Getting the word out

10 Sep

I just posted the following to the forums over at Old School Roleplaying  I trust it won’t be considered spam and get me flamed into oblivion.

I apologize is this is a breach of etiquette, but I trust you’ll forgive a fellow enthusiast sharing his good news with a relevant audience.

First a little back story. Last summer, I started playing classic AD&D with my 2 young kids (now middle schoolers). I don’t remember how we got started. I hadn’t done any serious D&D since the 80’s, but it was quick success. On our first trip to the game store to get some figures my kids saw the 4th edition stuff and said “we play 1st edition.” Fast forward to this summer and my daughter asked if there were any relevant iPhone or iPad apps. Of course there are LOTS of die-roling apps and a few dozen later-edition D&D apps, but I didn’t see anything for what I was interested in, namely helping to keep track of the darn monsters during an encounter (I’m the DM and I have a corner of the table with way too many books, etc. so I wanted way to be a bit more organized.) Not finding anything, I spent the month of August learning how to program for the iPhone and developing the app I was looking for. Today, a week after being submitted for approval, it was released to the App store for sale. I’m quite proud of it, and I hope that people give it a try and find it useful. I already have a 1.1 version in the works, and I’m looking forward to suggestions from actual users.

If you’re interested, you can find it on the iTunes App Store by searching for “Old School DM” (the name of the app) or just “OSRIC” (apparently I’m the only person who thought to use that as a key word :-))

As the name implies it’s intended for (and really only useful for) the DM. You build an encounter by adding the monsters you want (it comes with a few that I entered and you can enter your own very easily). The app rolls for the hit points of the monsters and you’re ready for round 1. Each round it shows the basic stats of the monsters (AC, size, move speed) plus their remaining hit points and attacks this round. As monsters get injured you record the damage. When it’s their turn to attack the app can roll each attack’s hit d20 roll and tell you what AC that would hit. If that would hit the target for that attack, tap on the damage roll button to roll that (or use the information on the screen to roll the dice, since dice are cool). When all the monsters have gotten their whacks in (all their remaining attacks show as zero), tap next round to clear the dead and reset the attacks. I just ran an encounter with a dozen poison frogs (3 attacks each), and it was quick and easy with the app. That’s where it really excels–encounters with lots of monsters or different monsters with different attacks. But if you just use it to keep track of remaining hit points (and roll your own attacks), that works too. Oh, and when you’re done (or at any time) you can tap the XP! button to find out the “official” experience points earned for this encounter. Completed encounters stick around until you delete them, so it is also a type of diary of what’s been faced.

I am charging $1.99 for the app, but I think it’s a fair price for what you get and what went into it. If I can make back a portion of the $99 it cost to become an iPhone developer I’ll be thrilled.


One Response to “Getting the word out”

  1. Lord Nikon September 13, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    No, we love the app, and we support it fully at the OSR Forums. Please stop by more often and let us know more about it. Make the Apps home the OSR Website 🙂

    – Vincent

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