Today's crafty tip and fiddle from yer uncle Von is all to do with RPGs and maps.
Even for an armchair-theatre type like me, roleplaying sooner or later ends up generating the need for maps. Now, necessity is the mother of invention, and consequently many RPG manufacturers have invented things for you to spend your money on in order to establish just how far into ur base the characters are, and how many d00dz still require killin. Things like this.
Don't get me wrong, it's very pretty, but it a) costs money and b) only represents the one thing. I am a) poor and b) inclined to run lots of different roleplaying games, in lots of different settings and with lots of different environments coming up in the space of one story, sometimes even in one session.
That's why I use one of these instead.
Oh, I admit it doesn't look as nice, but the thing is, I'm not limited with this. I can choose to have a grid, or not to have a grid, can choose whether this blank white space is a dungeon, or a field, or a lava flow, or whatever I like. If I'm feeling terribly artistic, I can even draw out multiple areas in different colours and use them to trigger events in play. I also don't have to spend a fortune on graph paper. I tend to whip it out for any particularly busy encounters and then put it away again, rather than tracking the entire course of an adventure on it, but in theory, smaller pieces could be used to track out quite a substantial area.
In the UK, Wilkinson's sell the board and a black pen for £2. They also, for just over £4, do a larger board that's half whiteboard and half cork, allowing you to pin resources like world maps, interesting documents and other stimulating papery things onto, but since I can't fit that one in the Nerd Bag (of which more later), it's so far been a no-no.