The Return of El Cheapo Gaming

I don’t how long it’s been since I did an El Cheapo Gaming post. I just haven’t stumbled across anything new or cool. Let’s also face it that a lot stores are still closed, and inventories are down. But it doesn’t mean that I haven’t tinkered with some of my toys.
There’s a lot more options than when I started ranting about doing things on the cheap. 3-D printing was still pretty much in the prototype stage and readily available to your average hobbyist. Heck. I still don’t have one. Not sure if I will. But we shall see on that.
For this post, I want talk about my favorite things in DM Box of wonder. First, a few Legos or the generic knock-offs. You don’t need a lot maybe a dozen or so. I’ve used them for altars, tables, desks, whatever. They’re just all around handy.
The second toy that travels in my box are the wall sections that I made.

It took some experimentation but I’ve found the perfect system for me. First, go to your local hardware store and get some 3/4 inch stock. This usually comes in 3 feet section for only a couple of bucks. I looked at other sizes; 5/8 was just too small and 1 inch just seem too tall. I wanted something all of the players at the table could see over without any trouble. Then I just it down into convenient sizes: 6″, 5″, 4″, 3″, 2″ and 1″. The 1″ pieces are special. I use them for doors. Just stand on edge so it’s 1″ tall and the door stands out and is taller than the wall section. I just hand painted a door on there.
For the other lengths, I ran a little sand paper on the “top” two edges and rounded the corners a bit. This is really necessary but does add a little to the appearance when your looking up close. Then just paint them gray with cheap acrylic paint. After the paint dries, I mark off 1″ sections and paint lines with black paint. These don’t have to be perfect. It’s OK that they’re a little wavy or even off a bit. Makes them look a little more natural. You can add more details if you want but it just let stand as is as extra details can be distracting.
In play, I just lay out the walls for the room. I don’t worry about using any dungeon tiles. I use the markings on the walls as a general guide. I like to hit this weird mid-point between theater of the mind and using miniatures. I don’t worry about exact tactical movement. Just give everybody a rough idea where the party and the monsters are.
And there you go.

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