When running a D&D session, you want the essential information to hand in a compact format. I have a spreadsheet which I use for my sessions, which I’m sharing in case you will also find it useful.
The pack includes:
- A4 and US Letter versions of the blank spreadsheet.
- An example pre-filled spreadsheet based on what I used for a recent session.
- A scan of a sheet as used in a session.
- Guidelines for use.
How to use
I keep a running copy of the spreadsheet with my campaign details already filled in. I update it before each session and then print it out. This way I have it to hand at the table for keeping track, and I have a record afterwards of the key points of the session.
- Campaign name or session title.
- Details of the PCs – I will update these during the session, in particular the hit points and any long-term statuses (poisoned, exhausted, etc), particularly those which might span multiple sessions.
- Dates – both campaign date and real-world session date.
- Details of key NPCs I expect to encounter in the session, along with essential stats for running an encounter.
During the session I use the other sections to keep track of what’s going on:
- Tracking time passing, hour by hour. I cross off the hours as the session proceeds so I have an idea of the current time. I will also use this to flag up times when certain statuses come into effect or elapse.
- Tracking time passing during combat, turn by turn. I also use this to flag up when certain conditions expire.
- Initiative/combat tracker. See below.
- Space for free-form notes – significant NPCs met, treasure found, notable information uncovered – anything which I think might be useful to refer back to. As you can see, this also provides additional space for details on the NPCs in section 4.
- At the start of the combat, I write each PC and NPC into the appropriate slot in section 7 based on their initiative count, and for NPCs I write in their hit points as well.
- Each turn, I start at the top of the sheet and run down – the characters are naturally sorted into initiative order.
- As combat progresses I track the damage to the NPCs.
- Once an NPC is dead or otherwise out of combat, I can score them off. At the end of the session I can see who/what was defeated and award XP appropriately.
This helps me keep track during the session, particularly of combat, and also makes it easy to see what they’ve defeated during the session. I also now have a large pack of these session notes, which has proved very useful for referring back and answering questions like:
- who was the NPC they met?
- what was the address I gave?
- how much was that gem worth?
I’ve developed this over the past 3 years, and I’m sharing it now in the hopes that others will also find it useful. You can get it on DriveThruRPG on a pay-what-you-want basis or download from my Patreon page. If you like it and find it useful, please consider subscribing to my Patreon or buying me a KoFi .