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The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

All discussions regarding Board, Card, and RPG Gaming, including industry discussion, that don't belong in one of the other gaming forums.

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Zarathud
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Zarathud » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:35 am

This weekend I'm going to encourage my daughters to roll up characters for Pandelver, which I'll use as an introduction to Tyranny of Dragons. My oldest wants to play a Dragonborn to meet, fight and befriend dragons. Because what good is a Dungeon without a Dragon? :)

At GenCon, I picked up StatTrackers, basically bookmarks that hang over the DM screen with Monster Manual creature stats. Well, at least most of them. Apparently the D&D OGL prevented certain trademarked creatures from being included. That's also disappointing as it's not certain monsters from the expansion books (Volos, etc) can be included in a future set.

GenCon also had a decent deal on dry erase Dungeon Tiles from Roll4Initiative so I picked up a set of earth and greystone. This will allow me to slowly reveal the map while they're adventuring, and drawing map segments before putting tiles in front of everyone should be easier on my back than leaning over the table.
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Blackhawk
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk » Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:03 am

I have a couple of sets of those. They work great. Another thing that works well for certain dungons is to use a map and overhead projector transparencies. Just lay the transparencies out on a grid, draw on them with wet (not dry) erase, then pick them back up. During the game you can lay them down as you need to. It has the advantage that you can overlap them to work in different sized rooms.

A friend picked up a set of the stat trackers there. I didn't see them until afterwards, but really like them. Or at least I would if I still used a screen. These days I use a mini-screen just big enough to hide miniatures behind. I like my body and face not being hidden when I'm GMing. There's nothing blocking the players' view of me, or vice-versa. For rolling, I use giant sized dice in a clear acrylic dice tray so that everyone can see. My actual 'screen' is my laptop off to the side, where I keep my notes (I use OneNote for everything), pdfs of rulebooks, and 5eTools for quick reference.
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hentzau
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by hentzau » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:14 am

I got a set of the Stat Trackers and they’re great. And they give you enough blank ones you can fill in gaps if needed.
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Re: The Randomness of the Pen and the Paper

Post by Blackhawk » Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:54 pm

Man, dilemmas!

Looks like I'll be running again in a month or two, as my main group's GM is wanting a break. That gives me plenty of time to prep, but prep what? I have two games that I'd really like to put on the table, but I can't for the life of me decide which one to try.

Torg Eternity
Pros:
~Quick to prep,
~Quick to play
~Huge variety of gameplay due to multiple settings mixed together (regions of pulp action, regions of cyberpunk, regions of fantasy, regions of horror, all within a single setting.)

Cons:
~Very little existing content, none of it reviewed to help me decide what to use, which means increased prep time to create a campaign from scratch
~What old content there is would require significant conversion, as everything about the game has changed since its first version in the early 90s.

Neutral:
~Theater of the mind (a pro because it seriously reduces prep and speeds up play, a con because I like toys.)

Pathfinder 2nd Edition
Pros:
~Piles of accessories and tie in materials (board games, PC games, novels.)
~I like the campaign world
~Tons of existing content with hundreds of reviews and piles of third party extras

Cons:
~More complex system, meaning slower play and more prep
~Much of the existing content would require some conversion from 1st edition

Neutral:
~Miniatures used (a con because it increases prep and slows down play, a pro because I like toys.)
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