What things should I have that aren't... required


GM Discussion


So I'm getting involved in pathfinder and want to jump immediately into DMing. I've read through most of the pathfinder society materials at this point and have a grasp on what I need to bring to the game/buy... but what things outside of the required books/materials do people find helpful? I know that's vague, status cards, initiative trackers, certain books, apps (on android), etc?

Appreciate any help :)

Silver Crusade 2/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

1) 4x6 cards (many uses: initiative, "you found" lists, "you know X even though no one else does" info passing....)
2) 2-3 extra sets of dice (expect to loan them out from time to time)
3) I love my conditions card deck and my buff card deck
4) extra pencils (expect to loan them out)
5) if you can play until level 3 before doing so -- do that. It's quite helpful as well!


Thanks, as for 5... do you think it would be prudent to only run modules I have played in? The thought came to mine after reading some other posts to avoid metagaming if I play them in the future.

Seems like my area is hard for DMs/GMs though... and although I'm new to pathfinder I do have a large background in other versions of D&D and RPGs.

The Exchange 5/5

breath mints (peppermints or little candy canes work too)... bring extra to give out.

Really, sometimes it is so needed...

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Welcome to Pathfinder Society!

Here are some things I find useful!

  • Pathfinder Open Resource. This Android app is excellent for pulling up a bestiary stat block or quickly referencing feat, spell, or class ability. I find it's nice to combine this on my tablet with a free PDF reader as well, that way I can have two different things open at once, like my scenario and the monsters in it.

  • Extra dice, miniatures, pencils. You don't think you'd need these after someone's first game but, if you stick with this a while, you'll find that you always need them. Be it new players or forgetful old ones, having extras of these core gaming things is a must. Just make sure you get them back after the game!

  • Blank GameMastery flip-mat. In terms of cost, storage, and durability, this is the best mat I've ever had as a GM. For $15 bucks you get a solid, double sided mat that works with both dry erase and wet erase. I usually carry 3 or 4 to my events, so I can loan them out to other tables.

  • Blank character sheets and some pregen characters, inventory tracking sheets, scenario tracking sheets. The first is pretty self explanitory -- people will ask and it's nice not have to look at notebook paper when you're looking over someone's build. The second is found in the here, under "Pregenerated Characters," and is needed if you have any walk ins to your game that don't have an existing character. The third is the inventory tracking sheet (or ITS) that's found in the back of the Guide to Organized play, which is found on the previously mentioned link. The last is something everyone should have one of, and is a running tally of what games they have played or GMd. This isn't as important when you're starting out, but once you've been at it a few months, it's difficult to remember what games you've played, let alone keep track of it for everyone at the table. I recommend checking out some threads like this and printing off the sheets you prefer. If you'd like, I can also email you the one players in my area use.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

A three ring binder with sheet protectors.

Keeping track of the chronicles can be a pain once you have a herd of characters and DM credit. (Huh.. who did I put "Into wolfwood road" credit on again...)

Liberty's Edge

nosig wrote:

breath mints (peppermints or little candy canes work too)... bring extra to give out.

Really, sometimes it is so needed...

D: !

Fortunately, haven't encountered that in a while .. or the 'here's a deoderant sample' related issue ...

Silver Crusade 2/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Paradisio wrote:

Thanks, as for 5... do you think it would be prudent to only run modules I have played in? The thought came to mine after reading some other posts to avoid metagaming if I play them in the future.

Seems like my area is hard for DMs/GMs though... and although I'm new to pathfinder I do have a large background in other versions of D&D and RPGs.

Gm whatever you want. The reason for #5 is because things ARE different from 3.5, and living it (playing it) will help...

Sovereign Court

Some way to manage initiative easily. This varies from person to person. This can include:

  • Index cards
  • Initiative board (That's what I use)
  • Paper with a lot of room on it
  • Android App (such as this one, which isn't great but it does what it does)
It's truly up to you. Experiment. Find what works best for you.

As for apps, I will second the Pathfinder Open Reference. Also, I have a second app that's just spells so I can swap between the apps; have one open for rules and another looking up spells. (You can also use that particular one to keep your own (N)PC spellbook handy. Actually, I need to set that up for my game Monday night...

I would also recommend thinking about something like these. They cost about as much as a Chessex map mat, but are 50 sheets that you can cut, paste, whatever. I have been using mine for a couple years now and am only now starting to run out of sheets, haha. Of course, you can always just go with a Chessex mat (Tip: Go for the Factory 2nds!)

Like I said, it depends on your own personal preferences. Experiment, find out what works and what doesn't.

5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Hamburg

Quote:
do you think it would be prudent to only run modules I have played in?

That depends on how much you play. Personally, I do the same, for the same reasons you are thinking of. As I play a lot, that does work.

If there aren't many games in your area, maybe consider online play. There are a lot good online PFS communities that run games regularly.

5/5 ⦵⦵

I was super excited reading here that the Buff Deck even existed. I had purchased the Conditions Deck a while back and though I haven't had a chance to use it more than a few times, it's an absolutely invaluable tool IMO. That's why I'm more than a wee bit disappointed when I went to order a Buff Deck and saw the list of what's included. I'm sure it was hard for the staff to decide what to include and what to leave out but some of their choices are baffling. The whole point of the deck IMO is to speed play both for GMs and players, having a concise summary for a buff especially things that scale (trying to remember if something is +1 every 3 or every 4 levels can be a pain) or have a multitude of options (Blessing of Fervor anyone?). Instead, a bunch of things added were either so basic (Charge, Fighting Defensively, Total Defense) or abilities people should already know just from playing their own character (Rage, Mighty Rage, etc).

I imagine there's no chance they'll put out a Buff Deck 2 with some of the buffs they left out? The focus really should be on those buffs with variable details which are often easily forgotten.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

henwy wrote:

I was super excited reading here that the Buff Deck even existed. I had purchased the Conditions Deck a while back and though I haven't had a chance to use it more than a few times, it's an absolutely invaluable tool IMO. That's why I'm more than a wee bit disappointed when I went to order a Buff Deck and saw the list of what's included. I'm sure it was hard for the staff to decide what to include and what to leave out but some of their choices are baffling. The whole point of the deck IMO is to speed play both for GMs and players, having a concise summary for a buff especially things that scale (trying to remember if something is +1 every 3 or every 4 levels can be a pain) or have a multitude of options (Blessing of Fervor anyone?). Instead, a bunch of things added were either so basic (Charge, Fighting Defensively, Total Defense) or abilities people should already know just from playing their own character (Rage, Mighty Rage, etc).

I imagine there's no chance they'll put out a Buff Deck 2 with some of the buffs they left out? The focus really should be on those buffs with variable details which are often easily forgotten.

I think that the buff deck includes spells and abilities from the CRB and the APG. So I assume blessing of fervor is in it, as well as those combat options.

Personally, I don't mind that they were included, because the buff deck really shines for new players -- and having those cards helps show them what options they have.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

As an alternative mapping solution, check out Gaming Paper. You'll want Sharpies or some other permanent markers to draw on it.

Sovereign Court

Jonathan Cary wrote:
As an alternative mapping solution, check out Gaming Paper. You'll want Sharpies or some other permanent markers to draw on it.

I always forget that exists, which is why I keep pointing to the easel pads!

Grand Lodge 4/5

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Easel pads are great if the map will fit on them. Gaming Paper lets you go pretty crazy, at least in one direction.

It's not perfect, of course -- you can't use dry or wet erase markers on it, or colored pencils. Or pencils at all, really. The only thing I've found that works well is the Sharpies I mentioned. The coating seems to be similar to the shiny side of wrapping paper, and it crinkles a lot like wrapping paper, too. Within those limitations, though, it's pretty nifty.

I also ran into an issue where my local office supply stores stopped carrying the plain grid easel pads and all I could find were the Post-It version. Again, a mixed bag but overall I prefer the Gaming Paper.

Sovereign Court

What someone here does is uses a spray adhesive to stick the gaming paper onto cardboard or foamboard before drawing it and cutting it too size. Creates a nice texture and eliminates the crinkling problem.

Dark Archive 5/5

1) The SORD from Myth Merchant Press (RPG Now)
2) Buff and Condition cards
3)Inventory tags: Small pieces of folded paper with basic info such as AC, saves, perception bonus. I put the names of players on them and place them on the GM screen in initiative order
4) Spare dice, pencils, character sheets, pregens
5) pathfinder society registration cards

Grand Lodge

Jonathan Cary wrote:
As an alternative mapping solution, check out Gaming Paper. You'll want Sharpies or some other permanent markers to draw on it.

While I would normally give a big +1 to Gaming Paper...since we just passed Christmas by...go to the store and look for cheapo rolls of wrapping paper that have the 1" grid on the back. :D

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