Learn Math With Tic Tac Toe Math for iPhone, iPad and Android

Math doesn’t have to be boring. Tic Tac Toe Math takes the game of Tic Tac Toe and uses it to help teach math by challenging players to answer basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems.  The best part of Tic Tac Toe Math is that the parent can set a time limit for each question and choose the difficulty of the math questions.

Tic Tac Toe math also includes word problems. The word problems can be mixed in with the regular math problems (with an increased timer to account for reading), or you can choose to work on only word problems. You can even turn on ‘operators only’, which allows the child to focus on the operator (plus, minus, times or divide). This can be great for teaching them how to break down a word problem.

Tic Tac Toe Math is free, but the inclusion of word problems is available after watching a short advertisement.

Generate Random Encounters and Treasure for D&D 5e for iPhone/iPad and Android

Random Encounters for D&D 5e is intended to help DMs quickly roll up wandering monsters or generate encounter for an entire adventure.  The app can not only target encounters based on land or creature type such as Elemental or Giant, it can also target specific groups like orcs or goblins.  The app also includes random treasure tables ranging from those appropriate for chests, monsters, ‘boss’ monsters or specific types like scrolls, potions, weapons or armor.

Random Encounters for D&D 5e includes quick-and-easy combat tracker that will automatically roll initiative and help track current hit points for monsters.  A memo field provides the ability to write notes on the creature, so effects like poison can be noted.

The target audience for Random Encounters 5e are:

The DM who wants a quick way of rolling up an encounter with a specific target in mind, such as a desert encounter, a volcanic encounter or a group of mercenaries hot on the adventurer’s tail.

The DM who wants to create a one-off or even an entire campaign and wants a shortcut for filling maps with encounters and treasure.  The ability to edit and add to the saved encounters and treasure allows the app to either do all the heavy lifting or simply provide an initial brainstorming.

Endless RPG Adds Premium Map: The Crypt of Ro

I have added the first “premium” map to Endless RPG.  The Crypt of Ro is designed for new adventurers — and, really, newer players — as a great start for both their characters and for an introduction to roleplaying games.

In this case, “premium” does not mean you have to pay extra.  The map is included for free in Endless RPG.  A new store is available in the city that allows you to choose maps that are within an appropriate level range for your party.

The Crypt of Ro is a CR 1 adventure, so it is good for level 1-2 characters in a party of 3-5 characters, or even two level 3 characters or a solo level 4-5 character.

But more experienced characters aren’t completely left out.  The Greater Crypt of Ro is the same map but with encounters tuned to CR 5, which makes it a solid adventure for 3-5 characters in the level 5 range.

The Crypt of Ro is my first attempt to put a more premium-feel map into the Endless RPG system, which is designed for players to run through without the need for a DM.  This means the map will pop up messages with some of the description you might get from a real DM, with the map itself containing an underlying story that unfolds as you adventure.

Endless Adventures Update Adds Traditional RPG Mode

Endless Adventures was designed to be a roguelike game that included a full party system and dynamic quests that included both indoor and outdoor environments.  While developing the game, I switched back and forth between the explore-as-you-go gameplay features in the Dungeons of Evermore, which generates the dungeon as you move through it, and the traditional way of generating the entire area before you enter it.

At release, I went with the explore-as-you-go method because it was a little different than other role-playing games.  But as I’ve gone back and updated some of my older apps to make sure they are still working properly and refreshing the graphics on Dungeons of Evermore, I decided to make some key changes to Endless Adventures.

The biggest change from a gameplay standpoint is that it will now pregenerate the areas.  This will lead to more dead ends and probably more fights where you accidentally run into multiple groups of creatures, which can be fun and challenging.  You can still choose the old method in settings, so if you like exploring as you go, you can play that way as well.

I’ve also made some changes to make it easier to enjoy on smaller screens, including an additional zoomed in setting that will help with seeing what’s going on and a few other small changes.

Last, it’s easier to move from one city to the next with the new Travel button.  Previously, you had to dump all characters out of your party and tap the gate to travel to a different town. Now the travel button will do the heavy lifting for you.  However, you still must either (1) have characters in that town or (2) be traveling to the first town.

You can download Endless Adventures on the iOS App Store for iPhone/iPad.

Endless Adventures is also available on Android devices in the Google Play store.

How to DM a Fight With Your Own Character(s) in the Party

It may seem like the hardest part of being your own DM is dealing with the inevitable fights and battles that will break out as your characters explore a dungeon.  This includes both playing D&D or Pathfinder alone using Endless RPG or other dungeon generators or playing in a small group where no one really wants to be the dedicated DM.

For some, the idea of running a character while being the DM is sacrilege.  Others might simply point out that any character run by the DM is technically an NPC, which is about like saying a U.S. citizen is also an American.

One comment I’ve heard about the whole DM-plays-character conundrum is the idea that the DM may end up wanting to make their own character more powerful and DM to that end.  My response to this: that DM wouldn’t be a great DM no matter if they ran a character or not.  A DM’s job is to be a servant leader.  This means they lead the group by serving it: their planning and decisions are based on the most fun for the whole group.

One trick in playing both DM and character is to let the other players make the decisions as much as possible.  This is made easier with the Endless RPG app because the random dungeons are designed to be explored solo or with a group that doesn’t have a dedicated DM, so whoever is acting as DM can still put in some input on where to go and what to do.

But you don’t need a random dungeon to have a character in the party and still be the DM. You can use any campaign. The rule of thumb is that if you know what is to come, you let the other players make the decisions.

But what about Combat?

Here’s where it seems tricky.  But the secret is: it’s not that hard.  You have dice!

Remember: the dice are your friend.  Use them as much as possible when deciding what is going to happen during combat.

Let’s break down a basic encounter with orcs and a party entering a room in a dungeon through a door and coming from a hallway.  The party is still in a basic line with probably two characters side by side back through the party order. The orcs are spread out in the room doing orc-like things like eating giant rat that has been roasting over a flame and drinking some foul-smelling mead.

The orcs are going to attack, but who are they going to target?

The first rule of thumb is that any orc will automatically target a character engaging them in melee.  So if the character won initiative and attacked an orc, the orc attacks back.  This also counts for orcs that can use ranged weapons or spells targeting party members that use ranged weapons or spells.  If the orc is targeted, they target the same character.

Now let’s move to orcs that won the initiative:

The orcs that are going to use melee weapons will target those at the front of the party order.  So split the party in half with a minimum of the first two characters up to four character, which would be half of a party of eight.  Round Down.  So if the party consists of 5 characters, the first two are targeted by orcs rushing into melee.

Any orcs that can attack at range (archers, spellcasters, etc.) should randomly target from the entire group.

Now roll the dice. For deciding between two characters, roll a d6 and 1-3 is the first and 4-6 is the second.  For thee characters, roll d6 with 1-2 being first, 3-4 being second, 5-6 being third.  For 4 characters just roll a d4.

Rule of thumb: If you ever need to decide between an odd number of characters that don’t fit the dice, use a roll again rule.  So, if you are deciding if a trap targeted one of 5 people or an orc spellcaster was targeting one of 7 people, use the next-higher dice.  For 5 people, roll d6 and on a 6 reroll until you get a 1-5 result.  For 7 people, roll d8 and keep rolling if you start rolling 8s.

What happens after that initial round of combat…

Here’s where it gets a little trickier.  Just because an orc attacked a certain party member doesn’t mean they will keep targeting that same character.  If an orc archer shot an arrow at the mage but the party’s paladin engaged the orc, the archer would no doubt drop the bow and defend themselves against the paladin.

But what if it was an orc spell caster instead of an archer?

The first thing to determine is whether or not they have a strong attack that is good at melee range.  Obviously, the orc caster isn’t firing off a fire ball at that range!  Another consideration is any defensive measures they may have that can help them disengage from the paladin.  Lastly, there are the dice.

Remember: I said the dice are your friend.

If the orc caster has a good melee-ranged attack, roll a d6 and have them remain targeting the party’s mage on a 1 and switch to the paladin on any other result.  Basically, there’s a 16.7% chance that its a very stubborn orc.  If they have a good defense spell and nothing outstanding as a melee attack, have them automatically use the defense action.  Heck, if they can cast spells they aren’t stupid enough to take a longsword to the skull.

Here’s the mindset: Put yourself in the shoes of the monster, come up with a few different options, determine which is best, and when in doubt, use the dice.  The dice can provide enough randomness that the battle can seem fresh and also keeps everything fair for all of the players including the DM’s character.

Read More: How to Create Story While Being a DM and a Character in the Party

How to DM and Be a Character Too (D&D / Pathfinder)

Is it possible to be both the dungeon master and run a character or characters in the party? Yes and no.  From a purely technical standpoint, any character run by the DM would be a non-player character.  But from a practical (and FUN!) standpoint: OF COURSE IT IS POSSIBLE.

Don’t believe the cranks that say a dungeon master should never have a character.  It’s true that in a larger group with a dedicated dungeon master, it is usually easier to think of the non-player characters as NPCs rather than their own character, but we don’t always have ideal situations.  What if you and a friend want to play but you don’t know anyone else who plays D&D or Pathfinder?  You can still play by each rolling up a character (or characters — there’s no problem each running two or more characters) and having one person act as the chief dungeon master.  This will even work with three or four people when no one really wants to be the DM.

How Endless RPG Can Help You DM Your Friends and Play Your Own Character

Endless RPG is the app I wish I had when me and a friend were playing D&D without a big group.  Pathfinder and 5e are both great when you have a huge group of people each with their own dedicated person, but we simply don’t always have that.  And when we do, they may only meet once a month leaving us itching to play on our own.

Endless RPG creates player-facing random dungeons. This means you explore the dungeon and don’t know what’s around the next corner.  It does this two ways: A quest-style interface that will display multiple missions within the characters’ level range and a custom dungeon mode that lets you create a specific adventure.

The mission mode is great for playing solo.  It’s also great for playing with a small group of friends and alternating who DMs each encounter.

But there is a much cooler way of using Endless RPG to DM without a huge amount of work.

How to Use Custom Random Dungeons to Create a Story

The DM has three major jobs:

  • The DM interprets the rules during game play
  • The DM guides combat by ‘playing’ the part of the monsters.
  • But most importantly, the DM provides STORY.

For the first one, all players can help interpret the rules when playing in a small group where the DM is playing a character (or characters) as well.  Getting input from everyone, even if it is just you and a buddy, is important to make sure the game is fair.

Playing the part of the monsters can have its own pitfalls.  We’ll get into how to go about being the DM of combat while having a character within combat and still making sure things are fair in another post.  The chief ingredient here is (1) when you are the monsters, you are trying to kill the players, so do your best and (2) keep in mind that your character doesn’t know what the monsters are thinking, so let your friends lead as much as possible.  And when in doubt, use the dice to determine the outcome. This can include who the monsters target, whether or not they flee, etc.

Read: How to DM Fights When You Have a Character in the Party!

But where Endless RPG can really help out is in allowing you to create a story without spending hours upon hours drawing out maps, placing traps, distributing treasure and planning encounters.

Story may sound intimidating, but it really isn’t.  Let’s do a basic story real quick.

Part One:

  • Goblins have kidnapped a little girl from a village and your party of adventurers have been asked to get her back.
  • Action: Create a Custom Dungeon of CR .25 to 2 with a 1 or 2 level cave choosing Goblins as the enemy.  When the cave has been cleared, move to Part Two.

Part Two:

  • There was no sign of the girl in the caverns, but the party learns she was exhibiting signs of wild magic.  The goblins must have abducted her intent on using her powers and moved her to a nearby stronghold.
  • Action: Create a Custom Castle with a Dungeon below of CR .25 to 2 choosing Goblins as the enemy.  Once the dungeon is cleared, move to Part Three.

Part Three:

  • The girl has been saved, but the goblins used a mixture of starvation, fear and mild torture to hasten the onset of her powers.  Now the girl is having trouble controlling the wild magic.  No one in the village knows how to handle it, but a book may exist within the ruins of a shattered city nearby.
  • Action: Create a Custom Ruins (1 or 2 levels) with a CR slightly higher than the previous steps and choosing Undead as the enemy.

End Game:

  • Once the ruins have been cleared, consider the book found.  The book can be given to the village elders to help contain the girl’s wild magic.

This is really just a basic plot line.  You can get these by thinking about books you’ve read or movies you’ve seen or even the plot to a TV show.  It’s usually best to think in terms of 2-4 destinations that you’ll need to clear like a cave, then a castle then some ruins.  But even something as simple as saving a girl from a cave can add some story behind the adventure and perhaps the party is chosen as guardians of the village and fight off future problems.

While this centered around using Endless RPG to help provide content, there are plenty of other random generator options for solo or DM-less play that can be used in conjunction with Endless RPG or used instead of it.

Read more about playing D&D or Pathfinder Alone or In a Small Group Without a Dedicated DM

Dragons Have Arrived in Endless RPG

The first dragons have been spotted flying over Gateway, but how did we get here?

For a random dungeon generator that doesn’t need to worry about pesky things like combat mechanics and artificial intelligence, putting a dragon’s lair into Endless RPG might seem a simple matter of building a cave and placing the dragon at the end of that cave. And in fact, most of the actual coding for getting this done was already in place. But the actual act of getting this done was a little more involved.

First, you have the lair itself. An orc war chief or a goblin boss may be fine with a small chamber within the cave serving as their headquarters, but a dragon needs some room. So the first step was creating a lair at the end of the dungeon where the dragon would have the room to spread her wings.

Endless RPG doesn’t create random caves and dungeons by placing rooms of random sizes and then using a maze algorithm to connect them, which is one standard way of building random dungeons. Instead, it uses hand drawn sections that are placed together in a specific fashion to get a bit more of a homemade feel to it. This is why a wizard’s bedroom, library and magical laboratory can be found near each other or a guard room often sits in front of a torture room with adjacent cells.

So the first step in bringing dragons to Gateway was building a few lairs for them to live in while the make their evil schemes.

Next up was actually filling those lairs.

Currently, only one color of dragon has been spotted flying over the mountains. A white dragon, Actually, several white dragons of different ages. But while a white dragon of any age is a formidable foe, they won’t be alone in their lairs. To get to the dragon, you’ll need to do a little fighting.

How to Play D&D or Pathfinder Solo with Endless RPG

Another aspect of Endless RPG is that dungeon occupants are randomly thrown together. You won’t often see orcs, goblins, skeletons and demons all living together. Missions have a main antagonists, such as orcs or undead, and the cave or ruins that are created for them are mostly filled with the same type of enemy.

However, only coming across orcs would be quite a bore, so there are a few other creature types that can be found alongside them. Orcs are considered the ‘primary’ enemy, but the dungeon generator can also spawn secondary enemies. These are specific creatures linked to orcs such as giant rats gnawing on leftover food or kobolds being used as slaves. The generator can also create a ‘beast’ creature in certain areas, which can be a giant spider or a cave bear. And some rooms might be designed as a potential lair where you might find a roper or a zombie beholder.

So how do we go about designing the occupants of a white dragon’s lair?

The dungeon generator has a separate set of rules for ‘enemies’, which are creatures likely to lead other creatures such as a succubus who is causing mayhem by charming orcs and goblins and ogres. White dragons fall under this category. Enemies use many of the same techniques as regular dungeons such as areas for beasts and lair-type creatures, but instead of having a singular primary group as the main occupants, there can be several groups.

This allows a white dragon’s lair to be occupied by some of the creatures you might expect to find like winter wolves and yetis.

And of course, once we have the lair prepared and the occupants ready to move in, we have to move from setting up a white dragon in 5th edition D&D to setting up a white dragon in pathfinder, which means finding the right companions under Pathfinder rules.

The last step is balancing the lair. A dragon fight should mainly be about the dragon fight, so ideally, it will be a difficulty-to-deadly battle. So the trek through the cave to find its lair should include encounters to make it fun but not tax the party’s resources in the same way a normal quest might before reaching the final fight.

The typical dungeon in Endless RPG is set to be around 7 standard encounters. There is some variety as encounters can be easier or harder. Dragon lairs will usually have around 4-5 encounters before meeting the dragon, and if the dragon is considered a difficult encounter all by itself, many of these encounters will be easier (or perhaps even trivial). This offsets the CR of the dragon lair reflecting a difficult battle.

How to Use Endless RPG Random Dungeons With Roll20 and Other Virtual Tabletops

Create Random Dungeons for Roll20 and Other Virtual Tabletops Using Endless RPG

The latest release of Endless RPG includes a few features that are aimed at helping DMs take the dungeons generated by the app offline or transferring them over to virtual tabletops like Roll20.

This basically means you can use Endless RPG to randomly generate an adventure and play it online with your friends using Roll20.  This can be good for both newer DMs and experienced DMs that want to run a quick randomly generated adventure but want some control over what creatures are found in the dungeon.  (Or if it is even a ‘dungeon’!)

While in DM Mode within a dungeon, there are now four options:

  • Show Base Map. This option will show the whole map on the screen without any encounters.  It is intended as an easy way to either look at the entire map or to screen shot the map.
  • Show Whole Map. This is just like showing the base map except that encounters and some of the other secrets will be shown on the map.
  • Email Map. This one is the same as Show Base Map, except it will email the app if the device is capable of sending email. On an iPhone or iPad, at least one Mail account must be set up through settings.  On an Android device, the phone/tablet may bring up the share sheet allowing you to choose an email client.  If a cloud storage app is chosen (such as Dropbox) the map will be saved there.
  • Email Map + Legend.  This option puts tags on the map for encounters, treasures, traps, etc.  It will include descriptions of these within the body of the email, so you are basically sending the randomly generated dungeon level to an email as a module.

The maps are generated with a goal of 75×75 tiles, however, because device screen resolution varies, this target may vary slightly, which means it may end up 75×74 or a similar grid size. You can modify the grid size in Roll20 to better fit the map.

Endless RPG includes a handcrafted map, The Crypt of Ro.  This map can be exported using the same methods.

Note: All four of these options only include the current level.  If you have generated a multi-level dungeon, you will need to do this for each level.  You can move to a different level in DM Mode by simply tapping the stairs.

How to Put the Endless RPG Map Into Roll20

I’ve only tested this with Roll20, but I suspect other virtual tabletops like Fantasy Grounds will work as well.  The main thing on this is that the grid doesn’t turn out to be a perfect square.  Endless RPG renders the map as a perfect square, but when the map is emailed it turns out to be a slightly different dimension.

In Roll20, this is easily solved for dungeons, fortresses and ruins.  Simply use the option to customize the grid by selecting a 3×3 square.  This worked very well for getting it formatted correctly.

Caves can be a little more tricky simply because it is harder to distinguish the actual tiles on the cave floor. The grid size should be the same as any other map, so I would suggest starting with a dungeon or fortress to get an idea of the dimensions.  This should make aligning the cave a little easier.

How to Play D&D or Pathfinder Solo or In A DM-less Group

icon_1024It’s quite possible to play Pathfinder or D&D alone. In fact, for some, the only choice at getting into D&D or Pathfinder might be to play solo. For others that have friends that play but don’t have friends that want to DM, there’s no need to go without. There are even ways to DM without all of the hard work that can go into creating maps.

So how do you get started?

Endless RPG was created to allow the flexibility to play without a dedicated DM by having an iPhone, iPad and Android device present a random adventure in a player-friendly manner. Most random dungeon generators are designed for DMs, and as such, they spill all the goods. Endless RPG plays like a turn-based role-playing game with a fog of war that you must uncover as you explore and hidden encounters, treasures, traps and other secrets. The only difference: Endless RPG tells you what you find but all of the dice rolling is up to you.

It’s best if you already know the basic rules of D&D or Pathfinder, but even if you are just getting started, Endless RPG can be a solid way to learn the rules. The key ingredients are the books, the dice, the app and a healthy dose of imagination. If you are the type that likes to talk to themselves, even better because you can roll up multiple characters!


How to DM Yourself in D&D and Pathfinder

Endless RPG gives you the feeling of exploring and not knowing exactly what may come next, but when it comes to rolling combat, you will have to DM yourself. After all, you are in charge of both the monsters and your character (or even a whole group of characters!).

The Battle Map provided with the app can help with tactics, but it can also be fun to use miniatures on a table. Before beginning combat, try to come up with a basic strategy for how the party is going to handles the creates. But instead of jumping right into the dice rolls, do the same thing for the other side. How would they fight your party? If its a bunch of goblins, they’ll probably just charge right in with the most basic tactics, gnolls might be more clever, demons might be exceedingly clever, etc.

Remember, the threat of death is what makes the game so good, so be fair. Also, don’t be afraid to use the dice for more than just standard dice rolls. If you are fighting a spell caster, come up with a percentage chance of them casting a spell or roll a dice to see which spell they cast. Is that goblin taking a beat down? Roll to see if they decide to flee! The fun part is coming up with some basic rules, such as cowardly creatures running on a roll of 6 or less on a d10 if they are badly injured while more courageous (or stupid!) creatures only run on a roll of 2 or less.

Also keep in mind that Endless RPG cannot take into account every situation. If you cast a spell that should have detected a trap that you subsequently stumbled over and failed a perception roll, feel free to alter events to fit that initial spell!

How to Play D&D/Pathfinder In A Small Group Without a DM

This is where Endless RPG can really shine. Simply take turns on who is the DM from one encounter to the next. This is a great way of keeping everyone fair and spreading out the work.

Everything said above applies, but you can do more strategizing for the encounter. Let your character step back and be more of a DM’s NPC — aiding combat, but not leading it. And then see what kind of ass-whooping you can do to the party!

It’s a good idea to use dice to see what party members are targeted by specific creatures in the encounter. This can help curb any arguments about a certain character getting targeted too much. But play within the tactics of the encounter: ogres are dumb, drow elves are smart, etc.

Use Random Generators to Round Out the Adventure

Whether you are playing solo or simply without a dedicated DM, random generators are a great way to introduce story and surprise into the equation.  Here are a few good websites with different random generators:

The Random Adventure Generator on Donjon is a good way to kickstart a story and all of the websites have random goodness that can add to the adventure.

How to DM Pathfinder or D&D Without Putting In as Much Work!

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Do you want to DM but just don’t have the time? You aren’t alone. There are plenty of people who love to tell a great story but don’t really love drawing out detailed maps.

Endless RPG can provide a backbone of content that lets you tell your story. You can game master the campaign, control what happens in town and with NPCs, and when you need a tower full of orcs or a ruin with skeletons, Endless RPG can provide it. Because the app lets you choose a monster group as well as a setting and a challenge rating, you can tailor the adventure to your story.

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with all of the monster groups available as enemies by going to the Custom screen in the adventure map and tapping through the challenge ratings. The available enemy groups will change with specific CR, so once you hit 20th, you’ll have a good idea what you can throw at the party.

Endless RPG Lets You DM a D&D or Pathfinder Campaign While Focusing on Story

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The latest update to Endless RPG adds important DM controls to the app that will allow dungeon masters who are just starting out or who want to focus more on story than map building a great way to add content to the campaign. The new controls allow a DM to create a random dungeon by picking a Challenge Rating for the map, picking an environment such as Cave, Ruins or even a Castle with a Dungeon, and picking a primary ‘enemy’, which can be anything from orcs to goblins to giants to demons to undead (etc.).

The new DM mode will also allow game masters to check out the random dungeon, exploring the map, looking into encounters or treasures, etc. Everything is numbered (Trap 1, Trap 2, Treasure 1, etc.) so the DM can make their own notes in their favorite note-taking app, perhaps adding or subtracting to treasures or encounters or simply changing the DC to pick a lock. The dungeon can be drawn out for the players and the app used as a module for the game master, or the DM Mode can be turned off an Endless RPG handed back to the players to allow them to explore.

My goal is that DMs who want to use it for a one-off, who want to use it as part of a campaign to quickly create an area, or who want to focus on Story and use it to help fill in content will be able to do so. Because it allows you to pick a lot of encounter types from CR .25 to 20, it gives a fair amount of flexibility. A new DM can use it to get into the groove, creating a story where invading orcs are perhaps teaming up with goblins to attack a village, with the character party first rooting the goblins out of their cave and then taking on the orcs in their stronghold.