Surfacescapes: The Future of Tabletop RPGs?

Once upon a time, we played RPGs with books, papers, pencils, dice, and beer. OK, the beer wasn’t actually part of the game, well, it’s not in the rules, but it WAS part of creating the mood.

Those days are, by and large, behind us, with WoW (and others of its ilk) effectively supplanting face-to-face gaming. Well a team from Carnage-Mellon University may have found a way to bring back the good ol’ days. The paper, books, and dice may be gone, but it’s close enough to make me nostalgic, and willing to shell out the massive $$$ for a Microsoft Surface device (whenever those hit the stores).

What do you old school gamers think? A return to the days of yesteryear? And will it bring new converts to our old way of gaming?

5 replies on “Surfacescapes: The Future of Tabletop RPGs?”

  1. For the record – face to face gaming is still going on, and it’s just as easy (or hard) to find a game now as it was before Everquest.

    That said, my gadget-head in me says that looks awesome, and that it beats the crap out of a Chessex mat and some overhead pens.

    • Sounds like you’ve had better luck. All my old players have gone over to the MMRPG “dark side” and I can’t lure them back.

      Of course, now that I’m a father of two, finding time to game is the bigger challenge (until the kids are old enough to play of course).

  2. Lots of promise, but several poor metaphors.

    Why do you have to roll dice? We have _computers_. Sure, show the rolls, like NWN does, but actually rolling dice? Pass. That’s what slows down D&D – the actual rolling of dice, calculations, etc. Skip that part and allow the GM to tell a STORY. Alternatively, how about something without a GM needed? I’d _love_ to be able to sit down with friends and play through a module in a couple hours, not needing someone to sit and GM, etc, etc.

    That’s why these days we play Arkham Horror. No GM required, we’re all playing on the same side, games all seem to play out differently, etc. No, the storytelling isn’t as rich, but listening to us play is almost the same as when we played D&D/ConX/Shadowrun.

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