This article originally appeared in Pyramid #22

Pyramid Pick


Published by TSR
Produced by Evermore Entertainment;
Victor Penman, Project Manager
Price: $59.95 (CD-ROM; PC only)

I hardly know where to start in describing this product. The AD&D CD-ROM Core Rules is an amazing achievement — easy to use, thorough, complete and incredibly useful.

Since AD&D players (and roleplayers in general) and computer geeks tend to run in the same circles, people have been looking for ways to computerize their RPGs from nearly the very beginning. I remember back at college 20 years ago, there was a DM who had access to the university mainframe and used it to generate (with a program he wrote himself) page after page of random die rolls, which he used instead of actual dice. Seems he didn't trust some of his players' abilities to roll just the number they needed at a crucial moment, so he read the next number off his printout instead, crossing them off as he went. Since then, I've seen programs that generated random wilderness encounters, random treasures (especially those gem tables, which took forever to roll on when you had to determine the value of some dragon's hoard), magic items and more.

A number of companies have done OK with commercial programs that deal with just about anything not related to the rules — programs that generate wilderness and dungeon maps, table manipulators that let you input existing tables from the rulebooks or customize your own, even entire RPG settings (with generic stats, of course). . . .

This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.

Article publication date: November 1, 1996

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