SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
No, seriously, it’s about like that.
Now, maybe all you gamers out there are already well aware of how many useful products are out there. But some of us have been overseas for a few years, and some of us are Luddites that don’t understand how to shop for things online.
So walking into the local game store and seeing all they had to offer was a terrible experience… at least for my wallet.
Because I love their products and I am all too willing to give them money, I’m going to post a product. Then I’m going to tell you how to do the same thing (more or less) for cheap. Maybe I’ll do a few of these, because I keep ending up with Paizo products on my game accessories shelves.
Let’s start with the GameMastery Combat Pad.
Depending on the RPG group you’ve got, combat can be one of the best or one of the most frustrating parts of game time. Someone’s probably browsing Facebook on their iPhone, someone is off getting snacks or hitting the bathroom, and someone’s reading the rulebook to challenge a decision you made ten minutes ago because there’s a clause they’re sure will give their character an edge. (Grammar nazis: please note the proper use of they’re, their, and there in the same sentence.)
Inevitably, you get to someone’s turn, and they blink twice, shake their head, and try to figure out where their character is at, where the enemies are at, what happened while they were out in space, and gosh, what are they going to do this round, because it came up as a surprise that they’d have to participate in the game soon.
GameMastery’s Combat Pad won’t magically fix that player, BUT it gives them no excuse!
You get 8 magnets for enemy names, 8 for PC names, 4 for NPC names, 0 magnets for DM PC names (haha, kidding), and a few indicators for the progression of combat rounds. You also get a handy pad for eraseable notes, and columns for delaying or readying actions. And there’s a far better write-up of the product on the website I linked, so if you really want all the details, go there.
The product certainly looks nice and all. Being able to move the magnets around is convenient. You can buy additional magnets if you are running an enormous group (more than 8 players? seriously?) or if you’re the sort that unleashes entire armies on your party (more than 8 types of monster? nice!).
Or if you’re like me, you run your game mostly off files on your laptop (the perfect DM screen!), so it’s nothing to pop open Notepad and create an initiative tracker right there. Of course, then you have one more thing to communicate– “Borak, you’re up next, and then Lucan.”
But then you don’t get to play with magnets.