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What does your game table look like?
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Thread: What does your game table look like?

  1. #1
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    Question What does your game table look like?

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    Its funny, now that I have committed to being a dungeon master, for real, and dealing with the problems I get his New York City attitude in my heart of "I can do better."

    There is this feeling inside of me that game books, dice, maps, and all of it just isn't good engough.

    I feel I need to start using my powerpoint projector, my laptop, surround sound, and the HDTV somehow or other.

    I do believe though I have to insist that people not constantly multitask through the entire game should they show up. I HATE people that insist on doing things constantly while other people are in the combat sequence, not talking to other people at the game but playing video games, and then asking what the heck is going on when their turn comes up.

    But I'd love to know, what do some of you people do at your games nowadays?

    I bought the D&D 4.0 books, I am going to use them, I like paper but I simply want motion, sound effects, video, all of it.

    I am going to cook for my players!
    Peace "We are that which we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but a habit. Our intents are manifest in our words, our actions, our songs, and our play. May we all know peace."


  2. #2
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    I think when it comes to the gaming table the adage of less is more fits nicely.

    At my table I keep only some maps that I've drawn which mostly function as props. I also has a couple PHB's floating around for players to use. I usually have a mid-sized mat for combat and a screen to keep players from looking at my notes. Recently I've added a the bottom piece of a puzzle box for player to roll their dice in. I've had trouble with players obscuring their dice rolls and coming out victorious on impossible checks.

    As a rule of thumb, drinks are placed on the floor if they have a cap or on a side table if they come sans lid. Too many times I've had my maps and character sheets ruined by an excited player. I also keep books off the table except for one or two copies of the PHB. I like to have a nice clutter-free place to work on and piles of supplemental texts just get in my way.

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    Simple. I DM off a card table. No computer, no sound, just me, a few pieces of paper, and notes. I don't use screens even.

    A lot of this is just a manifestation of how I am. I twitch if something breaks my line of sight with the person I'm talking with, so DMing screens and computer screens are a distraction.

    I'm half deaf from years in the factory. Noise, even pleasant noise (I.E. Music) keeps me from hearing people. I must hear people.

    I use all sort of high tech tools to get ready for a game. But I don't use them with actually DMing the game.
    Last edited by tesral; 06-15-2008 at 07:53 PM. Reason: Me grammar told me to.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

  4. #4
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    I don't do much as far as setting up the battlemat. Usually, it's a few hastily drawn lines so that everyone gets the gist of what's going on. I do however extensively use a laptop to keep track of almost all elements of my game. PC and monster hit points and status, experience, names of NPCs, and even the current date -- all of this I keep in an Excel spreadsheet. And although this will probably cause a lot of traditionalist RPG'rs to seize up or even stroke out, I also use a dice rolling program that I created for anything that is more complicated than one or two dice being thrown. (I know, I know... breathe! It's going to be okay.) I do, however, keep a printed copy of my game notes and maps for easy reference. And in the background, I use my iPod to quickly change the background music to whatever is most appropriate at the moment.
    Robert A. Howard
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    I have a table that i set up in my living room, I have a rule book and spell book sitting there for the players and i sit at my own desk away from the players, which i kind of prefer. Players interact better if they have to stare at each other at a table and not the GM at the head of a table. I keep forgetting to get som small box to roll in though. Too many dice rolls falling off the table and stuff.
    i use a battlemat and tiles for combat scenes and dungeons. I have clear thin plastic circles or varying size to reflect how far light travels for when people are sneaking up on guards and while they travel through hallways. this is more for the players than me. I have my own game system so some of the stuff i use is very specific for it. Like i have a deck of cards each with rune on it to show players when they come across them. This way i don't have to keep drawing them out every time plus it causes them to try and remember them. I use the GameMastery item cards for random searches of NPC. This is the adventure gear sets and once in awhile the dragon trove cards.
    I have sound affects, but i don't use them very often. I do use photoshop to write up important in game letters/messages. and make them look like old parchment. I write up rumors every so often for the PCs to hear and decide on. Some of those rumors have a grain of truth, the rest are just old women talking too much.

    I think thats everything.
    I do not play them here or there, I do not play them anywhere, I do not play them with a fox. I do not mash that button box. I do not like MMO games. In the end ther're all the same.
    -Tesral

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    A couple of wider boards placed on a folding table. Room for 6 and me standing at the end so I can see and maintain eye contact with the players.





    I do use a laptop to keep track of stuff. Lots easier to have 6 tabs in Firefox (adventure, cast of characters, arsenal wiki, augmentation wiki, shadowrun core wiki, street magic wiki) with the core rulebook as a PDF in the background. Even so I still have a printout of the adventure just in case

    Carl
    GMing: Shadowrun 4th
    The Denver RPG Group - My Shadowrun Site - My Shadowrun Blog - Shadowrun Mooks
    I also administer the Mosaic and Stained Glass forums if you happen to be artistic


  7. #7
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    my gaming table is a folding table covered with a tablecloth i got at ren fest. i have a battlemat, some minis, and dice for days. i provide mechanical pencils, leads, and adult beverages, the group chips in for pizza and everyone brings something: chips and guac, more beer, seven layer dip, sodas, whatever.

    i dm from a raised bar table, so i can see everyone and the battlemap from a semi "birds eye" view. i have enough room for the laptop, dice box, and my notes.

    oh, and i have nine chairs available. the first three are very comfortable cushioned chairs, the next two are fairly comfortable cushioned floding chairs, and the other four are powdercoated steel folding chairs. first come, first serve. since i dm for six, the last person to arrive gets a steel folding chair. tends to encourage the players to arrive early...
    "well, g'night! dont let the flesh eating demon bed babies bite!!"
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    I also use a dice rolling program that I created for anything that is more complicated than one or two dice being thrown.
    My problem with die rollers is they are only as random as the seed they take. Some take a seed with every roll, most don't.

    I never used spreadsheets, for anything. They are Greek to me. Not being Greek that means I don't understand them. I'm a machinest, computers are a hobby.

    I'm not saying it's bad to use one, They have advantages and If I ever get around to learning the bloody things I might too, if I can postion the computer where it isn't in the way of the game.


    Quote Originally Posted by Freejack View Post
    A couple of wider boards placed on a folding table. Room for 6 and me standing at the end so I can see and maintain eye contact with the players.
    Nice dice tray, I make a couple for my players and keep one at my desk for writing adventures. That's an odd postion for the laptop.

    Standing is out of the question for me. Bad back.

    Currently we play around the living room, very casual. Also the reason I don't use minitures. We play around a room, not a table.
    Last edited by tesral; 06-15-2008 at 08:04 PM.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Nice dice tray, I make a couple for my players and keep one at my desk for writing adventures. That's an odd postion for the laptop.
    It lets me stand with my fingers placed properly rather than bent at an odd angle. The screen faces directly up at me so I can read it, again while standing.

    Standing is out of the question for me. Bad back.
    I understand. There just isn't room for me to sit and I basically got used to it. I kinda like it because of being able to see everything that's going on and include everyone. No one can hide behind another players head.

    Currently we play around the living room, very casual. Also the reason I don't use minitures. We play around a room, not a table.
    I am using zombie minis Just as placement. It works pretty well in general. Once I get my room organized, I might start having folks come over vs going to the FLGS.

    Carl
    GMing: Shadowrun 4th
    The Denver RPG Group - My Shadowrun Site - My Shadowrun Blog - Shadowrun Mooks
    I also administer the Mosaic and Stained Glass forums if you happen to be artistic


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freejack View Post
    I am using zombie minis Just as placement. It works pretty well in general. Once I get my room organized, I might start having folks come over vs going to the FLGS.

    Carl
    One reason you are not seeing AoO in my game anytime soon. You have to have minis for that. I don't. I have minis, but people cannot see and control them. No AoO.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

  11. #11
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    I just gotta say 'AWESOME!" Thanks for the pictures. Yeah I was really snide about your first try...but...whatever...I don't want to say.

    Anyway...my new AT&T tilt should be up to similar performance and now that I have 'negotiated' space in my own apartment for a game this picture is going to be of great help.

    I have my own digital projector so I think I'll use that as well as the TV.

    And spreadsheet programs are just part of what I have to do for making a living...OpenOffice is like excel and should run some of the character management for me and my players.
    Peace "We are that which we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but a habit. Our intents are manifest in our words, our actions, our songs, and our play. May we all know peace."


  12. #12
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    why do you need that many dice? theres enough dice there to choke a horse.
    I do not play them here or there, I do not play them anywhere, I do not play them with a fox. I do not mash that button box. I do not like MMO games. In the end ther're all the same.
    -Tesral

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jade von delioch View Post
    why do you need that many dice? theres enough dice there to choke a horse.
    You can never have too many dice.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jade von delioch View Post
    why do you need that many dice? theres enough dice there to choke a horse.
    At least. And that's just those boxes. I also have others:



    But who said anything about "need". I just like dice. I got a couple of boxes of gray when I started Shadowrunning, in part because I recall needing a bunch back when I played 1st and 2nd. Then the clear blue ones to bug a player (he had the _only_ blue ones ). The I used the gray and blue to represent the crowd so I got a small box of the red ones at a con. Then the black ones were on sale, .... well it's an addiction. Better than being an alcoholic



    That's all of them but the two boxes of grays that are in the red tupperware box.

    Carl
    GMing: Shadowrun 4th
    The Denver RPG Group - My Shadowrun Site - My Shadowrun Blog - Shadowrun Mooks
    I also administer the Mosaic and Stained Glass forums if you happen to be artistic


  15. #15
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    Heh that's not an ADDICTION that's just cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freejack View Post

    But who said anything about "need". I just like dice. I got a couple of boxes of gray when I started Shadowrunning, in part because I recall needing a bunch back when I played 1st and 2nd. Then the clear blue ones to bug a player (he had the _only_ blue ones ). The I used the gray and blue to represent the crowd so I got a small box of the red ones at a con. Then the black ones were on sale, .... well it's an addiction. Better than being an alcoholic



    That's all of them but the two boxes of grays that are in the red tupperware box.

    Carl

    That is not an addiction this book "Love and Sex with Robots" by David Levy explains this phenomenon, which is almost universal among RPG fans, their love of dice, by "attachment theory"... healthy humans invest objects with feelings and tend to surround themselves with things that bring comfort, relaxation, and peace.

    Who doesn't love dice collections that is an RPGer? Yeah I'll use software dice but I love giving and receiving dice as presents. I am proud of the small metal dice pair I gave a friend who got married. I presented them upon the player's character level advancement...the player's druid just got a new ability that I could reflect with the dice color, size, etc.

    I love my last dice set...that said detachment from some old horrible pruple dice I had, I threw them out, was very satisfying indeed. I felt FREE! FREE of that horrible game where I used them and all those memories.
    Peace "We are that which we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but a habit. Our intents are manifest in our words, our actions, our songs, and our play. May we all know peace."


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