This is somewhat similar to the dead and very old Convention swag for promotion thread, but I also believe it is vastly different. In this meta thread, I want to collect a list of items that Stack Exchange can have made (we have a budget! and a designer!) that will help you, as well as Stack, promote the site at all times and places. These items have to be useful; t-shirts and stickers are fun and will probably be made anyway, but I am specifically looking for items that you can use during game play and are essential to it. For example, we got B&CG.Stack Exchange-branded Life Counter Sheets made up for use in Magic: The Gathering tournaments. These items need to be things people will actually use; don't think "cool" so much as "necessary."

In a chat conversation, these ideas were brought up. I invite critiques and clarifications:

  • Gaming Icon
  • Fudge Dice
  • Dice Tower

When pitching an item below, make sure to be incredibly specific (links are always awesome).

NOTE that the intention behind these swag items is not to give them out to a million dumbfounded strangers, thus infuriating them with junk they have to carry around/throw away. The intention is to provide people in our community and the RPG community at large with items they will use, and are of good quality.

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Any ETA on when a decision will be made and when the swag would be available? –  Sardathrion Apr 24 '12 at 7:28
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8 Answers

Another good alternative would be to produce dice bags. These are pretty much exactly what they sound like... Usually a draw-string pouch for holding dice. The bags Crown Royal alcohol comes in are popular for this. Slap an imprint on the bag, or cover it in artwork... Either way, it could potentially be useful, look nice, and be (relatively) easy to arrange.

The main concern would be durability. I haven't tried any of the customized offerings (Google will turn them up for you), but I'd be concerned that the bag or the printing on it might not hold up to use.

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Probably even better - easier branding and lots of folks use pretty ghetto solutions because they don't want to buy a bag... –  mxyzplk Feb 9 '12 at 1:46
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solid idea. although I personally will be hard pressed to give up my think geek chain mail one :) –  wax eagle Feb 9 '12 at 3:07
    
I'm currently using a gallon plastic bag that lost it's ability seal long ago... :/ –  Ian Pugsley Feb 9 '12 at 13:44
    
And, in contrast to e.g. dice towers, dice bags are easily shipped (shipment to overseas can be a pain). –  Stephen Feb 18 '12 at 18:58
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I'd love to see the wing/dice design from the upper-right of the design preview on one of these things. –  AceCalhoon Apr 11 '12 at 20:50
    
@AceCalhoon Agreed! Image source: http://cdn.sstatic.net/rpg/img/bg-newuser.png –  dpatchery Apr 12 '12 at 12:24
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I'll lead off by transcribing Bryant's excellent version of the obvious answer:

Dice would be pretty cool. Something like a ? for the 1 and the logo for the 6, maybe? Here're some custom die costs; looks like it'd cost around $2.50 per die if the print run was in the thousands.

Six- and ten-sided dice are the ones applicable across the greatest number of systems. D20s, or full "D&D" sets (d4, d6, d8, 2 d10 one printed for percentiles, d12, d20) probably hit the largest total market. I'm not sure where fudge dice specifically fit into that.

The downside being that there isn't much room to differentiate RPG.StackExchange dice from ordinary dice... And most players here probably have a sizable dice collection already.

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+1; "And most players here probably have a sizable dice collection already." Yes, but "collection" implies: never stop collecting more dice! –  Stephen Feb 9 '12 at 19:28
    
Fudge dice are just d6's with 2 +'s, 2 -'s, and 2 blank sides –  DForck42 Feb 13 '12 at 15:50
    
@DForck42 Thanks, although I know that part :) What I meant was that I'm not sure how widespread their use is (compared to say, D6s or D&D dice sets). –  AceCalhoon Feb 13 '12 at 15:55
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From a conversation with Brian in chat:

  • Dice Towers enter image description here
  • Small Whiteboards
  • GM Screens (with blank back side so they can be printed) enter image description here
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I love the dice tower idea. best one I've seen so far –  wax eagle Feb 9 '12 at 3:06
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+1 for small whiteboards. –  mxyzplk Feb 9 '12 at 4:29
    
+1 for all of these. In particular, I'd love to see a GM screen with the site's new banner (looking good from the small preview we've seen) and a prominent "rpg.stackexchange.com" on one side (facing the players) and some place to affix GM notes on the other (maybe using clear pockets like the worlds greatest screen does). –  Aether Feb 9 '12 at 10:13
    
+1 for dice tower. –  Sardathrion Feb 9 '12 at 11:57
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Is it worth splitting these into three separate posts so people can vote (and indicate community approval) on each item, or is that not important? –  Aether Feb 9 '12 at 13:53
    
@Aether: Where did you see the new site banners previews? –  Sardathrion Feb 14 '12 at 14:18
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@Sardathrion: I've only seen the small sneak peak (for main and meta) that Jin posted in the chat. They are starred in The Game Table: main site and meta site. –  Aether Feb 14 '12 at 14:26
    
@Aether: Thank you for the links. –  Sardathrion Feb 14 '12 at 14:41
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We're about pen and paper gaming.

Pens and pencils are an obvious choice.

Many GMs game using wet erase battlemats so wet erase markers also fit the bill and perhaps have the advantage(?) of being useful for fewer purposes outside of the scope of the site.

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I think players in a group are typically looking at one of four possible things (not all systems and/or groups will have all of these):

  • Their dice
  • The GM
  • The map
  • Their character sheet

Dice is an obvious swag item, and a GM screen has already been proposed (which I love the idea of). So additionally:

Battlemats

Brian Ballsun-Stanton mentioned this in chat, although (as he notes) it could be prohibitively expensive.

I was thinking, in particular, a battlemat with a grid (inch squares or hexes) and a large-ish RPG.SE logo/URL in faint watermark underneath the grid. It could be tricky to balance - it would need to be visible enough to get noticed, but faint enough to prevent interference with actual game play. However, like the GM screen, it would place our site branding and identity at the center of players' attentions - one item for a group which every player looks at.

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A satchel or messenger bag. When I don't need to transport my full library of books, I use a messenger bag to transport books, character sheets, my laptop, dice, and other odds and ends.

The books are typically slightly larger than 8.5"x11" (those are softcover dimensions, with hardcovers being a shade larger due to the cover and binding), so the bags should be at least that size. Some extra room is nice, to allow for the inclusion of a bag of dice. My current bag looks to be about 14x11.5x4... Either the 14 or the 11.5 could stand to be reduced a bit to make the bag a little less floppy.

I'd love to see a bag with the header image across the flap, or the wing and dice design from the upper-right of the design preview.

Google turns up a number of custom printing options (and the bag I'm using was custom printed, although there's no manufacturer information on it), although durability could be a concern.

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A note binder. Not all of us are rich and use computer/tablets/smart phones to takes notes. Some of us still use pen and paper. So, a binder with room for a pad of paper, lose notes, a few pens, and character sheets in neoplastic covers would be useful. If there was room for dices that would be awesome.

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Many still use books at the table. I find the whole book gets cluttered with post it notes and torn paper bookmarks during a campaign. How about producing a set of 4~6 colour-coded bookmarks which can be annotated with dry erase markers for page numbers? The colour-coded allows the GM to easily find a specific section visually (blue for rules, green for spells, red for combat, etc) while the ability to write page references right on the bookmark puts an end to flipping.

The bookmark would carry the site logo and URL, with a pithy comment like: "Still can't find what you are looking for?"

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