Can you play Dungeons & Dragons during a pandemic? Well, we did and here is how we did it.

Dungeons & Dragons has always been a great way to fulfil many different social needs. The emotions, accomplishments and camaraderie we experience during the game feel super real — and that’s because they are. It’s been proven that Dungeons & Dragons can be a great way to meet our real-world needs through socially constructed TTRPG scenarios.

With lockdowns happening left, right and centre all over the country, you’re not alone in feeling uneasy or anxious at the thought of the loss of your weekly sessions. Isolation and loneliness can be difficult to grapple with, so what do we do when we can’t experience the game at the table? We turn to the internet, of course!

Our Gold Coast team at Mind Games have had good success shifting our weekly D&D sessions to the popular server-app Discord. So while we’re apart, we’re still able to safely come together on a Saturday night and feel that same sense of connection and camaraderie. Without further adieu, here are some of our tips for shifting your game online — all tried and tested, so you don’t have to make the same mistakes we did!

Starting Equipment:

If you’re used to playing D&D at the table, chances are you’ve been using one of your mate’s Players Handbooks to look up the details of your character’s abilities (don’t worry — we’ve all been there). But, to continue to do our part to stop the spread of this virus, that’s no longer an option.

Having your own D&D Player’s Handbook will go a long way to reference what your character might need in any given situation. Spells, equipment, item costs — it’s all there in the book for easy referencing. For Dungeon Masters (‘DMs’), using both the Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide can be gamesavers when you need to create a trap or find a monster on the fly. Make sure you put tabs on the pages you’ll most likely need so that you can reference these things quickly!

Save yourself some valuable desk space, set your reference book aside, Spellbook Cards are your new best friend mid-game. 

They’re a great way to keep track of what your spells can and can’t do, and also which spells you’ve prepared for the day and how many times you’ve used them. There are also Ability (Martial Powers & Races) Cards for those of us who play races with interesting and unique abilities to keep track of. Our little pro-tip: We found that using Clear Sleeves on our cards meant we could write on them using a whiteboard marker –

just wipe it off at the end of the session if needed! Mark on the sleeves to keep track of what spells you’ve used and how many you’ve got left.

Wizards of the Coast has also made available plenty of free printable resources from reference booklets and character sheets to mini-adventures – even some colouring pages!

Setting Up Your Space:

One of the first issues we ran into as a group was the fact that we had housemates playing in the same game. In this kind of scenario, we’d recommend each person creating their own Discord account and setting up different areas to play from. This means that the sounds from the microphones don’t cross and you won’t run into pesky feedback issues. Bedrooms, kitchens — heck, even bathrooms work great for this. (Highly recommend the bathroom for cool voice effects when you’re in a dungeon in-game)

The area you play in might be quite small and restrictive, so make use of our range of quality Dice Trays. They’re a great way to provide a sturdy and effective rolling space for those intense combat moments. With a dice tray on hand, you probably wouldn’t even have to leave the comfort of your own bed to immerse yourself into the fantastic world of Dungeons & Dragons.

Combat:

If you’re used to playing with a map and minis, don’t worry — shifting to online can be daunting at first, but there are some easy ways around this.

Don’t have any maps prepared? That’s okay, Dungeons & Dragons make it super easy to create last minute maps either by using the Adventure Grid to draw your own, or pre-made tiles for different scenarios such as Wilderness, City, and DungeonsOur DM found these map tiles super helpful and time-saving — honestly much easier than learning a bunch of new programs to create digital maps. We’d recommend having your DM set up their camera in a birds-eye view over the maps for easy visual referencing. 

Now that you’re armed with enough to get started, grab yourself a set of roleplaying dice… it’s a tradition… to signify a new chapter… new character… setting… — whatever excuse we make up to treat ourselves with a pretty new set of dice.

If you need any more advice or if you have some your own nifty tips and tricks worth sharing, I’d love to know!

E-mail me: erin@mindgamesqld.com

 

We’re still open

Update (02/07/2021): We’d like to let you know that our Gold Coast store will be back to trading their normal hours from Saturday (03/07/2021), while our Brisbane City store will be closed on that day.

Following the announcement regarding the three day lockdown in parts of Queensland, we will continue to trade in store and online for essential shopping.

While our online store continues to be running 24/7, our Brisbane City and Gold Coast stores will be trading reduced hours during the lockdown period. From Wednesday, 30th of June – Friday, 2nd of July, we plan to be open for trade during the following hours:

Mind Games Brisbane: 9:30AM – 6:00PM

Mind Games Gold Coast: 10:00AM – 4:30PM
(9:00AM to 5:30pm on Thursday)

In the interest of the health and safety to all concerned, our stores have introduced a new customer capacity in store to ensure proper social distancing (signage at store entrance).

Masks will be mandatory for customers and staff in both our stores during this lockdown period.

Please use the QLD Check In app when you enter the shopping centre.

Make use of the hand sanitisers provided in store and around the shopping centre.

We accept cash payments, but contactless card payments are still preferred.

If there is anything we can help you with, please do not hesitate to give us a call or e-mail us.

21/03/20: Boredom Busters

Boredom Busters

If you plan to spend more time at home in the coming weeks, it’s a good idea to stock up on some jigsaws. Jigsaws have also been proven to improve your mental health and even physical health at any age. Building jigsaws have been shown to strengthen visual acuity, build short term memory, develop problem solving skills, increase fine motor skills and it is also quite therapeutic.

Wasgij Original Puzzle #32. 1000 pieces.

On that note, our latest in the WASGIJ range has arrived, Wasgij 32: The Big Weigh In is now in stock. In this mystery, it’s the 75th Little Mulching Annual Horticultural Show and the village square is bustling with people who have turned out to the big event. However, opposite the flower show marquee, something jaw dropping has caught the judge’s eye and seems to have stunned the other contestants in their tracks… What could that be? Use your imagination and your curiosity to find out what’s happening in this Wasgij Original puzzle. Only the puzzle holds the answer…

Catan (5th Edition): 3-4 Players. Ages 10 and up. 60-120 minutes playing time.

Board games are also a great way to keep everyone in the family involved. CATAN (formerly known as The Settlers of Catan) is one of the most popular board games in recent history due to its amazing ability to appeal to experienced gamers as well as those new to the world of strategy board games. It is $79.99.

Pandemic. 2-4 players. Ages 8 and up. 45 minutes playing time.

We suppose it’s quite inevitable that Pandemic (for ages 8+) has quickly risen to the top again as a best-seller in the last few weeks. This internationally award winning game has also been a staple in our collection of board games over the years. Pandemic not only plays up to 4 players, but it makes for one of the best 2 player games in our home. It’s one of the few where I can actually sit next to my partner as we endure such an intense game. With a range of difficulties from Introductory to ‘Heroic’, Pandemic is the game we would happily play over and over again. If you haven’t played Pandemic yet, I highly recommend you give it a go.

Gloomhaven. For 1-4 players. Ages 14 and up. 60-120 minutes playing time.

To the more experienced gamers, Gloomhaven is also still available. For those of you who have been eyeing this game, this may actually be the perfect time to finally dedicate some space towards this massive game. With 94 scenarios in this epic dungeon crawler, Gloomhaven will undoubtedly provide you with what feels like an endless number of stories, combat, and just pure fun.

Rat-a-Tat Roll: For 2-5 players. Ages 6 and up. 15 minutes playing time.

Easter Holidays are just around the corner. Don’t get caught with nothing for the kids to do. Why not have them play one of Gamewright’s latest releases? Rat-a-Tat Roll (for ages 6 and over). Perfect for the whole family to play. A good test for memory skills, understanding probability, and decision making. This is another game where you might find the kids end up winning more games than the adults. Now on special for only $29.99.