Alternatives to WorldAnvil: Exploring worldbuilding tools for dungeon masters

One of the funnest parts of game-mastering for TTRPGs is fleshing out your RPG campaign world. While there are many tools for building your roleplaying wiki, WorldAnvil was one of the firsts on the scene. It offers an early 2000’s style blog approach to building a campaign website and has many features, like maps, timelines, and blog posts. That said, WorldAnvil’s “everything but the kitchen sink” approach is not for everyone, especially those of us that are easily distracted by CSS/BBCode coding, banner ads, and a high price tag.

I’ve compiled a list of World Anvil alternatives you should check out if you’re looking for something fresh. I’ve split these tools into two categories: Freeform and taxonomic. Freeform tools give you flexibility and the ability to define your own organization and categories, while taxonomic tools provide a more rigid category structure.

What are the top alternatives to World Anvil for worldbuilding and campaign management?

LegendKeeper: Streamlined, collaborative worldbuilding for game-masters

Ok, I’m biased: I think the best WorldAnvil alternative is LegendKeeper, a collaborative worldbuilding platform with a focus on easy-to-use workflows. LegendKeeper has interactive maps, free-form whiteboards, realtime multiplayer, re-usable templates, and a powerful visual text editor that automatically interlinks your campaign world. Your projects are private by default, but can be published to the web with one click. It's ideal for D&D parties and creative teams looking to collaborate on settings for their roleplaying games. But, don't take my word for it; check out a few testimonials from our happy users. We also have a more in-depth comparison here, and a demo project featuring a fleshed-out setting.

LegendKeeper is a subscription service, as LK is ad-free and continuously improved. Our long-term roadmap includes many more worldbuilding features, such as timelines, content modules, and more. Additionally, LegendKeeper stores most of its data in your browser, meaning it’s always crazy-fast, and available even if you’re offline. You can also export your project as a mini-HTML website that’s yours to do with what you wish. Since it’s a browser app, it works on Windows, Linux, or Mac.


Notion is a sleek knowledge and productivity platform that heavily inspired LegendKeeper. (My original goal for LK was literally “Notion but for even bigger nerds”.) While it’s mainly aimed at professionals, it’s got a number of useful features, like filterable datatables, article transclusion, and easy sharing. That said, it’s heavily focused on enterprise and has gotten a little more clunky with features lately, so I don’t find it as inspiring to work in anymore. One big plus is the existence of a number of pre-made templates, like SlyFlourish’s famous Lazy RPG Template.

Scrivener: The Traditional Writer's Workshop

If you're looking for a more traditional solo, offline desktop app with a one-time purchase price, take a look at Scrivener. While it isn't totally optimized for worldbuilding, it's still a great writing tool. With Scrivener, you write manuscripts, organizing your outlines, order your scenes, and compile your research all in one place. If you don't need sharing and have a more traditional approach to writing, Scrivener could be what you're looking for.

Obsidian is a relatively new personal knowledge management platform. Much like OneNote, by default it isn't differentiated for worldbuiding, but by installing a few dozen plugins and following some tutorials, you can tailor it exactly to your needs. Specifically, check out the huge archive of Obsidian worldbuilding tutorials by Josh Plunkett, who goes over every explicit detail of using Obsidian as your TTRPG compendium. If you are more technical, know what "Markdown" means, and overall like to tinker and customize your workspace exactly to your liking, Obsidian could be the one for you!

The base product is free, and you can add remote backup and publishing for separate monthly add-on fees, though be warned a lot of plugin functionality does not work with publishing and sharing.


OneNote probably needs no introduction– It's the note-taking tool from Microsoft. While it isn't designed with worldbuilding or creative writing in mind, what it does have is 1) familiar patterns from those accustomed to Microsoft software, and 2) being free. It takes some setup to make OneNote your worldbuilding bible, but if you're willing to put in the time it can be a valuable tool. Additionally, there's a pretty robust community of folks putting out articles and YouTube videos to achieve just that. One con though: the last time I tried OneNote on MacOS, it just wasn't quite up to the same quality standard as on Windows.

Google Docs

Ok, real talk: You can do FANTASTIC worldbuilding with a plain ol’ text document. You don’t necessarily need a fancy worldbuilding tool to manifest your next epic fantasy universe or tabletop RPG. Tens of thousands of GMs and writers use Google Docs for their note-taking and everyday, so surely it’s a viable approach. Plus, you probably keep a bunch of stuff in your Google Drive anyway.

Taxonomic Tools

Campfire Writing

Campfire Writing is a versatile tool designed for creative writers, particularly those engaged in extensive worldbuilding, like fantasy and sci-fi authors. While it’s not directly aimed at dungeon masters, I think its worldbuilding feature-set has plenty of overlap. One unique thing about it is its flexible pricing: you can disable modules you aren’t using to save money on your subscription. Modules include stuff like: manuscripts, characters, encyclopedias, relationships, etc. If you’re looking for a platform that will give you lots of guide rails, Campfire Writing is a much more polished alternative to WorldAnvil, though its flexible pricing can be a little overwhelming. is another modular worldbuilding platform in the same vein as WorldAnvil. I’d say it's heavily inspired by WorldAnvil, but boasts a lower pricepoint and a much cleaner interface. It’s got an ad-supported free tier, and seems a little less focused on maps.

Kanka tabletop rpg campaign management and worldbuilding dashboard

Another “strong taxonomy” app, seems a lot like Kanka, but with less categories, which is not necessarily a bad thing! Something I like about is its built-in forum, where you can easily discuss your characters and worldbuilding with other creators.

Fantasia Archive

Described as a “worldbuilding database manager” by its creator, Fantasia Archive is one of the few free, open-source worldbuilding tools out there. It’s a downloadable Windows, Mac, and Linux app with a rigid taxonomy, with each category having a number of fields to fill out. If you want to take more of a “database” approach to your world, and don’t need any sharing features, this might be one to check out. From what I can tell, it’s still actively maintained, with the last update to its Github repository being a couple months ago as of writing.

What’s missing?

I can’t help but notice something missing from this list: There’s a distinct lack of dedicated worldbuilding tools for iOS and Android! But it makes sense: I used to be a mobile developer, and building mobile apps is HARD. I want to build a mobile version of LegendKeeper someday, but I’ve got a big pile of long-awaited features to add to the core product first.

As you can see, there are a ton of options here, and more show up every few months. I'm sure you can find something that you vibe with! Remember, the important part is actually making stuff; don’t let your tools get in the way! And, if LegendKeeper looks interesting to you, you can start a free 14-day trial right now. Or, just come hang out in the Discord!

Thanks for reading!