Friday, October 10, 2008

Tracking Ongoing Effects on the Cheap

I was going to do a post about this a while back but didn't get to it. Then recently Yax at dungeonmastering.com posted about the magnetic disc things from Alea Tools and I thought this would be a good time to suggest an alternate solution for the dirt poor gamers out there.

I've mentioned that my group has started using pipe cleaners to track ongoing effects. Well, OK, I started using them, and everyone looked at me funny, but they had to admit it works pretty well.

I picked up a single package of multi-colored pipe cleaners at the fabric store for a dollar. That's it, one dollar. For one dollar I got 20 pipe cleaners, two of each color, and each one makes four rings, so that's 80 markers in ten colors for a buck vs. Alea Tools' ten markers for 7 bucks or 24 for $15. Ouch.

I daresay the pipe cleaners do the job of marking just as well, especially with the wide variety of colors I got - red for bloodied, orange for on fire, forest green for ranger's quarry, sickly green for ongoing poison, white for divine challenge, pink for... well, no one seems to want to use the pink much.

I'll grant you that the magnetic markers look better, but do they look the twenty or thirty bucks better that you would need to even get close to the quantity and variety I picked up for a dollar? Nothing against the Alea guys, but I'll take the difference and go place another order at Miniature Market.

5 comments:

ChaoticBlackSheep said...

If you're gaming with real miniatures (as opposed to random crap you had lying around), you're not gaming on the cheap already.

Reverend Mike said...

I uses graph paper...I hand out status card to players and mark conditions on a tracking sheet with Initiative, HP and such...

Gregor LeBlaque said...

@CBS: I didn't title it GAMING on the cheap, honey, just tracking effects on the cheap (thus saving money to buy more minis).

@Mike: I have a tracking sheet for the monsters/hp, and I've tried to track conditions there, but I forget about them half the time and they're not visible to everyone at the table. Having tieflings in both parties I DM made it critical for most everyone to know who was bloodied all the time, for the +1 to hit from bloodlust. Plus now the wizard in one party has fire shroud and is always setting random assortments of the monsters on fire. It's much easier to track that with orange rings than by writing down which 3 out of 7 goblins are taking ongoing damage.

Jonathan said...

that's frakin hilarious!!! We use Majohng chips and stack them.

newbiedm said...

Office Max sells colored magnets similar to the alea tools ones.

We use those, they come in a tub of 12 or 16 for like 5 bucks...