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Select the Right Accessories

by Mike on 18 October 2021

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much better do you think your D&D game will improve if you pick up that new accessory you have your eye on?

There's a huge range of accessories for our D&D hobby with a nearly limitless price tag. Not all of them help you and your players share fantastic stories around the table. As DMs, it's worth our time to think deep about which accessories help us share these tales and immerse ourselves in the fiction of the world and which offer little actual value or, even worse, get in the way.

For a video on this topic, check out my YouTube video, the Best Tools are Free.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how good is your game right now? Ask this of yourself. Ask it of your players.

Now, as you add in that fancy new accessory, how good is your game now on a scale of 1 to 10? It's unlikely any accessory, at just about any price, moves the score up two whole points.

For many players, going from pure theater of the mind combat to any sort of battle map moves their score up a couple of points. But going from a Pathfinder flip mat to a nice pre-printed map or a TV embedded in your dining room table? How much better is the game then? Maybe one point? Maybe less if it becomes harder to set up or takes longer to use.

Maybe people enjoy D&D more when the technology is out of the way. When we play with just a handful of dice, some character sheets, and whatever we can find to represent the characters on a blank piece of graph paper.

You need very little to run an awesome D&D game. Many things you can do to improve your game significantly cost nothing at all. Put the characters first in your campaign. Spend time thinking through the eyes of your villains. Build situations and let the characters choose how to navigate them. Sharpen your improvisation skills. Immerse yourself in great fiction.

What tools provide the highest impact to your D&D game? Check out my Tools of the Lazy Dungeon Master article and Tools of the Lazy Dungeon Master YouTube Video for my suggestions.

When you see a new accessory, particularly when you see one on the internet, step away from the FOMO and really ask yourself how much better it will make your game on a scale of 1 to 10. I bet it isn't as much as you think.

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