Occurrence of the week:
It’s guest post time! That’s all the occurrence this week needs. Take it away Angela…
About the author:
Angela is a writer, guest blogger, loving wife, and mother of two beautiful twin girls and a standard poodle named Morty. She graduated with her Master of Arts Degree in English from the University of North Carolina. During her time at UNC, she wrote a number of children’s short stories.
Digitizing your game can make things a whole lot smoother, but if you’re not looking for a D&D Insider-style commitment, it’ll take some preparation to get your jury-rigged online D&D system together. Fortunately, we’ve done some leg-work, and found a few tools that get the job done.
D&D rulebooks notoriously scatter important information across chapters and even books, so it’s nice to be able to grab from hither and yon, and compile your own quick-access info sheets without having to transcribe it all manually. This program lets you easily scan and screen-capture individual powers, magic items, rules, and maps from your books, so you can compile things for your own benefit, or share what you need to with your players without giving away secrets. If you’ve got more players than rulebooks (or if you just don’t like having to flip back and forth between stuff you look at all the time), this program is a great tool. Works even better if you already have electronic copies.
This free program makes it way easier to share character sheets, digital maps, and rule information between computers. Dropbox has intuitive, customizable folder sharing—just drag and drop any file you want your players to see into their individual shared folder (or a party folder), and they’ll have instantaneous access to it from their own laptops.
This Android app empowers a complete D&D experience for your party, armed with nothing but your smartphone. It randomly generates encounters, including maps, monsters, and treasure, and customizes the experience based on your party’s size, level, location, and how much trouble you feel like giving them. This makes it easy to hand out XP to players who missed a session, or keep the game rolling if your players make an unexpected turn and force you off the book. Fresh, random encounters at your immediate disposal let your players know they can go off the rails once in a while, and can be an imaginative exercise as you and your players tell your story together (“what’s a mind-flayer doing in this Lawful Good monastery?” etc.)
A Decent DIY Grid Map:
Unfortunately, your digital options here tend to be clunky, expensive, or both; a store-bought grid is one (generally overpriced) option, but a decent dry erase or glass whiteboard, a ruler, and a box cutter are all you need to make your own. Customize your grid size and gently etch a grid into the board yourself, tracing with pen or pencil. This will naturally produce textured, even lines that help you draw straighter and cleaner. Be careful, though; cut too deep and you’ll wind up with sharp edges that will tear up your markers. (Check here for more in-depth DIY terrain tips.)
If your players have trouble staying on top of character sheets, hit points, effects, surges, etc., convince them to get this app for their phones and make everyone’s life easier. This little app holds multiple complete character sheets, complete with detailed power information (a good alternative to those frustratingly-tiny boxes on the paper character sheet), and automatically dims the daily and encounter powers that you’ve already used.
Sometimes you forget your dice, and a random number generator just doesn’t have the flair of the real thing. This fun little app creates virtual dice with realistic physics for your Android phone or tablet. Shake or tip the device to roll all dice on the screen, or drag a finger across them to roll individually. The DiceShaker even sums your rolls to keep things moving. A little silly, but sometimes you need to actually see dice clatter across a (virtual) board.
Want to do a guest post of your own on The Hyperteller? Email thehypertellerATgmailDOTcom