What Should You Include in a Running Sheet

A couple of weeks ago I talked about something that I have recently started to use, a running sheet if you will.  The idea is designed to help me run the game a little smoother and to make sure that I don’t miss anything that could alter the path of the game that I have planned.

At the time that I wrote that I had used a sheet that I had designed for an upcoming game and so I did not let the full amount of detail on that sheet be shown so my players got no inside information.  I got a gentle reminder from a reader that I had planned to let the details of my running sheet out and so today is the day that I offer up a document of the details that I include on my sheets.  Click the link and you will download a PDF of the below pictured document.

My formalised running sheet

So, on the sheet there are quite a few things that I have space for.  I rarely include notes in all the sections but I use what I need and if I am running short of space I use some that I didn’t! 

 
I have a Game ID which I just assign a number to (I am a little OCD I number my games) and a Date.  You can use the date for the current date or the date in game.

 
The two large sections are my main weaknesses.  The first has an area where you can note down Plot Flow or draw a flow chart between encounters and that allows us to see what events connect to what and how the flow of the game could go.
 
The second large box contains specific notes about NPC’s that I use to prompt me of any items I feel will be pertinent in game or that I might easily forget.  The other thing is that I might find other things that I am likely to forget like terrain details and other information.
 
The next column has a series of bits I may need.  A References box that gives me pages in books I may quickly need to look up.  Another box for me to “not forget” stuff (I forget a lot)!  I then have some Random Names so if I need to add an NPC in at short notice I am prepared.  Plot hooks box is for some of the details or encounters that I design that I may want to slip in and get in the players head.  
 
Special Rule References section is there for things that are unusual and I want to stand out.  Say if I was going to run a flying game I might specifically put those references in this section instead of the first reference box.  PC Connections is a section I would use if I plan anything specific that is attached to a PC background or personal story.  Ongoing Conditions is a section that I note any details that occur in the game that will affect the play for the following game.  I use these sheets to review what happened briefly before doing the next sheet where I would put ongoing conditions in the do not forget sections for the new game.  The Other section is just that, anything else.  The final sections record the random encounter details that I will pre-generate prior to sitting down at the table.
 
So, use the sheet if you think it will do you some benefit.  It certainly has helped me run games in a much smoother manner.  Until next time, keep rolling!

3 Comments


  1. Great sheet, Mark. I see the value of it and will give it a go in the new DnD 5e game I am starting this week. Thanks!

    Reply

  2. Thanks Mark,

    Releasing these tips and hints is doing so much of the hard yards for me when it comes to running a little game for my kids.

    This is a method I will adopt so as to not have to rely upon my ever decreasing memory.

    Reply

  3. I’ll give this a try for my next game.

    Reply

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