Getting started guide
At its core, World Anvil is a tool to help you organize your creative process. As such, this is not a definitive guide on how you should use World Anvil, but rather what you can do.
First stepsAfter creating your account, you will be given the choice of either creating a new world or a new character. If you have created an account specifically to play in a campaign, you should choose the character option. Otherwise, choose Create my world (choose this option if you are game master too). This will take you to the world creation and the character creation pages, respectively. For more information on how to create a character, please see the following guide: Otherwise, create the world and keep reading for an overview of the World Anvil's layout.
The DashboardWhenever you click the World Anvil logo at the top left corner you will access the Dashboard: The top bar has a row of buttons to navigate to different parts of the interface and search box to look up your world's content. The Discover button will let you check public content from other World Anvil users, as well as the current and past challenges, the faeture suggestion board, and more community-related pages. The sidebar contains links to various parts and tools of World Anvil (keep reading for more information on them). Clicking your world name will open a drop-down you can use to switch between the worlds, characters, and campaign you have created. Under the world name there is a Continue working... box; click it to go to the last article you were editing. The central section of the page has a stream of the latest blog entries. You can visit our blog at blog.worldanvil.com! The right sidebar shows the most recent video from our YouTube channel. At the top, there's a menu bar with several tabs to check out other news from the community and your own content.
World dashboardWhen you click the Dashboard option in the left sidebar, you will get to the dashboard specific for your active world. The central part of the page has three sections. The left side has the world search, in the middle there's the list of article templates, and the right has other tools for the world.
Search and previewThe search and preview feature lets you search, view, and make quick edits to your world's content, all from within the dashboard. Simply type in the search bar, and any results from articles, maps, notebooks, and more will appear (for Guild members, it searches the article contents too, not just the title). Alternatively, you can use the category tree and press the article you want to view. For more information on this feature, check this guide:
StatsAt the bottom of the page, Guild members have stats about the world. Journeymen and Masters see four numbers: total number of comments, likes, articles, and followers. Grandmasters and above tiers see these stats plus a graphic with the daily evolution, which includes some additional stats like views and word count.
Creation menuIn the middle, you have the list of available article templates. In World Anvil, all articles are created using a template (for example, religion is an organisation template, a person is a character template, etc.). If you click any of the buttons, you will access the article editor.
Statblock creationIf you click the Statblock section, you'll see buttons to create RPG statblocks: Note that you will only see this section if you have selected Dungeons & Dragons 5e as your world's RPG system. You can still create blocks with other systems, see the Guide to Blocks for more information.
Creation of other contentIn the Other tab you have links to create maps, timelines and historical entries, and secrets. Check their respective guides for more information.
Right panelsThe right side of the world dashboard has these panels, from top to bottom:
- Continue working: The last five articles you edited will appear there so that you can get right back to work!
- Get inspired: this displays a random worldbuilding prompt that you can answer. See the Guide to Prompts for more information.
- To-do list: it will be generated automatically every time you create a link to an article that doesn't exist. It contains all links to unexisting articles as well as articles created using the purple inkwell button. More information in the Guide to the to-do list.
- World meta progress: this displays the completion progress of your world meta, as well as buttons to edit and view it.
The sidebar changes its contents depending on what you have active. When you have an active world, it looks like the example on the left. These are its options:
- Dashboard: go to the world dashboard
- View World: view the world from presentation mode
- Articles: see the Guide to the Articles & Categories Manager
- Maps: see the Guide to Maps
- Timelines: see the Guide to Timelines
- Images: see the Guide to Images
- Statblocks: see the Guide to Statblocks
- Secrets: see the Guide to Secrets
- Calendars: see the Guide to Calendars
- Content trees: see the Guide to Content trees
- Tables: see the Guide to tables
- Variables: see the Guide to Variables
- Discussion boards: see the Guide to Discussion Boards
- Player characters: lists the player characters invited to the world. See the Guide to Character Creation
- Manuscripts: see the Guide to Manuscripts