Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

How I keep track of initiative

Reading one of the many RPG feeds I have in the Google Reader, I came into this article about how to keep track of the initiative rolls. It's a nice article worth reading, but it made me think "Hey, why don't I share the way we do that in our game?". I guess every DM has its own way and thinks it's the best one. So here it goes:
  1. In your favorite word processor (I used Word) just make a 4-column table and as many rows as you like. One for each charecter and enough for monsters or NPCs.
  2. Columns 1 and 4 are 1,5 cm. wide and columns 2 and 3 are 7 cm. wide. All rows are 1,5 cm in height. Make sure all cell borders are a least 3 pt. wide. All are suggested values.
  3. Use you favorite font type to write the name of the character in columns 2 and 3. For the example I used this one.
By now it should look something like this:

Make sure to use a heavyweight paper when you print it. Then cover the printed sheet with transparent contact paper. That way it'll last longer and you can write the initiative in the little box with whiteboard markers. Then you cut them along the rows like this:

The idea is to hand them down to the players, they write their initiative and the DM hangs them (not the players, put that rope down), in order, over the DM screen (you do use a DM screen right?) and use a pointer to mark whose turn it is. If you're using 3.x, and someone declares a ready or delay action, you just take it out of the queue util they act.

This is how it looks from the player's side (sorry about the worn-out markers).

An this is from the DM¡s side.

Hope you like it and find it useful.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oriental Adventures

Yesterday we gathered to continue our OA campaign. We are five guys, four are married and three got small children. We get together maybe 3 or 4 times in the year, if we're lucky. It's more like a social reunion in which we hang out, catch up and roll some dices. As we waited for everyone to come, one of the guys commented about playing with his 8 years old son, so I mentioned some blogs he could check out and read about other dads' experience.

Later while having some pizzas, one of the guys made us notice that we begun this campaign back in May of 1994! That's 16 years ago! Since all of our characters are level 6, our party must have the worst campaigning time-level achieved ratio ever. It's not that we care about it, but we laughed heartly at the thought and I took mental note to comment it here.