Frugal GM Resource: Dollar Store Finds

Frugal GM Resource: Dollar Store Finds
I'm not 100% on this notion, but I think that after nine years or so I've painted myself into a corner with the whole idea of trying to share a Free GM Resource on Mondays. Clearly I haven't been at it for the entire time with breaks and skips, but still.....

The problem, as I see it, is twofold, but I'm only going to focus on the first problem.

Foremost by focusing on "Free" I'm missing out on sharing not only resources that have a cost, but also resources that focus on other areas of concern (time, weight, and ideas/inspiration). Kind of the original idea for this blog!

This is something I can fix easily enough by sharing more resources that are not free, but if I find some good freebies I will still share them!

This morning I was killing time at the "Dollar Store" waiting for my cell phone office to open up and I found some great stuff to help with my game. I picked up three items which I'm sharing today. The reason for the post is really one thing, but since I bought three things for my game I'm going to share all three, and save the "big" money & idea resource for last.

Three dollar store finds

The first find was some real low-hanging fruit: a set of RPG dice. This isn't anything new.....you did know that Dollar Tree carries dice, right? Now as I'm a bit of a dice snob, I'm not really going to use these for my regular dice, but if someone comes to a game sans dice? Here you go. I used to keep an ugly pink set for players to borrow when they forgot their dice, which worked fine until they rolled well and the player preferred them over their regular dice. No more expensive dice to loan out now!

 The second find was something I've been on the lookout for a while as a supply item for terrain building: a smooth disposable aluminum baking pan. There are times when you need some metal for a build, but aluminum foil is just too thin. These pans are much more rigid, but easily cut & sliced. My main problem is that overwhelmingly most pans of this weight are highly patterned. It is hard to find a nice piece of straight, clean thicker metal that you can work easily, but this fits the bill perfectly. One pan also goes a long way, material wise.

The last item, and something I wish I had at my last con, is a simple 4x6 (or 6x4 as they labeled it) plexiglass picture holder. These things run at least three times as much (if you buy in a 10 pack!) at the office supply store and are easily overlooked there to begin with. Now, at a buck this is a cheaper/frugal resource.....but what do you use this for? Well, these work well as a player or a GM. Now in your home game everyone generally knows each other, but at a convention game? With a larger 4x6 notecard and a good black marker you have a relatively unobtrusive name placard. The player (or GM) can write the PC's name on the card and no more "What's your name again?" or calling players by name instead of PC name, which can be an in-game drawback. Also, if the GM needs it, you could put the PC's AC on the card as well.

Now these particular picture holders are angled back a bit, which I like a bit more at the table, but if you find/use the more vertical ones, you can add another card facing the player where they can record info if they want, assuming they have a wet-erase marker than can write on plastic. I've used this as a player to keep track of expendable items, HP tally....and when I was playing HackMaster, largest hit (was worth extra HP to have the "biggest hit" of the game and IIRC taking the biggest critical hit as well).

1 comment :

  1. Good haul! I like the idea of a bonus for biggest hit of the session, as well.