Ego Check: Andy Aiken, Creator of Masterplan

When I returned to the saddle for my first DM session in over 15 years, I was more than a bit anxious about the endeavor. I have previously discussed preparing music for the campaign and buying terrain to add bells and whistles to the night’s proceedings, but the task of organizing the rest of the materials required was also cumbersome. I printed out monster stats from the offline Monster Builder and carried books for background information and possible rule clarifications. I printed out lists of NPC names and possible plot points for the adventure that night. Needless to say, I was a frantic, unorganized mess!

It was months later that I learned of Masterplan through a post at NewbieDM. The brief post indicated the software was designed to help a DM create, plan and organize single encounters and lengthy adventures. I downloaded the program, and after muddling my way through without reading Tutorials, I learned to love Masterplan. I currently use it to plan out various adventure paths in my campaign, run combat and maintain an encyclopedia of NPCs, towns, objects and places. It has reduced my stress level and assisted me with being more organized and fluid at the gaming table.

Weeks ago, I came into contact with the creator of Masterplan, Andy Aiken. I was thrilled when he agreed to spend some time with me for an interview. Throughout the discussion, we cover the genesis of Masterplan, Andy’s philosophy in terms of upgrading the program, his relationship with Wizards of the Coast and future plans to develop tools that could enhance the DM’s ability in plot management. If you have never interacted with Masterplan, then check out the interview and learn more about the possibilities that lie within. And if – like me – you have used Masterplan to simplify your life as a DM, then read on to learn more about the man behind screen making it all happen.

Andy, thank you for agreeing to spend some time with me. I have been using Masterplan to organize my homebrew Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition campaign for well over a year now. However, could you explain the application for those that may have never used it before?

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