I like to read about my hobby. I read a lot of blogs throughout the week and I share some of my favourite finds in the 5 on Friday roundup posts I publish each week. There are plenty of hobby sites I like that are not blogs, or at least not the kind of blogs I like to promote on a Friday. Today, I feel like sharing three of those sites.
This is a wiki I spend a lot of time on. I don’t often go onto /tg/ unless there’s something specific I am looking for, but this blog is a distillation of the knowledge, humour, and eccentricity of that place. I go there for several different reasons.
One reason is to read up on a piece of Warhammer lore, be it from 40K, Fantasy or AoS. What I like about 1D4Chan’s approach to lore is that is doesn’t take the subject too seriously, is funny, and is a truly collaborative and interactive process, with editors having open discussions on some articles.
Another reason I visit the site is for the tactics sections. These help me build lists for 40K and AoS, get a feel for how I should be using my units, or what to avoid or prioritise as targets in my opponent’s army. The Kill Team tactics section is particularly fun to read through, as things tend to be broken down really well and kept quite up to date.
I also use it to read up on new RPGs. By that I mean RPGs that are new to me, rather than new releases. The very frank discussion of the pros and cons of various systems is really useful in helping to decide if a game is for me or not. As a user-led hobby site, some games have extensive coverage whilst others have little or none. This in itself is a comment on the value of the game by the community at large.
The site is, like Wikipedia, a total rabbit hole. I’ll go on to read about one thing and just keep clicking through links and reading more articles until I glance at the clock and realise it’s now well past midnight and I should put the phone away and try to get some sleep. That happens alarmingly often.
2. D&D Beyond
It took me a long time to actually go onto D&D Beyond and give it a go. I think it was because I was initially comfortable doing my characters by hand and then, later, I had an Android app that I was happy with for managing my characters. I just didn’t see a need for what they were offering.
In the past few months I’ve started using the site with a group I run for children. The character creation tools are accessible for them, it keeps their sheets for when they inevitably lose then and it helps them to level up. In hindsight I wish I’d been using D&D Beyond from the start with this group! It would have saved me a lot of frustration.
The site isn’t perfect, of course. There are some UI niggles and a few things that don’t work quite as I want them. The kids keep managing to print off character sheets with no equipped weapons, too. I actually did that once, myself. Overall, though? I like it!
3. Mr. Gone
This is an incredibly useful site for fans of both World of Darkness and Chronicles of darkness, as well as a host of other games. The titular Mr. Gone is known for producing wonderful interactive/fillable PDF character sheets for roleplaying games. In addition to the various games of the WoD and CoD lines, there are also character sheets for Scion, Exalted, and Aeonverse. There’s a bunch of other random ones, too.
I’ve long used Mr. Gone’s character sheets, especially for Vampire: The Masquerade. He just produces such lovely sheets. I especially like his clan-specific Vampire sheets, which just give that little twist to the standard one, tailoring it to your favourite Cainite clan.
Mr. Gone also has a Patreon where you can support his work. If you use his sheets a lot, itm ight be nice to chuck him a couple of quid.