If you are in any way a fan of digital tools at your tabletop, or when you’re deep into your prep then you need to pay attention.
It’s packaged in with MS Office 2007 and frankly, it’s worth the price of admission on it’s own. I’ve only scratched the surface of it’s capabilities and it’s spurring me on to create more gaming goodness than I really have time for.
Any tips or tricks you know of?
I use this simple Google spreadsheet. It’s super-simple, and it has to be given my IT skills. I put in the real names obviously!
The autosort function is a lifesaver. I type in the PCs initiative when they call it out, I always ‘take 10’ for the monsters and then hit ‘sort z – a’. Done.
If I’m feeling foxy, I’ll put in a rule under the monsters HP so that it turns red when it gets to ‘bloodied’. I don’t bother with anything for the PCs apart from rounds taken, they can track their own hits.
I simply type ‘x’ into each box when the participants go is done, or ‘d’ for delay, or ‘r’ for ready.
When a monster dies, I highlight the row, hit backspace to clear it, then autosort again.
For conditions, I’ve tried all sorts of nonsense. I use Alea Tools on the battlemat. On the sheet I find it quick enough to just type it in with an abbreviation for duration eg. -2 AC eo?nt (end of (PCs) next turn).
There you go. Enjoy.
So yesterday I got into a conversation with gspearing about some feedback he’d gotten about a game he ran at Concrete Cow. Evilgaz had talked about his experiences in that game and concluded it scored 7/10. From him, that’s a decent score. Some posters took issue with the film review style of Gaz’ opinion. They also thought it was taking gaming a little too seriously.
Today I see a thread on RPGnet about worst Con games ever, and it reinforces my opinions. A decent sized proportion of Con games are dreadful. Really bad. So I think it helps to look at what went wrong in these games so that I can avoid making the same mistakes myself. Of course, you need a fairly thick skin to take feedback, its not comfortable. However, if it leads to better games, then isn’t that worth it?