World Anvil Review – Good For Worldbuilding?

Posted on Nov 13, 2023

Avatar Of Christopher Ortiz
Home > Blog > Reviews > World Anvil Review – Good For Worldbuilding?

World Anvil has emerged in recent years as one of the go to platforms for writers and creators exploring the art of worldbuilding. This online tool caters to the needs of storytellers, game masters, and imaginative minds looking to create intricate and immersive fictional universes. 

Boasting a suite of features, including interactive maps, timelines, and character sheets, World Anvil provides a comprehensive set of tools to organize and develop fictional worlds. 

Writers and creators across various genres turn to World Anvil for its ability to structure and document the details of their imaginative settings. 

In this review, we will explore all the functionalities, features, and user experiences one can expect when using World Anvil, ultimately determining its suitability for those seeking a digital environment to bring their creative visions to life.

World Anvil Background Information

World Anvil, founded in 2017 by Janet Forbes and Demetrios Karystinos, is known for being a dedicated platform designed to support worldbuilding endeavors. 

Headquartered in London, the company was established with the vision of providing a comprehensive digital toolkit for writers, game masters, and creatives to give life to their imaginative universes. 

Recognizing the growing need for a centralized space to organize and develop intricate story settings, World Anvil has since evolved into a collaborative hub. It serves as a dynamic resource for storytellers across various mediums, encouraging creativity by offering interactive features such as maps, timelines, and character development sheets

With an aim to empower creators in realizing the depth and richness of their fictional worlds, World Anvil has in the subsequent years since its inception become a prominent player in the space of online tools dedicated to storytelling and worldbuilding.

What is World Anvil?

World Anvil is a versatile platform tailored for storytellers and worldbuilders. At its core, it acts as a comprehensive digital toolbox, offering an array of features to enhance the creation and organization of fictional worlds. Here is an in depth guide to some of the key features:

Interactive Maps: World Anvil provides a robust map creation tool, allowing users to design detailed and interactive maps of their fictional landscapes. These maps can be annotated with markers for cities, regions, and other points of interest.

Timelines: The platform enables users to construct intricate timelines for their worlds, outlining historical events, character arcs, and any other chronological details. This feature adds depth to the storytelling process.

Articles and Wiki Pages: Writers can create comprehensive articles and wiki pages for various elements in their world, including characters, cultures, religions, and technologies. These pages can be linked to provide a structured and interconnected narrative.

Character Sheets: World Anvil offers a character management system with customizable character sheets. Users can flesh out their characters with details such as backstories, abilities, and relationships.

Campaign Management: Game masters can utilize World Anvil for campaign planning and management. The platform supports the organization of quests, encounters, and overarching storylines.

Privacy and Collaboration: Users can control the privacy settings of their worlds, making them public, private, or accessible to select collaborators. This flexibility fosters both personal creativity and collaborative projects.

Templates and Prompts: World Anvil provides templates and prompts tailored to various fiction genres and themes, aiding users in fleshing out their worlds with well-rounded details.

Integration with Other Tools: The platform supports integration with popular writing and creativity tools, enhancing the overall writing and world-building experience.

How can World Anvil help writers?

As per the website, World Anvil suggests its tool is useful for people in four distinct categories; Gamemaster, Creative, Roleplayer and finally Writer. 

The Writer tab on its website lists the directly quoted following as specific benefits that the World Anvil platform has to writers. 

Build Your World – Build the complete, living world behind your writing! Track everything from character motivations and subplots to timelines and geography, and keep everything private whilst you work. Reference your world bible whenever you want to write or get inspired!

Showcase Your Ideas – Raise hype for your next release to boost its success! Your fans will be thrilled to explore the world you’ve created! You can share stunning character profiles, maps and timelines, and invite your fans to comment and get involved while they wait for the next installment!

Secure Your Plans – No more lost notebooks! Your work is backed up on eight different servers multiple times a day, and you can export your world too – so you’ll never lose your progress, whatever happens! Oh, and if something’s set to private, not even WE can see it!

Write With Others – Want to give an editor access to your worldbible? Or maybe you want to co-author, or work as part of a writing team? Now you can do that wherever you are in the world! Give different levels of access to different writers, and even let your fans contribute fanfic!

Monetize Your Creations – Monetize your worldbuilding to kickstart your creative career and support yourself between book releases! Give exclusive access to extra content – like character secrets, short stories or advanced chapters – to your Patrons, supporters, and paying customers!

Join Our Writing Community – Join a community of over 750,000 worldbuilders and solve problems together! Make friends with like-minded writers, and get inspired by author’s interviews, community, and competitions!

World Anvil Pricing

In keeping with the worldbuilding theme, World Anvil’s pricing options are fantasy themed in name and come at a variety of price points with different features included.

Freeman – Free 

Master – $7 USD

Grandmaster – $12 USD

Sage – $34 USD

This pricing is all based on monthly rates, but there are discounts and special pricing to be found if users sign up to a yearly subscription.

As is to be expected, each price point comes with various things included, such as the number of worlds one can create, GB storage options, and the depth of homepage features amongst others. A full breakdown of all the specifics can be found on World Anvil’s website under the pricing tab.

What are the alternatives to World Anvil?

While World Anvil offers a comprehensive suite of worldbuilding tools, writers have various alternatives to consider, each with its own set of advantages and potential drawbacks. Here is a guide to explore alternative options:

Traditional Note-Taking Apps: Writers accustomed to simplicity may opt for traditional note-taking applications like Evernote or OneNote. These platforms offer a straightforward approach to organizing ideas but may lack the specialized features for world-building found in dedicated tools like World Anvil.

Scrivener: For writers engaged in larger projects, Scrivener provides a comprehensive writing environment with organizational features. It excels in managing complex narratives but may not cater specifically to the needs of world-building enthusiasts.

Trello: Trello’s visual board system is excellent for project management and organizing ideas. Writers can create boards for characters, locations, and plot points. However, it might lack the depth and specificity that a dedicated world-building platform offers.

Campfire Blaze: A competitor to World Anvil, Campfire Blaze offers similar features for world-building. Writers might prefer it for its different interface or specific functionalities. However, the choice between the two may come down to personal preference.

Pen and Paper: Some writers prefer the tactile experience of jotting down ideas on paper. While this method lacks the digital organization of tools like World Anvil, it can be a nostalgic and personal approach.

World Anvil Review – Final Thoughts

To summarize, World Anvil is certainly a comprehensive worldbuilding platform, providing writers with an array of tools to bring their fictional universes to life. Its detailed features for characters, locations, and plot intricacies make it a viable option for many creators. 

However, like any tool, it has its pros and cons. The extensive functionalities may be overwhelming for some, and the learning curve might deter those seeking a more straightforward solution. 

Additionally, while World Anvil offers a specialized environment for worldbuilding, writers should weigh alternative options based on their unique preferences and project requirements. 

Whether opting for traditional note-taking apps, specialized writing software like Writer Duet, or competing worldbuilding platforms, writers can choose the tool that best aligns with their creative process and enhances their storytelling journey.

If you’re interested in publishing fiction and would like to explore more of your options, schedule a call with our team by clicking the image below.

New Call-To-Action

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Self-Publishing School may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.

Get your free audiobook and ebook copy of:

Published: The proven path from blank page to 10,000 copies sold 

Liked this post? Share it with friends!

Interested in working with us?

Book a free strategy call with our expert team!