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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Nuketown's Mac RPG Tools Page

by Ken Newquist / March 25, 2013

Introduction

I've been playing Dungeons & Dragons and other pen-and-paper role-playing games since I was in grade school, and I've been using Apple's Macintosh computers at least as long. Thirty years later, both RPGs and Apple computers are still a part of my life, only now I'm use Macs in every aspect of my game, from writing the adventure to tracking combat to maintaining my web site.

I'm always looking for Web sites to add to this page. If you have one, email me at nuketown@gmail.com.

About My Macs

The Computer: A Mac Book Pro (2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo) running Mac OS 10.7.x Lion. This is my aging workhorse machine; it's served me well, but it's about due for a replacement

The Tablet: A iPad 2 (16 GB). Used to read game PDFs, run modules at the table, control playlists on my Mac, and jot down notes.

The iPod: An iPhone 5S (32 GB). Most often used to roll for critical fumbles and critical hits using Paizo's iOS apps.

Mac RPG Utilities

GURPS Character Sheet

The GURPS Character Sheet is a Java-based tool for creating characters under GURPS 4th Edition rules. It has all the skills and spells you'll need to create characters, and does most of the heavy number crunching for you. It's written in Java and will run equally well on Windows, Mac or Unix operating systems.

Hero Lab

Originally a Windows-only tool, Hero Lab is now available for Mac as well. It's popular with my gaming group because it supports some of our favorite RPGs, including Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, Call of Cthulhu, Mutants & Masterminds, d20 System, 4th Edition, and World of Darkness. The drawback is its printing; the default character sheet templates are limiting, and don't organize things as well as your typical print character sheet. Still it's a worthwhile investiment if you have complicated character concepts or need to throw together quick-and-dirty non-player characters for your campaign.

RPG MapMaker

Mac game masters who need a program to detail the lands and dungeons of their campaign world should check out RPG MapMaker, a Mac-only, OS X-native mapping program. Among the program's many features are the ability to create a variety of grids, random maze and terrain generators, terrain tiles, and a terrain editor.

Generic RPG Utilities

Dungeonographer

A robust Java-based mapping tool for creating dungeon maps. You can use it to create battle maps, one-page dungeons, and even random dungeons ... complete wiht room descriptions! It's a companion tool to Hexographer.

Hexographer

I want to run an old-school Greyhawk campaign just to use this tool. As the name implies, Hexographer is all about making hex-based maps, like the classic World of Greyhawk map or the expansive Wilderlands of High Fantasy map set. It's a Java-based tool that's available for free online, and offline as part of a premium download. I've played around with the online version had some fun with it; when I have a project that demands hex maps I'll buy the premium edition. It's a companion tool to Dungeonographer.

PC Gen

PC Gen is a Java-based, open-source character generator that incorporates the D&D 3.5 core rules, as well as numerous d20 game systems and supplements. Because it is Java-based, it can be run on Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems.

I used PC Gen a lot during my d20 days, but it eventually fell by the wayside as Excel-based spreadsheets like HeroForge rose to the fore. The tool's great strength is its support for a wide variety of d20 rule sets; the greatest weakness is its often-clunky interface.

RPTools

RPTools offers a suite of Java-based programs to enhance your role-playing game sessions. MapTool is used to create an online game table (though I've heard of folks who project its maps in their game room for local play). TokenTool is used to make tokens for digital battlemaps, while InitiativeTool helps keep track of combat. It also has tools for character management and dice rolling.

VASSAL Game Engine

A Java-based tool for playing board and card games online that is available with a Mac installer. There are a tremendous number of modules for the game including a variety of war games, Arkham Horror, Battlestar Galactica, Axis and Allies, and many, many more.

Mac Gaming Web Sites

Inside Mac Games

News and previews about games and gaming-related hardware for the Macintosh. There are also online forums, desktop themes, and a files section where you can download the latest Mac demos.

Mad Irishman

Character sheets for 25+ gaming systems, including Dungeons & Dragons, Arcana Unearthed, Spycraft, Gamma World, Call of Cthulhu, and Traveller. All of the sheets are downloadable in Adobe Acrobat format, and were created on a Mac.

Sean Reynold's RPG Files

Sean Reynolds is a prolific RPG writer who created a bunch of excellent source books for Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms. He has Excel spreadsheets for generating gear, magical staffs and magical weapons. Of particular interest to Mac fans -- especially older ones -- are his HyperCard stacks. They are created for Apple's Hypercard, a database program that used to ship on old Macs, and which is all but extinct now.

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Comments

Thanks for approving my account! I'd like to use my first comment to also thank you for this amazing resource. I guess a lot of people have gravitated towards the ways of World of Warcraft but there's nothing like building your own adventures from scratch- and this will help!

Thanks again and keep up the great work!

JC

http://www.talesfromthedead.com

Thanks for leaving the comment -- I appreciate that! I'm looking to overhaul this page, including more formal reviews of some of the products on this page. If you have any suggestions or requests, please let me know.

This may need to be taken off of your site.

1. There has been no support or updates to this thing in years, and you cannot get into anything except the forums.
2. It will no longer work on mac if you install LION.

Sorry about the last post - for some odd reason it does not show the subject of the post.

I was talking about dundjinni.

That's too bad. It looks like their entire online store is down and will be for the foreseeable future. Updating this page is on my list of summer/fall projects, so I'll be sure to revisit Dunjinni when I do so.

There are now a number of Java-based mapping tools that can be used on the Mac and that are likely good alternatives to Dunjinni.

I've removed Dundjinni. The forums may be useful for RPG mapping and art conversations, but from what I can tell the software itself isn't being supported.