Thursday, 8 January 2015

Tabletop Gaming Hacks (game theory)

I spoke with a friendly American chap at a convention last year about a couple of gaming tricks I use and he was kind enough to say that those tips were the kinds of things he wants to hear about in convention panels/workshops.

I guess that would make a good presentation, but only if you had enough clever content to fill an hour.

Regardless, here are my favourite hacks (predominantly for classic tabletop roleplaying and miniature gaming.

Paper Clips
Constantly erasing and rewriting hit points and the like wears through a character sheet pretty quickly. Instead, write a numbered track down the margin of your character sheet and keep track with a paperclip. Multiple tracks can be used, or even one track could hold several clips each coloured to represent different factors. This method was popularised by Pinnacle in Deadlands, but the core principle can help in a variety of games. Use it for tracking health, spell points, ammo, rounds of combat, sanity, and whatever else you can name.

Decoupage Dice Towers
A dice tower is a wonderful tool when you're doing a lot of die-handling, but bring a sense of olde-worlde charm to your gaming table by pasting on some decoration. But not flowers and shit. Print or photocopy charts, tables and other rules and paste them onto your tower for easy reference during play. Or cut up sections of GM screens and chuck them on there. Stabler than a DM screen, too.

Lazy Susan Battlemap
Put a 1inch square/hex map onto a lazy Susan and set it in the middle of your table. Use it for cramped minis combat scenes. With a bit of terrain it makes a nice centrepiece as well as allowing you to see the field from another direction all without leaving your chair. Tip - laminate the sheet so you can easily use a non permanent marker to draw in walls and such.

Edible Miniatures
When facing a horde of weinies, try using sweets instead of figurines. If I get to eat a goblin M&M after I kill it I'm gonna want to get my murder on. Tiny Teddies Got To War is this idea taken to an extreme.

Egg Cartons
Perfect makeshift dice trays and holders.

Colour Coded Characters
Allocate each player a colour and paint the bases of their models in that colour. Easy to find a character when I'm looking for where Red's min is. If you're really adventurous, get the players to paint their own model, but containing their colour theme.

I'm keen on hearing more.

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