Gaming with gadgets
Okay, I may as well come clean on this: I’m a Luddite as far as gaming gadgets go and my group has similar views on this. I much prefer an actual book to serve as the reference material when I am playing or running a game as it’s easier to refer to. But of late, we as a group seem to be breaking this as more and more often laptops are coming to the table out of necessity.
Take the last two sessions that we had, for example. Both of them included using laptops during the game session, something which I have been very strictly against until rather recently. We currently have a lot of gaming pdfs that would be very difficult, and almost downright impossible for some, to get in physical form. And when you want to play those games, out comes the laptop.
And this is what happened in the last session I ran two weeks ago. I have to admit, that I didn’t “run the game” from the laptop as I had the books in front of me. But I did need to access the riddles document that came with the bundle of pdfs, and so I used my laptop in a game as a GM for the first time ever.
The second time was the very next week. I had to transfer my 3.5 character sheet from the laptop to paper, another player had to do this as well and the DM was going to use the 3.5 books on there to run the game, but in the end he ran it from the cards that came with various miniatures I had acquired.
The good news is someone has managed to source actual physical copies of the books and will arrive in six or more weeks.
But I don’t think the problem is going to entirely go away, as there are a few cases where I have entire systems in pdf format, and these are games that I actually want to run or play. But printing is not just expensive, but cumbersome to carry around. And it’s just impractical to print them all, to be honest.
On the flip side, while a pdf is great for grabbing things to add to a campaign via screen captures, it’s no substitute for having the physical book on the table. And I don’t think I have to go into the obvious advantages there.
Despite this, the possibility is there that myself or one of the other players running a game entirely from a laptop is more than a remote possibility.
But I have to confess, I did see some amazing things with iPads and gaming at Eyecon.