It’s game night. You’re ready to roll. Ready to do some damage.
Oh, but you forgot a pencil to mark down your hit points. And your d8 is missing. And, oh no, everyone brought snacks but you.
As every gamer knows, you may find yourself in need of some spells or an extra healing potion, so it’s best to be prepared at being prepared.
A Notebook and Pencil
Even as technology advances, tabletop RPGs are still mostly based on tactile things like pencils, paper, and books. You’re going to need to write things down (XP, names, loot, notes, etc.), so it’ll behoove you to have a notebook and a pencil. Nobody likes the guy who never remembers his pencil, so go ahead and buy a whole pack and stick ‘em in your bag.
It’s also benefits you to write down important stuff: proper names, places, NPC names, and weird details the barkeep mentions about that old haunted mansion south of town. It’ll help you remember things going forward, which helps the GM save from regurgitating the same information every session.
Every player should have their own dice. If you’re new to the game, get yourself a set. If you’re a GM who runs games for newbies, pack a couple extra sets players can borrow for the session.
If you’re a longtime player, chances are you have a lot of dice. Just make sure you have the ones you need. If you’re playing 5th edition, pack two d20s to roll advantage and disadvantage. If you’re playing Dungeon World, make sure you have enough d6s. If you know your rogue does a lot of sneak attack damage or your wizard will be casting plenty of fireballs, pack a few extra d6s.
We’ve heard of GMs who cook for their players in addition to hosting game night and, y’know, running the game. If that’s how your group rolls, count your blessings, but it’s always nice to help the crew out by bringing a shareable snack and/or beverage.
Ask your fellow players if there are any allergies you should be aware of and, if you’re playing in a shared space like a game store, respect their policies on outside food and drink.
If you’re playing a long session, you might want to pack a few extra items just in case. We’re talking hand sanitizer, a bottle of water, tissues, or whatever you might need while sitting at a table for a few hours. (These things are even more essential if you’re gaming at a convention.)
Your Character Sheet
Unless your GM is providing a pregenerated character or you’re coming to the first session to roll up new characters, bring your sheet. Nothing is worse than showing up for game night without it and not being able to remember what your character can do.
At the very least, bring the game’s core rulebook. That way you don’t have to constantly ask your neighbor to borrow hers.
It also helps to bookmark the pages you frequently reference, such as spell names, how cover works, or the details of a class feature.
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