I have been playing D&D since April of 1978.
Over the weekend I ran across a comment on a video that made a comment that is so common sense that I took it as a critical fail vs. the clue stick.
It is so OBVIOUS! Why did I not think of that or have read it somewhere in the early days or have other players and DMs suggest it to me?
For spell casters on their character sheets next to the name of the spell(s) they have selected for the day, write the _PAGE NUMBER_ of the spell in the Player’s Handbook.
How simple is that? It saves having to make copies of the spells, write them out long hand, etc.
As a DM, I really should do this for NPCs. I should also note the page in the DMG that lists the DM’s notes on specific spells.
I don’t recall seeing any character sheets that suggest the page number of the spell.
I would also add a note to page of the “original” spell if it says, “This is the same as the Nth level Cleric spell….”
I’m going to have to make a spreadsheet of the spell lists for each class and level, and the page in the Player’s Handbook, Unearthed Arcana, Oriental Adventures, and the page in the DMG for the DM notes on PH spells, and notes/links to spells that are the “original”. This would be a handy index to have in print for players.
I think it is a good idea to make a note of the pages you use most, a custom index, to speed any need for reference to rules. For example, for player generation, note the pages in the DMG for secondary skill, height and weight.
For the DM, note the page in the Monster Manual for monsters in case you need more detail than the stat block. This would be better used when building an encounter deck or placing creatures in a location, but would be handy for a quick review of a creature the characters have not yet encountered, to make sure you don’t miss anything. For example, I read on a forum a few weeks back where some characters encountered a clay golem and the DM did not take note of the damage done being only healed by a 17th or higher level cleric. That would be an interesting side quest. Beat the golem, but have to find super cleric to heal you. A tenth level character stuck at 5 hit points would be interesting.
Now, to be fair, in the old days, for my spell casting characters, I went to the library and copied the pages with the spells and for magic-users, basically made a spell book via cut & paste/tape, so I had all the information in one place. Ten cents a copy back then was a lot of money, but I poured a lot more quarters into pong, space invaders, galaga, centipede, etc. When I didn’t have the money, I wrote out spell information in longhand.
The availability of rules books in PDF makes search easy, but not everyone can run a computer or tablet at the game table.