How analog do you find a tabletop game needs to be?

Started by richardsharpe, May 26, 2012, 03:35:08 AM

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Hey everyone

I've decided to make a substantive first post my entrance to the forum, so here goes:

Since my party and I are both RPGers (D&d3.5 and Pathfinder) and computer engineering students: laptops, spreadsheets and pdfs are a big part of the way that my party (I've been GM) role-plays. I'm personally a fan of paper/pencil type role-playing, so I've tried to limit laptops as much possible- my party members seems to think that laptops are too convenient, and have been loath to put them aside completely. I've noticed that they sometimes laptops sometimes lead to them getting sidetracked on reddit whenever a large combat drags on, but generally my reasoning has been more atmospheric. I think laptops detract from the atmosphere and the fantasy of role-playing. I know this post must seem pretty silly to those of you that have been role-playing before laptops were invented.

My party and I have basically agreed to disagree. The laptops don't bother me so much that it has become an issue, and so I've decided to give in.




I generally use my laptop in RP-sessions if one or both of the following are true:
-> I am supposed to write the story down. This is definitly easier with a keyboard than with paper/pencil, especially if I still want to actually participate. Additionally, if I already have it in digital form, I don't need to manually transcribe it afterwards if it is supposed to be pubished somewhere.
-> I am the GM. Since I have all my notes in digital form and like to show some pictures form time to time, I find the laptop to be a gread aid. For some particularly chumbersome rules constructs (such as character generation in most systems I play), I sometimes use software tools to speed up the process.

So to answer the basic question: I don't think that a tabletop game needs to be all that analog. Yes, maybe it detracts from the atmosphere, but I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages in this case.
My name: Nico