Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

Category Archives: Playing Aids

D&D 5E – Schools of Magic

Schools of Magic

Here is a cheat sheet for when a PC uses an identify spell on a magical item in your dungeon. You know what it does, but when they ask what school of magic it is, do you know? Remember that some magic, such as some potions, aren’t associated with any school.

Abjuration “Protectin’ stuff” (Abjure: to renounce)

They create magical barriers, negate harmful effects, harm trespassers, or banish creatures to other planes.

Examples: Alarm, Protection from Evil and Good, Arcane Lock, Glyph of Warding

 

Conjuration “Makin’ stuff” (Conjure: to create)

Spells involve the transportation of objects and creatures from one location to another. Some spells summon creatures or objects to the caster’s side, whereas others allow the caster to teleport to another location. Some conjurations create objects or effects out of nothing.

Examples: Entangle, Fog Cloud, Dimension Door, Cloudkill, Teleport, Wish

 

Divination “Knowin’ stuff” (Divine: discover or learn)

Spells reveal information.

Examples: Identify, Speak with Animals, Detect Thoughts, See Invisibility, Scrying

 

Enchantment “Convincin’ stuff” (Enchant: to cause someone to act in a way it usually wouldn’t)

Spells affect the minds of others, influencing or controlling their behavior.

Examples: Charm Person, Sleep, Hold Person, Zone of Truth, Power Word Kill

 

Evocation “Makin’ energy stuff” (Evoke: cause an effect)

Spells manipulate magical energy to produce a desired effect. Some call up blasts of fire or lightning. Others channel positive energy to heal wounds.

Examples: Fire Bolt, Light, Cure Wounds, Heal, Magic Missile, Spiritual Weapon, Earthquake, Telepathy

 

Illusion “Trickin’ stuff” (Illusion: a deception)

Spells deceive the senses or minds of others.

Examples: Invisibility, Magic Mouth, Simulacrum

 

Necromancy “Dead stuff” (Necro: death)

Spells manipulate the energies of life and death. Such spells can grant an extra reserve of life force, drain the life energy from another creature, create the undead, or even bring the dead back to life.

Examples: Chill Touch, Spare the Dying, False Life, Blindness/Deafness, Gentle Repose, Resurrection

 

Transmutation “Changin’ stuff” (Transmute: to change)

Spells change the properties of a creature, object, or environment. They might turn an enemy into a harmless creature, bolster the strength of an ally, make an object move at the caster’s command, or enhance a creature’s innate healing abilities to rapidly recover from injury.

Example: Mending, Prestidigitation, Darkvision, Knock, Polymorph, Time Stop

 

D&D 5E – Falling Times & Distance

How fast do you fall from heights?

The PHB says you get 1d6 points damage from a fall of 10ft + 1d6 additional damage for each 10 feet if fall after that, to a maximum of 20d6. (See my post on falling damage.) But if you are falling from a  great height, you may have a few rounds to do things during the fall. So the question is, how long does it take me to hit the ground? The DM usually knows how far you will fall. Any fall of less than 500 ft will take less than one round. You can use these tables to determine how long it takes to fall greater distances.

In Stable Free Fall Position (lying belly-to-the-earth)

Rounds Total Distance
1 500 ft
2 1,500 ft
3 2,500 ft
4 3,500 ft
5 4,500 ft
6 5,500 ft (A little more than a mile)

each round thereafter you fall another 1,000 ft.

-or- five rounds for each additional mile

 

Uncontrolled fall or if you are attempting to go faster by taking a more aerodynamic, diving position.

Rounds Total Distance
1 500 ft
2 2,500 ft
3 4,000 ft
4 5,500 ft (A little more than a mile)

each round thereafter you fall another 1,500  ft.

-or- four rounds for each additional mile

 

Gliding

You can’t glide if you are uncontrolled, or attempting to fall faster. You also can’t glide if you fall less than 500 feet. But if you fall more than 500 feet, and you are in Stable Free Fall Position your maximum a glide ratio is 1:1 (or 1:2 if wearing a wingsuit) which means that you could glide a maximum of one foot for each foot falling. (Or a maximum of two feet for each foot falling if wearing a wingsuit.)

D&D 5E – Time Tracking Tool

Tine-Tracker

DM Tool for Tracking Time

Download your free copy here.

I have tried several different ways to keep track of time in a dungeon. Years ago I even wrote a “Time Tender” software program. I was thinking of getting a toy clock, or a broken clock that I could turn the hands on. Thinking of clocks, I came up with this simple idea, and it works! Download and print as many of these as you may need. The idea is that you use a pencil to mark off the time as your players explore the dungeon.

 

Each clockface represents one day. One sheet can track 4 days. The hours are marked around the sides. Midnight is at the bottom and Noon is at the top. There are 6 little boxes between each hour. Each box represents 10 minutes. I fill in each box as time passes in the adventure. I find this works well. I say it takes 10 minutes to search a room. I mark off 10 minutes after each combat for searching bodies, recover arrows, clean up, etc. Moving along a cooridor doesn’t take much time unless it is very long or they are being slow. I also mark time for other activities as well: one hour for a short rest, eight hours for a long rest, overland travel time, etc.

There is plenty of blank space to scribble notes.

Enjoy!

D&D 5E – DM Screen – portrait version

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DM_Screen_P--03

DM_Screen_P--02

Vertical 5E – DM Screen

Download your free copy here.

This is for John Edmond and anyone else that prefers a vertical  DM Screen.

You can still get my horizontal version here.

D&D 5E – Condition Cards

Condition Cards

Download your free copy HERE.

I re-did my condition cards. I added backs and put them all in one PDF file.

I had a good time designing the smiley faces. I hope you get a kick out of them.

The fronts are form-fillable so you can make changes to them if you want. That allows non-English players to change them to read correctly in their language. Also you can make changes to allow for house rules, or other gaming systems.

When I print them on my ink-jet printer I can’t get the backs to line up exactly with the fronts, so if it doesn’t work for you the only thing I can suggest is to print the backs on separate sheets and put the fronts and backs together some how (paste or clear sleeves?). They are only off about 1/16″ when I print them, so I will just live with the fronts being a little off centered.

I added a “Hidden” and a “Temporary Condition” card. If you play 5E you know that there is no “Hidden” condition. This card can still be used as a reminder that someone is trying to hide. The “Temporary Condition” card is for things like spells that add to armor class or hit points, or some such. It is a catch all for any conditions that you may want to keep track of during combat.

The colors I used match the colors of a set of “ponytailers” that I picked up at Walmart for about $2.00. They are fabric covered rubber bands about 1″ in diameter that can be put around the figures on the battle mat. I used light gray for white and dark grey for black.

Enjoy!

D&D 5E – Condition Cards

Condition-1

Condition Cards

Here is a set of generic cards that I have filled in with all of the conditions listed in the Player’s Handbook. They are on two separate PDFs. page1 and page2

They are form-fillable so you can make changes to them if you want to and there are a couple of blank cards on page 1.

Enjoy!

D&D 5E – Character Sheet Makeover [rev6]

New look for Character Sheet

Download your free copy here.

My 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons auto-fill Character sheet has a new – old sheet look. Other than the new look I also added a few things.

  • I added a fourth page just for notes. Many have complained that there wasn’t enough room for all the notes you needed. Or you could use it for your character background. Or both.
  • There is a place at the top of each page labeled #___ . I use this to keep track of my character sheets. I print a new sheet after my character goes up a level, and sometime more often. Before I print it I give it a new number. Or if you have more than one character you may want to note which one this is.
  • The character name is now on each sheet and it is bigger.
  • There is now a spot for listing Rogue’s sneak attack, Barbarian ranges, Monk ki points and Monk martial arts.
  • Total weight carried now works. It adds up the weight of all the items listed above.
  • Below the number of cantrips known there is now a space for number of spells known or available and for sorcery points.

If it isn’t obvious how to use these features, I updated my Character Sheet Instructions: Here

Enjoy!

D&D 5E – Character Sheet – Rev5

Old-Playing

New Character Sheet

Download your free copy [latest version]  here.

My 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons auto-fill Character sheet is now better than ever! Thanks to your suggestions I made several improvements.

If you print out the blank sheet and fill everything out by hand, you will see a few, mostly cosmetic, changes.

  • The associated ability for each of the skills (displayed in a light grey) has been moved from behind the skill name to in front of the skill’s check box.
  • The ability is also listed to the left of the passive perception box and below the initiative box.
  • A space is now provided for you to enter conditions that always provide you with advantages or disadvantages.
  • The second page was adjusted to allow for more room to describe personality traits and a line was added for equipment based on background.

I think that most of you fill the sheets out on your computer to take advantage of its automatic calculation. That is where I made the most significant changes. (Drum-roll please!)

  • You can now change the calculated skills modifier. You don’t change it directly, but if you click on the grey ability name to the left, you can enter a number that will be added to the score.
  • You can change the passive perception score the same way.
  • It now calculates the initiative modifier and you can modify it the same way.

The other changes were minor.

  • The first weapon’s box has been fixed.
  • The “age”, “height”, and “weight” boxes on the first and second pages have been linked, so changes made in eater will also be made in the other.
  • All boxes where you enter text have been adjusted so the text you enter doesn’t overlap other items (easier to read).
  • The text you enter for  coins is larger.

If it isn’t obvious how to use these features, I have updated my Character Sheet Instructions: Here

Enjoy!

D&D5e – Business Card Character Sheet

Business_Card_Iage

Character Sheet on a Business Card

Download your free copy HERE.

I put all the cards on a single 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet that you can print and cut apart. Download this version HERE.

The Bag of Holding blog had this idea back in 2011, with a 4e version. The ides is that you can put all of your character sheet information on a business card and take it with you in your pocket. Always ready to play!

I created this 2″ x 3.5″ version of my Character sheet. You will have to write small to get everything in. For skills, you can underline the ones you are proficient in. This may not have all of the information that you can put on the full size sheet, but along with a sheet of scratch paper, it should be enough to get by with on those times you forget to bring your sheets with you to the game table.

Enjoy.

D&D 5e – Combat Reference Sheet

CombatReference

2 sided Combat Reference Sheet

Download your free copy  HERE.

Many thanks to Jennifer Brahm for sharing her one page (printed front and back) cheat sheet. Using my Quick Reference Combat post as a basis, she created a wonderful game table reference sheet. I simply made a few corrections and cleaned it up a bit.