Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Using Props in your RPG Games

Do you use props in your tabletop RPG games?

I don’t always use props when I run an RPG because at their heart, tabletop RPGs are about evoking a world of imagination through the spoken (or written) word. That said, why make imagination do all the work? Descriptions can always be spiced up, anchored, and otherwise enhanced by something you provide your players that makes them feel more in touch with what you’re describing.

I’ll go further: you should consider adding some props to your game if you’re not already doing so. Props engage players in a new way, engage several senses at once, and make a game more memorable. If you already use props, you’ve probably already tried many of the props described below, and probably some I haven’t thought of. The thing to keep in mind about props in RPG games is this: use them judiciously, not constantly. If players come to expect a certain kind of prop because it’s what you always do, that moment of excitement for each new prop reveal becomes less over time. The answer might just be in varying the kind of prop you use.

To my mind, props fall into the following categories.

Tabletop Prop Categories
Pictures
Sounds
Miniatures
Sketches
Environment
Special Objects
Handouts

I provide a few ideas (and anecdotal examples!) of props within each category over on the MCG Blog:http://www.montecookgames.com/using-props-in-rpg-games/
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