I have been putting the store together and as I have been doing that I have been thinking about how to GM in comfort. What can I offer that will make people want to come in and use the tables for role playing. I get the idea of Magic and Tabletop gaming and why they would come in but role playing can be seen as a much more private experience. It could feel odd to role play in the middle of a store as people wander around and look at stock.
I had wanted to build amazing tables for role playing but with time constraints and the reality that the budget I made is not the final budget I have had to compromise and remove the technology from the tables – for now. What I do have is three large pine “steampunk” tables suited to 8 players (inclusive of the GM). The thing is, when I GM though, I lack space. Where I used to game in person (a service station lube bay) we had three tables just so I had the space I needed to run the game, an area for the battle maps if we used them and space for the players. I have solved this issue in some “unusual” ways for the store.
The first thing that I have managed to do is secure a large whiteboard that was surplus at the school. It actually was an electronic “smart” board that was Broken but useful for spare electronic parts. The whiteboard just needed to be separated from its electronics and it was mine for nothing. That goes up on the board near one of the tables and can be used by the GM to do all their mapping, sketching, notes or smilies as they want. Pretty handy and well visible to all of the players.
Secondly, I got some mobile floor unit A frames made up. The idea here was largely as a stock display but they can also be used by GM’s to keep all of their books and tools on until such time that they need it. These are really mobile and move freely around the store on some great wheels. I want to actually ride one but my wife (and the joiner) both suggested this was a bad idea. But for the GM, I am willing to move all the stock to one side and leave the other side for them to keep their items on during the game.
Finally, a decent screen for them if they do not have something they can use. I have my screen that I made from Fat Dragon games that will be available for the gamers. I really find this screen awesome and have decided that I am not too much of a fan of the screens that come with helpful GM info on them. For one thing, they never seem to have the actual tables I want on them, and secondly I find them distracting. I hope that I can get this kind of screen well liked by the other GM’s around the local area and get the people at Fat Dragon Games some business too.
So, there you have it. The ways that I am trying to solve the “comfort” issues of being a GM. If you do not have to think about the environment you are in then you can focus on your game. Let me know in the comments what sort of issues you think I should also address to get people role playing in store. Until next time, keep rolling!