In my post Gaming with an iPad I mentioned before that using a tablet has many advantages to tabletop gaming but I was reminded that I had forgotten one; music and ambience. While this is within the realms of using an iPad to play atmospheric music the inability to multi-task may hinder the smooth running of a game.
I’m not against using music to create atmosphere and improve the ambience at the table and I have done so in the past using sound effect or soundtrack CDs and even went as far as to purchase a set of sounds designed for gamemasters.
That’s where I had been in the past, left with a CD on loop which didn’t really help as there would be a second or two until the track restarted.
So I finally got my act together and had a listen to the video on the page and was very impressed by what I heard; so much so I went and backed it. I’d love for this to become a reality so pop over and listen for yourself.
I feel I should also make it clear that apart from the initial email I haven’t received anything in the way of compensation from him.
In my last post I talked about gaming with an iPad and those astute readers will have noticed that I failed to mention anything about combat management. I used to use an app made by a company that no longer appears to exist and while functional it was a bit buggy and prone to crashing at the most inappropriate moments. So I decided to see what was available since I downloaded it about 18 months ago.
My interest was piqued by a paid for app called DM Minion Pathfinder by Goathead Software, it looked like it did everything I wanted and a bit more to boot. Where the product shines is the integration with Hero Lab, the ability to upload portfolio files from Dropbox is amazing.
This is the first screen you have to work with, here you define the name of the adventure.
Then with that defined you can import characters from Dropbox. Any of the pcs here can be imported without needing you to do anything special with the stat blocks.
Then you can add monsters to the adventure either by manually creating them, importing a Hero Lab character or by using the PFSRD monsters already in the software.
Here is an example of what is displayed on the monster list; you will add these adversaries later on when you build an encounter.
Now we move onto creating an encounter. You will still need to refer to the guidelines for the XP budget for the encounter.
The final step, an enc0unter all built and ready to run using the intuitive combat manager. Running the combat is painless, you can roll the players initiatives if you want or use the slider bars to select their infinitive scores and the app will roll all the monsters initiatives as well as their hit points. If you really want to be hands on with it then you can roll the monsters hit and damage rolls yourself; something you may have to do as there appears to be a bug in rolling to hit when the weapon being used has a different critical threshold.
Is the program worth less than £3? I would have to say yes as there is a lot of options packed in under the hood to make it worth buying. It would be good to have the attack bug resolved but it is a highly usable combat manager and a useful tool.
Way back in April I mentioned about using my iPad as my Game Masters Binder, since I wrote that post I’ve had more of a chance to explore the capability of the tablet and explored some of the apps available for it.
When it comes to reading pdfs I use Goodreader as it is a reasonably priced app and handles most documents I have thrown at it with one or two hiccups along the way; although to be fair this was mainly down to the way the iPad handled the image format embedded in the file rather than the file.
Trunk Notes is another useful tool as it is a personal Wiki notebook and it has a bit of a learning curve you can do some pretty amazing things with it.
Hero Lab started off as an interactive character sheet viewer for their desktop application but with a license the latest version enables you to create Pathfinder characters right there on the tablet and performs all the hard work for you. Since the team give you two licences when you register the package it is even more of a bonus.
The iPad doesn’t support multi-tasking so when I have to change apps there is a delay while you do so, so I may have to compile all the encounters notes into a separate document and use the iPad for other tasks; like keeping track of initiative.
The price of the iPad was quite a bit when I got it and so I only have one, which can be a pain in the neck when you have various books only as a pdf and the players want to consult them.
Having a tablet has helped things a lot, there was one more item for inclusion but that deserves its own separate post on the blog.