20 DIY Dungeons & Dragons Projects That Will Blow Players’ Minds
So, in case you’ve been hiding in the Underdark, you’ve probably noticed Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) has had a resurgence.
Yes, that D&D. All over the world, nerds of every creed are dusting off old ‘80s volumes or cracking open fresh 5th Edition Player’s Handbooks — or, if your Dungeon Master is truly drunk on power, concocting some Homebrew mess that means your character sheet is wrong, always.
Celebrities play it, DM it, and lately, film it in shows like Critical Role. Not to mention, the latest series of Stranger Things makes it a big topic, or the new feature film Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Wherever you look nowadays, there is some reference to the timeless roleplaying game.
With such effort going into D&D right now, we scoured the internet for some awesome DIY projects that will knock your players’ Mithral socks right off.
20. Get Some Gem Bling On
If you enjoyed the Harry Potter movies, then you might recognize this object as the Sorcerer’s Stone. Or, if you want a decorative gemstone for your character in D&D, you can create this in no time. All you need is ruby colored gems (plastic, oddly-shaped), a glue gun, and a little black paint. Glue together the gems in whatever pattern you want, and dab some of the black paint on the jewels to show age, and BAM you have your very own Sorcerer’s Stone.
19. Combat Condition Markers
There’s a lot of details that go into a single D&D game, and oftentimes some of these details can get lost in the shuffle. These can include where your character stood when the combat began, which target is closest to you, or how many exits there are in a room. A way to visually represent a fight is by creating combat condition markers, showing a character is in an altered state.
To create combat condition markers, all you need is felt or a plastic ring to place on a minifigure if you are using them, or just create a color coded chart to signify how a character is affected. Another useful tactic is using dry-erase markers so you can update the conditions for new fights and campaigns.
18. Pour Out a Pensieve for Your Players (Say That Five Times Fast)
We tried to avoid food in this one since we all know coordinating the diets of more than four people starts to become really tricky. But who wouldn’t want a glimmery punch bowl?
Luster dust can be stuck in anything, too, whether you prefer tea or Hawaiian punch. Basically, get ready to dump it into everything you drink, because all you need is your favorite punch and some luster dust to mix in until you’re transported to another world. You can even put it into a elaborate bowl to complete the look.
17. Area of Effect Overlays
Much like the argument of who-shot-who first, the argument about where spells were cast and their range will destroy any D&D table. With a couple of simple map overlays though, you can eliminate any doubt as to where the spell is and who is affected by it. If you use a map, try and use a clear material such as glass plates or acrylic sheets so that you can draw the width of the spell with dry-erase markers, and even add the effects and the name of the spell.
16. Initiative Does Grow on Trees
Well, metaphorical trees. Tumblr user, Flavoracle shared their DM’s awesome creation. We’ve seen variations of this method, with binder clips, slips of folded paper, and the like, but we love this one because it can be easily adjusted.
You can move characters up and down in the turn order based on slow and haste effects, delayed turns, etc. Also, it’s super satisfying to snap the clothespins off when you kill a bad guy. All you need is a dowel or wooden stand, and some clothespins or other clips that you can label accordingly.
15. Dice Bags
Dice bags are extremely useful, especially if you have a plethora of different dice sets. If you enjoy using a certain set of dice for different points in the game, or have to punish a low-rolling die, then you need a dice bag in order to carry them all. This can be as simple as a drawstring bag from a dollar store that you customize, or knitting yourself a dragon-egg bag to hold all of your precious jewels. There are even some people that have created chainmail bags for their dice.
14. Deal in Dragon Eggs
One of the coolest props we saw was this egg. Perfect to add a bit of dragon-brood to your aesthetic — and perfect to throw at unruly players! You can make a DIY Dragon Egg with some black and silver paint, a plastic easter egg, hot glue, and sandpaper and paper towels to create the weathered look. You can decorate your egg with whatever pattern using the hot glue, then sand so the paint can stick better. When you apply the silver paint, make sure to smear it so it creates a textured surface.
13. Character Journals
Character journals to me are the quintessential item to keeping track of your character and all of their journeys within a campaign in one spot. Instead of trying to find sheets of looseleaf around the house, create a journal to embody your character.
You can make a journal out of a binder and looseleaf, or be as complex as a handmade leatherbound book. If you are not that savvy with creating books, there are lots of options of leatherbound journals on places like Amazon or Etsy that can really show off your dedication to D&D. It’s also good to have each player taking notes for themselves, as it will lessen the strain on the notekeeper, and keep the game moving smoothly.
12. Ancient Paper, Modern Convenience
There are many tutorials out there about aging paper and weathering existing things, but we love that this allows for a backstock of unique paper you can immediately print on for a king’s missive, love note, or forged papers. Here’s how to make DIY Aged Paper You Can Print On:
Take strong-brewed coffee and pour it into a pan, and dip thick white copy paper into the liquid. Let it soak for a little bit, making sure it doesn’t completely soak the paper. After, take out the paper and hang it somewhere to dry. You can also rub coffee grounds on the paper to create a more textured and uneven look to the color. Now you have old paper to go with your weathered character!
Miniatures, also known as character figurines, are perfect when you need to visually show combat or other interactions between characters. Some people, like me, really appreciate visual cues, so this might be perfect for your next campaign. You can create a mini by printing out a character on paper and creating a stand for it, or go more elaborate and customize an existing minifigure to your standards. Your imagination can go wild with this one.
10. Up Your Candle Game
When you play D&D, if your environment doesn’t feel atmospheric enough with the lightning you have set up, consider these amazing candles. All you need is a tall glass, a printout of a map, a tea light, and some wire (optional). Take the printout and tape it to the inside or the outside of the glass, and place a tea light inside. If you want an easy way to get the tea light out, just create a wire circle to hold the light, and have a strand snake upwards towards the top of the candle.
9. Reusable Character Sheets
The only problem with multiple campaigns is that you may be going through a lot of paper really quickly, with new character sheets and descriptions of their powers. If you are an eco-friendly D&D player, try out using a reusable character sheet. This is basically a character sheet that is laminated, to be both waterproof and durable, and you can write on the surface with dry-erase markers. When your character has served its purpose, then you can erase and start again.
If you are afraid that the information will wipe off, there are some markers that dry and use a special solution to come off, so you can get rid of the information when you want to.
8. A Pocket Gaming Kit
How cute would these be as player gifts? Bonus points if you use teeny-weeny mini dice. All you need is a small tin, like a leftover tea tin, and some smaller player card printouts. You can customize what you put in the tin, as well as the outside of the tin itself. This is a great stocking stuffer for your Dungeons and Dragons fan.
7. Cardboard Creations
If you have a creative gene, then this might be a fun challenge for you. Sometimes, Dungeon Masters (DMs) or other players will create a whole world diorama on the table, so you can really dive deep into the world you are playing in. These dioramas can be created with cardboard, some hot glue, paint, and lots of creativity. There is no real rule to these, as you are making something unique to your game.
6. Dice Jail
Everyone’s had a few bad rolls. And then there are evil, evil dice. Evil dice must be punished, if only for your own satisfaction (and that of your frustrated players). It also provides a bit of levity to combat the pure anger of rolling a 1 twice with an advantage.
All you need is some cardboard, skewers, golf tees (to vary the size of the bars; optional), hot glue, and some paint. Cut out a sufficient base and use that to create a top for the jail, making sure there is a hole in the middle to drop the dice down into. Glue an assortment of skewers as bars and connect the pieces together, painting all of it to make it look like a true metal jail.
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5. A Session Tracker
This next project is more for the laughs than anything else concerning the game. This clever sign can say anything, but an example could be “sessions since last murder hobo incident: 0.” These are just fun ways to keep the party going, and to decorate your D&D room. They can be made with a slab of wood, cardboard, paper, or a frame. Basically, anything you feel comfortable with displaying on your wall.
4. Create a Tower of Terror
Listen, dice rolls are dramatic until they go rolling off the table under the couch. This allows for the drama of hearing the dice roll down the tower and delivering their verdict. Even better, this one’s collapsible! Find out how to make this Collapsible Dice Tower here. The main things you need are creativity and thick Hobby Board.
3. Silverware Tray Miniatures Storage
If you are a huge D&D player, chances are you have a bunch of minis laying around with no great space to store them. We have an answer. Buy a silverware tray and turn it sideways on its side, so now you have your own shelving unit for the minis! You can even paint this a different color or add accents to show off your characters.
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2. Keep Prying Eyes Away in Style
To be fair, DMs have to treat themselves, too. This is one of many options, but the treatment is great and the hardware is an awesome base for anything you want to do to it (painting, burning, etc.). And there’s something satisfying about thumping down a giant, heavy DM screen. Make your own Wood DM Screen now.
1. Rune Stone Dice / Dungeons and Dragons DIY
If you have a divination wizard in your party, this could be their new form of dice. With a total of ten “tablet dice” that are double-sided, both sides of each rune will add up to 21. These can be made out of oven bake clay and a sharpie. After forming the shapes, carve in the runes you want for each number and bake. Then after draw in the runes with a sharpie, so that everyone can see your unique new set of dice.
Dungeons and Dragons has taken the world by storm, as you delve into a journey with fellow friends to defeat enemies, make more of them, and find out your strengths and weaknesses along the way. There is nothing better than being a hero, so make your Dungeons and Dragons experience a little bit better with these twenty DIY projects.