2015- Notes Tech in Tabletop RPG

by Victoria Jesswein published 2022/11/12 09:28:34 GMT-7, last modified 2022-11-12T09:28:34-07:00

I have tried several times to use the ebook options in tabletop RPG.

Most of the systems I enjoy running the most are either out of print and/or never legally made available on PDF.

If the group wants to make characters from scratch, rather than use pre-mades, then typically need 4-5 simultaneous copies of the player related books/pdfs/tablets/devices to speed up that process. For one-shots pre-generated characters are fine, but for long campaigns, players usually want to make their own charcters from scratch.

while I have many tablets, laptops, and desktops, left over from my computer science days, I have not budgeted for 5 tablets for players to use, instead having to rely on the mish-mash of what I have and the players own.

Since I run games at remote locations, such as rehabilitation centers, hospitals, schools, game stores, rural areas, my offices, etc., I have to pack up a large portion for each group, haul it down, un-pack, then the inverse for each session.

It will be a very nice thing about when the trailer is built, I will no longer have to haul them around separately, they will all be right there at our fingertips. http://gofundme.com/rpgtrailer

My back will be very grateful when the trailer is finally built. :-)  

The trailer, after gas, water, etc. has around 2,500 lb cargo capacity, and my SUV that will be pulling it is 10,000 lb towing capacity, so it will work out very nicely.

While I have been a strong advocate for eBooks since the 1990s (heck, I was CTO of an ebook company), for RPG I have found that players having tech devices far too often takes people out of the game too much.

I had started years ago transitioning (where I could) to ebooks for RPG, but after running somewhat controlled experiments between groups I allowed to have tech out, those that I partially allowed, and those I didn't allow at all, the assessment scores were much higher (Better) for those that I banned tech, than those that were allowed.

Since then, for some groups I have had to ban people taking out their smart phones until breaks, because it is too easy, especially for younger generations, to get sucked into them when it isn't their turn, and they get too distracted from the game.

Generally not exactly an overt ban, but consequences in-game for not paying attention when their turn comes around and they don't know what's going on completely (even though they think they do), so some get the message, really young ones need it spelled out for them.

Using recreation therapy related tools, the assessment scores are both observational (my observations and assistants') and self-reported satisfaction, immersion, "flow", fun, retention, and other areas.

There is a dramatic difference between the "unplugged" groups, and the plugged or partially plugged groups. Since then I have been insisting the players go with the "unplugged" option for the tabletop RPG sessions (obviously not the case for the computer-based RPG sessions).

Something to keep in mind, since most people don't perform such assessments/experiments, you may not realize just how much technology devices at the tabletop RPG game session impact game play quality and satisfaction.  

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