I Swing the Vorpal Spork of Irony like some Hyperborean Usurper through the Hordes of the Unwashed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

4th Ed. Dungeon Masters' Best Friend

I hate laptops at the gaming table!!! I swore I would never do it. They are a horrible distraction, they take up too much space, and the cords are a trip hazard.
Here comes the but....
They do have some very valid uses for a Dungeon Master. Especially if you are DM'ing outside your home.
I am a D&D Insider subscriber so having instaneous access to the character and monster builder is a huge plus.
I play background music during my sessions, which is stored in my iTunes library.
But I recently found something that put me over the top. It's called the Dungeon Master's Battlescreen.
For the first 11 months of DM'ing 4th Ed. I was overwhelmed with all the bookkeeping. Hit Points, Ongoing Effects and Initiative not to mention all of the Monster and PC stats. In short I wasn't having a whole lot of fun.
DM's Battle Screen does all the dirty work for you.
Seriously, I could go on and on, but you need to see it for yourself. The program is Freeware and not an official WOTC program. You can however import files from the Monster and Character Builders. Take a look.


  1. I'm eager to try this out. I've dabbled a bit with some other programs (IniTracker was my latest attempt), but nothing has got me too excited. Thanks for passing this on.

  2. When I was the DM I used Crystal Ball a lot. I didn't ban laptops, either. We had an exceptional run of games where we use a program called, I think, SnapTalk. It was basically a chat program, but we had characters who were working against each other, while pretending to work together. It was absolutely wild. We went through big chunks of time where all of the role playing and gaming was happening in the chat. It was a lot to coordinate, and it was complicated as hell, but as with a lot of things, the complications brought rewards.

    In my own gaming, I've moved away from D&D. Mentally, I mean. If I was to start a new campaign, or even a one-shot, I'd pick a less complicated system. Believe me, D&D is always going to be my first language. Every rule I read I tried to correlate or translate it into D&Dspeak. But ultimatey, it's too much data and not enough gaming.

  3. I prefer more eye contact with my players than a computer allows.


Let me know what you think. Please watch the language.