Introducing the Pathfinder Combat Tracker App

Friday, March 12, 2021

Guest Blogger Bio: BJ Hensley is the founder of Digital Dragon Studios and Playground Adventures. She is a fan of tabletop games, family togetherness, and time with friends. As such, she is dedicated to ensuring that both her family and others have creative outlets they can share. When she isn’t hard at work furthering the goals of DDS/PGA, she can be found working with multiple charities and other publishing companies in a variety of capacities. Her projects over the years have included work for companies such as Green Ronin, Kobold Press, PEG, Paizo, Room to Read, and Wizards of the Coast. She’s also the proud leader (parent) of a six-person adventuring party and their two furry companions.

If you’re a fan of the Pathfinder Combat Pad for tracking initiative (and if you aren’t, you should check it out – it has magnets!), then we have a fun new twist that we think users will enjoy. We’ve put it in your pocket!

composite image of the Pathfinder Combat Tracker App

Our brand new company, Digital Dragon Studios, is dedicated to making apps that gamers love, and our very first offering is the Combat Tracker App for Pathfinder Second Edition. It’s all the goodness of the Pathfinder Combat Pad in a fantastic pocket-friendly app for you and your party to use everywhere you go.

We’ve done our best to ensure the app is as useful as it can be with features such as online play for long distance games, condition tracking, and Bluetooth connectivity for those times when the internet just isn’t an option. The app was created so that users from across the room or across the world can login together, see combat order, and hear the alert when combat advances. It can also be used solo by manually entering players in the Game Master Control Panel. Even better, both Android and Apple users can track combat together!

The Pathfinder Second Edition Combat Tracker app is currently available in the Apple and Google Play stores, and you can keep up with current news regarding updates and future apps by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Wherever and however you game, we hope it’s epic, and our app makes your life a little easier.

BJ Hensley
Digital Dragon Studios and Playground Adventures Founder

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Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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Grand Lodge Organized Play Developer

14 people marked this as a favorite.

Does it still work with those little magnets and wet erase pens? :P

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The Twitter link is... not a Twitter link?
But niiiiiice!

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Elfteiroh wrote:

The Twitter link is... not a Twitter link?

But niiiiiice!

Should be fixed.

Grand Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Aaron Shanks wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:

The Twitter link is... not a Twitter link?

But niiiiiice!
Should be fixed.

It is!

I downloaded it to try it and get a good feel. Very simple and barebone, but it's a good thing I think. It does the job very well. it even "roll" for you, or you can manually enter the dice value at the same time you put in the character's initiative modifier.
It's "one encounter, one room", and there doesn't seem to be any memory. You can't pre-make characters or save multiple encounters, but if the app crash or is closed without "ending" the encounter, the next time you launch it "restore" it. The APP is still young though, and they are asking for new feature suggestions over social media, so a lot of space to grow.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Digital tools are always a plus.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have a pair of questions:

The screenshot shows Azumi as "Confused". Can you also use this to track conditions and hit points (and even better, spells)?

Can you input something like "Add five orcs with initiative +8 and roll initiative for each individually", or would you either have to do "orcs, +8" or "orc 1, +8", "orc 2, +8", and so on?

Vice President, Lone Wolf Development

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Mike Kimmel wrote:
Does it still work with those little magnets and wet-erase pens? :P

We are not responsible for how you choose to use your device. XD ;)

Horizon Hunters

6 people marked this as a favorite.

1. The app only has portrait mode, and doesn’t rotate to landscape (I would be using it on a tablet.). I hope that gets added.

2. The ability to add a party of characters that can be saved, and to be able to pre-build encounters would be really helpful.

The app seems okay, but needs to be more robust for me to find it useful (others may be happy with what it has now.)


Working on one for Starfinder?

Vice President, Lone Wolf Development

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Elfteiroh wrote:


It is!
I downloaded it to try it and get a good feel. Very simple and barebone, but it's a good thing I think. It does the job very well. it even "roll" for you, or you can manually enter the dice value at the same time you put in the character's initiative modifier.
It's "one encounter, one room", and there doesn't seem to be any memory. You can't pre-make characters or save multiple encounters, but if the app crash or is closed without "ending" the encounter, the next time you launch it "restore" it. The APP is still young though, and they are asking for new feature suggestions over social media, so a lot of space to grow.

Thanks for the feedback! We are prioritizing improvements for future updates and can't wait to incorporate what we can.

Vice President, Lone Wolf Development

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Staffan Johansson wrote:

I have a pair of questions:

The screenshot shows Azumi as "Confused". Can you also use this to track conditions and hit points (and even better, spells)?

Can you input something like "Add five orcs with initiative +8 and roll initiative for each individually", or would you either have to do "orcs, +8" or "orc 1, +8", "orc 2, +8", and so on?

Currently, the app can label for any of the conditions, but not spells. We have had a lot of requests for spell interaction and are looking into it. :)

If you wanted to have each creature have its own turn rather than just "Orcs" you would need to add in each one individually.


I love this in theory, but as a blind gamer I am seeing a problem. This app doesn't appear to be accessible for blind users at all. Unfortunately I don't know how to make apps accessible, but I do know that both iPhones and Android devices have built-in screen readers for blind users, and I'm pretty sure both offer tools for making their apps more accessible. Unfortunately as it stands right now I can't do anything at all with this app.

Vice President, Lone Wolf Development

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Stratton wrote:

1. The app only has portrait mode, and doesn’t rotate to landscape (I would be using it on a tablet.). I hope that gets added.

2. The ability to add a party of characters that can be saved, and to be able to pre-build encounters would be really helpful.

The app seems okay, but needs to be more robust for me to find it useful (others may be happy with what it has now.)

Thanks for the feedback!

Vice President, Lone Wolf Development

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Swisher68 wrote:
Working on one for Starfinder?

All signs point to yes! ;)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I'm giving it a try now. A little slow to get stuff entered, but seems worth the money. If anything, I'd suggest some way to make a character's turn "hidden" from players when rolling initiative. Sometimes players don't know all the enemies in the fight, and having 5 enemies on the tracker but only 3 visible might give info away. Also, a way to just flat out remove a single something from initiative order would be good. That way we don't have to skip over it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Baelor the Bard wrote:
I love this in theory, but as a blind gamer I am seeing a problem. This app doesn't appear to be accessible for blind users at all. Unfortunately I don't know how to make apps accessible, but I do know that both iPhones and Android devices have built-in screen readers for blind users, and I'm pretty sure both offer tools for making their apps more accessible. Unfortunately as it stands right now I can't do anything at all with this app.

Amplifying this.

It's really important to me that the app be usable with screen readers. Paizo has been really on top of this for their own products.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

This is fantastic! Love seeing Paizo and their products invest in offering modern, digital products like this.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.
VestOfHolding wrote:
This is fantastic! Love seeing Paizo and their products invest in offering modern, digital products like this.

It is all about finding and having the right partners. We can't do it alone. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The option to "add to family library" shows on the Google Play store, but fails every time I try.
Is it meant to be an option or not?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber

The app is a good start, but it's not there yet, imho. At least, it's not to the point where I would consider it a replacement for a magnet-equipped pad, or even the very basic turn tracker on Roll20.

A key thing for me is how many steps it takes to do basic things, like changing the turn order (when a combatant goes unconscious, or delays), adding or removing a combatant, and applying conditions. Currently, changing the turn order requires opening the Edit Combatant menu. This is not a natural interaction at all, and it's unnecessarily tedious. Adding a condition requires going into the menu, selecting the condition, and only then applying it to a combatant. The natural thing to do would be: Select the combatant first, and then apply the condition. Selecting the condition first makes sense when I want to apply it to multiple combatants at a time, but this is a less frequent use case.

Some suggestions, in decreasing order of importance:
- Drag and drop a combatant up/down (or use up/down arrow buttons) to change the turn order.
- Tap a combatant to open an edit window, where the list of conditions appears: One tap to apply/remove a condition.
- Drag and drop a combatant right/left (or use left/right arrow buttons) to mark delay and dying.
- Include condition values where applicable.
- Keep character groups in a library so we can manage several parties without having to create the group anew for every fight.
- Landscape mode for tablets.
- A round counter would be nice to have.
- Once those basics are done, it would be really cool to add more things, like tracking active spells or hit points.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Is this available on Fire tablets?


10 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is a response to finding out there is a Digital Dragon Studios not the app itself (both of which I'm excited about), but I just want to say that if you haven't already...

You really should reach out to David Wilson (Redrazors) and make the relationship between Pathfinder/Paizo and Pathbuilder official. Much like the partnership with Archive of Nethys.

I love the idea of more Paizo digital products, and I'd much rather see a partnership than splitting the base and both sides feeling cheated/loss.

Again, super excited about about both the product and the new company. Hoping for success and all the best for all involved.

:)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Kind of confused by the affiliations here. What's the relationship between Paizo, Digital Dragons Studios, and Lone Wolf Development?

Should I be looking forward to more Paizo official content from DDS in competition with LWD?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Darrell Impey UK wrote:

The option to "add to family library" shows on the Google Play store, but fails every time I try.

Is it meant to be an option or not?

Mine appears in the family library, but still wants to charge me again for every device I install it on. Vexing.

Advocates

Oooooo, yeeeees. As a GM and Player who's guilty of SPREADING OUT way too much, this is so handy.

Sweet Digital Dragon Studios, Starfinder version soon, please? *puppy dog eyes*

The Exchange

TarEcthelion wrote:
I love the idea of more Paizo digital products, and I'd much rather see a partnership than splitting the base and both sides feeling cheated/loss.

Honestly, I do think the biggest news here is related to the brand new company, Digital Dragon Studios. I have very high hopes it will bring something important (and digitally interesting) to us Pathfinder fans. The partnership with Pathbuilder would be the cherry on top, particularly considering that it doesn't natively run on anything but Android. Keep up the good work and let us know of your future releases!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

IF DDS could make something like pathbuilder but for iOS devices that would be huge for my players


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'll ask again about availability for Fire tablets?


Does Herolab online have something similar?


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Does Herolab online have something similar?

It does, it has a campaign theater where you have all the combatants on a stage with the ability to arrange them by initiative and apply conditions.

I think some of us are wondering of this is a competing company with Lone Wolf as the functionality is similar to part of HLO


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It's also confusing because BJ Hensley has "Vice President, Lone Wolf Development" as their flair.

co-owner - Cardboard Castle Games

This is a great start to catch up to what the "others" are offering on the digital front. I personally can't wait for a character builder and management app or a tie in to this app. When dealing with in person play every ones start of their turn always seems to be 2-3 minutes of flipping through their character sheets and Rulebooks. God forbid if they are a caster. Their turn can be even longer with them reading every spell they have. This isn't always the case but it happens more often than not.

Liberty's Edge

$2.99 to purchase. Disappointing. I already own the physical product so I can't get the app for free??

Can a gift voucher be used? Not likely, I think, because it through the app store.

Pretty disappointed by this.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Nathan4312 wrote:
This is a great start to catch up to what the "others" are offering on the digital front. I personally can't wait for a character builder and management app or a tie in to this app. When dealing with in person play every ones start of their turn always seems to be 2-3 minutes of flipping through their character sheets and Rulebooks. God forbid if they are a caster. Their turn can be even longer with them reading every spell they have. This isn't always the case but it happens more often than not.

We use HLO and it still happens. I think if another character manager is coming there should just be some sort of way to mark "favorite" spells and abilities. That way the players can just default to those if they dont know what to do. Shouldn't be a feature thats needed but it probably should exist to speed things up


19 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I already bought the novel, why can't I get into the cinema for free? Disappointing.

Second Seekers (Jadnura)

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Echoing what others have said: everyone having to pay for the app feels like too much. What about if the app & player version were free, but the GM login was a paid add-on?


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Kishmo wrote:
Echoing what others have said: everyone having to pay for the app feels like too much. What about if the app & player version were free, but the GM login was a paid add-on?

I fully support everyone having their own opinion on this, but just wanted to share mine (and in no way does that imply that I feel mine is more correct than anyone else's).

In a world where subscription-based apps are increasingly becoming the norm, I fully support a one-time fee of $2.99 per user for everyone at my table to be able to use this in perpetuity.

If they were only charging the GM, I suspect that this would not generate enough revenues to justify spending the time making the app more robust in the future.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I used this for my session over the weekend, in lieu of the magnetic combat tracker that I normally bring to the table. It worked well.

I kinda hope that a future update might allow the resetting of an encounter without having to rewrite the names of the PCs. It would also be great to have some sort of note functionality, which would mean that I wouldn't need any scratch paper to keep track of monster hit points, etc. (In this case, I updated the monster name with hit point totals, and it worked well.)

I couldn't find a way to remove creatures from the encounter as they fell in battle, but that might just be my lazy tech mind not seeing an obvious solution.

Overall, this meant one less thing that I needed to cart to the table, so that's great.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If this ends up having all of the same features as Combat Manager I will switch, but from the look things there is a long way to go.

Scarab Sages

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The thing I'd love to see that I never seem to find in other solutions is automatic tracking of condition changes. Automatically reduce frightened. Drop conditions after the duration ends. Let me insert spells and set the duration. There are so many conditions to track.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Is this app going to add features and enhancements to make it a complete combat manager? It already has the ability to connect to other players in your game. If it were to track buffs to other players, debuffs and other features, wouldn't it have to have the ability to import created PCs from a character creator on their devices?

If a character creator enter the picture here, that would make it direct competitor to Hero Lab Classic/Hero Lab Online. Or is this just a condition/initiative tracker (already a feature of HLO)

I think we're all asking about the partnerships here because Lone Wolf has gone silent in recent months.

A lot of us invest heavily into these digital tools and would like to know if anyone is able to provide an update as to the future of Paizo's digital tools?

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It seems like many people are conflating this App to more than it is or is probably intended to be.

From what I can tell this is a kind of low-hanging fruit App that is more or less just a digital version of the Magnetic Combat Tracker board that Paizo sells given that it lifts the vast majority of the visuals and UI straight from that product. Great idea, lightweight concept, and the kind of thing that doesn't really need much more done with it beyond perhaps additional notation functionality, the ability to add/remove individual combatants during combat, and maybe a way to "save" parties so one need not reenter everything from scratch when you wrap up an encounter.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Themetricsystem wrote:
From what I can tell this is a kind of low-hanging fruit App that is more or less just a digital version of the Magnetic Combat Tracker board that Paizo sells given that it lifts the vast majority of the visuals and UI straight from that product.

I don't need it to be a complete combat manager. But one of the reasons we go digital is because digital tools can automate some of the mundane aspects of a physical tool. If it adds the ability to add notes, it seems like noting specific conditions and removing them on the appropriate round is exactly the kind of the that would convince me to use this over the physical product.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Was excited when I saw the article. As soon as I saw a $2.99 price tag, instantly turned off.

If this has any connection to Lone Wolf, then I will never look to support anything. After the online price gouging. I hope none of these apps ever go to a subscription model.

As of now I don’t see $2.99 is definitely overpriced. $0.99 and I would buy for sure. I think that it is a much better price point.

For now I will continue to use my homemade app for this.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber

I'm definitely intrigued by the comments here, but it also sounds like it's lacking some functionality that would make it more vital for me to use over things like Roll20 or other similar products.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love the idea, though I am a bit turned off by reviews noting a lack of spell effect tracking and drag & drop reordering (my party uses delay actions pretty often), and not being able to save sessions.

Once it gets these, I'm def buying


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TomParker wrote:
The thing I'd love to see that I never seem to find in other solutions is automatic tracking of condition changes. Automatically reduce frightened. Drop conditions after the duration ends. Let me insert spells and set the duration. There are so many conditions to track.

Combat Manager does this. Granted it is for 1e currently, but it is simple enough that so long as you don't need monster stats it works fine.

Grand Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Alchemic_Genius wrote:

I love the idea, though I am a bit turned off by reviews noting a lack of spell effect tracking and drag & drop reordering (my party uses delay actions pretty often), and not being able to save sessions.

Once it gets these, I'm def buying

Hum... I can confirm that as a GM I can drag and drop combatants in the app. I don't know why some people think it's not possible?

The actual initiative number doesn't change unless you edit that combatant, but I don't see this as a big problem.

To answer another comment from other users:
Some effects granting frightened don't let it go down as long as some condition is met, sometimes at all, other times it only stop dropping at 1. There's kinda a lot of "corner cases" for these things, so I'm not surprised to see it absent in what is clearly an MVP (minimum viable product) that is expected to grow with time.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Nothing like being indignant or outraged at paying the price for a vendor cup of coffee for an app that will only update and improve.

3 bucks a month subscription? I'd probably say no. If it improves to add in tracking of conditions? Sounds like a purchase well worth making.

Liberty's Edge

Erpa wrote:

Nothing like being indignant or outraged at paying the price for a vendor cup of coffee for an app that will only update and improve.

3 bucks a month subscription? I'd probably say no. If it improves to add in tracking of conditions? Sounds like a purchase well worth making.

Will the improvements come for free ?

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