Ultimate Gaming Gear!

Posted by Spat on May 20, 2011 in Gadgets, Reviews, RPG |

A lot of people are still waiting for Wizards of the Coast to release their “Virtual Tabletop” for Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. When it was announced three years ago, it was supposed to revolutionize the way we play D&D, and make the games run more smoothly, with less need for props and other accessories.

When I first started playing D&D back in the early 80’s, all you needed was some dice, a pencil, and some paper.

Nowadays, our gaming table is 12′ long and COVERED with gaming gear.  And cake.  Mike always brings cake.

So here’s a rundown of (gasp!) almost 30 years of gaming tool upgrades, here’s what our gaming group can’t live without!

Initiative Tracker

Combad Pad Initiative Tracker


Combat Pad Initiative Grid

Keeping track of who goes after who is a pain in the ass!  This magnetic pad comes with blank magnet markers that you can write on with a dry erase marker to track who goes when, what round it is, and keep other notes on it as well.

For $20, absolutely worth it!

It makes it super easy to change the order of combat on the fly by just moving the magnet to the right spot, and you can tell who goes next with a glance.




Grid Pad

Grid Pad


27″x34″ 1″ Grid Pad

Using the 8.5×11″ grid sheets are a pain.  Using the pre-printed maps are nice, but they rarely have one that’s exactly the way you want it (or that’s big enough for a group of 7 or 8 players), and the roll up dry erase ones are ok, but once Steve brought these to the game, we were hooked.

It’s $60 for 4 pads, each pad with 50 sheets.  That’s a lot of maps!  And you can write notes on these and not worry about them getting wiped off when someone moves their character across it.

Steve recently found a new brand of these that have “Post It” style sticky backs so they don’t move around on the table!

Sheet Protector

Sheet Protector


Sheet Protectors

One thing that always annoyed me with character sheets was tearing through the paper from constantly writing and erasing on them.  Someone in our group came up with this idea, and I love it!  Slip your character sheet inside the sheet protector and write on it with a dry erase marker!  Makes it sooooo much easier to track conditions and mark off hit points!

Card Sheets

Card Sheets


Card Protectors

4th Edition D&D introduced Power Cards, and keeping track of them, keeping them in order, and remembering which ones you’ve used and which ones you haven’t is also a pain!  I had some of these card protectors left over from my Pokemon days (yeah, I used to play in Pokemon tournaments, so what?), and started slipping my Power Cards in them.  Now I can put them in the order that I want them in, and mark them with a Dry Erase when they’re used or active.

Makes tracking your powers so much easier!!



Alea Tools

Alea Tools


Alea Tools Markers

I can’t even begin to explain to you how much of a difference these little magnetic markers have made for our group.

We ordered the DM kit, and it comes with all these different colored 1″ disks that have little magnets inside them.  We made the chart to let us know which color represents which condition.


Drow in Trouble!


The Alea Tool set comes with little sticky sided magnets to attach to your minis, so when your character is bloody, or marked, or whatever, you stick the appropriately colored magnet to the bottom of the mini and then everyone can see what’s affecting him.  This way no one can claim they didn’t know what was going on with the different characters!

Since the magnet is attached to the mini, and there are magnets in the disks, you can pick up the mini and the markers move with it!

Again, if you play D&D, these are a must buy.


Dice Boot

Dice Boot of Doom!


Dice Boot

Drew was the first one to show up to the game with “Dice Accessories”.  His first was a Dice Cup (think Yahtzee).  But after accidentally pouring soda into his Dice Cup and on his dice, he moved up to a Dice Boot.

A Dice Boot is a device that helps randomize the dice rolls you make by making them move through these ramps inside the device.

I decided to make my own (pictured to the left).  While not a requirement for the game, it does help make sure that your dice don’t go flying all over the place and prevents my dog Belle from stealing the dice for her Cthulhu games with the Squirrels.

Happy gaming!

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