My Internet Happy Place: D&D Resource 5e.Tools, a Gateway Into a World of Fantastical Options
At the end of a year in which we could not explore much IRL, team OneZero is sharing our favorite places we found online.
Most days, after being held captive by a tiny screen for 12 hours, I avoid the internet like it’s a loud talker who refuses to wear a mask. (I guess that makes me a bad employee of a publication dedicated to internet things. Sorry, Damon!) The only exception I’m happy to make is for a site called 5eTools, which is a crucial resource for my Dungeons and Dragons crew now that we have to play online. We use the virtual tabletop Roll20, but that website does not bring me particular happiness, so I won’t write about it here.
5eTools is an exhaustive compendium of everything you need to know to play and advance a character in D&D, hyperorganized into categories and subcategories, with excellent search capabilities (so many filters!) and a refreshingly basic, graphics-free aesthetic reminiscent of the early internet. In short, it loads fast. This is important because when you’re a level eight wild magic tiefling sorceress in the heat of a bugbear battle, and you urgently need to know how much hurt you can inflict on your enemies with a wall of 20-foot flames, you need rapid access to that information. In case you’re wondering, creatures pummelled by Wall of Fire take 5d8 fire damage, which is a lot.
In addition to the info in the official fifth-edition Player’s Guide, 5eTools includes details from numerous other supplemental D&D resources. I should probably note that 5eTools isn’t an official D&D resource — that would be the slower, graphics-heavy D&D Beyond — so it comes with a serious disclaimer to appease Hasbro, D&D’s omnipotent publisher. Anyway, that in no way impeded my ability to swiftly create a cleric eagle-man with a Witcher-esque attitude called an Aarakocra for a birthday one-off using details from the Elemental Evil Player’s Companion. The opportunities are limitless!
That’s really why 5eTools brings me so much joy: It’s a gateway into a world of infinite and fantastical options — the exact opposite of the repressive world the pandemic has trapped us in. There are no coronaviruses, no stifling apartments, no unmasked maniacs running wild; just magic, adventure, and the occasional ability to blast a level four fireball at the things that piss you off the most. Which, let’s be real, is exactly what we all need right now.