Flexing the Geek Muscle(s)

Since my site has become hopelessly out of date I have decided to post the fruits of my evening’s activities.

Bunny’s new interest in D&D has sparked my interest in the hobby once again. I was already considering getting back into it for a similar reason (I rarely leave the house). My brother and I have been slowly picking up the 4e rules by bumming around on the D&D Insider account I setup a couple of months ago. I got to the point where I actually needed to read the rules in a coherent way so I finally opened the Dungeons and Dragons Core Rulebook Gift Set, 4th Edition that I preordered before the release of 4e. I’ve nearly finished the players handbook, so today Jason and I began constructing some materials for our initial encounter attempt.

The first Frankenstein of the evening was my new GM screen. This is something that I should have done long ago back when I actually played on a regular basis. Back in the AD&D days I just used to prop up some paper folders that I brought the adventure in. Not a very good solution, but it worked and I was a broke high school student. When 3rd edition came out I actually bought an official DM screen, which I used for pretty much everything I ran, regardless of the fact not all those games were D&D 3.0. My new solution is inspired by the Savage Worlds customizable GM screen. It is basically a binder with three panes you can just slide print outs into. However, I wanted a more flexible solution that would not require constantly swapping out reference sheets for different games. So, what I ended up doing was getting two three ring binders which I clip together with a binder clip. Inside the binders I have some document sleeves that I put the reference sheets in, and use binder clips to hold them open to the relevant pages for the game I’m playing. And, yes I did make these 4e reference sheets myself, and yes it took forever. I basically whipped it up in indesign while Jason was drawing grid lines on the poster board for the other project. Total cost for this project was under $7, which is a little less than the 4e Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Screen, which is $10.

The second creation was more of a creature of necessity. Unfortunately, since there are not many gaming places in the area you cannot really get a chessex role playing mat
so you can either order one online, or come up with a more creative solution. We chose to do the later. Basically, our solution was to draw a grid on some pieces of poster board, and them mount them to a sheet of Plexiglas. The total cost was under $20 for a 28″ x 36″ grid, the cost for a comparable chessex mat would be around $25 online (plus shipping).