Disclaimer: The following article is a paid review.
Bob from The Cobbler Barrel has been creating homebrew D&D 5e content for years. After amassing a large collection of content he decided he wanted to share it with the community.
Bob decided to take a different approach after researching the traditional hosting methods. He created Scroll-io, a lightweight user-friendly website to host his free 5e content.
Let’s take a look at Scroll-io which currently has a Kickstarter running to fundraise its first major expansion.
Site Design and Layout
Scroll-io’s UI is minimalist at first glance. It only displays the information you need at first. However, you can always open new drop-down menus to display more info.
For example, all of Bob’s homebrew is categorized. If you’re looking for a homebrew creature for an adventure, go to the Creatures tab. From there, you can use the filters to sort the content to find exactly what you’re looking for.
It’s clear from the site’s design and layout that it was built with scalability in mind. The various sorting, categorization, and filtering features may not be necessary for the 10 creatures on the site now, but they’ll be an enormous boon for users later when there are over 100!
Scroll-io’s minimalistic design makes it easy to use whether you’re prepping for the next session or in the heat of combat and need to reference the statblock.
The creature statblocks are the best example of this. Clicking on a creature pulls up its statblock showing you all the standard info for a creature in D&D 5e.
For prep time there’s an Info drop-down window for each creature. This window gives you a picture of the creature, background info, and combat tips to help you run these homebrew creatures.
As a DM that uses a ton of third-party creatures I always appreciate it when the designer gives me some insight on how to play their creature.
Also, every creature, item, and spell on the site is formatted so that you can copy and paste them into your word processor of choice while retaining its format. I love this feature as it makes slapping the creatures into my notes in OneNote a painless process.
For DMs that use the website during game-time, there’s a convenient clickable dice roll feature. Use it to roll attacks, saves, and damage or you can customize the creatures by rolling their HP on the fly!
The site’s usability as both a prep time tool and an in-session resource is a breath of fresh air. It’s so nice to be able to go to a website, quickly find exactly what I’m looking for, and have everything I need in front of me as opposed to sifting through a large PDF that might not even be searchable.
Final Thoughts on Scroll-io
Scroll-io was clearly built from the ground up with usability and scalability in mind. It’s quick to navigate and easy to use on both the desktop and mobile versions of the website.
The major limiting factor of Scroll-io is that it’s currently light on content. However, as referenced in the Kickstarter, there’s a lot more content in Bob’s backlog that will make it onto the site.
With more options, Scroll-io will become a fantastic resource for DMs due to its solid foundation!
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