Category Archives: RPG tools

The Pathfinder Reference Document Updated (And a few other things!)

PathfinderIf you are a Pathfinder RPG fan you might already know this because Paizo has been very good at announcing it via social media and RPG new outlets have covered it, but just in case this is the one source of RPG news you read, and we can’t criticize your for your impeccable taste, I’m writing this post.

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document has been updated yet again! I have to commend Paizo for keeping their reference document current and making it a real tool for gamers on the digital edge. For me the reference document does not substitute the actual book, PDF, on in many cases both. The books have more details and explanations; of course illustrations, “fluff”, and I still prefer reading the information from the book. But to a digital Game Master it is an excellent tool.

I don’t run adventures at home so my space to transport books is at a premium. I have to choose what to take and having so much content available online is probably what makes running Pathfinder so easy for me. So what’s new? The content for the NPC Codex has been added, the stat blocks, not the specific NPCs for each stat block (and they make getting the book in print of PDF worth it!) as well as information from the Advanced Races Guide integrated into the indexes. Oh the indexes! The various indexes make it possible to sort through the ever growing number of spells, feats and magic items. Some people are overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices in Pathfinder but tools such as this make it much easier to run the game!

(That and Hero Lab, Perram’s Spellbook,these tools are integral parts of my electronic toolbox, but I digress…)

I also regularly use the Pathfinder SRD, it contains much of the same content as the Pathfinder RD, but organized differently, and the SRD includes 3rd party content, not on the official Paizo document. I typically have both open during games and switch from these online tools to my own home grown tools, such as my Excel campaign journal and work tool, an Excel encounter calculator, the campaign Facebook page and Google site. But the Pathfinder Reference Document is the center of all this madness, the most useful tool I have for my weekly game.

I’ve written about the updates before, and hope that Paizo continues to do this. It shows the commitment they have with their fan base, kudos to all the talented and hardworking people who work on my favorite fantasy RPG.

Ask The Readers: Gaming-related Android apps?

Android Logo Since I own an iPhone (and later an iPad) I’ve looked for ways to use these devices at the gaming table. Over the last years a lot of gaming-related apps have been released for iOS, from apps providing you with background music and environmental sounds, dice rollers, iniative trackers and map creation tools. Nowadays I mostly use my iPad at the game table to a) view PDFs and b) play background music on it. But iOS is only one of the popular smartphone operating systems out there.

I also recently decided that my next phone will be an Android device, so I am looking for interesting Android apps that can be used around the game table. Alas I haven’t followed the Android scene that closely in the last years, so I ask our readers for help. What are your favorite gaming-related Android apps? What are your experiences with using Android devices at the game table? As always any comment is highly appreciated!

Stuff for the travelling GM: Bluetooth Audio Cube

Verbatim Bluetooth Audio Cube Even though I am currently going through a gaming dry spell, it doesn’t mean that I can’t share a few tricks from my GM toolbox. As I’ve mentioned before I love to use music in my games. Nowadays it’s very easy to carry a lot of music around on an MP3 player or smart phone. I usually have a large variety of background music on my iPhone or iPad that I can easily take with me when I run a game away from home.

The problem is that the speakers on the iPhone and iPad are ok for watching YouTube videos, but they are lacking when it comes to music and I don’t really want to place the phone or tablet in the middle of the table during play. That’s why I picked up a small and easily transportable Bluetooth speaker made by Verbatim several months ago. The device is powered by either two AA batteries or via USB. The sound quality is surprisingly good and it even looks pretty sleek.

By the way, even if your MP3 player doesn’t support Bluetooth you can still connect it to the speaker via a standard audio cable. I think I paid about €40 for the Audio Cube when I bought it back in the day. If you like to play some music during your games and if you are of the travelling kind of GM, the Verbatim Bluetooth Audio Cube (or a similar device) is a must-have!