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The 12 Days Of Switchmas: Day 8 – TableTop Crossover

Sunday 8th January 2017 by Courtney Dossett

The Geekscape staff have done a great job of covering so many different aspects of what we want out of the Switch, but what about tabletop applications?

I like to play games with friends in the same room, which means hauling your gear over for a LAN party (console or PC).The gear is heavy and cumbersome (I’ve almost broken my monitor on more than one occasion), everyone’s rig takes up a lot of room, and it’s hard to get everyone into the same room without overloading a power circuit. This is one of the reasons why I love playing tabletop games, especially Dungeons and Dragons, because you can have a large (read: more than 2 or 3) friends come over and play without having quite so much hassle.

What does that have to do with the Switch? Well, I’m hoping it could mean that there will be options for tabletop gamers to use the Switch to enhance their role playing for table tops. There are some great programs already available for PC, like TableTop Simulator, and Roll20, which allow you to have your player sheet, character avatar, maps, ambient sound and music, and roll your dice, all digitally. If these programs, or one like it, could run on the Switch, it would be like creating your own RPG with your friends, that you could see on TV in real time.

There are two ways that I think this would work. The first option option would be to have one Switch that would be controlled by the dungeon master would be able to show maps on the TV, control the character placement, and could also incorporate sound effects and music. The second option would be if every player and the dungeon master had their own Switch. The players would be able to access all their player sheet, have custom spell cards, and roll dice available on their individual tablets. The dungeon master would be able to control the map display and character placement. Currently in Roll20, dice rolls are shown in a chat on the side bar, as well as on the map, so that the whole group can see how good or bad your roll is.

This is a screenshot from Roll20, which operates in a browser. The turn order and character placement make playing live a lot easier.

Custom figurines are also really popular in Dungeons and Dragons, and could possibly cross over into an amiibo option that you could integrate with the Switch, so that as your character changes and levels up, you can level up your character in game.

I haven’t been able to find anything specifically related to tabletop gaming for the Switch, however, there are some options available already for the NVIDIA Shield, and Steam Machine, so it’s not a completely crazy idea for Nintendo to add this capability to the Switch.

Do you think tabletop gaming would marry well with the Switch? Let us know in the comments below!