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What do you NOT want to use tech for in you TTRPG?

aramis erak

Legend
In a number of areas in my life I've given up technological conveniences, either because I've found them too intrusive, because of enjoyment of older analog ways of doing things, or because I felt certain mental abilities were atrophying. For example for the most important telephone numbers I generally "dial them" rather than using speed-dial or voice shortcuts to ensure they remain committed to memory in case I lose access to my devices. I started trying to rely on my GPS a bit less when when I found I wasn't remembering directions to places I've been to multiple times. Things like that.
For me, I don't like using die-rollers at FTF games.
I'm not averse to e-readers at the table for rulebooks. I've got a 10.5" e-ink reader. Over 3500 pdfs on it, but about 1/3 are my notes and adventures. I wish it were color e-ink, but it's grayscale. I wish it were faster, but it was pretty fast for eInk at the time I got it.

I don't like use of vtt's at table.

I really don't like people tuning out when it's not their turn. Especially when it's into videos.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
I really don't like people tuning out when it's not their turn. Especially when it's into videos.
As mentioned, I use my tablet and/or phone at the table all the time- obviously, since my PCs are on them. Sometimes, I’ll text the GM with a secret comm, but that’s rare. Still, if the GM keeps his devices handy at the table, it’s better than passing notes, IMHO.

(It’s also handy as a GM if you’re running a game with a Doppelganger or other kind of mole in the party.)

But if I’m searching for something online during a game, it’s NOT videos. It’s going to be something like a rule or the text of a feat/spell/power/device, etc. IOW, I’m trying to be prepared for my next action. Or I’m trying to help out another player.

That annoyed a couple of GMs at first, until they realized I wasn’t tuning them out.
 

For me, I don't like using die-rollers at FTF games.
I'm not averse to e-readers at the table for rulebooks. I've got a 10.5" e-ink reader. Over 3500 pdfs on it, but about 1/3 are my notes and adventures. I wish it were color e-ink, but it's grayscale. I wish it were faster, but it was pretty fast for eInk at the time I got it.

I don't like use of vtt's at table.

I really don't like people tuning out when it's not their turn. Especially when it's into videos.
Results vary, but I used a VTT for more than a decade F2F (before shifting to the infinitely superior online experience).

I found that players are less likely to tune out on a VTT because they can watch the fight happen in front of them in living color, measure distances, examine areas exposed by moving light sources, instead of listening to the GM and Player #3 figuring out of the d6 representing Orc #3 is 24' or 30' from the click-base superhero figure that represents a Dwarf Fighter.
 

delericho

Legend
In theory I would rather be tech-free while playing (for everyone at the table). In practice, I'm not going to even try to enforce that on my players, and anyway I've found electronic documents just far too useful recently.

For prep, I'll use any tool going. :)
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
For me, I don't like using die-rollers at FTF games.
I'm not averse to e-readers at the table for rulebooks. I've got a 10.5" e-ink reader. Over 3500 pdfs on it, but about 1/3 are my notes and adventures. I wish it were color e-ink, but it's grayscale. I wish it were faster, but it was pretty fast for eInk at the time I got it.

I don't like use of vtt's at table.

I really don't like people tuning out when it's not their turn. Especially when it's into videos.
I agree with you for at the table. Though, as a GM I use a laptop for my PDFs, notes, and rolling. Its just easier to run a game, especially when you have 5-10 enemies to track in a combat. The players have one character and maybe a pet or summon so its easy to roll dice and track that.
 



Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
This has me thinking about where I think I'm using tech too much and where I would draw a line or dial things back.

I want to address this just a bit. Any statement of the form, "this is too much," is incomplete. There is an implicit, "for X purpose or goal" at the end. Sometimes "implicit" means "unstated so that we don't really know what it is.

So, we can ask, what result in gaming might your tech use be too much for?


1. Physical Books.

I tend to prep in a bit of a mixed-mode. For prep PDFs are slightly more awkward - if I am writing my prep by hand, then I'm swtching back and forth from my computer to paper, and if I am doing my prep electronically, I have screen real-estate limitations.

In play, if we are using paper sheets, physical books are superior. Online play, pdf and online sources are superior.


I will use online dice rollers if playing online, and that's what the GM wants.
I've been playing online with some folks that are not great at memorizing rules, and the rules-automation in Roll20 is a boon for them, so I get the appeal.
But, honestly, I prefer the physicality of rolling dice, and will do that when I can.

3. Paper character sheets.

D&D Beyond has awesome online sheets. I was resistant to trying them initially, but now I'm good with them for any D&D game. Roll20 sheets are acceptable, but not as great.
Electronic access to rules when using electronic sheets is also awesome - clicking on a thing to know the text of a feat or spell is far superior to opening a book.

So, for D&D, I am more than happy to use D&D Beyond.

Historically, at least half of my gaming has been non-D&D, though, so paper sheets are fine.


4. In person play.

I definitely prefer in-person play. For a couple in my regular group, online play doesn't serve well - being on camera or only audio doesn't work for everyone.

I have a couple of online games that are with folks I know and like, but live far away. Gaming online with them is better than not gaming with them, so online it is.
 

I think whatever technology I use or don't use I tend to be pretty minimalist in my prep and presentation. Not necessarily in terms of thinking about the game, but in terms of how I play. The thing I want to focus on is the interaction with other people rather than a screen or even a set of notes at the table. I'd prefer to do dungeon exploration as all theater of the mind, but a simple vtt (owlbear rodeo) when playing online makes spatial orientation a bit easier. But this is true when prepping in analog forms--I'm not the kind of to have a huge 3 ring binder with tons of worldbuilding notes. Probably my best sessions have been run off a few index cards and a dyson logos map.
 


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