Favourite RPG and Idea Tools of Generator CreatorsBy Duncan Thomson on
A while ago I asked several generator and table creators one question
What is your favourite RPG tool or ideas tool not built by you?
Then life and lockdown got in the way. Now I've caught up and publishing the results.
Several creators recommended the work of another
That's easy - Seventh Sanctum!
Fantasy Name Generators for names of all kinds.
I've always really liked Rinkworks' Fantasy Name Generator, particularly the advanced interface.
"...it gives you several options to direct what sort of results it produces, allowing you to either tweak things a bit, or work largely based on your own specified template, then fills out the rest with random results. A very useful naming tool. I always have to mention "basically all of Donjon's worldbuilding tools" as well, though, I can hardly count that as 1! Although if I start thinking about it too much, I start reaching for "Basically all of Chaotic Shiny's stuff" too..."
I like playing with and reading Eigengrau's Generator, because the towns sound so idyllic.
Several were mapping-related suggestions
Dyson Logos's huge map collection.
"...Over 800 maps by a published D&D cartographer, many of them royalty free for commercial use. That’s a huge benefit to the whole community."
the tool that meets the need I have that's hardest for me to meet on my own is Wonderdraft.
"...It's a mapmaking tool that allows non-artists like me to make really attractive maps easily."
If I had to pick one right now, I'd probably go for Watabou's Fantasy City Generator.
"...It's a great way to quickly create a city or town layout that you can fill with whatever you need. I'd love it if shops, taverns and other smaller-scale buildings or zones where included as well, but it's an amazing tool as it is."
Gotta go with Wonderdraft, super slick map making tool.
David N. Wilkie's "city generator" (will show a content warning first)
is one of a number of tools (or methods, or tricks) by which I am deeply impressed
My favorite RPG tool is MapTool
"...Our group uses a virtual tabletop when we play just to save table space and have for years, and MapTool has influenced our GM's VTT application (he wrote his own, long before VTT's became a thing) over the years. I also use it to run a couple of PbP games as I find it easier to work with than online sites like Roll 20."
Several recommended RPG tools
Has to be Kobold Fight Club. It is a wonderfully useful tool.
Without a doubt, World Anvil
"...makes structuringing things so much easier, and helps myself and my players"
My favourite would have to be Star Wars Adversaries
"...built by several Star Wars RPG fans (details on the about page). Its such a good tool for SWRPG GMs"
Virtual Tabletop [VTT] recommendations were also popular
To answer your question, I'd have to go with Roll20 if that counts.
I’d say Roll20.
"...I’d never role-played before creating my app and when a group of online friends found out, they organized a quick one-off session through Roll20. Beyond just using it to play with a dispersed group of people, it really made things easy as far as setting up my character and understanding what to do and how to play."
I'd have to say the Avrae bot for discord.
"...It makes playing and creating online a lot easier. It even helps with prototyping generators and playtesting features since you can use Avrae's Draconic scripting language to put together a little custom command that lets you try things out in bulk and automatically look things up on tables instead of having to roll a whole bunch and then manually reference the tables. It's also got a fabulous initiative tracker that takes a huge load off the DM and makes everything better."
"It's actually part of DnDBeyond now (for a while actually), so it's the official discord bot of the official digital source of D&D."
My favorite RPG tool that I use EVERY single session is Roll20.
"...I use it to show maps, to show our overworld, to show combat positions; anything you can think of! When I am DMing, I have my laptop behind my DM screen and I chrome-cast Roll20 onto the TV. When combat starts, I load up a battle map and the players tell me their locations and movements. "
"Roll20 gives me and the players a great sense of where things are during combat, and takes away SO much confusion while playing."
A few rpg books came up
"...both gave me new ways of looking at characters"
the AD&D 1e DMG, probably.
...it was absolutely formative, and i still take inspiration from it.
That’s easy - the 1st edition Dungeon Master’s Guide by Gary Gygax!
Some replies didn't fit another category
Dread’s Jenga tower mechanic.
I would give a shout-out to the unsung heroes that make save game editors for RPGs, since I always end up regretting my character build and want to change it a couple hours in. I always check if there's a good save editor available before buying any RPG now.
Jay Alexander Hafner, creator of many Character Sheet Tools [interview]
My current favorite tool is Google Forms for creating pick your own path solo adventures
"...and directed outcomes. Here try it out."
Elf of Random Creation [interview forthcoming]
This is boring, but my favorite ideas tool is Wikipedia.
"...It’s amazing what kind of details you can dig up especially by browsing the article categories and other classification features."
Finally I'll add my own favourite which is Discord
I use it to keep up with generators communities, run some online RPGs and keep up with GM Binder and DM's Guild updates.
And there is now a discord server for Rand Roll around rpg generators
Let us know your favourite RPG tool or ideas tool.