My D&D 3.5 re-organization plan

I was running a D&D 3.5 campaign for a while.  Frustrated with the complexity of the rules and the need to check the SRD constantly, I opted to convert to a rules-light system called Fudge.  Unfortunately the conversion was really messy, and I regret doing it.  I’ll never again try a mid-campaign rules change, and I recommend against it highly.

I want to run D&D though, because it has a rich feeling to it.  My players enjoy combat sequences and using their characters special abilities, and by all rights they should!  Rather than jump ship and move to a different D&D version that I don’t know as well, like 4e, pathfinder, legend, etc.  I’m taking some inspiration from the D&D board game.

I’ve decided to put everything on the table, literally.  D&D started as an off-shoot of miniature wargames, and that’s really where its focus has always been, combat and table-top play.  I’m preparing the following for the next time we play D&D:

  • Better, simpler character sheets.
  • Action sheets: An addendum to the character’s vitals which gives them a list of what actions they can perform in and out of battle.
  • Spell cards:  I’m prepping cards for all commonly used spells as well as any spells that will appear in the dungeon or that the character’s know.
  • Spell slot tables and tokens:  Flip a token to use a spell slot.  The tokens have the names of the spell prepared.
  • Condition cards:  Dazzled?  Put the dazzled card on your character to remind you what that means.
  • Ammunition tokens:  Toothpicks for arrows, send one my way whenever you shoot.
  • Combat Sequence cards:  Simple reminders of basic combat sequence with a description of flat-footedness and initative.
  • Monster cards:  References more for myself than the players, customized for the particular dungeon/encounter in advance.  No variable numbers will appear as they will have all been decided already.
  • Encounter board:  Probably a whiteboard with the initiative order and magnets for each player, monsters, and their current conditions.
  • I’ve found pre-drawn large graph paper at the 100 yen shop which should serve well as an in-game map and playing board.  We will draw the player map as we go, based on my DM maps.
  • Effect spreads, diameters, 15′ cone, etc in the form of cardboard cutouts.

What game aids do you use to help your D&D 3.5 game?  I’ve heard of using M&Ms as counters for special abilities, eating one whenever it’s used, then restocking after sufficient time has passed.  Beyond that the DM screens of ages past were always nice references.  I think more than anything I want to get away from my laptop as much as possible when I’m DMing, and have everything visible on the table.

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1 Comment

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One response to “My D&D 3.5 re-organization plan

  1. Pingback: Dungeons and Dragons DM Presentation Style | a new flavor of evil

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