Thursday, December 29, 2022

Campaign Manager: Building a Better Combat Evaluator - Player Stats

Progress on Campaign Manager continues...

Although I've gotten better at balancing combat for my DnD players over time, it's still very difficult. I've found the monster "Challenge Ratings" to be mediocre guidelines at best. For a combat to be challenging the total challenge rating I throw at my players is usually double their player levels. There must be a better way...

Which is why I've been assigning standard damage attacks, special damage attacks, and healing information to all 240 character types this past month. Next month I will continue assigning the same values to all SRDv5.1 monsters. And all this information is for a new combat evaluator function.

The combat evaluator takes in characters' hit points, initiative, and the many new properties I've added to play out a mini combat turn by turn. I'll post a more detailed explanation later of how it works, but it looks quite promising! It's not ready for release yet but likely in the next month or two.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Monday, November 28, 2022

Campaign Manager: Ready To Use Character Portraits

For Campaign Manager, 240 characters were created, but the user interface was more like a parameter dump rather than an appealing character sheet. The update this month is a presentable display of characters, items, and spells similar to how DnD sheets look. Additionally, almost 200 fantasy character portraits are included that can be applied to a character asset.

Example Bard...

Example Cleric...

Example Wizard...

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Campaign Manager: Ready To Use Characters - Continued

The update last month included ready to use characters: level 1 to 20 of barbarians, bards, clerics, druids, fighters, monks, paladins, rangers, rogues, sorcerers, warlocks, and wizards.

This past month the data for all 240 characters has been standardized and even more details added to them to make their use even easier.

The plan next month... an alternative user interface so instead of a (usable but less than ideal) parameter dump, the character details will be displayed as they would be on a Character Sheet. I'm looking forward to how this will turn out - it will really help convey how useful the underlying data within Campaign Manager can be to a tabletop RPG game master.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Friday, September 30, 2022

Campaign Manager: Ready To Use Characters

​This one took a bit of time, but every class in the SRDv5.1 documentation (Barbarians, Bards, Clerics, Druids, Fighters, Monks, Paladins, Rangers, Rogues, Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Wizards) now have ready to go characters from level 1 all the way to 20.
Need a Druid NPC your players meet up with in the forest? Pick the level of Druid that best aligns with how much support you want it to provide. The Druid has ready to go stats, appropriate weapons for its level, and spells already selected and ready to cast.

Want an opposing Monk the players must battle? Pick the one that gives the challenge you desire. The Monk has not only its basic information (stats, hit points, weapons) but also all its special Ki abilities with their descriptions.

Got someone new to tabletop role playing games that is trying it out for the first time or even someone experienced that is just playing for a session or two? They can pick from their desired class and your specified level and jump right into the game.

I'd like to go back through and expand a few details for some of the classes and standardize everything a bit (the last class I did was better than the first!). But as it stands, this is a huge help for campaign building, managing for the game master, and helping players.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Greenhouse Construction

Picked up a 10'x15' Royal Victorian 34 greenhouse kit from Costco. It comes pretty loaded: sun shade, water system, automatic opening windows, shelves, and sliding doors. Metal frame and glass windows. It was quite a project to put together, but the results are fantastic.

A few notes on constructions:
- Mostly done with one person; however I did get a second person to help with pouring the concrete and hanging the glass. Ideally two people the entire time and it definitely would have gone faster.
- Instructions recommended leaving holes in the corners of the foundation to later concrete the frame into the rest of the foundation (after the frame was mostly up/level/square). That seemed nuts to me, so I did the alternate approach where I attached L brackets to the bottom of the frame and into the concrete with concrete screws. I didn't like the idea of not having a continuous foundation pour.
- The automatic windows are awesome; no electricity. They use some kind of material/fluid that expands when it heats up to cause the windows to open. Works great so far.
- The manual and online instruction video are pretty decent, however because of the design of the frame - you have to pre-slide in bolts into channels many steps before they're actually used. If you have to add in a forgotten bolt 5 steps / 2 hours later, you have to take apart practically everything you've done to that point to get them back in. So you have to be extremely careful to read ahead and understand all future instructions. Know all the optional features you have before you begin so you don't miss a bolt! 

Brought in 6 yards of dirt to level out the build site.

Trenched for 8" wide / 16" deep perimeter beam with two #4 (0.5") rebars.

Six trips to the hardware store for concrete to not overload the truck.

One brutal day with help from the neighbor and the concrete is poured! 

Getting everything inspected by the foreman.

Landscape fabric above the dirt.

Pea gravel added so moisture can go into the ground.

Looped PVC through the foundation to supply water inside.

The metal frame starts going up!

Added the roof frame and cross braces.

Added the top ridge ornamental and back louvre window. 

Adding roof glass.

Completed the side glass!

Progress on the sliding door and nice shot of the glass.

Double sliding doors installed and adding in the larger shelf.

Testing the water system - it doesn't mist, it freaking rains in there.

Finished from the front!

Finished from the side!

Finished from the back!

The roof windows (came with 3, 2 of which are automatic).

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Campaign Manager: Continuous Canvas

Many small improvements have been made throughout the Campaign Manager software, but the major update this release is the "continuous canvas". There is no longer any need to manually define the size of the canvas where encounters and regions reside. The canvas and scroll bars automatically shrink/grow as the user creates components, zooms, and pans.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Campaign Manager: Player View

For some encounters in my DnD group, I had been making paper battle maps with the occasional 3D structure. The issue was there were so many areas the players could get into combat and physical battle maps take so much time to produce. Also, I wanted to take it up a notch.

The latest new feature for Campaign Manager is the ability to display battle maps on a second screen for players to see / have their character minis on.

On the game master side, there is a "Player View Control" form to select which image to show, its scale and orientation, and an optional grid to draw. For convenience, it shows a cloned view of what the players will see.

A second "Player View" form is for the players. The view is ideally shown on a second monitor for the players - the form can be set to always on top with no borders to completely fill the screen.  

I tried to streamline the setup as much as possible. If Campaign Manager detects a second monitor when you open the "Player View", it asks a single Yes/No question if to auto-configure. If you answer yes then it will open the Player View form on the second monitor, maximized, always on top, and black. Then I can select which battle map to use, but it's not shown to the players until I click the "Draw Player View" option.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Campaign Manager: Icons and Snapping

Most recent significant changes have been improvements to the user interface.

Icons have been added to all the main menu items, which gives it a much more polished look.

Functionality wise, when dragging encounters/regions or resizing regions, they will now snap to nearby encounters/regions to help keep everything aligned.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Friday, April 22, 2022

Campaign Manager: Name Generator

First, my website has been revamped to actually be professional looking! It has links to obtain both Slay the Oly Dragon and Campaign Manager.

Second, the big development update is a random name generator for Campaign Manager.

It pulls from a list of hundreds of thousands of options to randomly generate names for people, towns, shops, and ships.

Some names are randomly pulled together from two separate lists (for example first and last names) or to give many interesting options (such as "The Hidden Dragon" or "The Mystic Shop").

The database is externalized so the user can create their own lists to mix & match and pull names from.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Campaign Manager: Shadows, Dice, and Search

Several notable improvements for the latest version of Campaign Manager:

1. I polished up the appearances of encounters and regions with rounded corners and drop shadows:

2. I added a Dice tool:

Just clicking on one of the dice images "rolls" it. You can combine multiple dice by selecting one after the other and then optionally log them.

3. And best of all, a search feature! This was a must have as I had a couple moments with my players where they referenced something in the past and I had to rummage through multiple encounters trying to find the correct one. Now with the search feature finding the relevant encounter is incredibly fast. You can double click on one of the results to open the noted encounter.

You can download Campaign Manager from:


Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Campaign Manager: Sample Campaign

A sample one-shot table top campaign has been added to Campaign Manager to demonstrate many of its features and how it can be used.

The campaign involves a mystery of several villagers that have gone missing in nearby towns. A band of adventurers has been hired to find out what's happening, recover the lost people, and prevent future disappearances. The campaign goes across a few days in game time in which the players discover the missing people had gone to a Bed and Breakfast in the country. When the players get there, they find the hosts aren't quite right.

The sample campaign demonstrates regions with overworld and interior maps, a timeline of events linked together, encounters with descriptions and music for the players, and finally a combat. The entire sample is within the limits of the Free version of the software to further demonstrate what is capable even in that version.

Available now at:

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Campaign Manager: Released!

Took a lot for the final push, but Campaign Manager is officially released and available on!

I have 2 versions posted: A free trial version that is limited to 30 encounters (which is actually quite a few) and a full version for a very small price.

The marathon changes this past month include:

  • Fixed formatting in SRD v5.1 assets.

  • Associated .campaign files in File Explorer to open Campaign Manager.

  • Made nicer icons for add/edit/remove buttons.

  • Added keyboard shortcuts for closing forms.
  • Added appropriate icons to all forms.

  • Added ability to assign an asset character type and description to a player or npc.

  • When creating a combat, use the initiative and health from the character type.
  • Add encounter over region by right clicking on it.

  • Improvements to sample campaigns.
  • Fixes to read-only assets / permissions in installed ProgramData path.
  • Created trial version.
  • Automated script that compiles and builds trial and release installers with a single click.
  • Offer to open existing combats instead of always creating new.

  • Added copy option for assets.
  • Added Barbarian and Cleric NPC assets.

  • Cleaned up variable names in campaign XML file.
  • A bunch of other little glitches and bugs fixed.

Please download the trial and give it a shot! More features will be added, but I'd love to get feedback on what should have priority.