Create documents for your tabletop RPG campaign in LaTeX

I wanted to create an introductory document for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that we want to start soon. It should give my players an idea what to expect during the adventure and in what universe their characters will act. Using LaTeX to create a beautifully typeset PDF seems like an obvious choice.

I use git to track changes over time, LaTeX for typesetting, and the DND-5e-LaTeX-Template to make the document visually interesting as well.

Firstly, create a new directory for your adventure and initialize the git repository.

mkdir my-campaign
cd my-campaign
git init

Apart from the introduction to the campaign, I expect that other written content will follow. To keep everything tidy, I will create two directories.

mkdir introduction
mkdir vendor

The introduction directory will hold our LaTeX files. All third-party content will be stored in vendor.

Let’s add the LaTeX template into the vendor directory as a git submodule.

git submodule add vendor/DND-5e-LaTeX-Template
git add .gitmodules
git commit -m "Add DND-5e-LaTeX-Template as submodule"

Change into the introduction folder and create the files introduction.tex and latexmkrc.

cd introduction
touch introduction.tex
touch latexmkrc

Since the template we added to our project earlier is not in the search path of latexmk, we have to add it manually. We could set the environment variable TEXINPUTS but that would remove all other search paths. We can however add a directory to TEXINPUTS in a config file for latexmk.

Open the latexmkrc file and add the following line.

ensure_path( 'TEXINPUTS', '../vendor/DND-5e-LaTeX-Template//' );

Now add content to your LaTeX file, like for example:



\title{My Campaign\\
\large Introduction}
\author{Author's Name}



% ...


Finally, to see changes to your LaTeX file side by side with the resulting pdf use latexmk.

latexmk -pvc -pdf introduction.tex

When everything looks good commit your changes.

git add latexmkrc
git add introduction.tex
git commit -m "Start with introduction"

The example file given in the DND-5e-LaTeX-Template repository will show how to continue from here on.