Your most used accessories?

not-so-newguy

Explorer
An 8 by 11 sheet of Random D20 rolls that I use for determining random encounters. I started doing this 4-5 years ago and it has helped streamline Random Encounters for me at the game-table. I can get an idea of when a Random Encounter will occur and be a few steps ahead of the PCs. This allows me to formulate a strategy for placing the Encounter when/where it would reasonably occur. Also the players don’t hear the clattering of the D20, so they don’t know exactly how often I am checking. Although they’ll usually have a sense through narrative (more dangerous areas = more Encounter Checks).

The important parts to using this method is having a clear sense of how often to roll for random encounters and being disciplined enough to stick to that frequency.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Yep, this has been an issue for me too, which is why I appreciated the AngryGM’s idea (that this TimeTracker is derived from, and makes so convenient).

What final size did you go for?
Update: Just ordered a fabric version from Vivyx (14"x11") for portability. I'll post a pic when it arrives.
 

Mr. Wilson

Explorer
My Chessex battle map, My minis, the DnD Tiles they created, my homebrewed index cards based off this idea by SabreCat.

I have created multiple versions of those cards for Star Wars, DnD, and Vampire. For 5th edition, they award inspiration and may grant you a bonus d6 for moving the plot in specific directions (usually making it harder on yourself).
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
vinyl map and dice and miniatures obviously. Less obvious is the AD&D core rules CDROM, because it still has a ton of use outside of the actual 2e mechanics. Seriously, best game aid ever released, and I wished there was a 5e version of it.
 

thorgrit

Villager
I use a deck of cards as an alternative to initiative tracking, similar to Savage Worlds' initiative system. Being an Eberron themed game, I also use Action Points, which I track by giving players colored aquarium crystals (sometimes with different colors having extra effects). At one point in time I had a bent coat hanger wire in the shape of a Fireball, to lay down over a grid, but I lost it in a move. (I didn't spend a lot of time looking for it, as my group had switched to 4e at the time, where Fireball became Firecube.)
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Yep, this has been an issue for me too, which is why I appreciated the AngryGM’s idea (that this TimeTracker is derived from, and makes so convenient).

What final size did you go for?
Roughly 8.25 x 6.5 inches with about 0.25 inch of clear laminated "lip" around it. The size works well for me.
 

Imaculata

Adventurer
Dungeon tiles! I love these things. Creating maps is a lot of work, and it helps so much if you can quickly assemble a few rooms and corridors, AND have it look good. I'm so glad that 5th edition released Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated, because those are useful regardless of what edition you play.
 

Mookus

Villager
I have a couple of posts detailing in fetishistic detail all the bits, bobs, and accoutrements I love, but one I don't often see mentioned is this dice shaker I stumbled over on Amazon. Put in whatever dice you need, they shake up nicely, and there are never, ever wild rolls that go careening off the table. I love it.
 

CydKnight

Explorer
Since I now use it in-game as well as to keep track of things out of game, I have to say my laptop. After that I would have to say my Chessex Megamat or my GameScience dice or my various minis.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Dungeon tiles! I love these things. Creating maps is a lot of work, and it helps so much if you can quickly assemble a few rooms and corridors, AND have it look good. I'm so glad that 5th edition released Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated, because those are useful regardless of what edition you play.
Can you tell me how you get the most out of these for actually use in most of your sessions. I don't want to yuk on your yum. I'm seriously curious because when I got back into gaming with 5e, I bought a number of the Dungeon Tile sets (I think from 4e) and found them frustrating to use. I even read DM David's Complete Guide to Using Dungeon Tiles and use his system to keep them organized.

Mostly, they have stayed on my shelf unused.

When Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated came out, I bought them as a knee-jerk reaction, but had buyers remorse because they were pretty similar to what I had and, again, just gathered dust on a shelf.

I find them difficult to organize in a convenient way, difficult to prepare in advance, and WAY too much bother to try to use them on the fly. They are anathema to a sandbox campaign.

My current digital battlemap display make them entirely unnecessary, but even before I had that, I found that for on-the-fly encounters, a chessex battlemap and multiple colors of wet erase markers were for more convenient. For a more realistic look, I could throw down a felt, gridless battlemap and some terrain pieces far faster than digging through my dungeon tiles and trying to puzzle something together.

For encounter location that are prepared in advance, I would found it more convenient to just print out the map on a large-format printer. I've even pieced together large maps from multiple letter-sized pages. Because I can tape them together and roll them up. Even when not working with published material or from my large collection of map images, I found that I would rather create a map in a program like Dungeonographer and print it out than use Dungeon Tiles.

With Dungeon Tiles I could never get it to look how I wanted and it tool loads of time to piece together something passable. You can't easily prepare multiple locations in advance without more craft work to stick them to foam boards, assuming one location doesn't need pieces used in another location.

I tried very hard and spent many hours to make them work before I concluded that they were the worst of all worlds. Not convenient enough for quick and rough locations (use a Chessex map, Flipboard, etc.) and not enough fidelity to ever capture the exact dimensions of the locations they are mean to represent (unless you build your adventures specifically with Dungeon Tiles in mind).

What I've done, so that I can get some use out of my Dungeon Tile investment is that I removed all the terrain "overlay" pieces. Things like bushes, lakes, tents, campsites, etc. I organize these in envelopes with all of my 2D miniatures and terrain pieces, alphabetically.

All the large tiles, however, stay in their boxes gathering dust.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I have a couple of posts detailing in fetishistic detail all the bits, bobs, and accoutrements I love, but one I don't often see mentioned is this dice shaker I stumbled over on Amazon. Put in whatever dice you need, they shake up nicely, and there are never, ever wild rolls that go careening off the table. I love it.
Loved reading your blog posts! I'm a sucker for discussing various "kits." DM kits, bug-out bags, every-day carry kits, what's in your briefcase...They are my version of unboxing videos. OCD porn. :)

The glass beads from Bed, Bath, and Beyond are something I find very useful as well. But I get mine from the Ax Man, a local surplus store. I've found little tokens like these even more important since I switched to digital battlemap. What I do is a get smaller glass or plastic bead (the ones that are flat on one side). There are times when I want to show a very large area, so I shrink it to a smaller scale and we switch from miniatures to little glass beads. Having multiple colors lets you easily note individuals, enemies/alies, and conditions.
 

S'mon

Legend
What I've done, so that I can get some use out of my Dungeon Tile investment is that I removed all the terrain "overlay" pieces. Things like bushes, lakes, tents, campsites, etc.
I too take out those 'points of interest' tiles and stick them in with my minis - or in a folder
printed battlemats. Trying to build dungeons at the table with dungeon tiles is hopless but adding a couple to a Paizo flipmat can work well.

I do use the 8x8 tiles now and then too. I just don't try to construct integrated maps.
 

Volund

Explorer
Dice...tray. Don't let your dice bounce around, knocking over minis, lost under the table. Easy to make with a box and some felt from Michael's. No excuses. Here are the ones I make for friends:

Dice tray2.jpg
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Chalkboard and chalk, minis, DM screen, pen, paper, rulebooks, beer, beer mugs.

That and some random number generators in a bag is really all we need. Anything else is superfluous (and believe me, we have lots of anything elses!).
 

Imaculata

Adventurer
Can you tell me how you get the most out of these for actually use in most of your sessions. I don't want to yuk on your yum. I'm seriously curious because when I got back into gaming with 5e, I bought a number of the Dungeon Tile sets (I think from 4e) and found them frustrating to use. I even read DM David's Complete Guide to Using Dungeon Tiles and use his system to keep them organized.
I use them mostly for one encounter at a time, where positioning is important. Whenever a big battle occurs in my campaign, it easily consumes the whole session, so I rarely need to build more than one location with the dungeontiles. I do however build multiple floors for such a location, or adjacent locations.

How I use them, is I lay out the dungeon on a thin piece of hardboard, so that I can easily place it on the table whenever I need it. I have enough tiles to build almost any location, and I don't feel I have all that many of them to begin with. I use mostly the old dungeontile sets, which are much smaller in quantity compared to the recent Dungeontiles Reincarnated sets. I add miniature furniture on top of the tiles, for extra dressing.

I don't use 3d tiles much, because they are annoying to assemble and store. As for storing and sorting the tiles themselves, I merely order them by shape, with tiles of the same theme stacked on top of one another. There's no easy way to separate the various tilesets, so I just don't bother.

I think the trick to getting the most out of them, is knowing when to use them, and when not to use them. If your players are going to be exploring a very large dungeon, then you may run out of tiles soon. But if they are merely exploring a modest location (such as a tomb, tavern, marketplace or a cathedral) then dungeon tiles work perfectly, provided that you've prepared the layout before the session. Trying to assemble a whole new location during the session is something I would advise against.

If you're wondering what all of this looks like... for a recent battle I had the players explore a system of mine tunnels, leading up to a large underground cathedral that had two floors. I created two parts of the mines on seperate boards (with one including the cathedral exterior), and then both floors of the cathedral side by side, on two additional boards. So 4 boards full of dungeon tiles in total. I swapped them out as the players progressed through this dungeon. With this particular set up, I definitely hit the limits of my collection of dungeontiles. But I have recently bought Dungeontiles Reincarnated, so I should no longer have that issue. With my old tiles and the new ones, I feel I can build just about anything right now.

I'm looking to also order the City set, because I don't have any rooftops, streets or sewers yet. They will come in handy for something I have planned for a future session. And for people who have bought Dungeontiles Reincarnated like I have, remember that you can also use the box itself as an elevated battle arena.
 
Last edited:

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
[MENTION=6801286]Imaculata[/MENTION], this sounds really nice, do you have some pics you can share?
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
I too take out those 'points of interest' tiles and stick them in with my minis - or in a folder
printed battlemats. Trying to build dungeons at the table with dungeon tiles is hopless but adding a couple to a Paizo flipmat can work well.

I do use the 8x8 tiles now and then too. I just don't try to construct integrated maps.
I find some of the 4x4 tiles to be good for say marking cube AoE. Plop down a messy 4x4 bush or tree and call it "entangle" etc. There are enough 4x4, 3x3, etc spaces for AoE spells to make them quite useful.

It's kinda fun, especially if you like to use illusions, many of which are cubed.
 

Advertisement

Top