Work-in-Progress: HackMaster "GM Battlemat"
Part of it is the city, but I just have more fun at Origins and it feels to me like the convention really wants me to have fun, where GenCon has always felt like a hand in my wallet.
I've organized events at both conventions and the experience on that end is night & day....
...anyway, I'm assuming I might be GMing HackMaster and I have to be prepared for some bigger battles. My home group had a HUGE battle our last session and I tested a possible solution to make things easier for me as a GM. It worked out only "OK", but a major limitation was my design.....I only had about an hour of prep time and a local printer.
Since I have a month, and access to some professional printing, I've decided to take another stab at this "GM Battlemat" that I'm going to use at Origins. The key idea is to cram a lot of combatants stats in a small space, but more importantly, line a counter up so I can quickly & easily scan down a line to see who goes on any given count.
Now this WIP picture is hideous...and it should be at the stage I'm at.
The ugly purple won't be on the finished aide. I use it for contrast when placing elements in Photoshop.
There is room on the left for some vital combat data and the focus is on the count-up. The count-up tracker has some extra data points for HP count and ToP checks. On the right I'll put some quick look-up info so if you do have to open your books in combat you can go right to the correct page.
This thing is designed to print out on 11" x 17" paper at Fed-Ex/Kinkos and get laminated for under $5.