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What do you have on your table in RL games?

KS Backer
I thought it might be a useful exercise to consider the things that we actually use on our tabletops in face-to-face games. À propos, I have some trouble persuading players to actually gather around a table: they prefer to lounge in armchairs and on sofas, each with his character sheet, note pad, dice, and pencil: and his laptop or iPad. This is a bad thing that they do, IMO. When I do get them to the table, these are the things that are found there: • coffee cups, water and soft-drink glasses, wine-glasses, whisky tumblers • bowls of nuts, chips, and other snacks, plates or packets of biscuits, boxes of sour candy, cutting-board, cheeses, knives • coffee plunger, whisky-bottles, wine-bottles, beer-bottles, sugar basin, cream jug, water jug, soft-drink bottles, napkins I see it as a benefit that Roll20 will un-share that clutter. As for things actually used in the game, we have: • rule books • setting description books, pamphlets, and print-outs • reference works such as an atlas • character sheets, sometimes enclosed in document-protectors • writing pads • iPads and often a laptop, smartphones • index cards: pink, blue, yellow, and white • a pad of Post-Its • pens, ballpoints (often in many colours), felt-tips (usually in many colours) • pencils • erasers • a whiteboard, sometimes with a painted hex-grid • alternatively to the whiteboard, an A3 document display case with a printed FATE layout in it • dry-erase (whiteboard) markers: black, red, green, blue, and purple • wet-erase (OHP) markers: usually at least four colours • a whiteboard eraser • a damp rag • a pump pack of whiteboard cleaner • Cardboard Heroes / Disposable Armies figures, with bases • Blu-tack • dice • poker chips I note that the first five items on the list above are rapidly being replaced by iPads and smartphones. I don't mean to imply the all those things ought to be emulated by Roll20. It's just that the first step in choosing what to emulate is seeing what is there.
Nicholas G.
KS Backer
Generally the core elements that we use are: - GM laptop with ebooks of the rules, campaign notes, whatever. This is hooked into a stereo system and provides music from donated and pre-selected tracks, specific to NPCs, situations, themes, what-have-you - Dice - Players each have laptops with their character sheets, copies of the rules, etc. This includes an internet connection and access to the campaign wiki. - A tarot deck for DoMT draws, tarot-driven effects, etc. - Occasional handouts, but fairly rarely. We only very rarely use a battlemat or figures or any actual written materials. We do often use technical aids to speed up slow parts of game - for instance, electronic dice rollers when the GM has to make 20 attacks against an AC that is only hit on a 20, but whether its 0, 1, or 2 could matter. So thats what we use. What we would use if easy/available: - If it were easier to do we would probably make more use of shared drawings/spaces than we do. - If it were easier to do, we would probably use a whiteboard with things like initiative order, currently running effects, etc (I've done this when running in places where whiteboards/blackboards were available) - I generally abstract large groups of monsters. If it were easier to do, I'd record things like specific hp totals for them rather than estimating injury and figuring out roughly when they drop.
Nicholas G.
KS Backer
Oh, and one really important thing that I forgot to mention! We have 'the hallway of secrets' for when the GM needs to go and run a side scene for a player or subgroup of players that doesn't involve the other. It's less an 'on the table' as 'in the environment' thing, but its used at least once a session.
KS Backer
Two things I forgot: • scientific calculators (getting less common now) • a box of blank business cards
KS Backer
The only things I would add is decks of playing cards. A deck each when playing Duty & Honour / Beat to Quarters or just the one if playing Savage Worlds.
Chris Clouser
KS Backer
Used to be everything we could imagine needing (resembling the first list), but lately it's: Pens/Pencils Pads of paper (for our notes), character sheets Printouts (usually mine, for my GM notes, if I don't have my laptop/tablet handy) Pad of graph paper (for sketching maps) Dice Drinks (usually beer) If we've got a laptop handy, then the graph paper goes and is replaced by MapTool, and I sometimes replace my dice with my iPhone and Mach Dice / Dicenomicon. We sometimes have snacks. Rulebooks go on the floor to one side or the other of me (again, unless they're on my tablet or laptop).
KS Backer
Battlemat & Dry Erase markers of various color Case of figures Rule books Maps of various sizes and shapes Sticky note pad for secret notes Character sheets, dice, pencils/pens Monitor with webcam & speakers showing our remote players Teapot & mugs & gallons of tea flowing Snacks of various shapes and colors and nutrition benefits
KS Backer
On the table... Players: character sheets + pencils, rulebooks and dice, paper, crit hit deck (optional). GM: DM Screen, dice, laptop (optional and usually to oneside off the table), the most referenced rulebook or two (usually the GM guide and monster manual type books), GM notes, notepad, map and tokens (optional). Around/under the table: plates of food, packets of snacks, glasses of pop and/or caffeinated beverages/rocketfuel, MOAR RULEBOOKS!, handbags, backpacks, assorted flotsam and jetsam (ffs people LEAVE THEM IN THE OTHER ROOM! "But i might need something from my bag/the very depths of hell itself..." -10 BEING A DAMN GIRL PENALTY TO YOUR FIRST ATTACK ROLL! "I am a girl!" WELL... GOOD? *silent rage* sorry, sometimes you just need to vent sometimes...)...
Henry L.
KS Backer
As a GM I usually have some dice, a dice cup, a pencil and a piece of paper. In my bag I have a fold-able battle mat, wet-erase pens, coins, stone tokens, paper minis, some NPCs, crit tables, some maps and some random flotsam. Sometimes I add a rule book (usually I borrow from my players, though), or some adventure module. If we're playing near my car, I have some terrain, I use sometimes. (Won't carry that around for more than a couple of minutes walk.)
Books, dungeon tiles, dice and print outs are the main space invaders. Closely followed by drinks, sweets, laptops and DM screen creeping in on the second tier. With Roll20, we've been able to put the top tier on-line and divide the rest amongst ourselves. However, I will miss the red lemonade and cinnamon lozenges of Northern Ireland...
a gigantic table made out of three big tables, a projector attached to the ceiling and connected to the GM laptop for maps and images, d&d minis, dices, drinks and chips, slices of pizza, ipad and other laptops, character sheets. :)
Kristin C.
Roll20 Team
Typically we have a large dry erase board for the battle map, dice, pencils, index cards, GM's netbook to display pictures and GM notes, tablets, hand held dry erase boards to keep track of spell lists, one of Paizo's magnetic initiative order boards, character sheets, rule books, figurines for PCs & NPCs, an assortment of scavenged terrain from board games/christmas decorations/warhammer, and lots of alcohol.
My brohemes and I play quite a bit of 40k in addition to P&P, so we usually play on a "table" that is a 4'x8' sheet of plywood with shelves of various terrain and every day items that stand in for buildings, objectives, etc. Also, templates, lots and lots of templates. It might be nice to include a template tool where you can right-click and select common names from various systems to morph it into (e.g. 30 foot cone, Close Blast 4, etc.).
Hmm... Recently my laptop is a must since I use google docs to keep all my info put together, rulebooks, drinks and snacks, cup'o'pencils and pens, mountains of dice (my players *love* their dice), character sheet binders (otherwise we'd have to rewrite a character every couple of sessions), everyone's miniatures, and pretty frequently a map I slaved away on for days only to have the players burn through the encounter in about half-an-hour (they are clever and well organized, what can I say). Pretty standard, honestly.
My group grabbed one of those gridded cardboard mat/poster/thing from walmart darkened the lines we wanted to be the actual grid and then covered the entire thing in clear tape. Instant ghetto battlemap. Then we have dice all over, two or three computers(recently brought in an ipad for the dm), calculators, and miniatures. Occasionally with funky drawings on the map by the players. We also usually have a couple cups on the table. Around and under the table we have a box of books, a few bags of our stuff, plates of food, another box full of minatures, tons of paper, pencils and erasers, and random other crap. I actually think I have a pic of us gaming at an apartment we no longer to go. Also the dude in the upper left no longer games with us, instead it's the dude on the lower left's brother who replaced him.
-a GM laptop -a screen to display the situation, illustrations or handouts (through Maptool or Roll20) (<a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>) -character sheets, paper and pencils for the players -rulebooks and scenarios for the GM (my iPad has begun to replace those) -some play aids (lists of prices,...), a card deck when playing Savage Worlds -the table is covered with a disposable paper tablecloth, so anything can be quickly sketched upon it if needed -anything that can be eaten or drunk
I Have: -GM Screen, with all of my notes (printed copies or hand written), my deck of NPC Cards (I make note cards for each important NPC that has a picture of them and their stats and abilities on it, and dice behind it. -My Laptop sitting to one side. -My Rulebooks and a couple setting books sitting to the other side (I always have the real books handy, I hate clicking through PDFs, same reason I write all of my game notes by hand or print them) -Notepad -Stack of notecards for secret messages -Beer or whisky (So when can we expect Roll20 to simulate this?) Players Have: -Character Sheets and pencil -Notepad -Dice -Drinks and snacks Yes that is it. I strictly enforce no laptops, iPads, cellphones at the table unless it is unavoidable to use for the game. Like if they forgot to print off their character sheet and need to use their laptop. My players would get distracted easily when they have access to the other stuff. Other things around: -Middle of table roll-up-able wet erase battle mat -Wet erase pens and damp towel -Terrain that I built for the game (If I made any for that game) -Miniatures -More general dice for anyone to use -Large map of world, or current city, stuck up on the wall near the table -Sticky tak to put up maps on the wall
Should get a few more pictures of this packed tables on this thread :)
This is a Table Set up from one of my GenCon Games, our Real Life Table set up is similar except on a smaller scale with numerous variations. This game was for 10 Players our real life game is for 6. We try to keep food limited to a paper plate, books are only needed when a rule is in question, and of course we do you miniatures. I have never in almost 40 years of DMing ever used a DM Screen. I have a legal pad, pencils, and my extra large dice. Players have their dice and dice prop (if they have one, one guy has a dice tower, another has a tray, another a cup) and their character sheet and pencils.
Patric C., I don't know why it never occurred to me to have a monitor to go with my laptop. Since my gang is all spread around the country at the moment, it's a bit moot, but this is a great idea! Just set the display to extended so the players can't see *everything* you've got up, but you can just "toss" things on to the monitor for display. I liked the blog post about using VTT in face to face games too.
Skipping all the stuff already mentioned. Rulers and laser pointers. Poker chips sometimes. Screens sometimes.