Ever spend a frustrating hour looking for a missing character sheet? Ever wanted to play a spontaneous game while visiting a friend but your characters and dice were home? Ever wanted to adapt your fantasy character into a cyberpunk campaign without spending all night rewriting stats and skills? Do you have a group of players who can’t make the same “live” game, some of whom want to participate remotely? Would you like to be able to send campaign information and adjust XP on the fly during a game - even for players who aren’t able to attend the “live” game?
All of these and many other features are a part of the Wildside Gaming System app, which can be used on any smartphone, tablet, or laptop. The app incorporates the rich worldbuilding tools of the Wildside Gaming System, 2nd edition with features that can be used “off-the-shelf” for many popular RPGs, or customized for your own “house rules” or homebrewed roleplaying system.
While there are other tabletop RPG packages available, 1) most of them are not apps that will run on a phone or tablet or use cellular data; they require a laptop or tabletop computer and internet connection to use some or all functionality and 2) most are developed by hobbyists rather than professional writers, artists, and web developers. The Wildside Gaming app is professionally coded, which means an easy, user-friendly product that enhances your tabletop experience rather than taking away gaming time as you try to figure out how to use it. This app is designed not to replace the pen and paper system, but to enhance it, so you’ll never lose a character sheet or spend hours looking through supplements for a missing magic item or critter description again.
A free app for players (with in-app purchases for GMing functions), the Wildside Gaming System app includes:
Roll up Characters - create, copy, modify, update, and print characters, archive past characters. Characters may be free-standing or linked to a particular campaign created by a GM in your group. Characters can be rolled up in the app, or copied from existing characters. The Wildside Gaming System is fully supported, and templates for many other popular RPGs are included. Customized character sheets for “house rules” or your own game can be saved and shared with other members of your group.
Spells - More than 10,000 available spells in 14 classes of magic. (Spell costs and casting rules for Wildside are included, but you can customize spell costs and rules for other games.) Players can access or print their own spells or full lists of spells, and can keep a “wishlist” of spells they are trying to learn. Suggest a new spell be added to the game with the touch of a button. Includes detailed rules for creating magic items and magically manipulating dimensions.
Groups - Join a group created by your GM or other open groups (such as groups devoted to spell writing, players of a particular RPG, or finding players in your area). Share messages to the whole group or individual players. (No more making the rest of the group suspicious by passing notes or whispering.) Give equipment or other possessions from your character to another player’s character in the same game.
Dice - Roll dice either privately or shared with your group. Customize for a wide variety of rolling systems, and incorporate bonuses. Many rolling functions (like character generation, combat, and treasure tables) are integrated into the app so they can be done with the touch of a button, or if you prefer you can roll “live” dice and enter the result. (The game doesn’t replace your favorite lucky dice, but it’s a helpful supplement for people playing remotely or without dice handy.)
Avatars and Skins - change the look of the game and assign an avatar to each of your characters. You can either choose from choices included in the app, or buy inexpensive packs of 20 avatars by well-known fantasy and SF artists like Tom Kidd, Dave Seeley, Bob Eggleton, Judy York, Alan Beck, Donato Giancola, Steve Hickman, and Randy Lagana. VIP members can upload their own content.
Maps - view and search campaign and dungeon maps created by your GM or purchased as add-ons. Maps can be anything from large-scale city and world maps to small-scale dungeon, castle, or spaceship layouts. Maps can be simple like the one below or complex like this digital atlas of the Roman Empire created with similar GIS software.
Remote Gaming - supports text, audio, and video chatting with other members of your group, either during games or separately for planning sessions.
Badges and Collectables - collect badges for playing the game and for unlocking new things in game, be it leveling up characters, playing in different campaigns, or finding all of the special doughnuts. Doughnuts are the in-game currency, used to pay for things like skins, avatars, modules and expansions, VIP mode, and other things. Doughnuts can be purchased or won for using the app, and there is a chance of getting rare or special doughnuts which are worth more.
eBooks - thousands of fantasy, science fiction and gaming-related ebooks from The Wildside Press, available as in-game specials, as daily prizes, or for purchase in the store using in-game currency. Books are available in all major ebook formats, DRM free, and work with your existing reader.
GM or VIP features
The GM upgrade includes all of the additional features needed to run a group or create a campaign. Only one member of a gaming group needs to have a GM upgrade (which is included free with any pledge of $15 or more).
Monsters - stats and thumbnail descriptions for more than 500 creatures. (Combat information, special effects, and experience points for Wildside are included, but you can customize for other games.) Search by name, power, terrain, and many other criteria. Share descriptions with players and tag them to areas on your campaign maps.
Treasure - more than 10,000 random magic items, and searchable treasure lists ranging from the usual (weapons, stat bonuses) to the unusual (magic pets, magic furniture), to large scale campaign items (ship cargoes or the contents of castle armories). Treasure can be pushed to other players either locally or remotely.
Characters - customize skills and backgrounds available depending on the campaign you’re running. Choose from more than 300 skills available in Wildside and add additional skills specific to your campaign. Want to do a hybrid lasers-and-sabers campaign? A Roman-themed campaign? An all-magic-all-the-time campaign? Hyborean age cyberpunk? Calibrate the players’ character options to exactly the kind of world you build.
Campaigns and NPCs - create your own campaigns using Wildside’s robust worldbuilding tools or your own design style. (There are also campaign settings available for purchase as add-ons.) Share campaign elements with players, either live or remotely. Customize skills and backgrounds available within campaigns. Tag NPCs to particular locations, create and save NPCs either ahead of time or on the fly, and annotate them as events in the game affect them. You can also draw from an included library of NPCs or purchase additional NPC libraries.
Updating characters - add items and experience to individual characters, whether they are physically present or playing remotely. No more having to describe what a magic item does in front of every player at the table when you really only want one player to know its true powers.
Maps - use powerful GIS (Geographical Information System) software to create and tag searchable maps for players, and to add gridlines, terrain features, or furnishings as desired. Import maps from Google Earth, historical databases, or your own drawings or scans and adapt them to your campaign. Easy templates included in the app allow you to create useful maps quickly without bogging you down in the mapping system. But more experienced users can create everything from detailed campaign maps to post-apocalyptic zombie plague vector maps, to interactive star charts.
Calendar - keep an adventure log, keep track of spell and potion expirations, and track things like wound recovery, magical effects, what’s happening elsewhere in the campaign, weather, etc. This is also a useful tool for allowing players who missed a game to catch up, or for groups that play infrequently to jump into a game quickly without a lot of exposition.
Overrides - you’re still in control of the game. GMs can override dice rolls or make changes to characters based on the needs of the game without ever seeming to obviously “fudge” rolls. All tables of treasure, monsters, etc. allow a GM to select a particular option or to roll one at random, as the game dictates.
Music - create and share playlists, which can be “attached” to campaign events or objects or locations, so you can choreograph music for a battle or a cantina scene.
Customizable VIP version - customize dice from a variety of designs and colors. Upload your own avatars or icons in addition to the ones available in the game.
Unlike other RPG support apps, The Wildside Gaming System app does not require a wifi connection for most features (other than video chat); it can work with cellular data and many functions can work in local mode and save when a connection is available.
Functionality at various levels (and stretch rewards) include:
$5,000 All character generation features from Wildside 2nd edition, including hundreds of skills and more than 10,000 spells. Create, store, and update characters for any tabletop system and customize them as needed. (Only Wildside can be created automatically at this level, but templates for other popular games will be included.) Customizable dice rolling. Add custom skills and spells. Changeable skins, avatars, and icons by professional artists.
$15,000 GM features including more than 500 creatures (searchable by power, habitat, and many other variables), treasure tables with more than 10,000 items and other useful tools for GMs. Add custom creatures and treasure, store detailed campaign information and NPCs, etc.
$20,000 Additional new character functionality like beginning spell sets, lists of magic books, wishlists of spells for wizards, a library of customizable pre-gen characters and NPCs at different levels. More demos at major conventions and gaming events.
$25,000 Group functionality - players can join a group, message each other or the whole group, roll dice that can be "seen" by remote players as well as ones at the table, and view maps and other information provided by the GM. GMs can update and add XP and treasure to characters, create and modify campaigns, customize available skills and backgrounds for each campaign (including "mix and match" campaigns combining magic with science fiction, etc.). GMs can send information on encounters, monsters, and treasure or other campaign info to the whole group or to individual members.
$30,000 Combat system integrated with group functionality and creatures. One or more players can fight creatures or other opponents, with XP awarded and injuries tracked. Calendar functionality that keeps track of events in game along with functions like when spells, potions, and stat bonuses expire. Robust mapping and GIS features, allowing GMs to create and tag detailed campaign and dungeon maps and make them searchable based on data within them (i.e., where are all the healers? which groves have dryads? where are the strongholds of the snake-god? which areas are hostile to elves?)
$40,000 Enhancements to calendar, group, and combat functions. Additional character functionality for non-Wildside games, such as automatic character generation and level updating.
$50,000 Enhanced chat features for groups that have members playing remotely. Create music playlists tagged to events or places in the campaign and share them with group members.
$60,000 A companion app that lets you move dice rolling functions to a second device (like a phone or smartwatch), while your character stays open on a tablet or laptop. Dice rolls can be customized for whatever game you are playing, and rolls can either be viewed by GM only or pushed to the whole group. VIP members can change dice skins just as in the main app.
$75,000 “local mode” for group play in situations where there is neither wifi nor cellular data available, such as for soldiers on deployment (uses bluetooth functionality to allow the GM to send to players).
$90,000 “multiplayer mode” for situations where multiple players need to share a single device.
About the Creators
Designer Leigh Grossman is the author of the Wildside Gaming System and more than a dozen other published books, and the editor of many more. Grossman teaches science fiction, fantasy, book publishing, and other writing and literature courses at the University of Connecticut, and runs Swordsmith Productions, a book development and publishing services company. He has been involved in roleplaying games since the early 1980s.
Art Director Randy Lagana is an acclaimed painter and photographer who has illustrated books, magazines, and games in the US, Germany, Holland, France, Italy, Russia, and the Scandinavian countries. His work has been exhibited in many shows throughout the US, Canada, and England.
Lead Developer Rowena Grossman does web development work for a large retail company.
The Wildside Gaming System is an old-style roleplaying system with a focus on worldbuilding, a skills-based character generation system with broad character options, and a realistic head-to-head combat system. First published by Wildside Press in Rockville, Maryland in 2004, the second edition contains a wealth of new content and rules improvements, while remaining fully compatible with the first edition.
Risks and challenges
How quickly different sets of features are available will depend on the funding level, as described in the funding section. Not every feature may end up in the final project, and some pages may look different than the versions depicted here, based on the experience and feedback of our testers and early users. Everything we propose here seems technically feasible based on early tests and coding, but inevitably a few things will run into snags and have to be delayed or replaced with similar features. Features that are more time-consuming to create may be left out of the initial beta version and added in updates.
Most of the money will be going into coding and writing time, which means how quickly features can be added and the initial release date are going to be dependent on funding. Because much of the writing and coding is being done by a small team of core developers, there’s a possibility of delays from life events. (At higher funding levels, where we can afford to spread the coding and writing around to more people, that becomes less likely.)
The projected closed beta release for early features is in February 2017 (six months after the kickstarter ends), with open beta release in summer 2017. (We plan to release the free app regardless of funding, but which features make it in initially will depend on the early funding level.)
The biggest risk is that programming snags may delay certain features, or require design changes. While the artwork and all the rights to the core system are already secured, and we already have developer status at the major app stores, some other games may not extend rights to include character sheet templates; players can still create their own templates but it would be more time-consuming than having them included in the game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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