10) Repelling Pencil
Much like a propelling pencil, this device is used for writing on character sheets, etc. The advantage of the repelling pencil is instead of needing an eraser, the pencil causes the graphite to be repelled from the paper, thus recharging the pencil and reducing waste, as well as removing all traces of whatever was written, even if that was “the GM is a twonk.” The pencils are only available in black at the moment, but the manufacturers are working on other colours as we speak. (Unless you’re reading this anytime after 17:00, then they’ll have gone home for sure.)
9) Poseable Miniatures
You know what it’s like, you buy a miniature that perfectly represents your character, a huge barbarian with an even huger axe, with a huge beard (the barbarian, not the axe, obviously) and if it could speak it would be going “rawwwr, death to all soft people who aren’t barbarians, yeah.”
But of course the game moves on, the characters are in the private bed-chamber of the princess, who has granted them an audience for killing all sorts of things under difficult circumstances. The princess says to the barbarian, we’ll call her Clemency, “would you like some tea and a cucumber sandwich?” (By the way, I’ve been British all my life, and I’ve never eaten a cucumber sandwich.) Of course Clemency can only answer “rawwwr, death to all soft people who aren’t barbarians, yeah.” and can’t actually take tea and sandwiches because her hands are welded to the axe. Now, this will either lead to Clemency being carried away for bearing arms in the royal presence, or the players ignoring the fact and ruining immersion. Now, if the miniatures were poseable and came with a range of accessories, Clemency could take tea with royalty and not make any barbarian-type faux-pas.
8) Hydraulic Gaming Tables.
So, you’re in the middle of a fight, (in the game, not now. If you’re in a fight now, stop reading this and pay attention to your opponent.) There are characters spread all over the map, dead bodies and monsters and flaming patches of AoE everywhere, rolling barrels of acid and banana skins by the dozen. Then Yevgeni, who’s GMing this week, has to go and water his mesembryanthemums and you all have to stop playing. No one’s going to remember where everything is if it gets packed away, but worry not, because the group have all chipped in and bought a Retrakta-game 5000lgt gaming table. Yevgeni presses a button, and the entire gaming surface lowers slowly into the table, two flaps close over it and lock with a satisfying thunk, and the whole session is sealed away from pets, sticky fingered children, non-roleplaying sarcastic judgmental types, and people who have a need to clean. A four digit pin can also be entered by the GM to prevent other players moving things around while no one’s looking.
7) Self-updating, Wipe Clean, Voice Activated Rules Books
It can be quite annoying when you buy a rule book and it comes with a printed addendum sheet. It can be quite annoying when someone spills beer on your rule book. It can be quite annoying when the GM asks you to look up a spell or rule and you can’t find it, even though you were absolutely certain it was on page 93. Combine all these together, and you have a recipe for disaster. Imagine trying to find the right page, wiping off the beer and the rule clearly states the spell you just used doesn’t move with you and yet the addendum clearly says it does. Grrr!
But now, with the new and improved self-updating, wipe-clean, voice search function handbook, catastrophe is averted, the world doesn’t tilt off its axis and we’re all safe for another day. Phew.
As you’ve probably guessed, anti-beer is the exact opposite of beer. During a game session, players can consume large quantities of beer, which affects game-play, noise levels, confrontation and leading to one of the players sleeping on the truckle bed because they can’t drive home. Now, with new and improved anti-beer, you can alternate the beer with the anti-beer to provide exact levels of intoxication, or to stay completely sober, as is your dearest wish. The cleverest part about anti-beer is it tastes exactly like beer, but contains anti-alcohol, anti-calories, and anti-needtopees, thus ensuring fun and uninterrupted gaming for all concerned.
These clever devices replace missing players with a lifelike head and shoulders of the missing person, allowing gameplay to continue during holidays, extra-long toilet breaks and visits to various clinics for those little problems we don’t talk about. The playbot is set up next to the player it will be replacing, and learns how the player runs their character, including recording appropriate voice cues, favourite bad jokes and toilet humour. After only a few sessions, the playbot will be ready to step in (or be carried, the legs are an optional extra, coming soon when the Kickstarter campaign finishes.) and will continue on from exactly where the actual player left off. With sufficient playbots, entire game sessions can be covered, including the GM, (Provided the Kickstarter stretch goals are reached.)
4) Chameleonic Screens
For some people, playing TRPGs is a hazardous pastime. Some people just don’t get it, and will criticise, commentate, interfere and generally be a pain in the bum to those gathered around for a fun and satisfying session of roleplay. For those people who don’t have a big stick/a lockable door/a six foot six GM just out of the military there’s the new and improved Skreenasesh 1000dti. This small device is placed discreetly within the gaming environment and projects a user selectable image over reality. Settings include an empty room, a poker session complete with smoke, a study group investigating the invention and use of the apostrophe in eighteenth century belgian philosophy, or an image of the intruders parents having sex. The user can also record video of their own and upload it to the Skreenasesh’s memory for later looped playback.
3) Multi-Genre, Real-Time Game Editing and Replacement
With so many other demands on people’s time, what with video games, netflix, work, intimate relations and gardening, it’s often difficult to get enough players together to make a worthwhile session. The MGRGTER device can reduce or even remove this problem all together. Each player has a headset, through which they communicate with the device and onto the GM. The GM is then able to run a fantasy campaign, which will get automatically converted into whichever genre the player prefers, and the group won’t lose a player because they don’t like what’s being played. So, for instance, during a combat scene one of the players shoots the Klingon with his blaster, another lets off a fireball at the orc and a third double-taps the cultist with his Glock. (A fourth thinks he’s at a rock-concert chatting up a blonde in a see-through death metal t-shirt, but that’s nothing to do with the device.) And so the campaign continues, everyone’s happy, and TRPGs survive one more year. Huzzah!
I know I’m not alone in this, and many people are working on smellyvision for the home. It’s just a small jump (to the left, if you want) from there to having a smell generating device at the gaming table. Smell is such an evocative sense, very powerful on a deep level. It would add a whole new dimension to gaming, and might even save the industry. (no need to thank me, just a few major awards will do.) What could be better than going into a dungeon and smelling the damp, the bat guano and the dead goblin festering in the corner. Or going into a town and being hit by the smell of fresh-baked bread, frying bacon and open drains. Or turning a corner and catching a hint of dragon on the wind. (Or even a hint of dragon wind.)
The device will sit on the table, and be controlled by an app. A small fan will waft the smell around at variable rates and in different directions. It will probably be called an Odortron, or Smelagame, something like that. I’m really excited about this one, I can’t wait to get my freebie.
1) Fruit-Based Races
Now, I know what you’re thinking; “did I lock the back door?” but bear with me. I invented this race of fruit-based beings to add to a campaign, but no one wanted to play them, I can’t think why. They’re called Quats, are about a metre tall, with round bodies and orange skin. When injured they bleed juice instead of blood, but it still causes them pain. Some Quat adventurers came over the Bludihi mountains in search of action, adventure and some mild peril, but found nothing but persecution and the inside of a drinks bottle. They fought back, using the ancient but forbidden fruit technique of Tae-Quat-Do, and soon gained a reputation for fierce bravery, a sense of fair play, and a hint of orange zest.
Quats get a bonus on armour because of their thick peel, but lose points on charisma because people can only stand the smell of citrus for so long. They have to have armour custom-made, but can use any weapon that doesn’t need them to put their hands together. (Because they can’t.)
They are steady in combat, resistant to poison, but take double damage from falling.