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View Full Version : What do you use to cart around your D&D rulebooks?



emblasochist
06-19-2009, 12:49 PM
I've come to realize that when I have all the core rulebooks for my D&D games, I won't be able to keep them in a school bookbag anymore. I've been looking into a number of bags that I could use to carry all of my core rulebooks that could double as a weekender bag for camping/regular weekend trips. I've been poking around places like REI.com and TheNorthFace.com because if I have to pay a small fortune for a bag that will suit my needs for my rulebooks, I want to be able to use it as a weekend bag or a camping backpack, either one. So, what do you all use you cart all those rulebooks around? If you have one that you love, I'd love to hear why you like it, and I'd appreciate pictures if you don't mind.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-19-2009, 01:53 PM
Office Depot and Office Max have these square locking bags with extending handles and wheels that have worked pretty nice in the past. You may want to take a gander at one of those if and when you have time. I use mine when i need to haul a heavy load of books to a special home gaming event. Such a life/back saver, it's been.

yukonhorror
06-19-2009, 02:09 PM
our DM had the policy: you want to play, you carry the books. So us players were used as manual labor.

Umiushi
06-19-2009, 02:36 PM
If you started this thread in order to look for camping backpack recommendations, you might as well skip this post.

I use one of those recyclable shopping bags that are available for free or a couple of bucks in markets. When the weather's bad, I just throw something waterproof on top. Of course, I wouldn't recommend this for long treks out in the open. It's really just to transport the material from the trunk of my car to the room where the game will be held.

The following is 4th edition-specific, though the principles may broadly apply:
In addition, I use index cards that explain all of the PCs' powers and abilities, and I print out all of the statistics for my adventure's monsters and traps ahead of time. Armed with that, all I need to run a game is the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and a copy of the rules errata. Since 90% or more of all the other books simply consist of "recipes," this amount of advance preparation means I don't have to bring them along with me. On the very rare occasions that I do "need" them, I just make a spot ruling and move on. Most of the time, I do lug everything, but on those occasions where I don't, doing this ahead of time gets me through with no difficulty.

cplmac
06-19-2009, 03:33 PM
Alas, I have been using the same small duffle bag since 1991. I have found that it is now starting to pull apart at the seam where the zipper is sewn on. I will most likely be needing to look at replacing it soon, so I will keep this thread in mind once I find a replacement.

mrken
06-19-2009, 04:49 PM
After buying my son a stack of rule books taller than a small child, he started to complain that they were getting too heavy to carry around on his back. My answer was to go to either Target of Wal Mart and get him a tool box on wheels. I think it is a Stanley brand deal. It is black plastic and about a dozen or more books go in the bottom part which then unbuckles for access. The top part has a place for more stuff, think he puts the minis in the bottom part and his paper and pencils and dice on the top in small bins that open individually. Cost me another $25 and he no longer complains abut how heavy all the books and minis I bought him are. He carries around half a grand of my stuff all over the place and it is water resistant. Tell him not to go out in the rain but I think it would be fine for short distances.

Harwel
06-19-2009, 05:07 PM
A laptop of course. ;)

templeorder
06-19-2009, 06:55 PM
I always had a backpack or large shoulder bag. The miniatures and dice had to fit as well! I prefer this over e-versions, but these days, i have to say, laptop is sure alluring.

emblasochist
06-19-2009, 08:26 PM
Alas, I have been using the same small duffle bag since 1991. I have found that it is now starting to pull apart at the seam where the zipper is sewn on. I will most likely be needing to look at replacing it soon, so I will keep this thread in mind once I find a replacement.

Is there any chance you're looking for a backpack or a weekender bag because I've seen a few options that might be interesting. For instance:
http://www.rei.com/product/747934, http://www.rei.com/product/718349, and finally http://www.thenorthface.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=70152&storeId=207&catalogId=10201&langId=-1&from=subCat&parent_category_rn=11748&variationId=002.

Q-man
06-19-2009, 09:50 PM
I used to use the backpack for a while. Then my collection of books got too big and the duffle bag I used to hold my deck hockey gear had to double as a bookbag on game nights. After straining with that over my shoulder I came to realize I could get by without all the books. I'd probably be in a lot better shape if I kept lugging them all around though, all that extra weight when walking could be a heck of a workout.

Windstar
06-19-2009, 09:55 PM
Walmart black shopping bags, one for the DM stuff and one for the player info.

DarQuing
06-19-2009, 11:00 PM
At the moment, I use a backpack, that may change if I end up carrying more books than I need. :/

emblasochist
06-19-2009, 11:37 PM
For the people that use backpacks, are we talking like a regular like school bookbag? Because I have a bookbag that was made for a laptop. My 3 main core rulebooks are straining it.

Q-man
06-20-2009, 07:05 AM
I'm back to using a regular school backback. Given the sorry shape its in, it might be the same one I used in highschool and college. It still holds the books, I just have to pick and choose which ones to bring sicne they won't all fit. I tote around 6 or 7 books wihtough much trouble in it.

deathboy
06-20-2009, 07:18 AM
Since I play at home I don't really lug around a lot of stuff, but for Cons it is usually a back pack, though I should upgrade sooner or later as it is killing my posture.

peppermeister
06-20-2009, 09:57 AM
While not practical for long distance lugging, a plastic milk crate works great for carrying books to and from the car. A rolling, folding crate can be found at various office supply stores and big box retailers, too.

DarQuing
06-20-2009, 10:32 AM
Its a regular backpack with space for a laptop (which i mainly use for my busbook and DM notebook instead of a laptop).

nijineko
06-20-2009, 11:59 AM
i used to have several boxes which i had to draft people to carry in. but then i quit with that, and just acquired pdfs for all the stuff i own. now i just take my laptop. if i ever seriously considered taking the books again, i'd probably use a suitcase, and individually wrap the books so they wouldn't shift and damage each other.

Razmus
06-20-2009, 12:26 PM
While not practical for long distance lugging, a plastic milk crate works great for carrying books to and from the car. A rolling, folding crate can be found at various office supply stores and big box retailers, too.
Late 80's, used to use stackable crates or file crates... something like this:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10529564

I used to make a couple trips, between the car and the house, but a folding hand truck with a couple bungie cords probably wouldn't be a bad idea:
http://www.officemax.com/office-supplies/mailroom-equipment/hand-trucks-mail-carts/product-ARS20140

Slipstream
06-20-2009, 07:47 PM
http://media.rei.com/media/x/1452542.jpg

This is my current backpack (http://www.rei.com/search?query=Venturi+40&button.x=0&button.y=0), which I picked up about two months ago at REI to double as a day hike pack and a gaming convention pack. I'll be heading to Gen Con and PAX this year, and wanted to be able to carry my RPG's, dice box, Monsterpocalypse minis, WoW cards, Nintendo DS, and various other junk I'll collect from the show floors. What I was also thinking about was people behind me. So often at PAX, there are the guys who walk around with backpacks that are protruding so far off their body that any time they swing around to look at something, WHAM... you or anyone else behind them get hit. Plus, it puts the weight around your waist rather than your shoulders and back, which is much better for you as the day goes on.

Probably not great for GM's, if you are needing to haul a lot (I'm just a player), but check out the description. The thing actually has a mesh net that separates your back from the pack itself, thus: no sweat. I've gone on three outdoor hikes with it thus far and can't complain. Both guys' and girls' packs available. Plus, there are plenty of other models available and REI is usually cool about you returning stuff if it just doesn't work for ya.

emblasochist
06-20-2009, 08:23 PM
This is my current backpack (http://www.rei.com/search?query=Venturi+40&button.x=0&button.y=0), which I picked up about two months ago at REI to double as a day hike pack and a gaming convention pack. I'll be heading to Gen Con and PAX this year, and wanted to be able to carry my RPG's, dice box, Monsterpocalypse minis, WoW cards, Nintendo DS, and various other junk I'll collect from the show floors. What I was also thinking about was people behind me. So often at PAX, there are the guys who walk around with backpacks that are protruding so far off their body that any time they swing around to look at something, WHAM... you or anyone else behind them get hit. Plus, it puts the weight around your waist rather than your shoulders and back, which is much better for you as the day goes on.

Probably not great for GM's, if you are needing to haul a lot (I'm just a player), but check out the description. The thing actually has a mesh net that separates your back from the pack itself, thus: no sweat. I've gone on three outdoor hikes with it thus far and can't complain. Both guys' and girls' packs available. Plus, there are plenty of other models available and REI is usually cool about you returning stuff if it just doesn't work for ya.

See, that's the kind of thing I was looking for. And if it can be used for camping, it probably would work well for my DM stuff with the possible exception being the minis I bring to games because I bring HUGE minis to my games when I bring them. The other things I have are the core rulebooks and a battlemat. I want to pick up a mondomat from Chessex but I suspect that I will have to fold the damn thing a few times for it to fit in that backpack, and since its vinyl, it doesn't take too well to folding as opposed to rolling. The only complaints I would have against that particular model are that it doesn't have access to load from the bottom or near the bottom as well as the middle, and that it might not be long enough to stick in the mondomat if I get one.

Baldwin Stonewood
06-21-2009, 04:22 PM
I have two different brief cases. If I'm a player, and don't need as many books or items, I use a leather shoulder bag. When I DM and have more books, I have a large rolling case.

Slipstream
06-21-2009, 07:50 PM
The only complaints I would have against that particular model are that it doesn't have access to load from the bottom or near the bottom as well as the middle, and that it might not be long enough to stick in the mondomat if I get one.
That's correct. It's top loading only, but that aspect doesn't bother me personally. I hope you find the right one. Maybe look into Eddie Bauer or Columbia's packs? There's a lot of quality brands out there. Surely yours is out there. And yes, they can get expensive, but consider it an investment if you plan to do hikes with it. It's great exercise and you can haul plenty of gear for a day on a mountain or in a sweaty convention hall. Either one, always pack the deodorant :) (sidetrack: I seriously wish some conventions would pass out travel size deodorant sticks as you check in... AXE does NOT help.)

emblasochist
06-21-2009, 07:57 PM
I seriously wish some conventions would pass out travel size deodorant sticks as you check in... AXE does NOT help.

The real solution would be to FORCE them to bathe before entering; that they have to smell better than X to get in...

Slipstream
06-21-2009, 11:51 PM
The real solution would be to FORCE them to bathe before entering; that they have to smell better than X to get in...
Agree completely. It's not a hard concept.

SilenzZzz
06-22-2009, 08:02 PM
well 99% of the games i run are at my house so it is only about 10 steps from a shelf that is dedicated to D&D stuff (including seperate containers for mini's of all sizes which stack nicely... and other containers full of various dice .. and other containers full of glass bead for markers for other monsters when i need a hoard or two.... oh and the grid map hangs on the back of my computer room door when not in use ) ...

but until recently ... i have a pdf copy of each book i purchased ... that i keep on a USB thumbdrive ... and i often just open em up on my Mini 9 netbook while DMing ...

but on some things i still prefer having the actual book in front of me .. esp when running delves ... which we do 2x a week ... third time during the week is a campaign ...

agoraderek
06-23-2009, 04:25 AM
Backpack. All I carry is the Pathfinder Beta, BoXM, PHB, Green Ronin's APG, a notebook, a lap top and dice, pencils, graph paper...

The DM, however, carts around a huge dufflebag (lots of minis and splats) and a backpack...

kitsune1842
06-23-2009, 05:02 PM
MIlitary surpluse ruck sack. I can fit my entire 4th Eddition DND collection (Thats all of them so far) into the thing along with my box of dice and my Minis. They are well built, and its the only back pack that lasted more than 2 months of hard use when I was in school.

That said, when dealing with a game where I have more books that can be fit in a duffel bag, like DND 3rd-3.5, I carry only the books I use a lot and carry PDF copys of the others I might need but dont refference several times a session.

emblasochist
06-23-2009, 06:46 PM
MIlitary surpluse ruck sack. I can fit my entire 4th Eddition DND collection (Thats all of them so far) into the thing along with my box of dice and my Minis. They are well built, and its the only back pack that lasted more than 2 months of hard use when I was in school.

That said, when dealing with a game where I have more books that can be fit in a duffel bag, like DND 3rd-3.5, I carry only the books I use a lot and carry PDF copys of the others I might need but dont refference several times a session.

I'm saddened by the fact that I may still end up doing my GI duffel. Sure everything would fit, but at the cost of having to spend a little over an hour to pack it and convince myself its not unpleasant.

RoryN
06-23-2009, 07:57 PM
I always just used a regular backpack. It would carry my paperwork, the PHB, DMG, MM's, UA, & DD (back in the 2E days), plus all my dice/pencils/pens in the front pouch.

tesral
06-29-2009, 07:44 AM
A catalog case. Something salesmen use to carry to hold, you guessed it, catalogs. It's a kind of briefcase on steroids.that opens from the top. If it is not large enough to carry the books, I have too many books. It also has enough room for the dice and other gaming sundries.

I see the things are still available and popular. Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Business-Computer-Samsonite-Ballistic-Rolling/dp/B0001FF9C8) if you're curious. However they are not cheap. I got my much older (no wheels) model when my Wife's workplace was cleaning out the closet if you will. We got a pair of cases. I use one for gaming and the other to hold astronomy bits.

I've used everything form said catalog cases to milk crates even a cheap steamer trunk once. I prefer to have less books. Currently my whole game can fit in the catalog case with room to spare.

Kilus
06-29-2009, 07:46 AM
I came into work one Sunday years ago and scanned all my D&D stuff into pdf format.

I now just need to take my laptop where ever I go, only problem is I have bought more books since then so its time to scan again.

prinnycook
07-03-2009, 09:15 PM
I am a Hiker so that backpack is big and strong, plus before the D&D pdf ban I had a lot of books on my laptop. I still use my laptop because I have a lot of pdfs on it, DMing with a pdf MM is great.

WhiteTiger
07-08-2009, 10:42 AM
I was just in Dollar General a couple of days ago and they had these plastic milk-crates for like $5. It's worth a shot.

emblasochist
07-08-2009, 11:44 AM
I know my old man has a catalogue case that he doesn't use anymore. The trick is convincing him to sell it to me...

Valdar
07-08-2009, 02:57 PM
When I DMed on the road, I used a white plastic crate, similar to a milk crate, but no holes. Dice and such tend to fall through the holes. And a Games Workshop mini case fits snugly into the top.

I wish I could find a mailing tube for my map, but most post offices have gone to triangular or square boxes instead of mailing tubes. The tube would work better for ironing out the wrinkles in a new map.

tesral
07-08-2009, 05:01 PM
I wish I could find a mailing tube for my map, but most post offices have gone to triangular or square boxes instead of mailing tubes. The tube would work better for ironing out the wrinkles in a new map.

Try an office store.

emblasochist
07-09-2009, 08:25 PM
My old man bequeathed unto me his catalog case this evening. I will be using it tomorrow, hopefully! It needs a cleaning off, but hey, it sure beats having to spend $80+ on a new one!

Dytrrnikl
07-10-2009, 11:07 AM
A packback most recently, but back in my early days, when I carted my whole library around, I had a duffle bag that could hold a fully grown adult in it curled into a loose, comfortable ball.

emblasochist
07-10-2009, 11:33 AM
Yeah, I have an army surplus duffle, but since its a top-loading thing, it wasn't always convenient.

tesral
07-10-2009, 11:39 AM
I've used large gym bags, catalog case, mike crate, steamer trunks, tote bags. All with and without a luggage carrier.

RAD7atmosphere
07-14-2009, 05:49 PM
I've got a soccer bag that I use (Just an oversized bookbag) but it's actually got a mesh covered pocket on the front that entends to fill in the bottom of the bag. Plus it's water-proof!!! It's Diadora brand and you can find em' at any soccer specialty store. I don't play soccer much anymore but I'm glad I got the bag.

Thriondel Half-Elven
07-14-2009, 06:40 PM
when i first started playing my group and i used whatever we could to haul our books around. Laptop bags, backpacks, in our hands.

Now i have too many to carry alone!

emblasochist
07-14-2009, 09:39 PM
Yeah... If I bring all of the rulebooks I have for 4th edition alone, they take up most of a large bookbag. Add on top of that the fact that I have notebooks for stuff for me to use as well since I am the DM, then I have 12 sets of dice I bring; and in the future, I plan on bringing about $60 in coins; as well as miniatures for the PCs, blank character sheets; the pre-made power cards, every player's character sheets, my DM screen and any player's handouts I have, and it become evident really quick that I have a ton of stuff for my D&D games. Makes me want a real-life Handy Haversack...

Oldgamer
07-15-2009, 12:37 PM
I use a gym bag sized luggage that came with my Samsonite luggage collection. I only take what's needed for the game, the source books my character is made from and such. Unless I'm DMing, then all of my books fit on a Flash Drive or 4 :biggrin: The bag then becomes a vehicle for mini's and dice bags :)

Grandore The Giant Killer
07-15-2009, 01:16 PM
MY DM uses a big ole suit case that has wheels on the bottom. Thank god for the wheels too because between all the books he hauls and the dice and whatever else crap he'll throw in there it turns into a heavy sum*****.

emblasochist
07-15-2009, 01:20 PM
While I have all the released books except Eberron and the adventures on my hard drive, but two things about that are that I feel like a slimeball having it pirated while I am in the process of actually buying it all, and two, it hasn't proven to be very effective to use a computer at the game table... It just feels like another thing I have to manage rather than a tool with which I can manage the game. I know I'm not using a lot of tools when I'm plugged in as the DM, but with the (admittedly limited) research I've done on tools to use at the game table, I haven't found ones that really meet my needs...

It would be nice to fee up more space for minis and other stuff though, but my players don't even print their own damn character sheets. I caught hell the first two nights because the sheets I produced for the players didn't have one of the player's weapons specified on it...

CEBedford
07-19-2009, 10:39 AM
I have an old military ammo pouch which is perfect for my Savage Worlds or Wild Talents EE books. Any trade paperback sized book would fit well.

For full sized books I still haven't found anything that holds a nice amount without making me feel rediculous. I have an old marine duffel bag but it's a big large for this purpose.

I've decided to start limiting the books I take to a game whether I'm the GM or not.

brovane
07-23-2009, 10:36 PM
Well years ago I would use milk cartoon crates. I had a couple of these and they where very sturdy. I would have all my D&D books in two and then I had a hand cart. I would get out of the car and put everything on the hand cart with the battle maps on top. Once at the game I would just put the milk cartoon's on there side and they doubled as instant bookcases. Very effective. Now days you can get all the books on PDF version so you just bring a laptop.

caldeen
07-24-2009, 09:23 PM
Laptop for the win!! I have a lot of PDFs for games. Most of us at the game have laptops and we use yahoo instead of passing notes. The problem is keeping people focused on the game and not surfing.

Our character sheets also stay on the computer where it is much easier to manage. Remember to keep a backup though. Loosing your char sucks!

DM_Running_Farland_3.5
07-25-2009, 07:34 PM
I only carry my laptop and core rule books. And I hardly ever crack open the books. Just use the laptop. I have the SRD and such on there, so...yeah.