Friday, September 4, 2009

Player Handouts and Props

Let your creative juices flow when creating handouts for your players and props for your game.  In a recent game I DM’ed, the players intercepted a scroll that was originally intended for them.  The bearer of the scroll had attempted to burn it, but the players were able to put out the flame.  I handed to my player a cursive-written (well, cursive font) scroll with the right inch or so burned off (please be careful when using flames and fire).  I used the ribbon and beads from my wife’s old bookmark to tie up the scroll.  The party seemed pretty impressed with the prop, and it took less than 10 minutes to prepare.

Here is a list of other handouts or props I have used or may use:

  • Old maps - You can make a map look old either by buying paper that looks old, or soaking the paper in coffee then letting it dry.  Burning the edges may also help.
  • Gold pieces - I have seen poker chips spray-painted gold used before.  Use these as treasure or as the gold pieces in Three Dragon Ante.
  • Tavern/Inn menu - My players in New Sarshel visited The Griffon’s Roost, and upon being seated by the waitress, they were given a menu (see below).
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  • Foreign/old currency - Use these as gold or silver pieces.
  • Old bottles - It might sound cheesy, but wait til you see your player’s face when they open it and there is a letter or a potion inside.
  • Old jewelry - Your player can really wear that amulet.  Ask your Grandma or head to a local antique shop.
  • Treasure cards - I used a Magic the Gathering card set maker/editor (http://magicseteditor.sourceforge.net) to make treasure cards - different coin values and amounts, gems, jewels, magic items, etc. to give to the players as they find treasure, to give them a visual and to help them keep track of their loot (see below). 
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What player handouts and props have you used?  What have you, as a player, received or seen?  We would love to hear about how you are making your game more exciting and fun to play!

Until next time, have fun and keep the dice rolling!

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