I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a glass-half-full, every-cloud-has-a-silver-lining, make-some-lemonade optimist. However, I’ll admit that one of the (very) few positives to come out of my lengthy quarantine lockdown was that I was finally able to start DMing a regular family D&D campaign. It’s the kind of thing I’ve been meaning to do for ages, but it took a couple of months of being hopelessly homebound to actually motivate me and mine to make our way to the tabletop.
Of course, running a weekly game for a group of four novice adventurers comes with its own set of challenges. My players, aged 13-34, have never played 5e, and only a couple of them have any RPG experience at all.
They’ve finally got their dice-rolling sorted—rolls for initiative, ability checks, and attacks use our old friend the D20—but their biggest stumbling block remains character condition effects.
Poisoned, Exhausted, and Grappled are the main offenders. (I think I’ve finally started to get through to them on the basic advantage/disadvantage, at least.) This usually leads me to leaf through the Player’s Handbook or try and elaborate on the notes I keep behind my DM screen, which slows down the action considerably.
I’ve even tried giving out paper chits with condition notes on them, but that’s just one more thing for my players to juggle in-hand alongside their character sheets, dice, spell cards, etc. Clearly, I’m not the only DM to struggle with this, which leads me to my new favorite Kickstarter, Airmail Adventures’ Condition Chips for 5e.
Each 39mm-wide (1.5-inch), 3mm-thick, 10-gram chip covers one of the 14 official conditions from Dungeons & Dragons 5e—from Blinded to Unconscious. These poker-style chips are durable, tactile, and specifically designed to go underneath the affected mini, making them exactly what I’ve been searching for!
Printed on both sides, the color-coded Condition Chips include an eye-catching icon on one side and condition details on the other, meaning they can be flipped over, studied, and returned to the map surface without having to search for the gory details in your preferred paper or digital resource.
As far as cost, a full set of chips (with any unlocked stretch goals) will set you back £19—approximately $24 American—with that dropping down to around £16 a set if you buy a multiple of three. Contributor feedback is encouraged, as the fully-funded campaign plans to expand, including extras of chips like Poisoned or additional helpful statuses like Concentration and Inspiration, depending on the whims of the backers.
So if you’re looking for an easy and effective way to track character conditions and would like the opportunity to determine the very shape of this exciting Kickstarter, check out Condition Chips for 5th Edition to get in on the proverbial ground floor.