Roleplaying In A

How to Gamemaster With a Laptop

In General on April 4, 2010 at 8:00 am
IBM ThinkPad R51
Image via Wikipedia

Now that we’ve got a party, it’s time to prep for the game and since I plan to use my laptop during this, my next step is to make sure I’m using it well and it’s actually beneficial to my game.

Of late, I’ve read a great many thing about how annoyed some people are with how much technology has invaded the gaming table. It makes sense that if I want to avoid this, I make sure I know what I’m doing well before the gaming session.

To that end, I found and bookmarked “How to Gamemaster With a Laptop” from It has some excellent advice and I’m going through it step by step. Steps 1-6 are all about making sure you’ve collected all the data you’re going to need during the game so it’s easy to find.

The author suggests getting together several programs but I’m going to put it all in Microsoft OneNote, which I’m lucky to have. If you don’t or can’t afford it, which is likely, Evernote is a very popular alternative. This gives me almost all my data in one easy-to-find place.

This way, since I’ll also have a mapping program open as well as a random table program, I’m not switching back and forth between programs all night, looking for the information I need. Instead, I’ll be using just 3.

Steps 7-11 are about enhancing the adventure. Some of these steps are going to work well for me, #8 is already trashed in my mind. I won’t be editing sound files.

At the end, there are several good tips for people who haven’t done this before. The most essential is make back-ups.

It’s an excellent read for anyone considering the use of a laptop, or any computer, at the gaming table and I think even those who have experience with them could benefit from scanning the article.

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