Consider, if you will, Peter Muse of Meredith, N.H. As related in a Feb. 25 story  from The Associated Press, this ice fishing enthusiast — who already has a $2,500 bobhouse with fireplace, bathroom and four-burner stove — decided to set up a hot tub on the ice.
Thirty-year-old Krisy Short, who was enjoying the tub in her red, white and blue bikini, gave her verdict: “What’s more American than having a hot tub at an ice fishing derby?”
While folks like me might pause at the wisdom of setting up a 500-gallon hot-water slushie maker on a sheet of ice — especially in light of this Feb. 7 story  from The AP — I also marvel at the lengths people are willing to go to enjoy their hobby.
In fact, it seems ice fishing and roleplaying gaming are alike in one key way. As ice fisherman David Page of Ashland, N.H., explains: “Ice fishing is more social. … Most guys just come to hang out. Catching fish is a bonus.”
I hear you, David Page. Sometimes a session of D&D is just an excuse to get together with your friends, too.
So, GMs, I put it to you: What’s your hot tub on the ice?
What extravagance have you shelled out big bucks for so you can enjoy an rpg game, that at its most basic, is simply paper, pencil, a set of dice and good friends sitting around a coffee table enjoying an adventure of the imagination?
- Is it going to a convention — and booking rooms at a downtown hotel — every year?
- A bookshelf full of $30 rulebooks?
- Another bookshelf loaded with your leather-bound, collector’s edition rulebooks?
- A host of miniatures, enough so you could fight the battle of Helm’s Deep and still have an orc army in reserve?
- Foam-lined cases to carry all those miniatures in?
- The ultimate game table?
- A print from the original artist of the cover of your favorite book?
- Every novel ever written about your favorite game world?
- A set of dice made from some exotic material?
- An overhead projection system for mapping?
- A whole room in your house remodeled for gaming?
- The world’s greatest GM screen?
- Authentic props for your characters?
So let’s have it. I have to own up to at least a couple of items from the list above. What’s your hot tub — and if you feel like sharing — how much did you shell out for it?
Something tells me my list above doesn’t even scratch the surface …