This blog is about gaming, but D&D is top on my list, from D&D 5e, Pathfinder to good old AD&D 1e (where my roots come from!). I'm an Evil DM, I have been for many years, to the point folks enjoy my games and style but fear things in game. Paranoia is great and fuels a lot of awesome roleplaying situations with characters in game. Have a question? Feel free to contact me for advice about 1e, 5e or Pathfinder - ASKTHEDM(@)THEEVILDM(.)COM
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Plotting out encounters - "Encounter Squares"
Some people have been asking how I plan an encounter, however big the encounter may be for the game, I use the following square (see above) with colors. The colors is what I normally use in OneNote. I have this as a template in one tab and I keep copying and pasting it into various adventures as I write them for my DM notes.
The Who or What's Here
This is pretty simple, I drag the NPC or Monster into this area, I also will jot down some notes on how I want the creature or NPC to act. I can also add little notes to myself about NPCs and how they should act towards a certain PCs.
With Onenote it's real simple, you can copy an entire creature or npc with the collapsible tabs feature with one simple copy & paste (I'll show you this in a later post).
Various things can be placed here, such as what location in the dungeon, wilderness or whatever. Weather situations can be added as well as land marks. Basically anything you'll need to remember about this encounter. "-2 to saves due to..."
This square, I can put in any major/minor events, from the past or things that will happen as a result of this encounter. Some ideas for this square would be if you are tracking kingdoms or even races and how they feel towards the PCS. Such things as "fighting this NPC will result in -1 on the favors track".
Here is where you can put things like treasure they will obtain from the encounter or even any extra XP for this encounter. Putting little notes as "this was a hard encounter, players who think outside the box get an extra 100xp". Sure you can jot all those things down afterwards, if you remember, but why not put the little note now and then while you are playing write down the player names right there as well.
Not sure if this will actually help anyone, but it helps me organize and keep things in my analog note book and digital note book. Yes I carry around a small hard-covered notebook with me:
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"All who travel the forest fear well the cottage of Halia
Whitethorn, a sinister witch who spends her days mixing strange and
powerful potions in her workshop. Her tinctures are renowned for their
arcane properties, but any adventurer seeking her wares is sure to first
find a great deal of danger...Witch's
Cottage is a 5e one-shot dungeon by Jesse Gazic, written for 1st-level
adventurers. The dungeon includes full stat blocks for all encounters
and original maps. Jesse can be reached at jessegazic.com or on Twitter. "
(You can travel here to download it free or donate a small amount if you'd like.)
This adventure (well I want to call it a side quest, because I can see my group blowing through this 7 room adventure in like an hour or less) is awesome and highly recommended to pick up.
The first 3 pages is packed with description of each of the rooms along with how to incorporate this into your game.
The descriptions are enough if you want add a thing or two he…
I was looking around on the web for better character sheets and these images came up in the google browser. I am not sure who did these and I take no credit for them, but its a really detailed explanation & break down of how to fill out a character sheet for 5e. I know sometimes its not easy filling out these sheets and this break down really helps with each spot on there, especially if you are brand new to the game.