Audience Participation: Your Convention Kit

Hey gang! It’s time for another post about one of my favorite topics: convention GMing! And this is an audience participation post. Talk in the comments about what you bring with you to conventions.

Here’s what I try to remember to bring, related to gaming:

  • Pencils
  • Index cards (I go through A LOT of index card, for notes, name texts, small character sheets, status & aspects, etc.)
  • Character sheets for games
  • Sharpie (good for name tents)
  • Dice for the games I’m planning to run
  • Tokens of various sorts

And stuff for personal care/health, related to being active for 18 hours four straight days:

  • Gum. Keeps the throat moist.
  • Water bottle.

I’m going to stop there, for now. What do you try to remember? What will you try to remember in the future?

– Ryan


10 Responses to Audience Participation: Your Convention Kit

  1. E. Foley says:

    Wet erase markers – Come in handy, especially if you play any D&D games where they use companion character cards instead of paper sheets.

    Baby wipes – Clean up wet erase markers. Also, good for a quick freshening up midday. :-) Also handy should you have a baby nearby.

    Toilet paper – Srsly. You can get a travel roll of Charmin. Will save your life if you have a potty emergency and start to do your biz before you realize there’s no TP in your stall. Never again have to ask a neighbor to spare a square. :)

    Power strip – Many geeks in one hotel room = not enough outlets for everyone.

    • Wayne says:

      Don’t forget a converter to let you plug 3 prong plugs in to two prong outlets! I’ve found that invaluable in my travels.

  2. Ewen says:

    Enough dice, pencils, character sheets, and any other necessary materials for any games I’m planning to run plus some extras besides just in case. Water is essential too.

    Occasionally I’ll bring a prop of some kind to go with the game, like for Maid RPG I’ll bring a plush of one of the characters from He Is My Master.

    A couple more things, not about GMing per se:

    My iPhone, because being in contact with the universe through it is invaluable. Also headphones, because sometimes I just need to shut stuff out and decompress a bit. I might use the thing to play music or background sounds (the Ambiance app is great for that) if not for most convention play areas being way too loud for that.

    A notebook, to write down whatever comes to mind. Being exposed to a good convention always inspired me in a million different ways.

  3. John Taber says:

    Hand sanitizer – At least an attempt to keep healthy.

    Cough drops – I often get a sore throat after 2 days of talking.

    Multivitamins – Often I eat…um…poorly. This can help keep me going.

    Engineering pad on a clipboard – Graph paper on one side and clean on the other. The clipboard makes it so I can walk around with the pad of paper. ;)

    (PS I am working on an article for my blog (see link) about my gaming kit. It will have a very detailed breakdown of the stuff I carry. :) )

  4. Great list Ryan,

    I also generally keep the following with me:
    – a few $Bux instant packages, for those coffee fiending moments
    – Earplugs. OMG earplugs. Great for those times when it’s just a little too noisy and need your personal space.
    – A small bag. I love my RedOxx Gator bag for carrying books, dice, water bottles, and podcasting gear. Can’t recommend these guys enough.
    – Personal business cards. Crucial for a podcaster or anyone trying to be more generally involved; but also great for keeping in touch with awesome people you meet.
    – I also keep always keep a pen and small notebook with me for various and sundry ideas that inevitably pop up.

  5. Rob Donoghue says:

    Quarters. This is most important for Gencon, but it’s so critical that it’s become a habit. The ability to use a vending machine with a bad bill feeder is nice, but more importantly, if you’re in a convention center or any place with lockers, they probably take quarters to use. Having access to a locker during a big con can be a lifesaver.

    Phone number for the front desk of your hotel and a local cab company (ideally the one suggested by your hotel). Between those two pieces of information, there are very few situations you can’t get yourself out of.

    -Rob D.

  6. The usual stuff to run games (characters sheets, pencils, dice, tokens, books) plus I bring sleeping pills and at the last Strategicon I brought an inflatable mattress. I can have trouble sleeping at home, it is even worse at cons.

    I always have a water bottle on me and frequently fill it up. I also carry mints as my breath goes stale by noon.

  7. Wayne says:

    One thing that I don’t bring as often as I should is a small wireless router and an ethernet cable. I’ve been in hotels that advertised internet, only to find that they have a jack in the room. Once in Baltimore, they said they had wireless internet, only their router was dead, but they had ethernet in the rooms. Didn’t work well as both my wife and I have laptops plus iPod Touches.