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upidstay
02-09-2008, 08:56 AM
I've been looking for many years at the various character and campaign manager programs out there. Which do you folks use, and why?
I used the Code Monkey program for a while, and like it for the most part. There seem to be so many out there, hate to drop $50 on a piece of otyugh feed.
I need:
Character generation and management, easily modified for house rules.
Magic item management, database, etc.
Critter management with a good database, that can be modified.
Some sort of a dungeon generator/manager.

Any ideas? Is there one program that will do all of this, WELL, and not crash my system every 3.7 seconds?

Skunkape
02-09-2008, 12:28 PM
I use DM Genie and like it quite a bit. Granted, it has more features than I use, but it seems to be very accurate and it is easy to use.

nijineko
02-09-2008, 12:43 PM
crystalball is my favored all-in-one toolkit. however the current version is mac-only. the new version will be cross platform compatible.

tesral
02-09-2008, 01:16 PM
Well if they ever give me one I might. So far I haven't gotten one. Linux user and I don't do windows.

My main progrma has been the good old word processor. I can put an encounter together in little time. I know the rules that well.

cplmac
02-09-2008, 09:57 PM
Well if they ever give me one I might. So far I haven't gotten one. Linux user and I don't do windows.

My main progrma has been the good old word processor. I can put an encounter together in little time. I know the rules that well.


I use the Word Perfect program on my computer, just like Tesral uses a word processor. (Actually, I didn't know anyone still had one of those.) I find it helps keeps my notes neat and clean.

Mulsiphix
02-10-2008, 01:14 AM
I think DM Genie is what your looking for. It can handle everything except the dungeon generation. There are several web based dungeon generators and a handful of quality dungeon creation software. If you post more info on what your looking for in a dungeon program I think I can help point you in the right direction. As far as your other needs, DM Genie (http://www.dmgenie.com/home.shtml) does it all and VERY well ;)

tesral
02-10-2008, 01:35 AM
I use the Word Perfect program on my computer, just like Tesral uses a word processor. (Actually, I didn't know anyone still had one of those.) I find it helps keeps my notes neat and clean.

Word Perfect is a word processor program. I use Open Office, but it's the same differecne.

MortonStromgal
02-10-2008, 01:59 AM
Personally I like Excel Sheets and then throw them all into an Access Database so I can cross-reference different ones with pivot tables. However that can be tons of work to set up. If your not into the Microsoft thing Open Office has equivalents.

nijineko
02-10-2008, 07:06 AM
I think DM Genie is what your looking for.

pc-only programs irk me. or at least they do until i get the emulator up and running reliably. ^^ which i may have managed. i've never checked it out in the past due to the fact that it was pc-only. and my pc is low end and doesn't have much in the way of space left from the games on it for rpg stuff. i will see if the emulator can run it. eventually. ^^

but i'm pretty happy with crystalball and crystalball lite, for now.

Mulsiphix
02-10-2008, 11:11 AM
DM Genie is definitely handy for a DM who wants to speed things up. It practically removes all manual calculation on the DM's part. If you already have a program nijineko that your content with, I see no reason to look into alternatives. If it ain't broke, don't fix it ;)

Riftwalker
02-10-2008, 01:05 PM
Probably a "lite" version of what MortonStromgal does, I use excel spreadsheets with lots of formulas to calculate everything. It speeds up the book-keeping. For example, if a character picks up an item, I'll write the item in a blank spot for the inventory along with its weight. If its weight happened to push it over the limit of light encumbrance to medium encumbrance, then that raises the armor check penalty which then is used to adjust all the skill modifiers affected by that. All that is crunched automatically.

Mulsiphix
02-10-2008, 10:21 PM
For those considering using spreadsheets for such calculation, the internet is full of websites with ready to go spreadsheets that cover a variety of functions. If anybody wants links just let me know. I have some good ones around here somewhere ;)

tesral
02-10-2008, 10:47 PM
Personally I like Excel Sheets and then throw them all into an Access Database so I can cross-reference different ones with pivot tables. However that can be tons of work to set up. If your not into the Microsoft thing Open Office has equivalents.

I'm not into spredsheets. I'm a hands on blue collar worker. I never did learn them-there fancy spread sheet things.

Then, I really have to wonder at a game in which one can find a spreadsheet handy. I still play it, but I do wonder.

MortonStromgal
02-10-2008, 11:50 PM
Well specifically I'm using heroforge http://www.nzcomputers.net/heroforge/ for this latest Forgotten Realms game. Normally I'm running White Wolf and thats alot more Visio files (whew power structures). Its been ages since I did any D&D and a year since I GMed anything so all my nifty stuff is being built. I just export the heroforge files along with any notes that I write up in Excel out into separate tables then build keys etc. From there I can build my own Excel pivot table to say pull out saving throws across a range of PCs, NPCs, and Monsters. Print out what I want before game and I'm good to go. I'm not saying its the best way I just already have all the tools and I do similar things at work with server logs on a semi-regular basis. So I'm pretty quick with parts of it. Right now for this game I just have my PCs and Monsters in separate spreadsheets hopefully between game 2 and 3 I will get the time to start throwing them into the database.

cplmac
02-11-2008, 12:19 PM
Word Perfect is a word processor program. I use Open Office, but it's the same differecne.


Sorry about the misunderstanding. I thought you meant that you were using a word processor machine and not a word processing program. Back when I sold computers and other office equipment, we had one word processor to sell. It was discontinued about 6 months after I started, mostly because almost everyone wanted a pc that could give more flexibility. Then again, the word processor is what put a big dent in the typewritter market.

Mulsiphix
02-11-2008, 12:20 PM
I had a word processor back when they were popular. I used it all the time for homework and creating various tables and move lists for different arcade games. I wanted a PC but the word processor was far more affordable. Good times :)

Drohem
02-11-2008, 12:40 PM
I use Word for all my documents and character sheets. I use Skype to talk online. I use Skype chat to paste die rolls and type actions. I use the free dice roller from WotC. Finally, I use Paint for maps.

RealmsDM
02-11-2008, 01:35 PM
Since we're talking computer programs here, I guess this thread would be a good place to ask these questions:

1) what's the best dice roller out there? opinions?

2) I know there are oodles of character sheet templates, but does anyone have a monster manual style template for homebrew creatures?

3) there are some nice, fancy map generators out there nowadays, but is there one with a 1st edition feel to it? Think the maps on the interior covers of old modules.

Mulsiphix
02-11-2008, 04:19 PM
1) what's the best dice roller out there? opinions?CrystalBall Lite (http://www.crystalballsoft.com/content/blogcategory/20/48/), Dice Tool (http://rptools.net/doku.php?id=dicetool:intro), and Dungeons & Dragons Dice Roller (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/dice/dice.htm) are all quite popular. The first two are by far the most complex however.


3) there are some nice, fancy map generators out there nowadays, but is there one with a 1st edition feel to it? Think the maps on the interior covers of old modules.Dungeon Generator (http://www.aarg.net/~minam/dungeon.cgi) is the closest thing to 1E. The "blueprint" look of old D&D modules just isn't that popular these days unfortunately. This is a feature that is probably available in dungeon creation software but after doing some extensive searching I couldn't find anything that had the blueprint look to it :(

Drohem
02-11-2008, 04:47 PM
I use the D&D dice roller (Mulsiphix linked it above) because it can roll an addition/subtraction above 20. Most free dice rollers I've found have a limit or cut off point. Also, you can roll any sized die with it. For example, you could roll a d19 if you needed it. Oh, and it's free!

Mulsiphix
02-11-2008, 05:02 PM
Just wanted to note that the other tow rollers I linked to are free as well ;)

Freejack
02-11-2008, 08:41 PM
I wrote one back in 1979. Character generator and DM game monitor. I kept it up until I stopped playing in 1994. Don't use one now though :)

Carl

nijineko
02-13-2008, 04:57 AM
i would have to vote for crystalball lite (http://www.crystalballsoft.com/content/blogcategory/20/48/). the demo is pc and mac. and is fully functional as far as the die rolls go.

the basic functions of cbl are quite simple and easy to use. there are appropriately shaped dice that you click to roll. to the right there is a field you can fill in with any die roll you want. standard notation. there are also along the bottom a bunch of customizable buttons. just right click. networking is also pretty easy-just need your local or external ip, respectively. assuming you know how to do port-forwarding with your router and firewall.

now the complicated part comes when you want to use the advanced features. cbl will take basic mathmatecial notation, see the dice faq for details (help menu). it can also call for rolls from other dice sets saved on your comp, even if they are not currently loaded. it can also roll on custom made tables.

Mulsiphix
02-13-2008, 11:36 AM
Crystalball Lite is definitely the most robust and capable dice roller among the three I suggested. For the hardcore roller or somebody who appreciates the ability to use options they probably never will (like myself), CBL is the way to go.