Call of Cthulhu Tome (Picture Pending)
So - one thing I've spent a lot of time on over the years is RPG Props. I've never gotten into LARPing in anyway, but some well gather accessories on gaming night I've found can really add to the atmosphere, fun and enhance the roleplaying of dedicated roll-players.
Amid the hats, the pipes, the swords, the daggers, the gold (chocolate coins) and any number of maps, letters, photos and other items - my favourite is a hand crafted tome I created for a Call of Cthulhu campaign.
The campaign was an introduction to H.P. Lovecraft, so between each session the players had to read a Lovecraft short story, which i designed to align with the game they were playing as students at Miskatonic University...the twist was a Journey to the Centre of the Earth plot - and that inspired the tome.
I hand made a whole heap of paper using different methods. Some was making paper from scratch for the cover, others I used different techniques for ageing paper.
Some of the pages were written on, others were maps or old photos, ever page had a hint or a clue that pointed to the overall arch of the narrative through which the players were engaged.
The thing took weeks to create - but, when a player fired his gun in a house, and the bullet caused some of the roof to collapse and I handed them this dusty document...it was worth it.
What about everyone else? Any great props you've used for RPGing?
When I was a kid, we'd use the little glass bottles of syrup from Cracker Barrel as potions. Fill them up with some water, a little food dye, and they were color coded healing potions, mana potions, whatever.
These days, I don't use a lot of props, which is a shame. I like to have my iPad on hand to show pictures of various monsters, if necessary, and I love my Dwarven Forge. But otherwise, the table is usually reserved for food and characters sheets. I definitely need to get back into it, though.
Though I know these wouldn't be considered "props" by the strict definition, my friend Kato has a ton of fun creating environments for the miniatures, and he recently posted these on his blog:
These are very cool and remind me a bit of my project in the second Geek Dad book.
I have a small collection of scrolls and maps from various campaigns, and also have done the small bottles of potions.