Stock Up on Supplies
“Do you even understand how a compass works? Do you see a battery pack on this?” — Dustin Henderson
Do the Dice
You can never have too many dice, and one way to get a big collection in a hurry is to grab a random pile of ’em. Literally. The Pound-O-Dice bag from Chessex includes approximately 100 dice of various types and colors. Then there’s the Wiz Dice Random Polyhedral Dice bundle, which includes a hundred or more dice and a dice pouch. Or you could be more precise and grab 150 dice in 15 sets of 10 with two pouches from Easy Roller Dice.
There are countless smaller sets, from Skull Splitter’s solid pewter set to Q-Workshop’s transparent blue elvish dice. Careful though, choosing dice can be like eating M&Ms. It’s hard to stop at just a few.
How to Draw Fantasy Art & RPG Maps
If you’re creating your own fantasy realm for your game, maps are a must. Creating large-scale maps with mountains, rivers, cities, and all the other details isn’t easy, this book by Jared Blando lays out the basics, from selecting paper and pencils to decorating your masterwork maps.
Nobody makes maps of towns, villages, and dungeons like Dyson Logos. He’s also great at explaining how he works his magic. Check out his tutorials and level up your mapmaking skills.
Chessex Reversible Battlemat
Whether you use miniatures or not, a battlemat is a handy way of keeping track of who the action in a combat scene, drawing out maps as the player characters travel overland, or revealing a dungeon room by room. You’ll also want some Vis-A-Vis Wet Erase Markers so you can draw on the mat without marking it permanently.
Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Basic
While made for Pathfinder, this flip-mat works great for any fantasy RPG. The laminated card stock mat can be flipped over to switch from a brown background to gray. Paizo produces many other flip-mats, from Ancient Dungeon to Wasteland, which show terrain in colorful detail. They can all be used with dry erase, wet erase, or even permanent markers.
Bones Miniatures Learn to Paint Kit
This starter kit from Reaper Miniatures includes three plastic minis ready for painting, two paintbrushes, a how-to booklet with basic painting techniques, and 11 colors of water-soluble paint, all in a padded storage case. Once you learn the ropes with this kit, you can choose from hundreds of Reaper minis, from the Angel of Protection to a Young Fire Dragon.
Your character’s character sheet deserves a solid writing surface, but sometimes there’s not much room on the game table. An aluminum clipboard is light, solid, and stylish.
When you’re making notes or adjusting your character’s hit points (hopefully up), a pencil that lays down dark graphite that can be easily erased is important. The Mirado Black Warrior and Dixon Ticonderoga are tough to beat if you’re taking the traditional wooden pencil route. Looking for a mechanical pencil? Check out the Pentel Sharp Automatic Pencil.