What are your GM essentials?

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« on: <10-29-19/1512:30> »
I'm talking about notebooks, calculators, GM screens, laptops, anything you use to organize and run your game. Personally, I use a scribbler, printed NPC stat blocks, GM screen, poker chips as edge tokens, an iPad for music, and a battle mat with dry-erase markers and 1-inch square card stock tokens with PCs and NPCs on them. I use to run my games theater of the mind but I'm liking the battle mat. What do you use?
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #1 on: <10-29-19/1540:08> »
Notepad for tracking initiative/wounds (though I did buy an initiative tracker of Starfinder), A4 paper for drawing maps, poker chips for Edge tokens, lots of dice in different colours for easy counting and a few foldable dice trays for proper throwing. Working on more organized stuff.
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #2 on: <10-29-19/1557:24> »
GM screen, and a laminated portrait of my spirit animal Jaime Lannister.  Seriously.  I use the back for tracking notes, initiative, and etc with wet-erase pens.

Oh yeah, and dice.  Lucky dice for when you need to punish cocky players, unlucky dice for when the players need a break, and some more dice on top of that too because it's Shadowrun.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.


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« Reply #3 on: <10-30-19/1101:09> »
A pack of unlined 3x5 index cards:
  • When you start a new campaign, have each player fold a card in half lengthwise and write their character name, metatype, and archetype on both sides of the tent. Makes a nifty nameplate to help everyone at the table learn and remember who's who.
  • If you use a battlemat, you can fold cards in half widthwise to make standing markers for buildings, vehicles, etc., or lay them flat to mark terrain, blast areas, spell effects, and so on. If there's a pair of scissors handy, you can trim them to size.
  • When the magician summons more than one spirit, jot the stats on notecards and pass them around the table to other players. The summoner still calls the shots, but the other players can interpret the commands and roll the dice for the spirit.
  • Ditto riggers with multiple drones on autopilot. Keeps the minion army from hogging the spotlight.
  • If you need to pass secret information to one player, jot it on a notecard and fold it in half. If you do it often, be sure to pass a blank card now and then just to mess with people.


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« Reply #4 on: <10-31-19/1029:44> »
A tablet with a PDF of the adventure I'm running
A couple of pages with my own notes on how to run the adventure, stats, etc
A bunch of dice, pencils, etc.

The players all have a laptop because they maintain their characters in Herolab, but ever since my laptop broke, I haven't really missed it.

I usually make a sketch of the situation on regular A4 paper, though I did once use a massive battle mat. With the wrong type of marker apparently, because it didn't entirely come off.


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« Reply #5 on: <11-25-19/1620:34> »
It has changed over the years but currently I GM with the following items (I use these items no matter the system):
  • My Surface Tablet
  • OneNote File with campaign notes, Initiative tracker, a current copy of PCs, custom tables for just about every conceivable need
  • Extra characters just in case a new player shows up or I need a quick NPC.
  • Ooodles and Ooodles of dice
  • Printed version of the scenario AND a PDF on my Surface. I make notes and highlight the PDF version. I find it useful to have a scenario open to two different places.