A few years ago I was running a Star Wars game (Saga) and started cannibalizing some old D20 modules. One of them was Head Trip written by Jeff Grubb. I used it more or less as written re-stated for Saga. Depending on how the players react to the various machinations going on the result potentially ends in a cantina brawl. And well, players, so the only outcome really is a cantina brawl.
I wanted to give them a more interactive environment to use so I printed out little space chairs and whatnot to place on the map. Thinking that they may want to get some sort of cover once everybody got blaster happy I wanted to get some sort of 3d prop on the board.
Inspiration again struck in the unlikeliest of places, walmart. While cruising down the aisle past the paint section I spied the rack of paint cards on display. Huh, I said to myself I bet I could use those. So I grabbed a handful of brown cards along with some tan and blue for good measure. You always have to be thinking a few steps ahead.
When I got home I measured up a bunch of round, square and rectangular tables. I cut a small strip of the same card and taped it to the back so that it could be folded to “prop” up the table.
When we played the session I laid them flat on the table with their “tails” out. The session was fun, we had a good fight and not one person flipped a table over.
Such is a GM’s lot in life. The take away here is if you want the players to think outside the box sometimes you have to lead the way and have an npc do the thing first.
Those paint cards can also be used for any number of other things, green for a bunch of bushes, tan for quicksand or a trail, blue for a pool of water, whatever. Go crazy!