Taking It Serious: Dungeon Master Uses Ceiling-Mounted Projector To Project Game Maps On Table

February 4, 2015


This is the Dungeons and Dragons digital map setup created by Dungeon Master and Redditor Silverlight. My elven wizard approves. *steals ring of invisibility, raids Dungeon Master's fridge for beer and cold hotdogs*

I recently ran a group of newbies through the new Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Starter Set. I wanted to do something really fun to get them engaged in the game and capture their attention, so I decided to set up a "hybrid" tabletop. The battle mat (map, drawings, etc.) is digital via a projector that I already owned, and then players had physical minis to represent themselves and the monsters they encountered.

Well, it's definitely an improvement over a blank grid map. I always have trouble getting into the game when my character is running around in a blank grid because my imagination is WEAK. And so is my willpower, which might explain the empty package of Double Stuf OREOs in the trash. That was lunch. I'm kidding, that was breakfast. The Pepperidge Farm Milanos and ice cream were lunch.

Keep going for several more shots.





Thanks to XaX, who once Dungeons and Dragoned so hard he still thought he was his character for like two days afterward.

  • LivermoreDad

    Super cool, but there is something about drawing out the map via grids, after a few days of playing you have 3-4 sheets and a physical map, which you really should not have before entering an unknown area.

  • Kirk Simmons

    Ignore the negative "I could have done it better" comments. Dude it looks awesome, congratulations.

  • Jeffrey

    I totally agree. I love how some comments are from people who are butthurt they dont have a post up on the www.

  • Dyrge

    Many years ago I saw a similar setup at http://www.d20srd.org/extra.... I agreed with big_OL about the whole issue with shadows, so like Emmitt also suggested, I built a table with a piece of plexiglass and some translucent plastic to make a screen in the center. To solve the issue of the short distance, I put a mirror inside at a 45 degree angle and projected to the screen off of that. Obviously, I had to adjust the keystone correction to account for this. I was also working on using FTIR technique to add a touch screen capabilities to the screen. I never did get the touch screen part working due to lack of a quality infrared web cam.

  • ooazraeloo

    Nothing new here...

    People have been doing this to play D&D etc for a while.. (including myself)

    Here is a video from 2009 of a group making use of the same idea with a program called map tools, and a projector underneath the table(so no shadows) and a IR pen for mouse control.


  • Jeffrey

    butthurt. and shameful you're piggybacking off this post.

  • GeneralDisorder

    This is so lame it gave me an ulcer.

  • Evin Pro

    Id rather have a glass top lcd screen table. That way you don't need to play in the dark.

  • MustacheHam

    hmm...folks, to me this looks like the very next step to interactive game play (away from the screen).

    We're getting closer to a possible Card Wars application. ;)

  • Philip Zook

    he used a digital projector that he already owned, so he is making good use of his resources. it isn't creative to make something that you have to buy additional materials to make.

  • big_OL

    an actual board or paper map would be better than this.
    er guys please dont lean over the table.
    shitty shadows will be shitty.

  • Emmitt Morgans

    If he were really hardcore, he'd construct a rig using a translucent-topped table with the projector underneath it... AMATEURS!

  • John Grigni

    Probably doesn't have the beam spread for a full size map with normal minis.

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