• Mark S. Cookman

A Few Online Tools to Help You Run Your Game


We may not like to admit it, but we GM's all need help sometimes with our game. I know, personally, I am strong creatively, but often have problems with the "nitty-gritty" details of running the game. Regardless of your personal strengths and weaknesses, today's column will reveal a few online tools to help you run your RPG session, no matter the system. Know in advance though that some of the tools will be specific to D&D 5E. First off we will examine the different categories of tools we will be looking at and then we will focus upon examples in each.

Let's begin by stating that there are so many different online tools available today to enhance the enjoyment of tabletop rpg's that we couldn't hope to cover all of them in a single article. Please respond to this post and let everyone know about your favorite online tools. The categories that we will be looking at will include adventure design, name generators, npc generators, combat calculators, puzzles and riddles, music and sound fx for gaming, and even some great tips for handouts and props for your game. Let's begin with some adventure design tools.

Adventure Design

Have you ever had a problem coming up with a plot or working in a certain genre? If so, then some of these tools may be a help to you:

For general adventure/plot problems, try one of these. I especially like the symbolitron.

For help with mystery adventures, try this.

For help with spy adventures, try this.

For help with super hero adventures, try this.

Names

Have you ever had problems coming up with a name for a character, an npc, a dragon, an inn, a horse, a valley, a mountain range, or pretty much ANYTHING? Go here and never have that problem again.

NPC's for All Occasions

Have you ever had a problem coming up with NPC's for your games? If so, then one or more of the tools listed here may be a help to you.

Combat Calculators

Have you ever had problems keeping track of combat, balancing encounters, or figuring out what mix of creatures to use? If so, then some of these tools may be a help to you:

For help keeping track of combat, try this.

For help with calculating 5e encounter sizes, try this.

For help with all aspects of a 5e encounter, this is the tool to use.

Puzzles and Riddles

Do you want to have cool riddles, tricks, traps, and puzzles in your games, but you aren't good at creating these things or just don't have time? If the answer is yes, then some of these sites may be a help to you:

If you need riddles, then go here.

If you need tricks and traps, then go here.

If you want to use puzzles in your games, then I heartily recommend these three books:

The Book of Challenges: Dungeon Rooms, Puzzles, and Traps

The Tasks of Tanatalon: A PuzzleQuest Book

Of Course!: The Greatest Collection of Riddles & Brain Teasers For Expanding Your Mind

Music and Sound FX

Do you like to use music and sound fx in your games? If so, then you might want to check out these pages:

If you want free music and sound fx streamed over the internet, then go here.

If you want an application for music and sound fx, then go here.

If you just want good, old-fashioned music to game to, then go here.

Props and Handouts

Do you want to use props and handouts in your games, but you aren't sure where to start? If the answer is yes, then these sites may be a help to you:

Beyond the Game: Handouts and Props

Making Handouts, Gear, and Props for your RPG

Tons More Online Tools

I know there are lots and lots of online tools for gaming. What are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments and as always, happy gaming!

#gmadvice #dmadvice #dnd #rpg

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