And this is how I got started with the rpg20.com site.
The monsters database is what started it all. When WoTC released the SRD, I thought of writing a script that converted the document to a more manageable medium. I was already thinking of PHP and MySQL.
Before taking a dive into this endeavor, I searched the web. Turns out that some guy named John H. Kim had already done exactly that. And best of all: he was willing to share it.
I downloaded the monster and spell databases and uploaded to my page. After a quick hack, I had a usable UI. I then added a search function, list by CR option, filter by HP/CR, and not so long ago: terrain and climate search.
Images and maps
Then I thought about generating images. One of the things I remember most fondly about Ed’s Irony.com was that it generated an image of a town/village. So I thought I’d give it a try.
But the thing is… I think I’m terrible at drawing maps. So this has been something I’ve had a hard time doing: visual improvements.
But I told myself that dungeons should be pretty straightforward. And they look cool. And I love mazes. So I went ahead and made a dungeon generator.
I think I only had the monster/spell databases and the dungeon generator when I showed the page to a friend. He asked if I intended to put something in the room… descriptions, encounters, anything. A few minutes later my dungeon generator had monsters. Not long after that, it started having treasures.
So I’m at the point in which I have a ton of plans and not nearly enough free time to work on it. Ah, well… I still have fun even if it progresses slowly.
These tools are online-only and most of them written in PHP. I don’t have any plans to develop offline-tools at the moment because it’s a bit more complicated: I’d have to compile for Linux, Mac, and Windows (I don’t own a Mac); any minor change requires to recompile everything; people don’t always know which version they’re using; etc.
Will this page dissapear? Well, it might some day. But before that happens, I’d release this code someplace else.
What’s the license for my code? I haven’t decided yet, and nobody’s asked so far… I guess I could use GPL to make sure modifications are shared back… But I guess I’ll decide as soon as someone’s interested in it.