The Hypertext d20 SRD

The Hypertext d20 SRD is an exceedingly useful site that every d20 game master and player should have bookmarked.

In a nutshell, the site’s exactly what it says it is: an extensively linked, searchable version of the d20 SRD. It’s focused on the “basic” d20 SRD drawn from the Dungeons & Dragons rules, and does not include the d20 Modern version. That’s certainly a drawback for modern players, and I’d certainly like to see it added, but it doesn’t hamper the site’s usefulness for everyone else.

I’ve been relying on this site quite heavily when I’m at work and have a rules question — for example, I’m debating having my wizard take a new “item familiar” but needed to know what the rules were for dismissing familiars in D&D 3.5. Previously I’d have used the copy of the SRD I’d downloaded to my laptop to find this out while at work, but instead I could just surf to the site and browse the wizard/sorcerer section. As I gear up to DM my new D&D campaign, I expect that I’ll be using it even more.

Moreover, the site enhances the SRD with features of its own. There’s the aforementioned search engine, which makes finding entries in the SRD far easier than paging through the Rich Text Format files (although not too easy — my query on “dismiss familiar” didn’t turn up the entry I needed, and instead I found it by browsing the sorcerer description).

The Monster Filter is excellent, allowing you to pick and choose which criteria to use when displaying monsters. For example, you could choose to display a table with only monsters that inhabit “cold” regions, have a Challenge Rating between 5 and 6 and are of chaotic evil alignment. You may have to be a DM to fully appreciate how cool this feature is — I can’t tell you how many times I wished that the Monster Manual had broken down its monsters by additional criteria. This is better than a book though, since its highly-dynamic and user driven. The only drawback — which the author has no control over — is that it’s limited to the monsters in the SRD. Even so, it’s a damn useful tool.

The site is free, but you can choose to subscribe to it for $1.25 a month and get additional features (namely an offline version of the site and notices about updates, as well as special attention for requests).

Venturing away from the SRD, the site has has several other features of note. It has home-grown character status and consumable item logs, which I plan to try out with my wizard Merywn (who has an ungodly number of magic items and temporary effects) as well as a character sheet and spell/psionic power sheets.

Rounding out the site is a write-up on the “Digital Map Projection system. The system uses an overhead data projector to show a map on a gaming table, replaying the tried-and-true wet-erase battle maps. My players have often spoken about using a virtual battle map like this; its great to see someone actually doing it.

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