Lots of people have been there; you've got your dice, minis, pens and paper and what have thee, but there's one thing missing, and without it, the game just wouldn't be the same. What's yours?
I have a few. One would be music; for less intense moments, I often turn to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, some stuff from the Runescape setlist, and instrumental Celtic music. For combat, bands like ManOwaR, big, bombastic, sword-and-scorcery metal.
Also, snacks are a must. Cookies(the Chips Ahoy sandwiches are a favorite), chips and salsa(partial to chipotle), Funions, things of that nature. If we're really hungry, we'll order pizza.
But the one thing my games cannot survive without is my lavalamp. My tabletop crew refuses to play without it.
Lava lamp! Love it! Maybe I should start turning on mine when we game! Munchies are a necessity at our house too, but we have shifted to making a big dinner part of our night as well.
The one thing that we can't play without is character signs. Let me break it down for you:
I once played D&D with a guy who you couldn't tell if he was in character or out of character when he was saying things. Consequently, he would piss of my character on a regular basis (when I was sure he was in character), but then claim that he wasn't. Or vice versa. So confusing!
So we made little paper signs for all the players that sit on the table. One side says "In Character" the other side says "Out of Character". I took it a step further when I became DM and made a sign for myself that says "DM" on one side and "NPC" on the other!
It has made all the difference in the world, especially since we are all pretty heavy into the role playing aspect of table top!
Ah, yeah, I've been there. Unfortunately, my little brush with guy-who-sounds-the-same-out-as-he-does-in-character was a bit more malicious, but it came to the same conclusion, more or less. We use quarters. Heads for in, tails for out.
Got to have snacks........ can't play without cheese puffs, chips, veggie plate and so on. Our DM does have some great mood music but I don't know what it is or where he got it. The DM and his kids do healthy stuff, but I'm a junk food junkie. Six pack of lemoned tea for caffin.
I have been known to bring silly stuff too. I've got a small barrel on a key chain that has an eyeball peering out. Press a button and it says "(knock, knock, knock...Excuse me... excuse me..excuse me......Can you let me out of here!"
Oh yes I also have a container of sea salt to drop my dice into to remove any bad mojo. (we all have our ways to change our luck)
I thought I was the only person who did "crazy" dice cleaning things. My friends used to laugh at me for bathing my dice in sea salt and sage.
I haven't gamed in years, and didn't realize until recently how much I missed it, but when I was gaming every week with some friends our DM's little sister liked to sit in with us until her bedtime. One night one of the players couldn't catch a break on his dice rolls. I don't think he'd rolled over a ten in probably an hour. The little girl went and got her "best" my little pony unicorn and said her magic would help him get better rolls. Oddly enough, he did roll a bit higher. From then on we'd break out the unicorn whenever someone was having major dice failure.
I hear if you boil them for a few hours the spammy taste goes away... along with any other flavor. Sometimes your best bet is to wrap it in leaves and bury it in your campfire coals. Let it stay there until morning, dig it out and you have a easy mean for all. Season to taste.
Snackwise we always have carrot sticks (which we started calling Gokus... I am not even sure who started it...)