Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Tools for Adventure Gaming

Whether Judge or a player, the following tools should prove useful for fantasy adventure gaming.

Brave web browser

Brave is similar to Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, now with built-in security and privacy. Works with all Chrome plugins as the core engine is Chromium. Feels like using the internet back in better days.


Notepad++ example usage

The simplicity of the classic Notepad application, now supporting multiple open files through tabs, automatic backup and recovery, improved search, and much more for advanced users.


All the basic features of Adobe Photoshop offered for free.


Sumatra example usage

The best PDF reader by an extraordinary margin, being many times faster than Adobe along every metric. Open an unlimited number of PDFs instantly and scroll anywhere in the document instantly.

Feeder RSS

Free, functional RSS reader with a quality exceeding other paid options. Useful for keeping track of adventure gaming blogs.


Free tool for compressing or decompressing archives such as .zip, .rar, .7z very quickly.


Discord is a type of IRC program used through a web browser or Desktop app. Consider joining the general purpose Pedantic Gaming discord for adventure game discussion, or the Ransack Games discord.

Timestamps for Discord

This tool generates special timestamps that can be used with Discord, allowing each reader to see the time localized in their own timezone. Useful for scheduling games with players anywhere in the world.

Google docs & Google Sheets

Each offers equivalent functionality to Microsoft Word and Excel, now free and in the cloud. Easily share or collaborate with others. For anything you want to create & share be sure to click the 'Share' button in the upper right to set a desired access level. Typically, you want to share with 'anyone with the link' can view.


StackEdit example usage

An online note-taking application that uses Markdown language. Otherwise, similar to Microsoft OneNote or Scrivener. Be sure to use the Workspace setting to automatically sync your files using Dropbox or Google Drive, allowing you to access and edit from any web browser on any computer.


An online solution to automatically synchronize files across multiple devices, such as a phone, tablet, and computer. Supports up to 2 GB of files and up to 3 devices in free mode.

Image Extractor for PDF

Exacts all images from a PDF file. Useful for extracting dungeon maps for VTT use.


AnyDice example usage

Simulates many types of dice rolls, providing graphs and charts of expected probabilities.


donjon example usage

Huge variety of tools for generating treasure, maps, or more for a variety of game systems including AD&D.

Randomly Distribute Numbers

Divide a number into a set of randomized parts, for example to spread 50,000gp across 100 rooms.

Power Thesaurus

Power Thesaurus example usage

The only thesaurus you will ever need.

Fantasy Name Generators

Fantasy Name Generator example usage

Name generation website with a huge number of generators.

Dungeon Scrawl

Dungeon Scrawl example usage

Free tool for creating dungeon or hex maps. I do not recommend using the newer version just yet. I have recorded a How to Use Dungeon Scrawl V1 video on YouTube, with apologies for the poor quality.

Owlbear Rodeo

Owlbear example usage

Free virtual tabletop with fog of war. Doesn't support Hexes, unfortunately.

Rollem Rocks

Rollem Rocks example usage

Discord bot for rolling dice. Greatly preferred in lieu of the never-fixed, incorrect Avrae.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Simplified XP Model

You are a in a party of total characters.
You play a session every
XP per level, you find % of it.
You clear rooms per session.


Saturday, February 4, 2023

Ransack by Justin Todd

Good day.

From the rulebook:

Ransack is a fantasy adventure game to be played at a table with friends & family, requiring one participant to act as Judge & at least one other participant to act as a Player. Players control their characters, making decisions for & describing how that character acts, while the Judge presents the game world, interprets the rules, and controls all non-player characters.
Judges must challenge player wits & wiles without being their enemy, offering a world where characters may prove to be heroes.

Find the latest Ransack Playtest Rules or use the link in the right side bar.

There is also a Discord widget leading to the Ransack Discord where I discuss the rules & run games.

Ransack is my primary focus for the foreseeable future. The plan is to spend 2.5 years to complete a primary draft of the rules which will be split across 2 books totalling at least 300 pages. The 1st book is the primary rules for playing and running the game, which players may read at their discretion. The 2nd book will contain tools for the Judge, such as treasure, monsters, and methods for generating dungeons and wilderness areas. This 2nd book is not yet publicly available. The target date for completion of the primary drafts is June 2024.