As I am getting set to travel to Gencon (for the first time ever!) I am excited about getting to run and play in many games over the course of the week. What I am not excited about is trying to get all the gear I need to play and run games from here, Portland OR, to there, Indianapolis Indiana. This would have been little more than frustrating 10 years ago, but now with this wonderful economy I will have to pay $25 for each bag I want to check on my flight. So what should be merely frustrating is now costly and aggravating. Now I have to decide between my tuxedo and my game mat, and no it’s not a no brainer, one should always travel prepared for any formal occasion; what if I were invited to dinner with the queen of England? Yeah wouldn’t I look stupid wearing my “Jesus says don’t be a dick” T-shirt sitting next to royalty?
While trying to economize both my money and luggage space I have put together a list of iPad/iPhone apps that might free up some space for my three piece suit complete with pocket watch. These apps are mostly focused on 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons due to my being most experienced with that system. Many of them can be used for other games though with little or no modification. This is not meant to be a complete review of any of the products listed below nor is it finished. I’m sure I’ll discover a few gems between now and my flight’s departure time; I’ll try to come back and update this list if I do.
To make this list easier to use I am going to break down the list into three categories: For everyone, for players and for DM/GMs. This way you can skip past any of them that might not suit you.
Apps for everyone
Author: Cordax Software
Cordax software has released a 4th edition compendium app that allows anyone with a DDi account to access most of the information in the online rules compendium. I say almost all because from time to time users will run into a broken link caused by data being moved around on the DDi servers. Cordax tries to keep up with this but there is still the occasional missing bit of information. I have found that the compendium is extremely easy to use and much faster than trying to access the information from a book or the web. Remember though that using the compendium does require a DDi account so don’t go downloading it unless you have one. This app can replace any 4e rule books at a table e.g. Players Hand Book, Rules Compendium, or any of the “Heroes of the…” titles.
As I am beginning to get into the Pathfinder RPG a program like this can be worth its weight in gold, or $4.99. This app is also very easy to use when it comes to looking up information. It’s set up common with categories and each entry has searchable tags. It also has a bookmark feature to allow you to return to frequently accessed information. Unlike the 4e compendium not all the information for the Pathfinder RPG is included in the program. Newer content from Paizo releases must be purchased from the in app store. This allows the user to only purchase the content they intend to use and still costs less than a DDi subscription so I wouldn’t hold the in app store as a drawback, though I was a bit surprised at first. This product replaces most if not all of the Pathfinder rule books at a table, saving a great deal of suitcase space; let’s face it Pathfinder books are not petite.
This isn’t the most beautiful dice rolling app I have come across but it is one of the most comprehensive. Crit D20 is a very easy to use app. Unlike many of the free dice rollers D20 allows the user to customize the amount of dice rolled. This can save huge amounts of time as well as space. The app also keeps a history of rolls, which is nice for a DM who likes to verify his player’s rolls. Dice apps are nice and can save you space in your luggage though you know you are going to buy tons of dice while you are there.
Feduz Free Dice Roller –
Author: We Do Nothing
This is actually a really great dice roller. It has many of the same features as the D20 crit but it’s free. This program allows for customized rolls but it lacks the log feature so quick and sneaky players might try to use this to pull one over on their DM. This app is free but there is also a pay version. The only difference I have found so far is the lack of advertisement in the pay version. For any gamer who doesn’t want to drop cash for a dice roller this might be the app for you. Save some space in your luggage but remember you might need that space for all the dice you will be packing home.
Author: Tawfiq Hamid
iRolldice is a quick and dirty dice roller. It looks good rolls one dice at a time and keeps track of previous rolls. That’s really all it does. If you are looking for a free easy to use, no bells and whistles, dice roller on your iPad this could be the dice roller for you.