4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons "Mark" Solution– Soda Pop Rings


This weekend I went to the local “Living Forgotten Realms”  game day for some 4E RPG action. As 4E players know, the new way creatures are effected can be a little tedious. They can be marked, cursed, queried, and succumb to a host of temporary or “until save” conditions.  Having some sort of management system for all of these effects is crucial for a smooth running game.

Well, our judge had an interesting solution for managing these effects that I had not seen before; so, I thought I would share. He used the rings from bottles that are left over from holding the cap on until you open it. You know the ones, they are found on soda bottles, milk bottles, juices, pretty much every plastic bottle. And the cool thing is they come in a rainbow of different colors, so he had a color for every effect. To get a large set you would have to strategically buy your soda for a few months to get the right colors. But once you do, you are set. And if you normally get soda anyway, they would be virtually free.

Soda Ring Markers for 4e
Soda Ring Markers for 4e

In practice they worked pretty well. They were easy to throw on the creature, and due to the plastic “teeth” on the inside of the ring, they stayed in place. They were easier to add and remove then chips you place under the characters because you didn’t have to pick the mini’s up to add/remove them. And they were cleaner on the board then setting markers next to the mini’s, since they didn’t get in the way.

On the negative side, once a creature had 2 or 3 effects, then it didn’t work so well for additional ones. One creature that ended up with 5 effects, we had to take the ball of plastic off and just set it aside, because it was to unwieldy.

I personally am still a fan of the magnetic markers, but this may light some people’s fire.


Alea Tools


Stuart Greenwell

My first experiences with serious gaming came from the Hero Quest board game. I then made the next step to the RoboTech RPG and a lunchtime meeting of AD&D Oriental Adventures. My interests now are pretty much the same. Boardgames and RPGS. Some of my favorites boardgames are currently Settlers of Catan, Battlestar Galactica, and Space Alert. For RPGS, it is Monte Cook's Cypher System. But I am always down for a good round of Dungeons & Dragons.

9 thoughts on “4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons "Mark" Solution– Soda Pop Rings

  • March 1, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Great idea! It’s dirt cheap to do and more accessible for me to get them.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • March 1, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    My group uses similar colored rings, but these once fit around the small bases of the plastic Blood Bowl miniatures that came with the game. They were to mark the position/class of the players.

  • March 1, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    I like this idea, but there is a small voice in my brain whispering, “it makes the miniatures look like they came from a landfill.”

    Good idea, but not very attractive on the game board.

    Trask, The Last Tyromancer

  • March 3, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Two alternates to

    Based on an idea I found in another blog, I used a circle cutter and some 2mm foam sheets to make some markers. I found that a single circle wasn’t noticable enough, so I ended up gluing two circles together to get some 4mm thick markers.

    Total cost was $20 for the circle cutter and $5 for 12 large pieces of foam sheet in different colors. Also note, the blog suggested foam board.

    Another friend bought a gross of brown wooden tokens and has spray-painted and lacquered them. He’s using them for another game (Confrontation or AT-34 I think), but the idea is easily adopted for DnD.

    Am guessing this idea is a little more expensive, but will also hold up better under constant play.

  • March 10, 2009 at 9:53 am

    I have read a lot of posts on tracking status and conditions since 4e came out. Folks spend a lot of time and money exploring “cheap” options for handling this condition.

    I know that process because we did the same thing at our table – cutting up wooden dowels, using standard washers, buying hole punches and making tokens. In the end we probably spent hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars trying to come up with something elegant and useful.

    Eventually we had to invent(US Patent)something and bring it to market – magnetically stackable, dry erasable, multi-colored markers. You can see them at http://www.aleatools.com

    So, if everyone in your group avoided driving around and looking for alternatives and spending money on things that sort-of-work, you could all pitch in $5 and get a decent starter set for less than the cost of one of those books we all use. Maybe one GM pack and 10 pack – 34 markers – that would handle the basics.

    Another way to look at it – for less than what you pay for pizza for the night you could get exactly what you need to handle status and conditions. No compromises, no fuss, no muss…

    We have had literally thousands of folks try this product with huge success, most of them returning to fill out their sets and compliment us on the perfect solution.

    Give ’em a try.

  • March 11, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    I personally use the 2mm foam idea. its works great if you don’t mind spending the money on the cutter. you can also get some already cut on ebay.

  • April 5, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    I spent $2 on a pack of multicolored silicone hair bands in a variety of sizes. They work great. They fit over every type of mini, they’re light weight so a stack of them doesn’t overwhelm the mini, and best of all, if you lose one,who cares?

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