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Roi C.
2017-07-12, 09:43 AM
We've all seen all kinds of cool RPG accessories for your tabletop sessions... Online, used by other players, in conventions and so on... From Paizo's awesome magnetic initiative tracker to handcrafted wooden DM screens...

Some of these, other than looking cool, can actually make the game easier to manage or altogether more fun.

So... which game-changing accessories do you use to make your tabletop RPG experience better?

Guizonde
2017-07-12, 10:01 AM
we always have an intimidatingly large knife and a cutting board for our snacks on the table. once, we decided to use saucisson slices and ham cubes as enemy markers and the cutting board became the battle map. fun, delicious, and absolutely a frenzy to frag as many victims as possible, since we ate their pieces. fun, but costly and dependant on player apetite. (try it with deli meat, even a vegan will crack)

i use props a lot to get the players to confuse the game and reality, this included dressing up as the boss of my team when i dm'd for them: blue coveralls, kneepad, combat boots, a climbing harness, some webbing. at first the players were spooked, then got the mental image and even used that uniform to hide small objects all over themselves. believe it or not, that uniform was actually crazy practical and customizable, and is still a mainstay 4 years later listed under "standard scavenger's guild uniform".

most useful useless object i bring to the table in my dice pouch? a pair of hexagonal nuts, i believe 1cm interior diameter. i got those from a construction site maybe 10 years back, and thought "well, why not use them as currency in a society of tinkerers?". so i did just that. my players were wondering what the currency was like, so i tossed them those nuts and as usual, props help tremendously. they're now held by the dm while he's telling his story, and in case of a raucous band, i still pop them out and use them as a speaking stone: only the person holding them can speak. does wonders to calm kids, and is quite efficient on arguing adults.

one from my team when he dm'd had slideshows going on behind him to get us in the mood. another dm'd for us in a very enclosed space: 3mx3mx1,5m. we were 5, lit only by a small flashlight hung from the ceiling. for a claustrophobic session, we were served and it helped, even if it was by far the worst logistical experience to play in.

Roi C.
2017-07-12, 10:11 AM
we always have an intimidatingly large knife and a cutting board for our snacks on the table. once, we decided to use saucisson slices and ham cubes as enemy markers and the cutting board became the battle map. fun, delicious, and absolutely a frenzy to frag as many victims as possible, since we ate their pieces. fun, but costly and dependant on player apetite. (try it with deli meat, even a vegan will crack)

i use props a lot to get the players to confuse the game and reality, this included dressing up as the boss of my team when i dm'd for them: blue coveralls, kneepad, combat boots, a climbing harness, some webbing. at first the players were spooked, then got the mental image and even used that uniform to hide small objects all over themselves. believe it or not, that uniform was actually crazy practical and customizable, and is still a mainstay 4 years later listed under "standard scavenger's guild uniform".

most useful useless object i bring to the table in my dice pouch? a pair of hexagonal nuts, i believe 1cm interior diameter. i got those from a construction site maybe 10 years back, and thought "well, why not use them as currency in a society of tinkerers?". so i did just that. my players were wondering what the currency was like, so i tossed them those nuts and as usual, props help tremendously. they're now held by the dm while he's telling his story, and in case of a raucous band, i still pop them out and use them as a speaking stone: only the person holding them can speak. does wonders to calm kids, and is quite efficient on arguing adults.

one from my team when he dm'd had slideshows going on behind him to get us in the mood. another dm'd for us in a very enclosed space: 3mx3mx1,5m. we were 5, lit only by a small flashlight hung from the ceiling. for a claustrophobic session, we were served and it helped, even if it was by far the worst logistical experience to play in.


All of those are very creative and outside of the box... I love it :smallbiggrin:

RazorChain
2017-07-13, 03:42 AM
I have a customizable GM screen, where I can just print out pages and use for any system I like.

Then I would be lost without my MS Surface where I keep all my PDF's and notes.

Then there is my Chessex Battlemat and my cardboard heroes, so I don't have to carry all those minatures anymore.

Pugwampy
2017-07-14, 11:21 AM
I have DM legal shield to cover me from any and all unreasonable quibble players would like to toss my way .

7 dragons and 1 Tyrannosaurus Rex . Dont talk to your poor overworked Dm , talk to his lawyers thank you .


http://androida.s3.amazonaws.com/appimages/80/77/b4ff1c71253893b2731956532e.c.png

EccentricCircle
2017-07-14, 11:30 AM
I always bring a dictaphone with which to record the game, that way I don't have to make too many notes as I go along, but can play back the recordings to check exactly what was said, how things are described, and what voices I used for NPCs who haven't turned up recently.

I also keep a nice notebook for each campaign for scribbling things down and pasting in copies of the handouts so that I can refer to them while the players are looking at them.

Most of my other accessories are storage systems of one sort or another.

I have a folding sewing basket full of tokens and counters. These days I actually have more tokens than fit in it, but it is still a great way of keeping all my bits and pieces in order.

I also have a wooden treasure chest which holds all of my folders of props and handouts.

Lastly I have several Boxes of lego, all organised into trays of heads, bodies, weapons, armour etc. At the start of each game the players build their characters, and then can customise them as the game goes on. Since i've been collecting lego for 20 years theres quite a lot of variety, so pretty much any character can be represented this way.

Jay R
2017-07-14, 11:31 AM
A small table, mostly screened, where I keep the NPC and monster minis I expect to use during the game.

[I also have one or two high-level minis I don't intend to use on the table, like a dragon or some such, so if somebody looks at the side table, they will not get advance information about who their foes are.]

oxybe
2017-07-14, 04:12 PM
My mum's 6 year old work laptop, which got bugged up by Windows 10 (in a very legit "manufacturer is not going to be putting out win10 compatible video drivers, among other things"). After she got a new one from work (well, they helped write it off as a business expense, lol) she gave it to me knowing that my current laptop was held together by spite, duct tape and crazy glue.

I then thanked her and quickly proceeded to reformat it with Windows 7 for my own use, mwahahahaha.

Between having spreadsheets & PDFs on my google drive, an image manipulator program and a stupid good internet connection if i need to find some errata or a SRD, I'm golden.

LordCdrMilitant
2017-07-14, 05:21 PM
I always bring a dictaphone with which to record the game, that way I don't have to make too many notes as I go along, but can play back the recordings to check exactly what was said, how things are described, and what voices I used for NPCs who haven't turned up recently.

I also keep a nice notebook for each campaign for scribbling things down and pasting in copies of the handouts so that I can refer to them while the players are looking at them.

Most of my other accessories are storage systems of one sort or another.

I have a folding sewing basket full of tokens and counters. These days I actually have more tokens than fit in it, but it is still a great way of keeping all my bits and pieces in order.

I also have a wooden treasure chest which holds all of my folders of props and handouts.

Lastly I have several Boxes of lego, all organised into trays of heads, bodies, weapons, armour etc. At the start of each game the players build their characters, and then can customise them as the game goes on. Since i've been collecting lego for 20 years theres quite a lot of variety, so pretty much any character can be represented this way.

Now there's a good idea. I too have a wealth of saved LEGOs, somewhere.

I typically try to find an appropriate figure from my fairly extensive collection of Imperial Guardsmen and Sisters of Battle, or try to make a cutesy drawing and print it out on a folded piece of paper so it stands up on the table. Customized LEGO figures sounds like an awesome idea, since there's a 80% chance that I do not have a unique Imperial Guardsman that accurately represents every party member.

Coventry
2017-07-14, 07:50 PM
My initiative tracker is a set of 3x5 index cards.

I write the player name at the top on the left, their initiative roll on the right, and any timed event (such as bleed damage that player has taken) on the rest of the card. Throw in extras for the places where the enemies get to act, and a single "top of the round" card, and keeping track of initiative is a breeze.

Someone holds action to coordinate with another player, they get relocated in the stack.

Eventually the card wears out and has to be replaced, but a package of index cards is really inexpensive.

JAL_1138
2017-07-14, 08:01 PM
Index cards to use as both an initiative tracker and name tents, as well as some basic character stats.

A set of templates for AoE spells (made out of index cards).

Large wet-erase battlemat.

Pathfinder pawns for minis.

Dice tower.

Pugwampy
2017-07-15, 02:52 AM
Well what I bring along to my games sessions... Whole car boot of stuff . A happy DM is well prepared one . In theory the players can run in any direction and I can adjust to that.........IN THEORY .
At home i have room full of props options . Old toys and such. Usually i plan for one big set piece encounter which i do first with 2-4 other lesser silly encounters to fill in the next 6 hours .

A diary , Flip file or two with basic every session used info , eg store prices , weather rolls , trap rolls .etc . Old players Handbook 3.5 . A space case full of stationary and lots of excercise books full of paper , paper and more paper . A hardcover info book and hard cover written monster manual . I find if i write in my fave monster and session used monster states I can get to know and play better . Scrap paper with boss monster stats . USB sticky with all DND/PF pdf,s > if i am running a short Mod another flip file with printed pages .

Pretty square tiles from starter boxes and tile "pieces" that came from 4th edition starter <kinda like a nice cardboard lego dungeon option very useful>.

depending on the encounter idea ...plastic trees , farm animals , wooden blocks and plastic towers for castles / walls.

boxes of minis , heroes and monsters enough for 5 encounters although we only do about 3 ,

dozen dice sets . box of chess pieces and all my stat cards for unknown encounters that minis and all my prep somehow cannot offer ?


Players provide the good big table , laptop with PDF,s , Pizza , coke and coffee and cookies .

Guizonde
2017-07-15, 05:04 AM
how do you deal with identical initiative on index cards? i'm curious about this system, since i usually just jot down on scrap the initiative order as well as wounds lost during the fight. in the case of identical init, i put a slash and leave a space:

victim: 23 IIII / beatstick: 23 II
rogue: 17
sniper: 12 III
victim 2: 9 IIIIIIIIII
medic: 4 I

lylsyly
2017-07-15, 06:56 AM
Our "table" is a 4 ft x 8 ft whiteboard with a 1 inch grid painted onto it. Rough in terrain (be it dungeon or wilderness) with dry erase markers before the session/clean up when finished is really easy, whoever is dm'ing that session keeps a rough map hand drawn to denote things of interest (secret door/encounter locations ect). Works really well without consuming a lot of time. Is plenty big enough to handle just about anything (48 squares x 96 squares).

kraftcheese
2017-07-15, 07:24 AM
I have a little bag full of goodies; costume jewelry and interests rocks, that kinda thing. I also really like doing notes and documents for players to look at as well.

JAL_1138
2017-07-15, 10:20 AM
how do you deal with identical initiative on index cards? i'm curious about this system, since i usually just jot down on scrap the initiative order as well as wounds lost during the fight. in the case of identical init, i put a slash and leave a space:

victim: 23 IIII / beatstick: 23 II
rogue: 17
sniper: 12 III
victim 2: 9 IIIIIIIIII
medic: 4 I

Highest Dex goes first in ties. If hanging them off a DM screen, just put the higher dex ahead of the other. If using them as cards like in a deck, just keep them in order.

Coventry
2017-07-15, 10:30 PM
how do you deal with identical initiative on index cards?

Tiebreakers for me are pretty much the same as described by JAL_1138. In order: Dexterity, then highest initiative bonus, then d6 roll-off ... repeated until the tie is broken.

So my breakdown might be:

Card 1: "ROUND CHANGE"
Card 2: victim: 23 IIII
Card 3: beatstick: 23 II
Card 4: rogue: 17
Card 5: sniper: 12 III
Card 6: victim 2: 9 IIIIIIIIII
Card 7: medic: 4 I

Card 1 is acted upon, and then goes to the end of the stack. This continues until the encounter is over, or someone decides to delay their action. For example, if the rogue says to "wait until sniper shoots then pop out the shadows", then I move the rogue's card behind the sniper's, where it stays until someone else does something similar.

In one campaign, I allowed the Leadership feat. One of my players insisted that his cohort always act last in the round. The cohort was always assigned "4" due to a dexterity of 17. That particular card was used every single night of the campaign.

Tetsubo 57
2017-07-16, 05:15 AM
Regardless of the genre I keep a copy of The Pocket Reference guide close at hand. Most useful book I own.

A small side table of the folding variety. Useful for storing things so that you don't clutter up the gaming surface.

Index cards of course.

Guizonde
2017-07-16, 07:32 AM
Tiebreakers for me are pretty much the same as described by JAL_1138. In order: Dexterity, then highest initiative bonus, then d6 roll-off ... repeated until the tie is broken.

So my breakdown might be:

Card 1: "ROUND CHANGE"
Card 2: victim: 23 IIII
Card 3: beatstick: 23 II
Card 4: rogue: 17
Card 5: sniper: 12 III
Card 6: victim 2: 9 IIIIIIIIII
Card 7: medic: 4 I

Card 1 is acted upon, and then goes to the end of the stack. This continues until the encounter is over, or someone decides to delay their action. For example, if the rogue says to "wait until sniper shoots then pop out the shadows", then I move the rogue's card behind the sniper's, where it stays until someone else does something similar.

In one campaign, I allowed the Leadership feat. One of my players insisted that his cohort always act last in the round. The cohort was always assigned "4" due to a dexterity of 17. That particular card was used every single night of the campaign.

that sounds like a great idea, i'll run it through my pf dm, since i'm not currently dm'ing, but i'm definitely bookmarking this idea. it changes from solving same initiative simultaneously, which may be fun but extremely chaotic (including mutual kills, which are always a laugh)

Pugwampy
2017-07-16, 08:35 AM
Index cards to use as both an initiative tracker and name tents, as well as some basic character stats.

Another player and I tried that once as Dm,s . How do you keep track of spell rounds for players and yourself . I could not .
The old classic scrap paper method works best for that problem so i stick to that .

LordCdrMilitant
2017-07-17, 11:21 AM
I've used a set of blast templates, a tape measure, and a set of blocks.

I put out the characters' tokens on the table and build up the environment around them with the blocks. I have a bin of 300 5"x1"x.3" identical wooden planks, so it's really easy to stack them up into small houses, overhead catwalks, bridges, rubble piles etc.

I don't use a grid, so 1" = 2m.

lacco36
2017-07-17, 12:01 PM
Wireless speaker placed under the table for the music (gave it the right acoustics).

Lots of sountracks & ambient tracks (forest ambience, dungeon ambience).

M&Ms used as Fate points. Made players especially interested in spending them and they liked the compels better.

Candles & fireplace during winter weekend games.