Monday, April 13, 2009

OpenRPG Crashes, Goes Boom

No, it's back now, but last night, when I needed it, it wasn't. We lost an hour of game time arguing with it.

So it's time to find something else. Over at the consensus appears to be MapTool. I'm downloading it now as I type this. If anyone has experience with MapTool, or has another suggestion they'd like to make, please sound off.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

MapTool rescued gaming for our group. We're spread across the country, have busy lives, etc.

MapTool makes it so easy to create battlemaps, I can turn a published adventure into a series of maps and detailed tokens for creatures in a very reasonable time. (If I had time to write original adventures, it would great for that as well!)

And features like the lighting effects make the program truly great. The players love opening doors and getting a peak at new areas - and you can finally enforce lighting rules, so characters can't run off too far from the PC holding a torch!

Features like that make it more than a stopgap for gaming over distance - it actually enhances the game, and it has also speeded up battle for us considerably. (I use it in conjunction with a handy and simple Excel initiative/stats tracker of my own design, and we talk over Skype.)

It works so well, I plan to use it at the table even when we can game in the same room.

There is a learning curve on MapTool (much more for the GM than the players) but there are crucial video tutorials and a very active and helpful forum at the site. I've posted a couple of questions and got help right away.

One key benefit that I've found over OpenRPG and others: MapTool is first and foremost a mapping tool. Use it for terrain and moving tokens around. But use something else for creating characters and tracking initiative, etc. I find that the notion of one program doing everything is where you may run into trouble.

My two copper pieces.