Tag: Pen & Paper RPG »
Megara Entertainment, crafters of the rather popular Fabled Lands, has just released their latest stand alone "choose-your-own-adventure" rpg. The Keep of the Lich-Lord is adapted from a tale of the name from the Fighting Fantasy series of gamebooks, penned by none other than illustrious interactive fiction authors Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson. Expect much decision-making and dice-rolling, naturally.
All the expected and classic gamebook gameplay is present and accounted for. Players can choose between two distinct classes this time around (Rogue or Paladin) and enjoy close to 100 color illustrations along with the orchestrated score. This isn't a mere straight port, however. Megara has added some new story twists along the way, so even battle-hardened veterans might find a few surprises. Heck, they could even stumble across a new magical item or two that could make a huge difference down the line.
iPad-owning gamebook fans should head on over to the App Store right now and grab The Keep of the Lich-Lord for the measly $4.99 asking price. I mean, it's not like that newly-resurrected necromancer is going to change his mind about tearing the land apart, right? At least, not without a little "encouragement."
In this, our exciting conclusion to last month's Part 1 of Dice Rollers iD&D special, we'll be taking a look at another 3 dice roller apps. Last month we showed you Pip, Mach Dice, and Quick Roll; three apps with various levels of power. This month we will be jumping in with the same methodology. Lets begin.
Perhaps the most simplistic, and arguably the least polished, of the apps today is Multi Dice Roller. The reason I included it in the list is the unique way it goes about handling the process of dice rolling. It strips out the graphical interface, does away with complex settings, and takes a basic button push approach to getting the desired result. Multi Dice Roller offers two separate methods of rolling. The first, classic method, allows the user to adjust the total number of dice being rolled, and then the user presses the corresponding die to see the total. It’s as simple as that. The second tab is called Dice Pool, and rather than give totals on the die, it allows for thresholds to be set, and success or failure to be made. Set the target roll, set the number of dice making an attempt to meet that target, and when the specific die is clicked a number of successes, or critical failure for 1, will be displayed.
Who Multi Dice Roller is for: This unique approach to dice rolling is best suited for a niche group of people who find this type of rolling to be beneficial.
Who Multi Dice Roller is not for: Anyone wanting aesthetic rolling should stay away from this app. Its versatility is extremely limited as well, so those needing a more powerful dice roller are better off looking at one of the other options.
Issues: Multi Dice Roller is a unique spin on dice rollers, but really fails to outperform many of the others at a comparable cost. It’s included because of its stand out approach to rolling, and there isn’t enough individuality in the app store.
Recommendation: Multi Dice Roller isn’t an expensive app, but its use is extremely narrow. Don’t expect a lot of developer support either.
RPG Calc, by Razeware (The makers of Battle Map), makes the list because of its simple and straightforward design. RPG Calc takes the visual representation of the rolling dice out of the equation, and instead makes use of a calculator for rolling purposes. Enter an equation into the app and with a shake of the ipod or a push of the equals sign the answer will be displayed on the screen. Need to take that answer and do further rolls? With the press of a button the answer is added into the next set of calculations automatically.
Who RPG Calc is for: This app is the next step in versatility. This is an excellent app for the dice roller who needs a big jump in programmability of rolls without a lot of duplication.
Who RPG Calc is not for: RPG Calc sits in an awkward position in this list of dice apps. It’s a great app, but it offers too little to really appeal to the hard core user, while offering just enough to possibly set itself above the casual user. Its powerful calculation tools are well designed, but aren’t something you can’t find with more tools somewhere else, and the lack of graphic representation may push some individuals away.
Issues: The limited screen size makes it impossible to display each and every dice roll when dealing with larger calculations, so unless you are only concerned with the end total, it becomes difficult to make good use of.
iPad differences: RPG Calc is a universal app, but using RPG Calc on the iPad improves the game app in several ways. First and foremost is the increased screen size, which allows for more versatility in seeing rolls. Additionally there are added features in the calculator including parenthetical statements, a D(variable) calculation, and a recent rolls list. While this doesn’t completely take the place of detailed history or pre-programmed rolls which are offered by other apps, it certainly opens up its use to a wider audience.
Recommendation: RPG Calc takes the graphical nonsense out of the equation, providing a straight forward experience. If this appeals to you, there is a good argument for trying out RPG Calc.
Side Note: RPG Calc comes free with Battle Map, so you’ve already been using, or have used, this app if you purchased our first month’s iD&D app.
I can’t hope to include, in a comparison such as this, the feature list that Dicenomicon offers. It would take this fairly long article and springboard it into a 10,000 word essay. This is the advanced programmer's dice app. Detailed background options, detailed UI adjustments, dice color and texture adjustments, physics changes, lighting changes, custom dice, character sheets, pre-programmed information from various gaming systems, if/then statements, built in PDF viewer, the list goes on and on.
Dicenomicon is feature heavy and the learning curve is intense. If you can master it, however, the possibilities are endless. The feature list is so heavy there is currently a Dicenomicon manual being developed by the creator, which is far from done, but can be checked out on the Dicenomicon web board here.
An app with the kind of feature list that Dicenomicon has deserves its own review, and in the future I’ll look into doing so. For now, check out the extensive list of features on the app store page, or check out the website here.
Who Dicenomicon is for: Advanced users. People willing to take the time to put ultimate power in their finger tips. Creating a character sheet inside Dicenomicon that works intuitively with the dice roll features, adding in the variables on its own, adjusting for hit chance and calculating EVERYTHING, based on predesigned formulas, is only one possible use of Dicenomicon. However, Dicenomicon can be used in a simpler fashion as well. There are drag and drop elements available for Dicenomicon for the simple user. Really though, why would you purchase a 32in HD monitor and hook it up to a top of the line Alienware system to surf the internet. Thankfully, power is sometimes cheap to obtain, and at $4.99, that’s a lot of bite for not a lot of investment.
Who Dicenomicon is not for: The light user, the casual gamer, the clinically sane (just kidding); it’s a power hungry app that requires an advanced user who is ready to take the time to use it to its full potential.
Issues: I was aware that a new update was coming for Dicenomicon so I delayed my review until now. These might be simple bugs as a result of the new patch, and a quick fix will take care of them, but I cannot get into some of the more advanced features of Dicenomicon without crashing the system right now. These include the extremely important role macro settings.
Recommendation: Be ready for the intimidation that is experienced when opening an app like this. I haven’t even begun to touch the feature list that Dicenomicon has, but it’s heavy. If you want the ultimate, this is it, and it comes at a pretty affordable cost. Don’t go this route if you want something simple. There are better, more straight forward options.
Time to step up to the plate folks. Next month is up in the air in regards to focus. I've got three different ideas for next months feature, and your input will help guide that decision. Are you looking for an all in one game manager? Want something a little lighter, say just a character sheet guide? Or we can take it a complete 360 and check out some of the best games for those that are pen and paper RPG enthusiasts. Shoot me an email, post in the comments, send me a twitter message, it's up to you! Until next time, keep on gaming!