In something of a first for me, I have to point out at the start here that I’ve been paid to talk about this Kickstarter project by its creator, but I was assured that I could write what I liked about it, criticisms and all.
So, yeah, I guess you can keep that in mind if you think I’m being too generous?
Scroll.io is a new homebrew depository for D&D 5e content from The Cobbler Barrel. I came across it whilst scrolling through TTRPG Twitter, and was immediately interested in where the website might be heading.
The idea is pretty simple – a digital collection of homebrew from The Cobbler Barrel (and others, more on that below), presented in an easy to navigate way on both mobile and desktop… all for free!
Now that last bit is why there’s a Kickstarter attached to this project. To cover the costs of hosting and art, the creator behind it is giving backers the chance to say which areas of the site to focus on next, and higher tiers let the backers add their own work to the homebrew database.
And it is a database! The entire thing is sortable and searchable, so when more and more creatures and items and spells show up, it will be easy to organise and work through. There’s even an embedded dice roller embedded that makes using the creatures and spells very easy.
When the site begins to add homebrew classes and subclasses, feats, and even adventures and maps, this is going to become a very functional tool for both dungeon masters and players!
If I understand the creative vision right, this is almost a homebrew version of 5e.tools, but instead of breaking copyright Scroll.io features the OGL prominently and is therefore well within the rules.
Do I have any criticisms?
Well, when I first checked out the website on mobile, I had some scrolling issues and didn’t realise how to see all of the monster stat blocks. Turns out the scrollbars just weren’t registering to me in the colours they were, or were hidden handily just offscreen. Your mileage may vary there!
Next, I’d have liked to see what kind of ideas have been thought up for the homebrew classes and subclasses, even if the actual information for them isn’t there. Sometimes just the name is exciting enough. The same goes for the adventures. I do however entirely understand why these bits aren’t ready to go yet!
And finally, with a few of the creatures, there were great descriptions to accompany the fantastic artwork, but others only seemed to have art. I need more details on the Flitterpuff!
(I have been reliably informed at the time of writing that missing blurb updates for those creatures are actually due for release later today, so will be available when this post goes live, and that my scrolling issues are being looked into.)
The Kickstarter is live for the entire month of April and the risk involved is pretty minimal – the website already exists and can be used, there’s just a limited amount of material on there.
At the $30 pledge level, backers can get one piece of their own work added to the website. For the $75 pledge, that jumps up to three pieces. It’s a little unclear if art for these submissions is to be provided by the submitter, could be provided by the Kickstarter funding, or otherwise.
(Once again, after reaching out to The Cobbler Barrel, I can confirm that the submitters will be the ones responsible for the artwork of their own creations, and the Kickstarter page will be edited to reflect that before launch.)
So TL;DR: I really think everyone should check out the Scroll.io Kickstarter. I’m looking forward to seeing where the website builds to next (and currently deciding whether or not I have a nice piece of homebrew to add to the collection there)!