Sunday, April 18, 2010

Unusual Gaming Aids

I spent a large part of Saturday doing a little house work.  Dishes, laundry, organising... bleh.  I still have a lot left to do, but I made some progress.  After that I took a break, and laid down for a bit of a rest, and started brainstorming about my next blog entry.  I'm sure I had some great ideas, but as I was telling myself to get up, and start writing... I fell asleep.  Oh well... pfffft go the ideas...

Actually, I remember one of the topics I was thinking about, and it had to do with non-traditional gaming aids.  Something besides the usual battlemats, and minis, maybe the odd prop, but something different...

I was thinking about Silly Putty® as a miniature, ( perfect for blobs, and you can get it in a variety of colors ), and was trying to think of other unusual gaming aids.  A lot of people will use theme music and sound effects, but how many GMs use other "atmospheric" game dressings?  Like perhaps black light bulbs?  Or a fog machine?  Actually, even with a chiller these things aren't the best idea.  I discovered this at my first ever Halloween party.  I was using a chiller, which causes the fog to hug the ground, and it still gave someone a bit of a problem due to their asthma.   Oh well, live and learn.

What about a strobe light?  I discovered that a strobe light in complete darkness, combined with blowing soap bubbles, is down right freakiness.  I'm not sure how you would use that in a gaming session, but maybe a LARP?

I guess if the atmospheric dressings effect the game in an adverse way, then they should only be used a short time for a very dramatic effect.

One time I wanted some unusual terrain.  I actually needed to depict some strange, rocky growths, so I used some popcorn, popped with a hot air popper, and hot glued it to some cardboard.  Then I spray painted it red.  The players where to say the least, unimpressed, and just walked through the area without so much as checking out the rocks, or searching the area.  Oh well, the hazards of the sandbox I guess.

All I got for now.  What have you guys used for unusual gaming aids/props?


  1. I've thought about picking up some Nickelodeon Green Slime at the toy store before, but never actually gotten around to it.

  2. Hhhhmmm... might be good to put in terrain that has a pit. A slime filled pit. I would imagine it would be hard to move around as a miniature.