Category Archives: RPG tools

Real World Gadget, Gaming Possibilities

chromecastI recently got a little gadget I was looking forward to, the Google Chromecast. It’s a handy little widget that allows you to stream video and images via WiFi from your computer, Android tablet or phone, to your TV. I’m not here to sell you on it, let Google take care of that! However I am here to tell you of the gaming possibilities I see.

There are lots of people out there using projector and flats screen TVs for mapping during their gaming, and while I love the idea, I have not fully embraced it, for various reasons, including expense and transportability of the hardware  necessary. However most places you go will have a TV and WiFi…

You could take a Chromecast with you, set it up with the local WiFi and voilà! The TV is a map… Of course it has to be a Hi-Def TV and there is the set up process, but if you get one just for the game room, problem solved.

Recently some of my players have missed games and have joined us via Skype, but combat using miniatures and a map was a hurdle. With something like Chromecast I could use Roll20 to create the map and the long-distance player would see the map of his or her computer, while the face to face players see the map on a television. Any browser based map can be shared with your players, even a Google Drive drawing, as simple as that.

I run all my games from a laptop now, so integrating this tool into my game would be fairly simple. I have not tried this yet, but I plan to as soon as I can…

Have you seen the Chromecast, and do you see any gaming possibilities for it? Are there any similar tools out there you already used and I missed? Let me know…

Some pictures so you get an idea… (Sorry for the quality, not the best lighting!

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Create your own font!

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could create your own TrueType fonts that you could use to create cool-looking handouts on your computer? I am pretty sure most of us have used handwritten handouts for their games before, or even created their own runic script or something like that.

A while ago I stumbled upon a website that allows you to create your own font from your handwriting, but it could also be used to create any kind of font. The creation process is quite easy. You download a PDF template which you then print out. Then you fill out said template. To try it out I used my own handwriting, but symbols, an invented script, or runes work as well. Then you put the template into your scanner and upload it as JPG, TIFF or PNG back to the site for processing. After a couple moments you can then download your own custom True Type Font. It’s as easy as that.

Here’s an example of my own handwriting in WordPad:

brownfox

Same game, new tools!

Tumbs upAbout two years and a half ago (can’t believe I’ve been blogging here for that long) I wrote a post about the then new game I was playing, Mutants & Masterminds, and I wrote about the tools I was using then for the campaign. They included an Excel sheet for character creation, a campaign Facebook group, so on and so forth. Here is the link for the post. As time has gone by I have only expanded the electronic tools I’m using…

I’m also gone FULL digital. I run all my games from my computer. This is facilitated that my current campaign is a Pathfinder RPG game and there are some excellent resources that allow me to run the game from my computer with minimal book look up, including first and foremost the Pathfinder Reference Document by Paizo and the Pathfinder SRD (which also has SRD for Swords & Wizardry, Heroes of the Modern Path, i.e. a modern version of Pathfinder, and d20 Hero SRD which is the SRD for Mutants & Masterminds).

I’ve developed my own tools to use in my games, Excel sheets for tracking experience points, Power Point presentations to share information, and I’ve embraced PDFs. If available I’ll get PDF copies of the games I’m running. The price of some PDFs can still be a stumbling block. Paizo has very reasonably prices PDFs of their core Pathfinder books, most are $10.00. Pinnacle has their Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorers Edition, both in PDF and print, available for $9.99, that’s a price you can’t beat for a full game. Green Ronin Mutants & Masterminds / DC adventures PDFs are double the price of the other books, but I love their system so much I’ll get them anyway. And I usually get physical books as well and Green Ronin has some nice pre-order prices where you get the PDF at a discounted price.

facebook-logoAs I worked on the Pathfinder swashbuckling game I developed a Google Sites page for the game, and did the same for a very short zombie game (which I posted about here and here). However more and more I am using Facebook for my campaigns. I realize the social media giant has lost a lot of love out there, but the fact is ALL my players are there and use it regularly, so it’s become the most convenient way to share information. The files options in Facebook groups, the ability to create them privately, and the ease of sharing campaign images via the pictures and picture albums, have replaced my Google sites.  I currently have four campaign groups, one for my current fantasy game, another for my past supers game and for the zombie game, and another for the next game, our sci-fi campaign.

Google-logo1 (1)I have not ended my love for Google mind you! I still use Google Drive to share some documents and collaborate with my players and friends, most notably the Pathfinder campaign experience points. I add each session’s award to a Google Docs spreadsheet and the PC’s check it to see when they level up. They are not even writing down their XP anymore.

youtube-logo2How to handle music in my games has been an ongoing battle. I went from no music, to carrying around a CD case with all the soundtracks I used for my games, to creating playlists in my iPod. What I’ve begun to do recently is create playlists on YouTube. There are a LOT of videos for game and movie soundtracks and I just pull them in appropriate playlists and play at my games. Or try, I forge oftentimes, but that’s my new thing. For example here are the playlists for my current Pathfinder swashbuckling game, and for my upcoming Wanderers of the Outlands sci-fi game.

WCCOne last thing… For the Wanderers of the Outlands campaign we’ll be using Savage Worlds and I intend to use Journeyman Games’ Wild Card Creator, since I backed the Kickstarter.

So that’s the state of technology in my game. I wonder; what tools are my fellow gamers and readers of this blog using? Anything you’d like to share? I’m always looking for new tools!

Thanks for reading…