27th) What are your essential tools for good gaming?
- Plenty of writing materials for making notes during the game. I usually use a composition notebook to take notes during each session I run, for future reference. (It's also a great memory aid for when I type up the summaries of each session for this blog.) I also keep a pad of scratch paper handy for tracking initiative, sketching maps and symbols to show the players, and any other writing needs.
- A good battle grid. I've used wet-erase mats in the past, but my current preference is 1"-gridded easel pads. My art skills let me easily draw maps freehand during play, but it often saves precious play time to draw out the more complicated maps ahead of time. And using an easel pad lets me keep maps that I might want to reuse later.
- A good supply of dice. Have enough for all the rolls that your character makes on a regular basis, and at least one of each other die type the game uses. If you're the GM, have multiples of each kind of die (and possibly an extra set or two if a player forgets to bring theirs).
- Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering, by Robin D. Law. This short booklet (only 38 pages) has a lot of solid advice about how to be a better GM. I reread it about once a year or so just to refresh my memory and remind me to pay attention.