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    Canonfire :: View topic - Computer accessories and gaming
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    Computer accessories and gaming
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2007
    Posts: 56


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    Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:41 pm  
    Computer accessories and gaming

    Not sure if this is the 'proper' forum for this discussion but it's 2am and this is lookn' kinda friendly.

    Does anyone else (other than me, obviously) use a computer when they play? When I run, I take my usual rulebooks, dice and DM screen but I also keep my laptop handy. I queue up .pdf files of various rulebooks for quick reference, take notes for the campaign, download and update maps and occasionally play music for setting the tone. I've found that a laptop full of library files cuts down on the amount of books I have to carry and makes it easier to answer obscure rules and/or game history questions from players. And someone ALWAYS has an obscure rules question. It's like....a law of the universe or something.

    Anyways, I've been using the MS Office package to enhance my games rather than the intended use. I was just wondering if anyone else out there uses a laptop to extend their range of options while running and/or playing a game.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 951
    From: Neck Deep in the Viscounty of Verbobonc

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    Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:32 pm  

    I tried it for a while, but I didn't like it. I soon discovered I actually spent more time waiting for the computer to boot and looking things up in various PDFs than I did when I didn't use the computer.

    Since then, I've opted to limit myself to carrying only the core books to the game. Any maps or obscure rules I might need get printed off and placed in a binder. It all fits neatly in a briefcase. My players, too, have begun carrying a simple 3-ring binder that contains any rules or other information they may need. The amount of time we spend looking things up is miniscule, and the gaming table is much less cluttered.

    I do use the computer during game prep, though. I don't have (or want) many utility programs, but I would love to find a good character generator that can handle all the splatbooks and can print out an actual standard character sheet.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 04, 2003
    Posts: 156
    From: Nyrond

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    Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:30 am  

    I don't use them in game myself but I've seen some ideas that seem to work well with others...

    The Heroforge charactersheets have a new power-up feature, you have your character sheet up on your computer and if someone buffs you with a spell (haste, bless, etc), or if you rage or soming simular, you just select that option and it automatically updates everything on your character sheets until you deselect it. It seems to save a lot of the hastle of players trying to remember what buffs they have going and what they do for them.

    If you have a word searchable file of a book then that can help you find things quicker, but if your files are just scanned images I think it just slows you down and distracts you from the game itself while your looking for what your trying to find.

    Also, I've seen players get distracted by their computers ingame (checking emails, playing computer games, etc) or even cheat (looking up the stats of the monster they are facing or even having a copy of the scenaro your running them through to glance at when people aren't looking.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 13, 2004
    Posts: 43
    From: St.Louis, Missouri USA

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    Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:02 pm  

    I always keep my Core Books physically handy as I can thumb faster for confirmation of known rules, as well as I have a physical copy printed of whatever storyline or adventure I am running as it is easier to keep notes in the margins as we go along. However, I use my laptop to keep battle info (initiative hp spells simple npc info) in line (excel I find works great for this). I also then have access to all the pdfs I need as well for anything obscure or possibly pertinent that I didn't think of ahead of time. I will say that I keep the lap top on a lower side table and while my screen and papers are on the table, keeps a more genuine personal evironment.

    Oh, I also use the laptop to run background music from .wav or ipod files when its appropriate!
    Novice

    Joined: Sep 27, 2004
    Posts: 4
    From: MI

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    Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:46 pm  

    Oh yes. All the time, I use my laptop for keeping track of passage of time (days, weeks months, years) and special moments in the game, who said what. Specific kills and bonus exp. The possibilities are endless for what I use it for. The one big drawback I dislike about it is the amount of space that it uses. But it is a useful tool.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 11, 2007
    Posts: 6
    From: Plano, TX

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    Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:11 pm  

    I use my Fujitsu Lifebook all the time. I use both Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access for my games. I have a rather extensive database I use as well for tracking all sorts of game data. I have a 5' x 7' gaming table as well so there's plenty of room still for books, vinyl mats, miniatures etc. I don't have anything in PDF form. I would if the book came in both formats though. I still use dice though! Also an occational index card... Wink

    P.S. Almost forgot... I'm also using CC3.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2007
    Posts: 56


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    Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:25 pm  

    AWizardInDallas wrote:
    I use my Fujitsu Lifebook all the time. I use both Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access for my games. I have a rather extensive database I use as well for tracking all sorts of game data. I have a 5' x 7' gaming table as well so there's plenty of room still for books, vinyl mats, miniatures etc. I don't have anything in PDF form. I would if the book came in both formats though. I still use dice though! Also an occational index card... Wink

    P.S. Almost forgot... I'm also using CC3.


    I use my laptop for player maps, tracking important things that happen during the campaign as well as playing the occasional musical track.

    One thing that's helped me a lot is that I've got most of my books on .pdf file. If there's one rule of being a DM it's that you will ALWAYS need to reference the book you forgot to bring to the game. having my rulebooks and sourcebooks on .pdf file helps keep the pile of books I have to carry down to a minimum.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

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    Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:21 am  

    I use a laptop with a wireless connection. I then use the SRD during the game. Just prior to the game I open a tab to all the things I think may be of use during the game and have it ready with a quick command.
    Novice

    Joined: Jun 02, 2004
    Posts: 1


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    Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:13 pm  
    Technology and RP Games

    Our group uses HeroForge almost exclusively. We are looking at alternative resources as well.
    We also have members in our group that play by calling in on Skype through video confrence. There are six of us who play and two call in, one from Rhode Island and one from Illinios. We are located in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area.
    As our DM, I use e-mail as our main form of communication during the week. I send the Skype players maps and info they need as players to participate and then they call in and participate via videa confrence.
    We have been doing this for over a year and it has worked out very well. We are also exploring some of the online table top servers to help us with real time game play.

    What is funny about this, is ten years ago, when the AD&D 2nd ed. Core Rules were out on CD I started bring a laptop to gaming just so I did not have to carry all the books. We joked about us all having computers and people confrencing in. Shocked
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    Novice

    Joined: Jul 27, 2007
    Posts: 1
    From: Norway

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    Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:31 pm  

    I'm starting to use my laptop more and more in our games as a DM, mainly for music and looking up rules. I use the SRD and iTunes. I do not use PDF books so often, mainly since we play in my house, unless the book is in another room.

    Now I'm preparing a couple of adventures using DM Genie to see how that works out. So far it looks as if it will work well
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