Game aids I use and like

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mistergone's picture
Last seen: 4 days 20 hours ago
Joined: Jan 14, 2015
Game aids I use and like

I thought others might benefit from seeing the stuff I've gotten or made to help me run the Sentinels RPG, because it's been great.

First up, my GM whiteboard!

I got myself a tabletop whiteboard, and it's hard to see in this photo, but it folds out like a tent, so it can sit on a table nicely. Here's a photo of a similar one folded out so you can see what I mean:

I keep the whiteboard where all players can see it, and I use the whiteboard for three main things:

  1. I have a laminated scene tracker there, and I mark it off with dry erase markers. (Pro Tip: Laminated sheets can be used with both dry erase and wet erase markers! This can make awesome game aids for all sorts of games.)
  2. I draw out all the boxes and descriptions for Overcome Challenges there, and mark them off as the players complete them.
  3. I write out any scene-wide effects, penalties, bonuses, etc.

It's magnetic, so those are magnetic pushpins there to hold on any laminated sheets, etc. I have laminated tip sheets that show the Overcome and Mod charts (what totals give what results), but I just give those to players now instead of pinning them to the board.

Next, Dry Erase Index Cards!

Rather than writing on regular index cards, I figured dry erase index cards are reusable and easily erased and changed, so I bought some of those. On the left, I have my "Who took their turn?" tracker, which I found very necessary. I put a dash to indicate who's next, then turn it into a plus when they're actually taking their turn. The middle card has a mod written on it, which I then throw carelessly at the player for them to have. (And then that's the stack of dry erase index cards there on the right.) The index cards are invaluable, and the players use them as well (and I got a bunch of dry erase markers so each player can have one).

Third, Minion cards!

(And also a Korrupton card!)

These are cards I put out to give the players a nice familiar visual (since they look like Sentinels of the Multiverse cards) to indicate the minions and lieutenants (and Villains) in the scene. This is from the scene where my players fought Korrupton, Scion of Oblivaeon (see "The Alternates" game logs for details), so we also got out Korrupton's card and put him on the table.

I made these cards using the Magic Set Editor (with a Sentinels template someone made), but you could do it with Photoshop/GIMP, or just use old Magic: The Gathering cards or something. Or wait, you can get cards out of your Sentinels game to use for this! (But it's easier to have a stack of pre-made cards for this purpose, I think.) The sleeves mean that dry erase markers work on these, too (they don't work great on my cheap sleeves, but it does work). I also place dice on the cards to indicate how strong the minions and lieutenants are. There's a single d8 on the minions, because they are all d8 minions, and there's a d10 on the lieutenants, indicating they are all d10 lieutenants. (Yes, this was a pretty tough scene!) As the heroes defeat enemies, I can remove them from the board. As they get damaged, I usually put them into relevant rows and put dice down to indicate the strength of each enemy in the row.

Coming soon, player mats!

I haven't made them yet, but soon I'll be creating player mats. These are just going to be laminated 8.5" x 11" sheets with the character's art (which I'm still working on for each PC), the helpful charts for Overcome and Boost/Hinder totals, and a big empty area for them to write mods, their current HP, etc. Having the visuals of their character right on hand will help immersion, I think, and having a reusable area for game notes is obviously helpful.

I hope this helps!

These have made running the game a lot easier, and I'm probably going to consider player mats for my D&D campaign, as well. The tabletop whiteboard has two sides, which means the other side can be GAME MASTER SEKRITS, although I haven't needed that yet.

I might go back and put a big "M" on the minion cards and "L" on the lieutenant cards in the "card text" area. They have different art (of Aeon Men) and they even say "Minion" or "Lieutenant" in the "card type" area, but it's hard to see and hard for my players to tell them apart from across the table. I was originally going to use the dry erase markers to write the name of the enemy on the card, but I haven't been, so the text area is currently unused. That's my only current thought for improvement.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!

I live to meet expectations!

Rabit's picture
Last seen: 1 hour 45 min ago
Joined: Aug 08, 2011

Ooo!!! Where did you get the Sentinels template for the Magic Set Editor‽ :-D 

Thanks for sharing!

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mistergone's picture
Last seen: 4 days 20 hours ago
Joined: Jan 14, 2015

I live to meet expectations!

MindWanderer's picture
Last seen: 9 min 56 sec ago
Joined: Oct 29, 2015

I'd never heard of dry erase index cards before.  You really need index cards for SCRPG and I hate using up paper like that.  I'll definitely be buying some of these if I ever play in person.

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Last seen: 10 hours 43 min ago
Joined: Sep 25, 2017

I often just put the scene and related elements on a sheet of notepad paper, and my players track their own bonuses and penalties. We do keep notecards that are flipped to indicate whether or not someone has a had turn yet, but we barely dispose of anything since the majority of it can be reused between sessions.

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Standing alone in a field of swords
Blades borne to the unmoving air
An unchanging world as their sheathe
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TakeWalker's picture
Last seen: 1 hour 56 min ago
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

I've got a bunch of half-index cards from my days writing out playtest Sentinels decks, so I figure I'll just use those up if I ever run.

But oh boy, that portable whiteboard is super great and I want one. :O