DM for Kids: Holiday Packing

Yay, its the summer holidays, and the kids are now off school. We’re off on holiday at the end this week, and obviously we hope the weather is going to be such that beaches and swimming are the main order of the day, rather than role-playing games…

However, we live in the UK, and we’re off to Devon (in the south-west of England), so what is the chance of that?? For anyone reading this that has experienced the UK ‘summer’ so far, I think you know what I’m talking about (although having said that, today it’s 30 degrees…)! So it’s as well to be prepared for all seasons, and that means packing the games!

So, as a DM Dad, what’s on my holiday packing list for the wet weather?? We have a cottage booked, so I can take some kit – it doesn’t all have to be ‘TOTM’ 🙂

Apart from the ubiquitious pack of cards, and a few  standard favourites (Monopoly, Connect 4, Dread Pirates etc), Castle Ravenloft is definitely making it into the car. One compact box and you’ve got everything you need for a decent evening’s D&D like entertainment. Even my wife will have a go 🙂 As an added bonus, you get some minis and tiles that might be useful for a gaming session!

I’ve also promised the kids that we can get a few sessions of D&D in as well, as school and work scheduling over the last few months has definitely got in the way of our game. So, what to pack here, given that I’ll be a long way from my gaming bookshelf and standard tools. Luckily we’re in the middle of a dungeon delve which is already pretty well prepped, so I guess I’ll need:

  • Rules Compendium – all I need in a single compact volume! Anything that’s not here can be easily hand-waved if I can’t remember it!
  • Character sheets – don’t take up much space, and I still use the old off-line Character Builder for my kids’ characters, we can level-up on my laptop if required!
  • Dice – guess I could use a dice roller on my iPad, but nothing beats the phyiscal version, and after all, they don’t take up much space!
  • Minis – hmm, this is a tougher one – breakables alert! 🙂 However, we only really have the kids’ characters (and menagerie…) as actual figures, and I use tokens (generally printed on cardstock) for monsters, so should be fine.
  • Maps – I generally create my maps in CC3 and print them to scale for battle-maps. Obviously I won’t be lugging the colour printer on holiday! I could use tiles (in fact the current adventure has tile-based maps) but tbh I find them bulky and fiddly. My plan is to print the required maps out in advance, glue the sheets onto A2 paper, and take them rolled up in a tube.
  • Adventure info – all available already in the ‘Cloud’ ( and on my laptop (just must remember to sync before I go …).

All sounds great so far, but realistically I’ve only got a couple of sessions pre-prepped, so what happens after that? Well, I’ve been blogging about game table tech, so here’s my chance to try it out. My plan is to trial d20Pro to ‘share’ a battlemap and tokens. I also might need a few other tools to make this work:

  • Main laptop (Macbook Pro) already has on it all the tools, such as CC3, Microsoft OneNote (which I use for all my campaign information), Character Builder (offline version), token images, image editing programmes etc, to prep some more adventure! 
  • Second laptop – this is soley to run the player version of d20Pro!
  • Internet/Network link – to make this work the 2 PCs obviously need to be linked together. I’m also thinking about internet connectivity for my laptop, as the only tools I might need which are internet dependent is the 4E Compendium and Monster Builder. I’m thinking of getting one of these things!

Hopefully that should see us through a week of wet weather!! I’ll let you know later … 🙂

This entry was posted in Columns, DM for Kids, DnD Next, Roleplaying with Kids, The Amber Tower Campaign. Bookmark the permalink.

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