Carpe Blogiem: My Gamemaster’s Kit

+Mook Wilson is one of those lovely people you meet on the Internet and wish to Glob that he lived in your area – or at least visited every once and a while. He’s just a genuinely nice guy. He posted this very cool link of his GM kit on his website. On Facebook someone mentioned “Hey, why don’t you show [my] GMing bag” so I thought…yeah, sure, why not? So here it is, my “Gamemaster’s Kit.” Do note, that I use my computer heavily during my games and my computer bag and gear are not included in the pictures below.

The order of my gear varies when I put it into the bag, but starting at the top…
#1: These are my pregens, scrap files/notes, etc. This changes from campaign to campaign, but I keep a stack of characters like this for folks who drop in and the notes are filed away in my campaign drawer when not in use. I’ve gone mostly digital, but hand written notes are often the only method I have for when my ideas show up at an inconvenient time (as they always do).
#2: My GM Screen, clipboard, and scratchpad (for notes to turn into a log later). I have a new GM screen – but I’m not breaking it out until this one falls completely a part.
#3: My hard copy of the Basic Set (I occasionally include other oft-referenced books for players depending on the campaign). Again, I’m a digital guy, but hard copy has its uses.
#4: My Dice Corral w. whiteboard cover. See below for more information on this.
#5: Player scratchpads. For marking off ammo, FP, HP, etc. I don’t keep track of this stuff because I have a strict honor system for anyone who plays with me. I usually don’t have any issues.
#6: Player session notepads. This is for important notes that are needed from session to session.
#7: My Asus Transformer (it’s a TF101). I keep all my important gamemastering info on this: PDFs, maps, story notes, character sheet copies, etc. I have the same info on my computer too, but sometimes I get up and move around or need to confer with my co-GM/Adversary. I really don’t know how I got along without having all that information at my fingertips. Oh, wait, yes I do, I carried 70 to 80 lbs, of gaming stuff every session. Twice that for Palladium or White Wolf.
#8: My Map Box. See below for more information on this.
#9: Map Hex Tokens. Made from card stock, I can field 150 non-PCs (PCs get their own token).
#10: TI-83 Calculator. Like +Douglas Cole‘s fetishistic tendencies for Excel, I needs mah Clak-a-later to function.
#11: Emergency Fluid Flavoring Cache. Sometimes you need tea. Sometimes you need kool-aid. Being diabetic means I’m usually thirsty and I don’t always want water. Ditto on having sweeteners since I don’t expect anyone to have what I might need.
#12: Book Stand. Props up my tablet, books, notes, whatever.
#13: Dice Bag. See below for more information on this.
#14: Chessex Double-Sided Tactical Maps. I have three maps. A small, medium, and almost-enough-for-half-distance-for-a-longbow one. Since I use tactical combat near-exclusively, they are often used.

The content of my dice bag (an old 20’s Pathfinder map case, #1) contains…
#2: Loaner dice bag, I’m funny about my dice, there must be a specific number (36 12mm and 12 16mm) with the exact same color and I don’t like folks touching them unless I give permission. It’s superstitious and silly nonsense…but I do it anyways. This bag contains loaner dice that are neither ordered nor matching and to be honest they drive me a little crazy sometimes so I try to think about them too much.
#3: GM dice bag. My dice in all their splendid perfect glory.
#4: Token bag. Glass beads I use as character points, which my players can then use to spend for whatever rules I have in play to do that.
#5: Poker chip bag. Same as the glass beads, but I use them for other things too (like when card games pop up; see below).

Dice Corral
My custom dice corral was made by my best friend, C. for me after several occasions where a cheating player wouldn’t roll his dice out in the open. Because he’s awesome, he made the box multipurpose and easily portable. What’s not in this picture is that I keep my GM screen in there.
#1 Dice corral with felt lining and handle on the side. With this, you can game in the living room as easily as at the table.
#2 Deck of cards – card games come up a lot in my campaigns for some reason so I keep a deck around.
#3 Assorted timers (5 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes, and 1 minute) for when I want to put the pressure on for players to make decisions or give a real world indicator of game time.
#4 The top of the corral is a whiteboard that I can use to illustrate points or concepts via a dry erase marker.

My map case:
#1 Tape measures for map or when using unlined surfaces (e.g., a table). Also used when I’m being lazy and don’t want to count the hexes on a tactical map.
#2 Markers for the tactical maps. I wish I had more colors, but the basic set works just as well.
#3 Assorted pens, pencils, dry erase markers, etc. For note-taking players (or myself) and ot use on my whiteboard.

Some close-ups of the main kit.

My Gaming Bag
This was a gift from my kid sister from a while back and has LOTS of pocketsies and handles (which a gamer needs for stuff and things). It also distributes the weight fairly equally.

Picking Over the Bones
Depending on the campaign, the contents can change. Sometimes I’ll bring chessboards, go, or the occasional other oddity. I’ve also got a map projector scheme I’m working on so I can eliminate the maps too (or at least switch to a roll up whiteboard). Current issue is creating a base so that I can project ONTO the table, I’m thinking a camera tripod might work here, but I’ll need to custom fit some parts and it’s just a side project anyways. I also occasionally bring my cat, Nimbus, along with me as he can help sense my glucose fluctuations. I’m still trying to get him classified as a medical assistance animal (service animals cannot be cats – for whatever dumb reason). When I do bring him along he has his own kit of stuff he needs. So there you go, that’s my kit. What does your kit contain?

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