Category Archives: Uncategorized

Roll20.net for in-person games

I’ve been running a Dungeons & Dragons 5e game at work during lunch on Fridays, which has been quite fun, but also has a few challenges, one of which has been the participation of a player who frequently works offsite. Since we usually play in a conference room with a beautiful, big screen TV, I thought that using a virtual tabletop might help with that and some other issues. I decided to give Roll20.net a try, and after using it for two sessions, I’d say it’s working reasonably well.

Player view of Roll20 virtual tabletop.

Player view of Roll20 virtual tabletop. (see below for GM’s view.)

If you haven’t heard of Roll20.net, they have some good introductory videos on youtube, including a Crash Course, and overviews for player and GM, and lots of good information in their wiki.

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Thanksgiving prep and snow

I got a bunch of cooking prep done yesterday, including cutting up the turkey, making vegetable stock and brine for the turkey, and then roasting the turkey trimmings and making turkey stock for use today in the stuffing and gravy.

Meanwhile, the snow continued to fall for most of the day, and we awoke to a foot of snow in some places.

A chickadee contemplates its choices.

A chickadee contemplates its choices.

I hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving with family and friends.

#RPGaDAY DIY edition: Build your own gaming table

Thanks to Autocratik for this series of RPG discussion prompts. And to my friend Tyler for his inspiring responses on his blog, Held Action. And for prodding me into reviving my own blog.

I’m going off-script today with my own topic: build your own game table. It isn’t often that I get to talk about gaming and woodworking in the same breath. I made this table because I needed a big surface that was lower than a normal table, but a higher than a coffee table. I also needed something inexpensive. Here’s my solution.

This table can easily be knocked down and stored when not in use. It’s built from one 4×8 foot sheet of plywood and a couple 2x4s. I built this to be comfortable for folks sitting on a couch or easy chair. You can adjust the dimensions to suit your needs.

Legs and table top cut from single sheet of plywood.

Legs and table top cut from single sheet of plywood.

I picked a sheet of plywood with a good side and a patched side. I had the home center make the cut to separate the legs from the table top, and then had them cut the top to width. The rest of the cuts I made with a jigsaw.

Two-by-fours fit into vertical notch in legs.

Two-by-fours fit into vertical notch in legs.

I used a simple edge-lap joint; grooves on each side of the 2×4 that lock into a vertical notch in the plywood leg piece.

The legs and braces assembled.

The legs and braces assembled.

Here are the legs and braces assembled. It’s surprisingly sturdy.

Table height was select to work well from low chairs or couch.

Table height was select to work well from low chairs or couch.

This photo shows the height of my table, which is 24″ (half the width of the plywood). It’s low enough that people in easy chairs or on a sofa can see the table easily.

Some useful accessories: elastic tie downs, acrylic sheet or gaming mat.

Some useful accessories: elastic tie downs, acrylic sheet or gaming mat.

I used some elastic tie downs to keep the table top from sliding around too much. More recently, I picked up a sheet of acrylic, under which I can place maps or grid paper. I have a preference for wet-erase markers, and they work nicely on the acrylic.

I also picked up a couple large pieces of craft felt to cover the table, which was a nice surface until the cats got to it. I didn’t put any finish on the table, but I’m considering adding some paint (to cover the food stains).

#RPGaDAY 26: Coolest Character Sheet

Thanks to Autocratik for this series of prompts. And to my friend Tyler for his inspiring responses on his blog, Held Action. And for prodding me into reviving my own blog.

My pick for coolest character sheet is Mouse Guard. The sheet has all the information a player needs for playing the game. On one side is the important character and roleplaying information, and on the other is reference information about the conflict resolution system. The sheets are well organized and attractive, as well as very functional.

MouseGuard-CharSheet-1MouseGuard-CharSheet-2

The sheet is available as a download, along with pregen sheets filled out for the main characters from the Mouse Guard books.