Tuesday, May 27, 2014

TableToys: Tablet Edition

Tony T on the OSR Google+ community asked if anyone knew of RPG-related apps/games he might want to install on his new Nexus 7. Why, yes, Tony. Yes, I do. So many that I thought it might actually be dickish to hijack your thread with my gratuitous commenting, so I wrote this post instead. All of these apps are free, unless specifically stated to be otherwise.

1.) Old School Monsters Database: I'm still amazed that someone took the time to put this together for free. It's an easy-to-use, indexed reference of over 450 OGL D&D monsters. You can even sort them by level, and the terrain type that they're likely to be encountered in. Totally boss, and infinitely useable by the DM at the table. My only gripe is that the interface isn't entirely intuitive, since most of the good commands are located on the "menu" dots at the bottom instead of on-screen. Still, that's easy to get used to.
Honorable mentions: The creator, Appbrewers, also has an Old School Spells database and Old School RPG Tables that are equally nifty. I just find myself using the monster app a LOT more often for on-the-fly encounters.

2.) NameGenerator: This app by TofferJ is my second-most used utility. It gives you up to 100 names at a time (first and last) from a variety of languages/nationalities, including Ancient Greek. It's a real lifesaver when you're scrambling for something to call that random fishmonger NPC who the players have suddenly taken an interest in.

3.) Crawler's Companion: This one's primarily for running sessions of Dungeon Crawl Classics, but it also has a fun, tactile dice-roller that includes all of those goofy dice like d5's and d7's that DCC uses. It also lets you do batch-rolling when you need to quickly "roll all of the dice." Plus, the Criticals and Fumbles are pretty brutal for those times when you want a Natural 20 to be truly memorable for your players.
The only thing I don't like about this app is that it only runs in portrait mode. Still, that's a minor quibble for so much free goodness.

4.) NPC Generator: This is my go-to quick and dirty NPC creator. The names it comes up with are terrible/laughable, but it's great for quick stats and a general feel for random fishmonger personalities. The biggest downside is that it doesn't seem to have an option for saving the character for later. That's why I also use...

5.) NPC: This is the generator that you go to when you want details. Like, including the kitchen sink. More importantly, this is the generator that will actually let you save the random NPC's as text files for you to look up later. The names this thing comes up with are almost as bad as the other app above, but that's what the NameGenerator is for, n'est ce pas?

6.) Custom Soundboard: If you like to use audio effects at the game table, then this is the one to get the job done. I tried a few paid soundboard apps, but this free one is the least fiddly that I've found. It lets you custom build many completely different boards that you can just swipe through at your convenience. It's ad-supported, but the banners are small, located at the bottom of the screen, and unobtrusive.

7.) Gurk and Gurk II: Crushing li'l 8-bit, turn-based dungeon-crawl games that remind me a bit of the original Final Fantasy games. Gurk is free, but Gurk II will cost you a whopping 99 cents. As I write this, I see that they've created a third installment in the series, so I already know how I'll be spending my railway commute this summer.

8.) Quadropus Rampage: The best free Rogue-like game. Notice the period at the end of that sentence. It's an underwater dungeon-delve that pits your tennis-racquet-wielding quadropus against a mad god!

9. The Bard's Tale: Cost - $1.99  Effin' hilarious, even though I hate bards really a lot. I can't totally hate this one, though, because he's voiced by Cary Elwes, a.k.a. The Dread Pirate Roberts himself!

10.) Knights of Pen and Paper: Cost - $4.99 Another cute, 8-bitty throwback that actually attempts to poke fun at the gaming group themselves, as opposed to the characters they're playing. This one has more of a railroady storyline than Gurk's.

So, what apps and games do you fine folks recommend?

1 comment:

  1. The second-best free Rogue-like game (behind Quadropus Rampage, all hail lord Quadropus) is Pixel Dungeon. Or at least it's the most like playing D&D: mostly because you die a lot.

    Also putting in a vote for Castle Clash, which is a fun castle-defense game that doesn't rely too heavily on in-app purchases to have fun (so many games are ruined by IAPs). My friend got addicted to it because it says it reminds him of D&D, primarily the way the game relies on collecting and leveling up heros. Anyway, it's fun.

    Kairosoft makes a game where you play a small village that on the outskirts of a monster-filled dungeon. It's basically a sim game set in a D&D world. You build a nice town to attract adventurers, and the adventurers then kill the monsters outside of town. Neat take on a Sim Game, anyhow. I think it's more fun then their popular Game Dev Story, which was voted on by /r/AndroidGames as their top Android game.