RPG a Day: The Essentials

27. What are your essential tools for good gaming?

At the root, the only essential elements for me to have a good game are a few friends who want to play “pretend” together and for approximately the same types of stories, rules, or experiences.

Then again, we all love our toys, tricks, and hacks.

I have mentioned before some of the things I always bring with me to a game convention, particularly my beloved All Rolled Up filled with pens, index cards and dice, dry-erase media such as my Noteboard, and a variety of card decks as oracles and visual inspiration. I also carry a blank book to take game notes and sketch scenes, and lists of names to draw from for new characters.

And here is another one I keep mentioning, but there is always one new reader who may find it useful: Robin’s Laws of Good Game Mastering, by Robin D. Laws (Steve Jackson Games), an excellent, easily read, and inexpensive primer for new GMs.


RPG a Day: Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!

ARU14. Favourite RPG accessory

Ah, by now you know that I have a terrible time trying to narrow down favourites. Let me share not one, but several of my favourite accessories:

  • All Rolled Up, Fil and Paul Baldowki’s creation to carry your gaming kit in style. I have the Harker Adventurer and I love it.
  • backstory-boxmockupBackstory Cards, to help quickly create strong character and setting ties.
  • Deck of Fate, which can serve not only to replace Fate dice, track initiative, or substitute for fate points, but also as an oracle or inspiration.
  • The Noteboard, a folding dry-erase mat with grid on one side.
  • Blank plastic cards, dry-erase/wet-erase
  • Plastic card stands and other game parts from Spiel Pro.
  • Dry-erase sheets
  • Transparent acrylic table stands—a letter-size one for the game poster (used at conventions) and small ones for individual character pictures.
  • Small standing dry-erase board as initiative/precedence tracker.
  • Sticky notes of all colours and shapes!
  • And online: Roll20, Google Drive, Vyew.


Erasable plastic cards, index cards, playing cards