Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

5E – General Purpose Cards


Cards for All Occasions

Download your free copy here.

I have previously posted Initiative Cards, Monster Cards and Spell Cards. Burt requested that I  also make Class Ability cards. I thought about it and made these general purpose cards instead.

All of the text on these cars can be edited to say whatever you want. I filled them in with some examples of how they could be used. You can fill them out, print them on your printer and cut them out to use at your gaming table. They could be used for any game and aren’t specifically intended for 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons.

Some ideas –

Class Abilities and Traits: The character sheet doesn’t have enough space to fully describe all of your character’s  abilities. You can print them on these easy to use cards instead.

Magical Items: I would print two copies of each magic item that I was going to place in a dungeon. The first would simply have it’s physical description. and perhaps I would draw a sketch of it on the back. I would give that one to the player that obtained it. The other one, I would keep and it would contain all of the magical abilities and curses it has.

Conditions: I will print out one of these for each condition for quick reference.

House Rules: I will print out most of my house rules so the players can refer to them as needed.

NPC’s: Cards with several different NPC’s with a sketch on the back. Keep them handy for random encounters, or for when you need one quickly.

I am sure you can devise a lot of other uses for these. Let me know what you come up with.

21 responses to “5E – General Purpose Cards

  1. zorzech24@yahoo.com June 22, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Oh these are awesome!

    I had two thoughts after you asked the question, what else I would use them for:

    1) quest journal with contact name/description and objective

    2) bounty board / work. A single page print of each available bounty / jobs for adventurers upon entering a town.

    Sent on the new Sprint Network

  2. akalien1 June 22, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Hello I’m the DM for my group and we just started is there anything vital you would suggest I do? We have about 3-8 people that want to play.

    • Chris Poole June 22, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      The DMG is a great tool to help you out with that. I really enjoy the 5th edition DMG and I think it helps new DMs well. You can then cross reference your findings and ideas with many online communities, including this site of course!

    • Ronny June 22, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      More data please! This is a very open ended question.
      I will make a couple of assumptions and see if I can help.
      First, I am assuming that none of you have ever player D&D before. If this is the case, welcome to the game. In many ways you are coming to this game at a great time. The latest rules (5th edition) are the easiest, most consistent and logical ever published (in my opinion).
      The only thing that is VITAL is that everyone has a basic understanding of what role playing games are all about and are all willing to work together to achieve a common goal, which is primarily to have fun.
      As the DM it is your responsibility to have a grasp of the rules, although a complete understanding of all the rules is not required. It will be your game. Any rule you aren’t sure about, if you can’t find the exact rule quickly just make a decision and run with it. You can always look it up between games so you will know a better way to handle it next time. Anything that the PCs attempt to do, simply decide how hard or easy it would be and have them roll for it. I have often looked to a book of world records to help me decide what the maximum possible result should be.
      You,as the DM, will need to have an adventure ready to run. I recommend using a published adventure for first level PCs until you are confident enough to create your own. Use one that was written for the version of the rules you are using (I am assuming 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons). After you have been doing this for a while you will have the experience and confidence to attempt using a module that was originally written for a different edition of the game and converting it.
      You will need a place to play, typically a large table that you can all gather around.
      You will need a set of dice. At least one each 4,6,8,10,and 20 sided. Better still is if each player has at least his own 20 sided die.
      The latest version of the game doesn’t require battle mat and miniatures, but if you have them available you may as well use them. I think it makes it easier for everyone to visualize where everyone is in relation to everyone else and the monsters during an encounter.
      You will need to have some time to play. A typical game night will typically run 3 or 4 hours, and will often meet once a week.
      Don’t expect to get much actual playing done on the first session. Your players will spend a lot of time “rolling up” their characters. Especially if everyone is new to this it will take some time to decide which race and class they want to play.
      Although there are rules for starting your character at higher levels, I strongly recommend that everyone start their first character at first level.
      That is about it for the essentials. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it is the DM vs. the players. The encounters should be exciting and dangerous, but if the PCs don’t do anything stupid they should probably survive (most of the time).
      Oh yes! Always remember this important house rule. “Rolls into the cheese dip don’t count.”

      • Ethan June 23, 2015 at 11:00 pm

        Wow thanks! I have watched a couple games on YouTube and have read the 3.5 DMG, Players Handbook and Monster manual and a couple ones older and maybe the 5 DMG (I don’t know what edition it was) as none of us really have money I have been using the free stuff I find just from googling🙂. I have started talking to them about character creation, most everyone had decided they wanted to start as god like beings or in one case a holy fire meteor raining prophet but I got everyone to realize that (in my world at least) everyone will start as pretty much a nobody. Some people were asking how It was played in the manner of was it DM vs PC or did I work with them and my response was that I was there to show them the world but later on I had plans to make something that I would be as mean as I could while still having a reasonable chance of them living. My main concern was is there any really common mistakes that could be avoided or is there any tips and tricks you could give me (especially along the lines of creating dungeons) I am afraid that I will somehow do something really weird that would make some of us disinterested.

      • Ronny June 24, 2015 at 8:23 am

        It sounds like you have a good grasp on it all. As far as tips on dungeon creation – that is a good topic for a new post. For now, as a new DM I recommend your first few dungeons be exactly that. It is much easier to run a campaign where the players options are limited. “Shall we go down the right or the left corridor? How will we cross this 10 foot pit?” You will know where the monsters and traps and treasures are. I used to tell prospective players “You explore a dungeon, fight monsters, find treasure and try to get out alive.”
        As for advice on running the game – Encourage the players not to think in terms if the rules, but rather think like their character would think. Their characters can do anything that they want to do. The DM knows what is around the corner. You describe what they can see, hear and smell. The rules are there to help when they want to attempt something that they may not be able to do. If it is blatantly imposable, you just tell them you can’t do that. Otherwise, let them do anything that their characters could do in the situation that they are in. You may find that they want to do something that the rules don’t cover. As a mater of fact, this will happen a lot. If it might be possible (however unlikely that they will succeed) let them try. You decide how hard or easy it will be for them. Let then roll for it. By that I mean, they roll a 20 sided die and add any appropriate modifiers ( for example if it requires strength they add their strength modifier). You assign a target number for them to succeed. 10 for easy, 15 for medium, 20 for hard, 25 for very hard, 30 for nearly imposable.
        Good luck. Have fun!

      • Ethan June 24, 2015 at 1:17 pm


  3. Chris Poole June 22, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Added them to my toolkit for now. Thanks for your ongoing contributions and updates. It is appreciated!

  4. postpostmoderndad October 2, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Can you make a “form fillable” template for these? The various class and race abilities, atributes and traits fill up fast on the character sheet and it might be nice to have cards with the traits and (full) explanation available. I know it would be a pain in the [redacted] to have cards for EVERY class and race, but a template the player or DM could fill out as needed would be a decent aid.

    • Ronny October 3, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Excellent suggestion. Of course these blank cards can be used for just this purpose, but it might be useful to have cards specifically formatted for race abilities, attributes and traits. I will definitely give this some thought.
      In the mean time, you can use these cards for that.
      Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. Jason November 16, 2015 at 3:27 am

    I really like the idea of these cards a ton but I don’t know how to edit them…I can change the text fine but I was hoping to be able to adjust the image on the pdf so that I could more personalize it in order to print off a page of 8 cards of just one or possibly two of the different card types. I have Adobe Acrobat but I am unfamiliar with how it works. Any pointers? Or could you possibly tell me how to do it myself? I think that this is what postpostmoderndad may have been referring to in his previous post. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated and thank you for sharing!

    • Ronny November 16, 2015 at 8:21 am

      Thanks for your comment Jason.
      I am afraid that you can’t easily change the background image, but only the text. So you can’t, for instance, make a sheet of all red cards. To enplane how to use Photoshop and Acrobat Pro to create the cards is beyond the scope of what I want to do with this blog.
      However, please be aware that ALL of the text is editable, so you can make a sheet of all “Trait” cards for instance. But the backgrounds would all be different colors.
      I could create a set with all one color background, if that would help. Or, if you could enplane exactly what change you wanted made to the backgrounds or to the text fields, perhaps I could do that. Please let me know.
      I can’t promise that I would get it done quickly, but I can add it to me “to do” list.

      • James March 8, 2016 at 8:55 am

        Hi Ronny, Thank you for all this that you have done. I am just jumping onto this thread since I had a similar thought. Would it be possible (and not too much bother) to create sheets of single coloured general purpose cards. In that way it would be possible to [e.g] have all my tools as brown cards, all equipement as green etc. Perhaps a template sheet of each colour? I know that is probably a lot of extra work, but just an idea. Thank you once again!

      • Ronny March 8, 2016 at 6:10 pm

        That is not a bad idea. I may just do that when I get the time.
        Thank you for the suggestion.

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  7. Justus July 18, 2016 at 4:34 am

    Hi Ronny, awesome Cards!
    But I need single colored ones sooooooo bad ;/
    Can you give me a hint how to change the background color? Is there any tool aut there to do it?


    • Ronny July 18, 2016 at 8:01 am

      You can do it if you have the software tools available. You need a program that will let you export the background image (I use PDF-XChange Viewer), then load that image into a graphics editing program to change the colors (I use PhotoShop), then replace the background image in the original PDF file (I use Adobe Acrobat – the full version).
      I don’t know of any tool that will let you modify the background image in a PDF file directly. Perhaps someone else can help.
      Another option would be to let me know what color or colors you need. Perhaps I could put that on my to-do list.

  8. FitzKaos August 12, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Hi Ronny, just wondering if you know that your cards have appeared on another site:

    Just fyi, in case you want to ensure you get credit🙂

    • Ronny August 12, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks for showing me this. I didn’t know. I looked at the site and, although it would have been nice to have been given credit, as long as he isn’t charging others for them, have no objections to him making them available elsewhere. He also posted my blank spell cards.

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