If this has been discussed before, I apologize, just direct me to the topic I have missed.
So I hear that some people use projectors to actually project floorplans directly on the gaming table.
So what's the deal here? There are two aspects to this that I can think of. So here are the qestions.
1- Hardware : what is the minimum price one can exptect to pay to purchase a projector. Pricing, brand an model would be appreciated.
2- How do you transfer floorplans onto the table? Can you do this while hiding what the player have yet to explore? I am zero at programming, and don't have CAD software knowledge. I guess there must be some software out there, but I figure after paying for a projector, I want to use software that is both easy to use and that can do the job.
Any input from you nice folks out there would be greatly appreciated.
#2 There are many choices out there. On the free side, I've found MapTool to be excellent. MapTool has a bit of a learning curve, so if you are looking for something a bit easier to use but less full featured, check out TTopRPG. Both programs have great tutorials and user bases. Zero programming required, and you can do nice things like layering, light sources, fog of war, visual effects, etc.
#1 Again, many choices here, but the community has moved past projectors now and many folks are just purchasing cheap, big flat screen tvs and table mounting them. For a nice projector you can expect to pay between $250 and $1,000. There are tons of resources on there discussing this topic, both on and off paizo, so some googling should set you in the right direction.
For some inspiration, see this.
Thanks Sozin. About the flat screen tv, do you mean you actuall lay it flat on it's back and use it as a battlemat?
We use a 40-inch TV as our battlemat. We connect to a laptop with an HDMI cable and set it up as a 2nd screen using Windows 7 Home Edition (you can't use Starter).
The only issue is that we had to get one of those adjustable tables to lower it about 6-inches below the normal table propped up with books a couple of books so the HDMI cable and TV has some ventilation. We then have a long table in front and then two side tables round it.
Using a TV as a battlemat on a normal table would be difficult because you have about 6-8 inches of thickness to deal with.
We actually place the figurines directly on the screen! Just make sure they are plastic and not metal.
We use Maptools...and tried to have everyone around the table hook up, but soon realized that it people kept drawing unmentional body parts on the map, so now only the DM uses it.
The TV is worth maybe $150-200 now so we're not too worried about scratching it anymore.
Here's a photo of our low tech setup. You'll notice that the TV is flush with the tables adjacent to it. There's the GM's laptop driving it.
Friend of mine was about to return a NEC projector to a school board and we trid projecting a map of Harrowstone prison. It worked nice.
Now I'm hooked!
As for a TV, I suppose I could cut out a hole in the table.....