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MNBlockHead
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Location: Twin Cities Area, MN, USA
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Old July 19th, 2015, 11:29 PM
With Over 24 hours of using RW at the table under my belt now, I feel it is most valuable at the table to:

(1) Act as a digital adventure module. I've now replaced all printed adventure-module material at the table except for a few player handouts, where having a paper document actually adds to the game.

(2) Revealing maps. Basically, instead of having the players have to try an graph out dungeons, etc., I reveal them on the screen as they go through them.

(3) Looking up certain mechanics. I'm playing DnD 5th, and I haven't tried to put the entire core rules set into RW. Instead, I have my DM screen with quick references, the rule books for more obscure situations or to settle an rules dispute, and RW for things that too much text to want as part of my DM screen, but which I use enough that I don't want to have to go to the rule book (e.g. chase rules, encounter and treasure tables, price lists, etc.) I also put all house rules, including rules taken from ENWORLD'S EN5IDER articles or WoTC's Unearthed Arcana articles into RW.

Things I tried to use RW for but didn't work out as well as I would have hoped.

(1) Battlemap. I knew when I bought RW that it was not a VTT and I never intended to use it as one, but when I read about some of the cools setups others have shared, I briefly flirted with the idea. But I never tried it at the table. For me, it is injecting too much tech into the game. I didn't seem like it would save me too much time, as I would still have to acquire or make and prepare battlemaps. Since RW wasn't made to do this, you have to use some kludges to get it to work, whereas software specifically designed to be digital battlemaps do a much better job—but that more software to deal with at the table.

Instead, I reveal the map on a plasma screen as the players explore an area. For battles, I try to mix it up. Sometimes I just use a wet-erase vinyl battlemap. Other times I use "2d" gridless, modular dungeon tiles using DM Scotty's method (search YouTube) which I can use to approximate an area where a battle takes place on the map. Occasionally, I'll print out a battlemap or create a 3D paper model.

(2) Sharing NPC or monster images, I did this a few times, but feel that it detracts from the game. Even if you have everything loaded up, it still takes a few seconds of clicking to reveal the image. I think it detracts from the DM's and player's imagination. The only time that sharing images on a screen using RW adds to the game, in my opinion, is when you are showing an important symbol, clue, or puzzle.

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
Other Tools: CampaignCartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer, Evernote
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Bobifle
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Old July 20th, 2015, 02:17 AM
Thanks for sharing your experience !

though I'm slightly surprised about the last point. A lot of internet guides to gming suggest to put faces/images of monster on NPCs and monster. They say it helps bringing characters to life.
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Lexin
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Old July 20th, 2015, 02:34 AM
I'm planning on my next gaming session to show pictures of the monsters. I'll be interested to see how it goes given people's different experiences.

--
Lexin

GM from London - seriously old school - playing RPGs since 1980!

Tools: Realm Works, HeroLab, Campaign Cartographer 3+
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MNBlockHead
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Old July 20th, 2015, 02:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobifle View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience !

though I'm slightly surprised about the last point. A lot of internet guides to gming suggest to put faces/images of monster on NPCs and monster. They say it helps bringing characters to life.
Maybe for new players, especially those who are used to video adventure games, it might help get into the game. I've always found it to be a distraction.

One exception may be if you have a professional module with great artwork that is consistent in style throughout. For most home brew campaigns, people end up pulling stuff from multiple artists and sources that they find on line. Beyond not allowing my to enjoy how I imagine the monsters and character looks like in my mind, it also makes it less immersive when you have completely different styles making it hard to believe that all the beings and places pictured belong in the same world.

Also, as a DM whose adventures are largely homebrew, I would rather spend my limited time creating interesting encounters, background stories, and maps. I find that I have to spend a lot of time on prep to get images ready to share at the table, even if I'm only downloading and adding to the topics without any editing. It is just more game management than I want to deal with.

When I first started roleplaying in Junior High School, I used that think about how cool it would be to have sound effects, images, and other special effects. Now, with games like Skyrim, I can get my cool-game-effects fix with a good video game and am happier leaving much more to the imagination with my pen and paper role playing games.

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
Other Tools: CampaignCartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer, Evernote
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adzling
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 11:29 AM
We use a Samsung PCW-ME46C-R as a second monitor to display battlemaps and player handouts on.
This is all done via Realmworks Player display feature.

I picked it up from Newegg as a refurb a couple of months ago.

Heat is almost non-existent.

This TV is super thin (about 1" thick) as it is an older model that uses edge-firing LED backlights.

The newer models are considerably thicker (@3"+) as the manufacturers have changed from edge-firing LED backlights to an array of LEDS behind the screen.

It makes for a better picture but a much thicker TV.

For these purposes thinness is more important than a great picture (I previously tried an el cheapo @$200 40" LCD but it was so thick (about 4") that you had to stand up at the tablet to see the map properly.
With the thinner TV you can sit down and see the image fine.
For some reason the offset from the protective plastic and the LCD is also very minimal on this screen so there is absolutely no parallax offset, a common problem with older (and newer) TVs used in this manner.
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Last edited by adzling; July 22nd, 2015 at 11:31 AM.
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Bobifle
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 03:07 PM
You mean you're actually playing *on* the TV screen ??
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Parody
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 03:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobifle View Post
You mean you're actually playing *on* the TV screen ??
Why not? You could put a sheet of clear plastic/plexiglas/etc. on top if you're worried about the monitor.

There's more examples of putting images on the table surface in this thread on people's gaming tables.

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Dark Lord Galen
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 03:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobifle View Post
You mean you're actually playing *on* the TV screen ??
As Parody suggests...
Ditto here, My version on Page2
I have two actually, but have 6-8 players at a time.... so tend to run larger maps. like others, ours is covered with 1/4" tempered glass (old sliding door). TVs are imbedded into the surface of the table. While Realm Works alone is a POOR VTT (and was never designed to be such), combined with Herolab's export ability into D20Pro it allows me to push the POR file (And player / Monster Pictures) into D20 and set up tokens companioned with a vast quantity of minis (stopped counting but its in the thousands) to use D20 as the map, and RW as my internal tracking document. I make use of the storyboarding quite a bit (though in RW its still in the primitive stage). RW redeeming feature is campaign management, not VTT.
Just my 2cp
DLG

D&D> Pre 1e White Box Edition, 1e, 2e, 3.5 Currently, Set in the World of Greyhawk (The first, longest running and Best Campaign Setting)
Software>Extensive use of all forms of MS Products, Visual Studio 2012, DAZ 3d, AutoCAD, Adobe Products.
Gaming Specific>Campaign Cartographer, D20 Pro Alpha & BattleGrounds Beta Tester, World Builder, Dungeon Crafter, LWD Hero Lab, Realm Works, Inkwell Ideas Citybuilder & Dungeon Builder, Auto-Realm, Dundjinni
Contributing Writer for TSR, WOC, & Canonfire

Last edited by Dark Lord Galen; July 22nd, 2015 at 03:35 PM.
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Bobifle
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 03:12 AM
Holy freaking cow !
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Dark Lord Galen
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 08:32 AM
*Shrugs*
Hey some people have "summer homes", travel abroad (get enough of that with work thanks) Hunt / Fish, have season tickets to what ever..... We are basically homebodies (well my family is, I am when not traveling for work). We have a family ranch with cows( more work than its worth but keeps Uncle Sam at bay), a home in town, but our foremost hobby is being gamers... I am thankful my wife indulges my addiction

Our Campaign is first in foremost ROLEplay, not ROLLplay... something that has been a personal challenge for me in dealing with the latest generation I have (Generation 4 is how I track them). But its understandable, they (average age 25) grew up in a world that always had computers and PC gaming, so their approach to the game is from that angle. Only in the last year have they really grasped that all the tech, bells, whistles, modifiers, skills, feats, "unique class adaptions" wont save you from poor decisions, poor team work, or poor planning. Once any group embraces that it is not the destination but the journey that makes the game unique you will find the game much more challenging and fulfilling.

Anyway off the soap box.....

Back to topic point... Cant you utilize RW on two screens, sure, there are (As noted above by the faithful community) many approaches. IT just depends on your expectations.

Determine what those are first.
1> do I simply want to show pictures or handouts electronically? Then maybe a second monitor is all you need.
2> do I want to use Fog of World as a "sudo" - VTT map? Then maybe a second monitor may be too small, and a projector, or TV is the solution.
3> Always consider time you have to prep, room you have to dedicate to the game, and obviously $ resources. You can build a great game for much less than you think if you plan and consider what your real use and goals are. As I noted in the What does your table look like thread.... Ours is probably an exception to the norm, but even it can be done inexpensively (read further down in thread I provided a $ breakdown cost). Note also our's is a culmination of 30 years of stuff too...

A great game is not in the peripherals, its in the participants. Mine has never been to utilize RW as a VTT, there are simply several other superior choices, the most important one being a good DM and good imaginations.

Just my 2cp
DLG

D&D> Pre 1e White Box Edition, 1e, 2e, 3.5 Currently, Set in the World of Greyhawk (The first, longest running and Best Campaign Setting)
Software>Extensive use of all forms of MS Products, Visual Studio 2012, DAZ 3d, AutoCAD, Adobe Products.
Gaming Specific>Campaign Cartographer, D20 Pro Alpha & BattleGrounds Beta Tester, World Builder, Dungeon Crafter, LWD Hero Lab, Realm Works, Inkwell Ideas Citybuilder & Dungeon Builder, Auto-Realm, Dundjinni
Contributing Writer for TSR, WOC, & Canonfire
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