I am not sure if this type of software/method recommendation is allowed here, but for the record, I am not affiliated with any program I recommend in this post in any way. This is just my way of making encounters, especially with spellcasters a lot easier to run. Also, english is not my first language, so bear with me.
So, I've always had problems with tracking the different monster abilities during combat. I usually track how much damage a monster took on the paper I write the initiative order on, so that is taken care of, but it is really tiring to have to Alt-Tab between 5 different Word docs to see all the different spells, and abilities my NPC enemies have.
So I came up with using Pure Ref, a free tool meant for artists to look at and organize reference images, which I use in my web developer gig. You can screenshot your creations from a statblock generator, and paste them in your Pure Ref scene, along with spells from whatever sources you desire. (Roll20, DnDBeyond, good ol' homebrew, etc) I have the Greenshot screenshotting app installed on my laptop for work, which comes in very handy for this. (It let's you select a rectangle on the screen to screenshot, instead of capturing everything, copy it to clipboard, or save it, etc.)
Using these tools, you can set up a Pure Ref board such as this:
When I run the combat, I track what monster took how much damage on a different paper. You can see on the picture, that I have every NPC tucked in the bottom, but I can still see their AC for quick reference, when a player is trying to hit them. I can quickly look between the stacked spells: clicking on one of them brings it to the front, I read the relevant info, then hit Ctrl+Z to send it back to it's original spot. You can do the same with the non-caster NPC-s: drag them to the middle, read relevant stats, Ctrl-Z to put them back. You can see I even track spellslots of the spellcaster with separate little images that I can delete as they get used.
Some other quick tips of the top of my head:
-> The down and up arrows send the current selected picture to the very back or very front respectively
-> As mentioned above, Ctrl+Z undos your last change. Best used when putting back a spell in it's initial place in the stacking order you can see above
-> Double clicking on an image zooms in to it. Very useful, if you have bad eyes, like I do. Ctrl+G resets the zoom to default
I know this is a janky solution, but it is the best I have found yet, when running a game offline with my laptop. I hope this helps some of you!
- Small things that I’ve learned in Stellaris that aren’t very obvious (PC version)
- Are You New? Are You Trying to Get Into DnD? This may be a great place to start…
- How do you keep track of all those different monster abilities and enemy spells?
More about Dungeons & Dragons OnlinePost: "Tired ofshifting through 15 different papers looking for that one NPC spell list you need? Here is my way of making everything digital, fast to set up, and easy to use" specifically for the game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Other useful information about this game:
Top 20 NEW Medieval Games of 2021
Swords, dragons, knights, castles - if you love any of this stuff, you might like these games throughout 2021.
10 NEW Shooter Games of 2021 With Over The Top Action
We've been keeping our eye on these crazy action oriented first and third person shooter games releasing this year. What's on your personal list? Let us know!
Top 10 NEW Survival Games of 2021
Survival video games are still going strong in 2021. Here's everything to look forward to on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and beyond.