I'm a computer programmer and games enthusiast. Now that I've been playing 5th Ed Dungeons and Dragons, I see the need for a website to aid the players and DMs. Let me go through the use cases I am addressing.
1. The most direct need is for a player to have a place to keep his characters that he can access anywhere he has internet access. It would provide the option of printing off the character sheet as a hard copy, or have a nice interface that he could use from a smartphone, so that if he would never have to print off another character sheet again if he didn't want to. A player could keep a reasonable number of characters on the the site for free (I'm thinking 3). But if he needed to go over that limit (i.e. he is a heavy user), he would need a premium subscription (which I'm thinking would allow up to 15 characters).
2. A DM could set up a campaign. He could allow other DMs to share his campaign or not as he desired. If a player decided he wanted to play in a DMs campaign, he would submit his character for approval. And the DM could accept it, reject it, or return it for revision. After an adventure, the player would change his character data and submit it to the DM who ran the adventure for approval. If the DM agreed that the changes accurately reflected the results of the adventure he would approve it. Otherwise he send it back to the player for revision. Every character alteration would be logged so that a full history of the character changes could be examined.
In response to questions I've received:
- There will be a creation wizard for (at least) Dungeons and Dragons 5th Ed characters. And I intend to put as much as I can into that wizard without stepping on copyrighted material. I still have inquiries going with WotC as to exactly what that entails. It looks like I will be able to include the attribute with a page reference, but not the actual mechanic of the attribute. I.e. in the wizard, I will be able to put: "Dwarven Resilience (PH 11)", but not the full description of what Dwarven Resilience does.
- There will also be a form fill version that will allow the user to put in custom text, so you can open-endedly put in attribute data that will be stored and organized according to how you put it in (as a class attribute, race attribute, background attribute, etc) and would be printable/viewable according to "section" the user entered it in.
- The Kickstarter funding does two things: it pays for hosting fees (I'll contribute my work, but I don't expect to pay for that privilege :), and it shows there are people who will use it (it is very disheartening to a programmer to develop a technology that no one uses :( )
- Basic membership will be free and will allow a user to store and manage three characters, as well as use the DM features. Premium members will be able to store significantly more (at least 15).
- The premium membership that I'll grant to Kickstarter backers will be perpetual.
- After launch premium memberships will be annual.
Risks and challenges
The thing that I most have to be careful of is not to impinge on Wizards of the Coasts' copyrights. I've studied this pretty well, and I'm sure I can put in place a solution to these use cases that is completely acceptable.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)