A Shift to Encounter+

Dear Game Master 5,

You came into my life and made it worth living. You put a smile on my face at a time in my life when all I could see was darkness. For the past two years, you have become my co-DM and confidant – with you by my side, I felt like Matthew Mercer. You gave me confidence I never thought I could have.

For the reasons above, I find it very difficult to do this and more so, to do this using a letter. I have never been good at expressing my feelings in person, so the easiest way to do this without causing any more hurt is to write this letter. I wouldn’t wish to have to look at your face once you read this; you know it has never been my wish to damage you in any way whatsoever.

Don’t worry about me. I have a found a new app. One that provides me with battle map support, screen sharing, and fog of war. I can use rich text formatting for my session notes and custom stylesheets to create NPC and faction profile pages. I can create complex encounters with maps and notes and save them for future sessions. It is everything I’ve ever wanted in DM app and a few things I didn’t know I needed.

I know it will hurt knowing you wont be there for my future sessions, but do know that you were very special to me. You made me better, my games better, and my players happier for having been there by my side. You will always hold a special place in my heart and for that I am eternally grateful.

Your friend always & forever,
Mr Farland

A Shift to Encounter+

For the past month, I have been kicking the tires of Encounter+ and have been nothing short of impressed. While I do believe Game Master 5 is an outstanding app and the perfect tool for many DMs, Encounter+ is damn near a perfect fit for my needs.

As a result, you will start to see a shift in focus in some of my work. I have already started converting some of my ongoing projects for GM5 to Encounter+. They’re all in various stages of completion, but I should start rolling some out in a few weeks. In addition, the capabilities of this app have opened a number of possibilities I am looking forward to exploring.

Chief among those capabilities is the ability to create modules and campaigns that can be easily exported and shared between users. Just to give you an idea of what I am working on, here are some quick previews of the modules and campaign files I am working on now.

Encyclopedia Exandria

Encounter+ Screenshot of the Ashari Faction page.
Screenshot of the Ashari faction page using a custom stylesheet for the page.

Encyclopedia Exandria is a reference module that will provide a good deal of reference material on the various people, places, and things found in Exandria. While not as detailed as the Tal’Dorei Campaign Guide, Critical Role Wiki, or Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, this reference module will provide Exandrian DMs with basic details right from within the Encounter+ app. Among some of the key features I plan to include are:

  • Information about the regions, settlements, and geographical features of Exandria.
  • Basic details about the various factions and canon NPCs.
  • Themed encounters for parties of different levels based on where in Exandria you are.

Campaign Starter

Encounter+ Screenshot of my Session page template.
Screenshot of my session template I use in my own campaign.

My Campaign Starter isn’t much more than an organizational structure and some templates I’ve created to support my own campaign. It is, of course, highly tailored to how I prepare and run a typical session, but I felt it may be of use to some of you. It is meant to be paired with the Encyclopedia Exandria, but works just fine on its own.

Game Master’s Screen for Encounter+

Encounter+ Screenshot of the Conditions rulebook page of my GM's Screen.
Screenshot of the Conditions page in my Game Master’s Screen for Encounter+

A while back, I created a simple, custom DM Screen for Game Master 5. This project looks to take that basic concept, expand on it, and bring it to Encounter+. The wiki-like capabilities of Encounter+ and the ability to link between modules means, the GM screen makes it easy to quickly lookup a rule from anywhere in the app and get the answer you need without touching a book or changing apps. Initially, I’ll be porting the most common rules, but hope to add:

  • Random roll tables for NPC generation, treasure, and encounters.
  • Naming lists for NPC and shop names.

Encounter+ Videos

It has been a while since I’ve released any videos on my YouTube channel, but I am planning to do a number of new tutorials on this outstanding app. I don’t have a set plan or release schedule, but I hope to produce some short videos on:

  • A Quick Overview of Encounter+
  • Combat Management Basics with Encounter+
  • Using Battle Maps in Encounter+
  • Using the External Screen in Encounter+
  • Campaign Management in Encounter+

The app is incredibly deep and I suspect more topics will come up over time, but these will probably be the first of many.

Thank you for your time. Stay tuned and keep an eye out for some great tools and resources for Encounter+ over the coming weeks.

Thank you for stopping by & happy gaming,
Donald Farland

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Donald Farland Written by:

Don Farland lives in central Pennsylvania with his loving wife, two daughters, & the most troublesome, but lovable labrador retriever he's ever known.