Saturday, 26 November 2016

Realm Works and Hero Lab - Managing Massive Encounters

We had a massive session last night that led me to thinking about the benefits that Realm Works and Hero Lab bring to the management of large combat encounters.

We ended up with 80+ enemies fighting 7 players and 11 NPCs.

I had a co-dm who played the commander of the enemies. He decided what they were doing and when they were doing it. He rolled all the dice. I determined the results of those dice and directed the encounter, managed the HP pools and initiative.

It was exhausting, not going to lie. We played for 6 hours and only did about 5 rounds all up.

In the video below I show how I prepared the encounter files in Realm Works and managed the bulk initiative and handling of HP pools for all the enemies.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Black Friday Sale - Campaign Cartographer 3+

Hi Team, Just a heads up. There appears to be a Black Friday Sale happening over at Pro Fantasy. Voucher Code: BLACK@30% If you are at all interested in picking up Campaign Cartographer 3+ or some of their addons... well today is a great day to do so.

Happy Mapping!

Monday, 14 November 2016

Realm Works - Where Do I Begin?

So one of the challenges with Realm Works is it's a massive piece of blank paper.

Starting out can be overwhelming and the question is often asked, where do i begin?

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Realm Works - Working With Tags and Creating Custom Categories

Here I had a play with using Tags within Realm Works to see what sort of functionality I could obtain by placing tags on specific content.

I played largely with Monsters, adding a tag for the creature type. I like the way this gives me the ability to easily filter on all 'Beasts' or all 'Fey' creatures.

I then go on to show how I added the custom tag to all of my monster categories and from there showed how to create a completely new custom category.

Realm Works - Forgotten Realm (Faerun) Interactive Map

I've been slowly chipping away at this project for a number of week now. But I finally completed entering all of the location date from the Storm King's Thunder into Realm Works as an interactive map.

Now I can click all over the realm to find out more information about the area!

This is achieved using the Smart Image functionality within Realm Works.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Realm Works and Frostgrave - Does Realm Works Work With Tabletop Wargames?

In this video I show my latest venture with Realm Works where I have entered the Frostgrave rule books.

Tabetop Wargames always tend to be rules heavy so I wanted to see what benefit could be had from using Realm Works as the rules database.

Now that I have the rules entered, you can see the linking starting to shine!

Check it out for yourself. Do you think this would be easier to run a game?

Hopefully the last time I play Frostgrave by having to flip through a book for the rules :) Hirst Arts is perfect for making Frostgrave terrain btw!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Hero Lab - Player Character Creation Software - A Player Tour for D&D5e

Many would argue that you don't need software to assist with the creation of Player Characters (PCs) in D&D 5e. And they are correct, you don't... I do however want software to assist the the creation of PC's.

I spend quite a bit of time playing with brand new people. My ground and I have only been playing for around two years. We are surrounded by people who love board games but have never played a table-top RPG. These are the type of people that want to come to the table and try it, but don't necessarily want to read the Player Hand Book prior to trying it for the first time.

This is where Hero Lab shines in my opinion. I can sit a player in front of my PC for a few minutes and quickly whip them up a character in a method that feels familiar to the new player as it follows a similar process to many RPG video games.

Then I simply print the sheet out for them and it comes with all the descriptions for spells and abilities. I can't stress how much simpler this is for introducing new people to the game.

It's not just handy to new players though. My experienced players love using it as it reduces the down-time at the table usually involved with people having to stop and look up rules from within the books.

Check it out below.

If you decide to pick up Hero Lab for 5e be sure to get the D&D 5e Community Pack.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Realm Works - Managing Merchants and their Wares

A simple video today showing show to setup Merchant shopping lists within Realm Works that can be used over and over again. This is a simple concept utilizing the core functionality of the Realm Works linking that goes to show why the software can reduce your prep time at the table.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

MapTool - Virtual Table Top Software

In my last video I showed how to create a dungeon map using Campaign Cartographer 3+. Watch it here

Creating a map is great. But how do you go about using it at the table?

This video runs through an application called MapTool. It's a VTT solution that works great for those of us using VTT software at the table. Alot of people love Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds, which are both amazing applications, but I had a few requirements I needed met, and MapTool met them all.

My Requirements:
Offline (my internet connection was dodgy in my game room)
Ability to control the player screen from the DM screen (Server and Client)
Free if possible
Ability to control Fog of War

Examples of what it looks like displayed on the actual table.

CC3+ / DD3 - How To Create Basic Dungeon Maps

This video runs through how to make a simple underground dungeon map using Campaign Cartographer 3+ (with Dungeon Designer 3).

If you would like to know more about CC3+ then click HERE.

After watching this video you should be capable of creating and outputting a simple map for use at your virtual table top.

Once you have created your map, check out this video to see MapTool in action.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Realm Works - Playing Sounds at the Table

So playing sound at the table is something I have been looking at doing. The room is ready with speaker in place so I am physically able to do it.

What's missing for me is an efficient way to manage the database of music and sounds and an efficient way to play those sounds at the table.

Now given I already have Realm Works, Hero Lab and MapTools running when I DM, I would ideally like to avoid having yet another stand-alone app to micro manage. With that in mind I played around today with different methods to include sounds and music within Realm Works and played around with triggering those sounds from my module content.

I'm still not happy though, and I would really like to hear people's thoughts and ideas on a better way to play and manage sound at the table.

Software to Create RPG Maps

Lately I have been seeing the same question getting asked close to 3 times a day...

"What software can I use to create maps for my RPG?"

It's a good question and one that has alot of different answers.

First I would suggest you get familiar with The Cartographers' Guild. This is a great resource for cartographers. Specifically, they have an entire sub-forum to discuss the various software that can be used to create maps.

Having spent some time there I decided to purchase Campaign Cartographer 3+.

Pro Fantasy create CC3+ and state on their web-site that they have led the field in map-making software for gamers for 20 years! It's a big call to make but lets you know instantly that this is not a new piece of software coming onto the market. This is established, with a fan base and community to support it. This is something I always look for with my RPG software as alot of software rarely makes it to the official launch phase.

This is particularly important for CC3+ as there are a HUGE amount of assets made available  by the community. You just need to download them are start using them to create amazing maps! Check out the CSUAC and Dundjinni Archives if you plan on using CC3+!

Check out the video below to see the software in use. I've only been using it for a few weeks, so I have included some amazing maps below made by experienced users so you see can the real potential of this software.

Campaign Cartographer 3+ is designed to make overland maps. 

Dungeon Designer 3 is an add-on to assist in the creation of Dungeons and Floor-plans.

City Designer 3 is an add-on to assist in the creation of cities and towns. 

I don't own it yet but I'm keen as mustard to try out the Perspectives 3 add-on so I can make some isometric maps!


There's also quite a few more add-ons so be sure to check out the Pro Fantasy Website!