For many in this community, game shelves are a source of pride. We prominently display them in our homes, watching clandestinely for a reaction as our friends peruse them. Or we post pictures of them online, sometimes “accidentally” as background, or maybe proudly the same way you might post pictures of your family vacation. Either way, we’re hoping someone will comment on our sophisticated taste or exquisite paint jobs and give us our daily dopamine hit.
But as much as we may consider our games as an ever-expanding objet d’ art, the truth is they’re a space suck. Most, if not all, of us in this hobby have struggled with the “I want to buy it, but where would I put it” conundrum at least once. And that’s just the storage. Once they’re out of the box, we inevitably end up chasing various bits as they’re sent skittering off the table and onto the floor. That’s a lot of work for a little tactile-induced euphoria. Fortunately, there are people out there with more spatial reasoning skills than myself who have come to the rescue!
Cube Staka – Kickstarter
The biggest elephant-sized issue in the room is obviously your game collection itself. Many recent games are pushing the boundaries of complexity and box sizes are increasing proportionately. That adds up to a lot of space. The answer for many is to buy a cheap Ikea cube shelf and cram your games into like a costly game of Tetris. And then when you pull one out, the rest come tumbling down or worse, out, spilling the contents in various hard-to-reach places.
Cube Staka shelves are modular slot-and-groove insert that creates individual shelves for your games to help you avoid just such an issue. And unlike other game organizers, the shelves just slide in without the need for attaching and leveling anything so installation is super simple and quick. Quick and easy: just like pulling out your games will be.
Extra Pocket – Kickstarter
Ok, now that you’ve reclaimed space in the house, it’s time to move on to your table. Big games with numerous expansions can slowly envelope your table like an amoeba, leaving zero room for your drink or snacks. It’s almost like you could use…wait for it…an EXTRA POCKET! This no-frills component organizer from 42B clips onto the side of your table, leaving your hands and table space free and unencumbered.
The Atlas Base – Kickstarter
Wargamers are a special breed. Not only does the hobby involve dozens of fragile, often expensive, miniatures, but there is the added space waster known as the “paint station”. Yes, the paint station is a lawless land, strewn with half-finished miniatures, splatters of paint, and unruly mobs of paint bottles squatting among the wreckage.
But the Atlas base is the solution to all that. Well, not the unfinished models. You’re on your own there. But it will definitely help with the paint organizing. Each base uses the shape of the dropper bottles to create stackable columns. The bases can be easily separated, but it’s not really necessary as you can still pull bottles out of the column without fear of collapse. If you’d like, you can also hang individual bases on the wall with a single tack nail, creating a modular, wall-mounted paint rack. Genius!
Book of Monstrous Might – Kickstarter
The physical footprint of tabletop games is obvious, but what isn’t immediately obvious is the mental space that they occupy. Unlike a video game, players are responsible for knowing all of the rules and making sure that the game progresses correctly. This much more active role makes us feel really smart and is arguably one of the biggest draws of tabletop games. But it can be a bit tiring. And when it comes to mental bandwidth, nothing drains it faster than an RPG. Tomes of rules; lengthy plots; and dozens of characters and monsters, each with their own stats and motivations too, add up to a brain-crushing load. While players only have their character and possibly an NPC or two to manage, GMs have many more balls (and spears, and fireballs, and plots, and…) to juggle.
Enter The Book of Monstrous Might to help alleviate that load a bit. Every GM wants to create a game full of thrilling combat that isn’t just rolling and calling out damage, but finding the time to create new elements for your game can be daunting. Plus, characters have an annoying habit of blowing through the “challenging” encounter you spent hours designing. This book takes that stress off of you by including “hundreds of new monstrous abilities” to spice up your 5E RPG sessions. It also includes 30 completely new monsters, 15 monstrous races, tactics for your monsters by monster type, 100 unique goblin encounters for those low-level adventures, and more.
The Dungenerator – Kickstarter
Designing a monster is tough, but let’s not forget about the ecosystems where they live. Creating maps and dungeons for these beasts to inhabit is equally difficult. And sometimes, there’s just not time in the week to create an intricate adventure space with all of life’s other demands.
The Dungenerator deck of cards eliminates this problem with a simple formula. Start with an “Entrance” room and build from there. If two cards would ever overlap, simply flip the overlapping card to its other side featuring a dead end. In just a matter of minutes, you’ve built a great looking dungeon that you can now inhabit with all sorts of fun surprises for your players.
This latest Kickstarter campaign will reprint the first series (pictured above) as well as series 2, a much more arboreal-looking dungeon than the standard underground tunnel. Considering that the series 1 campaign shattered it’s funding goal, this deck is clearly doing its job well.
by Zane Messina