You have the bag.
You know the one: A tote or backpack or messenger bag in which you carry your all-important gaming stuff.
If you’re dumping your work stuff out of your briefcase and loading it up with your Player’s Handbook on the way out the door, you should get a dedicated bag loaded up with your stuff for game night.
Whether you’re a GM or a player, you can grab it as you walk out the door.
Here’s what you need:
A bag. Any bag, really. It doesn’t have to be fancy. How about an old backpack? Or, honestly, you could use anything sturdy you have laying around the house. Even a reusable canvas tote or grocery bag would work just fine.
Now, what to load it up with?
Any core rulebooks for the game plus any splatbooks or printed Unearthed Arcana articles pertaining to your class should be in the bag. If you want to save on space and weight, an alternate option is to have a tablet (maybe a cheap one like the Amazon Fire) loaded with PDFs of all the necessary rulebooks.
A simple lined notebook or legal pad to jot down initiative order, keep track of character hit points or even just to doodle in.
A campaign notebook or binder
This one is all-important. For GMs, this can include monster stats, a campaign outline, maps, handouts and anything you need for the night’s game. For players, this should include your character sheet and any important information or notes pertaining to that campaign. If you’re a player in multiple campaigns, you could have a folder for each.
And we definitely mean plural. A bag of mechanical pencils is only a few bucks. Buy one, and shove them all in your bag. If you lose one, you’ll have plenty more. Plus, you’ll have a few to loan out.
Dry-erase mat and markers
Lately, we love using dry erase markers for games. We use the dry erase acrylic character sheet and dungeon board that came in recent Dungeon Crates. Add a gridded, laminated flip-map and you’re ready to roll for almost any situation.
You don’t need to keep that massive chest or bulging dice bag full of your collection in your go bag. Maybe keep one set of dice in your bag for game night. If you’re a GM, especially one who runs organized play, keep a loaner set in there for new players, too.
As a GM, some keep a cheap plastic organizer box from a craft store full of the miniatures needed. As a player, you can just keep a small container with your player miniature. If you’re trying to save on space or weight, may we recommend the flat plastic miniatures from our friends at ArcKnight. They look awesome and they obviously store flat. They’re also cheaper than pre-painted plastic minis.
Once again, we keep little plastic organizer box with anything we might need. This includes card decks (critical hit and fail decks), condition tokens, coins and area of effect markers.
If you subscribe to Dungeon Crate, you’ll end up with most of the stuff we mentioned here. Subscribe and get boxes full of the best fantasy RPG stuff delivered to your door every month.