D&D Software Reference List

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I'm going to compile a reference list of software meant to be used with D&D. If anyone has additions to this list, please feel free to contribute. I'll update the master list regularly.

Virtual Game Tables:
Battlegrounds: RPG Edition
Price: $32 for DM License. $16 for Player. Discounts for group purchases. Trial Available.
Pros: Cross-platform; powerful dice roller that doesn't require any scripting; highly customizable Turn Sequencer; supports sound & music; supports any RPG system and even some boardgames and "light" wargames.
Cons: Hard to find a game on the fly; all players must be using same version of software; maps can't be larger than 4000 x 4000 pixels.

FantasyGrounds
Price: ~$40 for DM license. ~$24 for Player. Discounts for group purchases. Demo Version available.
Pros: 3D Dice Rolling, Character Sheets & Combat Tracker (customizable with rulesets), Savage Worlds ruleset purchasable, free 4th Edition D&D community ruleset available.
Cons: Windows (DirectX), Self-customization requires XML/LUA proficiency

MapTool
Price: Free.
Pros: Active Development, Line of Sight tools, Fog of War, Easy to install.
Cons: Hard to find a game on the fly, All players must be using same version of software.

OpenRPG, OpenRPG+
Price: Free.
Pros: Game Tree for Organization, Multiple Games per Server, Extensible with custom tools, Most popular, easiest to find a game on the fly with.
Cons: Not Easy for Novice to install. Steep learning curve to use all the features.

GameTable
Price: Free
Pro: Fast, Easy, Sufficient if you only need a pure Battlemap
Con: Not many functions, No textures or objects can be placed, Extremely Basic

Game Management(DM Tools)
DM Genie

InitTool
Price: Free
Pros: Integrates well with MapTool
Cons:

Dungeon Master's Battle Screen
Price:
Pros:
Cons:

DM's Toolkit
Price: Free
Pros: Fast & Easy to use, Active Support
Cons: Not yet finished (Ritual, Item and Feat Creators missing), no Mac-Version (yet)

DM's Familiar
Price:
Pros:
Cons:

DragonScript DM Tools (Treasure Generator, Encounter monitor, more to come)
Price: Free
Pros: Easy to use, instant results, output to plain text, platform independent
Cons: Web-based, limited to core books (at the moment), only one tool finished (and it only works up to Paragon). Infrequent updating.

Character Creation
PCGen
Price: Free
Pros: Cross-platform, active development, broad user-base, open data files, documentation to help add custom content to data files, many 3pp data files included in download, active user groups to ask help from, Open Source (Code under LGPL, Data mostly under OGL)
Cons:Non-intuitive interface, Java based so it runs slower than expected, data from closed content or sources not included need to be manually input by user.

Tinwatchman 4e Starting Character Generator
Price: Free
Pros: Cross-platform, simple interface, outputs characters as raw text.
Cons: Only can create first-level characters, web-based.

Redblade
Price: Free

DM Genie

Pathguy's 4e Generator

Misc
Dice Roller
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Space Holder to Expand Master List.
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Another Space Holder.
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PCGen not listed? I'll list some info here, but since I'm biased you can cut and prune.

PCGen
Price: Free
Pros: Cross-platform, active development, broad user-base, open data files, documentation to help add custom content to data files, many 3pp data files included in download, active user groups to ask help from, Open Source (Code under LGPL, Data mostly under OGL)
Cons:Non-intuitive interface, Java based so it runs slower than expected, data from closed content or sources not included need to be manually input by user.

Also there's a program called DM's Familier for game and campaign management. I have it but don't use it much.
Can you provide a link for DM's Familiar? I'll add PCGen, and anything else that has been added on the weekend.
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Thanks for posting the link to Pathguy. I was hoping hed do a java generator for 4e too. Awesome.
As it was mentioned with MapTool, you might include that FG2 users must all use the same version, too. It might have been left out because there is an "Update" button on the opening splash screen, making it fairly transparent?
Actually, it was left out because I didn't know it. I don't have FG2. If you have something to add to pros or cons, please feel free to list them as well. I'm going to try and keep pros and cons limited to the most important differences. Just enough to make a clear contrast between different software pieces.
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Here are some noteworthy features in MapTool (some are only in the development version that is close to being released):

boundless map sizes with arbitrary zooming levels
draw maps on the fly
integrated turn sequencer
integrated health bars
configurable light and sight types
visible movement paths with waypoints (which cells did they _really_ step in)
configurable status icons that overlay tokens to indicate state
RPTools for the RP games you play
Those are new to me, then. Can you link or explain a bit?

Here's a brief pic to show the concept:

http://forums.rptools.net/viewtopic.php?p=60903#60903

That thread discussed how to do health bars related to token properties using the macro scripting. We've since formalized it into an official feature that does not require scripting (there's a UI to design your bars), and is highly configurable
RPTools for the RP games you play
I use FG2 so I don't want to come off as just defending it (I think MapTool's fog of war/vision and token integration is ahead of FG2, actually), but I don't really think having the option to buy premade adventure modules for Savage Worlds (and other existing rulesets) should be listed as a con. I'm not aware of any VTT that provides more than a couple free sample adventures--and in no way is someone required to buy an adventure module to use FG2. Hell I've made video tutorial showing how to quickly make your own adventure modules. Again I'm not trying to come off as a fan-boy or anything, I'm just saying that's not an accurate con. The complexity of making your own modifications to the ruleset/templates--that's a con. Lucklily for 4E D&D players, there's a free community created ruleset that owns.

Anyway, what I'd consider the pros/cons of FG2 that separate it from other apps:

Pros: 3D Dice Rolling, Character Sheets & Combat Tracker (customizable with rulesets), Savage Worlds ruleset purchasable, free 4th Edition D&D community ruleset available.

Cons: Windows (DirectX), Self-customization requires XML/LUA proficiency
Eugee, I replaced my pro/con with yours. As I said, I don't use that system, so I'm more than happy to take suggestions from someone who does.

If anyone else wants to post their own Pro/Con for a program, please feel free. Most of the stuff listed here, I don't use and sadly, I don't have the time to try them all out.

I think I should add another line for each time to show which versions(AD&D, 3.x, 4e) are supported.
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AsmodeusLore, could you please update the info for Battlegrounds as follows? Thanks.

Battlegrounds: RPG Edition
Pros: Cross-platform; powerful dice roller that doesn't require any scripting; highly customizable Turn Sequencer; supports sound & music; supports any RPG system and even some boardgames and "light" wargames.
Cons: Hard to find a game on the fly; all players must be using same version of software; maps can't be larger than 4000 x 4000 pixels.
I read a blog a couple of weeks ago about a free JAVA based one, Gametable. It looks interesting and, according to the blogger, pretty easy.

I haven't read anything else on it, so I don't have any pros/cons.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Well, I have a new addition to the list.

Tinwatchman 4e Starting Character Generator
Price: Free
Pros: Cross-platform, simple interface, outputs characters as raw text.
Cons: Only can create first-level characters, web-based.
List Updated.
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I might as well post it...

DragonScript DM Tools (Treasure Generator, Encounter monitor, more to come)
http://home.dralenan.com/dscript
Price: Free
Pros: Easy to use, instant results, output to plain text, platform independent
Cons: Web-based, limited to core books (at the moment), only one tool finished (and it only works up to Paragon). Infrequent updating.
Anything that requires Open Source applications to install *arent* easy for people who arent familiar with them.

An outline of how to get the relevant products and how to use them to install the D&D-related products, might be helpful here too.
That simply is not true, Haldrik.

MapTool is open source, and the installer is about as simple as it can get. About the only complicated process is the potential need to open a port in the firewall, but that has nothing to do with open source.

It uses the Java Webstart interface to manage the installation. Its a single click to start the process, then just click next on the appropriate dialog boxes.
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Asmodeus: It uses the Java Webstart ...

Java Webstart. Right. :D That isnt easy either.

Dont you remember what its like to be a noobee? Most online viewers use Windows, and arent familiar with computer coding.

For most, installing a program requires one doubleclick in Windows (which opens an installation wizard). However, these D&D-related programs often need them to hunt down third-party computer software (Open Source, Java, whatever) in a foreign computer language, understand what it means, download it (which in turn often requires downloading a fourth-party product to unpack the arj). Learn it, use it. All of this just to open up the D&D product that they wanted in the first place. It can be daunting for beginners!

Its doable. But step-by-step instructions with friendly links for where to get the third-party software, and exactly how to use it to open a D&D-related product, would be helpful.

And firewalls! Thats a problem too! How many noobs got stymied by their computer mysteriously not working because of their firewall, which they didnt know about? Thousands! Millions?
And firewalls! Thats a problem too! How many noobs got stymied by their computer mysteriously not working because of their firewall, which they didnt know about? Thousands! Millions?

I used to volunteer support in the TeamSpeak forums. Perhaps as many as 75% of the "UR SOFTWAREZ DONT WURK!" posts were because they couldn't follow directions to setup port forwarding on their firewall.

A handful of those, when the pictoral guide was shown to them would flippantly say something along the lines of "Well, ur installer should do it for me! This is dumb, I'm going to use ".

To which we'd point out they'll still need to config their firewall, and good luck.

TBH, I expect (hope?) this is one of the benefits of the Game Table being tied to DDI. Since one has to login to DDI, and we'll (apparently) be on a shared server during the setup, we likely won't need to open firewall ports (since an outbound session will be established first, then the software can just keep that port/ports open for new inbound connections). Should remove that step from the process.
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Its doable. But step-by-step instructions with friendly links for where to get the third-party software, and exactly how to use it to open a D&D-related product, would be helpful.

I agree. Those would be SUPER helpful! And the best part is it already exists.
http://www.rptools.net/doku.php?id=maptooldoc_1_0:starting

I found this by going to the maptool site and clicking the big 'installation' link on the left hand side of the screen. It was very obvious and easy to find.
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Java Webstart. Right. :D That isnt easy either.

Are you seriously suggesting that installing MapTools is in any way, shape, or form... difficult?

If you can GET to the web site it's located on, that was harder than installing it. Seriously. I've dealt Java apps that were a pain in the ass--MapTools is not one of them.
Are you looking to just list stuff for 4E?

If Not I recommend DiceBag, and Tablesmith, Dundjinni, Campaign Cartographer
No, this is not 4e specific. Anything that you use to aid your gaming in a digital way is welcome.
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LOL!

Asm listed Maptools as "easy" to install. Implying that its easy for non-computer-literate D&D players to set up.

Already theres a thread with someone asking how to get it to work properly.

Heres what Mock advises:
Okay, here's what I had to do for MapTool:

1. Find out what what the computer's IP address was. If you're behind a router, it'll probably begin with 192.168.

2. Open your router information, and find the "Port Forwarding" options. Basically (if you don't know this) your router is the only thing visible to the outside world, and it will have an IP address that's different from the computer you're running MapTool on - so what you need to do is tell the router that any traffic coming to the router on that specific port needs to be directed to your MapTool PC. If you did know that, forgive me.

3. Create a port (MapTool likes port 51234, IIRC) that points to the IP address of the computer running MapTool. Usually, it should be pretty clear how this is done in your router's configuration screens.

4. Start the MapTool server (under the file menu). Make sure the port configuration uses the same port you set up on your router.

5. Tell your players the IP address of your router and the port you configured. This will be different than the address of the PC you're actually running maptool on. So it would look something like (I'm totally making this up) 165.23.45.120:51234 - that's the IP address that your players need to use to connect to the MapTool server you're running.

THAT IS SOOOOO NOT EASY!

The list of D&D softwares should mention which software the computer must have to operate them (java, open source, &c). As well as known difficulties, like firewall interference or conflicts with hardware.

Gamingtable is an example of a product that deserves the epithet "easy to install". Simply doubleclick the .bat icon and it works! Any product that requires more than a doubleclick to install ... cant be called "easy".
LOL!

Asm listed Maptools as "easy" to install. Implying that its easy for non-computer-literate D&D players to set up.

Already theres a thread with someone asking how to get it to work properly.

Heres what Mock advises:


THAT IS SOOOOO NOT EASY!

The list of D&D softwares should mention which software the computer must have to operate them (java, open source, &c). As well as known difficulties, like firewall interference or conflicts with hardware.

Gamingtable is an example of a product that deserves the epithet "easy to install". Simply doubleclick the .bat icon and it works! Any product that requires more than a doubleclick to install ... cant be called "easy".

ANY hosted application/service that doesn't connect to a central server will require the opening of a port on your firewall(s). It's a step that's not easily avoided (it CAN be done, but there are costs associated with doing so).

That said, there's a difference between easy-to-install and easy-to-configure.

For example, OpenRPG is a fair cry more difficult to install than other options. First you have to download and install Python, then some Python libraries. Both open source projects that can take some tracking down, and that have varying distributions and versions that *can* make it hard to be sure what you're installing - all before you install OpenRPG itself.

MapTool requires Java to be on your system, which, any system that's been used on the Internet for more than a couple days almost certain has. Installation is a matter of running a fairly decent installation wizard once you download it from their site.

Configuration of your computer to *host* a session of Dungeons and Dragons can, indeed, be daunting if you're not familiar/comfortable with networking.

In a nutshell, because of all the nefarious things on the Internet that can damage your computer, you're protected by your router. Unfortunately, this protection acts by making sure traffic coming "in" to your computer is stopped unless you sent something "out" asking for it first - IE - you ASK (out) for these forums, and the forums reply with what you're reading now (in).

When you want to host a game for your friends, they want to come IN to your network - without you going out first. For your safety, your router (and probably firewall software on your PC) are both going to say "Nope, sorry" and ignore that traffic.

It's up to you to tell your router and firewalls that it's okay, in this limited case. If someone want to connect to your copy of MapTool (or Fantasy Grounds, or OpenRPG, or whatever) they have your permission to do so.

It's not a failing of those softwares, it's the nature of keeping you safe on the Internet, and is established by standards.

If you're just going to be playing (IE - joining other people's games) you shouldn't (as far as I'm familiar with most of these applications) have to change anything. You'll be connecting OUT to the other person's table.

It's only if you're going to host a game (be the GM) that you have to let people IN.
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MapTool is open source, and the installer is about as simple as it can get. About the only complicated process is the potential need to open a port in the firewall, but that has nothing to do with open source.

Please, read what I wrote. Note that I specifically mentioned that port forwarding can be complicated.

The original post I was replying to was about how open source projects are difficult to install. The port forwarding issue has nothing to do with being open source or not. Also, not all users need to do this step.
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Since it was mentioned for other programs, I think it is worth noting for MapTool that it has a character sheet. At least, it has properties attached to tokens that can be set to appear in the bottom corner with a portrait upon selection. These can be set to interact with macros, etc. and can list just about anything you want listed. Not sure what else you need to qualify as a character sheet.

You also now have with build 1.3.45 a built-in initiative tracker to help expedite combat.
LOL!

Asm listed Maptools as "easy" to install. Implying that its easy for non-computer-literate D&D players to set up.

Already theres a thread with someone asking how to get it to work properly.

Heres what Mock advises:


THAT IS SOOOOO NOT EASY!

.

MapTool works when you double-click the .bat icon as well (though you are correct that it would be good to point out requirements to run it). Port forwarding has to be done with anything that runs behind a firewall - GameTable needs you to do all that port-forwarding stuff too (at least, if you're hosting the game). Says so in the readme.
I hope this is the right place..

http://www.die-roller.com

A new dice roller, most of the free online ones I tried missed _something_, so I decided to make my own.
Is it downloadable or just useable online?
Is it downloadable or just useable online?

Online only for now, sorry
Are you seriously suggesting that installing MapTools is in any way, shape, or form... difficult?

If you can GET to the web site it's located on, that was harder than installing it. Seriously. I've dealt Java apps that were a pain in the ass--MapTools is not one of them.

I can second this one. I spent like an hour on a site called "MapTools.org" (notice the 's') trying to figure out how to get the VTT, only to realize it's called "Maptool" (notice the lack of an 's') and that the website is "RPTools.net".
(Haven't felt that dumb in quite some time)

After that it was a breeze. Heck, you can even go into the forums and download already completed adventures (H1-3: KotS, TL, PoS).

They even have video tutorials (made using Camtasia) that walk you through everything you need to know about the program. If you can't figure it out from the vidoes, you can go on the forums and get quick and easy explanations from their (seemly pretty large and active) user community.

(NOTE: I am not affiliated with Maptool or RPTools.net in any way shape or form. I simply downloaded the program a couple weeks ago and realized that WotC are going to have to make one heck of a VTT to compete with a free program that's this good)
Java isnt fully available on every computer. (Not to mention, online security often disables it.) Personally, installing java capability itself can be and has been a nuissance. And opensource stuff has been a big nuissance in the past - when I was unfamiliar with it - especially when my computer didnt even have an application to open the arj file. Doable but taxing.

Whatever software is necessary to run a D&D program needs to be taken into account as well.
This thread in the 4e General Discussion forum mentions some nice Character Generators.

[INDENT]http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1043309[/INDENT]

Ski "SandersN" did one using an Excel spreadsheet that can produce power cards and receives great reviews.

[INDENT]http://www.box.net/shared/jrzfmngoww[/INDENT]
List has been updated
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I noticed you left off Pro Fantasy's CC Pro (either version 2 or the newer 3) mapping software and related programs, like The Thought's Guild Realms Overseer and City Overseer. Any reason why they were not listed? i have found them to be highly useful.
Hey folks,

I have not played D&D for about 30 years..but now I have gotten my children into it. They are loving it! ;) (Gets them using thier imaginations, off the TV and first person shooters!)

What would you reccomend for a software program to create dungeons with, that I could disply on a big screen tv to use has a battle map?

Is there anything out there that would support a 3-d type view once the map is created?

We cant wait for the Wizzards Game Table and Dungeon Builder to be available. :D

Any ideas when this is coming out and if there is a demo we could check out?

Thanks a bunch,

BMoore
BMoore,

This recently released artpack for my Battlegrounds virtual tabletop software might interest you. Note that it's strictly top-down 2D, not 3D.

Is your TV high-definition?

You might also want to check out mapping programs like Dundjinni, for making your own digital battlemaps.
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