Encounter design in Dungeons & Dragons has come a long way. Back in the old days, there wasn’t much in the way of game balance. If you were DMing a bunch of noobs through a dungeon and they were dumb enough to take an elevator all the way down to the tenth sub-basement? Well, tough luck for them when they run into the flock of cockatrices and get turned to stone.
These days, it’s a little more mathematical. If the adventuring party has five people and they’re all level 15, then you know approximately how many monsters to throw at them to give just enough of a challenge… but not kill them outright.
But how do you create your encounters? You can flip through your rulebooks at the table, between the stat blocks for Orc Raider and Dire Wolf, but that’s gonna get old quick. You can scan everything into your computer and print it out into a handy one-page reference, but who has the ink or the paper for that?
After many trials and tribulations, I stumbled onto Power2ool.com, a Flash-based webapp that interfaces directly with the Dungeons & Dragons Compendium and lets you place monster, item and class cards onto a virtual tabletop. Combine that with sticky notes and a dice roller, and it’s basically everything I need for encounter design. Best of all, I just keep my laptop at the game table and I don’t need anything else.
I can’t do it justice with words. The thing is slick beyond belief and it’s saved me so much time. Check out the demo video below and then sign up for a free account yourself!
Photo by sterlic