Time is money friend! So to save you some time, this will be a swift and to the point post! LET’S SAVE SOME MONEY!
- If you all play in one house week after week, bring your books and store them there. Initial the books so everyone knows what belongs to who. In a gaming group, you only need one copy of each required book. You can also always go digital and store the digital versions of most books on a tablet. This is a great way to save space as well! The digital copy of most books are also nearly 80% cheaper most of the time.
- Does the group need something? Have everyone pitch in. Dinner and snacks week after week can be costly. Printer ink, trash bags, paper, pens, you name it; there is a lot involved and it adds up fast. If you think you need some help on cash, have everyone chip in five dollars a week. At the very least it will help purchase new books and materials that the group will want. This works for food too!
- Carpool if there are people along the way. Gas adds up fast now days, pooling together is super easy. Alternate the carpooling if possible, if you can’t; tip the driver every other week to help foot the gas bill.
- Go digital! Can’t afford to keep up with ink, travel, so on and so forth? There are awesome ways to play online. Skype and Roll20 are absolutely free alternatives to get a game going online.
- Use tokens! Minis are awesome, seriously, awesome. But, they are pricey when you need lots. Heck, even your very own hand painted mini will likely cost you twenty dollars or more after paints. The ‘cheap’ plastic minis only cost a couple of dollars a piece as well, but that adds up fast when you need to fill a dungeon. There are a lot of free tokens that you can print out online. You could just as easily make your own as well (I’ll get to that in the future).
- Reusable maps! I like dungeon tiles because I’m a travelling GM. But, it really doesn’t beat making a map from scratch. I have a regular sized Chessex Battlemat, and a Megamat as well. They are reusable with wet erase marker. One pro-tip, don’t use colored markers! Stick with black if you plan on leaving things on the mat for any period over 6 hours. The colored markers tend to stain! This cuts down on ink costs a lot.
- Make your own snacks. Seriously, fast food and junk food are easy; but add up fast, and are terrible for you. Soups are a great and cheap option but tough to eat during a game. Make sandwiches, grab some chips, bring your drink of choice but get a big version of it, it’s cheaper. I stopped drinking soda over a year ago.(I lost 20 pounds! WOO!) But, get a 64oz juice over a bottle, or a 2 liter soda over a bottle, if you want to use water… That’s already where you’re going! If it isn’t, just get the 24 bottle packs. Five dollars for 24 bottles, or a dollar-fifty for one bottle? Making your own meals cuts down costs nearly 70% (at least in my case).
- Leave stuff behind. I mentioned this for books, but if you game at the same place weekly; leave stuff behind! Travelling because you forgot something costs time and money, it sucks. If you are able to leave some stuff behind, stuff that you only use there, do it! The less you have to worry about, the better.
- Don’t travel too far! Figure out where you can play in relation to everyone. Try to have everyone travel as little as possible. This isn’t just to save gas, it’s for safety! If you game in the afternoon and leave later at night, the roads are always more dangerous. Cut down on travel for yourself and everyone by hosting your games at a more central location.
- Cut down on your prep! I can plan a full-fledged adventure for my next week in just a few hours. This is because I’ve spent years cutting off excess here and there. You can do the same too! Gather the numbers that you use most often onto a sheet of paper. Simplify numbers for yourself. Check out my article “The Morning After” on one way to cut down on prep. I’ll go into more detail about cutting down on numbers in the near future!
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