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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    With the advancement of technology, and the fact that most people have a tablet/computer/smartphone, would people have any interest in a TTRPG that required the use of an app?

    Using something like DnD as an example, I've seen many instances where people wish that their Intelligence or Wisdom could contribute to their ability to react to attacks, or using Strength and Dexterity in tandem. We've accepted limitations in systems to keep things simple (like how a 5e Monk can deal high damage despite having the Strength of a toddler), but...we don't have to settle for it anymore in the modern age, anymore.


    Say there was an action, like Calculated Strike. Used 40% of your Intelligence, 25% of your Dexterity, 25% of your Strength, and 10% of your Wisdom. A complex calculation like that would be nearly impossible to play with on paper, but would only take a couple minutes to put into an Excel sheet, and only a couple seconds to output the answer.

    Effectively, I'm talking about a TTRPG, using video-game-like calculations, while keeping the narrative open-ended.

    Would you think that was fun, or does it disgrace the TTRPG genre?
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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    I don't think it would disgrace the genre, but it runs the risk of ending up obsolete to a degree that pen & paper doesn't. The thing about those apps is that they have to be compatible with current software, which means that a few software upgrades could leave you without an app anymore, which in turn leaves you without a game.
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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    Although apps could be incredibly powerful tools, having your phone in your hand is too much of a temptation to not pay attention to the game and end up wasting everyone else's time (something I find disrespectful as heck).

    So it's gonna be a "no" for me on the "use apps" question.
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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    Nope, if you cant easily see what your bonuses are, it's too complicated.

    Phones are for talking. :P

    Although this is coming from someone who used to call friends on house phones. (which were telephones connected to a house, where you thought your friend might be. :P)

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    d20 Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    I've used "apps" before, but mainly to quicken things along; examples being a spreadsheet to keep track of equipment and general information (to prevent needless searching through books), or my "hordling generator" webpage since their shtick is that their appearance and abilities are intended to be randomly generated via a dozen or more tables — creating a page to randomize 'em in an instant is far more efficient.
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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    No.

    1) I don't even use aps. I find them obnoxious and invasive and largely the antithesis of privacy.

    2) No ap would be flexible enough to handle all the out-of-the-box situations a GM needs to deal with... it would be more like a video game than a TTRPG.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    Digital software platforms for TTRPGs already exist, like roll20, though their history is rather mixed in terms of cost/benefit. That's sort of like a gaming ap, and electronic character sheets and dice rollers have existed for quite some time now.

    In principle, yes, use of electronic tools for gaming calculations allows for more complex games to occur, but in practice the benefits of such things are marginal. The more complex the calculations your game system demands the more likely that various ad-hoc modifiers will screw things up and deliver a failure state were the players or GMs end up doing calculations by hand anyway. Automating game calculations actually works best for relatively simple games with a limited suite of modifiers like FATE compared to highly complex games with numerous constantly shifting modifiers like d20, as counter-intuitive as this may be. The only area in which electronic calculation is truly beneficial is when using systems with high levels of granularity - like those that use d100 roll-under (Eclipse Phase for example) - because this arithmetic is more difficult for the average gamer to conduct in a timely fashion. However, the consensus game design position is generally against such high-granularity systems anyway because there are almost never enough rolls in a given campaign to make the difference between a 30/100 and a 31/100 meaningful.

    In general, if the high-complexity of cooperative video game combat appeals to you as a gaming experience, then you should do that and not play tabletop. It's not like there's any shortage of options.
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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    The only thing I can really think of for D&D that would be a huge help to me and my players (can't speak for everyone) would be a digital database of the most to date printing of spells, feats and class abilities (from all books) that doesn't require going to a 3rd party website that keeps getting taken down every few months.

    And basically the same for the Fantasy Flight 40K RPGs. Traits, Talents, weapon properties and psychic powers.

    It would cut down so much time on flipping through the books and trying to find what you're looking for, especially if there's been an errata for that spell/ability/ect or an updated version form another book.


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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    I wrote a probability calculator for Dungeons the Dragoning, and I have a base complete (not all variants built) one for... something else that someone asked about probabilities for. I've done other calculators for other games where their options got too complicated to compare or the outcomes varied non-intuitively based on different assumptions. Plus a very expanded Perils of the Warp setup that does some nice sub-calculation and has five weighted tables of effects.

    They aren't phone apps, although they would be pretty easy to convert because you just have to put a gui on them. I do use a very small tablet computer I got as old surplus off a relative. Mostly it's just for speeding up the rolling I have to do as GM, although I did the Perils coding when I got tired of only having ~30 outcomes and a player who think lol-random potential TPK side effects are fun.

    Interestingly in several years of doing these I've noticed that simpler rolling schemes tend to have more fiddly modifiers and options, or practically no options.

    I think my biggest issue with an app requiring game would be the phone OS updates and app loading methods. I've had... annoying... experiences when Apple updated a mobile OS and we had to refactor a commercial app with a 10 day deadline and also discovered that the company's app store permissions had expired and the development environment had a manditory update that was incompatable with something else we needed on the development computers. It was... annoying...

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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    I use a few apps now but I wouldnt want a game thats dependent on them.

    Except for a map. If it had a simple, fast, DIY map tool that could talk to everyones app so that the whole group is looking at the same map on their personal device at the same time. Doesnt need to be fancy, could be just like the square gridded tactical turn based RPG's that you see sometimes.

    Thats a game I would play. I wouldnt replace my tabletop game night with it, but I would play both.

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    d20 Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    Oh, that reminds me… my TI-86 has some variables stored in it, such as average dice amounts ("d4" = 2.5, "d6" = 3.5, &c.), as well as the weight of certain metals per cubic foot and the "modern" value of gold, silver, and platinum pieces (the values are presently outdated, and I'm not sure if I included one for copper pieces).
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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    My current D&D group uses digital character sheets for all of our characters, more convenient for a lot of things though occasionally you need a minute to figure out where they've hidden some bit of information.

    As for the distraction of people playing on their phones, that's more of a problem with the person than with the tech you're using. The only person at our table that occasionally stops paying attention is the one that brings a book along, mostly because we were getting a little bogged down with shopping early on.

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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    "Requires" an app - not really.

    But "is greatly enhanced by an app" - yeah, absolutely I'd be down for that. You could argue that we're already there for several games as well.
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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    "Requires" an app - not really.

    But "is greatly enhanced by an app" - yeah, absolutely I'd be down for that. You could argue that we're already there for several games as well.
    Similarly. Particularly I wouldn't like the "requires an app" to be the requirement. Also most apps just do things webpages do, and don't really give anything for the closer access, using a spreadsheet, webpage would be preferred.
    A reputable place could possibly do an app that tied a lot of things together nicely in a flexible way though...

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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    There’s a better reason to keep things simple.

    See, even with the simple systems we already have, people will spend hours beyond mortal ken on calculating their builds, and what they will be able to do.

    And even with all the work put into it, there are still misunderstandings and discussions - this forum exists for that reason.

    Make it more complex, and you multiply that. That’s not to be desired.

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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    A TTRPG that requires the use of an App? The answer is simply: no.

    I really like to limit the use of technology during my RPG times. The only thing I really use it for is to play music and occasionally show pdf documents when I lack the physical copy. Less is more in my opinion.
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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    No.

    1) I don't even use aps. I find them obnoxious and invasive and largely the antithesis of privacy.
    One wonders what kind of arcane sorcery you used to post this then, since all web browsers are apps.

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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    No. I like the design limitations imposed by having calculations done by actual humans; it generally prevents designers from getting too excessively convoluted (Phoenix Command aside). All this would do is enable a bunch of fiddly design that fundamentally detracts from the strengths of tabletop RPGs in favor of leaning on the strengths of video games. Poorly.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    One wonders what kind of arcane sorcery you used to post this then, since all web browsers are apps.
    I used software, installed on a computer, where I have control over how it works and what it has access to and what it's allowed to send out to the world. I don't have to jailbreak my desktop to gain even the most basic control over these things.

    Don't confuse that with a phone app doing its damnedest to mine through everything on your phone and share it with the highest bidder.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2019-04-06 at 09:20 AM.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I used software, installed on a computer, where I have control over how it works and what it has access to and what it's allowed to send out to the world.
    Yeah, an app. Or computer application if you want to use extra syllables.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Don't confuse that with a phone app doing its damnedest to mine through everything on your phone and share it with the highest bidder.
    You must hate search engines too.

    Your information's already ****ed by virtue of you being on the internet (and using a bank/credit/debit, among a million other things), worrying about mobile apps to such a degree at that point is like buying a safe to store all your stuff that's already been stolen.

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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    There is no way to evaluate using apps in general, just like you can't evaluate "watching a TV show" in general. Some might be great, others terrible, and we'd never agree on most of them.

    I routinely use apps today that sounded like really poor ideas when I first heard about them. Let your phone decide which direction to turn? Give me a break.

    I won't evaluate a game until I play it, or a show until I watch it. For the same good reasons, I won't evaluate an app until somebody designs it and I get a chance to use it.

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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Yeah, an app. Or computer application if you want to use extra syllables.
    Software, or program.

    Don't conflate that with the Apple or Google store garbage of "aps".


    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    You must hate search engines too.

    Your information's already ****ed by virtue of you being on the internet (and using a bank/credit/debit, among a million other things), worrying about mobile apps to such a degree at that point is like buying a safe to store all your stuff that's already been stolen.
    What you're really saying here is that you assume everyone else is are careless as you are, and hasn't ever taken steps to restrict the flow of that information.

    Some of us have never had social media accounts, never use our real names online, block tracking via multiple methods, block all non-whitelisted scripts and redirects, don't let websites save any personal information, actually research before installing or using something, etc, etc, etc, etc.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2019-04-06 at 11:06 AM.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    And what I'm saying is you can do that all you want and you're only slowing the trickle at best. If you've ever made a purchase or payment online, the damage is done. If you have ever made a Google search, that info is stored. Have you ever had a bank account, applied for a credit card, or taken out a loan? Have you ever been paid in anything other than cash? That information is already compromised. It's stored online and readily available to anyone that wants it bad enough.

    As careful as you think you are, your information is already out there in bits and pieces.

    Phone apps are no more or less compromised than PC apps. If you own Microsoft Word your info is able to be sold as well.

    I'd also be wary of calling people "careless" for having social media accounts or downloading apps known to sell info. It's unavoidable in some cases for work or other legitimate reasons; I have to use Skype and Slack for work, and was required to make and use a Twitter account for a college class, for examples.
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2019-04-06 at 11:37 AM.

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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Software, or program.

    Don't conflate that with the Apple or Google store garbage of "aps".




    What you're really saying here is that you assume everyone else is are careless as you are, and hasn't ever taken steps to restrict the flow of that information.

    Some of us have never had social media accounts, never use our real names online, block tracking via multiple methods, block all non-whitelisted scripts and redirects, don't let websites save any personal information, actually research before installing or using something, etc, etc, etc, etc.
    Apps are software too, it's short for "application", it's called that because it's applied on top of the OS APIs which all software does (that isn't itself OS or machine code). I don't mean to be nitpicky but it really is all the same, apps on your phone, apps on your computer, apps in your refrigerator, apps in your electric toothbrush, apps in your car.
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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    Apps are software too, it's short for "application", it's called that because it's applied on top of the OS APIs which all software does (that isn't itself OS or machine code). I don't mean to be nitpicky but it really is all the same, apps on your phone, apps on your computer, apps in your refrigerator, apps in your electric toothbrush, apps in your car.
    Yes, I get where "aps" as a word comes from.

    Just because people applied "apps" retroactively to software for actual computers because they started using that word for little plugin crap for phones and such, doesn't mean I'm going to let my own vocabulary get sloppy.

    When the day comes that I can't get a car without a "connection" and "smart system" built in, I'll figure out what to hit with a hammer to wreck them. But then, I'm the guy who pulled the fuse from his car's "remote services" module, and always has the "give away my location" setting in his phone turned to "no".


    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    I'd also be wary of calling people "careless" for having social media accounts or downloading apps known to sell info. It's unavoidable in some cases for work or other legitimate reasons; I have to use Skype and Slack for work, and was required to make and use a Twitter account for a college class, for examples.
    Whereas I refused to install Skype or get a LinkedIn account when it was a hot thing at work... basically told the IT guy who was kept trying to set them up to stop wasting my time, and that no, I wouldn't do it myself either.

    There are a lot of steps that people can and do take to mitigate the flow of information and protect their privacy to a large degree... but because those steps aren't 100% perfect, you've decided to buy into a false dichotomy and assume that they're all worthless and pointless. Just because there's a little information out there in bits and pieces doesn't mean I should just let random "aps" or websites look over my shoulder at everything I do and profile me and target ads at me and so on.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2019-04-06 at 12:54 PM.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    With the advancement of technology, and the fact that most people have a tablet/computer/smartphone, would people have any interest in a TTRPG that required the use of an app?....

    Not likely as the "smartphone" I use (for example) to post to this Forum is issued to me by my employer so I'm not free to add "Apps" (which I've never done), besides (as someone said upthread) "Tech" gets obsolete too fast for my tastes.
    Besides "novelty" is RPG's doesn't appeal to me, my five favorite RPG "rule systems" are:

    Post Greyhawk supplement TSR D&D which thanks to "retro-clones" has been in use since '75.

    "5e" WD&D, which has elements that have been in D&D since 1974

    Chaosium's "BRP" which has been in use since RuneQuest in 1978, and one setting that uses it (Call of Cthullu) has been in-print since 1981.

    King Arthur Pendragon which I saw again on my FLGS' s shelf again last night and has rules that are much the same as the glorious 1985 rules which were based a lot on "BRP" (except a d20 instead of a d100).

    Really the only way an "App" based RPG would appeal is if I had no other opportunities to play.
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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    I wouldn't want to play something that requires an app, but I would never say no to a functional electronic character sheet and easy reference guide for spells/equipment/whatever other minutiae that often come up in game.
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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    I mean, I use apps to play RPGs. 5 Rings Dice app notwithstanding (I don't actually have it, though I can see its use. But it exists as an example of "Apps for RPGs") I do actually use a tablet as my main Gming tool, regulating music, notes and PdFs of books to look through (search functions and hyperlinks are great. A good pdf is a work of art.). And all of that easily portable wherever I should GM?

    I don't think I could go back to physical notes if I wanted to. It's so much more convenient.

    On the other hand, I am unsure what an app designed to enhance the game could do much. I don't play with battlemaps, though if you do the idea earlier this thread sounds great; I like physical dice way too much to ever consider relying only on digital ones. If something could do automatic battle sound responses to the players dice rolls, maybe? Like making roaring sounds of pain for different creatures automatically, or fading over the music based on how the fight is going? But I suppose that would require digital dice.
    Last edited by Floret; 2019-04-06 at 02:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    And what I'm saying is you can do that all you want and you're only slowing the trickle at best. If you've ever made a purchase or payment online, the damage is done....

    I bought a book published by U.S.C. that I needed for work "on-line" and within a week I got a call from the credit card company asking if I'd been buying things in New York or Dubai (both places I've never been).

    I'm very hesitant to ever buy anything from on-line and one of the many vexations of modernity is going to remaining 'brick and mortar' shops and being told "We don't carry that anymore because we can't compete"!
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    Does the game you play feature a Dragon sitting on a pile of treasure, in a Dungeon?
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    You're an NPC stat block."I remember when your race was your class you damned whippersnappers"
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Due to evolving technology, would you like to see RPGs use apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Not likely as the "smartphone" I use (for example) to post to this Forum is issued to me by my employer so I'm not free to add "Apps" (which I've never done), besides (as someone said upthread) "Tech" gets obsolete too fast for my tastes.
    Besides "novelty" is RPG's doesn't appeal to me, my five favorite RPG "rule systems" are:

    Post Greyhawk supplement TSR D&D which thanks to "retro-clones" has been in use since '75.

    "5e" WD&D, which has elements that have been in D&D since 1974

    Chaosium's "BRP" which has been in use since RuneQuest in 1978, and one setting that uses it (Call of Cthullu) has been in-print since 1981.

    King Arthur Pendragon which I saw again on my FLGS' s shelf again last night and has rules that are much the same as the glorious 1985 rules which were based a lot on "BRP" (except a d20 instead of a d100).

    Really the only way an "App" based RPG would appeal is if I had no other opportunities to play.
    I mean admittedly, something that did all your Book of the Manor/Estate tracking and rolls for you would actually be a pretty solid app Re:Pendragon. :P

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