Favorite Tool

What is your favorite tool to use? Mine is hands down a pill box with the lids removed to help keep my spell slots organized (and protected from excited movements at the table).
 

Legatus_Legionis

< BLAH HA Ha ha >
As a DM, I enjoy using the cards from TSR's Dungeon Master Decks series. Be them the Magical items cards, Wizard spell cards, or Cleric's spell cards, or the collector cards.

So having those quick reference cards at the hand for game use (after spending time getting them out of the decks to use for my specific module/session).

I just wished TSR could have expanded them more, and with some better artwork.

PC: "What do I see?"

DM, raises a card with picture of said monster on it and does not reveal name of creature.
 

R_J_K75

Adventurer
As I DM, one of my players bought me a gavel to get the players attention when everyone started getting a little too drunk and the conversation started wandering. I had so much fun with it that it was retired after two sessions because, as with great power comes great responsibility, and a drunk DM should never be given that much power.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
As I DM, one of my players bought me a gavel to get the players attention when everyone started getting a little too drunk and the conversation started wandering. I had so much fun with it that it was retired after two sessions because, as with great power comes great responsibility, and a drunk DM should never be given that much power.
Or a hammer.
 

Richards

Adventurer
For my campaigns it's initiative cards. I make those myself, finding images of monsters, PCs, or NPCs we'll use in the game (usually using Google Images), scale them to the size of a normal playing card, print them off, cut them to shape, glue them onto the back of an index card, cut them out again, write the creature's name on the back, and cover it with Con*Tact paper and cut it out one more time, this time leaving about a 1/8" border around the card.

The end result is a picture the size of a standard playing card that shows the players what monster they see (and, like Legatus_Legionis above, that means I don't have to tell the players what monster they're fighting) and shows the other players what each PC looks like. When we roll for initiative I jot the results on a piece of scratch paper, then build my initiative deck in order. The top card shows whose turn it is; when that player/monster takes its move the corresponding card goes to the bottom of the initiative deck. If you hold an action, the card goes sideways in the deck so you can easily see there's still a potential "out-of-sequence" move pending. And best of all, it allows me to decide what all of the monsters and NPCs look like. If the Monster Manual has sub-par artwork for a given monster, I can find a different picture that better represents what that monster looks like in my game. And if I can't find anything, I can always just draw it myself on the back of an index card and build my initiative card that way.

Over the years, I have amassed four index card boxes of these things. I only ever made the cards I'd need for the next adventure but once built I had the initiative card available for future use. (And if something comes up where there's suddenly a need for an initiative card I don't have - usually when a spellcasting PC summons something we've never used before - a standard playing card fills in just fine for the interim.)

Johnathan
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
In session-- clothespins for each character and group of foes to track iniative. Attached to the top of my DM screen. Everyone knows the order, who's on deck, and everything.

Out-of-session - Microsoft Word. Really, using features like headings and such to easily navigate, rearrange, and such makes things quick. Especially for games where the publisher sells PDFs so I can just copy-n-paste stat blocks and such.
 
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Fanaelialae

Adventurer
My favorite tool of late is Fantasy Calendar which allows you to generate a highly customized calendar, and can even pre-generate weather and lunar cycles. The only downside has been that I've probably spent time playing with it that might have been more productive spent elsewhere. :LOL:
 

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