D&D on a budget, Part 2
It’s your first time as a DM, and you want to surprise your family with a Christmas one shot (may I recommend THIS ONE?). You now need the things to play the game with, and after reading MY LAST POST, you want even more things to surprise your players. Then look no further! This is the post you are looking for!
One thing I forgot last week to talk about is how good the SRD is and how much information it provides. Wizards of the Coast gave the internet even more things than the ones that appear in the Basic Rules for free. Just look a bit around the internet and you’ll most probably find what you are looking for (as long as it is not something from the supplementary books, such as Volos, Xanathar or Mondenkainen). If I am not mistaken, everything that appears in the PHB can be found for free that way.
When I first started playing D&D, me and my friends decided to print out a 3x3ft grid to play with. It was awesome, but way too big to transport or position on tables.
I looked at Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated for other options but many people in reviews were saying they were too fragile. That’s when I found the Pathfinder ones. This foldable, 24’’x30’’ grid you can draw on with your marker and easily erased does not stain at all (I’ve had a map drawn for 4 weeks before erasing it and no mark was left on it). Moreover, it’s really well priced and you can buy the packs that come with Dungeon or forest tiles to create better immersion.
Your players are about to arrive and you’ve got no minis or something to represent their characters, or you just don’t want to get some to play a one shot. That’s when you can use little toys from your son/daughter/little brother/sister to represent them or the monsters. LEGOs are a fine choice too, as you can change their body pieces as you will. If everything else fails, go get your board games’ tokens, or even better, some chess pieces. They’ll work just as well. I’ve played with Risk tokens for a looong time before buying my first D&D mini.
Trees, rocks and other props
This kind of props are totally unnecessary, but if you want to make the battlefield prettier you can find some at a really low price. There are many printable ones you can find in the internet, similar to the minis I talked about in my previous post, such as the FAT DRAGON GAMES ONE, which are made for player minis to stand on it. I personally decided to go a little bit farther and looked for train model set trees, which I found for about a dollar each. You can find this kind of props really easily on the internet, but aren’t very easy to transport if you don’t play at your home (the same way regular minis are).
Nowadays there are multiple DMs that prefer to roll their dice in the open without the need of a DM screen, and you can be one too if you want to save some bucks or prefer that method. However, I like to hide specific rolls and have some things written I can easily look at. For this, you can get the DM Screen Reincarnated, create your own with something you find at your home or do something like this to have a customizable one:
If you have spellcasters at your table, do yourself a favor and ask them to get some spell cards (or surprise them with some). Spell cards save a lot of time during combat and can be easily created. Get IN HERE and you’ll be able to get your own printable cards for a specific character or class. You can always buy the ones Wizards of the Coast provide, but these ones look better imo, are customizable and way cheaper.
I don’t mean a notebook PC (even though you can find use for it too by using SOME OF THESE SITES), but a regular notebook to write in. You don’t need it to be anything special. You’ll be taking notes, tracking initiative and writing important stuff in it. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, but super useful when you are a DM.
You’ve now got all the stuff you need for a really low price and it looks amazing. Good job! Now grab a seat by your nearest table and start creating some D&D stories with your friends and/or family!
Do you think I missed something I should add to a later post? Is there something you use that you find better that the things I talked about? Or did you find something useful and can’t wait to add to your game? Let me know in the comments below.