This is a snapshot of my current main TTRPG kit for solo gaming and for when I DM. I add to and remove from this as needed, but overall, these are the things I grab. So, what are you seeing, and why is it part of my kit?
- Hand-crafted, magnet-closing dice tray
- Standard polyhedral dice (colour-coded)
- Giant D100
- Scrabble tiles
- Assorted oracle dice
- Weather & temperature
- Dungeon routes
- Dungeon features
- Sketchbook and/or journal
- Papelote elastic pen straps/loops
- Assorted pens, pencils, art tools, but usually...
- A carpenter pencil
- Regular ballpoint pen
- 4B, 2B, or HB pencil
- Thick and thin sharpies
All of this is pretty minimal. I can pair this with either my laptop, an official book, or a printout, toss it in a small bag, and go anywhere I like with it. The Papelote elastic pen loop is what's around my sketchbooks and journals holding my pens and pencils. They can be hard to find, but I really like how it holds everything together and turns any book into more a loose paper folder/transporter.
The dice tray I have is from Etsy and unfortunately the seller is no longer available. It is lovely, I know, BUT, there are plenty of folks on Etsy selling custom dice trays so go check those out!
The tray I use is nice in that the rolling area can fit a few extra things in it before it closes. Sometimes I will tuck things like small post-it note pads, bookmarks, and other aids into the dice tray if I want to bring them along. And when I say "bring them along" sometimes I just mean to other rooms in the house. I like to pick up and migrate around, be in the backyard, then the table, then on the couch, and I think a good gaming setup should be able to do that as well as travel out into the world beyond.
Polyhedral dice, D100, and oracle dice
I'm pretty simple compared to a lot of gamers when it comes to my polyhedral dice, I know. I don't know if it has to do with my neurodiversity or what, but the colour-coding of this set helps me so much. If you look closely, you'll also notice that I have very lightly pencil-labeled my dice tray with where I'm trying out my dice arrangement based on which ones I seem to use most and how it feels best to reach for them in the tray.
The giant D100 is one of my favourite items I own, period, and I am not even entirely sure why. Maybe it's all the good times the cat and I have playing with it loudly on the hardwood floors? He rolls in the high 90s a lot. Anyways, it's far more fun than rolling percentile dice, and there's no split second confusion when you get a 1 or 100 or odd discussion about how to read the dice in general.
The oracle dice make me happy. Moreover, they make my players happy. You see, I DM a couple of games and my players love to ask me funny questions like "what's the weather like?", "what direction did the bird fly in?", or "does X NPC seem happy in their life?" not because those questions have any bearing on anything but just because they are interested. And I love them for it. A lot of the time I will make things up or go with the adventure, of course, but occasionally I need a little help. That's where these dice, that I'm calling oracle dice, come in. I'm also doing a lot more solo TTRPG gaming lately and holy heck am I glad I got these things. I am definitely going to be getting more. Right now I have interrogative, emotion, weather, direction/compass, dungeon, wilderness and terrain, and treasure.
Yes, Scrabble tiles. I've been playing some solo-journaling games, and these tiles are a great little inspiration that I would recommend not just for gamers but writers of any kind. Here's how it works: just like how your brain does playing Scrabble. You grab a tile and you start thinking about all of the words you might spell. If it's not doing it for you then you grab another. You either add your subsequent tile draws together to try and build words, or just treat them as individual inspiration or prompts. You're not actually playing Scrabble here, so you don't have to wait for the right letters to spell a thing. So once you're inspired, you continue on. I'll write a separate post to explain this in more detail. Trust me, it makes sense.
Sometimes I will snag a bunch of items to bring with me when I'm planning a session for my players and need to make some notes, these are:
- A different Papelote elastic pen strap/loop filled with highlighters and a pen
- Sticky notes
- Sticky note bookmarks
- DM-specific journal
- Whatever adventure we're/I'm running
There are other items that I add if I am going to be doing a lot more art. Sketching monsters, characters, maps, or whatever. I'm working on my own TTRPG concepts right now and sometimes that includes sketching things out. I've been sitting outside, going to parks, and things like that. I'm already an illustrator and designer, so I know what I need in regards to those things to be effective. Here's what I make sure I have.
Obviously this is more catered towards an artist or illustrator, but if you're new to something like map-making and are wondering what you might want or need you can 100% use this as inspiration. Start small and work your way up.
- One big, with regular, blank paper
- One small, with watercolour paper
- 4B, 2B, HB pencils
- Water brushes for watercolours
- One of two small watercolour kits
- Pencil sharpener
- Eraser (sometimes, I'm actually kind of against erasers)
- Tool roll-up with more brushes, pens, tools
- Carpenter pencils
- White oil pencil for highlights
- A coloured pencil or two
- Different shapes of brushpens & water brushes
- Refills for brushpens
- A toothbrush
I like a big sketchbook for less messy things like actual sketching and a little bit of watercolour, but anything more than that and I'll switch to a watercolour sketchbook because I hate when the pages of the big one start to warp. For pencils, I like a fairly strong line, I don't erase much (draw with confidence, friends), but don't need it too dark since that's what the brushpens and other pens are for. The carpenter pencils are fun to draw with, because you can get similar effects to a calligraphy pen with sudden thick and thin modulation.
Getting into the "wet" tools, my favourite is my brushpen. I love it. It lasts so long, can get so many types of lines, and is just lovely. I have two travel watercolour sets that I switch between, with intentionally limited and messy palettes. The intent is to force me not to worry about things there too much and just get ideas out. I like to have fun with things instead of being precious, which is also where the toothbrush comes in– splatter! Same goes for why I use the water brushes instead of plain water colour brushes. If I use plain paint brushes then I feel the need to take care of them better, whereas with the water brushes and their plastic bristles a quick squeeze and a wipe and you're good.
The "roll-up" is a thing to slot all of your tools into so they don't bash into each other and get messy. This is especially important for tools like pencils which can cause the leads inside to break. My wonderful mom made me the one in the photo, but you can find people making them on Etsy, or even Amazon.
What am I adding to my kit?
I recently added a page to the site to track resources, in general, as well as another page under that detailing equipment TTRPG players might want. I have a few items off of that list on the way soon. In particular: