Questions tagged [tools]

For questions about using an online or offline tool in preparing or running an RPG. (This tag is not to be used for questions about the use of in-game tools, such as carpenter's tools or a forgery kit; the [equipment] tag might be more appropriate.) Note that questions asking for a tool recommendation are off topic here.

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40
votes
7answers
6k views

What's the purpose of the same page tool?

The same page tool has been mentioned on this site and I would like to use it if needed. The problem is that I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of the tool is. My first impression was that this ...
112
votes
44answers
40k views

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

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 ...
29
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
8k 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 sync....
41
votes
16answers
3k views

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

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 ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

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

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 ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it possible to use rules from OGL or GSL in a computer game?

I'm experimenting with making an RPG game for mobile phones, and I could save some time if I used an established system for stats and combat etc. From a quick read of the licenses I'm not sure whether ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I examine the distribution of successes-counting mixed dice pools?

After looking at AnyDice's Documentation and Function Library, I remain baffled. I know that AnyDice can do this, but I don't know how to tell it to. Scott Gray's Dice Pool Generator is easier to use ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Keeping track of time in AD&D 1e

I notice while reading the AD&D 1e manuals there seems to be a heightened importance on the tracking of time compared to when I was playing 4e. I agree with this, I think it helps the game world ...
32
votes
17answers
16k views

What is the single most influential book every GM should read? [closed]

If you had your career as a GM to start again, what book would you wish to have read before you started on the path of learning to be a GM. This needn't be restricted to RPG source and rulebooks of ...
25
votes
8answers
95k views

What tools are available to create custom dungeon maps?

I want to create my own maps for my campaign, but I'm not good at drawing. Are there any tools that could help me? As I'm not good at drawing pictures myself, I'm looking for a tool that allows you ...
17
votes
11answers
70k views

What's the best software for mapmaking? [closed]

I would like to know if Paint.NET and Paint Shop Pro are the best tools for creating fantasy cartography. Does better software exist? If so, what is the software, and what specific features make it ...
21
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Semi-random name generator [closed]

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.)
39
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
54
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
1k 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 chess,...
17
votes
5answers
94k views

Is there a tool to make custom character sheets? [closed]

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 PhotoShop/GIMP,...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

Any tips for drawing dungeon maps using Inkscape or similar software? [closed]

As stated. I tried a few specialized mapping tools, but I feel like I'll be happiest just using Inkscape (an open source vector drawing tool). I'm still working on getting an efficient system down ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How to update a monster using the D&D4 Monster Builder?

I'm new to Monster Builder (part of Adventure Tools) and I'm hoping there is a good way to update pre MM3 monsters to the latest standards (in the errata). As an example, I'm trying to update the ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I use AnyDice with Classic World of Darkness / 20th Anniversary?

How can I take advantage of AnyDice with 20th Anniversary rules? I'm new to AnyDice but very interested in using it. I would like a wrapper function that accepts the following params. the number of ...
12
votes
3answers
10k views

Will there be D&D Insider content & features for D&D 5e?

I know that Dungeon and Dragon magazines will be publishing with the same regularity they were for 4e and feature much of the same types of content, but has there been any statements from Mike Mearls ...
25
votes
8answers
23k 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 ...
21
votes
9answers
3k 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.
30
votes
5answers
41k 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 ...
49
votes
24answers
20k views

Need way to physically track initiative in face-to-face D&D game

Just DM'd my first ever non-online game. We had an absolute blast, 10/10 would play again, but keeping track of initiative in combat was terrible. I had chosen to just list their character names (and ...
24
votes
8answers
10k views

Cheat-proof online die roller? [closed]

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 ...
15
votes
12answers
44k views

What software can be useful for a DM running D&D?

I DM'd a lot in a time before software could do anything more than let you type up your scenarios and roll a dice. What kind of software is out there now for DM's running a game. Are any of them any ...
7
votes
3answers
17k views

Making fantasy city [non-tactical] maps with GIMP

Does anyone know of good city specific (although I would be interested in others as well) plug-ins for fantasy RPG map making using GIMP? Edit: I am more looking at macro-scale (so whole city and a ...
21
votes
8answers
6k views

What software utilities provide support for playing Microscope? [closed]

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 ...
19
votes
12answers
6k 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?
11
votes
8answers
2k views

What are best practices for the use of flowcharts in RPGs

For gamers who use flow charts, process models and diagramming in their game what set of graphical representations work best at representing story components. I'm looking for what set of notations can ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Virtual online tabletop with premade adventure?

Me and a couple of friends are just getting into P&P rpgs and are really excited to try something new. However, we have a problem that we live quite far apart from each other. Therefore we'd ...
29
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

What happened to Irony Games' tools?

About five years ago, there used to be a site called Irony Games that hosted a variety of useful map generator tools (Non-functional list of tools shown here). Have these tools ever been re-hosted ...
15
votes
6answers
11k views

How to track character resources (spells, ammo, items) [closed]

I am playing a Wizard in a pathfinder game and despite several different reworks of his character sheet I've still not found a decent way to track his daily spells which can change daily (plus how ...
15
votes
3answers
30k views

In Roll20, how to program a macro that mimics the built-in attack function?

In R20, when you make an attack roll using the built-in char sheet for 5E, it outputs 2 results (with modifiers and everything) in a single line. I'd like to do this with a Macro, so that I can access ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Are there other cooperative world building games like Dawn of Worlds? [closed]

I found Dawn of Worlds on the web and got the PDF of it. My group tried and loved it. I was wondering has anyone else worked with this very novel system for cooperative world building?
28
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I effectively map a multi-level dungeon?

My players are getting awfully close to entering a multi-story pagoda dungeon that exists in my game. I think it'll be a fun adventure, but I find that I am worried about trying to map it all out for ...
18
votes
9answers
20k views

Software to make DIY Item Cards [closed]

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 ...
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, ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

What is DDI (D&D Insider)?

I have seen this referenced in several questions. I've actually seen people use links into the DDI website in their answers that I can't get to since I don't have a subscription. I know its an online ...
26
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is it a bad idea to use Same Page Tool as a survey?

The same page tool is a list of questions with answers which represent different approaches to playing role playing games. For more information, check the related question What's the purpose of the ...
13
votes
5answers
4k views

How to get dry-erase marker out of a wet-erase mat

Help! I have a wet erase playing map, and someone accidentally wrote on it with dry-erase markers! (Don't worry, I transported the player to a realm filled with hungry Tarrasques, and people who ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

Where can I find cartography icons for game maps? [closed]

I am looking for icons to represent cities, villages and other places, something like the ones that come with AutoREALM, but which can be used in my mapping tool of choice (GIMP in this case). Is ...
5
votes
3answers
13k views

Digital character sheets?

I find it annoying and impractical to go to the library to print off character sheets (I don't have a printer at my house), so I decided to see if there were any character sheet apps for my 4th gen ...
21
votes
1answer
3k views

What's the name of cardboard wall DMs use to hide their part of table?

What's the name of this thing? Inside part looks like a cheat sheet, but I have seen images with different content inside these "walls". Photo by Sargoth is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported (...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

Software for diagramming branching campaign plotlines

I'm looking for something that simply allows me to connect nodes for different progression paths throughout the campaign, and that will let me connect them in arbitrary ways so that I can connect two ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

How do you transition from 1-page dungeon map to battle mat?

I have a bunch of different ways I use to make maps for my tabletop game. Sometimes I draw one on graph paper. Sometimes I use Dungeonographer. Sometimes I copy a map from a published adventure or ...
7
votes
4answers
529 views

What online chat or chat-like resource will work for my closed game?

I'm designing a RP forum but when the characters have to talk to each other the game slows to a crawl. Do you know of any online chat or chat-like resource I can use for a closed game? I am looking ...