View Full Version : List of game enhancing “tools”?

2015-10-22, 02:07 PM
I'm looking for a list of things that can improve your experience in rpgs.

Some things that I have found/thought of include:

Virtual Table Tops
LEGOs (for building dungeons/walls)

Unfortunately, I can't think of anything else, nor have I found anything online; I think that's mostly because I don't even know how to reasearch/google such things. Any ideas?

(I'm pretty sure I've read one such list years ago, either on this forum or rptools' forum, but I can't find it)

2015-10-22, 02:30 PM
Handouts. Whether text, maps, pictures of NPCs, buildings or landscapes, handouts are a good thing.

Mark Hall
2015-10-22, 02:40 PM
Handouts. Whether text, maps, pictures of NPCs, buildings or landscapes, handouts are a good thing.

Handouts are definitely a thing; my wife made extra XPs by drawing the NPCs for the GM to hand out.

Beyond music, you might consider sound effects. I once kept the pressure on my group (when they were being chased by druids) by playing a hunting horn wav I'd made whenever they got too esoteric. I wouldn't go whole-hog trying to make an interesting soundscape for every scene, but the occasional highlight can really make a session.

2015-10-22, 02:50 PM
Thanks! Handouts are nice indeed. I've also just found this page: app.rpg-ambience .com which linked to a TV can easily display info and play music (although I was using roll 20 for similar purposes already).

Anything else?

2015-10-22, 03:20 PM
Physical props can be useful. I've come across an odd statuette or piece of costume jewelry and written them into scenarios so I could use them.

2015-10-22, 04:21 PM
Stress balls. Or 'Koosh balls'. Something light and soft, that can safely be thrown at people.

2015-10-22, 04:46 PM
Medieval Demographics Made Easy (http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/blueroom/demog.htm) is a nifty resource for population info if you're homebrewing a setting.

Pizza, Mountain Dew, coffee, snacks, mints/gum or an ashtray (outside) for any smokers, booze, etc. are nice to have.

A dice tray, dice cup, or dice tower can spare your table surface and keep dice from getting lost. And keep the minis from getting bowled over on a misaimed roll.

Spell cards with all the relevant spell info on them make spellcasting classes much easier to run.

Cheat sheets for modifiers, tricky rules, etc.

Note cards to help keep track of initiative, and to make standing nameplates/nametents for characters with useful info on them for the DM.

Spare dice set aside, in case yours rebel or someone forgets theirs.

A calculator for anyone who's not quick at arithmetic.

Pencils and scratchpaper.

2015-10-22, 04:49 PM
That Guy Who Always Draws The Dungeon Map.

It's a good thing most groups have someone who sees great value at mapping the areas that have been explored and is good at drawing. I would most likely just go from the memory if it was all up to me. :smallbiggrin:

Edit: Of course, that guy isn't a tool.

2015-10-22, 05:01 PM
As a Dm I make great use of a table. I keep campaign notes, PDFs and pictures of npcs and locations on it. It also gives you easy access to the internet for when something MUST be looked up. I can also access music and sound effects thanks to the internet (although the sound on my tablet isn’t great). Lastly I can snap pictures of the play area, the table etc for possible reference later.

I don't typically game at my house, so a tablet cuts down on alot on the size and weight of my Dming kit. I don't have to drag around a library of related books and paperwork. I just upload my information into google docs and I have it at a glance.

2015-10-22, 05:09 PM
On the software front:

Character-creation tools, like Hero Lab or PCGen.
Campaign-management tools, like RealmWorks or Obsidian Portal.
Dice-rolling smartphone apps can be handy, especially if you're playing in a cramped space where it's hard to roll actual dice.

2015-10-22, 05:34 PM
If you have a projector, smart-TV or other big screen available: pictures.

I always run a slideshow of setting-appropriate pictures in the background (usually landscapes or cityscapes) to illustrate to the players what the world looks like. I may even have scene- or area-specific collections. If I have images of important items, NPCs, critters or other things the PCs run into, they are added to the slideshow as the game progresses.

Especially useful in real-world or low-fantasy settings, of course.