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GM Day Burgoo: Hot tubs for ice fishermen

Consider, if you will, Peter Muse of Meredith, N.H. As related in a Feb. 25 story [1] from The Associated Press, this ice fishing enthusiast – who already has a $2,500 bobhouse with fireplace, bathroom and four-burner stove – decided to set up a hot tub on the ice.

Thirty-year-old Krisy Short, who was enjoying the tub in her red, white and blue bikini, gave her verdict: “What’s more American than having a hot tub at an ice fishing derby?”


While folks like me might pause at the wisdom of setting up a 500-gallon hot-water slushie maker on a sheet of ice – especially in light of this Feb. 7 story [2] from The AP – I also marvel at the lengths people are willing to go to enjoy their hobby.

In fact, it seems ice fishing and roleplaying gaming are alike in one key way. As ice fisherman David Page of Ashland, N.H., explains: “Ice fishing is more social. … Most guys just come to hang out. Catching fish is a bonus.”

I hear you, David Page. Sometimes a session of D&D is just an excuse to get together with your friends, too.

So, GMs, I put it to you: What’s your hot tub on the ice?

What extravagance have you shelled out big bucks for so you can enjoy an rpg game, that at its most basic, is simply paper, pencil, a set of dice and good friends sitting around a coffee table enjoying an adventure of the imagination?


So let’s have it. I have to own up to at least a couple of items from the list above. What’s your hot tub – and if you feel like sharing – how much did you shell out for it?

Something tells me my list above doesn’t even scratch the surface …

10 Comments (Open | Close)

10 Comments To "GM Day Burgoo: Hot tubs for ice fishermen"

#1 Comment By Scott Martin On March 4, 2009 @ 5:50 pm

Mini wargaming is proving more deadly to the wallet, but I admit that many objects on your list above are (or were) strong temptations. The rulebooks (not all $30, but all way more than a novel) were particularly bad when I was collecting a whole game line.

#2 Comment By Skel3tor1 On March 4, 2009 @ 5:50 pm

I’m a frugal and cheap individual and my friends have always made fun of me because of it. So it was a pretty big deal when I decided to get my hot tub on the ice for my gaming group. It is a nice projector to beam maps on to the wall. It has changed our gaming experience for the better. Too many to list here but I thought I’d just drop in to comment about my hot tub on the ice. 🙂

#3 Comment By Javaboy On March 4, 2009 @ 7:18 pm

Two players and I built a custom gaming table that fits my living room. There’s enough room for books & character sheets on each side of the table even when the middle is full of battle mat and minis. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s something that money alone cannot buy.

I’m not against setting up a map projection system in a dedicated gaming room… but I need to get a bigger house first.

#4 Comment By Patrick Benson On March 4, 2009 @ 8:46 pm

I don’t even want to think about how many ways I could answer this question. I have bought many, many “hot tubs” in the past for gaming. I’ll just mention my last purchase about a week ago – $250+ for a complete set of FoamWerks foam board tools so that I can produce modular 3D terrain faster and easier than ever before.


If I ever decide to go back to school to become an architect I am fully prepared for creating 3D mock ups! 🙂

#5 Comment By Clawfoot On March 4, 2009 @ 11:29 pm

Once a year, I design and run a one-shot, one-night game for friends. It’s usually a unique and very simple system created just for the game, includes dinner (lesson learned from the first night: hire a caterer. Running a game while cooking for fifteen at the same time is really not recommended if you enjoy your sanity), we gave each player a short list of goals to achieve (each worth points), including small goals, big goals, and NIGs (Nearly Impossible Goals), so there are actually “winners,” which is a strange thing for roleplayers to get used to, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun for a change of pace.

Anyway, one of the silliest (and perhaps the most fun) things I’ve ever done for it was actually order first, second and third place trophies, engraved with the name of the game (each game has a different title). We tallied the totals at the end of the night and handed out the trophies in a small ceremony. It was a huge surprise for the players, extremely silly, and everyone just loved it.

#6 Comment By Kurt “Telas” Schneider On March 5, 2009 @ 12:55 am

Oh, geez…

Gen Con. I go all out: VIG badge, True Dungeon, uncrowded hotel room, dinner at Fogo de Chao, Irish whiskey at the Claddagh, Kobe Burger at the Ram (sadly discontinued), about a grand dropped in the Dealer Room, and at least one $20 cigar. It’s my celebration of gaming, and nothing stands in its way.

Custom Dice Tray, courtesy of Dwarven Sweatshoppe. Rubbed walnut with a beautiful lacy pattern, floored with leather. It’s beautiful, but absolutely unnecessary.

I didn’t add up what I paid for them, and I probably don’t want to know, but when I sold my 3.5 books on eBay, they fetched well over $500. That probably could have been a house payment.

Assloads of Campaign Coins, although I will probably never use them, since the trend is to ignore shopping and bookkeeping.

For my renfest costume, I bought a very functional sword for a lot of money. It’s an [4] katana variant, with a false edge and blade catchers along the back, with a beautiful rosewood handle. It’s sharp as a razor, and as well balanced as anything I’ve ever held. Too bad I can’t wear it at Gen Con… stupid ‘no weapons’ policy.

#7 Comment By Elora On March 5, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

PaizoCon 2009 is going to be my hot tub item this year. Last year it only cost me about $100, including fuel to drive across the state and a ticket for my husband as well. This year…well, let’s just say I’m giving myself a really nice birthday present.

#8 Comment By Troy E. Taylor On March 5, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

Swords! Doh! Of course, swords are hot tubs. Considering the people I know … I should have thought of that right off the bat.

Elora: I am so jealous of anyone going to PaizoCon. It sounds like a fantastic lineup this year. Unfortunately, for me, it’s on the other side of the Rocky Mountains — which is too far to walk in a weekend. All the same, enjoy yourself.

#9 Comment By Martin Ralya On March 7, 2009 @ 11:34 am

I think I’m right there with Patrick on this one — if I think too hard about how much money I’ve spent on gaming stuff over the past 20 years, I might realize that I could be driving a Rolls right now…

Extravagant, though? That’s tougher. I have a limited edition Call of Cthulhu rulebook that was quite pricey (and very, very nice), and a little Ctulhu statuette cast in bronze by Rick Sardinha that I just love.

But mostly it’s volume — I like trying a new game for the first time because that means I can buy more gaming books. 😉

#10 Comment By Troy E. Taylor On March 8, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

Is there room in a Rolls to run a gaming session?

I wonder, hmmmmm