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bishop618
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 40

Old March 9th, 2017, 01:57 PM
Hi all I have an important question (at least to me) that I've been meaning to ask for awhile. I know I've mentioned bits and pieces of this question before, but this thread is hopefully the overall big picture one. I feel that a quick background about me would be helpful in tailoring potential responses. I am new to D&D, have only played a few sessions with friends that were mainly character creation and joking around. I want to be a writer, and that part is a large influence/focus.

The list below is all of the resources that I currently have in my possession. I've realized that in my beginners rage loot, I got multiple programs/apps that basically did the same thing. What I am asking is for somebody who knows more about D&D to help me out with organizing this list. Are there any of these programs that are compatible with each other? Thanks in advance.

Programs

- Realm Works
- Hero Lab
- D&D Monster Maker
- CritterDB Monster Maker Website
- Volo's Guide to NPCs
- DM5e for Windows
- Table of Tables
- Monster Workbench
- Hexographer
- RPG Manager 2.27 Game Manager
- RPG Manager 2.27 Campaign Editor
- City Generator
- PC-Gen

Software Suite

- Item Sort
- Spell Check w/ Custom
- Magic Item Sort w/ Custom
- Monster & Combat w/ Custom
- Currency Calculator

Chaotic Shiny Generators

- Character Builder
- City Pack
- Writer Pack
- Magic Pack
- Kingdom 1
- Kingdom 2
- Pantheon Generator

Other

- TreeSheets
- Evernote
- Scrivener
- Google Drive
- Dropbox
- DriveThruRPG Program

Apps (Android)

- Complete Reference for D&D 5e
- "van Stein en Groentjes"
- Pro D&D Dungeon Generator
- Gray Lake Studios
- Beyond Tabletop
- DM Minion for 5e
- Goathead Software
- DM Screen
- AWeD Software
- 5th Edition Character Sheet
- Walter Kammerer
- 5th Edition Custom Builder
- Walter Kammerer
- 5th Edition DM Tools
- Walter Kammerer
- Hero Lab Character Import
- Dysfunctional Apps
- Infinitas DM
- Atom Switch, Inc
- Pack Mule for D&D
- Thomas Mackinnon
- Player Minion for 5e
- Goathead Software
- Roll20 for Android
- The Orr Group, LLC
- Squire Character Manager Pro
- Shane Herd
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daplunk
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Old March 9th, 2017, 02:13 PM
Mate put your wallet down and step away from the wallet... that's right away from the wallet.

Instead of skipping straight to the solution, lets discuss your requirements. How do you play? At a table? Over the internet? Do the players have tablets / phones? Are they old school players who are anti-digital.

Tell us about your needs so we can move onto discussing solutions.

Realm Works - Community Links
Realm Work and Hero Lab Videos
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Realm Works - Community Content List
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D&D 5e Community Pack - Contributor
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D&D 5e Community Pack - Install Instructions / D&D 5e Community Pack - Log Fault / D&D 5e Community Pack - Editor Knowledge Base
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Farling
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Old March 9th, 2017, 02:15 PM
DropBox is where your players should keep their herolab portfolios, so that the GM can keep grabbing them and importing them into the "party" portfolio; to make combat easier to run using the tactical console.

I don't have much experience of many of the other tools, although the data files could (in theory) be kept inside RealmWorks: e.g. Hexographer
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bishop618
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Old March 9th, 2017, 03:30 PM
How do I play =
Currently the plan is any way possible. It will probably be via computers since my group is spread out for most of the year, and all in one house on the times we are able to.
Players =
They have Iphones, & all I have is Android.
We are not anti-digital

(A quick heads up with the topic below, I'm in the dark pretty much when it comes to VTTs. I have looked into Roll20 & Fantasy Grounds, but thats it. So what I am typing is the extent of my knowledge on the subject)

My idea was to have tabs with the Realm Works program open, with a VTT & Skype like thing set up for the players on the same screen. All they would need is one computer screen, and they can just switch back & forth if needed
As the potential DM, I would have a similar set up with a few more tabs open for quick references/resources. If needed there would be a table next to me with the dungeon map that I could move the camera on (adjustable webcam skype thing).

My primary concern/focus is compiling all of the data into an organized/structured format that's easily accessible. Realm Works is my primary solution for this. However I don't have access to my computer when I'm not at my desk, and inspiration/ideas wait for no one. I'm wanting to be able to have an app that could hold the information as well so I can access it on the go. I'm hoping that I won't have to insert the information twice into multiple programs, which will probably end up like a game of telephone.

Currently my main realm has a bunch of articles with the names of pdf's and just the names of their content under them. My plan is to fill in the information and then resort the completed files into the appropriate categories.

I'm aware that I probably have too much stuff, and the standard response would be to focus on filling out what you need. However, seeing as 1. I haven't played before, 2. My potential group hasn't been able to get in contact with me about their preferences about specific content, & 3. I have the time, I've just been going from pdf to pdf.
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daplunk
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Old March 9th, 2017, 03:56 PM
If your group is spread out and not playing in the same room I would be looking at a VTT solution.

Personally I would probably invest in Fantasy Grounds. The other option is Roll20. They have D&D5e licenses.

Fantasy Grounds will require the players to have an application installed on a laptop/pc to access the session.

Roll20 will require the players to have an website open on a laptop/pc. There is a tablet app but from my checks it's lacking in functionality.

Both of these applications have built in character sheets and combat management. The idea being that you play inside these applications completely. There's no need for physical dice as all the players can't see the roll or the result so it's all done virtually.

Personally I prefer when we are all sitting around the table and the problem with the approach above when you are all sitting around the table is you all need to have your laptops/pcs in order to play this way. You could of course just use less functionality when you sit around the table and roll real dice instead but i think this would actually be confusing for the table. You have alot of automation when you use these programs which frankly means you don't need such an intimate knowledge of your character so moving from 1 to the other could be a bit clunky.

If you are playing either of these ways you basically don't need anything else. Yes you could use Realm Works, but you are not going to be able to use the player visible functionality of Realm Works over the internet without using some more tools. You could share your screen for example to show player view. But the players will have the Fantasy Grounds / Roll20 windows up and it would be easier to just share the information within the VTT versus using two tools.

I'm an avid fan of Realm Works. But if I was going to be playing via a Network I would first be looking at a VTT which is not something I would personally recommend Realm Works as a supplement to that experience due to the need to duplicate all the data.

You could use Realm Works for the management of the story and content and the VTT just for the map, tokens, rolling and combat. But this means you need to at least replicate the maps in the VTT and Realm Works and given the VTTs have licenses for the official D&D5e adventures, it would be more efficient to just purchase them over there and use those tools completely.

*** This is why I believe Realm Works needs to partner with one of the big names in VTT. They can't beat them, but they could join them. If Realm Works player view could be made visible within one of these applications and information shared in RW was visible in the VT then that would change things completely. ***

Now if your primary focus is playing at the table. Then Realm Works is absolutely my recommendation and I can provide more information on how I would do that and what tools i use if you like. But it sounds like you are headed in a different direction.

Realm Works - Community Links
Realm Work and Hero Lab Videos
Ream Works Facebook User Group
Realm Works - Community Content List
CC3+ Facebook User Group

D&D 5e Community Pack - Contributor
General Hero Lab Support & Community Resources
D&D 5e Community Pack - Install Instructions / D&D 5e Community Pack - Log Fault / D&D 5e Community Pack - Editor Knowledge Base
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bishop618
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Old March 9th, 2017, 06:24 PM
As of right now, how we are playing is still up in the air. Besides, going back to what you said before, the tattered remains of what was once called a wallet of mine did not empty itself in vain In all seriousness, I want to be able to use realm works since I already bought it, so can we go from there?
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kbs666
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Old March 9th, 2017, 06:31 PM
You're spending too much. There's no way you're going to use all that.

Roll20 is free. From the sounds of it you're going to want a VTT and it is cheap and fairly easy to learn. The mobile apps aren't perfect but they do work.

What I strongly suggest is that you take the beginner adventure that comes in the D&D 5e starter set, I cannot remember the name off the top of my head I'm a Pathfinder GM not a D&D one, and run it for your friends. It will let them and you get the hang of what RPG's are about. IIRC it is long enough that while you're running it you can be fleshing out a second adventure from all the stuff you have. After a while you'll learn what tools you use and what you don't. That is how you'll know, every GM's work flow and preferences is different.

my Realm Works videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU...4DwXXkvmBXQ9Yw
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daplunk
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Old March 9th, 2017, 06:43 PM
Excellent

This is the list of what I use.

Realm Works - Campaign management and rules management. This is what you read the story from. This is where you put the NPCs and the monsters.

Hero Lab - You have said you are playing D&D so I'll just assume it's 5e. You want to install the community pack (Check my signature). This is your combat manager and where you build the stats blocks for NPCs, PCs and Monsters. You store those stat blocks in RW though. My players all use Hero Lab to. Some of them use it digitally via laptop / ipad, the others just use printed sheets.

This is enough to play and gives you alot of power. I go a bit further though.

MapTool - This is the VTT I use. I play at the table using a Projector setup. This application is JUST to display maps on the tables. Technically, you could use this do also display tokens and handle any rolls. it's free btw which is why i use it versus something like Fantasy Grounds.

Syrinscape - I use this for music and sound effects. Technically this does not support playing over a network, but with some extra applications you could probably get this to work over a network.

Inspiration Pad Pro 3 - Check this out for a handy way to make random tables. It integrates quite well into Realm Works as shown HERE.

Google Drive - This is where i store PDF's and anything else that doesn't really need to be in Realm Works.

DM Screen - I feel this is optional. I no longer use it but I have the laptop there which is kind of the same thing.

Hexographer - I think a map making program is a great addition. I don't use this one though. My personal recommendation is Campaign Cartographer 3+. If you want to make maps then this software will let you build overland, dungeon, towns, cities, wilderness maps. You can also get an addon to create pictures of NPCs which is cool.

DriveThruRPG / DMsGuild.com - These are great resources for getting PDFs.
Kickstarter - Also a great place to get PDFs although the wait is obviously longer. I also get ALOT of minis from KS.

On top of this, use any resources you like as a source of information that you put into HL and RW.

Realm Works - Community Links
Realm Work and Hero Lab Videos
Ream Works Facebook User Group
Realm Works - Community Content List
CC3+ Facebook User Group

D&D 5e Community Pack - Contributor
General Hero Lab Support & Community Resources
D&D 5e Community Pack - Install Instructions / D&D 5e Community Pack - Log Fault / D&D 5e Community Pack - Editor Knowledge Base
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EightBitz
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Old March 9th, 2017, 08:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by daplunk View Post
DriveThruRPG / DMsGuild.com - These are great resources for getting PDFs.
Kickstarter - Also a great place to get PDFs although the wait is obviously longer. I also get ALOT of minis from KS.
If you're going to include those, then I'd like to add:

https://bundleofholding.com
https://www.humblebundle.com/books

Humble Bundle isn't always RPG oriented, but sometimes it is. It changes genres with each offering. Sometimes you'll get science fiction, sometimes fantasy, sometimes literature, sometimes comic books, sometimes it'll focus on a specific author or publisher ... but it's worth keeping an eye on.
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EightBitz
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Old March 10th, 2017, 03:36 AM
Also, another VTT:

http://www.epictable.com/

This one installs and runs on your PC. It's not web-based. That, of course, brings both pros and cons.

It has what the dev calls a "kitchen table" license, which means that one person's license covers the whole group. Ideally, that player would be the GM, but it doesn't have to be.

So, basically, if you're running a game, and you have a licensed copy installed on your PC, your players can install non-licensed copies, and as long as they're connecting to your game, they're fine. They don't each have to buy a license.

The software is pretty neat. When I've run games before, I've given each player their own "table" on which to keep notes. They're public tables that other players can interact with, which again brings pros and cons.

The only private "tables" are GM-only. A while back, I requested player-specific tables. Not sure if that ever made his to-do list.

If you're looking for a new VTT, or if you're just curious, check it out.
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