keeps this site and its author alive.
The first program I've included I call my Combat Statistics Program--Comstat, for short. This program calculates a few statistics I created, which I have found very useful both as a player and as a DM. I was actually looking over some character papers for a StarFrontiers party of which I was the leader, when I realized that my character had been using the wrong weapon in melee situations--I had another weapon on my belt which had a better chance to hit and at melee ranges did far more damage than the one I was using. I immediately gave careful scrutiny to all of the characters in that group--and then turned my attention to answering the same questions in a D&D game. From this evolved ADR's--average damage per round. It is based on simple math: the character has a probability of hitting a given armor class which may vary with the weapon used; each weapon has a range of damage from which an average damage per hit can be determined; and the number of attacks per round will also vary with the character and the weapon. As I put this together, I recognized that in D&D, the character was protected by armor class and hit points--the hp determining how many successful attacks you survive, the AC reducing the number of attacks which would be successful. Seeing that party leaders would find it very useful to know which party member is more likely to survive if he stays in the door to stop the monster, the fighter with the fabulous AC or one with umpteen thousand hit points, I dreamed up the SURV Rating (it doesn't stand for anything), which indexes hit points against armor class, to give a notion of who really is the toughest in the party. As a bonus, I've run a number of Monster Manual creatures through the program, and listed the results for comparison, so you can know if your character is as tough as a giant or not. The program results can be printed directly, sent to a text file you name, or both. Recognizing that not everyone has BASIC on their computers any more, I've included an explanation of the ADR's and Surv's calculations which should be adequate for those of you without BASIC to do the calculations some other way.
The Gem Maker and Jewelry Maker programs are just that--random generators indexed to TSR's charts and tables, so that whether I'm creating a dragon hoard or a dwarf treasury, I don't have to roll the dice repeatedly to find out the details of these items. The gem maker is no more than that--it uses the tables pretty much as listed, randomly determining the gem value, type, and color, just as I would have done with dice from the charts in the DMG. The jewelry maker goes a bit further than those charts, which don't determine the specific type of item found, merely the materials and value. The jewelry maker program links to a list of items, indexed by relative value of the type of jewelry so that more valuable items of each type will tend to be larger, but more valuable types of jewelry will be smaller items at higher values. This saves me the trouble of trying to make up what everything is. Both of these programs write to a text file (which you get to name, so you can do multiple runs at the same time) which can then be opened, pasted into a word processing document, or printed.
Have you thought of running a Krynn Wizard of High Sorcery, but you don't have the Krynn moons in your world? Try picking three cycles for your three wizards, and run this program to determine when they are "waxing", "waning", when they are in phase with each other--all those important lunar effects can be tracked to your calendar with ease.
You might like to check out the downloads for the Multiverser game system, from Valdron Inc. They include a few generic programs for determining the probabilities in dice curves, as well as a periodically updated gaming tips page which can be useful for any RPG.