Sunday, June 10, 2012

DM Prep Page [1 of 9]

I'm a highly improvisational DM.  I don't know if that's good or bad, but it's how I am and it's about all I can do.  The years of me spending hours and hours prepping for game night are long gone.  :)

In an effort to provide myself with "ideas" and "sparks" and other "triggers" for my improv use, I created a spreadsheet within OpenOffice.  In the next nine posts, I will show you an example page from the pages I print each week.

I hope you enjoy this little "look behind the screen" and I hope that you find it helpful, inspiring or at least interesting.

Page 1

Here's one (mostly) filled out --

This page has a background that I borrowed from Kellri, but I think he borrowed it from the AD&D Coloring Book.  

I set the graphic up as a background on the spreadsheet page and then I added the text elements into the cells on top.  This page has evolved a great deal since I started using it.  Originally, it was two pages and I had elements that I rarely used and those were taking up valuable real estate on the page.

Here's an example of the old sheet --

Eventually, I realized that I also needed a space to track the going price for things that the PCs buy, so that I can reference them again in the future.  (I usually make these up on the spot).

NPC interactions and Plot Developments are important to track, as well as WHO played that night, since my table is "open".  

The "Time Log" moved to a later page (I'll explain that later).  

I think I had trouble differentiating in my mind the difference between Plot Points/Campaign Events and Adventure Highlights, so collapsing those sections made sense.

Since I track Monster HP/Wounds on another page, the Monsters Defeated section could go too.

Originally the WHOLE DM Page was just the front and back of a single sheet.  That's quite elegant and streamlined.  It would be my "ideal" if I could pull it off.  I'm working on it.  :)


Brendan said...

This is great.

The time mark off thing on your earlier versionlooks really useful though. Did you find yourself not using it?

Jim said...

@Brendan -- Thanks. I moved the time marks over into the random encounter section. Basically, I automated WHEN the encounter would happen. I keep marking off dots... when they're gone... BAM! The encounter happens. You'll see that on a later page... :)

Lord Thanatos said...

Is this from the night Hanuman lost his arm? I think so? The perils of playing two characters, Owyn is immune to disease, but I chose Hanuman to shove his hand nonchalantly into the mossy fungus to dig around for treasure. UGH. Then Collen chopped my arm off and froze it with the original frostbrand. Good times. Now Hanuman has a strange radiant/microwave arm.

Jim said...

@Thanatos -- Yep. That's the session. I love when weird stuff happens during a session. If you'd have dug around with Owyn, that would have been... boring... :)

Dan C. said...

I really like this sheet, because I'm constantly misplacing my notes between sessions.

Anyway you can share the OpenOffice doc?