Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Tech-head or luddite: How do you play? {Theory}

Things have changed a bit since groups of players huddled around a table, scratch paper in hand and pencils littering the surface. Now the rise of tablet computers have allowed us to store a multitude of rulebooks in one easy-to-carry package. 

When I started playing D&D 4th edition, I used a pad of lined paper and a stack of core rulebooks which I took to every game. While I like the more classic pen and paper approach, I found that 4e was much easier when I wrote everything on a Word document and pasted in stat blocks. Sure, it's nice to have the Monster Manuals but if I want to use a selection of nasty beasties from all 3 books I'd have to take all of them to the session along with any other rulebooks I need, which was pretty heavy.

Now I use a laptop and I'm considering investing in a tablet to make it that much easier to carry. However, I have to note that this is just for 4e; I actually prefer the old paper method when playing games like Swords & Wizardry, Tunnels & Trolls and most other games. The only thing is that most of the rulebooks are in PDF form, which still means I have to either print everything out or I have to crack out the laptop for reference. So I'd say I fit in the neo-traditional camp of GMs.

So I guess the question is, how do you play? Do you use a tablet or a laptop or do you stay old-school with pencil and paper? Are you one of those people that's more likely to go to Target and see what  tablet or laptops deals they have than head to your local stationery store?

Does it even matter how people play? Let me know your thoughts.