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47

My girlfriend and I have played 4E D&D and she is completely blind. Here are some of the things I did to help her out: I obtained a PDF copy of the rules and copy/pasted enough of it so she could print enough of the core rules out in Braille. I also made a plain character sheet for her as well that was also printable in Braille. I bought her a set of ...


43

First, some failures: I found Obsidian Portal incredibly frustrating. Navigating between PCs, NPCs, wiki pages, and so on, was so obnoxious that I finally gave up. I hope it gets better, but it just wasn't worth the frustration it caused me. After that, I set up a Wagn wiki, which was a great success right until I asked players to start contributing and ...


35

Severe financial problems. I couldn't afford the hosting and sold the domain name. All these years later I'm still working on recovery. Even so, I'm proud that I had a useful website before Microsoft was even on the net! ... I did keep the hard drives for a long time but they are gone now. Sad. And yes, 'irony' did come from the location of my packet radio ...


34

The RPG Virtual Tabletop (VTT) site, particularly the links section, summarizes most of the known options. The most popular VTTs are: Fantasy Grounds (Windows XP or later, DirectX 9.0+) (video demo) Gametable (Java VM, system independent) Maptool (Java VM, system independent) Roll20 (web-based, system independent, built-in voice/video chat) Generally, ...


32

Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering It's head and shoulders over anything else related to the topic I've ever read in my life. Laws is a master. He also has a blog here. Miles after that, subscription (for free) to Roleplaying Tips is recommended. In particular: The session checklist part 1 and part 2 Also, read non-fiction books. History, economy and ...


32

Any well written dice roller will give you perfect random rolls (well, pseudo-random — the difference doesn't matter for gaming). Some dice rollers are not well written, or depend on the underlying OS/language's source of random numbers, which itself can be well written or not. The vast majority of the time you will find dice rollers more random than ...


22

Steal a couple and mash them up Colleges and universities are actually, in general, remarkably good about putting their plans online. To make a believable college campus quickly, steal a couple, and mash them up. Then use the building plans featured in the street map for your internal plans. Internal plans: MSU, LaTrobe Library, Melbourne, Colorado State ...


22

Found it! It was called Jamis Buck's Dungeon Generator, and the URL was http://www.aarg.net/~minam/dungeon.cgi. There was an offline version for Windows, as well as a treasure generator, town generator and NPC generators for D&D 3.0 and 3.5. That site is gone, but a good replacement is http://donjon.bin.sh/d20/dungeon/.


21

Obsidian Portal is a very useful site for tracking various aspects of your campaign. It has wiki-like format and you can make information hidden or not as you see fit. A map of some place you're not ready to show the characters yet? Make it hidden, then when the time comes just edit it to not hidden. There is also a section for the players' characters. ...


21

Here's the link to the program, and here it is in its entirety: DICE:{4,6,8,10,12,20} loop D over {1..(#DICE-1)}{ loop SECOND over {0..5}{ FIRST: 6-SECOND FIRSTD: D@DICE SECONDD: (D+1)@DICE output [count {4..20} in FIRSTdFIRSTD] + [count {4..20} in SECONDdSECONDD] named "[FIRST]d[FIRSTD] and [SECOND]d[SECONDD]" } }


21

The website Invisible Castle has this exact functionality, and with this exact purpose in mind. It saves the rolls with tags for character, campaign, etc. You can look up the entire roll history of a player, such as this test user.


20

This answer comes from a MMORPG-oriented roleplaying group, but it's a good one! There's this technique called a character diamond. Basically, you choose four words that define the personality of your character: for example, my fighter Collin is modest, taciturn, gullible, and underwhelming. You're looking for things that don't overlap; the link provides a ...


20

So far I've had the most success simply by using Google docs. I create a 'folder' for the campaign and then sub-folders for each adventure within the campaign. At the campaign level I have a 'Campaign Journal' which I've made available to my players and I keep this updated with relevant information for the group. This folder also contains 'campaign level' ...


20

I am a legally blind 4E D&D player and DM. I have been playing for many, many a decade now. I have utilized several different approaches over the years. • For dice: If the blind person has access to speech synthesizer software on a laptop, mobile device or other electronic medium, there are all kinds of compatible applications available. Mach Dice on ...


20

Use Google Wave Rizzoma. Embrace multi-threaded actions. Assume competence on the players' parts. Avoid boring combats wherever possible. Have the players give commands as a group instead of individuals. Have a timeout on actions of whatever the group decides with assumed actions being whatever's "reasonable" for that time in question, absent instructions. ...


20

Giant in the Playground’s roller is tamper-resistant; any edit to the roll-code after posting, and the post gets a big red angry message and it messes up the roll. But the real solution, of course, is trusting your players. If you cannot trust your players, you don’t have a game, and no amount of anti-cheat device will fix that. You need to fix ...


18

The smaller sized Kindles aren't great for PDFs; they're a little bit slow and the screen size is a big issue for most roleplaying PDFs. I haven't tried the Kindle DX, but it's designed for PDF reading so I assume it would be better. However, you're going to run into trouble if you read a PDF designed for color. I have an iPad, and it's a superb PDF reader. ...


18

Play Unsafe. This book helped me get through my GM burnout and learn to have fun playing again. It's a book about applying principles from improvisational theatre techniques to game mastering. It is specifically dedicated to reducing GM stress and increasing GM fun, all while creating a personalized, reactive, and fun game for players.


18

There's a thread on Story Games about this. Let me summarize: Scribus is free, multi-platform, but has a steep learning curve because it's a desktop publishing tool, built for experienced layout folks. But if you're an experienced layout folk, you'll be annoyed by missing features. Serif Page Plus is free for noncommercial use (very cheap for unrestricted ...


17

Kind of surprised it hasn't been mentioned, but Masterplan is a pretty nice free tool. It's built to be specific to D&D 4E, but it a pretty useful tool that can be used for general plot points, encyclopedia like entries, campaign notes, etc.


16

Evernote is definitely my preferred method of organizing. I can write up encounters, link to d20pfsrd.com pages for encounters, and tag information. I will also lay out dungeon tile maps while planning, put photographs of them into Evernote, and then use the maps from Evernote to make sure I lay them out the same way again. Since Evernote runs from multiple ...


16

One way which I've enjoyed from the Warhammer Fantasy Role Playing Game is to use cards. Jot down each spell or item on a separate card or slip of paper. Each day, the wizard takes his/her allotment of resources from the card deck into his/her "hand". As s/he uses a spell or expendable, drop from the hand of cards for the day.


16

You're looking for Obsidian Portal. Obsidian Portal is specifically designed to allow tabletop RPG groups to build their own internal wikis. The privacy options are apparently undergoing an upgrade right now, but if nothing else you can set the whole campaign as private, so that nothing is viewable to anyone except people you invite.


16

You can draw on stained areas with a non-permanent marker then try to remove it. Once I had written on my friend's gaming mat with a permanent marker by mistake. We couldn't remove it no matter what. After a week, while drawing with a non-permanent marker on the stain that left from permanent one, I discovered that permanent marks can be dissolved once it ...


15

There is Dizzy Dragon's generator which has a variety of layouts and is oriented to Moldavy B/x D&D. There is Donjon's generator which has D&D 3.5 and D&D 4.0 options. But the layout are strictly room and corridor. Both create the encounters for you. Of the two Dizzy Dragon is the best.


15

GoodReader is the home app for many of my game-book PDFs. It loads quickly, even with art-heavy works, and the bookmarking function is really useful.


15

Dropbox. I use it to sync my notes, books, and character sheets. For larger books, you can even send files from Dropbox straight to GoodReader if the Dropbox PDF viewer is too slow for your liking.


15

Page 81 of Matrix 3 (so sr3, not sr4) lists: HoloLISP InterMod MatComDev MCT Iconix 7 Metacomm Novatech VRDrive 3 Oblong Renraku Teng


15

Use Chaotic Shiny's Civilisation Generator. Setting-agnostic: Yes. It covers a few date ranges from the past to the future, and is generically applicable enough. Scalable: Yes. As you take this smaller-scale, you may want to de-emphasize some generated details, ignore them, or treat them as properties of the larger civilisation this village belongs to. ...



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