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106

I spent several years making document props for my D&D group on the cheap, and here's my learning: Browning paper gives the least effect for the most effort when ageing a document. Don’t think “age,” think “history of abuse.” Ageing a document is about mimicking the history of that piece of paper. Before you start ageing it, you need to have at least a ...


41

It's extremely rare, but some players, GMs, or entire groups enjoy it. I've played D&D for almost fifteen years, and until my current group, we never used props or costumes. This is despite the fact that my groups over the years have been made up largely of theater students, Renaissance Festival participants, cosplayers, and other types who enjoy ...


37

No. It's not very common at all. The reason you see it on television and in videos is because it's a distinctive way of showing an interest in "fantasy" and in depicting characters who are extreme in their love of games. Sometimes, you'll see a GM or other moderator wear a funny hat to indicate their position and to mock the serious tone of some fantasy ...


33

Think about what the purpose of such a map is. Medieval maps tend to fall into three categories: road maps coastal maps maps of the world If it's for pilgrims and merchants traveling by road, it'll have all the major roads marked, along with inns and convenient places to stop to water the animals -- and it won't describe the wilderness or the sea at ...


31

Just Age A paper document, as it ages, has 4 effects of note that are standard: it has acid degradation it has in ink migration or ink/toner de-fixation it suffers in oxidation of ink it becomes brittle Parchment, being a subset of leather, has similar issues, but in different order: Ink migration Ink oxidation brittleness browning Vellum can be ...


30

Can you imagine watching your favorite movies without a soundtrack? Film directors use music to control audience expectation and trigger emotional responses. As a GM, you too can make use of these techniques at your gaming table. The simplest plan is to put an album on to play. Slip in a CD, get your iPod out, and press play. I once ran a Sci-Fi campaign ...


22

If you have traditional writing utensils, you can use milk or lemon juice as ink. Both work pretty well with simple nib. I prefer lemon juice, because there is less chance for it to rot. Get some juice Filter it to obtain clear liquid Use nib pen to write what you want When the time comes, tell your player to heat his character sheet over a candle. Gently! ...


16

The Bottle The hardest part about this is finding a good bottle. Bottles that look like "potion bottles" aren't that easy to find most of the year. A good prop shop might have them, but often times they're found in antique stores. Another option is LARP (Live Action Roleplaying) stores. They're all about equipment and props, and some will carry potion ...


15

I've seen large creatures represented using lengths of cloth, held on poles, by two or more people. Think of the way dragons are represented on parades. This works really well. It's been used by theatre companies for all sorts of mythical or dreamlike creatures. It's a good combination between physical representation and players' imagination.


15

Real-world medieval maps tended to be a mix of indicative and artistic and in many cases draw by people that had never been to and barely heard of a place. They would have used in many cases information that was word of mouth from many people and could be contradictory. Hence the map you bought could be anything from a nice picture for the wall and useless ...


14

here's a brief list of some of the most well known art sites. guess browsing these should keep you engaged for a few years (;D) if you haven't seen'em yet. have fun! :) [cghub] (update) cghub is no more, sadly conceptart.org (various, hundreds at least) cgsociety, 3d (various, hundreds at least) cgsociety, 2d (various, hundreds at least) cgsociety, 3d ...


14

Any sort of fire is very dangerous and should not be used. Read up on fire twirling for using fire if absolutely necessary. You could use LED lightning to represent fire; LED lights are cheap and come in many colours. If you stick to reds, yellows, and orange, you could get good fire effects. You could also use electroluminescent sheets (known as EL ...


13

Take a page from The Lion King and Avenue Q For the lion King: They have puppets controlled by actors dressed to match he pattern on the coats. Instead of going for a Beauty and the Beast level of theatrical similarity, the showing of puppets-as-puppets allows audience members to choose to suspend their disbelief without needing to convince them that ...


13

Okay, some friends make this guy a long time ago. But I've never seen a better large monster, ever. He's a stone golem, constructed from 4" thick foam mattresses, hot glue, and paint. The best thing is he completely covers a large man in 3" foam, so he's all soft and safe :) Video here: Stone Golem Rocks YouTube This monster was built with 5 foam ...


11

Crumple it, cover it with tea and then put it in the oven http://www.wikihow.com/Age-Paper-Using-Tea Aged paper has 3 main characteristics, depending on how long it has been aged. 1) Creased/crumpled/torn. 2) Yellowed. 3) Old style writing. The first can most quickly be met by scrunching it up, or more realistically by carrying it around for a while in ...


10

As a GM, I love handing out props but I don't have a lot of time to build them. And as Melon points out (I've run some of his campaigns) portability and storage can be an issue. I've organically developed some question over the years, to help me analyse my props and make the most of the few times I use them. Why am I adding this prop? This is the big one. ...


10

It does happen at conventions, but that's largely because the attendees are already in-costume, and you are just as likely to encounter someone wearing a 'Solid Snake' outfit at a D&D table as you are someone wearing a Bard costume.


10

Chemistry supply shops or restaurant/bar supply stores may carry test-tube like vials, and maybe even some corks that will fit. If you don't actually want the players to drink somethink out of them, you can fill them with epoxy resin from a hobby store, and color it with any kind of pigments you like. You could mix glitter, into the expoxy, or even small ...


10

I don't off hand know a place to find them but I have a UV pen. The ink lasts for a long time on paper and you can't see it until you use a UV light of some kind. I think you can try making your own but it shouldn't be too hard to find. The one I have came with a UV light attached just write on the paper and when it's time use the UV light to show the ...


9

I will take the dissenting view. I never use music as part of a game, except for very specific narrow situations where it's a plot point or one time gimmick. It is distracting, both for players and for the GM - either you let whatever's on play and it isn't really appropriate to whatever's going on, or you waste GM time fiddling with it and losing momentum ...


9

As @DavidAllanFinch said, our modern concept of accurate maps wasn't really common in the Middle Ages. They tended to be more figurative, lacked a lot of our modern methodologies, and further more, didn't try for a 1:1 representation, which was usually held in lower esteem than a moral representation. See a nice example here. In general, though, if you want ...


9

Quick and easy? Modify this print-and-cut octopus mask. It's fast, it's cheap, and it's effective. Just glue the tentacles on in a different pattern and color it mind-flayer-y. If you want a more 3-D effect you can add papier mâché to the mask, but you probably don't have time to let it dry properly. If that doesn't work for you, I don't have any other ...


8

I like this site: D&D Monster Finder It's a searchable monster database that helps me find monsters by level, environment, alignment, book (and many more) and it has pictures for almost every monster in every book.


7

I think the best game aids are interactional rather than just demonstrational. If you go through the work to make a parchment-looking piece of paper, why not hide a hidden message in it somehow? Maybe if you fold the paper a certain way the message becomes clear, or maybe the characters later find a blank paper with holes cut in it that pull the message ...


7

My alma mater has a yearly large-scale boffer event where all the equipment comes from a pretty small budget. Here's a picture of a "Jabberwock" creature, constructed from duct tape and pool noodles. I think it's a good example of a larger-than-human "phys-rep" creature that can still engage in fights with other participants. The approach you see here ...


7

Immersion is trumped by safety. Combat You need light. Period. You must have a well lit area or the combat is dangerous. Make sure everyone is aware of the "safety" call. There's nothing you can do but have big lights -- projectors are great apart for the poor sod who is in front of it. You can use filters (red is good, black lights are good) to make ...


7

In the past we've used small tubes packed with flour. Blowing through them gives a cloud of what looks like smoke. Lights with red and yellow gels over them make the whole scene look fire-ish. It's not a great simulation, but you can blast people with them and they don't get burnt.


7

Well I was going to point you to thingiverse and the modular wall system that's up there, but that's the first thing in your link. I do have some generic useful things to know if you're looking into 3D printing for gaming. There is a resolution that comes with these printers. It depends on the settings and the program you use to turn the model into ...


7

I've played through my fair share of D&D campaigns, some with pretty heavy prop usage, some with slim to no prop usage (in some cases, we didn't even have room for a battle mat!) Generally in my experience, props that will actively help the PC's keep track of things (maps, notes/letters discovered, riddles and the like) are extremely useful. They give us ...


7

Don't know if you have a Renaissance fair that comes anywhere nearby, but you'll be able to find many interesting bottles there. You could also try a few stores like "Fantasy Imports" or surprisingly even some dollar stores can have interesting bottles. As far as the contents, I imagine your players would find the concept interesting even if you just used ...



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