An online or offline tool used in preparing or running a RPG.

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97
votes
44answers
13k views

What tools are useful to organize a GM's campaign notes?

There are plenty of tools available to organize campaign notes. I've tried 4x6 cards, files on my computer, notebooks, and more. I have thought of trying mind mapping software such as FreeMind, note ...
42
votes
13answers
6k views

What software is available for virtual table tops?

As the younger members of our group get older, they are going off to college or {gasp} getting on with their lives. We still game but are finding it harder to get together as distances increase. ...
38
votes
5answers
1k views

GMing for [dis]abled players, specifically blind players?

What kind of measures should one take when running a game which includes a [dis]abled player (or players) such as a blind of deaf player? Are there any technologies or styles which are particularly ...
37
votes
16answers
1k views

What tools or strategies have you found useful when not all players can be in the same physical space?

Having recently moved most of the way across the US, I am looking for effective ways to continue to game with roleplayers from my previous home. What tools (Skype, mapping applications, etc.) and ...
30
votes
14answers
2k views

What ebook readers work well with roleplaying PDF? [closed]

Given the advent of various tablets, netbooks, and ebook readers which works best for viewing AND using roleplaying PDFs. Unreleased products should be mentioned as well as the field is constantly ...
30
votes
2answers
453 views

How can I make things easier on my dyslexic and high-functioning autistic players?

I have other players read out information from my dyslexic player's character sheets when necessary, and I use non-verbal visual aids whenever possible. I generally give out copies of any important ...
28
votes
9answers
590 views

How do you track the PCs' reputation?

I'm currently planning a game with a significant amount of intrigue. I envision the players undertaking actions and adventures that will endear them to one group, and anger others. It occurs to me ...
23
votes
8answers
3k views

How reliable are dice rolling programs?

Dice programs and their use around the table are on the rise: Are there any characteristics, qualities, or quirks of results obtained by using dice programs which might detract from play? Improve ...
22
votes
14answers
5k views

How to keep track of statuses and conditions?

Every round someone is getting dazed, marked, bloodied, quarried, cursed, blinded, slowed, penalized, buffed, stunned, or taking ongoing damage... the list goes on. At paragon tier with a six-player ...
22
votes
4answers
16k views

Random Dungeon/Maze Generator

I'm looking for a good random dungeon/maze generator. Some key features I'd like it to have: Can generate a regular maze (one entrance & exit, even passage width, every spot within the area is ...
22
votes
6answers
776 views

What are some character development tools?

I have a character that I want to develop slowly through the campaign. By this I mean I want him to slowly mature and change his personality through the sessions. What tool or trick can I use to ...
21
votes
4answers
763 views

Location generation system?

I tend to GM campaigns where players travel a lot. Whether it is through D&D planes or in a space-opera setting, they are bound to visit a lot of very different and varied places. And I have to ...
19
votes
9answers
2k views

How to keep track of abilities for D&D 4e?

What are some effective ways to keep track of my character's various abilities? I would prefer cheap or free tools.
19
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the optimal way to design a well balanced party

Confession - I just TPK'd my group....again. One of the reasons that has been identified is that while the party is composed of 5 pretty well optimized characters, as a party they just aren't in ...
19
votes
8answers
1k views

How to Format a DM's Notebook for an Open World Game

I've been DM'ing a homebrew sandbox-style D&D 4e game for the past few months, and it's been going well so far. However, the players have finally left the "starting area" of bouncing between three ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

Cheat-proof online die roller?

I am looking for an online die roller that works similarly to the following: The GM provides a string identifier to the player. E.g., "gandalf attacks balrog #12" The player enters the id on the ...
18
votes
12answers
4k views

What is a good combat tracker for D&D 4th Edition?

As my players go up levels there are more and more variables in combat. I need help. What solutions exist out there and what makes them good?
18
votes
5answers
1k views

Tools/techniques for optimal tabletop gaming with one remote user

A member of our group has moved to Dallas and we're involving them in the game using Skype. The rest of us are sitting around a table. We have one laptop being used to show the player, and usually ...
18
votes
6answers
4k views

What do I need to set up and use a projector as a tabletop?

I have a really nice projector for my home theater, and I am considering using it for a tabletop gaming setup as well. What do I need to know about mounting it? What are the tricks or issues? What ...
17
votes
11answers
30k views

What's the best software for mapmaking?

I use paint.net and paint shop pro to create fantasy cartography. Is there any better software, and why?
17
votes
3answers
748 views

Method for playing an online text-based RPG that doesn't require everyone to be online at once?

I am contemplating starting up a web-based text game for my D&D group to be played alongside our weekly sessions. The idea would be to play through events related to the main storyline, but not so ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

Ambient Sounds (not music!)

I'm currently running a campaign with highly interactive players who do a lot of exploring, debating, politicizing, weaving intrigues, etc., etc. (We rarely have real fights, maybe once every 5-10 ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Mapping software for dual monitors

I'm looking for a piece of software that will allow me to show a player map on an external monitor and a GM map on my laptop screen. I don't want to be dragging the player map back and forth from ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Does anyone know of specific types of room lists for different kinds of (fantasy) buildings?

Here's a problem I encounter when creating buildings for D&D: I quickly run out of specific room types. For instance, when I create a temple, I can think of the main worship area, chambers for the ...
16
votes
22answers
5k views

What iPhone / iPad apps do you use for gaming? [closed]

What iPhone / iPad applications do you use for your gaming? One per answer, please, and vote up ones you have used and like.
16
votes
3answers
385 views

What was this set of RPG tools called?

Years ago, I found a set of free RPG tools on someone's website. It included: A random treasure hoard generator for D&D third edition. A random dungeon map generator. It created black-and-white ...
16
votes
4answers
458 views

How would I quickly put together a believable map of an area?

As part of my "Closed Circle" campaign, I'm looking for ways to quickly put together a believable map of a college campus and surrounding area, complete with believable building placement. "Quickly" ...
16
votes
9answers
7k views

Software to make DIY Item Cards

I'm a big fan of Paizo's GameMastery item cards. I also like GoDeckYourself but I'm wondering if anyone knows of any other software or websites that can be used to make your own Item Cards or Power ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Using the iPad as a GM-tool

Anyone have any experience using the iPad as a GM-ing tool? If so, how did you use it? Any apps that are particularly good for GMs?
15
votes
10answers
1k views

Best way to use a GM Screen nowadays?

This may just be me but I like the feel of having an old school GM/DM screen up. However, between laptops, mountains of books, and more frequently having to see the battle layout, I find that within ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Generate an engaging and “realistic” tribe of orcs (also one of ogres)

My players recently turned a slaughter of low-level orcs & ogres (separate situations) into a massive recruitment drive. Given the choice between death and lucrative mercenary work, most chose to ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

How can one make a DIY “Silent Dice Tower”?

I currently use a Chessex Dice Boot for rolling dice at the table. It's fairly compact, very portable, and does a great job of minimizing the table area required for a good roll of the dice. There's ...
15
votes
5answers
522 views

What are some good sources for combat tactics for a GM to use?

My players are extremely strategic, and they're consistently (and too easily) defeating groups of enemies that I intended to present a real challenge. Probably for the same reason that I suck at ...
15
votes
5answers
15k views

Is there a tool to make custom character sheets?

Is there a tool out there, preferably free, specifically for making custom, system-agnostic character sheets? I'm looking for something a little more focused than a general program like ...
15
votes
4answers
410 views

What combat tracker displays well on a television screen?

There have been numerous questions on similar topics but none of them really meet my requirements. I am looking for a 4th edition digital combat tracker that can be viewed easily on a 32" television. ...
15
votes
1answer
709 views

Are there any serious smartphone apps for handling combat in a LARP situation?

I've seen several apps that aren't seriously meant to be used - are there any ones which are meant to be used, and have actually been used by players?
14
votes
6answers
790 views

What free software can I use for laying out my own RPG?

As I entered a contribution into a 24h-rpg-design-contest (Tanelorn Challenge; similar to Game Chef but German) I was wondering about how to lay out my game. What software would you recommend me for ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

What software utilities provide support for playing Microscope?

I'm interested in playing Microscope online and was wondering if anyone knows what tools exist that might support this? Microscope differs from many RPGs in that it is primarily playing using blank ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I clean a stained battlemat?

I just bought a brand new $40 Chessex Battlemat. Instead of reading the included paper I just assumed that Crayola "WASHable markers" would easily wash off. Now I have a brand new mat covered in ...
14
votes
8answers
447 views

How does one get players to explore more?

In a comment in my answer within What qualifies exploration gaming? Javafueled commented: It almost begs me to ask the question: How do I get players to explore more? :) – javafueled In order ...
14
votes
5answers
758 views

Semi-random name generator

Does anyone know of a good online name generator that can be set up to create random names with culture-specific flavour? (Meaning, for example, names that sound like Russian, Norwegian etc etc.)
14
votes
5answers
277 views

Is there a campaign wiki solution with mobile support?

I've been looking around for a campaign wiki for a Dawn of Worlds game my group is in the middle of. I've looked at the usual sources (Obsidian Portal, Epic Words), but they don't really have support ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there any guides for hacking DND4E files?

The offline Character Builder had some houseruling support, but it was somewhat limited and the new online Character Builder has even less. Even if you have a fully legal character, some powers, ...
13
votes
5answers
323 views

Encouraging use of online roleplaying aids

I'm creating an Obsidian Portal for my players as I wind up to actually running my game, naturally I'd like to get the players involved in this too so they can write up game diarys, update their ...
13
votes
4answers
397 views

How can I keep track of Aspects and Powers?

I'm going to begin running a Dresden Files Roleplaying Game campaign in a group that has no FATE or Fudge experience (myself included); we've largely been running D&D 3.5 and 4e. What are some ...
13
votes
6answers
18k views

What character creation tools & guides are available for Shadowrun 5e?

I'm a totally new player to Shadowrun 5e. My experiences are largely with D&D 4e, Savage Worlds, and Cyberpunk 2020. I'm just seeing if there are any unofficial (but very helpful) guides or tools ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

Random Island Name

I know about several random island generators. What I would like is a table or program to generate names of islands randomly. I found a Greek island version but would like something for English ...
13
votes
4answers
519 views

How can I depict three dimensional combats?

The dragon hovers 2 squares over the paladin, the ranger is perched 5 squares up in a tree, and the fighter is magically flying 3 squares off the ground. Aerial minions soar all about. In tactically ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

Are there good Star Wars game resources?

I'm working on a Star Wars Saga Edition game, and I was wandering if anyone has any good encounter or adventure sized resources? Particularly, I am looking for interesting locations (such as a droid ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Does anyone have any templates for Scrivener?

I want to start using Scrivener to plan a game and am looking for some templates for characters, locations, encounters, etc.