What software would you like to appear for D&D:Next?

Hey everyone!



I would like to ask everyone - what software (for both DM's and players) would you like to be developed for D&D:N? What programs might make your life easier as a DM or a player? What features would you like to see implemented? I'm asking because I'm interested in starting a D&D-related programming project in my free time and it would be great if in the end my product could help people in their games. So let us discuss this.



Cheers,


Arthur.

The character builder was a fabulous program, offline was best but online was still very useful.
My two copper.
An encounter builder could be fun once they get the xp math right.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls

A monster compendium thingy that allows searching by level, role, and stuff like that. But also add in the ability to customize things; such as including Fort/Ref/Will, or use defenses instead of saves.

What would be super nice, is to allow us to add in our own math formulas that gets applied to all monster tables. Like if I wanted to remove the /2 on ability mods, so it was just -10 for your ability, everything form saves to attack rolls would need to be tweaked. Another thing I would like is to replace attacks/defenses/saves with opposing rolls. If I could get my hands on some logic, I could make it happen. (AC = AC - 10; saveDCs = saveDCs - 10;)... etc, etc.

Oh! Oh! If we're making user wishes, something for applying 4e-style templates (kinda like the monster customizations in the playtest right now).
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
After the Character Builder... A Character Sheet app for iPhone, Android (and maybe Windows Phone) would be nice. 

Show everything you need to know about the character - allow dice rolling and note taking. 
A character portrait creator that is part of a character builder suite which makes a character sketch based off your PC/NPC attributes, race, class, etc...  for the times you rather do it yourself than scrolling through deviantart.

A map/world builder that is "3D" and includes shadows, clouds, full sunlight, night, etc... 
A character portrait creator that is part of a character builder suite which makes a character sketch based off your PC/NPC attributes, race, class, etc...  for the times you rather do it yourself than scrolling through deviantart.

A map/world builder that is "3D" and includes shadows, clouds, full sunlight, night, etc... 



You mean the things that were advertised on the first 4th edition books?

 
Everything!

:P

In all seriousness, one of the BIG issues with 3rd and 4th was the lack of well designed and easy to use digital tools.  The character builder for 4e was great (until they killed the offline version... yes, yes... I know they had to, but they need a better solution than a subscription model.)  But they under delivered on a lot of fronts.  As much as I love sitting down at the table with all my friends, the bigger picture doesn't directly apply to me specifically, and the tools for full online "pen and paper" roleplaying need to be realized.  The technology exists, and plenty of groups have found their own work-arounds, but WotC needs to capitalize on fully working system of their own.

To give my own impressions...

I played a few games of D&D Encounters with an old buddy who hadn't gamed much in the past decade.  Had started a game of 4e with some new friends and got the bug back, but the group wasn't gaming all that often.  So he and I joined a local Encounters game.

Two players played their characters from their iPads.  Three of us from our smart phones.  Only one person played from an actual sheet of paper, and that was because they didn't have time to create a character and played from a pre-gen that was available.  Of the programs and tools used from the digital devices, not one of them was a WotC product.  100% because there was no WotC product available.

With my DDN group, we have 2 laptops, a tablet and two smart phones between us for referencing the PDFs at the table.  We all grew up old school and love actually having a paper character sheet and rolling actual dice at the table, but even in a beta program for an unfinished game, we're highly digital.

D&D Next (or 5e, or whatever) NEEDS the following:

- A fully realized, flexible, modular character builder for desktop/laptop, tablets and smartphones.  

- The Builder should then include a fully digital, customizable (and printable) character sheet that can be managed easily via any digital device the owner uses.  

- Community and 3rd party character sheets should be supported.  (I've made my own sheets from the beginning, including my well recieved 4e sheet.)

- As D&DN is supposed to be modular (I'm still waiting to see how well...) all of these modules should be supported via the digital tools.  And in this, I feel it should be modular to HOW people play:

- I think it's the elephant in the room that we've all said "Hi" to but still can't find a seat for.  Everyone prefers a different feel and style to their game and how it's presented.  How awesome would it be to have a Character Builder, Character Sheet, Rulebook, etc... that was fully up-to-date with errata (let's hope there's very little) and with a small list of check boxes in the set-up:


  • Do or do not show optional module rules

  • Changed terminology at the click of a button (e.g. Show ranges in, a.) English system,  b.) Metric system, c.) Square, or (dare I dream) d.) Hexes

  • The above but with time increments of actual time vs. Round/Encounter time

  • Present the information in a form you prefer.  Click here for the fully written paragraphs with all the fluff for spell descriptions.  Click here for 4e style "power" formating.  


- Fully digital gaming books.  I don't care if a physical copy has to be purchased or not, but PDF or otherwise digital versions of ALL rule books should be available from day one of any books release.  They should be update-able with errata (and vice-versa... the option to ignore errata should be available), have the same options of presentation (detailed paragraphs, 4e style, English/metric/square/hex units) and support the inclusion of bookmarks, house rule notes, etc...

- Give the DM full campaign tools.  From days of long ago (from uncharted regions of the universe...) I dreamed of having a system where DMs could "pass notes" to players via a digital device through a dedicated game platform (as oppsosed to an IM, or text).  Where a DM could look at the character sheets of their players without specifically requesting to "Let me see that sheet."  A single platform to run their game through.  With prepared monsters, notes, maps, even the ability to adjust character sheets.  It would create a new level of immersion at the table, and make online gaming better.

There are a lot of challenges here.

Cross-platform compatibility.  Limitations based on available technology of the gaming group, etc...  but they are all something that would grow the product and help keep the hobby alive in the current market. 

While this is not a full list of exactly what's needed, it's what's on the tip of my brain.  Sadly, with the current direction of DDN, I'm not certain I'll be apart of the this last chapter for D&D.  (I'm hoping to turn that around...)  But if DDN is to make it, digital/online tools will be a 100%, full investment requirement. 
Stay Frosty! - Shado
What they should do is microtransactions add-ons for the character builder and monster builder...You can buy them those add-ons online and/or from the registration code from your printed book, the ones that got the book get access to it thru that code, and if you only want the digital content access from that book, you just buy them digitally.  Think D&D version of steam...
A digital Library of .png files and GIMP/Photoshop brushes so we can build maps and tokens.

I like the look.

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

Character builder goes without saying.

Monster builder also seems like it'd be pretty useful as well.  It'd be nice to be able to print a monster in a compressed format, similar to the old AD&D paragraph block monster formats, so they dont' take up 1/4 or 1/2 a page as the current D&DN monsters do.

So simply converting a monster to a single paragraph block that can be copied into your adventure would be very helpful.
I don't care what the software is as long as it isn't designed by the team that did the Character Builder, either version 1 or 2.

Or the people who designed this horrid website and forum. 

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

A character portrait creator that is part of a character builder suite which makes a character sketch based off your PC/NPC attributes, race, class, etc...  for the times you rather do it yourself than scrolling through deviantart.

A map/world builder that is "3D" and includes shadows, clouds, full sunlight, night, etc... 



You mean the things that were advertised on the first 4th edition books?
 
 


Yes all those were great ideas they didnt happen due to trajedy doesnt make them less than awesome.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 


Yes all those were great ideas they didnt happen due to trajedy doesnt make them less than awesome.



In my opinion, D&DNext won't exist if that tragedy didn't happened...it could have opened the hobby to a whole new market

I use maptools as virtual tabletop, but i would kill for a 3D one...even one that looks like Final Fantasy Tactics graphics on PSone with low polygonal enviorement/maps and sprites...
Yes all those were great ideas they didnt happen due to trajedy doesnt make them less than awesome.


And what tragedy would that be?

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

Yes all those were great ideas they didnt happen due to trajedy doesnt make them less than awesome.


And what tragedy would that be?



head of DDI development team take his own life...most of the DDI project got scrapped and never saw completion and the ones that got "completed" turned just into a shadow of what it was expected/promised to be... 
head of DDI development team take his own life...most of the DDI project got scrapped and never saw completion and the ones that got "completed" turned just into a shadow of what it was expected/promised to be... 


I know about the suicide but I was under the impression that that wasn't what ended the project and it was budgetary issues and the inability to finish the project in time that ultimately led to the development being taken in-house.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

If this is a pure software question I want a POR remake.
What I would like to see most...(Might be longish)

Summary

A online play service cousin to MTGO

Architecture

The primary architecture would be similiar in design to MTGO where DM's run predesigned or custom adventures or campaigns,  with either open or closed format allowing either anyone or only friends to join.

The interface would ideally include both chat and voice.

The interface would have a dungeon/world building tool for DM's to create adventures.

The interface would handle tracking character information.

The interface would permit the DM to intervene:  Such as changing a hostile monster to friendly,  or killing a monster based on creative PC text/voice input.  It would allow the DM to change a PC status from "Dead" to "Unconcious".  Essentially,  it would allow the DM fine control over events.

The interface would allow hardcore or reusable characters,  with hardcore meaning Dead is Dead (No DM fiat),  but reusable just means they're dead in that particular adventure/campaign.

Subscription/F2P model

A subscription would permit access to all source material,  including accessories,  and access to weekly/monthly content releases ala Dragon and Dungeon,  along with unlimited game access/creation.
 
The DM/PC can participate F2P with limitations:  Such as a limit to concurrent games,  weekly/monthly game limits,  access to only core material,  no weekly/monthly predesigned content.  They can then choose to purchase an extra concurrent game,  or extra weekly/monthly game.  They can purchase access to accessories,  or weekly/monthly content.

Clans/PvP

The game would permit Clans and PvP in games,  and could even permit DM's to pit multiple clans against each other in an adventure or campaign.

The game would permit arena like PvP without a DM where the system holds to the rules in the strictest sense.

The game would include leaderboards for hardcore characters and clans in PvP.

I'm sure this whole concept could be taken a great deal further,  this is one of those things that the community input could make it a phenomenal product that not only grabs players who've lapsed due to lack of available players/play-areas,  but also become a compelling facet of D&D play on it's own.

I also suspect it'd make money hand-over-fist.       
A creature editor like from videogame spore.

+ A quest editor.



* I suggest a reboot of Birthright to create a kingdom simulation, like a mixture of Sims Medieval, the guild 2, and social network videogame Castleville, with pets and "housing" (building and managing your stronghold).

And "Red Steel" settin could be used to create a rpg with ships. 


* I suggest a free-to-play videogame what could be played off-line with bought staff.

* Interactive pdf with previous edition pages..for example a pdf with monsters from Dark Sun, you get stats for next D&D and the AD&D + 3.5 + 4th editions. 
 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

A Treasure Builder generating random hoard of coins, gems and items with a single click.

Something working similarly to the new Inn Generator.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Hero lab files
I would vote for everything Shado says on the first page. I don't see him post too often, but his name was familiar to me. When he mentioned his character sheets I remembered. Before my DDI subscription I always used his sheets for characters.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
Hero lab files



+1
I do pretty much everything through hero lab so anything that works with it is a go.

Character builder
>preferably offline
>for windows and android

A character portrait creator that is part of a character builder suite which makes a character sketch based off your PC/NPC attributes, race, class, etc...  for the times you rather do it yourself than scrolling through deviantart.

A map/world builder that is "3D" and includes shadows, clouds, full sunlight, night, etc... 


I've created a portrait before using www.tektek.org but it doesn't have a lot of races and such to choose from because its actually for another website. Its interesting though and could be of use if you want to play around. 
IMAGE(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y152/RockNrollBabe20/Charmed-supernatural-and-charmed_zps8bd4125f.jpg)
Off the top of my head...

1. Character builder (I have some ideas, but they're too complex for me to describe them here, complex as in describing a way for it to be very very simple for people to use).

2. Monster Compendium, where one can search by level, name, and XP and also have a picture and a short description (the picture is mainly for showing players what the monster looks like, probably a good idea to have the option to hide the stat block).

3. 2D gametable with support for importing maps.

4. A Digital World Bible with interactive world map where one can see the probability of encountering various monsters and cultures (might work in tandem with the Monster Compendium).

...and those the ones I can name just from the top of my head, and my head is huge...
BTW...please no random table generator thing...we pay for quality professional products, not high school programming side-projects.
BTW...please no random table generator thing...we pay for quality professional products, not high school programming side-projects.


Amen.
My two copper.
Something like the 2e tools (and expansion). I still use that. Any digital offering should make it very easy for DMs to make maps, encounters, treasure, custom items, NPCs, etc.; and for players to make PCs. Not by subscription -- most players won't pay for a subscription just to update their characters -- and not online only. This should be a package people can buy and install, and pay for upgrades (like when new books come out) for a modest price.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Not by subscription -- most players won't pay for a subscription just to update their characters -- and not online only. This should be a package people can buy and install, and pay for upgrades (like when new books come out) for a modest price.



Never going to happen.  The online/subscription model is way to popular and profitable to be scrapped.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

OSR Fan? Our Big Announcement™ is here!

Please join our forums!

Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

At least it's now been spoken for, so WotC can't claim "everyone" wants the subscription model. ;)

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Not by subscription -- most players won't pay for a subscription just to update their characters -- and not online only. This should be a package people can buy and install, and pay for upgrades (like when new books come out) for a modest price.



Never going to happen.  The online/subscription model is way to popular and profitable to be scrapped.



Actually if you follow the market trends, the subscription model is dying. It's still widely used, but f2p and freemium type services are gutting it slowly, but surely. I wouldn't be suprised to see Hasbro take a freemium style aproach with DDN.

What I'm REALLY suprised I haven't seen is some kind of rewards system with WotCs games. I suppose it's because they are not the end seller of their product, but it seems like everyone is doing some sort of points/reward system nowadays.

Edit: That's not to say the subscription model will go away completely. It's just not the king of the hill any more,
My two copper.
Actually if you follow the market trends, the subscription model is dying. It's still widely used, but f2p and freemium type services are gutting it slowly, but surely. I wouldn't be suprised to see Hasbro take a freemium style aproach with DDN.

What I'm REALLY suprised I haven't seen is some kind of rewards system with WotCs games. I suppose it's because they are not the end seller of their product, but it seems like everyone is doing some sort of points/reward system nowadays.



I know.  I am a Guild Wars player since it released in 2005.  They created the F2P model for MMOs.  The motivation of MMOs to switch to this model is the popularity of that one game, and declining revenues in general in the MMO subscription model.  DDI has no competition that uses a non-subscription business model, and their revenues from the service are not declining (at least not due to lack of interest in the service).  DDI basically from all accounts saved D&D.  They won't be messing with success any time soon I suspect.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

OSR Fan? Our Big Announcement™ is here!

Please join our forums!

Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

Actually if you follow the market trends, the subscription model is dying. It's still widely used, but f2p and freemium type services are gutting it slowly, but surely. I wouldn't be suprised to see Hasbro take a freemium style aproach with DDN.

What I'm REALLY suprised I haven't seen is some kind of rewards system with WotCs games. I suppose it's because they are not the end seller of their product, but it seems like everyone is doing some sort of points/reward system nowadays.



I know.  I am a Guild Wars player since it released in 2005.  They created the F2P model for MMOs.  The motivation of MMOs to switch to this model is the popularity of that one game, and declining revenues in general in the MMO subscription model.  DDI has no competition that uses a non-subscription business model, and their revenues from the service are not declining (at least not due to lack of interest in the service).  DDI basically from all accounts saved D&D.  They won't be messing with success any time soon I suspect.



I suppose that makes sense. I honestly never crunched the numbers on DDI, so I don't really know how much money it brought in.
My two copper.
Going back on subject:
Wizards will probably make the following:
- Monster Compendium/Builder
- Encounter Builder
- Character Builder

So write those off your list, someone is going to get paid to make the official one.

That said:
1. Masterplan 
Take a look at this, because this needs to exist for DM's in creating content, worlds and their own campaigns.

Adding to that - if I were to find the spare time to program, I would make the following application.

Features:
1. Desktop & Mobile application

2. DM mode & player mode

3. Online/Multiplayer style connectivity between DM and players.

4. Support for chat and secret messaging. Imagine spotting something, and the DM sends you the message to your phone that you had there anyway. You reply back your action, and play continues quickly. DM probably has the information ready and available.

5. DM Mode has your encounters, and maps can be shared. I'm not saying you pop tactical combat to a virtual board. Something about having the real dice, minitures and battle mat out that gives it the D&D feel. But you can have city maps, and other handouts sent out in such formats.
- I can go into a huge list of features revolving around maps and hand outs.  Passing out letters to specific players, pinging a map location so everyone knows the overall area something happens.

6. Initiative and combat tracker, with a DM and player view which is sync'd via the online.

7. Cloud data hub for the campaign, so things you add in like LORE or otherwise is there. Players can pull it up quickly if they wanted to. 

8. Player mode - collection of notes, journal entries, NPC's they know, gear, etc. Player sheet being a big item on there.

9. Treasure/Loot awards - when you're playing digital like this, when the players find that sword of slaying, it would be awesome to send it to his character, and his sheet be updated immediately with the new effects. Also, awarding money/XP becomes so much easier when it's digitally tracked. No more "Who's keeping track of the 240sp, 86gp and the 1048cp that we just got and the 5 gems??".  When your players find that chest of gold, just hit a few buttons and after a coin sack noise, everyone's characters are a bit more rich.

Obviously, this is a tool for the more technology minded. Focus would be on the UI so it's easy and intuitive to send the messages, award loot and bring up the combat tracker. The example Masterplan is pretty good for what it does, but it's a bit obtuse to use.

Best part of this software, is it can be modular. Start out as a shared combat tracker + chat and then grow up from there. Phones are a part of the table now-a-days, may as make them useful towards the game.
 
The above post did remind me of my number 1 request. A nice, easy to use, but powerful initiative tracker. One that lets you easily add effects, combatants, etc. That's the dream
My two copper.
I would like to see Off line character builder/ encounter builder / monster vault.

Of course WotC will want to make money so they can make online model as well.

Now to make money off line, they should make "book keys" like in any other software.

You will be able do DL demo PHB for free(feats, characters up to level 4, spell to level 2 etc.)

With every book you would get a book key and be able to upgrade your software on WotC official site.
The above post did remind me of my number 1 request. A nice, easy to use, but powerful initiative tracker. One that lets you easily add effects, combatants, etc. That's the dream



laughterforever.com/inCombat/

What I used for 4e.
- works offline if you download it.
- works with the offline monster compendium as you can export/import into this combat tracker.
- lets you add PC & NPC on the fly
- you can set up and save your encounters so you just load them when they occur
- the common special effects are all there under conditions, so you can add them
- it reminds you about things like ongoing damage, conditions and so forth so you don't full move that immobilized creature
- damage & healing are in there to, and it'll auto-roll your characters initiatives, so it shuffles up your combat a bit more.
- Dead/Bloodied states are there

Basically makes the monster tracking part of your encounters a breeze - so you can focus on other DM related aspects to the game and keep things moving.

HOWEVER - with D&D Next, combat seems faster and less complicated for monsters compared to 4e, so maybe a full combat tracker isn't as much of a priority.