). Or they can be printed out and used for your home game. New maps are being made and added all the time, and even just looking at the existing maps helps me think up cool combat scenarios.
  3. DUNGEONFOG. This is a great site that has a free version, but thrives under the paid version. This site guides you step by step through the process of making your very own custom dungeon map. It also has tons of different styles and themes for sci-fi building as well as the typical D&D fantasy style.

For even more options, check out 10 of the Best Fantasy Map Generators.

Stat Blocks and NPCs

Oftentimes when you’re running a combat, or just introducing new characters for the players to talk to, you need to know a lot about what this person or creature can do. That’s where randomized characters and stats come in.

  1. Tetra-Cube. This website helps you build your very own custom stat blocks for all sorts of creatures, be they friendly or otherwise. Plus, it complies all the information into an official looking stat block that is easy to read — and just looks so cool.
  2. The Monsterizer. This site generates and customizes monsters that fit all 5E rules when it comes to combat. It also helps you calculate the challenge rating (CR), so that you aren’t making a fight too easy or too hard.
  3. NPC Generator. Here you can create completely fleshed out NPCs, or non-player-characters, for your world with the click of a few buttons. You can customize a few things, or leave it all up to chance. But no matter what, at the end you will have an NPC to introduce in a matter of seconds.

Other Best Resources

There are so many websites dedicated to making D&D more enjoyable and easier to manage. Most of these are pretty popular, but that’s for a reason! They are incredible resources.

  1. D&D Beyond. This site has just about everything. You can make character sheets, look at monster stats, create your own homebrew and so much more. It is a plethora of information.
  2. Roll20. This is one of the best sites out there for hosting an online game. It stores character sheets, allows you to make maps, and lets you and your players all sit on a call together and play. Perfect for long distance games.
  3. Discord. Discord is a wonderful place to find communities of players. If you watch any actual plays, I can almost guarantee they have a community Discord you can join and start hanging out and making friends. There are about a thousand Discord servers out there dedicated to D&D and other roleplaying games, so just go looking. It’s a fantastic free resource.

I hope these tips, tricks, and tools will help you on your next D&D DMing adventure. If you’re interested in even more things D&D related, be sure to check out info on how to play D&D, the best D&D guidebooks, some amazing D&D accessories, and learn more about how to help teens get into DMing.