In yesterday’s post on my spell slot tracker idea of a printed sheet with spaces to write information about spells and put in a sheet protector, I mentioned another idea.
This is something I came up with to speed up tracking all the followers and mercenaries Griswald has. I divided them into units of ten, or less if there were not enough of the same troop type for a full ten.
I outlined ten squares on graph paper, in two columns of five rows. I wrote the type of troops, their weapons and armor, and wrote their hit points in each box, For mounted troops, I put their mounts in a set of boxes to the right, with their armor, harness, and hit points. I then put this in a sheet protector. I could then mark and track hit points with a dry erase marker or grease pencil.
As a DM, I do the same with monsters in a lair. For example, 200 goblins, and assorted females, children, chiefs, sub-chiefs, shaman, etc. I don’t go to that much detail unless the players intend to attempt to clear out the goblins. For wimpy creatures, like kobolds and goblins that are less than 1 HD, I don’t roll their hit points. If they take a big enough hit, they are going down. I only roll the hit points for the leaders, or assume maximum hit points.
For multi-hit die creatures, for speed, I often give them average hit points, for each hit die. I make sure that if there are several of them, like an ogre lair, that the leaders have more hit points. I tend to do that more for on-the-fly scenarios. If I prepare ahead of time, I go with rolling them up.
Putting the prepared list in sheet protectors makes it easy to re-use that group of monsters again, for example, if I want to re-set the events of the live campaign for use when I start the online version of my campaign.