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"A picture is worth a thousand words", or so the adage goes. I've been entertaining the idea of using a tablet to store images on of various monsters and environments to set the mood, show the players the creatures and people they meet and other such things. Tablets are smaller than laptops, making them more wieldable at the table. But what issues should I be wary of when doing this? I can predict a possible few:

  • Technology failure: The tablet crashes, is slow with loading, runs out of battery charge and other hardware problems.
  • Wetware failure (PEBCAK): I am not fast enough when looking up the images, bringing the flow of the game to a halt. Or the ordering is a mess and I cannot find anything.
  • Distracted by the shiny: Players are too enamoured with the idea to quickly go back to the game or keep talking about the picture.
  • Picture's too small (Clint Eastwood Party): I sit too far away from the players, so I have to pass around the tablet so that everyone can see with without the party having to squint in order to see it.
  • "I know that monster!": If you show an image of a monster the players might immediately recognise it and know how to deal with it. If you describe one the players might not immediately recognise it and will have to work out a strategy in order to deal with it.

Note that I am not looking for solutions to these problems, rather I am looking for others that I might be overlooking. Are there any other problems I should be aware of when using a tablet to show pictures?

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    \$\begingroup\$ This appears to be a request for a list. If you can rephrase this as a specific problem that needs solving, I think it can work here, but if it's just info-gathering it won't work here and you might want to consider asking for ideas on a discussion forum instead. \$\endgroup\$ May 22 '15 at 17:04
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I can think of these:

  • The tablet migh be damaged in the process in passing from hand to hand
  • The tablet could be damaged by players' drinks at the table if they spill
  • You might not find pictures of specific things (or not close enough to the real thing) that will then appear as something that's missing ("Man I wish we had the picture of the sexy barmaid in that tavern")
  • "I know that picture!" (I know that monster bis) : the players might recognize the picture itself, from being from a game or movie or something else, and start talking of that source rather than focus on the game
  • "Just my imagination" : People will all have the same image to focus on, but might not think of something they would have, had they not have the picture (For example, without a forced picture, a player might ask you about something inconspicuous from your point of view, but consistent with the scene he imagined, you'd think that's a good idea and integrate it in the scene for everyone, bringing me to ...)
  • "Errr in fact he has lazers, I forgot" : Pictures freezes the thing depicted in a state from which you might have trouble getting it out. Your monster has an axe in one hand and javelins in the back? Too bad the picture only shows the axe and you forgot the rest.
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