Overview

Creating the right atmosphere is incredibly important when running a tabletop role playing game (RPG). A rich, immersive atmosphere can take a game from one of tactics and statistics to a lively adventure.

There are many aspects to creating that atmosphere: good maps, storytelling, improve, and a little voice acting all contribute. Sound, both ambient and triggered (e.g. the wind whistling through a twisty mine tunnel and the roar of a dragon as it attacks) can go a long way to making the experience immersive for players.

A sound board is an easy way to have such sounds at your fingertips.

The NeoTrellis M4 is a great base on which to build a soundboard. We've seen a few projects along these lines.

This Project

This projects is a bit different in that it takes advantage of some of the new work on the audio module that gives CircuitPython the ability to use a mixer to play multiple sounds files at the same time.

This is important for a tabletop RPG soundboard. We typically want to have a background loop to set the mood. Something with echoes and drips for exploring an abandoned mine, or a jolly tavern full of happy patrons to relax (or not) in, after that mine.

On top of the background, it is good to have assorted ambient sounds (a gurgling stream cutting across the floor or coins being spilled on the table to pay for food or information), events (a trap being sprung or the door being thrown open to admit a group of ruffians), and combat sounds (an attacking swarm of rats or the clashing of swords).

This project differs from previous ones in that it doesn't use a naming scheme to define what files there are and what button they correspond to, and what color to use. That information is stored in a file. This lets you tweak the soundboard arrangement by simply editing a single file, and give the sound files meaningful names.

gaming_DnD_Game.jpg
By Wikipedia user Phillip Mitchell under CCA-SA 3.0

Parts

Adafruit NeoTrellis M4 with Enclosure and Buttons Kit Pack

PRODUCT ID: 4020
So you've got a cool/witty name for your band, a Soundcloud account, a 3D-printed Daft Punk...
OUT OF STOCK

USB Powered Speakers

PRODUCT ID: 1363
Add some extra boom to your audio project with these powered loudspeakers. We sampled half a dozen different models to find ones with a good frequency response, so you'll get...
$9.95
IN STOCK

You will also need power for the NeoTrellisM4 as well as the speakers if you use them. Here are some options. The large battery pack will power both the NeoTrellis and the speakers for portability.

5V 2.5A Switching Power Supply with 20AWG MicroUSB Cable

PRODUCT ID: 1995
Our all-in-one 5V 2.5 Amp + MicroUSB cable power adapter is the perfect choice for powering single-board computers like Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone or anything else that's power...
$7.50
IN STOCK

USB cable - USB A to Micro-B

PRODUCT ID: 592
This here is your standard A to micro-B USB cable, for USB 1.1 or 2.0. Perfect for connecting a PC to your Metro, Feather, Raspberry Pi or other dev-board or...
$2.95
IN STOCK

USB Battery Pack for Raspberry Pi - 10000mAh - 2 x 5V outputs

PRODUCT ID: 1566
A large-sized rechargeable battery pack for your Raspberry Pi (or Arduino, or
$39.95
IN STOCK
This guide was first published on Dec 12, 2018. It was last updated on Dec 12, 2018. This page (Overview) was last updated on Aug 19, 2019.