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dargrin

Now this is someone who loves gaming

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It all just does my head in...in much the same way LAN gaming does. Nothing is sadder than six people sitting "together" at a table each all alone typing away to the person across from them and not speaking a word to anybody. May as well do an online PBP if that's how you like it.

 

Here we usually play in the livingroom on couch/chairs/recliner. There's a coffeetable for the GM to spread out the GM-junk, a similar table for other folks to roll dice on and use in those rare moments when it is necessary to write or update a character sheet during the game....otherwise it's laid-back. Night before last was a rarity when we actually took it to the Warlord table (in my Reven-Room) because the scenario was a large enough skirmish to require accurate placement of minis.

 

In all honesty, I think after about ten minutes of sitting at that player station getting messages in a teaball, I would start to feel like I was in the communication room in a WWII U-boat.... only without a cool U-boater uniform.

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I like the "Po' student" gaming rig I've got set up now...two couches in a study-lounge for players to sit on, a big block/table, about 3'x3'x2' on which the players place bottles of soda, snacks, and roll dice, and a separate table for the DM, supporting a DM's screen made of two manila folders paperclipped together.

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In all honesty, I think after about ten minutes of sitting at that player station getting messages in a teaball, I would start to feel like I was in the communication room in a WWII U-boat.... only without a cool U-boater uniform.

My games sometimes have a lot of note passing, so I could see where the teaball system would work - but it's archaic, and prone to problems like blockages - cause those tunnels would be great for mice nests and my kids' hot wheel cars, among other things.

 

I've always wanted to put together a table with a system where the GM has a PC, and each of the players have an LCD screen embedded into the table in front of them. Other than the screens embedded in the tabletop and a nice piece of glass to put maps under in the center, it would be a regular table. The GM could send short text messages to the players on their screens - useful for sending character specific info, etc in secret to PCs. I did find you can get USB LCD screens for around $70 each, so it's somewhat doable, if a little pricey. But I'd have to write the entire program and then make GM side of the program in such a way that it didn't detract from the face to face part of being a GM - that's why I play RPGs, after all.

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Kristof's idea sounds much better. One thing I would add to that system would be a means for players to message one another in private as well.

 

Around here we just slip notes back and forth ..just like in school. The only real complaint I have with passing notes though is that sometimes reading other peoples' writing isn't so easy.

 

THEN it dawned on me EXACTLY what the Ultimate Gaming Table is missing.

 

WHERE is the POP-O-MATIC for rolling the dice? Huh?

 

Pth.. cutting edge...pshoooooo!

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WHERE is the POP-O-MATIC for rolling the dice? Huh?

 

Brilliant suggestion. Though it would eliminate my "power roll," where I pass the die between my two hands three times before rolling.

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There's this table as well: http://www.ultimategamingtable.org/

 

And more for wargamers: http://www.drunkdwarves.com/pages/artttgtt...imatetable.html

 

I'm "in the process" of building my own gaming table (well, at least I've bought some of the materials). I won't be dropping the "ultimate" tag on it, unless I suddenly come into tons of money and can put in computers at everyones station (for instant messages).

 

One thing it will have is HUGE dry erase playing surface, 4' x 8'. I just have to figure out how to partition the board into 1" squares (one of my players says he can do it easily, but isn't getting back to me very quickly).

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Thanks for those links Dragon Snack. I'm getting my own custom built with this years tax refund, and the Avenger table helped solidify a couple ideas I had.

 

As for putting a grid on a table - a painted or permanent grid can be very time consuming to do, and not flexible later on.

 

A friend of mines table is two doors attached together with hinges, paper grids taped down, and then sheets of plexiglass screwed over the grids. That table gets set on a couple of custom drawer cabinets he made. The advantage is the whole thing can be folded up and set aside with the drawers pushed to the wall. The plexi over the grid gave him the flexibility to switch from the hex grid he originally put down to a square grid later on. Plexi is also wet erase, as opposed to dry erase, but that has the advantage of not having a portion of a dungeon accidently wiped out by someones sleeve, or the cat jumping up on the table.

 

On my own table I plan on having some small inset pieces of glass that I can slip maps/drawings/etc I print out using Campaign Cartographer 3, plus an additional leaf/overlay piece that I can set on top with it's own grid.

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What you do is get a few of those large poster frames (the plexiglass kind) and build your table with an inset that the clear plastic part fit into. This way they can be lifted away and the grid or map of your choice laid underneath. dry-erase markers work just as wll on plexiglass as they do on those white wipe-away boards.

 

(edit)

 

Dangit! Kristof beat me to the punch!

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It's neat, but, as others have mentioned, utterly impractical. For wargaming, I built a table similar to the one on DrunkDwarves (though mine doesn't look quite as nice, but it is sturdy, and I added locking castors so I can wheel it around the basement if I have to). For role-playing, I've always liked a dining room table - big enough for elbow room and clearly established dice rolling zones, but not so far apart that you are isolated from each other.

 

Now, if the table were 1' lower (or more, let's get it down to counter height), plus a little bigger (for wargaming), and I made a couple other modifications, it would be nice for role-playing. But right now, it just seems kind of clunky. Still kewl though.

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Dangit! Kristof beat me to the punch!

 

LOL - I started that post at about 1:30pm, worked on it off and on between service calls for an hour, and THEN I forgot to hit the Add Reply button for another 20 minutes! So while I may have beat you to the punch, it wasn't because I tried...

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Since we're on the subject of custom game tables and rooms, here's some pics of my first pieces of custom furniture for my game room:

 

RPG Book shelf - without books

 

RPG Book Shelf - with books

 

When I GM, I've always liked to have a small table handy with which to stack my books on nearby. My games would tend to get stalled if I couldn't find a book right away - I have a bad habit of setting things down in an obvious place and then not seeing them when they're right in front of me - particularly if they're in a stack.

 

These are two small bookshelves that I designed and had custom made for me to ensure that I always had my rulebooks in the same place for easy access. Actually, I only ordered one, but the guy who quoted me wound up being able to make two for the same cost - so he gave me the choice of half my money back, or getting two. Since I already paid for them, I got them both. I'm in the process of painting one, then will go back and paint the other. These are being painted to match the shelves I was showing off in another thread.

 

EDIT: Fixed links. Thanks DragonSnack

 

The real key for me is the angle, which allows me to easily see the books, and yet still be right at my fingertips. When loaded with books, they aren't easy to move, but they can be with some effort.

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(kristof65, I think your links are reversed...)

 

We used plexiglass for a while, but it didn't serve our purposes very well. Granted, it may have been too thick, since the biggest complaint was getting a mini centered on the grid below (it was a left over piece). The dry erase board I got also only cost a little over $10 (at Lowe's), as opposed to $40+ for plexiglass.

 

I'm looking for a large surface, since our Tac-Tiles aren't enough (we often go 'off the board'). I'm also not a big fan of hex grids, so switching between the two isn't a priority for me. I have folding legs for the table, so it will be able to be moved to the side if needed.

 

As I said, I won't drop the 'ultimate' tag on it, but I think it will work for us (I would actually like to make it bigger, but it then it wouldn't fit in the room).

 

The player finally got back to me, basically he has to smooth talk a manager at his job to let him use the cutting and printing tool. It helps that he works at a sign making place.

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Those are some pretty cool designs. But nothing fancy is really necessary. The best time that I had gaming (role or war) was using nothing but an old ping-pong table. Now there was some real estate! Room for everything including a weekends worth of soda cans and pizza boxes. Now that I have traveled down memory lane I'm jonesing for a game. Feb 11th can't come soon enough.

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Those are some pretty cool designs. But nothing fancy is really necessary. The best time that I had gaming (role or war) was using nothing but an old ping-pong table. Now there was some real estate! Room for everything including a weekends worth of soda cans and pizza boxes.

Agreed - nothing fancy is necessary. But after 25+ years of Kitchen, Card, Ping Pong, Coffee, Dining and Picnic Tables, and gaming wherever I could roll dice, it's nice to finally have a dedicated game room and be able to put some furniture in it that really serves and enhances the experience.

 

But it is good you pointed out the only thing you really need is some friends to play with and a place to get together.

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