Is there an Android app, preferably optimized for tablets, that would allow us to simulate a tabletop gaming setup by allowing us to

  1. load a "terrain map" (an image),
  2. place and move around player and NPC/creature "miniatures" (sprites, i.e., smaller images),
  3. measure abstract distances among the actors (to determine line of sight, movement/range/area measurements, etc.),
  4. conveniently use "fog of war" (hiding areas of the background image that PCs haven't explored yet)?

I'd prefer something simple for an Android tablet, but if it's a website (utilizing HTML5's canvas, for example), that's okay as well. Also, the cheaper the better (free is the best, at least for a trial period) — as long as it's not spyware / crammed full of ads. One more thing: the more system-independent and customizable the app is, the better.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @Vereos Standard protocol for that sort of thing is to Answer, include the link, and write a synopsis of the link in case it goes dead. A comment is ephemeral and cannot be chosen as the Accepted Answer if it is the thing that helps the OP the most. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 16:44
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Vereos Yes, you should do it anyway. It's an answer, potentially a good one. The synopsis doesn't necessarily have to be enough on its own, though it would be nice to list the main steps. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 17:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vereos What should I do if the most valuable response came in a comment rather than an answer? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 21, 2014 at 19:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ This question is generating problematic answers. It has been protected, but it probably needs some review. At the very least answers to software recommendation questions should adhere to our experience policy for Game Recommendations. \$\endgroup\$
    – C. Ross
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 13:49

4 Answers 4


Roll20 is a subscription service that uses HTML5 features to work on all modern browsers. It may be what you are looking for.

The features you are asking for are available on the free plan. However, support for tablets requires a paid subscription.

Update: Roll20 now has its own tablet apps for iOS and Android

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ "Supporter" subscription (US$5/mo or US$50/yr) also gives access to the Dynamic Lighting feature, which is generally superior to the standard Fog of War as it updates whenever a light-emitting token moves. \$\endgroup\$
    – Brian S
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 19:17

Like I said in the (now deleted) comments, the Guide for running MapTool on Android is probably what are you looking for.

MapTool is one of the well-known RP-Tools and it has all the features you mentioned, and even more. Plus, you can combine it with the other Tools (I wrote something about those here) and it's all free.

In order to run MapTool in an Android Device, you'll need the root permissions on it, Linux and the Debian Kit.

Here's a summary of what you need to do (see the reference link for an in-depth, step-by-step guide):

  • Install Git using apt-get install git;

  • Get this git clone https://github.com/S0AndS0/Debian-Kit-Mods and then run the ARM_Linux_Moder in it;

  • Select option 1, then option 4. When it asks if you want to download Java, select No (since that's what you do when selecting option 4);

  • Run again ARM_Linux_Moder and select option 3;

  • Run Maptools.jar, and wait until it loads.

Answering question per question:

1) You can upload a background image, and you can change the size of the grid accordingly;

2) You can place and move around uploaded sprites, that will act as monsters/NPCs/PCs. The best effect is achieved using Token Tool, that allows you to create nice tokens with an image and a nice native set of borders.

3) When you move the tokens, a number will show you how many feet you are moving.

4) It has a very good handling of the fog of war, but it requires a bit of practice to get used to it.

One further note: MapTool is system-independant (more or less) because it's written in Java. This means that you'll be able to run it in almost every device capable of running such applications.


I have installed Sk Combat in my phone. It seems very complete and quite easy, but I don't know how practical is at the end (on a phone not very much). I thought you could give it a try, though.

It allows you to build 3D scenarios, and add furniture and miniatures, and to move them. It is certainly eye candy.

I think it doesn't manage any of the combat system, only place miniatures on the terrain and moving them.


I've used two.

Dungeon Sketch Old, which, while it draws as a raster, has a tokens system and multiple layers. I found it useful enough when running Prime Directive. It's free, and it works. It has a number of promising features, including fog of war and grid-snap for tokens. Unfortunately, it lacks screen-casting. It does nice raster exports, too.

The other I've tried is a demo version: RPG Map Free. That was, however, an older version, and was particularly unmemorable. Based upon the reviews, it appears to no longer be supported. It's not great. It has potential. It's buggy.


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