10) Moving Miniatures
Like those old films you see of WWII controllers moving wooden ships and planes on a huge map, you can use a spoon to do the same thing with miniatures. This gives you a longer reach and more precise control of the miniatures, as well as avoiding too much handling of them to reduce wear and any exposure to lead. It also looks pretty cool.
In any social situation, it’s inevitable that someone will want to pass something to someone else. Whether this is a dice, snack samples or an anvil, the spoon can be used to facilitate the transfer. This is more secure as well as more hygienic, and increases the bond between the GM and the players.
Gamers can be a rowdy bunch, arguing, talking about the latest box set, telling jokes or insulting the GM when they think he’s not looking. In order to get the players’ attention and continue with the session, the GM can use the spoon as a gavel, rapping it smartly on the table and calling for order. This gets the session flowing again, is reminiscent of courts and parliaments and also gives the GM a feeling of importance.
A spoon is very useful for measuring distances and areas for things like AoE attacks from spells, bombs, breath weapons and other similar events. The handle can be used for both linear and arcs of attack, and the bowl for circular effects. The GM simply measures off the required limits by gripping the handle between thumb and forefinger, and any player between the digits and the end of the handle is dead, simple.
At some point during an adventure, players are going to realise they’re standing in an area that’s just about to become hazardous to their character’s health, because a wizard is casting, a dragon is breathing in, or the box they’ve just opened is ticking (as opposed to turkey.) At this point, the players will start to reach towards their miniatures in the hope of moving them before the GM can spring his fiendish attack. This, of course, is not allowed, as the turn hasn’t officially started. In this case the GM can tap the trespassing limbs with the spoon, with varying degrees of tap depending on such things as repeat offenders and new players who don’t know the metarules.
The GM is often called upon to act out various personae, and the use of props often helps them get into character. It’s not practical for most GMs to keep a whole wardrobe of different costumes, and it’s certainly a waste of time to go dashing off during the scenario to change into an emperor’s finery, a peasant smock or a Spiderman outfit. But by using a spoon, the GM can at least have one multi-use prop on hand to give them some basis for the character, and maybe act as a confidence booster for the less-experienced GM. A spoon could become a sword, an axe, a sceptre, a key, a fish, or even, when the universe aligns just so, a spoon.
I’m not talking about a breed of dog here, but an implement used to indicate direction or selection of an individual. The pointing can be specific, for instance to point out a single miniature, when using the handle, or more general, when indicating a group, by using the bowl end. This is socially more acceptable than pointing with your finger, which is an absolute minefield of cultural rules and regulations, accepted in some cultures, punishable by death in others.
Most game worlds are almost, if not actually, infinite. Unfortunately most dining tables aren’t, and so there are times when the GM must mark a boundary, and say that region is beyond the scope of this gaming session. Once the floor plans are laid down, the PCs start to explore, and will, inevitably, say “what’s over there?” At this point, the GM places the spoon of limitations across the indicated point, and says “That is the forbidden zone!” or something equally dramatic. After repeating this a few times, the players will come to accept the spoon of limitations and won’t ask about it, freeing the GM to get on with more important things.
If the floor plans are quite extensive, or the group are meeting in a different place because the usual venue has been destroyed by aliens, the GM might find themselves running out of scenery. The magic spoon can then be brought into play, and can act as a wide range of things. It can be a ship, a wall, a river, a dragon, or, very specifically when the universe is in alignment and you’re playing a land of the giants scenario, a spoon.
Like all social gatherings, there will come a time when you’re waiting for someone to arrive/answer their phone/wake up. During this down time, the GM can keep themselves amused with various spoon-related activities. There are many available, but could include; making the spoon balance on your finger, with and without dice in the bowl, using it as an eye patch and pretending to be a pirate, twanging the handle on the edge of the table, playing the “drums” (actually Pringles tubs, dice boxes, people’s heads), or the classic how-long-can-you-hang-a-spoon-on-your-nose. (Hint: Breathe in the bowl first. Don’t let anyone say that’s cheating, there are no official rules regarding spoon balancing.)