Tool Proficiency – World Anvil

Welcome to the Tool Proficiency series!

In this series I will, hopefully, focus on and present various tools that can prove to be helpful to the Game Master. This series isn’t meant to have a specific schedule. New installments will appear as I discover interesting tools that will make me believe they need to be mentioned. So without further ado, let’s begin.

For the first installment of the series I’ll be presenting you a very interesting tool called World Anvil.

World Anvil is an online worldbuilding tool. It’s meant to be used by all kinds of people who are interested in creating worlds, such as authors and game masters. However, it’s not only meant to help you organize your notes but also help you write.

It manages to do that by providing templates for various types of articles. There are quite a few categories and each one is very detailed.

Even vehicles have their own category

Moreover, each category has space to let you write freely but there are also questions which you can answer. So if, for example, you want to create a new character in your world you are bombarded by a ton of questions and, without realizing it, you end up with an extremely detailed character that’s now part of your world.

That’s part of the character creation template.

Another thing worth mentioning is the RPG Resources section. That’s pretty much a database that will contain SRD and user created content. Each entry has a unique code and can be easily inserted in articles. For now, there is only D&D 5th Edition content. I think this will be helpful if you want to prepare for a session and want to keep your session notes there.

Finally, what adds a lot to this tool is its community. There is a really strong community creating there and you can get a lot of feedback for your work. There’s a very active Discord server for creators to chat and also quickly reach out to the developer. Additionally, there are challenges taking place all the time, which keep the interest up and also give you another reason to create on a regular basis.

A few notes

World Anvil isn’t a completely free service. It is free to join and start creating but there are a couple of restrictions. The most important are that your work can’t be private and that there’s a limited amount of space you can use. Both of these issues are solved if you decide to support the World Anvil Patreon. To be honest, it’s not a bad deal and the Patreon tiers look reasonable compared to what the tool offers.

That’s more of a personal preference, but I’m not fond of BB code. However, the developer makes good use of it, especially in the RPG Resources page.

As I’m writing this article, the tool is still in Beta. Since I started looking into it, which was around December if I remember correctly, there have a lot of changes and upgrades. The way it evolves is based on the needs and the suggestions of the users.

Final Words

I think World Anvil is tool you should check out. It lets you keep your writing organized but also helps you write more easily and frequently. I don’t spend as much time working on it as I want to but I’d like to fully flesh out a small world and share it with you. I hope you enjoyed this article. If this is something you’d like to see more of, please let me know.

And until next time, have fun!


8 thoughts on “Tool Proficiency – World Anvil

    • The tool doesn’t focus on a system. It’s 100% system generic, since it’s not only used by Game Masters but also by authors. The RPG Resources section is a kinda new addition and there will definitely be more systems added as time goes by.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have been looking into this tool, as well as Obsidian Portal. It seems like Obsidian Portal will work better for running pre-written modules, and World Anvil might work better for creating my own setting. Thanks for the quick review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you found it helpful. World Anvil has had multiple updates since my review. It has more tools for GMs now. However, the way I see it, you don’t have to have anything to do with RPGs in order to use it. For example, if you are a writer and want a practical way to collect the information for your world, this tool is a good choice. I don’t have much experience with Obsidian Portal but I know it’s more RPG centered.
      Maybe I should update this review and also create a list of related tools. If you have more than these two in mind, let me know.


  2. Stumbled across this just tonight. It’s a pretty concise and good review of WA that still largely holds up even to this day. I will say that there’s a lot more tools within WA than shown here, and Dimitris has added a lot since then.

    I’m curious if you’re still using it, and how it’s treating you.

    —Ademal, World Anvil Community Admin

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t had the opportunity to use it as much as I’d like to, though I have some ideas about getting to use it more. This is a two year old article and, in the world of application development, it is a long time. I should write an update on this.

      Liked by 1 person

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