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Masterplan is like CrawlNotes, but better

And here I thought CrawlNotes was an awesome and original idea! Turns out it was so awesome, someone went and did it better. You could say it’s a bad idea to point out when you’ve been outdone, but how can it be a mistake to make sure people are using the best software available to plan their adventures?

Masterplan is the program you want. Along with an interactive flowchart to track your party’s progress, you can create and manage combat encounters, put together traps and skill challenges and best of all, build dungeons manually or automatically using graphical tiles. If it sounds so amazing it could blind pigeons, you’d be right.

If all you want to do is craft dungeons quickly, then go ahead and stick with CrawlNotes. But I think Masterplan would suit better if you plan on expanding your adventures – in any which way.

Masterplan [Habitual Indolence]

~ by Logan on November 17, 2009.

5 Responses to “Masterplan is like CrawlNotes, but better”

  1. I checked it out, looks impressive. Any ideas where to get a good tileset from?

  2. I would agree here, Masterplan is definitely the better of the two apps, although as an old-style DM, I am still trying to embrace the “brave new world” of 4e encounter platting. The game really does have an affinity toward “flow-charting” encounters rather than mapping every corridor and alcove. I guess that’s not a bad thing, but old habits die hard…

  3. I wonder if any of these tools will run as U3 smart programs on my USB drive? I’m fond of keeping my campaign notes in my pocket.

  4. Why, why, why?

    Why are all the good DM tools windows-only?

    Makes us non-microsoftie geeks sad. :(

  5. @Buccaneers Guild: You could get away with using the ones over at DungeonForge: http://www.dungeonmapping.com/df/public_html/. You’ll have to create an account to get access to the downloads, but it’s an entirely free process.

    @Neuroglyph: There are definitely different styles of DM “thinking”, especially when it comes to visualising adventures. I used to be a pretty old school planner, mapping out every dungeon and encounter, but these days I fly by the seat a lot more. I find I plan out encounters in a rough manner – creature stats and powers, mainly, with a fraemwork of places to go – and I find it’s improved my DMing immensely. I also love (and am somewhat good at) improv, thanks to a background in theatre.

    At the end of the day, I’d go with what works for you. I don’t think any way is necessairly better… just different. :)

    @ironregime: You could give it a try. You might have trouble with the apps that require the .NET Framework. I know CrawlNotes works fine on any PC running XP SP3, Vista and Windows 7, but I’m not sure about Masterplan.

    @j_king: I would love to be able to port my software to Mac. One could argue I should be compiling and testing my apps using Mono – the open source version of the .NET Framework – but I’m pretty happy with the setup I have. I also think – and I mean no offense – that the Mac audience is not big enough to justify the additional development time.

    But I could very easily be wrong. It’d be nice to find out just how many RPs are using Mac systems.