It's Sunday morning here in NYC, and after a crazy yesterday, I'm feeling pretty good on this much more serene today.
Now on to the day's question...
The essential tools, eh?
The things you can't do without.
OK...dice? Yeah, though there are diceless games. I prefer dice, but I've played with other randomizers.
Paper, and pencil? Helpful, sure, but I'm not positive it's essential. I'm gamed freeform before, rolling dice, or flipping a coin when necessary.
How about...OH! I've got it!