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Tools of the Trade

Saint JusticeSaint Justice MercenaryMah-vel Baybee!!!Registered User regular
edited July 2008 in Critical Failures
So I'm about to DM a game of D&D 4E and would like to know what tools, programs, etc. are favored and why. I've only DM'ed through IRC before so it's all new to me. I've heard Maptools and OpenRPG are good. Please assist me, fine denizens of CF!

This thread also serves for general discussion of Maptools, OpenRPG, IRC, etc. Don't be shy, kids!

Some people play tennis, I erode the human soul. ~ Tycho
Saint Justice on


  • RendRend Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    OpenRPG is _not_ good. It's next to impossible to get connected. Once you're connected, it's next to impossible to stay connected. You may stay connected long enough to realize it doesn't work half the time, and the other half the time, it doesn't work for someone you're DMing for.

    I've spent too many hours trying to get openRPG to work.

    Use maptools. It's superior in almost every way, I think.

    Personally, I prefer to DM using ventrilo/teamspeak/some other voice client, with maptools background.

    Rend on
  • UnniloctUnniloct Registered User
    edited July 2008
    I have no idea what kind of archaic fly-by-night dial-up service you're using here, but OpenRPG has NEVER failed for me, and I've been lurking around in and participating in 4E games on OpenRPG since 4E came out and I've never had any problems whatsoever. Also MapTools lacks the "server browser" of OpenRPG, and therefore isn't lurkable.

    But I do wish more people on OpenRPG would use Ventrilo/TeamSpeak because most people seem to type painfully slow.

    Unniloct on
  • Saint JusticeSaint Justice Mercenary Mah-vel Baybee!!!Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I'm definitely going to be using Vent/TS with whatever other program I decide. Keep the feedback coming, guys!

    Saint Justice on
    Some people play tennis, I erode the human soul. ~ Tycho
  • DelzhandDelzhand Venitah, Satariel! Registered User regular
    edited July 2008

    I use Monster Maker to copy the creatures I'm using in encounters for the night. It's a bit of work, but it allows me to tab through 4 or 5 HTML documents in my browser rather than flip back and forth through a 200 page Monster Manual.

    Also, with some creative HTML and CSS, you can use the files it outputs to recreate other rulebook "blocks". For each of my players I made a list of their abilities by class and race. This helps new players especially.

    Delzhand on
    Steam|FFXIV|Switch SW-3472-4893-0802
  • JacquesCousteauJacquesCousteau Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I make paint sheets with all the characters' abilities on them for quick reference, but this is only really useful if you have .pdf files.

    JacquesCousteau on
  • Saint JusticeSaint Justice Mercenary Mah-vel Baybee!!!Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    so I'm going to be using Maptools, can anybody help me wrap my head around this bad boy? Basic tips, suggestions, etc.?

    Saint Justice on
    Some people play tennis, I erode the human soul. ~ Tycho
  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Watch the tutorials on the site. I found them a little slow, but helpful.

    Token macro's are DM's best friend. Minimizes the monsters turn time. There are also stock tokens for many critters on the maptools site.

    To get your players to see anything, force them to the current map/current view, give them a token beloning to them, and then give them a light source, and refresh it (ctrl-I)

    Don't make backgrounds to big. It seems to have issues with this. (A 6mb background wouldn't load for all my players)

    Your biggest timesink will be getting images.

    SanderJK on
    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
  • hmxmosshmxmoss Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    It ain't free, but it sure is pretty:

    hmxmoss on
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