Thanks for your interest in Blacklich! I’ve been using it in my sessions and its really been useful. I hope the same goes for you! My original design goals were to create a DM tool that was more complete than a die roller but less complicated than a virtual tabletop. Something that you could pick up, load onto your laptop or mobile phone and efficiently run encounters. Looking at monster stat blocks I wanted something that would allow me to simply click to make attack, damage, saving throw rolls and reference checks. The tool would need to be intuitive and a supplement to a traditional pen & paper game and not a digital replacement. For the most part I believe these objectives have been attained.
How I use Blacklich
When preparing for a session I open up a browser tab for each monster by clicking on the “New” button. Every tab shows the name of the monster selected so I can quickly cycle through the tabs needed in an encounter. Initiative rolls are done by clicking the monsters Dex score, attack & damage with the corresponding action buttons, other references (like spells) accessed from the assorted links.
What about missing creatures?
Since Blacklich uses open source monsters, you’ll find it missing monsters like a Beholder. I fill in missing creatures by copy & pasting from excellent websites like 5eTools (https://5etools.com/bestiary.html). I have a small program to make multiple copy & pastes. In about 5min I can copy most anything.
Once I create a creature, I share it so others can add it to their libraries. Here are some of mine:
To copy just make sure you are logged in. Access these links and hit “Copy” then “Save & View”. Now they are apart of your library.
What Blacklich isn’t doing
I keep track of initiatives, damage, etc. the old fashion way, on a piece of paper. When there is a die roll that isn’t described in a monster stat I use a die roller.
I’ve been making incremental updates over the last several weeks and believe it's reached a level of maturity to call it a first release. Improvements have been mostly visual and performance optimizations.
Feedback, ideas, etc.
I am very interested in your feedback. Are you experiencing any issues or spotted any bugs? Also, what more would you like to see?
Some thoughts of mine and from others:
Add a spell lookup tool
Add a button for a generic die roller
Allow tracking of hit points
Create a “Bestiary” page that allows others to post monsters so that others can copy
The challenge is adding capabilities but not compromising the original goal of simplicity and frankly not move towards great existing offerings that, although more complex, provide almost everything needed (e.g. Fantasy Grounds, etc.).
Once again, thank you for your interest and let me know how we can make Blacklich better!
Yours in D&D!