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Hackulator
2019-03-09, 09:54 PM
The head of the table is a terrible spot for the GM. The GM should sit in the middle of one of the long sides of the table. This gives the GM easy access to the battlemap and makes it so that they are close to all the players.

The Glyphstone
2019-03-09, 10:19 PM
If your GM occupies one side of the long edge, that means either the entire player group is on the other side (giving variable access to the battlemap), or they have players on their flanks which can have issues of its own. Whereas if the GM sits at the head of the table, the map and players can be condensed on that end as close to a square as possible while still providing the GM with a 'side' all to themselves and ensuring they remain equidistant to the players on either side.

ArkenBrony
2019-03-09, 10:51 PM
The optimal way to play is in a big room with desks or table space haphazard for everyone. And a map on the floor in the middle. And space around the outside for the dm to walk around. Itís really fun that way.

Anderlith
2019-03-09, 11:52 PM
The DM should sit at the middle of the long side of a table with the other players along the other side like the Last Supper. The long table is the Battlemap table. The DM should then have a small card table or the like to his side with his notes & such & blocked from player view

Pex
2019-03-10, 12:52 AM
The DM should sit where ever the playing group finds it best for the DM to sit.

OldTrees1
2019-03-10, 01:03 AM
Where the DM sits and where their materials lies depends on what works best for that DM and the table shapes available.

Personally I prefer 3 characteristics (unordered):
1) Having nobody adjacent or behind me. This allows me some privacy when checking my books.
2) Being able to reach across most of the table. This allows me to setup and manage the map. I also like this to be true for all players.
3) Taking up as little of the perimeter as possible. I don't need more width than a player, so I don't want more width than a player. This also follows from the symmetrical concern of #2 because wasted perimeter means a larger average radius to the table.

Summary: a circular or regular polygon (of 4+ sides) table fits my needs best.
1) The sides rapidly bend away from me which means nobody.
2) Since the diameter is equal if I can reach across the table, then so can everyone else.
3) Since the sides rapidly bend away, I can easily minimize the perimeter I use.

If only long tables are available, then I take 2 seats. Basically what Anderlith said. One in the middle of a long side for when I am managing the map and one standing/sitting away from the table for privacy when consulting books. It is not ideal but it is the best I can manage for my needs if I must use a long table. Although depending on the size of the group we might migrate the group to one end of the long table.

One time we experimented with two long tables in the shape of a V with some support underneath the map. This let me walk up to the map while still giving the players easy access to the map. Necessity might be the mother of invention, but stubbornness is the father.

Mechalich
2019-03-10, 01:05 AM
Having the GM sit at the head of the table makes it easier for the GM to conceal materials that the players are not intended to see, like statblocks, while the GM is referring to them because the end of the table is a naturally controlled space and the GM can retain greater awareness and control of who walks behind them. It also means the GM can place whatever supplies they need - pile of books, laptop, box of minis, etc. - on a corner where they aren't in anyone's way.

Also, I feel it's important to note that for many games there may not even be a battlemap at all. Not all systems use such things.

Yora
2019-03-10, 03:42 AM
As GM, I need space to spread out all my material. Preferably in a way that doesn't make my stuff ending up before the players to the left and right.
If you have a really big table, you could have the players on one side and take the other side to yourself, but that makes it harder for the players to talk with each other.

End of the table is just the most convenient.

RazorChain
2019-03-10, 04:34 AM
I don't care really, I just need a space to move and a place for my laptop.

Studoku
2019-03-10, 08:53 AM
Merlin solved this by making a round table for his D&D group.

KillianHawkeye
2019-03-10, 09:46 AM
I need A LOT more space as a DM than I do as a player, not just horizontally but also in terms of the depth of the space. The head of the table is truly the only viable location.

hymer
2019-03-10, 10:03 AM
Merlin solved this by making a round table for his D&D group.
Every time someone tried to move a mini in the middle of the table with a lance, there was a 1.13% chance it ended in a duel.

One thing I haven't noticed anyone saying: The GM wants to face the players. Sitting next to them means you turn your back on some to get eye contact with others.

Knaight
2019-03-10, 02:09 PM
I see no reason to be prescriptive about this - different groups will find what works for them, given the space they have. That said, it usually comes down to what gets prioritized over what, with each table configuration having advantages. Being at the head of the table makes it easy for everyone to see and hear you, which in a game which is basically a rules moderated conversation at heart is really useful, it also makes it easier to keep notes and the like hidden (whether this is actually hidden per se or just out of the way enough that people won't see them by accident). That might well be prioritized over easy reach of a common map.

For instance, I don't tend to use maps at all. This sets up a pretty obvious prioritization scheme, which usually means the head of a table - though with smaller groups that might change; I've played entire campaigns at a tiny coffee table with me on one side and both players on the other.

The Extinguisher
2019-03-10, 02:45 PM
because the "traditional" role of the gm as the adversary to be faced by the players is still kinda baked into the assumptions of most tabletop games, and still informs how we interact with the game system


oh, you mean what practical reasons?
ive never played at a table where there's a significant difference in where everyone is sitting. Do most people play at really long tables?

LordEntrails
2019-03-10, 04:46 PM
The DM must sit high on a pedestal. With lighting such as to be imposing and scary. With a spotlight shining brightly into the eyes of the current player's turn.

This is mandatory and if you don't do it this way then you are having "bad wrong fun"!

Quertus
2019-03-10, 04:57 PM
So, for me, it depends. Sitting in the middle reduces the maximum distance between GM and the furthest player; sitting at the end makes eye contact easier.

I am rarely overly concerned about players looking at my notes, but sometimes need additional space.

Mr Beer
2019-03-10, 07:35 PM
I don't mind where I sit, so long as there's room for my giant gold-plated DM throne.

D+1
2019-03-10, 08:07 PM
The head of the table is a terrible spot for the GM. The GM should sit in the middle of one of the long sides of the table. This gives the GM easy access to the battlemap and makes it so that they are close to all the players.
I need space for my books, maps, notes, dice, piles of minis, snacks, etc. It's more space than players need to be sure. I also often don't want players to see maps, dice rolls, notes and such - and neither do they. I use DM screens and sit at the end. When I need access to the battlemat and rest of the table I... stand up and walk. It's a tired old method but still works really well. And I utterly fail to see why being physically closer to all the players by being in the middle as opposed to the end of the same table is so imperative.

If it were a 10' conference table, maybe, but in fact I've been there and done that. The players just sat closest to the end where I was at.

LordCdrMilitant
2019-03-10, 08:16 PM
I've never thoughts about this, usually based on the arrangement of the space we're playing in.

Basically, I have my own edge, and everybody else distributes themselves around the other edges. If the space is large, or there's something behind me I want to use [like a board], I'll usually have the long edge, if the table is small and space is at a premium, I'll usually have the short edge. More relevantly, I usually sit facing the entrance to the space, so that players enter in and sit down without passing behind me.

Slipperychicken
2019-03-11, 01:34 AM
Keeping a side of the table to his own helps ensure that no-one will inadvertently peek his notes, and that he can see all of the players easily without turning too much.

Also sitting at the head of the table is loosely associated with authority, so that can play into it in cases where GMs desire such symbolism.

With a long table however, the argument can be made for sitting about the middle to keep everyone within reach of the game-mat.


I don't mind where I sit, so long as there's room for my giant gold-plated DM throne.

This is good thinking. The head of the table is wherever the throne is situated.

geppetto
2019-03-11, 03:09 AM
I sit at the head for 3 reasons.

1. i need more space for books, laptop etc.
2. I have a whiteboard hanging on the wall there I can use for notes the players can see or rough maps.
3. its my table and thats where i always sit.

Estrillian
2019-03-14, 06:52 AM
I don't have a lot of room, and our gaming table is a square with a semi-circular extension on one end crammed into the end of our living room. Since you can't get out from the sides without people getting up, I sit in a corner against the wall, leaving the people who constantly need to get tea/coffee/bathroom breaks free to do so without knocking over all my stuff.

It isn't ideal

When I run at a gaming club and have more room I usually go for the long edge plan, so that no one is sitting beside me and reading my notes

Eldan
2019-03-14, 07:17 AM
We don't use a battlemap, never have, never will. They only get in the way, take you out of the flow of the game.

So for me, it's much more important that I can look everyone in the eyes easily. Hence head of the table.

Willie the Duck
2019-03-14, 07:47 AM
Why do people think the GM should sit at the head of the table?

The head of the table is a terrible spot for the GM. The GM should sit in the middle of one of the long sides of the table. This gives the GM easy access to the battlemap and makes it so that they are close to all the players.
<Thread title added to OP quote>

You seem to have some strong opinions about how the game should be played, indicating that there should be one rectangular table, a battlemap, and that the GM needs to be close to it all. That's certainly not a wrong way to play, but hardly universal.

Gary (supposedly*) DMed such that his players could not see his face, and described all movement activity, noting player position within the dungeon on his own map at his small table. The players had to do their own mapping, and when they came to a contradiction ('no, there is no left turn at this intersection. Your map indicates you doubled back and should be at the intersection with the dead bugbear? Hmm, nope, that is not the case.') it indicated a mapper error or some kind of situation-in-need-of-investigation (magical teleportation, subtle slope means you have descended into another level of the dungeon without knowing, etc.).
*I seriously wonder at the veracity of this recounting, particularly how often this happened.

That style seems to be a rarity nowadays, but there are still plenty of different playstyles (battlemap vs. theater of the mind being a notable dividing line). Different room setups and tables available as well.


The DM should sit where ever the playing group finds it best for the DM to sit.

I see no reason to be prescriptive about this - different groups will find what works for them, given the space they have.

Pretty much this.

Kardwill
2019-03-14, 09:59 AM
One thing I haven't noticed anyone saying: The GM wants to face the players. Sitting next to them means you turn your back on some to get eye contact with others.

That's the main reason I still GM at the head of table.
Nowadays, I don't use a GM screen anymore and don't have much notes or maps, just a few index cards and some stuff on my laptop, so having a player see the stuff in my playzone is not a problem. And I don't like the fact that some players are pretty far from me.

But this place allows me to look at all of my players, so that I keep all of them enguaged in the actions as well as in my descriptions, notice if one of them is bored or if they want to do something, jump quickly from one player to the other...

Having some of them to the sides would make it harder to make eye contact, to jump from one player to the other, to directly address them without more or less excluding the rest. I would forget they are here if I'm involved in a conversation with a player in front. They would risk getting less screentime, and that wouldn't be cool.

The ideal would be a round table or a circle of comfy seats, where everyone is facing everybody else (or sitting on the ground, like we did when we were playing D&D 35 years ago), but since my gaming room doesn't support this option...

The Kool
2019-03-14, 10:30 AM
The ideal would be a round table or a circle of comfy seats, where everyone is facing everybody else (or sitting on the ground, like we did when we were playing D&D 35 years ago), but since my gaming room doesn't support this option...

I've been missing this, and would love to get back to it. My current place doesn't quite have the room for it... Also, some players have their information on laptops that are very unwieldy and need a table. (Yes, I'm aware he wastes time on it, I've known him to play Destiny 2 during a session when another player was determinedly distracting me. He plays wizards and clerics, he uses spreadsheets and internet references so I can't very well tell him to write it all down.) My ideal, I think, would be a room with plenty of open space and a circle of comfy chairs and pillows for sitting on the floor, with a low square table in the middle that can easily be manipulated from the floor to hold the map when one is desired. Add to that some kind of very large screen for my variety of references, and this room may just have to be custom designed.

DMThac0
2019-03-14, 10:58 AM
In one group I sit at the "head" of the table. I do this so that the players have better access to the battle mat, they have the ability to see me with little effort, and I can set up my DM screen in such a way that I can still see the whole table while keeping my sensitive information concealed. The other reason is because there's only one table that we can use, so we had to figure out how to make it work.

I'm in my dining room for most of my games and I have a completely different set up. I have a large table for my players, I put the battle mat on that table. Off to the side I have a card table where I sit as DM, I'm actually removed from the players completely. There are multiple reasons for this, one being that it helps with camera placement for the stream. The primary reason is because I'm not a player, I'd rather sit off to the side and let the players keep together reinforcing the idea that they're a group. With me not at the table they're almost always looking to each other when discussing things, it also makes it easier to know when they're addressing me directly.

In my kids' game, I set the map on the living room floor and we throw dice there. I sit on the couch while they sit on the floor and we just have fun playing. Again, I sit slightly off to the side so that they spend more time talking to each other rather than me.

Kaptin Keen
2019-03-14, 11:18 AM
It's not about placement at the table - it's about height. Ideally, the GM should have at least 30 cm of height over his underlings loyal subjects players. Particularly tall players should be issued correspondingly low chairs.

LordEntrails
2019-03-14, 11:36 AM
I sit at the head for 3 reasons.

1. i need more space for books, laptop etc.
2. I have a whiteboard hanging on the wall there I can use for notes the players can see or rough maps.
3. its my table and thats where i always sit.
Is your middle name "Sheldon"?

Hand_of_Vecna
2019-03-14, 01:52 PM
There are practical reasons tied to isolating the DM behind a screen full of secret information. There is also a symbolic tie in to the DM's status and the tradition of the head of the household sitting at the end of the dining table.

When space allows I prefer to take a whole long side of a rectangular table as it makes it easier to face everyone rather than purposefully splitting my attention between the group on the left and the group on the right.

The traditional set up is also very much tied in with the dungeon crawls with multiple secret maps and accessing lots of books for different monsters. For other games I prefer no screen or a screen that's half the height of a standard one.

Zhorn
2019-03-14, 05:44 PM
Round tables > Square tables > Long tables

Knaight
2019-03-14, 05:45 PM
It's not about placement at the table - it's about height. Ideally, the GM should have at least 30 cm of height over his underlings loyal subjects players. Particularly tall players should be issued correspondingly low chairs.

This would explain why I'm good to sit wherever. I'm getting that height gap regardless.

Hackulator
2019-03-14, 08:06 PM
Round tables > Square tables > Long tables

True but generally you are stuck with what you have.

Malphegor
2019-03-15, 10:16 AM
It's not about placement at the table - it's about height. Ideally, the GM should have at least 30 cm of height over his underlings loyal subjects players. Particularly tall players should be issued correspondingly low chairs.

This is why indoor tennis courts are theoretically the best place for D&D.

The DM sits in the umpire chair, while the players navigate their minis across the painted on dungeon on the grounds whilst the DM shouts from a megaphone what they encounter.

OmSwaOperations
2019-03-15, 01:11 PM
Because the GM fulfils the same narrative role in the game as the vampire who invites the unfortunates into his castle, or the king who commands the execution of his courtiers; and thus must sit at the end of the table, as they do.

Possibly because it's easier to keep GM notes hidden when players aren't sat directly to either side of you (and are thus pretty much forced to look over your shoulder when they glance at you).

Hackulator
2019-03-15, 02:58 PM
Because the GM fulfils the same narrative role in the game as the vampire who invites the unfortunates into his castle, or the king who commands the execution of his courtiers; and thus must sit at the end of the table, as they do.

Possibly because it's easier to keep GM notes hidden when players aren't sat directly to either side of you (and are thus pretty much forced to look over your shoulder when they glance at you).

I feel like unless you have vision issues so you use REALLY BIG FONTS, the players would have to be doing it on purpose in order to get real info.

Also, if you are on a long table and you have people to either side of you, that means the side fits 3 people. If that's the case, a standard group shouldn't actually need to use those seats next to you, as 3 across from you and 2 on each end is 5 players. If you're actually running a live game for 7 players, that's a problem on its own (though I've don it with way more). However, in that case, being at one end of a table that long is an even further issue, as you're really far away from the people at the other end.

Kaptin Keen
2019-03-15, 03:47 PM
This would explain why I'm good to sit wherever. I'm getting that height gap regardless.

All my friends are taller than me. I'm wider, which would propably put me on top in a fight - but sadly, I'm not wrestling them =(


This is why indoor tennis courts are theoretically the best place for D&D.

The DM sits in the umpire chair, while the players navigate their minis across the painted on dungeon on the grounds whilst the DM shouts from a megaphone what they encounter.

Yes!

geppetto
2019-03-15, 07:17 PM
Is your middle name "Sheldon"?

Nope its head of household.

Algeh
2019-03-15, 11:47 PM
I'm now tempted to try running games at a kidney table. I wonder if we have one in storage at school somewhere...

Karen Lynn
2019-03-16, 03:28 AM
I tend to take the head of a table when GM'ing on the basis that it's traditionally a position of respect and authority. People tend to listen a bit better to me when I sit there as opposed to sitting alongside them. Players are as far from you either way.

OldTrees1
2019-03-16, 04:23 AM
I'm now tempted to try running games at a kidney table. I wonder if we have one in storage at school somewhere...

If you need a lot of width in your private DM space, then a kidney table would have you take up roughly half the seating area but would allow the players near the "ends" to have better access to the table than if it was a long rectangular table. You might even take up less than half of the seating area that way.

Please try it out and then report back (if this thread is still here).

Hackulator
2019-03-16, 09:10 AM
I tend to take the head of a table when GM'ing on the basis that it's traditionally a position of respect and authority. People tend to listen a bit better to me when I sit there as opposed to sitting alongside them. Players are as far from you either way.

I feel like if you need to take a physical position of "respect and authority" when GMing there is a problem with the group.

As to your second comment, just, no, that's not how geometry works.

Quertus
2019-03-16, 11:02 AM
I tend to take the head of a table when GM'ing on the basis that it's traditionally a position of respect and authority. People tend to listen a bit better to me when I sit there as opposed to sitting alongside them. Players are as far from you either way.

The table is, say, 2'x6'. Sitting in the middle, the furthest player is ~3' away; sitting at one end, furthest player is 6' away.

Karen Lynn
2019-03-16, 01:24 PM
I feel like if you need to take a physical position of "respect and authority" when GMing there is a problem with the group.

I'm a quiet person living in a state where everyone speaks loud and tend to talk over each-other. Sitting in that position has lead to people speaking over me less.


As to your second comment, just, no, that's not how geometry works.


The table is, say, 2'x6'. Sitting in the middle, the furthest player is ~3' away; sitting at one end, furthest player is 6' away.

That's assuming the table is always full of players, or all players sit on one side.

Assuming you have players sit opposite you, four players facing you, furthest player is two seats away. If you sit at the head, then two players a side going down the table, furthest player is again two seats from you.

SunderedWorldDM
2019-03-16, 02:08 PM
For various reasons, I like sitting at the head of the table. I will admit that it makes interacting with minis on the board in front of me is more difficult, but I solve that by simply standing up and carrying the monster manual/relevant book/my notes/nothing with me during combat. The reason that I like the head of the table is that I typically play with squirrelier players, and being at the front of the table helps me to get and maintain their attention.

If I had the opportunity, I would happily play at a round table, but for now it's much easier for me to use normal rectangular folding tables, and I like sitting at the head of such to keep my player's attention and interest that much more easily.

OldTrees1
2019-03-16, 03:02 PM
That's assuming the table is always full of players, or all players sit on one side.

Assuming you have players sit opposite you, four players facing you, furthest player is two seats away. If you sit at the head, then two players a side going down the table, furthest player is again two seats from you.


Assuming the table's narrow dimension is 1 person wide:

If you are sitting at the end with 2 people on either side, then the distance from you the furthest player is 0.5 people to the left and 1.5 people forward. (0.5^2+1.5^2)^0.5 by pythagoras due to people's heads being in the middle of their place.

If you are sitting across from 4 people, then the distance from you to the furthest player is 1.5 people to the left and 1 person forward. (1.0^2+1.5^2)^0.5 by pythagoras. This distance is larger because you have increased the short orthogonal distance without decreasing the long orthogonal distance. This pattern continues for 2N people.

So the players' ears are closer to your mouth if you are at the end vs if you take up a full side of the table.

But what if you don't take up the full side? What if there are 6 players and you take up the room of 2 players. So on the side you have people next to you at a discreet distance and 4 people across from you.
At the end: (0.5^2+2.5^2)^0.5 = 6.5^0.5
At the side: (1.0^2+1.5^2)^0.5 = 3.25^0.5
Suddenly you have decreased the distance from your mouth to the furthest ears by 30%.

Summary: If you are only optimizing for distance to ears, and your table's narrowest dimension is 1 person wide, then the rankings go:
1st) Sharing the long side
2nd) Being at the end
3rd) Monopolizing the long side

But people don't just care about distances from mouths to ears. So what works best for each group depends on all the considerations and how much priority the group gives each consideration. (I still prefer Round tables myself)

Knaight
2019-03-16, 04:29 PM
Distance is a terrible metric here - there's a directionality to speaking, which is why someone six feet in front of you hears you better than someone three feet behind you. There's even more of a directionality to vision, and supplementing hearing with also seeing how mouths move is pretty ordinary.

Jay R
2019-03-17, 06:47 PM
So nobody is sitting beside me able to see my notes.

[I keep a table with the minis I plan to use half-hidden on a table behind me. I once caught a player looking at it to see what was coming up. The next session (at 2nd level), I had a large red dragon prominently displayed at the front of the table.]

ExLibrisMortis
2019-03-17, 07:00 PM
Reading this thread, I'm wondering whether a Lazy Susan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazy_Susan) with a battlemat would be useful?

D+1
2019-03-17, 10:33 PM
I am amused because after participating in this thread, yesterday the DM of the new game we just started yesterday chose the middle of long side of the table to run the game from. I've never seen that before. Never really even heard of it before until now. :) And I don't think it changed anything; didn't work better or worse. Whatever advantages/disadvantages people CLAIM either way, I think it's strictly a personal preference, nothing more or less.

Ashtagon
2019-03-18, 03:32 AM
The GM should sit on the lap of the highest-level PC.

...

What?

Malphegor
2019-03-18, 11:47 AM
The GM should sit on the lap of the highest-level PC.

...

What?

We're milestone levelling, so I guess they have to sprawl out across all of us in a line.

gkathellar
2019-03-18, 11:56 AM
If and when people think that the DM should sit at the head of the table, I suspect it is because the head of the table has cultural and visual significance, clearly differentiating them from the players by virtue of setup. (It's also somewhat harder to flip a table from the end, or at least requires an ounce more thought.)

Should people think that? Maybe. Play groups will vary. What works for you may not work for others, and vice versa.

Jay R
2019-03-18, 01:27 PM
If and when people think that the DM should sit at the head of the table, I suspect it is because the head of the table has cultural and visual significance, clearly differentiating them from the players by virtue of setup.

In my experience, it's purely practical. With nobody beside me, nobody else can see my notes. For DMs who use screens, it's much easier to screen off the end of the table than the middle.

The Kool
2019-03-18, 01:51 PM
An interesting and highly impractical anecdote: One of my DMs sets up in a large room, with a full square of 6-foot (maybe 8-foot? tables. He takes one, the players get the others. He has 2 or 3 screens he sets up in a big arc. I dislike being that far away from him, but eh I'm not gonna argue, at the first session he had way too many players. Maybe this next one it'll be a smaller setup.

Hackulator
2019-03-18, 02:07 PM
I am amused because after participating in this thread, yesterday the DM of the new game we just started yesterday chose the middle of long side of the table to run the game from. I've never seen that before. Never really even heard of it before until now. :) And I don't think it changed anything; didn't work better or worse. Whatever advantages/disadvantages people CLAIM either way, I think it's strictly a personal preference, nothing more or less.

Clearly your DM is a person of great taste and impressive intellect.

Maybe it made things easier for the DM and you just didn't notice.

Jay R
2019-03-19, 08:47 AM
I've done both. When I had a sidewall next to me to tape my party notes to, I sat in the middle of the table with my encounter notes in my lap.

My main concern is that I don't want it easy for a player to see my encounter notes. I don't expect most of them to give into that temptation, but the temptation is irksome. Why put them in that uncomfortable position?

The Kool
2019-03-19, 09:08 AM
My main concern is that I don't want it easy for a player to see my encounter notes. I don't expect most of them to give into that temptation, but the temptation is irksome. Why put them in that uncomfortable position?

Lately I've been irked by the fact that, due to the layout of my room, my players can see my computer screen. If I pull up stats of a monster, not only can they see that I've done so, they can usually catch the name on the screen. Spoils the fun a bit.

Jay R
2019-03-19, 09:27 AM
Lately I've been irked by the fact that, due to the layout of my room, my players can see my computer screen. If I pull up stats of a monster, not only can they see that I've done so, they can usually catch the name on the screen. Spoils the fun a bit.

Any good poker player knows that one way to protect yourself from your own tells is to occasionally provide false ones. You can occasionally bring up the page of a creature who can turn invisible when there are no monsters around. Or set up a vampire page when a couple of harmless bats are about to fly by.

More fun, if you have time, is to program the computer to show a false name. If you know what monsters are coming, and you have time the day before, make your own pages with the correct stats, but the wrong picture and name. This is particularly effective if you use a shapechanger, and they are assuming that the troll in front of them is really a changeling.

I once had a player who would look at the minis I had set up behind a screen for the session. I cured that by putting a large red dragon in front of them. Nobody pays any attention to the gnolls lined up behind the red dragon.

Tanarii
2019-03-19, 11:03 AM
GM's sit? I stand and roam around.

Coffee is a hell of a drug. :smallamused:

The Kool
2019-03-19, 11:07 AM
More fun, if you have time, is to program the computer to show a false name. If you know what monsters are coming, and you have time the day before, make your own pages with the correct stats, but the wrong picture and name.

This is great if the whole reason I use the SRD wasn't because I don't have time to prep. If I did, I'd have things ready in a less visible method.

kivzirrum
2019-03-19, 02:58 PM
For my group, we are lacking in space, and we don't use a battle map. So sitting at the head of the table and having an extra side table where I can put some books and a whiteboard is very useful. Plus, I can see all my friends that way. However, in other games I've played, this was often not the case. In college we played spread out over a dorm common room, so there wasn't a single table we played at so much as a couch. And other games have been played at square tables.

In my experience, people tend to just sit however makes the most sense for the space they are in.

Jay R
2019-03-20, 01:46 PM
This is great if the whole reason I use the SRD wasn't because I don't have time to prep. If I did, I'd have things ready in a less visible method.

The principle of false tells remains valid. You can still call up the page for an Invisible Stalker when a cold breeze comes through the room, or the vampire page right before they enter a cavern of bats.

The Kool
2019-03-20, 01:50 PM
The principle of false tells remains valid. You can still call up the page for an Invisible Stalker when a cold breeze comes through the room, or the vampire page right before they enter a cavern of bats.

I might have to use these. At any rate, it's not that my players are taking advantage of it, it's that it bothers me personally.

Calthropstu
2019-03-20, 02:58 PM
Obviously the best place for the gm to sit is in the middle of the table so all eyes are forced to be focused on him at all times.

Even better, take 4 rectangular tables and set them around the gm so he can have 4 battlemats in play at once in easy reach.

OldTrees1
2019-03-20, 03:00 PM
Reading this thread, I'm wondering whether a Lazy Susan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazy_Susan) with a battlemat would be useful?

Yes, a lazy susan could be quite useful if your table has a large radius. Essentially a lazy susan halves the distance a player needs to reach, if on a circular table, and still decreases it by some fraction if it is not a circular table.

Although watch out, some lazy susans have some wobble which could knock figurines over.


Even better, take 4 rectangular tables and set them around the gm so he can have 4 battlemats in play at once in easy reach.

Well, if you were ever running an adventure with multiple competing adventuring parties, that setup would be a compact way to fit the players together. Sort of like when a grandmaster plays 8 games of chess at the same time.

Calthropstu
2019-03-20, 07:09 PM
Well, if you were ever running an adventure with multiple competing adventuring parties, that setup would be a compact way to fit the players together. Sort of like when a grandmaster plays 8 games of chess at the same time.

A grandmaster gamemaster.
Now that's a title of someone truly full of themselves lol.

OldTrees1
2019-03-21, 04:38 PM
A grandmaster gamemaster.
Now that's a title of someone truly full of themselves lol.

Yeah, that would be a "confident" title.

However I was more thinking about something like the Ravnica maze run. 10 different players with their own agendas in a shared maze with objectives hidden in the maze.

detritus
2019-04-11, 05:17 PM
sitting at the head of the table and having an extra side table where I can put some books and a whiteboard is very useful. Plus, I can see all my friends that way. In my experience, people tend to just sit however makes the most sense for the space they are in.


This, exactly. There is no "head of the table" in the sense of everyone look up to me, it's just easier that way.