image trisj asks a very good question over in the Suggestion Pot

You have reviewed various programs/apps that can help GMing; how about a compiled list of “Apps for your mobile device you must have,” or “Tiny proto-robot makes killing PCs easier (I jest).” Most people have some kind of smart phone these days and not everyone wants to bring their laptop.

It would be nice if the list was not iPhone-centric.

I’m not sure if we can make you an exhaustive list, but we can definitely send our little gnome-bots out to scour the interwebs, kill halflings, and report back the best that we find. Oh look, the gnome-bots are returning already caked in blood.

The Essentials

Apps, Apps, Apps







Web Pages That Work Well On A Mobile Site







  • Online Name GeneratorAll (HTML) – Not sure how well the page will look on a small screen, but the big buttons for generating names and the variety might make this a good choice.


Wow there are a lot out there, want more? Try these sites

The Gnome-bots got tired trying to find all of best apps out there. While I picked the best apps I could find based off of reviews and forum posts, there were a whole lot more out there. Want some good search tools? Try these sites:


So, what essential apps have I missed? What would be the “Killer App” that you want to see on a mobile device? Are you in fact reading Gnome Stew on a mobile phone right now? Freaky.

Gnome Robot Image: HereCC-BY-NC-SA
Other Images: Used for illustrative purposes.

11 replies
  1. snej
    snej says:

    Adobe Reader only runs on Palm/Symbian, apparently. GoodReader is the best PDF viewer for iPhone/iPad. If you’re a cheapskate you can use the latest version of Apple’s free iBooks to view PDFs, but it won’t let you use the table of contents to navigate, which is a real pain when you’re trying to look up rules.

    Dicenomicon is another killer iOS app — not only are the dice very prettily rendered, but they’re terrifyingly customizable, so you should easily be able to roll for any imaginable RPG.

  2. unwinder
    unwinder says:

    Whoa hold it hold it,

    Most people have smartphones now?

    I am really not up to speed on these things.

  3. Razjah
    Razjah says:

    I don’t even GM with a laptop. I like using a binder and a folder. What happened? Although I will be using a laptop this fall for the first time… maybe I will be a convert.

  4. Kurt "Telas" Schneider
    Kurt "Telas" Schneider says:

    Another project kept me from helping out with this article, so here’s my belated contribution to the Rebel Alliance (Android) side:

    Dice Bag. handles exploding dice or ‘drop lowest’, and can save ‘dice profiles’ for repeated use.
    Note Everything is an excellent idea tracker, now that it supports WikiWords for cross-linking.
    Gmote is a media remote for a PC that can work over wireless or even over the cell signal (if you open a port in your firewall). Works best with the free and powerful VLC player.

  5. snej
    snej says:

    Dudes — it’s totally OK if you don’t have a smartphone or use one for gaming, you don’t have to feel threatened and complain here.

    For comparison, I don’t play D&D, but do I comment on D&D-specific posts with “Whoa hold it, everyone plays 4E now?” or “I haven’t played that game since I was a pimply teenager in 1982”? No, I just go on to the next post instead of cluttering things up for those who do play that game and are interested in reading what people have to say about it. Why don’t you do the same?

  6. John Arcadian
    John Arcadian says:

    I don’t even own a smartphone, yet I design mobile websites…

    There are a lot of great apps out there because I think this is going to be where gaming goes. We are currently in the S, verging on the P of the ESP cycle for new products.

    Elite – At first something is brand new and only the Elite can afford to own it. Very few people have the thing, but as it becomes cheaper to produce it moves into S.
    Specialized – Things get cheaper, more people have them, but they are still not in the hands of the Majority.
    Popular – While new devices like the latest iPhone are definitely popular, they aren’t in the hands of almost everyone. Once things reach this phase, audiences are there and more companies step forward to produce for the devices.

    Once smartphones reach the popular phase, gaming apps are going to explode. Imaging having the laptop and everyone having the smartphone. That will be a great day.

  7. Latmorril
    Latmorril says:

    Hmmm, just thinking aloud here…My group uses MapTool and Skype for remote players, now that the iPhone has “multitasking” I wonder if I could connect to another player’s computer via the VNC app to share the digital game table while on Skype…will have to try!

  8. John Arcadian
    John Arcadian says:

    – I’ve actually got some time to comment now.

    @unwinder – Like my comment earlier, less of us are than we seem to think as a society. A few more years and the way we own smartphones and their like will hopefully get smarter. I’m against paying for a dataplan that costs as much as the one in my house, but I’m also against owning an iPod touch and a phone that I carry with me.

    @Razjah – I love my netbook. That and excel get me through most adventures. I do find myself making using of just book and binder GMing a lot. There is just something to having it all written down on paper that makes it feel different, maybe more solid and tangible.

    @Kurt “Telas” Schneider – Oh, you big movie mogul you. So, did you get shot in the head?

    @Latmorril – Don’s article on the iPad talks about some of those ideas, like VNCing into a computer for added functionality.

    @Nojo – I’ve been tempted to get an android device. There are a few dice rollers out there, so it is hard to say what is the best. Popular opinion (here at least) seems to be pointing to Dicebag. I tend to dislike not actually rolling real dice though. It just feels so much more in the group’s shared space and connects people to the game in a different way.

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