Art and Function Merge in New Cthulhu RPG Drink Coasters

Written by Scott Bogen of The Board Game Show

If you’re going to put tabletop gamers into categories, here’s one way to do it:  Those who allow drinks on the table and those who don’t. My friends and I fall into the former category, as we equate playing games with having fun.

I also don’t encase my cards in plastic, buy expensive inserts, or frown on friends dipping their furtive hands into a bag of Cheetos, provided they’re Flammin’ Hot.

All this and my friends would unequivocally attest to my having one of the cleanest and tidiest game rooms around, not to mention all the essentials at their orange-stained fingertips. A non-euclidean closet door hides a stocked mini-fridge, snacks, a mini-bar, and glassware for my tenebrous guests.

That’s right, glassware, all sweaty-like. Near the board. On the table. Maddening!


Put Your Glass Right Here

If you’re a discerning tabletop gamer like me, you may be compelled to surround yourself with all manner of geeky decorations, and one of my new favorites is the Cthulhu RPG-inspired coasters crafted by Alex Ingram, a home-based gamer and artist whose indescribable workshop happens to exist in a neighboring city, just minutes from my home.

One look at these blasphemous coasters and you’ll be jibbering in ancient tongues while nursing a brandy old fashioned with a splash of colonial bitters. While there’s no guarantee a calamitous rip in the fabric of space and time won’t hurl your beverages upon the much loved game boards on which you play, I can assure you that in ordinary circumstances, you will delight in placing your beverage on any one of five eldritch designs inspired by Cthulhu RPGs.

Have a look at these incredible designs by artist and illustrator, Dan Warren:


Cyclopean Workshop

Currently funding on Kickstarter, these custom coasters are crafted in Ingram’s home workshop and come in your choice of cherry, hard maple and black walnut. Each is about 3.75″ in diameter by a quarter inch thick and have 1/16″ of felt on the bottom to protect your mortal dais.

This isn’t some fly-by-night operation, either. Ingram’s been at it a while.

“I’ve always been making stuff in one incarnation or another, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to work on my own shop,” he said.  “I got fed up with designing something and relying on someone else to produce it for me… Since I game, RPGs and miniatures mainly, I just wanted to be able to make stuff for myself and my friends. The coasters were an idea at the time, just for our table, but they turned out so well that I decided to see if other people would be into them as well.”

It turns out there was plenty of interest. Ingram successfully ran a Kickstarter campaign in 2015, raising more than $21,000 for his RPG coasters. At that time his coasters featured fantasy-type character classes, such as wizards, fighters and rogues.

In his current Kickstarter, which he’s calling “RPG Coasters 2: Cthulhu,” there is a $10 pledge level for a single coaster and a $40 pledge level for the base set of five coasters, including a Keeper, Antiquarian, Criminal, Parapsychologist and Private Eye. By boosting your pledge an additional $5, you’ll have access to any of the coaster designs unlocked as stretch goals. Did someone say, “Deep One?”

“Their croaking, baying voices, clearly used for articulate speech, held all the dark shades of expression which their staring faces lacked … They were the blasphemous fish-frogs of the nameless design – living and horrible.” — H.P. Lovecraft

Finally, Ingram includes a stand as an add-on for $10. I highly recommend the stand, because unlike some coaster stands, this one allows for them to stand upright, allowing you to display the artwork betwixt imbibing rituals. In fact, it turns the whole lot of them into an interesting sculpture of sorts, a conversation piece, and the envy of fellow geeks.

“The average time I spend creating a coaster — all told — is about 20 minutes,” said Ingram. “From rough cut lumber to packaged up. The vast majority of that is machine time, which can range from 13 to 21 minutes.”


Where to Get Your Accursed Coasters

For more information, or to pledge your support for your very own set of these truly amazing coasters (I’m Scott Bogen, and I approve this message), visit the current Kickstarter. You can view Ingram’s other projects, and order other items at his RPG Coasters website.

Categories: Kickstarter, Odds & Ends

Tags: , , , , ,

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