Tell Me About Your GM Palanquin

edited June 2013 in Story Games
Mines a bit austere--no bling, no canopy, not even a cushioned seat. And lately I've been thinking about upgrading. So I want to hear all about yours. What does it look like? What do you like about it? What don't you like about it? How many players does it take to carry it? That sort of thing.


  • I have a four player model I bought when TSR folded. It is dungeon-fabulous with human femur handles and a seat decorated with the skulls of failed litigants, but it has definitely seen better days.
  • Mine is a black lounge chair. One side has a built-in holder for my martini glass. The other has a bottle of players' tears and a bottle of gin. You know. In case I need a cocktail.
  • I have the White Wolf version I got in '97. Panda fur cushions studded with garnets, a black velvet canopy strung with tiny silver ankhs and the teeth of rules lawyers.
  • I've done away with the royal palanquin and instead opted for something more new-school.

    My hands and feet are tethered with pastel silks, studded with small iridescent gems. My player-attendants slide an angora-lined leather hood over my head. I'm then tethered to a twelve-foot long rotisserie pole.

    I've never seen the flames, of course, but they smell and feel otherworldly and beautiful. If I had to guess, I'd guess that all the colours were in attendance among them - blue flames and magenta flames and flames of ebony.
  • I got mine, second hand, from John Harper. When I opened the box there were all these parts! I got it put together and it totally rocks. It only takes 3 players to pull it because it's got this wheel that holds up one corner. There were a couple extra pieces in the box that I'm not sure what to do with so I tied them on the front and they look pretty cool so I guess that's what they were for. I asked John about the wheel one time and he was all like, "What wheel?"
  • Wait, are you people joking? My players literally keep me in a hole in the ground.
  • I have a GMless palanquin. It's awesome, but we all have to carry it and take turns riding in it.
  • *recording people's names for when the revolution comes*
  • Mine is made from bits and odds from everywhere. It has a burning wheel on one side, a dog on the top, with nudged vine's tendrils on it's fur, and bumper full of anime stickers. It tends to transform into many different things when used, so you need valkyrie piloting skills to ride it. What you mean, players? oh, yeah, it's "Mr. Fusion" core uses their brains as fuel.
  • I sit on the very clouds, high above mere players.
  • JWalt, I hope my well-known burning hatred for all GMs everywhere will balance things out when you start putting people up against the wall.
  • Mine is an almost-featureless onyx sphere. It's dreadfully heavy but rolls easily. The only visible imperfection is a thin slot through which I extrude index cards with writings that reveal the happenings in the game world.

    Inside it's very comfortable, but it's hard to avoid some car-sickness after it's been rolling for a while. I'm thinking of switching to a crystalline model when it's time to upgrade.
  • My players think my GM palanquin is a treasure chest wrapped in barbed wire which they have to carry with their bare hands unless they can devise gloves that meet my lofty standards for excellence.

    In reality, it's a mind-control helmet.
  • I don't have a GM palanquin. I have a DM palanquin.

    Check your cultural appropriation, people.
  • Ben, what edition?
  • The ADVANCED edition.
  • JWalt, I hope my well-known burning hatred for all GMs everywhere will balance things out when you start putting people up against the wall.
    Don't believe this for one minute. I saw this guy GM this week.
  • edited June 2013
    I have a biomechanical assassin bug that I bought cheap of that guy at a con. It feeds on the blood of powergamers and rule-lawyers - for some reasons I don't have many in my groups any more, but a couple of cons a year take care of that problem nicely.
    There's enough room on its back to sit comfortably, the wing covers hide a big trunk that holds rulebooks and stuff. It's not really made to be actually taken into the gaming room unless you have a lot of space, but I don't mind that. It can fly, but I really wouldn't recommend activating that function while you're sitting on it, it's uncomfortable at best. But it means that you can just park it on some rooftop.
  • I used to have a GM bicycle rickshaw. Unfortunately the GM part meant that I had to pull it myself to get anywhere. The players rode in it, but it was even sadder when they forgot to come and I had to ride alone in the rain.

    After I sold the rickshaw, my new sedan chair was pretty nice (got it used from Matt Snyder when he got a new one) - real wood finish and plump cushions. The best part is the ergonomic riding position that doesn't cause undue strain to the lower back, yet makes it feasible to watch over all the players (for signs of sedition or strain - it's flexible). Not much protection from the weather, but that's because it's so light that three players taking turns can lug it to the Forge and back without taking a break worth the name.

    In '06 or so I figured out D&D, though, and therefore learned REAL magic. Since then I've ridden a dragon (or just flown under my own power when the dragon's sleeping it off). I never take the players anywhere on my dragon. They can get lost in the woods for all I care. NOW they beg me to go back to the sedan chair.
  • There are so many +1s I want to give.
  • I'm in a PbP, so I just instruct my players to build a small throne for their computer and cower under/in front of it while they play a .wav file of me laughing maniacally and a .gif file of me setting fire to a hand-drawn picture of their character.
  • My GM Palanquin surprisingly looks like a sheet of plastic used to protect carpets and on top of that is a simple black office chair. It may not seem like much, but the chair is on casters and is quite mobile while the underside of the plastic has many sharp teeth that can torment without inflicting serious harm. It is pulled by the power of the Internet. :-)
  • I scored the bed from Bedknobs and Broomsticks at a flea market in '79 and I just use that. Don't tell my players that it flies, it's funnerer to watch them lift the damned heavy old thing.
  • I'm pretty modest. I don't need a litter. I'm happy just to be fanned with palm fronds and fed chilled skinned grapes. I guess I just believe in democratic gaming.
  • My palanquin is the bodies of living, breathing OSR fans that we have captured and forced into Narrativism. They're so grateful for my beneficence that they assemble themselves into a palanquin for me.
  • My players are still making a Palanquin for me. They make one from scratch, then I tell them if it is good enough for me to be born on or not. Then they get to make a new one. They are having lots of fun investigating this mystery. There is a whole story behind what the final design will look like and the players are having so much fun trying different ways to figure out what that is. It is very interactive and player driven.
  • My palanquin is also player driven. But instead of giving directions, I guide the players by asking them questions. (They usually don't notice that it's actually rolling along on rails.)
  • My Palanquin is fully equipped with the latest tricks: stealth technology and antigrav compensators so my players don't even realize they're carrying me. UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE.
  • Golf cart, golf clubs included, golf shoes mandatory
  • Mine is a sealed, blackest black sarcophagus. The players can see only my face through a circular window, and hear my amplified voice projected through the speakers attached to the sides. All dice are rolled and notes are held within, where no player can see or interfere with them.
  • Covered in little thorns and a mild toxin, the better to constantly irritate and antagonize the players who bear it. They never seem to put up a fight, even as I'm locking the heavy iron bands around their necks one more time. The toxin may actually be doing permanent brain damage, whatever.
  • Mine is getting a bit precarious, lodged as it is on top of a big pile of dead players.
  • What, you guys still use these things? How...quaint. Most of my gaming happens online these days, so I guess my "palanquin" is my couch. Rather modest and neutral toned with lovely red pillows and live cats. When I want players, I summon them from coast to coast - distance is no boundary (except for Australia - that's just too damn far). They show up promptly because technology strips away their sad excuses like "traffic" or being "too tired." The major downside, of course, is that I have to provide my own snacks, so I guess I can see how old school palanquins would still be appealing.

  • Ugh. You know those things you get that seem super cool at the time, that seem to sync perfectly with every aesthetic that feeds you? But then few years later, you've grown in new directions, and the things you liked got diluted and beaten into lifelessness when they went mainstream, and you realize they weren't that well thought out to begin with anyway? That's what I got. Its in storage, because I'm too embarrassed to take it out, and I can't sell it because nobody wants it, but damn if I'll get rid of it because I've sunk so much into it and its got that nostalgia halo around it.

    Its mostly chrome and neon, with old-fashioned blinking rope-lights and some directed spotlights. The vents shot out dry-ice mist and the woofers are pointed right at the ground to make the floor vibrate. All the controls are big and obvious (they light up to), with a ringed sci-fi microphone dead center and a few dozen buttons for digital sound effects (the kind you can get from a $1 keychain now). The whole things actually centered on a raised narrow cage-like podium, so no sitting. There's a huge forward-facing red LED display for flashing numbers and angular representations of skulls and explosions. The whole thing rests on a hover cushion for easy movement (annoyingly loud) with eight handle-stations for players to push against (one's still smashed up from some GM-jousting in '98).

    I tried bringing it out a couple years ago, but rather than being cowed, the players giggled. Fortunately, the boarder-repelling shockers still worked, so I salvaged some cred.
  • Keep that thing in good shape, E.T. After one more generation of "retro" coolness kicking in, it'll be worth a fortune on eBay. Heck, you might even be able to find an eccentric collector right now. Maybe hit up a Kiss or Alice Cooper fan site? I gotta admit, I once had a similar palanquin, and much as I wouldn't want to be seen with it now, I do miss it.
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