For a game that takes almost completely in my imagination, I find I need a surprisingly large amount of paraphernalia to play.
As I’m the kind of chap that likes to be organised, I’ve tinkered with my gamer’s kit for years now. I’ve seen too many people, for example, forget their character sheet and derail an entire session. I’m not going to be “that guy.”
That’s why I’ve created a “gamer’s kit” which comprises everything I need to have a great game. So what do I have in my gaming kit? Well that depends on if I’m playing or GMing.
When I’m playing, I normally have the following things with me:
- Dice: I had a player who used to always turn up without any dice. It drove me insane. Dice are integral to the game and assuming you can just borrow someone else’s is presumptuous and/orrude. People can get funny about other people touching their dice. Bring your own.
- Character Sheet: I always ensure my character sheet is up to date before the session. If I’m close to levelling, I also bring along a pre-levelled version to save game time. Watching people level their characters is less than thrilling.
- Rulebooks: I normally just store these on my iPad mini. It takes up no space at the table and the various search functions are so handy.
- Spare Paper, Pencils etc.: Being able to take notes, record damage, ongoing spell effects and so on is handy. You should never be without paper and pencils. I’m also a huge fan of post it notes. You can attach them to virtually anything and they are very easy to see. I carry a variety of sized notes in my kit.
- Character Figure: I can’t paint to save my life, but over the years I’ve built up a nice collections of very well painted figures. It’s cool to have a decent character figure on the table.
- Snacks & Drinks: Gaming is thirsty work and I always bring snacks with me to keep my energy levels up.
When I’m running a game (which is normally now my Borderland of Adventure campaign), with the exception of a character sheet and character figure, I carry many of the same things I use to play. However, being the GM means I’ve got to bring more stuff:
- The Adventure: It is unlikely the session will be a roaring success without the actual module. Of all the things in my GM’s kit it is the most vital. Without it, the session will probably fail to go ahead.
- Spare Encounters: You can’t plan for every eventuality so it’s good to have a couple of prepared encounters you can drop into the session when you need to think, if the PCs are going the wrong way or you just want to pad things out a bit.
- GM Screen: I’ve talked about GM screens before; sufficed to say I think these are a vital piece of a GM’s kit.
- Winging It Books: I like books that enable me to add dungeon features, NPCs, richly detailed treasure and so on quickly and easily to a game. They make me look awesomely prepared when in fact I’m frantically winging it! Many Raging Swan Press releases fall into this category and are a direct result of a need I suddenly discovered I had during a game.
- Campaign Folder: This contains my campaign notes which include details of prominent NPCs, places the PCs have been before, the PCs’ backgrounds, copies of previous adventures and so on. This can get pretty hefty, but some of my players have the irritating habit of asking questions about events that occurred weeks or months ago.
- Sorted Monster Figures: Rummaging through a gigantic pile of minis to find the right one is a pain. Pre-sorting minis means the game doesn’t grind to a halt while I look for that perfect figure I’ve got lying around somewhere.
- Battle Mat: A battle mat is very handy for combats. It’s less handy if you can’t actually clean it in-between battles. That’s why along with pens, I always bring tissues and cleaning spray.
Help Fellow Gamers!
Do you carry anything else with you to a session that you find jolly useful? Tell me what extra stuff you bring to games in the comments below and help your fellow gamers be ready for anything!