Stopping to Shop

One of the best parts of attending Gen Con is the frolic through the vendor’s hall, checking out all the cool new gaming material on offer. While I sadly didn’t get to Gen Con this year, I did manage to find some cool items I thought I should share, so you can grab them for yourself. Even if you don’t want them for yourself, a birthday or other special occasion is never too far off and these would make excellent gifts.

Greyed Out – I collect dice like I’m expecting a drought (one of the few things I asked a friend who was at Gen Con to do was hit up the Chessex booth and get me a cup of dice). While I am proud of my large candy jar of dice at home, it isn’t a convenient way to transport dice to other games. So I’m always in search of cool dice bags, and the latest coolness comes from the Etsy shop Greyed Out. Not only does Michael (the owner) stock a great selection of eclectic designs (need a dice bag with ninjas or a biohazard symbol? Got you covered), but he also offers something I had never seen on a dice bag before. Pockets. That’s right, in addition to the regular dice bag we all know and love, you can buy dice bags with internal pockets in either a five- or sixteen-pocket designs! I grabbed myself a sweet five-pocket version with a nostalgic blue dungeon map design on the outside, just so I could witness this sorcery for myself.  Friends and fellow gamers, I may now be spoiled for any other dice bag. While it had never occurred to me as something I needed before, now that I have a dice bag with pockets I don’t understand how I ever got along without it. I loaded my bag up as soon as I got it, with my usual dice load out (three sets and a bit) in one pocket, a handful of glass counters in another, some fantasy coinage I use for props in a third, and then some random dice for sharing in the large middle compartment. I still have a pocket going spare, and plenty of space left in all the remaining pockets should I need it. If I did more wargaming I could probably use that last pocket to carry a small tape measure for table distances, and swap out my glass beads for whatever counters and cards the wargame used. I can’t recommend these enough, they’re spacious and the quality is superb. Plus pockets!

Libris Arcana – Canadian online retailers are a rare breed (and if you think I’m wrong, I welcome any links you can provide to Canadian TTRPG vendors in the comments below) so when I find one I like I tend to clasp them to my bosom with bands of steel. Libris Arcana is one such, and while they offer many cool items, the one I grabbed from them recently was a set of leather book covers. I will admit I certainly didn’t need leather covers for my D&D books. But as soon as I saw the set of three LA offered on their site, I wanted, nay, coveted them. As advertised they are the perfect size to fit the current edition of D&D books, and would suit any past editions quite well, as well as books from other games that are of that size. Apparently they will also fit the current Pathfinder core book, but given the snugness of fit on my trinity of D&D books I would need to witness the time/space folding involved in that maneuver before I believed it. That said, once I had them on my books I immediately fell in love with how they classed up the joint. If you can’t afford to get your books custom recovered (and that option is out there, just a Google search away), this is certainly a relatively inexpensive option at just $25Cdn a book (or $70Cdn for three covers if you buy the set like I did). Libris Arcana also offers some wonderful dice subscription services, and an RPG book subscription service which looks pretty tasty. Plus they have a dice subscription offer which directly supports a D&D program for kids right here in my home town. Best of all, I’m rewarded for being a Canadian with free shipping on all purchases. How can I not?

Geek Tank Games – As a busy game master who sometimes runs games away from home I’m always looking for ways to offer a cool table experience for my players, while keeping the amount of stuff I have to haul around with me to a minimum. So when I stumbled across the Geek Tank Games Kickstarter campaign for Tabletop Tokens, I knew I needed all the things! The initial three token sets on offer, Camping, Furniture, and Castle Siege, are a perfect way to start what I hope will be a continuous line of these excellent tokens. Intended as an enhancement to the GM’s hand-drawn maps, these colour plastic tokens allow you to draw the bare bones of a room or setting, then populate that location with furniture and items quickly, without having to hand draw fiddly bits like shelves, crates, trees, and so on. While on the cartoony side the tokens are well drawn and colourful, standing out on the map. And because the tokens lay flat, it allows your players to better interact with map features without worrying their miniatures might topple (a concern for any player who hand-paints their own minis). While they only have the three sets mentioned above for sale at the moment, plans are rumored to already be in the works for other sets, allowing more specific dungeon and building dressing. I snagged a couple of the Camping sets and a Furniture set during the Kickstarter, and I’ll likely pick up a Castle Siege set soon just to complete my collection. I love them! Not only are the tokens bright and of good quality, but they are easy to transport to my gaming sessions. I put a few page protectors at the back of my GM binder and dropped them in there. Static helps keep them from slipping out the top, and keeps them handy for when I draw out a map on my dry-erase flip mats. Get some sets for yourself, and a few more to give as gifts to your fellow GMs. They’ll definitely appreciate them.

What cool TTRPG related products have you picked up lately? Drop your recommendations in the comments below so we can all get in on the goodness!

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