Dragons Gameboard is an open source replacement for grid maps in tabletop RPG combat. You use any device with a browser (TV, computer screen, etc.) to display a grid and players use their iOS or Android devices to control it. We want to make playing tabletop games as easy as carrying around a phone in your pocket.
Dragons Gameboard will use already-existing platform technology developed by Brass Monkey to run on any device with a browser. Players and gamemasters can then connect via Wi-Fi using their smart devices to place and move characters, draw terrain and do anything that a normal game map can do. This makes it possible to track tabletop RPG combat on your own TV without worrying about bringing materials, clearing out pizza boxes, avoiding spills, losing precious minis, etc.
Dragons Gameboard can support up to 16 players simultaneously. It will be built in HTML5 and will work with any Wi-Fi connected web browser. Players control it via any Android or iOS devices.
Basic features will include:
A 20x20 grid which will allow users to:
Place and move tokens (characters)- which can be indicated with simple shapes or selected from other libraries
Paint colors or textures into some squares to indicate terrain, walls, etc.
Roll dice and have the results display on the screen for all to see and cheer/mock
All available for free to everyone!
Additional features will likely include:
The ability to save and share maps
Variable tile sets for different terrain
An initiative system which allows players to roll, apply modifiers and keep track of turns
Multiple premium tilesets, character tokens, etc. including at least 3 sets by Lost Decade Games' Matt Hackett
Gamemaster tools which allow gamemasters to pre-generate encounters by placing terrain and monsters
Online support for remote players as well as local
Since the code is open source, it easily allows developers to generate new tilesets or tokens, or even make the board enforce movement rules, check line of sight, etc. Brass Monkey’s micro-transaction system will allow content creators to sell add-ons or give them away for free.
Any money in excess of our goal will go towards adding additional features. Anyone who backs us for $100 or more will be invited to help us decide which features to prioritize and build first.
Our FAQ is at the botton of the page. Scroll down!
More questions? Ask us!
Brass Monkey is an 8-person startup company focused on developing a web-based gaming platform, and all of our resources are focused on building out the platform rather than the games. We really believe that this is an awesome use of the tech- but we need funding in order to get this into development.
We're hoping that fellow tabletop gamers will see the potential that this system has and that we can get the support needed to make it a reality!
Dragons Gameboard is unique in that it is a digital board designed around game sessions that still meet in person. It keeps you face to face with your friends, frees up table space, and is convenient to bring with you.
Our system is designed to be open source and free-to-play. Developers can build this to do whatever they want, entire rulesets or even traditional boardgames (checkers, chess) could integrated.
Brass Coins: Available to anyone "Dire Badger" level or above. Our CEO Chris has graciously agreed to donate coins to backers! These coins can be used to purchase premium content for the Game Board, or play some really awesome games on the Brass Monkey virtual arcade at playbrassmonkey.com.
Premium Tokens: Available to anyone "Kobold" level or above. The awesome designers from Lost Decade Games (Onslaught! Arena) are supplying a digital token set consisting of 24 characters ranging from monsters to heroes. The tokens will be original 32x32 pixel art- representing goblins, orcs, knights, slimes, wizards, all the stuff you would need in a standard tabletop fantasy games.
Premium Tiles: Available to anyone "Kobold Illusionist" level or above. In addition to our beautiful pixelart tokens, we'll also be producing a set of 24 terrain tiles which you can use to make pretty maps! It will include tiles like walls, gates, water, trees, stones, slime pits, lava, gates, fences, furniture- pretty much anything you'd need under normal circumstances.
Backers Only Tokens and Tiles: Available to anyone "Goblin" level or above. For your generous donation we'll give you this totally sweet set of another 24 tiles which will ONLY be made available to backers. These will feature some extra cool hero artwork as well as variations on monsters. Also permanent cred. for having backed us and having something unique to show for it.
Gameboard Poster: Available to "Orc", "Orc Shaman" and everything above "Lizardman" level. A real 11x17 poster, made from real atoms will be sent by real mail to your real house, apartment, hut or cell and you can really put it up on your real wall. The artwork will be done by this project's head designer, Andrew Kostuik and will show off the art of the Gameboard in all of its glory. For an additional $10 we'll sign it, if you're Ogre level or above we'll just consider the $10 included. If you're international please toss us a few extra bucks for shipping- email if you need to know precisely how much.
Dragons Gameboard Pins: Available to anyone "Orc" level or above. What better way to commemorate your involvement in this awesome project than by adorning cloth objects with pins? If you get this we'll send you a dozen 1" pins, with our logo and images of our generic tokens on them, and one side marked to indicate 'facing'- so if you ever find yourself short on minis when using a real gridmap you can just grab these and use them as stand ins. Remember to email about international shipping.
Dragons Gameboard Exclusive Backer T-shirt: Available to "Bugbear" and anyone "Imp" level or above. For your generous support we will literally clothe you, hiding your true form from the general public, greatly reducing your chance of arrest for public indecency and proudly declaring your support for this project. You'll get a t-shirt featuring artwork by some combination of the artists at Lost Decade and Brass Monkey's own Andrew Kostuik AND we'll sign it if you want. These t-shirts will ONLY be given out to backers, so you can lord this over your less visionary friends for all eternity. Remember to email about international shipping.
Beta Access: Available to "Lizardman" and above. This one's pretty simple. As soon as we have a version of the Gameboard that's good enough to bear the title of 'beta' we'll give you access. You'll need to have an account on Brass Monkey to get this, but they're free.
Lost Decade Pins: 1 dozen available to "Lizardman" and above, 2 dozen available to "Ogre", 4 dozen available to "Minotaur" and above. Now you can take the Dragons Gameboard and the awesome pixel art tokens created by Lost Decade Games with you ANYWHERE! You'll get a set of 1" pinback buttons, each featuring a different hero, monster or object which can be used to decorate your messenger back, attached to a hat or used by gamers on the go who left their minis at home! They'll all be marked to indicate facing for added usefulness. Depending on how many you wind up with we'll start with the most basic buttons and then start giving you more unusual monster types, extras of things like goblins and orcs. Remember to email about international shipping.
Personal Tokens (Your Design): 1 available to "Ogre", 3 to "Minotaur", 6 to "Troll" and 12 to "Giant" and above. Send us a design you want to go on a token in game and we'll implement it and link it to your account, and yours alone forever. Though you can make them publicly available if you want- it can't be anything lewd or copyright protected.
Custom Buttons: 3 Available to "Ogre" and "Minotaur", 6 available to "Troll", 12 available to "Giant" and above. We'll put whatever Lost Decade designs or personal designs you've gotten as a reward onto a 1" pinback button. If you don't want your own design on all of these we can do color variations of any of the standard 'hero' buttons provided by Lost Decade.
Six Month Premium Access: Available to "Imp" and above. Any premium (paid) content that Brass Monkey puts out for the first 6 months after the Dragons Gameboard launches is yours, free.
Six Month Premium Access: Available to "Imp" and above.
Any premium (paid) content that Brass Monkey puts out for the first 6 months after the Dragons Gameboard launches is yours, free.
Lifetime Premium Access: Available to "Minotaur" and above.
Any premium (paid) content that Brass Monkey puts out, ever, for the Dragons Gameboard is yours, free.
Vinyl Gaming Mat: Available to "Minotaur" and above. We'll print out our basic gameboard, with a stylish 20x20 (or maybe more) grid of 1" squares, on a vinyl mat and send it to you to play tabletop RPGs on. You can use wet erase markers and the huge pile of tokens you'll be getting along with it. Yes, it's kind of weird that one of the rewards for our digital, space saving gaming grid is a normal, non-space saving gaming grid.
Personal Tokens Designed By Lost Decade: 1 Available to "Troll", 4 available to "Giant", 6 available to "Golem", 12 available to "Lich" and above. Just like the custom tokens you can design for yourself, except for these you'll get to tell the good people at Lost Decade precisely what you want and they'll make it for you. As before, the tokens can be just for you or shared with the whole universe. Lost Decade still won't break any copyrights or do anything lewd.
Vinyl Gaming Mat: Available to "Minotaur" and above. We'll
print out our basic gameboard, with a stylish 20x20 (or maybe more) grid
of 1" squares, on a vinyl mat and send it to you to play tabletop RPGs
on. You can use wet erase markers and the huge pile of tokens you'll be
getting along with it. This also gets the prize for most ironic reward.
Design a Tileset: Available to "Golem" and above. Got a campaign in mind? Angry that we didn't publish tiles appropriate for your homebrew steampunk insect people time travel campaign? You're in luck. You can design a full tileset, either yourself or with the help of the people at Lost Decade games, which will be made available to either just you or the entirety of our userbase. Nothing lewd, be nice to copyright holders, etc.
Smart Device With A Gelaskin: Available to "Lich" and above.
If you were thinking about replacing your smartphone now's your chance to do it for a mere $5000 (or more). The good news is that you'll be supporting us and you'll get a lot of other stuff. We'll also put a gelaskin on it designed by our own Andrew Kostuik, sign it... we'll also think you're awesome. Really, really awesome. You pick the device, basically any currently made iOS or Android phone, tablet or handheld device.
Custom Development: Available to "Dragon" level backers. You know what feature we should add to this? Well, tell us. We'll put it in. As long as it takes 20 hours of development time or less we will include your feature. If we think it's really, really awesome, we might be willing to put in more. You should probably email us before getting this.
Gaming Session With Brass Monkey: Available to "Adventurer" level backers. If you can get yourself to Boston we will run a 24 hour gaming session for you and up to 4 of your friends. We will provide a venue, food, drinks, an adventure, an appropriate screen to use Dragons Gameboard in all of its glory and iPods with custom gelaskins for all of your guests... which they can keep! Somewhere between one and three of us will run the game session in any system which we know the rules for.
Naming Rights: Available to "Giant Space Hamster" level backers. Have you thought of a better name for this product? Do you think it should bear the title of your favorite PC, NPC, significant other... house pet, whatever? As long as it's not lewd, doesn't infringe on copyright and in any way indicates what the product actually is we'll let you change the name of the thing, we'll change our logo to be whatever you want and as long as people use it they'll have to refer to it by whatever title you've given it. Email us first to get your new title approved- we reserve veto right.
Some people have been asking us what we're planning on giving away vs. what we will consider 'premium' (paid) content. The short answer is that we will produce as much as we can using the money we've raised on Kickstarter and make the features we create at this stage free and/or give it to backers. After that premium add ons will be sold by us and anyone else who cares to add onto this (Open Source). Below is a breakdown of what we plan to produce at launch for free, what we hope to produce at launch for free and what we expect that we, or others, will charge for.
Basic features, available to everyone, everywhere for free at launch:
•20x20 gaming grid
•Support for 8+ players
•Android or iOS devices as controllers
•The ability to place and move tiles and tokens to simulate a tactical combat grid
•A set of basic tiles that can be used to make terrain on your virtual board
•A set of basic tokens/virtual minis that appear with different colors to indicate who created them and can be marked to further differentiate between them
•Dice rolling displayed on the central screen
Stuff that we’ll try to include for free at, or shortly after launch (these may be reach goals, may be things we do if we have extra time during development)•Online/remote player support•Smart TV support•Support for iPad as a display•A hex map• “save map” features to allow you to quick-load encounters•Facing- allows you to mark which direction your virtual minis are looking and front/rear arc
Examples of things you might pay for (premium content: remember, this is open source, so people can build and sell pretty much whatever they want as add-ons):•Totally sweet, customized virtual minis resembling heroes and monsters (such as those Lost Decade Games will make for some of our backers)•Equally sweet terrain tiles with custom terrain resembling slime pits, lava… forests… whatever•New skins for the whole thing•Add-ons that allow the gameboard to enforce rules such as: -An initiative module that tracks whose turn it is -A “DM” mode that allows a DM to conceal certain tiles or virtual minis in order to spring traps or ambushes on players -“Line of Sight” calculator -Elevation trackers for terrain -Status trackers for individual minis- allowing you to assign them HP values, indicate when they are bloodied, etc. -Movement rules- make certain terrain impassable, attach ‘movement’ scores to individual minis•Storage space for large numbers of saved maps and/or premade map libraries•Templates for AOE effects•Whatever else you can think to build and either give away or sell
The team at Brass Monkey has done online games before (Tank Vs. Alien Online, for example). We're not sure if we'll launch with online play enabled, but it's certainly a feature we'd like to include. If we get more than we asked for this would be a pretty obvious reach goal.
As it is we're planning to launch square tiles- if we get more money (reach goal) or discover that development goes quickly and we have time we'll include hex. It's a feature we'd definitely like to see, and even if we don't do it ourselves this project will be open source, and other enterprising individuals could certainly make hex a reality.
Currently the best way we're aware of is to connect whatever 'video out' your computer has to your TV and use it as a second or mirrored monitor. In the demo we were using a MacBook pro connected via HDMI cable. If people are curious we might post a guide to making your TV act as a second monitor on the Brass Monkey site- it would be good to have such a thing anyway.
For those of you not familiar with us or curious what we mean, precisely, by this. Our plan is to release the code for the gameboard itself to anyone who wants it to do with as they please- this means that people can take the code and build add-ons to it or even use it as a basis to build entirely new games (lots of which use grids and tokens- chess, checkers, etc.). We thought it would be cool to see someone build a game like Robo Rally using this, or any other board/card game. Content made using the gameboard as a base will not necessarily be free- developers can decide whether they want to charge for it or not.
Here's the deal- with this being open source, people can choose whether or not they want to charge for content. Because some great developers out there want to charge for their content, we have chosen to support that as much as we support free content. The coins mean that Brass Monkey will buy you some games or in-game items and whatnot.
Green Slime: It wouldn't be a dungeon without you. You will receive $1 worth of our thankful thoughts and well wishes and in a few months when we're finished you'll have access to the finished game mat and can tell everyone you were a backer. You also get to use game mat... because it's free.
Dire Badger: We'll really appreciate your support! To show you how much we appreciate it Brass Monkey will give you 10,000 brass coins for use on any product in the Brass Monkey system. We'll also give you some snazzy backers only desktop wallpaper.
Kobold Illusionist: Same as a kobold, but in addition to the character tokens you'll get access to a premium tile set you can use to build terrain on the game mat, lovingly crafted in pixel art style by the good people at Lost Decade Games.
Half-Orc: 30,000 coins, all "Goblin" level rewards, a handful of "Lost Decade" pixel art tokens/buttons and -by popular demand- all premium content Brass Monkey releases for the first 6 months will be yours for free!
Orc: All goblin level rewards plus another 30,000 coins and a 'backer' poster (11x17") done by Brass Monkey's own art director, Andrew Kostuik. We'll also throw in a dozen 1" pins with our logo and some generic token art on them that you can use on your traditional game mat when not using ours.
We'll also put your name in the credits.
Lizardman: All "Orc" level rewards. Beta access to the product, another 50,000 brass coins (100,000 total), and two dozen 1" buttons featuring Lost Decade character tokens available in game that can be used to decorate your person or act as counters when using your non-digital grid map.
International backers, please include extra for shipping (contact us for exact amount).
Imp: All "Lizardman" level rewards AND the t-shirt from the "bugbear" level, plus we'll give you any premium content we produce at Brass Monkey for six months after we launch for FREE.
We'll also call you to say thank you and put your picture and name in the credits.
Ogre: All "Imp" level rewards. We'll make a graphic of your choice into a custom token that will be linked to you and that only you can use. We'll also give you a dozen more Lost Decade buttons and 3 Custom buttons (you choose weapons, hair, skin and clothing color). That's 39 Lost Decade buttons total. We'll also sign both the t-shirt and the poster.
Minotaur: All ogre level awards and a limited edition wet erase vinyl game mat done in the style of our in-game map, designed by the one and only Andrew Kostuik. We'll also set you up with two more tokens for your personal use only (you supply the art), Plus 2 dozen more Lost Decade monster buttons in addition to the 39 from before. We'll be providing some secret extra goodies to go with it too.
Troll: All previous level rewards. We'll work with you and Lost Pixel to design a token that can be either available to all or ONLY available to you in game. Your choice. It can't be anything lewd, infringe on anyone's intellectual property without permission or be otherwise inappropriate. We'll also give you a total of 250,000 brass coins total. Obviously we'll make any tokens that you design into custom buttons for you to go with your already impressive pile of buttons.
Golem: All previous levels plus free access to all add ons that are ever released for the game mat product by Brass Monkey.
You can also work with Lost Decade to design an entire tileset to be included in the game which will be available to everyone- up to 20 different texture tiles which you can use to suit your own campaign. We'll build it and implement it, you just need to tell us the theme and what specific tiles you want. Again, nothing lewd.
Lich: All golem level rewards. An iPhone, iPad or iPod (your choice) with a custom Dragons Gameboard gelaskin cover designed by Brass Monkey's own Andrew Kostuik. Even more custom tokens from Lost Decade.
Dragon: All previous levels rewards, plus we will implement any feature you want implemented, to a maximum of 20 hours of development time... though if we think it's absolutely awesome and have the budget we will probably be willing to put in more.
Adventurer: All other levels plus we will run a 24 hour game session for you and up to 4 of your friends using D&D 4.0, Pathfinder or any other system we happen to know the rules for that uses a grid for combat. We'll supply rulebooks, iPods for all participants with custom gelaskins which you get to keep, venue, food and drinks. You just need to get yourself to Boston.
Giant Space Hamster: All previous rewards and you can name the gameboard. It will forever bear your mark. It can't be anything obscene, can't infringe on copyright and is subject to our approval. Probably you should get in contact with us before you buy this one.