Category Archives: Advice

Music for the adventure in your mind

I am pretty sure that a lot of GMs are using music to set the mood during their gaming sessions. I prefer epic soundtracks from computer games and/or movies. But using the music from major blockbusters is not without problems. Music usually triggers memories and even if the effect is sometimes intended you want your players to enjoy the story of your current adventure and not reminisce some movie. In order to broaden my repertoire of “gaming music” I checked out soundtracks from lesser known games and movies and finally I stumbled over “Erdenstern“. Erdenstern is the name of a german band that creates music especially for roleplayers. They have released several CDs and each CD has a special theme. “Into the Red” for example is battle/war-themed, while “Into the Dark” is perfectly suited for horror or gothic scenarios. They even tag each song, so that you can easily choose the correct tracks for the situation at hand. Erdenstern has gained some popularity in the german roleplayers’ scene but I think they are pretty unknown in the rest of the world. If you are looking for some fantasy-themed music, make sure you check out Erdenstern.
Erdenstern has released some bonus tracks for free, so you can check out their style before ordering the CDs.

Erdenstern – The River (Into the Gold bonus track)

You can download more tracks on their official site.

iPhone app “Mach Dice”

Since the AppStore opened its doors, hundreds of applications where released for the iPhone and the iPod touch. There are a lot of dice applications that simulate dice rolls on the iPhone but the majority of these programs simulates six-sided dice only and most of the apps are pretty boring. The best dice-rolling application to date is “Mach Dice”. It was obviously developed by an avid gamer since it includes all of the common polyhedral dice and uses the (x)d(y) nomenclature (like in 3d6). Check out that video:

The application costs $1 (or 0,79€ in Europe) and is almost a must-have for iPhone-using roleplayers!
After watching the above video I HAD to buy it at once. And I don’t regret it … 😀
I first read about this awesome app on Jonathan Grain’s d20 Source. He’s a fellow member of the RPG Bloggers network and if you have any time to spare check out his blog!

TenFootWiki 2.0 – the ten foot pole for GMs

When planning a new campaign or even a whole new setting a wiki can really come in handy. But usually you need a web server (or hosted webspace) with support for PHP/Python/whatever and sometimes even a MySQL database to setup a wiki software. On the plus side you get a wiki you can access all over the internet but on the minus side you won’t be able to access the wiki when you’re offline and in most cases you’ll have to play a couple of euros a months for hosting. An alternative would be installing XAMPP (or a similar package) on your PC but this is sometimes not an option or just overkill if you want to take some notes during the preparation of the campaign or even during play.
Here comes TenFootWiki 2.0 to the rescue. TenFootWiki 2.0 is a modification of GTDTiddlyWiki that was created by RPG blogger UncleBear. Instead of wiki software like MediaWiki (Wikipedia is based on this software), you don’t need a server to run it. In fact it’s built to reside on your local hard drive, usb thumstick or even a floppy disc. The whole wiki consists of a single html file that you can view and edit by using your browser. I have tried it out today and it works like a charm!
For more information on TenFootWiki check out this post.