Condition Tracker

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on July 31, 2009

As the DM you’ve got a lot of responsibility. You’re accountable for everything that’s not the Player Characters. It’s a tough job. But today we’re making it a little bit easier by giving you a Condition Tracker.

Wimwick recently shared his experiences as the DM in Be Gentle, It’s My First Time… Being the DM. In this article he expressed his frustration with tracking all the conditions that come up during combat encounters. In the comments following his article, one of our readers suggested creating a conditions tracker. When I read that comment I thought to myself “what a great idea.” So presented below is the Dungeon’s Master Condition Tracker.

All of the conditions found in the PHB are listed accross the top along with four additional columns for tracking ongoing damage. Down the left side are spaces where you can enter the names of all the PCs, NPCs and monsters. This can easily double as an initiative tracker.

As PCs and monsters are affected by conditionals, mark the appropriate box. If there is damage associated with the condition, write in the damage dealt each round. If a save will end the condition then check the box. It’s that simple. Try it out and let us know what you think.

I’d like to give a shout out to Louis for giving me this idea in his comment. It seems so simple, yet I hadn’t thought of it before I saw it written on the screen. Thanks.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 newbiedm July 31, 2009 at 11:20 am

This is awesome! Why didn’t I think of this!?
Downloaded, and congrats!
.-= newbiedm´s last blog ..Embrace your digital future, D&D players! =-.

2 Dave July 31, 2009 at 12:52 pm

You may also want to check out this blog post from yesterday about a tool called IniTracker. This tool, however, requires that you’re playing with a computer in front of you.

3 Nick July 31, 2009 at 2:45 pm

For 4ed I printed all the common effects out on card stock and cut them out. When anyone (including my monsters) come under an effect, I hand out the card. The cards are a nice reminder of the condition and are also wonderful little rules summaries. I have not had to look up the effects of a single condition since I started using them.
.-= Nick´s last blog ..I like HackMaster Basic =-.

4 Kameron July 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Like Nick, I made my own set of Condition cards, though I use them primarily for the players and make notes of NPC/monster conditions on the Combat Tracker sheet I made. Both are available for download on my website.
.-= Kameron´s last blog ..4E Quests for Sunless Citadel =-.

5 Ameron August 4, 2009 at 10:16 am

@newbiedm
That’s what I said. Glad you like it.

@Dave
Wow! IniTracker is very cool. Excellent resources, thanks for the link. Our Tracker seems like more of a down-and-dirty version compared to this one.

@Nick
I really like the ides of having all the effects at your finger tips. Excellent suggestion. Any tip that speeds up play (or doesn’t slow it down by having to flip through books) is a win in my book.

@Kameron
Thanks for the suggestion.

Download Kameron’s Condition Cards along with other great resources at Paths of Adventure – Downloads.

6 skallawag August 10, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Very nice.
How do we indicate if the condition is “save ends” or “ends at the end of a player’s turn”?

7 Dave August 10, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Ameron’s Condition Tracker PDF has a note at the bottom that says to check the box if it requires a save. Most other conditions tend to be “end of turn” effects. Unfortunately, this PDF doesn’t cover special effects that last for the entire encounter.

8 Ameron August 11, 2009 at 10:18 am

@skallawag
I think Dave’s comment answered your question for me, but let me clarify. When using the Condition Tracker assume all conditions last until the end of the initiator’s turn. If it’s a save ends then check the box (as noted at the bottom of the Condition Tracker).

@Dave
Thanks for jumping in.

9 Toddias August 13, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I love this tracker. My thought is to blow it up to nearly double the size and mount it to an old cookie sheet (or some sort of metal). I would then create little “icons” that depict characters/monsters and glue them to some old magnets. Maybe make some other “icons” as place-holders for conditions (and “save ends” or even “how many rounds the effect lasts”/”encounter”). That way, things can be moved around as needed. I find that lots of times my PCs take holding actions or something changes the order of things. Rather than scratching out names and moving around everything, the magnets could just be swapped around. I will try this out at my next gaming session and see how it goes but thanks again for working up this PDF to get me started!!

10 Kuster Jr August 5, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Okay, so again I know it’s a bit late, but in case anyone else runs across this later, I figure I can put down my thoughts. I’ve never actually DMed, but I’m currently planning out a Campaign to begin within the next few weeks once I get back to school. One of the more interesting ideas for tracking initiative that I’ve found (other than comptuer programs – which I could write, by the way) is using an index card for each PC and each monster/monster group and flipping through them as the turns go on. My thought, is why can’t you put all of the status’ on the cards, have one check box to denote that the PC/monster has the condition and another to denote that a save ends. The only real problem I can see right now is when you want to just move multiple monsters at the same time, and so only give them one card – I suppose you could make rows of check boxes, one for each monster in the group…
I don’t know, I just thought it might be an idea that people would like.

Oh, and this is a wonderful site overall, chock full of great info and articles. Thanks for all the work, and keep it up,

Kuster Jr.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: