Goldiloremaster and the three tables [a.k.a. optimize your playing space]

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To make your gaming experience the best, you need more than a good DM or good players - you need a good set-up: where are you going to have the most fun? [From: Who's Your Dungeon Master?]

Goldiloremaster approached the first table. It had:

  • A tiny playing space, no better than your bedside table.

  • Character sheets, maps, and cheez-its flung in every direction.

  • Players whose chairs were either too tall or too short, making your friends feel like a stubby dwarf or a monstrous beast.

Goldiloremaster REALLY wanted to break in the new campaign, but in disappointment she exclaimed “this table’s too crowded! There’s no room for play!”

Goldiloremaster approached the second table. It had:

  • Not a coffee cup, shot of whiskey, or can of mountain dew in sight

  • Growling stomachs and tired eyes had by all

  • A table so big, they had to long-arm the d20 across the vast space!

  • A DM screen so tall, that you’d wonder if you had a real DM behind there at all!

But goldiloremaster was not satisfied here. “I’m stretching yards across the table just to reach the map! There’s no pizza, no beer, not even a healthy snack?”

Goldiloremaster was down to her last hope, as

She approached the third table. It had: 

  • Adequate space for all of her players, and each chair of equal height.

  • Organized sheets (and any player who was using a laptop kept iton their lap, not crowding the table)

  • A medium sized DM screen which allowed for the players to talk face-to-face with their dungeon master, but kept the air of mystery.

  • Drinks a plenty for thirsty adventurers, and delicate but ****ing awesome carrot cupcakes with bitchin’ swirly frosting.

  • Pencils and dice for all.

Goldiloremaster had finally found the perfect table, and settled in for a surprise kobold ambush!

What is your idea of "the perfect table"? 

I disagree with the chair thing.

People come in different heights, so chairs should too.  There is no "one size fits all". 

That said, we use maptools, and a big screen TV.  Everyone on a couch with the DM off to the side with his laptop.

5e houserules and tweaks.

Celestial Link Evoking Radiance into Creation

A Party Without Music is Lame: A Bard

Level Dip Guide


4e stuff

List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I just bought a new table to house all my players. It's about 305cm (6'2 foot?) and 100cm wide (3'3?); with usually around 8 people showing up to play I think it will improve the setup we've had so far.
Laptops go on there (3/8 people using one), drink goes on there, chips go on there (everybody pitches in). However we only have nonalcoholic drinks, as I've discovered in the past that even a single beer changes the atmosphere to something too airy which disperses the desired mindset.

DM screen is A4 format height, I am well over 1.80m myself and sitting down I can see over it perfectly. Everybody is supposed to bring their own set of dice but I've got a bag full of em in case anyone needs extras.

The miniatures are in the middle. I am not the only one allowed to touch them so players move the figurines around when asked by me. 
When DMing, I find that DM screens are more of a hindrance than a help. The quick reference tables might be nice, but I can see those just as well with the thing lying down flat, and lying flat means that it doesn't constrict my placement of the reference materials that are actually important, nor constantly get in the way when I'm trying to roll dice, move things on the table, etc. I've also taken to sitting at the middle of a side of a table rather than at the ends, for much the same reason: it's easier to reach everything.

I haven't had a chance to try it, but this has led me to wonder whether a round table would be better-suited to gaming than a square or rectangular one.
We have a classroom set up in our home for Sunday school. It makes a great game room. We have a chalfboard on the wall, a portable white board, two 3.5' x 8' tables, four 8' benches, and a mini-fridge up there. The tables can be moved to serve as a single large table  of 7' x 8' or a 3.5' x 16' table (which we have not done for gaming). The benches can be pushed to the walls to serve as shelves while we stand or use individual chairs.

I like N_D's idea of a round table, though. I think it would be the ideal for pen and paper D&D.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
The perfect table would obviously be a holographic one where avatars of your characters would act out all their actions, in and out of combat. I hope I live to see the day my wish becomes reality. 

(seeing as how I'm only 28, I have high hopes)
The perfect table would obviously be a holographic one where avatars of your characters would act out all their actions, in and out of combat. I hope I live to see the day my wish becomes reality. 

(seeing as how I'm only 28, I have high hopes)

I've even contimplated building something like this and have all my maps load able from a side bar.  Simplely scroll the map to the side, clicking stair cases would load the next level, etc.

Ahh to dream.... 


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