Keeping Track of Everything!

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So I'm having my first meetup with a new group next Saturday. And I have a few questions (actually just one). How do you keep track of everything in the game?  I'll list everything I need below:

 

-character level(s) including new spells/feats/stats

-status effects

-time

-damage

 

Are all these things written down on your character sheet and then erased? Or are there apps that do it to make it easier or are there other methods?  I'm not very crafty so I assume I just have to write it all down but where?  On a blank notepad and keep it with my character sheet?  Or write it all on my character sheet and when it gets to have too many erase marks on it or wrinkled or whatnot, print off a new one and transpose anything onto the new one from the old one?

 

 If you're a DDI subscriber, you can just print out a character sheet with all your numbers for your powers already calculated for you...

 

 On the other hand, people got along just fine with a pencil and blank notebook paper for some 30-odd years before anybody started making computer programs for it. You honestly don't level up often enough for it to be a hassle writing up a new character sheet every time you get a new power or your numbers change.

 

What you should do is write up each one of your character's powers with all the math figured out and keep the sheet(s) next to you when you play. You can also find templates for power cards online. Copy the relevant details of each power out of the book and then write down the math for it, including your weapon damage, proficiency bonus or any other bonuses that apply to it ... I.E.:

 

 Basic Melee Attack

 

At-will                      Weapon

Standard Action    Melee Weapon

 

Target: one creature

Attack: Strength vs. AC

Hit: 1[W] + Strength modifier

 

  With +2 shortsword:

    Att: d20 + 11     +2 (1/2 level modifier for 4th level character), +4 (str modifier), + 3 (proficiency bonus), + 2 (enhancement bonus from weapon)

    Hit: 1d6 + 6       +4 (strength modifier), +2 (enhancement bonus)

 

Notes: +2 to hit with Combat Advantage, +2 damage when warlord uses power X...

 

 

 Having a "cheat sheet" with all your math filled in will eliminate most of your problems trying to remember everything. Your basic numbers don't change very often, and yhou should note any common situational modifiers that occur such as combat advantage or some bonus from another character using a power, etc...

 

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I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

-character level(s) including new spells/feats/stats

These dont really change that frequently and only have to be addressed when leveling up. You do track your power usage; the character sheets have handy dandy check boxes.

 

-status effects

Jot it down on a piece of paper; some use little tokens, pipe cleaners, or other markers or track it with a cpu program such as Masterplan.

 

-time

You shouldnt have a very hard time with this, as not only you but the rest of the party and DM are tracking it as well. Actually, the DM will be the authority on how much time has passed in most situations.

 

-damage

Jot down your surges and hit points on a piece of scratch paper and adjust when you take damage or spend surges.

 

You might benefit from watching some recorded sessions of D&D; it can make the flow of the game a lot clearer. See if you can find some 4e games on Youtube.

To keep track of all sorts of stuff in game with my character, I used a standard character sheet but then put it in a clear plastic report cover thingy (whatever you call those).  Then I can write all over my character sheet with fine tipped dry erase markers and wipe them off easily.  (Those who read some of my posts know I'm a huge fan of dry erase markers for everything.)  Be careful though, you could accidentally wipe off your notes, though I've never had a real problem with that.   For more permanent changes I just lift the cover and write it in pencil.  All this makes it easy to keep track of HP and status effects and when they end, and even mark off powers used.

 

However, for powers, I tend to use power cards, which I arrange in a small area on the table, and simply turn over each power (or magic item daily, or whatever) that gets used.  At the end of the session I mark in pencil which exhaustible powers are gone so I don't forget for next session.  I even print out power card for Action Points.  It works for me.  It can, however, get a bit out of hand if you have too many cards on the table at once.

 

On the table, we use minis, so I use colored beads for marks and colored soda pop bottle rings can be placed or hung on the minis to indicate different conditions.  Designate whatever colors you like for whatever condition.

 

But yeah, I do print out a new character sheet each time I level up, using the WoTC CB.  There are other programs out there too, or you could simply use a word processor file of some sort.

 

As Mad_Jack said, however, we got along just fine for years with using just a notebook and pencil.  It's not as much work as it seems.  Unless you lose your character sheet.    Nowadays I use WoTC's CB program and make sure I also have backups and a PDF of my characters stored in the cloud somewhere too, so I'll never lose them as long as I have internet access.  And pretty much everywhere I play nowadays has internet access, so that's handy.  But even if you don't have that, you could potentially have a copy of your character on your smartphone if you have one!

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Where can I find minis for my table?  I've looked but can't find what I'm looking for.  Do they have minis for PCs too?

Game shops will have a selection. A while back I picked up some War Hammer 40k Orc kits and we uses these as generic bad guys. As players we hunt down and use what ever. As an example we gamed at my house and we didnt have the figs with us ( left at other guys house we normally game with ) and I used a Hero Clix of Maul, another guy used Lex Luthor and someone else used the Flash Mini I had for one of his sumonsed fire deamons or what ever it was.

 

So dont worry about being 100% right, I have painted and found figs that mactched and other times I just use something I find neat ( chess peices, old 3d Dorito, Hero Clixs or even war hammer )

 

Just have fun with the game

 

-R

And if nothing else monopoly and sorry aND chess peices work for minis as dose spare pocket change.

 

The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.

Don't worry keeping track of everything. You'll find you get better with it over time, but what you'll also find is that getting better at it doesn't make that much of a difference. I sometimes deliberately drop stuff, because it's not worth tracking, though I only do that in the players' favor.

 

Do not spend game time trying to get everything right. If it doesn't flow naturally, forget it, and whatever you do don't try to go back and account for it.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

WNxTyr4el wrote:

So I'm having my first meetup with a new group next Saturday.

 

So how did it go?  Well, I hope

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