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Less Plan - More Hack: 3 Sites That Save Dungeon Master Time

Updated on December 30, 2014

Game On!

Tabletop roleplaying games have been a hobby staple for over three decades. Sadly, many enthusiasts seldom think to venture beyond licensed products for inspiration and assistance in generating game content. It may surprise you to discover that tabletop roleplaying comprises a large and helpful online community. Roleplaying sites gamut a measure of game master tools, including free map and token generators, statistic indexes and message boards designed to offer helpful and timely responses to frequent questions. Best of all,,many such sites eschew commercial relationships with any single franchise, appealing to an array of enthusiasts and game settings. Below are several especially useful websites for use in a current or forthcoming campaign setting.

Donjon Rpg Tools

Donjon (a linguistic permutation of"dungeon") features myriad random generators for use in either traditional fantasy or science fiction fantasy campaign settings. Though a comprehensive tour of the site is likely to yield the most fruitful results, casual game enthusiasts should at least avail themselves to the following highlights:

  1. Random Dungeon Generator - This feature allows a prospective game master to compose a dungeon by merely tabulating several desired constraints - size, style,layout.
  2. Random Adventure Generator - The software devises an original adventure narrative, complete with theme, plot and other salient details.
  3. Medieval Demographics Calculator - This tool sums the area, density and even occupational breakdowns for a kingdom based upon supplied data such as population and density.

The above only scratch the surface of Donjon's application when planning a new campaign or adding more detailed information to an existing setting.

Review: Amateur game master's may be tempted to regard such comprehensive software as a substitute for careful campaign planning. This may result in campaigns or adventures that look a "personal touch" or that rely heavily on statistics. While Donjon's software represents a valuable game master resource, it should only ever supplement or strengthen, never replace, careful campaign preparation.

Inkwell Ideas!

Another site that generates random campaign aids, Inkwell specializes in the visual media of fantasy roleplaying design.Of special note is the website's city and village generators, that provide a layout of a particular location, complete with river forks, battlement walls and streets.Future software are said to include the capacity to add ruins, identify the purpose of individual buildings and wells. Ideal for a game master designing a campaign setting from the "ground up"or one adventure setting per session, the site also features links for generating coats of arms and inns.

Review: Inkwell provides the game master with a simple visual canvas for generating campaign content. However, experienced roleplaying enthusiasts will quickly see a need to "populate" said canvas with arresting non-player characters, unique locations and other colorful material. An able combination for such a feat may derive from combining the above Donjon demographic calculator with one of Inkwell's maps to create"ready made" city landscapes for your next adventure.

Strolen's Citadel: A Roleplaying Community

Strolen's Citadel comprises on of the more venerated non-commercial affiliated fantasy roleplaying websites. While the site hosts a large (to the novice even cumbersome) volume of articles on myriad topics - magic items, secret societies, non-player characters - its hearts blood resides in providing a place for supportive community members to assist one another in campaign design. Free forum registration allows users to search both article archives and threads for surgical advice on particular issues without worrying about solicitations for upcoming products or publications. Best of all, certain forums allow novice and experienced game masters to "test drive" their ideas before formal presentation to adventuring parties.

Review: Strolen's Citadel offers a nigh labyrinth site map for user navigation. Rather than start navigation of the site with a specific aim, immerse yourself in the striations of user contributions in pursuit of inspiration for your next adventure or even campaign. The site will easily arouse new ideas or galvanize careworn notions with even facile investigation.

Game Master Gallup

Which of the following sites best aided your most recent campaign design?

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The Game is Afoot!

Know any other resources for aiding in the composition of tabletop fantasy roleplaying settings? I look forward to your comments and thank you in advance for any kind words. Check out my other Hub Pages for additional suggestions for navigating geek culture and fantasy roleplaying systems.


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