Immersive Ambient Lighting Guide for Tabletop RPG Games (5 Tips)

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So, you are hosting a role-playing gaming (RPG) gaming event, like Dungeon and Dragons (D&D)? Sometimes you just want to throw a party. Whether you’re hosting a RPG campaign, a birthday party, or an anniversary, you know having the right ambient lighting is an absolute must. Ambient lighting for tabletop gaming or other event not only serves a practical manner, but can transform a space from drab to fab!

The right lighting can invoke various emotions and feelings, which is why event planners should always pay attention to this crucial component of hosting a successful event. Immersive D&D lighting, anyone?

  • If you’re looking to make your role playing game more immersive, enhance gaming atmosphere, light and subtle sound effect with music can make a huge difference.
  • Mood lighting for a D&D or Pathfinder RPG game can change how players immerse themselves in the story. Not only does ambience in the real world matter, the way an environment feels enriches the nuance of a game experience, too.
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Ambient lighting immerses you in a different world

In this article, we have a look at a simple lighting guide that will help you immerse your audience and guests in your event with ease.

Read on for lights!


Here are 5 tips for adding ambient lighting to your tabletop gaming events:

1. Focus on Uplighting

Wait, what is uplighting?

Uplighting involves installing lighting around the perimeter of your room, often situated around walls and columns.

The term “uplighting” comes from the idea that strategically placed lights fixtures have their illumination pointing upwards, toward the sky/ceiling. Of course, this is a broad definition and many kinds of light fixtures placed carefully around a space can add a uplighting effect.

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This Rosina Wall Sconce is a lighting fixture that adds gorgeous ambience to a gaming or other event space

In general, by focusing on uplighting, you can effectively and dramatically improve the ambience of your gaming event space.

MORE: BEST LIGHTS FOR PAINTING MINIATURES AND MODELS

A cool example of uplighting are the use of torches hanging on the walls of a dungeon. These flaming torches produce an uplighting effect along with a soft glow against the surfaces of a room.

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Looking to replicate candlelight or torch light? Check out rustic light fixtures.

You can replicate this dungeon feeling by using wall fixtures or table lamps with warm colored lighting tones.

In general, uplighting is a very simple and effective way to add immersive ambient light to any room or space.

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By the way, uplighting is also a fantastic lighting option for you if you are looking to host outdoor events (e.g., this isn’t just about gaming anymore).

In fact, some specialized companies like Marquee Monkeys can setup your lighting for many kinds of special occasions.

Remember that with any lights, you can adjust brightness, color and the style of lighting.

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In this regard, the use of uplighting is a fantastic primary lighting tactic for your gaming event space that is incredibly versatile.


2. Ambient Lighting is Key

Ambient lighting is the greatest way to set the tone and mood of a gaming session or special event.

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Take it up a notch with hanging lanterns

By using effective ambient lighting and color, e.g., warm or cool, you will be able to create an atmosphere of worth, intimacy, and exclusiveness at your event.

On the flip side, you can use ambient light to inject some spunk or eclectic charm into any party get together.

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Inexpensive, affordable wall strung lights do a great job of adding ambience to a room

Ambient lighting is often used in the form of downlights, table and floor lamps.

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A soft glowing lamp, like this one, creates a warmly lit event space.

Depending on the style and theme of your event, one or more options may be suitable for changing the ambience of your space.

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Lamps like this can add a lot to your tabletop gaming scene

Remember, that with certain lights, e.g., tabletop or floor lamps, you have the option of keeping things temporary.

You can move these light fixtures around or store them away until your next session.


3. Get Playful With Fairy Lights

Do you ever gaze in awe at photos of events that seem to look almost too magical to be real?

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Chances are these images have captured the bokeh-effect of various fairy lights in the background, giving it an almost otherworldly feel.

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Getting playful with your lighting means going out and purchasing fairy lights, LED curtain lights and copper wire lights that will add a touch of whimsy to any event.

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Remember this:

  • Photographing your gaming session or event is a great way to capture memories and record a campaign.

RELATED: 5 ESSENTIAL CAMERA SHOTS FOR YOUR CAMPAIGN NARRATIVE REPORTS

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Not only do these lights look magical, but they also provide the perfect backdrop and accessory for your guests and players to snap a hundred photos in front of!

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Fairy lights add a lot to the overall memorable qualities of your campaign and party.


4. Consider Using Candles

I’ve heard of some gaming campaigns played outdoors. At night and in good weather, events can always be fun outside.

Do you play in an open garage?

Or, is it a cave?

An underwater grotto, perhaps.

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Flameless candles add a touch of “different” to your gaming event space

In fact, it doesn’t matter if the event is gaming or some other special event, a highly recommended ways to create a different atmosphere is to add candlelight to your table(s).

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Nothing exudes a more personal and intimate touch than natural candlelight.

(Why else would it be such a popular option for romantic first dates?)

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Battery-operated candles for your tabletop space

If having actual candles is not an option or poses a safety risk, a recommended alternative for candles is opting for battery-operated candle or other flameless candles that will offer a very similar glow sans the potential fire hazard.


5. Integrate Sound With Light

Last but certainly by no means least, if you are really looking to impress your party, we highly recommend integrating your lighting and sound systems.

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Image credit: Arcaneeye.com

Syncing music or sound with your games isn’t too hard.

Here is another affordable option (under $25).

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Sync music and sound with lighting effects with GOVEE LEDs

Syncing your lighting to your music is a relatively straightforward task and one that can be done with simple apps and programs that will allow your music to speak to your lighting.

What does this mean?

Well, it means your event lighting will flash and “move” to the beat of your music, creating a little light show for your party.

Are you in a sleepy inn or tavern, or at a wild elven party?

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Has the party encountered an epic fight?

Roll for initiative and add lights to the battle song.

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This lighting “hack” is perfect for ending the night with a boss fight (or the veritable dance floor).

Do keep in mind that if you have any guests with light sensitivities or epilepsy, that you let them know in advance if this is an option you are considering for your party.

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Summary

Beautifying your gaming session or special event with different types of lighting is one of the greatest ways of turning an “alright” campaign or party into an “awesome” one.

We hope that this article has given you some insight into how you can use lighting to bring any event to the next level.

Party on!


This article was proudly written by Marquee Monkeys in Melbourne, Australia


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2 thoughts on “Immersive Ambient Lighting Guide for Tabletop RPG Games (5 Tips)”

  1. This is some really great ideas for lighting and setting the mood. Some of my favorite times playing D&D was outside by a campfire. Brings back some great memories and I think it was the flickering fire and lanterns. Wish I knew more people that played D&D near me. Tried once with the wife and kids but not there yet, lol. Today I mostly run around with a camera looking for this same light you speak of.

    1. Cool thanks! Yep, “chasing the light” is what I try and do too when I have the chance. 🙂 Any type of photography you enjoy most? I need to find better lighting for my indoor shots.

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