Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Five Internet Resources for Your RPG Game

Life has intruded on my blog creation opportunities this week.  An unplanned trip out of town has forced me to be a little more resourceful in carving out the time necessary to commit something to pixels.  As a result, the amount of new creative material that I could produce was sparse.  Still, I wanted to provide something of value to my readers even if it could not originate from my own creativity.  In today's post, I have decided to present five of the many cool game related websites I have found over the years.  Some of these may be familiar, others, I hope, are a surprise.  Many of them pertain to running games in the various editions of the all-time best selling RPG, but the information can be easily translated into your system of choice.

First up is, Meatshields!, a very quick henchman generator for OD&D.  This simple little program takes the size of the town and produces a list of available henchmen for hire.  Some of them are pretty worthless, even to bear your torch.  Others have more than a bit of training to recommend them.  The best part of the generator, however, is the equipment and personality that it attaches to each potential sidekick.  Rather than a nameless man-at-arms, I could get someone like Gar, a human man-at-arms who has some of his own gear, is a former gravedigger with a hatred of Goblins and 4 ounces of Wolfsbane in his backpack.  Now that is an NPC who could make an interesting addition to the party!

There are a number of online dice rollers out there.  By far my favorite is the Hamete Virtual Dice Roller.  This powerful little application allows you to chose what type of dice you need, and even allows for exploding dice.  In  addition, it provides a way to email the results to other players, very useful for online gaming.  I really to use this program when I am using random tables while doing adventure creation.  Sometimes breaking out the real dice is just inconvenient.  At those times, this program really fills the bill.

Speaking of Random Generators, one of my favorites can be found here.  The Donjon is packed with useful tools.   Name generators, random adventure generators, a pretty good dungeon creator and ton of additional valuable tools, including a number for non-fantasy games.

Not all of the best sites are random generators though.  S. John Ross was at one time one of the best writers working for Steve Jackson Games.  They parted ways somewhat less than amicably several years ago and he began putting most of his creative efforts into The Blue Room.  Ross is a bit of an eclectic sort, and provides a wide array of usually useful, but always interesting content.  Of especial interest are his Big List of RPG Plots, big stories that a GM can add his own details to in order to create detailed and compelling games.  Also of note is his article on Medieval Demographics, which provides a useful way to create realistic fantasy kingdoms.  I plan on using his figures from this essay to formulate the population centers for The Colonies.

Finally, I am going to mention a site that I have plugged to my friends on Facebook before.  Still, it is really useful and deserves another mention.  Recently, I have become a big fan of paper miniatures.  In this, I am fortunately not alone.  One web citizen has created a huge resource of art for paper miniatures across genres from Fantasy to Super Heroes.  7 Wonders is truly massive with THOUSANDS of minis ready to download.

Hopefully you will find some of these useful.  If you can think of a site that I might be interested in, be sure to drop me a note in the comments below.

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