One of my favorite things to do as a person who enjoys tabletop RPG’s is to homebrew. Homebrewing is creating custom content for specific RPG. When I first started years ago my creations were just word documents with no real design to them. However, these days if you to search for D&D fifth edition homebrew you’d get these really cool looking designs. You may be wondering how to get similar looking templates to create your own official-looking homebrew. Well, you are in luck because that’s what I’m here to do.

I will be going over three different ways to go about doing this. The first two are online based and are quite user-friendly. The last is Photoshop which does require some knowledge and skill.

There are pros and cons for all three methods that I will be going over. This way you will have an informed opinion on which method fits your needs.

With that out of the way let’s get started.

The Home of Brews, Homebrewery

This is the site I first started using when I started creating homebrew for D&D. It has a bunch of functions to make creation easier and save time. Although they are easy to use going outside their templates can be quite challenging since it’s a mix of markup and HTML.

The background looks official and the spell looks like it came right from the book. However, if you look at the spell list you’ll see that some of the text merges together. This is because Homebrewery has trouble with boxes, which are invisible containers that organize the text, therefore depending on your layout text will always break out.

Hombrewery spell example

This next image features in a small table. These work really well and as long as you do not put too much text in those tables you won’t have trouble with them breaking the boundaries. It also includes the class features which as you can see all you have to do is input the information and do not have to worry about formatting.

homebrewery class features

The next is the half table. I was going to show the full table but at the time of writing this article, but it was not working. Despite that both are very similar to each other.

Homebrewery half table

When I first started using Homebrewery these tables do not give me much trouble. Unfortunately now they give me nothing but trouble. Depending on the orientation or how your layout is you may run into some issues.

Homebrewery Final Thoughts

Despite some of the issues they have, they’re constantly working on improving. Some issues I ran into when I first started have never existed sense however just like with updates for most things issues may occur. I really like how you can go and re-edit everything you’ve done in the past and even view other people’s creations. They are easy to message about issues related to and are very open with changes that are happening in the future. To create an account is free and there’s no limit to how much you can create. Overall I still like this program and you think it’s the right fit for you, check out The Homebrewery.

The GM Binder that Holds it All

The GM Binder was created as a competitor to Homebrewery. In this regard, they are very similar and how they act however there are some differences that the creator made based on what they thought Homebrewery was lacking. Just like Hombrewery it uses a mix of markup and HTML however there are some functions that make embedding images easier without needing coding.

There are two different features that separate GM Binder from Homebrewery. One of the big ones is variables. This is to set a variable, using their example town, and then be able to go and replace all instances of town with something else. This is great when you’re creating something that relies on a specific region in your world and being able to transfer to another region from a different world.

GM binder item template

I was going to the contrast to everything as shown above for Homebrewery however they all are very similar and not worth going over. With that being said as you see above GM Binder can create item cards. This is something Homebrewery does not do and is great if you want to make custom items that look official. GM Binder also has theme styles to let your pages to look like different Dungeons & Dragons books. In addition to theme styles, GM Binder also has page styles that let you add for design elements for your homebrew.

GM Binder frontpage template
GM Binder back page template

These styles look great and you let you create your own small booklet without much effort. The themes that you have your pages stylized according to their books they’re associated with. On earth the Khanna, players handbook, elemental evil are just a few of the styles you can add to these pages.

The GM Binder Final Thoughts

I really do like this one a lot more than Homebrewery. You can tell it was designed by a person who felt that Homebrewery was lacking certain aspects. I like how intuitive it is and how it lets you style your pages. Just like with Homebrewery you can save and view other people’s work. One thing they have that I really like is shortcuts. Just press two buttons and get a page break, column break, etc. quickly. If this sounds good to you check out The GM Binder.

Photoshopping Your Way To Homebrew

So this section will be smaller than you may be expected. This is because for D&D fifth edition there is already an article out there that explains what you need to do and how to do it along with providing you the resources to create your own homebrew in Photoshop. I use it as inspiration for creating similar documents but in other tabletop RPG games.

I will be linking the article at the bottom of the section however there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it does require Adobe Photoshop and some skills in that program. In addition, organizing and layout design are a lot less intuitive than the other two programs and requires a lot of manual movement. That being said it gives you a lot more freedom for what you want to do. It does take longer than Homebrewery and GM Binder since there are no functions that plug and play however, you get to put your ideas exactly where you want them.

Photoshop Final Thoughts

So any photo editor could work. The reason I am mentioning Photoshop is that it is what the article uses.  In the article, it discusses how to do images and how to make them look great which is something that can be accomplished with the other two programs but Photoshop gives you full control of where to put them. Even if Photoshop is something you have no desire to do I still would recommend checking out PHB Homebrewing Tutorial for nothing less than some good ideas.

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