D&D 5E 2022 - Top 5 RPG Patreons Supporting 5e games & gaming

Steel_Wind

Legend
As the end of the year approaches and as I look forward to a relaxing 2 week vacation where I end up puttering about my computer working on RPG campaigns et al, I often use the resources of various Patreons to help my games.

That got me to thinking: am I missing out on some highly valuable Patreon? Are you missing out on a few gems? Let’s find out. Here are my top 5 patreons for RPG use – with a specific focus on D&D. Please add your own Top 5 below so we can discover what we are all missing out on. Please don’t shill for your own Patreon though, if you have one. Let’s make this an informational thread and not a stealth self-advertising thread, ok?

Heroic Maps

Joe and Sara Bilton who operate on Drive-Thru RPG as “Heroic Maps” are, in my opinion, the best fantasy battlemap cartographers in RPG gaming. That includes any of WotC’s or Paizo’s regular map artists, too.

The Patreon is monthly and is at 3 price levels: $5 (Fantasy only) $8 (Fantasy & Sci-Fi) and $12 (Both+ Foundry VTT versions, pre-configured).

Number of maps per month for Fantasy is at least 3 (most with variants for lighting and season) plus a multi-map series – usually a 5 level dungeon, castle or other linked structure. Map quality is both for print (300 dpi) and there are VTT version at 72 dpi for Roll20. The Foundry versions are 140 dpi I believe. Maps are delivered thru Drive-Thru RPG and once you have it flagged as you own it on Drive Thru, you can always download it later.

The Sci-Fi maps are excellent and also offer a multi-storey installation, starship or other thematic series of interlinking maps over a 5 month period.

For those who subscribe, past maps released by Heroic Maps on Patreon at VTT resolution are available at no additional cost (you get ‘em all!). The value for money for both Fantasy and Sci-Fi maps at $8 per month is very high if battlemaps are something you enjoy both at the table – or on VTT.

Devin Night – RPG Token Artist

Devin Night is probably the best known “top-down” token artist in the business. His work is a mainstay at Roll 20, FG, D20Pro and Foundry VTT. Devin also sells his vast library of tokens on his own website (hint: they are cheaper there than at Roll20). Devin bundles both low and high res PNG images for his tokens and now also bundles .webp versions for use in Foundry VTT, too.

Basic Token Supporter cost is $5/month, and you get access to previous Patreon releases. Building up a large “top-down” library of tokens is quite an undertaking for any DM to contemplate. They look better than “pog” style tokens, but it takes time to amass a collection to get you to that point where you generally have a top-down token for every "mini" you might need. Devin Night’s tokens are the best in the business, so this Patreon provides very good value. Higher membership values also provide a 30% discount off of his website, which is a savings that quickly adds up for wannabe token collectors.

Forgotten Adventures – Textures, Object images, Map Assets, Tokens, Battlemaps

Forgotten Adventures (“FA” hereafter”) has become the standard add-on for purchasers of DungeonDraft, now the most popular RPG mapping program by far. DungeonDraft comes with several thousand images, but the stock art style of DDraft is “cartoony” and is not to everyone’s taste.

Enter FA. Over the past few years FA has released more than 20,000+ textures, brushes, map assets and top-down tokens. They bundle all of their asset packs separately for download, and within a few days, update their DungeonDraft asset packs to include them, complete with pre-generated thumbnails. All for the low price of $3 per month.

The quality of FA’s monthly content is quite outstanding. The cost at only $3 per month is not a reflection of their quality, rather, of the sheer size of their total membership. That hovers currently north of 20,000+. There are an entire team of 5-6 artists who work under the FA banner and the team enforces an art style so that all assets they release work well together and share the same art style.

If you are an owner of DungeonDraft – or are thinking of becoming one, this Patreon is a “must have”. In addition, the very large number of top-down tokens and color variants provided by FA is exceptionally useful, too.

Mr. Primate’s D&D Beyond Importer

Aimed at Foundry VTT users who run 5e, Mr. Primate’s DDB Importer has become the standard utility on most Foundry DM’s weapon belts. Using this utility at $3 per month, you can import any content from D&D Beyond (that you own on DDB) into Foundry VTT, be it a PC, item, monster, or adventure. The importer covers all aspects of 5e in every sourcebook or adventure, not just those things in the SRD. All 5e content is available on DDB is available in Foundry VTT through use of the DDB Importer. The formulas work without adjustment.

Mr. Primate’s DDB importer provides a monthly access code. If you want to keep using it to import things from DDB into Foundry VTT, you need to keep paying (so that your code is updated monthly). Mr. Primate has about 10,000 subscribers (and counting). Subscribers are extremely happy (and dependent) on running Foundry VTT using it.

For 5e DMs who use Foundry VTT, and particularly those who are running an adventure available on DDB, Mr. Primate’s DDB Importer is an essential tool you cannot do without. Once you use it, you will not go back to not using it.

Updates to the software are weekly, often multiple times weekly. The backlog in “adventure munching” as Primate’s Importer calls it is now fully caught up on all released adventure products. Adventures are now ready for release usually before the general release date of the book on DDB. By way of example, Shadow of the Dragon Queen was ready for download and importing into Foundry VTT before the book was even released to the general public on December 6, 2022.

JB2A – Jules and Ben’s Animated Assets

Two French animators (who are brothers) have developed quite a following in both the Foundry VTT community and with some other VTT software users. Primarily, they create animated assets for use in Foundry VTT to depict a variety of Fantasy and Sci-fi weapons, natural attacks and spells attacks in that VTT. Using JB2A and Automated Animations, (another free module for Foundry) you can quickly implements a variety of animated attacks and spells for 5e, PF2, Star Wars 5e, and other RPG game systems in Foundry VTT, together with sound effects. Your Foundry VTT play experience will never the same afterwards!
Check them out in your web browser in this spiffy asset viewer, here

The quality of the animations is quite high and there are variants for each (often MANY variations to each animation in terms of color, etc.. click the tab at the bottom of the view pane in the viewer to view each variation). Jules and Ben have created a slick viewer for their animations so you can browse what is available. Once you buy it, you have it all. The artists updated their animations monthly and add several new animations to it, expanding the reach of their assets to cover more weapons, more variants, and more spells each month. Cost of the Patreon is modest at only $1 a month. One of the primary benefits of paying more than that is a greater weight being accorded to your monthly vote on what animations Jules and Ben should do next.
 
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Steel_Wind

Legend
The creator of the Beyond20 Chrome extension is on my monthly Patreon list. There's a discord you get access to, but really there isn't a major benefit to it aside from thanking the creator for an incredibly awesome tool.
This the VTTA importer, right? I have that as well and yes, it is useful. I confess I typically use DDB Importer, but for stat blocks on the fly -- the VVTA importer was always useful. I supported him for a time on Patreon, but as I recall, he stopped development earlier this year (March or so? Something like that). I didn't think it was worth mentioning in the Patreon context as a consequence.

I can think of a half dozen Patreons I didn't mention that provide excellent benefits though! Hopefully some other ppl will post their tonight and over the weekend. It's quite a cottage industry and even a niche of 300-1,000 patreon supporters can make a real difference in supporting things which help us in this hobby.
 

This the VTTA importer, right? I have that as well and yes, it is useful. I confess I typically use DDB Importer, but for stat blocks on the fly -- the VVTA importer was always useful. I supported him for a time on Patreon, but as I recall, he stopped development earlier this year (March or so? Something like that). I didn't think it was worth mentioning in the Patreon context as a consequence.

I can think of a half dozen Patreons I didn't mention that provide excellent benefits though! Hopefully some other ppl will post their tonight and over the weekend. It's quite a cottage industry and even a niche of 300-1,000 patreon supporters can make a real difference in supporting things which help us in this hobby.
He posted a development update today!

Hi everyone!

It's been a while since I posted an update to my Patreon, and it's not because of a lack of updates, but it's because of a lack of time as I'm always so busy working. Also, I'm just really bad at writing update posts!

This week, we've made a big update to the D&D Beyond integration with The Forge, and I'm super proud of it! I know that it hadn't seen an update in a while, but it's not for lack of work, it just took a long time to figure out a solution to the problem I was trying to solve and it required a major overhaul of the conversion process in order to make it feasible. We've also spent months of work polishing our metadata support and changing the format to something that opens up lots of possibilities for us, long term.

This update finally adds the ability to auto import content that is cross referenced from another book. This was a huge pain point, causing things to be missing or incomplete, especially with adventure imports, because basic monsters would be missing, or spells (that would be part of the basic rules) would be missing in the monsters that were book-specific.

This has all been fixed, along with the addition of support for feats, backgrounds, magic items, weapons, armor, etc...

There's still a bunch of stuff to do, but we've made a huge amount of progress on the DDB integration, and things are shaping up. We'll be finalizing some of the stuff in the coming months, then the DDB Integration will finally be able to move past its beta status.

Yesterday, I went over the changes and improvements that we did to the DDB integration in our dev update livestream for The Forge on Twitch. It was the last one of 2022, so I also did a look back at all the big changes and achievements of the year. If you missed it, it's now available as VOD on our Youtube channel, here :
(I thought I posted about it here before the stream, inviting you all to join us, but I've just realized today that I hadn't published this post! 😱)

Thanks for everyone for supporting this project, and now would be a good time for you to be reporting to us any issues or discrepancies/inaccuracies you find in your imported content, so we can get all those things fixed.

Thanks, and see you soon!

KaKaRoTo
 

TheSword

Legend
As the end of the year approaches and as I look forward to a relaxing 2 week vacation where I end up puttering about my computer working on RPG campaigns et al, I often use the resources of various Patreons to help my games.

That got me to thinking: am I missing out on some highly valuable Patreon? Are you missing out on a few gems? Let’s find out. Here are my top 5 patreons for RPG use – with a specific focus on D&D. Please add your own Top 5 below so we can discover what we are all missing out on. Please don’t shill for your own Patreon though, if you have one. Let’s make this an informational thread and not a stealth self-advertising thread, ok?

Heroic Maps

Joe and Sara Bilton who operate on Drive-Thru RPG as “Heroic Maps” are, in my opinion, the best fantasy battlemap cartographers in RPG gaming. That includes any of WotC’s or Paizo’s regular map artists, too.

The Patreon is monthly and is at 3 price levels: $5 (Fantasy only) $8 (Fantasy & Sci-Fi) and $12 (Both+ Foundry VTT versions, pre-configured).

Number of maps per month for Fantasy is at least 3 (most with variants for lighting and season) plus a multi-map series – usually a 5 level dungeon, castle or other linked structure. Map quality is both for print (300 dpi) and there are VTT version at 72 dpi for Roll20. The Foundry versions are 140 dpi I believe. Maps are delivered thru Drive-Thru RPG and once you have it flagged as you own it on Drive Thru, you can always download it later.

The Sci-Fi maps are excellent and also offer a multi-storey installation, starship or other thematic series of interlinking maps over a 5 month period.

For those who subscribe, past maps released by Heroic Maps on Patreon at VTT resolution are available at no additional cost (you get ‘em all!). The value for money for both Fantasy and Sci-Fi maps at $8 per month is very high if battlemaps are something you enjoy both at the table – or on VTT.

Devin Night – RPG Token Artist

Devin Night is probably the best known “top-down” token artist in the business. His work is a mainstay at Roll 20, FG, D20Pro and Foundry VTT. Devin also sells his vast library of tokens on his own website (hint: they are cheaper there than at Roll20). Devin bundles both low and high res PNG images for his tokens and now also bundles .webp versions for use in Foundry VTT, too.

Basic Token Supporter cost is $5/month, and you get access to previous Patreon releases. Building up a large “top-down” library of tokens is quite an undertaking for any DM to contemplate. They look better than “pog” style tokens, but it takes time to amass a collection to get you to that point where you generally have a top-down token for every "mini" you might need. Devin Night’s tokens are the best in the business, so this Patreon provides very good value. Higher membership values also provide a 30% discount off of his website, which is a savings that quickly adds up for wannabe token collectors.

Forgotten Adventures – Textures, Object images, Map Assets, Tokens, Battlemaps

Forgotten Adventures (“FA” hereafter”) has become the standard add-on for purchasers of DungeonDraft, now the most popular RPG mapping program by far. DungeonDraft comes with several thousand images, but the stock art style of DDraft is “cartoony” and is not to everyone’s taste.

Enter FA. Over the past few years FA has released more than 20,000+ textures, brushes, map assets and top-down tokens. They bundle all of their asset packs separately for download, and within a few days, update their DungeonDraft asset packs to include them, complete with pre-generated thumbnails. All for the low price of $3 per month.

The quality of FA’s monthly content is quite outstanding. The cost at only $3 per month is not a reflection of their quality, rather, of the sheer size of their total membership. That hovers currently north of 20,000+. There are an entire team of 5-6 artists who work under the FA banner and the team enforces an art style so that all assets they release work well together and share the same art style.

If you are an owner of DungeonDraft – or are thinking of becoming one, this Patreon is a “must have”. In addition, the very large number of top-down tokens and color variants provided by FA is exceptionally useful, too.

Mr. Primate’s D&D Beyond Importer

Aimed at Foundry VTT users who run 5e, Mr. Primate’s DDB Importer has become the standard utility on most Foundry DM’s weapon belts. Using this utility at $3 per month, you can import any content from D&D Beyond (that you own on DDB) into Foundry VTT, be it a PC, item, monster, or adventure. The importer covers all aspects of 5e in every sourcebook or adventure, not just those things in the SRD. All 5e content is available on DDB is available in Foundry VTT through use of the DDB Importer. The formulas work without adjustment.

Mr. Primate’s DDB importer provides a monthly access code. If you want to keep using it to import things from DDB into Foundry VTT, you need to keep paying (so that your code is updated monthly). Mr. Primate has about 10,000 subscribers (and counting). Subscribers are extremely happy (and dependent) on running Foundry VTT using it.

For 5e DMs who use Foundry VTT, and particularly those who are running an adventure available on DDB, Mr. Primate’s DDB Importer is an essential tool you cannot do without. Once you use it, you will not go back to not using it.

Updates to the software are weekly, often multiple times weekly. The backlog in “adventure munching” as Primate’s Importer calls it is now fully caught up on all released adventure products. Adventures are now ready for release usually before the general release date of the book on DDB. By way of example, Shadow of the Dragon Queen was ready for download and importing into Foundry VTT before the book was even released to the general public on December 6, 2022.

JB2A – Jules and Ben’s Animated Assets

Two French animators (who are brothers) have developed quite a following in both the Foundry VTT community and with some other VTT software users. Primarily, they create animated assets for use in Foundry VTT to depict a variety of Fantasy and Sci-fi weapons, natural attacks and spells attacks in that VTT. Using JB2A and Automated Animations, (another free module for Foundry) you can quickly implements a variety of animated attacks and spells for 5e, PF2, Star Wars 5e, and other RPG game systems in Foundry VTT, together with sound effects. Your Foundry VTT play experience will never the same afterwards!
Check them out in your web browser in this spiffy asset viewer, here

The quality of the animations is quite high and there are variants for each (often MANY variations to each animation in terms of color, etc.. click the tab at the bottom of the view pane in the viewer to view each variation). Jules and Ben have created a slick viewer for their animations so you can browse what is available. Once you buy it, you have it all. The artists updated their animations monthly and add several new animations to it, expanding the reach of their assets to cover more weapons, more variants, and more spells each month. Cost of the Patreon is modest at only $1 a month. One of the primary benefits of paying more than that is a greater weight being accorded to your monthly vote on what animations Jules and Ben should do next.
Heroic maps are damn good Dark Spire Castle for instance is frankly amazing.

I would say this company is their equal though https://www.patreon.com/seafootgames/posts

I posted a thread about them after following for about a year. Aside from the beauty and the interest of their maps they also produce multiple variants at the same time meaning you get 7 maps for the time of one. It’s very clever. I also find myself taking multiple snapshots of their maps which are quite large and using them for smaller encounters.


Well worth a look.
 

RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph (Your Grace/Your Eminence)
En5ider

I really like this little-known Patreon that's associated with a minor gaming forum. They've got all kinds of things: NPCs, adventures, locations, magic items, monsters, you name it. Lots of good authors, too. Highly recommended. I recently had to drop off because I'm expecting in a few months and need to curtail expenses, and it was hard to let go.

The Griffon's Saddlebag

Another one that's got great homebrew. For the most part you'll find magic items there, well-illustrated and evocative. However, they also will team up with other creators to create supplements which generally consist of an adventure, a setting, several items and monsters, maps, and usually a VTT map and tokens. I followed them for years and quality is consistently high.

Elven Tower

These guys do monthly adventures with beautiful maps to go with them. They're another with consistently high quality.
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
Heroic maps are damn good Dark Spire Castle for instance is frankly amazing.

I would say this company is their equal though https://www.patreon.com/seafootgames/posts

I posted a thread about them after following for about a year. Aside from the beauty and the interest of their maps they also produce multiple variants at the same time meaning you get 7 maps for the time of one. It’s very clever. I also find myself taking multiple snapshots of their maps which are quite large and using them for smaller encounters.


Well worth a look.
Regarding Heroic Maps best Patreon map series to date, I thought it was Goblin Stair Cavern. IF you can't make a solid adventure using those maps? You need to go play a CCG or boardgame - because you plainly suck as a DM! The first level entrance and battle on the bridge and gates to get in to the Cavern complex fairly leaps off of the page and my players loved it.
1671290467685.png


Seafoot's are good maps, I agree. I will have to look further in to these, especially as it looks like there is broad access to his VTT maps already published upon joining. I find Seafoot's maps to be a little "clean" in art style for my tastes, but I definitely see the attraction. I think Seafoot's "clean" look matches Tom Cartos' map style far better than that of Heroic Maps, fwiw.

Tom Cartos' Patreon is one I ultimately dropped as I had so many maps from Heroic Maps plus my own that I was doing in DDraft + FA, I found I wasn't getting as much value from it anymore. Still, there are lots of people who love Tom's maps, asset/objects, and tokens and appreciate that he provides them in a variety of formats, including without any object assets on them at all if you like to make changes and prefer a clear base map to work from. Tom's patreon is priced on a per map a month basis, so cost varies from $3 to more than that a month. Tom also does top-down tokens, though stylistically I find they don't mix all that well with Devin Night's (where the vast majority of my token library is from).

When it comes to mixing maps and token styles it's a lie to say that there is no objectivity to that assessment. There plainly is an underlying objective "do they mesh together?" style quality that is either there, or it isn't. At the same time, it also has a subjective element to it -- especially on how much a clash in styles matters to you. That's plainly a matter of taste. So YMMV here.
 
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