Here’s my packing list for every convention, minus the duh-obvious stuff like dice and rulebooks:
* Easel pad for giant relationship situation maps (smaps!). I’ll tear three or four off and roll them into a poster tube if I’m not where I can physically carry the whole pad.
* Index cards. Honestly I can’t get by without tent-cards with names, and I’m also very fond of doodling up index cards as props representing important things or game-states (like my “Fascinated” cards for Space Wurm vs Moonicorn).
* Big fat Sharpies in various colors for the smap and tent-cards
* OHTO Graphic Liner pens for everything else. I love them.
* Glass beads for resource tracking
* A copy of Jason Morningstar’s Names book (http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/jason-morningstar/story-games-name-project/paperback/product-3594462.html) because I greatly prefer the form factor of an actual book for browsing.
I think that’s it. If I’m at home, add clipboards and a steady supply of Utz Pub Mix.
Other tools I’ve seen in use that got me thinking:
*Misha B’s extensive Pinterest boards filled with representative character art. Genius! I’m slightly phobic about introducing electronics to the table because my regulars are already phone addicts. Last thing I want is to have a tablet there for them to diddle with.
* Jonathan Perrine’s rainbow-hued index cards. I’m a big fan of color coding (I print common-use references like Common Moves in a different color for easy grabbing) and never even thought about the fact that index cards come in different colors.
* I’ve seen a few versions of a nice, permanent (ie laminated ) X Card to drop on a table. Jeez…I’m trying to remember…someone at a recent convention had a whole deck of useful social rules they dropped on the table. Was that you, Tomer Gurantz? My apologies if I screwed that up.
Kind of a boring answer today; no bandwidth for a hot take. Hope you’re having a great weekend!