Wednesday 14 June 2023

 Gaming tools

I'd like to start writing again. It isn't quite ten years since I started this blog, and the city of darkness is nearing the 20 year mark, but prolonged absences mean I feel like I have more to say on the topic. Lately, I have also been spending more time on the tools I build for myself to aid in wargaming and roleplaying. I might as well write about those here too. I realise this blog is becoming more apologies about not writing, than actual writing. Maybe this time it'll be different? Maybe not.

Let's find out.

You won't have noticed, but this blog now lives on, rather than the top level domain. After running separate apps for my various projects for many years, I got sick of maintaining them all separately. I have now blobbified them all together (technical term) and they now live at

Which projects exist right now?

Right now? Practically speaking, none. They're all broken in minor ways. I will fix them up over the coming weeks, but until then this is more of a teaser than anything else.

Necromunda Companion

Helps out with games of Necromunda at the table. I can't remember the special rules for any of my gangers, so provided with a Yaktribe gang url(, this little page will present all the rules for that gang, in a handy phone-oriented format. Necessarily, this tool contains a bunch of text from the game books and so to avoid the dubious copywrite violations involved, the only users of this tool are myself and people I have personally verified to actually own the physical books. Does this count as fair use and so is actually fine to share? I have no idea, and I can't be bothered consulting a lawyer to find out. 

Character Sheet

A standard set of interactive, fillable character sheets for a few different systems. 

  • StarWars - Edge of the Empire
  • Scion 2nd Edition
  • Vampire: The Masquerade 5th edition

I built this primarily to sharpen my frontend skills. I figured character sheets would be a challenge from a layout and aesthetic perspective and this largely worked. I'm happy with how they turned out. The trick is though, what is the point of them now? FantasyGrounds, Roll20 and the others all have character sheets, and a lot more. Mine sometimes look a bit nicer than Roll20s, but I have none of the gaming functionality that the VTTs provide.

So why put them online? To continue to build my skills, I suppose. I also plan to run my vampire game using it. One thing I think that is lacking in Roll20 and others, is a bit more shared note-taking space for both the players and GMs. I plan to add this to my character sheet app.

GM Screen

A canvas where a GM can lay out stories, encounters, maps and art, and even gaming pdfs open to the right pages, zoom in and out at will, and even share bits of it with the players. Now that sounds interesting! I hope anyway. I feel like there are some generic tools online right now to help with note taking, but I think there's room for something targeted at GMs, with some specialised features that will come in handy. This is the least complete of my builds, it's not even available to preview yet. It's an ambitious build that I'm not even sure I can pull off. Watch this space.

So there it is:

  • Something useful, but legally dubious
  • Something useless
  • Something that doesn't even exist yet

On the other hand, I have written something for the blog, for the first time in years. So I'll call it a win and finish with a bit of a roadmap of what I plan to tackle next. 


In no particular order

  • Get Necromunda Companion back in working order (small)
  • Add Shared note taking to Character Sheet (medium)
  • Add a GM information screen to Character Sheet, unrelated to the proper GM screen below, this will just present all the character stats in a game in a very condensed format. Think being able to see all the disciplines (or passive perceptions) the players have in one place
  • Continue my research into the proper GM screen. How can I make a performant, responsive, nice feeling tool before adding any actual features.