Have notebook, will travel…

2008 July 14
by Dante

I’m on the road for my real job again, and before leaving home last night I loaded up a small 512 MB USB thumb drive with a series of D&D related books and some draft campaign ideas that I’ve been working on.

I find travelling and gamebuilding particularly troublesome. You don’t want to waste a bunch of carry-on space with books, nor do you want to check a bunch of baggage with it (since they’re charging per bag now, that gets expensive).

For me, the best solution is to go digital. I keep my campaign notes in Google Docs. I keep a running document on my thumb drive for times when the Internet eludes me, or I’m on a flight. The only part I don’t have licked yet is how to design maps while on the road. I can draw in a physical notebook, but then translating that elsewhere is often troublesome and sometimes I lose notebooks.

I know there are plenty of mapping tools out there, but I’d love to find one with little to no learning curve and the ability to save your progress in some easily trasmitted format for editing on the go. Ideally, it would be a small enough footprint to carry around on a thumb drive or design in a web browser.

Maybe the interactive 4E tools will fill this void when they’re available, only time will tell! Any other recommendations for how to game-build on the go can be added to the comments. If there are any new tools to be tried, I’d love to burn a little of my extra hotel time with trying them out this week!

3 Responses leave one →
  1. JJacobs permalink
    July 14, 2008

    hey Dante; nice blog! I’ve also recently taken up blogging (my 3rd) for a 4E D&D blog. Anyway — I just wanted to drop a line, say ‘hello’, and mention that the new 4E books are apparently ‘legally’ available online via RPG-DriveThrough. I’m also looking for some good mapping software; I’m 1/2 expecting that D&D Insider will go the route of vaporware, much like Fluid’s eTools did for 3E. Plus, its hard to beat pen and paper for ease of creativity when it comes to jotting down maps, etc. BTW – have you made the switch to 4E yet?

    Again — nice blog. I’ve link your RSS from my site.

  2. Micah permalink
    July 15, 2008

    Check out http://www.obsidianportal.com It’s specifically designed for campaign management. There’s too much to detail in a single comment, but believe me, it’s all about running tabletop RPGs.

  3. Puck permalink
    July 20, 2008

    my solution is to use PDFs (of books i own :)) and a tablet PC. that way i can draw my dungeons, and swap to and from books and drawings. it’s lovely (though not especially cost-effective)

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