Spotlight Mini: The Auger

This is going to be a brief post, namely because I have not purchased the Auger and so I can’t put it through an in-depth look like I did with Foundry.

Though that is a good segue into this post. One of the downsides to Foundry was its asking price of $50 USD plus tax. While it now has a plethora of RPG systems and tools to help facilitate a solo gaming experience, you are paying a hefty amount of money which can be a deal breaker for some people.

Which is why I’m happy to talk about the Auger, a program that costs $20 USD. Practically half the price of Foundry. From the screenshots alone, it has the feeling of an old-school computer RPG where you have a character status screen, an over world map to explore, and even a scene where you can fight monster.

I think one of its most remarkable features, especially for those who are interested in lifting the burden of being a GM onto automated systems, is how cities and NPCs are procedurally generated, which include dungeons to explore. So far, it only uses two rule sets: Ironsworn and 5E, with the option to ignore any systems if you either want to employ your own system or just play the game without a system in mind. Its drag and drop system looks very intuitive as well, dragging the characters onto the map or battlefield and bringing their stats with.

Another point of interest is how compatible it is with multiple systems, whether it be PC, Phone, or even tablet/iPad, with the games synchronizing across all devices. Though, one of the downsides, as the site points out, might not be compatible for some iOS users and have a site for those on such a system to check if they’re compatible.

Overall, this looks interesting and, without trying it out for myself, I’d say it’s worth checking out…

If you want to play 5E or Ironsworn and don’t have Foundry.

The deal breaker here is that it allows you to play Ironsworn, perhaps the main game featured on the Auger, within a single suite of tools and resources, all for the low, low price of $20 USD. However, if you purchased the Foundry, you technically already have that suite of tools and resources, perhaps even more so. I started a blank game of Ironsworn and had a pop up that had me configure the setting, as well as having a built-in compendium (okay, well, not really a compendium but rather a collection of stuff from Ironsworn).

The only problem is that you’ll have to provide for all the graphics yourself, something that the Auger has no issues with because it provides those graphics for you. If that’s worth picking up the Auger, yeah, go for it. However, this will be like with how I reviewed Foundry: I only recommend you picking this up if this interests you so much that other options don’t sound appealing. Otherwise, I’d say wait until the Auger adds more things to it, which they are steadily doing (such as adding a sci-fi mode).

However, there is a way you can demo the game, which is what I ultimately used for a bit of this spotlight. There’s an old version of the Auger that you could use to test out the system and get your feet wet. However, I don’t think this should be used as a measuring stick for the newer version, since obviously a lot of things have improved from the old version. This would be to get some feeling for how the Auger works, and even then, I can’t guarantee that.

Sidenote: They also have a separate virtual tabletop for MÖRK BORG, listed at $15 USD. It’s a similar case where if you enjoy MÖRK BORG and don’t have Foundry, this is your best alternative if you want to drop some cash (since otherwise there’s always Roll20).

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