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What GMing Products Would You Like to See?

As a GM, what products do you wish RPG publishers would hurry up and make for you?

Books, widgets, funky dice, 12-panel screens — the field is wide open. Even if you don’t think it’s feasible or has the slightest chance of turning a profit, tell us about it!

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#1 Comment By WeaveWarden On April 27, 2007 @ 10:08 am

A freeware telepathically-guided map-making program.

Holographic miniature boards.

Dice that alter their trajectory to respond to secret GM controls and land as they *really should*

#2 Comment By thebrownshow On April 27, 2007 @ 10:34 am

That’s easy:
Pre-painted miniatures that aren’t randomized or varying degrees of rare!

#3 Comment By brcarl On April 27, 2007 @ 10:34 am

I agree with WeaveWarden fundamentally, but on a more realistic note… 😉

I’d take a reasonably-priced turn-key solution for map projection. You know, like the uber-geek set-ups that some folks have constructed with the projector hanging from the ceiling and the map being dynamically revealed on the tabletop.

I know the subject has been discussed here at TT before, but the out-the-door price tags have been very steep. We of the thin wallets probably just need to wait for technology to progress a bit further and this stuff will naturally fall in price.

Until then I guess I’d love to see some low priced terrain tiles to help spruce up an otherwise boring battle mat.

#4 Comment By Crazy Jerome On April 27, 2007 @ 12:05 pm

I want an online table top software program that is:

1. Well supported, commerical product (i.e. has people working on it constantly)

2. Technically involves only installing and running it, except for possible customization

3. Supports multiple players from a single machine, without any significant, additional hassle

4. Has licenses that don’t cause significant buy-in issues from potential players, and are flexible in both scope and duration (i.e. if I buy 4 client licenses today, I can get a discount for more later). Alternately, client licenses are cheap enough that it isn’t an issue.

5. Accepts the fact that no one ever wants quite the same system or house rules in the game by supporting both customization *and* easy ways to opt out of certain features that don’t pertain to my game (if I don’t want to customize them).

6. Will be useful in a face-to-face game with a projector.

Fantasy Grounds II is getting close, but isn’t there yet.

#5 Comment By tbug On April 27, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

I want a book published under the OGL that has a replacement for the Great Wheel (which is closed content).

#6 Comment By longcoat000 On April 27, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

Easy-to-use mapping software with hex and square grids. Minimum requirements: Something where you can select the squares you want, hit a button, and it draws a line around those squares (like Excel). Click a square, click a symbol (door, window, statue, etc), and it fills said square, streching to fill as many squares as selected (or alternately filling in one item per square, as determined by right-clicking). Automatically sequentially numbers halls, rooms, doors, etc. so that you can (if desired) note individual features (locked, different construction, hidden, etc.) of said items.

For use with laptops during a game: The ability to show the full “DM” version of the map on the laptop, but project a “player” version to the output (TV, overhead projector, etc.) which doesn’t have any special notes and will not show items labeled “hidden” until the DM unhides it from view. Player map will also have everything that they haven’t mapped blacked out (or the DM could use a picture or design instead of solid color), and can be easily uncovered by having the DM enter the corresponding room / hall / item key. Grids should also be labeled by axis (think Chess or BattleShip, A9, B12, D36, etc.) so that the DM can move player and monster icons around easily if the map is being projected onto a wall or television.

Wishlist for mapping program: The ability to convert 2D maps into 3D maps (like the old Ravenloft module).

I suppose that I’d also like to be able to buy all of the old Dungeon / Dragon magazines on a DVD (I think they did this with the first 250 issues of Dragon already on CD-ROM).

Releasing “packs” of prepainted plastic / rubber minis (since when do you only use one kobold or skeleton?) that aren’t randomized.

Clipboard with clear, lit plastic overlay (like this) that you can write on with an erasable marker so you don’t have to keep erasing a character sheet (or mess with scratch paper) and can actually see your sheet if you prefer to play in dim light, like candlelight.

Cheetos and Funions that don’t leave grease on your hand.

Palladium to un-twist their undies and allow the Great Skills Netbook back on the internet.

That’s about all I can think of for now.

#7 Comment By Tom On April 27, 2007 @ 3:29 pm

In the same vain of minis, when an adventure says you need x miniature for an encounter, bundle the minis needed, and throw in some terrain tiles for said encounter.

I’ve always envisioned something like the old GI Joe sets, where you could buy packs of guns, backpacks, etc. Only in the case of D&D, you buy sets of dungeon tiles, doors, statues, whatever.

#8 Comment By StingRay On April 27, 2007 @ 3:38 pm

I’d like a commercially made, widely available, don’t-have-to-bust-my-hump gamer table, like the one that was on eBay a bit ago.

#9 Comment By Spleen23 On April 27, 2007 @ 4:23 pm

Buy back programs or rebates for 1st edition books when they publish the 2nd edition a year later.

Packs of cheap plastic figures like the green army men for large encounters with bands of humanoids. I don’t need a lot of veriaty for cannon fodder and they don’t really need a nice paint job.
Twilight creations sells a bag of 100 zombies, but the scale ain’t quite right.

3 panel gm screen with clear panels on front and back for slideing in print outs and a flip book of clear sheets in the middle panel for player information.

CD of sound clips for RPGs.

Dragon #360

#10 Comment By Brendan On April 27, 2007 @ 4:31 pm


#11 Comment By drow On April 27, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

caffeine which you can turn off when the game is over, you’ve gone home, and are ready to sleep.

#12 Comment By Telas On April 28, 2007 @ 10:45 am

Players that are more concerned with the storyline and how it affects their character’s emotional state than how it affects their chances at the next feat/prestige class.

Oh – products.

Intuitive mapping software that is neither overdetailed (Dundjinni), nor built on a steep-learning-curve CAD paradigm (CC3). Basically, I want to spend less time than I would with graph paper to end up with a black-and-white map that could be easily printed in a 1″=5′ format for tabletop, or on a .2″=5′ format for the GM’s notebook.

For the nonrandom minis, have y’all tried Ebay?

#13 Comment By Martin On April 30, 2007 @ 8:51 am

(Tom) In the same vain of minis, when an adventure says you need x miniature for an encounter, bundle the minis needed, and throw in some terrain tiles for said encounter.

Hell yeah. Imagine if, for example, Paizo had done this with the Shackled City Adventure Path hardcover. Sell the version they sold as-is, and then sell a deluxe version that includes all of the minis you need to run the game, plus terrain tiles for every planned combat.

Even at $200, I bet they’d sell a ton of them — $200 for an entire campaign, with all of the goodies you need to run it, sounds pretty attractive to me. Especially with a gaming club or sharing the cost with your group.