We as gamers tend to love our books. Between the current Pathfinder Roleplaying Game rulebooks, supplements, third party add-ons and the ancestral system’s material we have over 5 bookcases full of gaming content. Add magazines, figurines, dungeon tiles and maps and well… it is a little bit much. This is especially true when dealing with mobile gaming for conventions. Today we are looking at a few tips for traveling light for the mobile gamer.
Mobile Gaming for Conventions
Gaming conventions are full of opportunities and complexities that can easily occupy the canny gamer and being weighed down with a duffle bag of hardcovers isn’t going to make for the best experience while doing so. Here are a few thoughts about remaining feather-light and sword-sharp at the table:
- Buy Bundles – When you can afford a physical copy and a bundled PDF, do it. The markup is generally not that much and having both copies means digital access and dual usage for other friends and family for games that check resources.
- Go Digital – Most Organized Play events do require a copy of any rulebook your character needs to be available at the table. BUT most of them also accept genuine PDF copies (usually verified by watermark). GM opinions vary highly here but you may be required to produce all sixteen books your samurai has combat feats from, thumbing through PDFs is probably going to go easier than carrying all of it.
- Tablet – While moderately cost prohibitive, a decent tablet will save your life and back at the average convention. Many phone companies offer them at discounts when you sign now, and older models from just a year or two ago are vigorously marked down regularly. With the affordability on the rise, a second tablet may even be recommended.
- Laptop – A slightly divisive issue, but having at least one travel party member with a laptop can be amazingly convenient to organize tablet data, access online storage, or even purchase new digital assets.
- Phone & Web – A slightly lower budget way to run is to have access to digital resources via a phone. Since most phones don’t have tons of spare memory, pair this with a cloud service like dropbox, google drive, icloud or one drive. You can pull what is necessary.
- Paper Folios – With copy machines or digital manipulation, it is possible to make a specialized document with all necessary class abilities, feats and spells for the character in question. These will not satisfy games that require sources be present but can make play easier and unobtrusive even if the source in question is in your game.
- Satchel – A satchel, laptop bag or small nackpack is a great way to move through the Convention. A satchel’s limited space will cause you to be more selective when it comes to sources you take, while still allowing room for several books. Many have small accessory pouches for devices, dice, pencils and figs.
- Miniatures Carpooling – If you are not GMing, often one case can hold figures for you and most of your traveling friends. Take a typical assorted party and any specifics you need. Bundle them up and make a designated member of your group (or yourself) to carry them that everyone can find easily.
- Password Everything – Activate all of your screen locks, password screens and other security measures. The lock can provide you the time to locate or disassociated apps and other vulnerabilities should your device get stolen, remember there are other people in the Hotel that are not gamers and will only see a device if they are thieves.
Traveling light is a great way to enhance the Convention experience and respect your fellow gamers. Thoughtful prep and forethought can get you down to a light bag and keep you diving gracefully through the geek sea and getting you to the next panel or game on time. And don’t forget all the space you might save for cool stuff from the dealers room!