Unlocking the Vault of Endless Possibilities: The Ultimate Donjon 5e Guide

treasure chest
Table of Contents

It was the night before game night and I was woefully unprepared. As a new DM running a homebrew campaign for the first time, I had vastly underestimated the prep work required. My hastily scribbled dungeon maps were confusing at best, the nearby town remained nameless and faceless, and don’t even get me started on my nonexistent list of random encounters. I was on the verge of canceling the session when a fellow DM mentioned a site called Donjon. Reluctantly, and with no other options, I pulled it up. What happened next can only be described as magic.

With just a few clicks, I had beautifully rendered dungeon maps complete with monstrous encounters and treasure piles. The town generator whipped up NPCs, businesses, quest hooks, and notable locations that brought the place to life. By the time game night arrived, I was loaded with content. My players braved perilous dungeons, interacted with colorful townsfolk, and emerged victorious. After the session, one player approached me, “This setting feels so real, like we’re part of a living world! How long did it take you to make all this?” I just smiled. Like any good magician, I never reveal my secrets.

What Is Donjon?

Donjon (www.donjon.bin.sh) is a free online toolkit containing random generators and reference materials for tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons. Created as a hobby project by software developer Joris Dormans, Donjon has grown over the years into an indispensable resource for players and dungeon masters alike.

While Donjon supports numerous RPG systems, its most robust offerings are tailored for D&D 5th Edition. In fact, if you play 5e, chances are you’ve already benefited from Donjon whether you realized it or not. It’s become an integral part of many D&D groups.

In the Beginning, There Was Randomness

In 2008, Dutch developer Joris Dormans was creating procedural game levels for his PhD thesis. Needing quick placeholders, he built random generators for maps, names, and heraldry. Sharing his humble hobby project on donjon.bin.sh, Joris was surprised when it gained a following in the tabletop community.

Sensing an opportunity, Joris created a Random Dungeon Generator which became a hit among early D&D fans. Over the next decade, Donjon expanded to support fantasy tropes like magic shops, inns, adventures, and treasures. With the release of 5e in 2014, Donjon saw its biggest growth spurt yet.

Today, Donjon attracts over 3 million annual users, with traffic increasing 30 percent year-over-year. While it now contains generators for sci-fi, cyberpunk, and other genres, D&D 5e remains Donjon’s primary focus. Everything from layout to features is optimized to enhance your 5e experience.

Inside the DM’s Toolkit

For Dungeon Masters, Donjon is a kit filled with tools for crafting vibrant, believable worlds and adventures with just a few clicks:

Dungeon Generator

Creating the perfect dungeon crawl is tough. Donjon’s Dungeon Generator lets you craft intricate dungeons with a few clicks. Customize size, layout, rooms, monsters, traps, and more to create the ruins, catacombs, or sunken temples of your wildest dreams.

Saving precious planning hours, this tool is perfect for DMs in a pinch. Novice DMs can leverage it as a training tool until they gain enough expertise to build dungeons themselves. Even veteran DMs will find inspiration striking when they generate a dungeon outside their comfort zone.

Random Encounters

Planning encounters can be time consuming. Donjon’s handy generator creates balanced combat and roleplaying encounters customized to your party’s size and level in seconds. Whether you need a quick goblin ambush or a puzzling interaction with a rambling prophet, this tool delivers.

Adventure Generator

For times when improvisation fails you, the Adventure Generator provides an instant story framework. It creates villains, plots, twists, settings, climaxes and more. While the results do require tweaking, it provides an easy launchpad to take your storytelling to new heights.

NPC Generator

From the humblest peasant to the most eccentric nobleman, the NPC generator fleshes out vivid characters complete with names, races, backgrounds, motivations and personality traits. Whenever your players veer off script, use this to improvise living NPCs that feel three dimensional.

Town Generator

Bring static towns alive or improvise one from scratch mid-session with Donjon’s Town Generator. It whips up details like town history, businesses, NPCs, and adventure hooks. Your players will marvel at how “real” your towns feel.

Treasure Generator

Devising treasure rewards your players will love is tricky. Donjon’s Treasure Generator creates hoards of loot and gold for any challenge rating or hoard size. Eliminate tedious treasure prep and get back to crafting adventures!

These are just a sampling of Donjon’s DM tools. Additional handy generators include calendars, world maps, star systems, names, and more. If it has to do with building worlds and adventures, Donjon likely has you covered.

Heroes Assemble! Player Resources

While Dungeon Masters rule Donjon, heroes can find aid within as well. These key resources help players manage character growth or turn the tables and run games themselves:

Monster List

This exhaustive list catalogs every official 5e monster across multiple source books. Sort and search by Challenge Rating, type, size, environment – whatever you need to learn a monster's abilities quickly.

Spell List

Like the monster list, only for spells. Every 5e spell in one place, readily searchable. Look up spells during play or analyze options while leveling up.

Magic Items

Donjon’s magic item list compiles items from every 5e source into one searchable table. Peruse items by properties like rarity, attunement needs, type, and more. Indispensable for acquiring new gear.

Encounter Size Calculator

Want to test your DM skills by running a 5e game? This tool helps calculate ideal monster party sizes and Challenge Ratings tailored to your player group and levels.

Quick References

Consolidated basic 5e rules cheat sheets. Essential info on actions, conditions, vision, cover, and more represented on clean, intuitive pages.

Randomize Your Gameplay

Beyond its plentiful reference materials, Donjon unleashes your creativity with a trove of whimsical generators:


From human monikers to ominous incantations, Donjon contains specialized name generators for characters, monsters, spells, towns, reputations and more.


Craft detailed calendars customized to your fictional world's time units, days per year, number of moons and special events. Help your worlds feel grounded.

World Generator

In just seconds, generate randomized fantasy or sci-fi world maps in a variety of styles and custom sizes. Spark new campaign settings and adventures.

And Many More

With dozens of tools covering every facet of worldbuilding, encounter design, and gameplay enhancement, Donjon's offerings are endless. The only limit is your imagination.

Roll Better With Donjon

The genius of Donjon stems from understanding that DMs have limited time and imagination. We all occasionally need a spark of inspiration or help lifting the drudgery of prep work. Donjon delivers – those random sparks ignite our creativity into something greater.

While the raw output occasionally requires tweaking, Donjon’s generators provide starting points that save DMs hours of intensive prep work. For players, Donjon consolidates rules and items into reference sheets you can actually reference during games.

By removing barriers that slow gameplay, Donjon allows you to focus on what matters: crafting epic adventures. Every tool is meticulously honed over years of user feedback to enhance 5e's unique mechanics and themes.

Yet remarkably, access to this treasure trove is completely free. As Joris reminds us, Donjon is ultimately a labor of love from a fan who wanted to give back to the tabletop community. While donations are appreciated, they aren’t necessary to benefit.

For DMs overwhelmed by elaborate builds or players lost in rulebooks, Donjon brings the magic back. And for a dash of unpredictability at the game table, those whimsical generators produce results to enchant any outing.

At its core, D&D is about adventure. Donjon frees you from drudgery so you can spend time on what matters: gathering with friends, getting immersed in escapism, and maybe rolling a crit or two. Any group that hasn't optimized their 5e experience with Donjon's tools is missing out.

As my own DM journey continues, Donjon remains one of my most valuable companions. While my skills have developed over countless campaigns, I still lean on trusty generators for inspiration or to elevate my games.

Yet most importantly, on those busy days when creativity escapes me, Donjon is there to catch my fall. With just a few clicks, I can whip up an entire session’s worth of content from scratch. It greases the wheels of imagination enough to get me rolling again.

For new DMs, Donjon is a lifeline. It provides tools to gain confidence, fill experience gaps, and learn the intricacies of encounter and adventure design through hands-on experimentation. Veterans likewise find inspiration striking from fresh ideas and timesaving automation.

Even players can reverse engineer Donjon’s treasure and encounter outputs to better understand game balancing for when they eventually take the DM’s seat. The reference sheets also help new players grasp core rules faster with simplified breakdowns.

With growth comes criticism, and Donjon is not immune. Some argue it makes DMs lazy or overly dependent. But substituting Donjon for creativity is a choice, not a requirement. For those short on time or experience, it fills gaps while skills develop – a temporary crutch on the journey toward mastery.

Others argue that randomization leads to subpar adventures. But creativity thrives on constraints, and Donjon’s output provides the spark that ignites your imagination. The site even contains tips on refining raw content into polished works worthy of publication.

The truth is simple: Donjon will elevate your game, not replace it. The tools onboard your creativity when imagination runs dry. The references enforce rules mastery session over session. And the unpredictable randomness will open creative doors you never knew existed.

The heart of D&D’s longevity is its infinite possibility. Donjon hands you the keys to that vast multiverse of potential, packaged neatly into intuitive generators and references. It greases the wheels of creativity, not serves as a substitute.

With access free for all, what excuse remains? Unlock Donjon’s vault of wonders and watch your 5e experience ascend to new heights. Fall down the rabbit hole of generators and resurface later with fresh adventures and inspired new ideas.

Nothing encapsulates the exotic whimsy and sense of adventure at D&D's core quite like Donjon. It opens worlds of new potential with every click. For DMs and players alike, Donjon is an essential companion on the road to RPG mastery and memorable adventures.

Just beware, with such potent creative power at your fingertips, escapism beckons. Once that wand begins to wave, the line between fantasy and reality disappears. Prepare to surrender yourself to possibility infinite, imaginations untamed, and adventures endless. The only limits are those we impose upon ourselves.

With Donjon's aid, a new age of tabletop roleplaying dawns. Will you shape its destiny, or stand idly by? The choice is yours. Let the wild rumpus start!


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