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D&D Meets the Electronic Age (proboards.com)
64 points by ergoproxy on Jan 2, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments

One of my favorite RPG games is Space Station 13; in that part of the game is to ACTUALLY role play your job, instead of just being a wizard and having certain abilities and thats as far as you go. That's one of the best things about getting together with a bunch of friends in a D&D match; coming up with entertaining quests. But it's rare to find a game that actually encourages the role playing aspect, and a large part of SS13 is the stuff that other players / admins will do to spice up the gameplay for others.

For the unfamiliar, here's an example of some of the gameplay of a janitor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpBxqZYgem8

What you look for is not a game system, but a game master. At the beginning of every decent rule book is a sentence equivalent to this: "this book is by no means definitive; if tearing it apart and throwing it out of the window is what brings you and your team most joy, you should tear it apart".

If you enjoy playing a character and you want it to be the most important aspect of the game, you need to look for something called "storytelling" and you need to find a game master who favours this playing style.

You can easily do storytelling in (otherwise heavily formalized) D&D/d20, it only takes rest of your team to agree.

One of the first programs my father wrote in the 70s/80s was a DnD dice rolling simulator, I believe in assembly. I've heard similar stories from others who began programming in that era. It's interesting how many "nerds" got their start in development through RPGs.

Makes sense. Why spend several minutes rolling dice and writing stuff down when you can have the computer do the dice rolling in under a second, and then print out a character sheet?

It makes even more sense for point buy systems, where you frequently want to run a lot of "what-if" scenarios, and getting the math right is tedious.

A die rolling program is pretty much my equivalent to "Hello world" in any new programming language I learn.

One of my favorite hobby projects is a dice-rolling gaming aid that morphed to a place where people can play RPGs online together over the years:


Due to time constraints I've been neglecting it during the last months, but I'm looking forward to jumping back into development at some point.

When it started out, it was barely more than a Google search-like input box that would parse and execute RPG-style dice codes that I needed for GMing my own games. Over time, users had a lot of feature requests and this is how it got to today's state...

Have you seen http://gamesbyemail.com/news/diceomatic ? It may bring a little bit of joy to your life.

Yes :) thanks anyway!

One thing that frustrates me is my endless quest to find a decent electronic character sheet. They're like the to-do list app that's never quite what you want.

Fight Club 5 on iOS is pretty good, I'd recommend trying it out if you have an iPhone/iPad. A bonus nicety is that it can back up to iCloud so you can sync between devices easily (and without a service that might one day go down).

Funny that this should come up as I am currently building a game master assist for Cosmic Patrol (cosmic-patrol.com). I'm fairly new to rpgs and I didn't have the dice needed to play so I hacked out some python functions to roll the right dice and I've kept expanding it to handle more stuff.

FYI, a little googling will find the original article from 1979.

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