Dumping Place

So, this one site is one that I’ve forgotten about over time.  I was so focussed on the Tumblr site (http://www.ridingtohellinahandbasket.com) for so long and then after that it was Facebook (http://fb.me/TomD1969), that this place really wasn’t on my radar.  The creation of a Windows app kinda means that it becomes easier for me to post and administer this site (is that the right term?  Geez, I’ve been out of the blogging game for too long).

So now the question becomes: What do I do with this space now that it’s here?  It has never really garnered the attention that my other avenues have (see “Tumblr”), that might be okay.

In the past, I have done reviews of RPG assistant apps for RPGs such as Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder (see this and this are two primary examples) with the proviso that they be “rules agnostic,” meaning they can be used by all players regardless of what rulees system they use.  Dicenomicon and Sheet Yourself are two examples of this.  I would like to continue in that vein and maybe get my math explanations (what is the area of a 2m hex in the Hero System?) and maybe provide support for my personal favorite RPG: Champions.

We’ll see.

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RPG Assistance App Review: The Dicenomicon

Inspiration has suddenly hit: I’m going to try to review apps that assist players and GMs in RPGs, whether they are dice rollers, character sheets, and so on.  Biases: I’m a Hero System fanatic, so I look for things that will work with the Hero System.  Also, I only own an iOS device, so I don’t know if these apps are available for Android.

Dicenomicon

Dicenomicon’s Roll Box.  Note the dice at the bottom: tapping them throws one die of that type into the roll box.  For 3d6, just tap “d6” three times.  More dice are available by swiping to the left.

Today, I thought I’d start by reviewing The Dicenomicon by gandreas software (Download it on the iTunes App Store, $5.99US).

The Dicenomicon is a system agnostic dice-rolling app.  You can use it any number of ways: there is a bar on the bottom of the screen that you can tap for a quick roll of dice, or you can use the very powerful dice macro system.

A Macro example

Here, in this macro example, we see that it will roll 8d6 and display the results in Stun and Body for the Hero System (Champions).

The type of dice available to roll is simply staggering, including some (such as the d9) that I did not know existed.  It can handle open-ended d% rolls (like Rolemaster), dice pools (such as ShadowRun and StoryTeller), and the BODY and STUN of the aforementioned Hero System.  You can save die macros in your favorites for quick access to the rolls you use the most often for your game.

A D&D 4 character sheet in Dicenomicon

This is the character sheet for D&D 4th. Just about everything on this screencap is tappable, and will automatically roll the appropriate dice (usually a d20), compare it to a Difficulty, and display the results.

Probably the most staggeringly powerful function of the app is the character sheet ability.  You can download a template for a character sheet and put in all your pertinent stats (Characteristics, Skills, Powers, etc).  All you have to do is tap the appropriate ability on the character sheet (such as the Fortitude Saving Throw in the above screencap), type in the target number and any modifiers and Dicenomicon will automatically roll the appropriate dice for you and tell you the results.  Unfortunately, there are only templates for a few systems (d20 and Pathfinder among them).

Now, to the bad: there is an annoying bug where every once in a while an extra set of dice will appear in the roll box, particularly when you shake the device to re-roll.  Also, occasionally, the dice will just freeze in mid-air.

The support is better than I’ve seen with some apps, but could still use some work.

There are also some peculiarities and annoyances in the die roll macros, too, such as parts of the “if-then-else” clause will just disappear with no rhyme or reason.  Parts of it are also woefully under-documented, and if they are documented, not very easy to get to or find.

All in all, this is a good app to assist players and GMs.  It could use some more full templates for more systems (such as the Hero System, alas), but is powerful enough to assist players of any system, regardless.

My Grade: B+

Brain Dump

So I think I’ve reached a point in my life where I couldn’t give a shit less whether or not anybody reads my blog.  The problem is that I’ve said this before, and got caught up in the trap of suddenly caring, and reading analytics, and trying to make my other blog conform to what I believed others wanted from me, and it has made me miserable and a half.  (now, there’s a title of a blog: Miserable and a Half.  If only “Hyperbole and a Half” wasn’t already taken).  But I ended up being miserable.

Anyway, so this blog is going to have to be about a place where I practice writing in the long form, and where I can see about some deeper topics than in my other blog.

I might post here something about math, science, technology, and any other nerdy endeavor that I fascinates me at the moment.  You’ve been warned.