RPG "Starter Kits" -- Share your favorite cheat sheets, online tools, etc!

In this thread we’ll curate and post our favorite, perhaps less obvious tools for running specific games or for some other specific purpose (e.g. “Here’s my favorite character sheet and initiative tracker for Troika” or “here are my Roll20 Tactical Combat settings and token sources”). Please try to credit creators when possible if it’s not obvious from the tool itself. Annotations about why you like these tools are also highly appreciated but not strictly required.

I’ll start us off with some good resources/tips for Shadow of the Demon Lord:

  • Character generator: https://sotdl-rcg-ui.herokuapp.com/ This will let you stat up an NPC in a hurry, or even generate a character for a player jumping in. I use this a lot if I want some stats or spells for an NPC in a hurry or if I want to be surprised at what kind of character an NPC might be.

  • List of all paths and ancestries: Shadow of the Demon Lord Character Guide - Google Sheets This is more for my players than me, but it gives a list and brief description of character options in SotDL and which book they might be found in. Retrieved from this Reddit post by Nezzeraj: https://www.reddit.com/r/shadowofthedemonlord/comments/eq1hip/guide_to_every_ancestry_and_path/

  • Baseline Damage Table on Page 179 of the main book: This little box is one of the more useful things in the book for converting OSR monsters to the slightly higher numbers you’ll eventually reach in SotDL. I don’t think this is particularly necessarily for the first 4 or 5 levels, but it’s been helpful for turning lower level-targeted modules into end of campaign adventures when my players were around level 10.

  • Commonly Used Books: Forbidden Rules has some guidelines on subbing out/modifying some of the more load-bearing mechanics, and is where Schwalb’s non-grid combat rules can be found (these Zone rules are now the default in his new game, Shadow of the Weird Wizard). Of Monstrous Mien has monster-creation tools if reflavoring entries in the main book isn’t enough. If you like how players start with a single “Interesting Thing”, the book Oddities, Artifacts and Esoterica has a bunch of them. Finally, for player options, Demon Lord’s Companion 1 and 2 and Occult Philosophy are where most of that stuff is likely to come from.

  • If you want less dark fantasy and toilet humor: Cut out the Forbidden tradition. Ignore the “Frightening” and “Horrifying” traits if you see it on a monster and don’t think it should be a horror moment for the adventurers. Turn Sanity into Stress and use it as a secondary resource for players to spend (I let them take Stress up to their Will score, then they need to retire for a while or gain a quirk or something like in Blades in the Dark). And that’s basically it!

And one more quick one for a completely different game, Microscope:

There’s an online app to play this game online called Utgar’s Chronicles: https://utgars-chronicles.app/ I wanted to mention this because I think it’s a bit harder than usual to play this game in the current state of the world and I’d like to encourage more people to try it now that it’s easier than ever to do so!


Mine would be D&D 5E prep & mixed random generators.

  • Notion as a campaign tracker. If you are familiar with OneNote and backlinking this is the best! though it does take a bit getting used to as the foundations works in blocks but all free :slight_smile:

  • Slyflourish articles and workbook - I tend to skim and brush up on things before a game since 5e is pretty rules-heavy, he has some decent random generators but in the games I run, finding out its more OSR adjacent as I been learning more about it.

  • Foundry - A great VTT for online play. Enabling you to throw in music, house-made tokens and maps. A bit of a setup to do at the start, and price tag … but worth it. The community is amazing so you can addon modules that suit your game as you go. Pairing this with Discord for voice chat.

  • Perchance - A great random table generator + a good community that probably has covered what you are looking for. I really like the sight sounds smells generator & Wilderness for long rests.

  • Even more generators kassoon & donjon if I need extras like traps, npcs.


Resources for Mothership (or horror sci-fi rpgs):

  • WardenOS - character generator / keeper, random tables for various modules included. Great for generating space stations and derelicts on the fly.
  • Derelict Ship Generator - online tool that uses the generation method in mothership PSG to create maps of derelict ships.
  • Mothership pinterest board - when I need inspiration for npc looks or monsters.
  • Traaash blog - for great houserules, custom character sheets and more.
  • Playscii - a tool for creating ascii art. Awesome to make your own ship layouts in and various info that you want to present to the players.
  • Atomic Rockets - for when i’m researching a sci-fi topic.
  • Recently recommended to me Planet generator and Sector generator.
  • And gonna plug my own space submarines post which has some suggestions for running space stealth and combat.

These are excellent! I would add on to this that if you like running 5e with a focus on grid combat/designed encounters, people tend to use Kobold Fight Club to generate those rather than use the encounter-building tools from the book.


Oh nice, thanks! that reminded me of Owlbear Rodeo - A free browser based VTT, that can be used for quick grid combat you need to throw together online and custom tokens if needed. It saves into your browser’s cache. There is a backup function so don’t clear history before that.
No built-in rulesets yet - so it’s system-agnostic at the moment.


The Derelict Ship Generator is AMAZING. My only tiny complaint is that it doesn’t port over the ventilation shafts interconnection thing. :frowning: