The Red Box Blog

Ramblings about D&D.

Picking a Room to Game In

Since forming my current D&D group back in 2003, one thing that has remained consistant is that I have always been the host. The circumstances of my hosting have frequently been in flux – in that time I have lived in four different homes, had an addition to the family, and watched my wife wax and wane between gaming with us or being annoyed by us.

In our current abode there are three rooms that are practical for gaming in – the family room, the dining room and the basement. They break down as follows:

The Family Room

When my family first moved into this house almost 2 years ago this is where the weekly game session was held. It was really good for having lots of comfortable seating, lots of space and easy access to electronics.

The lack of tables was an ongoing problem that we never solved as well as we would have liked (I am still kicking myself for getting rid of the 4′ x 6′ table I used to have for gaming in a previous family room), but that was really a minor issue compared to the one huge glaring problem with using this room…

The family room contains most of the things my son likes doing on Saturday evenings. Keeping him from disrupting the game is hard enough without him being bored because he has no access to his toys, his games, the television or the Wii. This problem (combined with a desire on my part to capture the feel of an old school game) drove us from the family room to dining room.

The Dining Room

The dining room is well set up for gaming in so far as it has a good sized table and readily available chairs. The chairs aren’t as comfortable as couches and there aren’t enough of them (meaning some need to be imported), but they are there.

One notable problem with the dining room is the lack of space. There isn’t enough space around the table, and there isn’t enough space on the table. We could add the leaf to the table, but this would just make the other problem worse. Still we all suffered the crowdedness for more than a year till the combination of another body at the table with a problem in my family started to flare up…

You see, the dining room is located directly underneath my son’s bedroom. Although all my friends are well intentioned, and will make an effort to lower their volumes when my wife informs us we are keeping the boy from sleeping its just impossible to stay quiet when playing a role playing game. So we fled from the dining room to the basement.

The Basement

When we first moved into this house I had envisioned the basement as being a playroom for my son. We covered the floor in foam tiles, put his artwork up on the walls and put some of his favorite toys down there. He hated the place and rarely went down. I could hardly blame him – its cold, dark, quiet and lonely.

Knowing that we were going to be leaving the kitchen I did my best to improve the lighting down there, and build a make shift table that dwarfed the dining room table. Not surprisingly, the room is great at isolating us from my son – be he awake or asleep. A bonus I discovered after we started playing was that because the room isn’t used the whole rest of the week, I could leave things set up on the table and just return to them the next week; a huge convience.

But whatever time is saved not getting out my stuff is lost hauling chairs, and all manner of other things up and down the stairs every Saturday. Moreover its still too dark, and lonely.

But what is going to kill the room for us is the cold. If we had been playing down there in the summer, we may have actually appreciated the cold, but now winter is upon us and its getting cold fast.

For myself I could always just keep adding layers till I feel comfortable, but what kind of a host would I be to expect that of my guests?

Now What?

I don’t for sure where we will be playing this weekend, much less a month or two from now. It certainly looks like circumstance may force us back to the family room, no matter what that means in term of unwanted attention from the boy.

How about you, do you have any location related issue for your group?

Have an opinion about this article? I love comments. Please feel welcome to leave your thoughts.

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November 19, 2010 - Posted by | RPGs

2 Comments »

  1. I don’t know how much you want to invest in the basement, but there are two heating options. One would be a small wood burning stove. The new ones are very efficient but you need some kind of access to a chimney. The second option is a ventless gas heater. Again the new technology in ventless gas heaters is amazing and very efficient and you don’t require any other than a gas line. Both of those would do very well at heating a basement in the winter without a huge expense in energy costs after the initial installation.

    Comment by Chris | November 20, 2010 | Reply

  2. I’d be all about the basement with a few improvements. Put some track or recessed lighting in there and make it more useable so it’s not so glum. A decent sized throw rug and a radiant electric heater or 2 and you’re well covered there as well if you’re not interested in going the more permanent route listed above.

    Comment by Grey | November 21, 2010 | Reply


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