Tools for Games Masters
Its finally here - the major upgrade to DM tools from Immortal Geek. Now we have a suite of map, story, party and NPC management tools that integrate smoothly and allow you to plan and track your tabletop games, and to help provide map resources to your players.
Coupled with the players tools for diary management and access to character sheets, ImmortalGeek.com now provides a set of tools to enhance the games of players and gamesmasters alike.
No, not the polymorph/shape-shifting game mechanic, this is real science. There are materials that change their shape in response to external influences such as changes in temperature, such as memory metals, that have been around for a while. The magazine Nature has just published an article in which some very clever boffins have detailed a way to make materials that will change shape according to programmed rules over time. The fascinating article can be read on the Nature website here.
The purpose of the Gaia Space Telescope is to assemble a 3D map of our galaxy, the Milky Way. A first step on that road has been made; the ESA have published their first star map, this shows a billion stars. This is only the beginning. With more to come from Gaia, this project promises to be both astonishing and compulsive.
This is a fascinating subject that runs to the very heart of theoretical physics. Whether you believe the scientific theories or not, the BBC has looked at what leading scientists have to say, and their article is a great read. Take a look for yourself, and make your own mind up. It can be read here on the BBC website
It's hard to believe, but the Hubble Space Telescope is 25 years old. Many of us remember it being launched into orbit from the space shuttle, then all the problems and repairs needed to sort out the optics. It was an expensive mess at the time, but it'd be hard to find anyone in the science community today that doesn't think it was worth every last dime. As a special event, NASA has released a 25th anniversary image, which you can take a look at here on the ESA Hubble page. Many years ago the plan for the Hubble was very different to today's expectation. It's reached its major milestone, and the outlook for it now is grim.
The greatest author of the 21st century finally succumbed to his illness on 12th March 2015 and the loss is felt by Geeks across the globe. Of all the great works of literature that I have read through the years, none have been as enjoyed (or as frequently read) as the works of Terry Pratchett. His legacy lives on, there are many geeks on the Internet who know that "A Man is not dead while his name is still spoken". So we can make the clacks sound his name forever - take a look here on the Guardian website.
The Games Master, or Dungeon Master is at the very heart of the game. They tell the story, and guide the players through their journey of adventure. We have prepared some tools to help make that an easier process.
Character and Party Management
Keeping up to speed with the characters as they develop can be tricky. Sometimes even simple stuff like which player plays which character, can easily be forgotten while juggling a dozen story-lines for the next set of encounters.
Having tools that let you gather character information together, and pull those characters into parties of adventurers can be really useful when planning each encounter and trying to present a challenging foe without causing their instant deaths.
Non-Player Character Management
NPCs permeate through all aspects of the game, some live only for an adventure, but some stay around, turning up again and again across stories. Re-using your very best baddies is an art, and having those easy-to-access descriptions and definitions of your NPCs can speed up play and make their arrival in a story consistent from the point of view of the players.
The NPC management tools from ImmortalGeek allow you to define NPCs in a style that suits you. Their free-form nature means you can put what you like in their descriptions, and once defined, they can be injected into the descriptions of adventures that you define.
Dungeon Map Management
When your parties have been assembled and you gather at the game table, having a battle map ready can be extremely useful when running through a combat scene. The map management at Immortal Geek allow you to:
- Upload your map to the server
- Edit the map to mark regions of it as 'exposed to the players'
- Hand the players the map's unique URL, allowing them to look at just the exposed regions on their smartphone, tablet or laptop
- Extend the 'exposed' region section by section - each time the players can immediately refresh their view to see the newly-revealed map
- Use a projector to display the map directly onto the table, creating the ultimate battle map
- Associate one of your parties with the map
The DM tools are not yet complete; we're still developing them further. These extensions are also planned:
- Add player character markers to the map
- Add monster markers to the map
- Use the map to track combat encounters, not just for dungeon exploration
Writing your own stories is a time consuming but rewarding business. Getting a feel for the pace or content can take experience, but ImmortalGeek.com's tools can help. The story management tool allows you to build an episodic adventure story, allowing stages to be defined, and a party's progress through to be tracked.
Episode definitions are flexible, and free-form. They are built up from episode notes that you can string notes together to form a single episode, or perhaps leave the episode as just a heading. It's also possible to define the episode definition in another place - just drop in a URL for the description on-line and the tools will produce a link to it.
Story description can easily be built to incorporate your maps and your NPCs, and even your player characters if you need to involve them directly. The notes markup makes this as simple as adding a wiki-like tag.