About this project
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Check out our Codex, Cards, Counters, and Chronicles tools which can transform the way you run 5th Edition fantasy roleplaying games!
The 5e Gamemaster Toolkit is a series of tabletop game aids to help you run well-organized, dynamic roleplaying games. The 5e Gamemaster Toolkit has four parts:
Gamemaster Codex — A 36 page 8.5x11” booklet that is meant for use during the session to build adventures on the fly. It is loaded with tools to create quick non-player characters with stat blocks, generate locations, determine loot such as treasure and magic items, and construct interesting combat encounters with no advanced preparation.
Gamemaster Cards — This deck has cards to track Initiative and basic stat blocks, Conditions such as ‘Blinded’, Rules Summaries for Death & Dying, Healing, and Grappling, and Role cards to equip players to assist the gamemaster in various ways.
Damage Counters — These special plastic tokens are sized to fit under standard 1 inch miniature bases. This allows you to use our Stoplight Damage™ rules to track hit point damage. Run large scale encounters without the hassle of tracking hit points for each creature by hand.
Chronicles Booklets — These four digest-sized booklets are meant to be written in. Malloy’s Almanac is a fantasy calendar with 20 sets of encounter tools. Imaginarium is an idea log with blank dungeons and encounter worksheets. Session Planner includes gamemaster tools to plan game sessions. Game Diary has player tools to log adventure notes.
For those who’ve bought our Dungeonesque RPG products, you’ve already seen our approach to quick adventure design. This new product takes some of the most useful Dungeonesque Gamemaster’s Guide content and adds new features for on-the-fly games. Not prepared for an adventure you’re running? The Low-Prep Adventures section has 10 instant adventure types to jump start your game. Need an encounter or event to toss players after they’ve ignored your pre-planned adventure ideas? No worries, the Codex has tools for everything from hexcrawls to tavern brawls.
We’ve intentionally kept the product small (around 36 pages) so you can quickly find the tables you need without halting the game to wade through 250 pages of dense text. Here is a tentative list of the Codex contents (these might change a bit based on consumer feedback and layout constraints):
- People — Names, Quick NPCs, Quick Character Stats, Occupations, Reactions, Traits
- Places — Hexcrawls, Tavern Names, Weather
- Things — Quick Treasure, Quick Magic Items, Selling Gear & Magic Items, Costs for Food, Drink, & Lodging, Costs for Services
- Adventures — Low-Prep Adventures, Adventure Generator
- Encounters — Wilderness Encounters, Urban Encounters, Something Happens, Plot Twists, Quick Encounter Design
- Rules — Converting Early Editions, Healing Potion Effects, Mass Combat, Quick Chases, Complete 5e Rules Summary, GM Rules Reference
This deck has several types of cards to help gamemasters run the game. Each deck will have 54 cards and will include:
- 1 'How to use this deck' Card
- 16 Condition Cards
- 4 Rules Cards (1x Healing, 1x Death & Dying rules, 2x Grappling)
- 24 Initiative Cards (reverse has character name and armor class for optional use)
- 1 Round Tracker Card (for use with initiative)
- 8 Roles Cards
Put the Initiative cards in plastic protective sleeves, and use wet-erase pens to write on them. One side tracks Initiative and the most critical parts of stat blocks. Arrange them behind the GM screen or in a stack to keep track of turn order.
Round Tracker cards let you track the end of a round and effects which might expire in a future round.
If you’re not using a gamemaster screen, you can use our add-on Card Holders to stand them up in view of the players. Write the creature’s name on the player’s side of the card. If you want, you can write down the Armor Class of opponents and let players track if they’ve hit the creature or not.
Conditions scards track the 5e conditions such as ‘Poisoned’ or ‘Stunned.’ Rules Summaries present rules for Death & Dying, Healing, and Grappling. Hand these cards to players so they can quickly know the rules without turning to a rulebook.
Role cards help the gamemaster recruit volunteers to help during the game. The gamemaster selects things they want help with and puts the cards out on the table. Volunteers take a card which lets the GM know which roles still lack volunteers. Here are the eight role card descriptions:
- 1) Turnmaster — Run initiative on behalf of the GM. Consider alerting players in advance when they are up next in the turn order.
- 2) Battlemaster — Manage miniatures, game tokens, and terrain on the battlemat. Could include marching order and coordinating who is on watch at night. If asked, track damage taken for GM-controlled creatures.
- 3) Rulesmaster — Have a copy of the core rules and be ready to look up rules as questions come up in the game.
- 4) Soundmaster — Use devices to play background music that is thematically appropriate for scenes and battles.
- 5) Grubmaster — Coordinate meals for the group which could include ordering take-out, Keeping track of menu orders, and picking up food.
- 6) Logkeeper — Track game-world time and the locations to which characters journey. This could include calendar dates and drawing maps. This could also include names of players who attended. Give a copy of your notes to the Chronicler (if you have one) at the end of the session.
- 7) Quartermaster — Track rewards characters receive: money, treasure, and group treasure. Includes knowing where you keep group treasure. This could also include experience points. Give a copy of your notes to the Chronicler (if you have one) at the end of the session.
- 8) Chronicler — Take notes about the story during the game, and collect additional notes from the Logkeeper and Quartermaster at the end of the game session. After the game, write up an overview of the game session and publish in a blog post or other medium.
We’re still working on the art for the deck back cover and deciding how we will package the cards (tuck box versus plastic case), but we will share pictures and details on that before the Kickstarter ends.
These special plastic tokens are sized to fit under standard 1 inch miniature bases and allow you to use Stoplight Damage™ rules to use tokens to track hit points. Run large scale encounters without the hassle of tracking hit points for each creature by hand.
Ever have a dozen Orcs on the battlemat, and have trouble keeping track of each creature’s hit points? Logistics of tracking a large number of minis can be challenging. Damage Counters make this easy.
Any damage done to Player Characters is tracked like you normally do: players track their individual damage levels. Damage dealt to non-player creatures and enemy creatures uses Stoplight Damage™.
Here’s how it works. There are green, yellow, and red damage tokens. Like a stoplight, the most favorable color is green, and the most unfavorable is red. The damage values of each token follows the values of American coins: 5, 10, and 25 (a nickel, dime, and quarter). Round damage up to the nearest 5. So if you deal 4 hit points of damage to an Orc, that rounds up to 5, and you’d place a green damage counter beneath the miniature. On the next hit, if you deal them 8 additional damage, you’d add a yellow counter beneath them.
Yes, the damage goes up slightly, but in most games it makes very little difference to the balance of the encounter. You can easily add another creature or up their total hit points slightly if you want, but in practice, it feels very organic and satisfying.
I’ve been testing this technique for many months in several different groups. Here is what people are saying:
“These tokens make combat much faster and more enjoyable. It takes away all the tedious tracking of hp for each figure. I like the fact that you can see easily which figures are damaged, seems to better simulate a real conflict. They are AWESOME!!!” — John S.
“They really streamline the process of HP tracking for NPCs and let the focus remain on the action.” — Mason A.
“Great gaming hack! Helps both the DM and the players know the damage quickly. If you're looking to speed up your combat, these are essential.” — John B.
“I really dig the stoplight damage system. It's an elegantly streamlined way to track damage. For the GM and players alike, it makes for more dynamic, action-packed battles. Plus, as a player, it's fun to see the damage "stack up" on enemies.” — Chris Y.
- “The stoplight damage system was an eye opener for me because it shows how smooth combat can be. Streamlining damage to NPCs helps the game flow and allows players and GM alike to avoid the grind of hit-point counting, shuttling encounters into a quicker and less grindy experience.” — Jeff L.
Damage counters come in a pack of 10 green, 10 yellow, and 10 red tokens. Most creatures won’t use more than 2 or 3 counters before they die. If you want more tokens, see the add-on section below.
GAMEMASTER CHRONICLES KIT
The Gamemaster Chronicles Kit is a series of system-neutral, old-school booklets with tools to help you run well organized, dynamic roleplaying games. These booklets are meant to be written in, helping you and your players organize your games for maximum fun!
Each booklet is digest sized (5.5”x8.5”) and approximately 56 pages. The Gamemaster Chronicles Kit consists of four booklets.
Book 1: Malloy’s Almanac
The first book in the Chronicles line is Malloy's Almanac. It is optimized for use at the table and is an invaluable tool to create on-the-fly adventures.
Malloy's Almanac has many of the features of a traditional almanac, but is tailored for the needs of tabletop roleplaying games. The Almanac will include:
- Sunrise & Sunsets
- Moon Phases
- Celestial Events
The real core of the book is its random encounter tools. Unlike many tools that have random tables, this book is meant to be written in so you can track story elements as you use them.
The tools have separate dice roll methods which let you choose encounters for either low-magic (think Middle-earth or Game of Thrones) and high-magic (think Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk) settings. The twenty encounter tools are broken into four sections:
- Travelling — 1. Travelers, 2. Forage, 3. Hazards, 4. Unfortunates, 5. Hostiles, 6. Landmarks, 7. Hunting, 8. Campsite, 9. Relics, 10. Dreadlands, 11. Warbands, 12. Omens
- In Town — 13. Towns, 14. Shops, 15. Taverns, 16. Wanted Posters
- Loot — 17. Books & Tomes, 18. Magic Items, 19. Personal Loot
- Verse — 20. Riddles
The final section is composed of tables of characters by race (Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, and Orcs), with checkboxes next to each name to note when you've used them. It includes unique names, distinctive features or quirks for the character, and some motivations for each NPC which can themselves drive further adventures.
Book 2: Imaginarium
The second book is called the Imaginarium and is an idea log used to plan game sessions. Blank dungeons are ready to fill in with your ideas. Encounter worksheets provide tools to help you create tactically interesting maps for combat scenes. There are also campaign worksheets and adventure design checklists to help you craft on-the-fly game sessions as well as help you plan between games for adventures which incorporate player’s backgrounds and secrets.
The book contents will include:
- 6 blank dungeons you can annotate
- 12 encounter worksheets with fill-in graph paper
- 3 campaign worksheets which use an Apocalypse World-style Fronts technique
- Adventure design guidelines with tips and checklists
- Secrets tracking sheets
- Adventure Seeds tracking sheets
- Ideas & Notes tracking sheets
Book 3: Session Planner
The third book is a Session Planner. Gamemasters can use this tool to plan games (often using ideas and maps from your Imaginarium) and to take notes during the game sessions. It will feature two-page spreads for each game session and will allow you to track 25 different game sessions. There is also a section called ‘People, Places & Things’ to track PCs, NPCs, and key places or things that come up during game sessions.
Book 4: Game Diary
The final book in the Chronicles Kit is a Game Diary. The gamemaster can give this booklet to a player to record notes on what happens in each game. Appoint a player as a quartermaster or chronicler and they can then track group treasure, experience, and other key information that comes up in each game session.
Our goal is to reach $1,500 which will allow us to commission some additional art,complete the text and layout of the Gamemaster Codex booklet and Gamemaster Cards deck, and to print and ship these products to our fans as soon as possible.
How do you support this project? It's very easy: simply click "Back this Project." We have various pledge levels depending on which combination of product you want. Don’t see a Pledge level that matches your need? Consult the Add-On section below.
You’ll get beta versions of the PDF copies of the booklets and cards after the Kickstarter funds in April. We should finish art and final layout by May and (if we print domestically) ship later in the summer as soon as our manufacturer and distributor have the products in. We've put in December as our delivery date in the off-chance we need additional production time if we end up printing off-shore due to high production volumes.
If you are a verifiable merchant, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you instructions on how to pledge and receive a retailer discount. Just pledge the amount we discuss with you via email and we'll gather additional details in the pledge manager survey after the Kickstarter. Shipping costs will be handled in the pledge manager survey (see Shipping Costs section for details). Retailers will receive all digital products and stretch goals for personal use only.
Want to buy or add additional items? Simply select at least a $15 pledge level, then add the following dollar amounts to your pledge amount. We will have a pledge manager survey that goes out prior to shipping that will get the details on which product you ordered.
- Gamemaster Codex — $25
- Gamemaster Cards — $15
- Gamemaster Damage Counters (set of 30) — $15
- Chronicles 4 Booklet Set — $40
- Wooden Card Stands (set of 2) — $15
UNLOCKED! $5K More Art! We will commission additional art for the products.
UNLOCKED! $6K Encounter Worksheets! PDF. Printable encounter worksheets with fill-in graph paper and design tips.
UNLOCKED! $7K Campaign Fronts Worksheet! PDF. Printable worksheet to create campaign outlines using the Dungeon World inspired Fronts.
UNLOCKED! $8K Character Roster! PDF. Printable log to track PC and NPC characters.
UNLOCKED! $9K Regional Hex Paper! PDF. Letter-sized, printable hex paper for regional hex crawl mapping.
UNLOCKED! $10K Session Log! PDF. Printable session log to record session notes.
$12K Old-School Blue Hex Paper! PDF. Letter-sized, printable hex paper for local areas hex crawl mapping in old-school blue.
$14K Session Planner! PDF. Printable session log for GM's to prepare game sessions.
$16K Old-School Blue Graph Paper! PDF. Letter-sized, printable graph paper for dungeon crawl mapping in old-school blue.
$18K Form-Fillable Last Will & Testament! PDF. Letter-sized, Last Will & Testament form, very handy for characters going on deadly missions.
$20K Campaign Charter Worksheet! PDF. Printable worksheet to work out a social contract with your game group before the campaign starts.
$22K Secrets Worksheet! PDF. Printable worksheet to track secrets and adventure ideas for each player character.
$24K Form-Fillable Name Tent! PDF. Form to enter and print table tents with the characters name.
$26K+ We'll reveal the great unknown when we get there!
Shipping Costs — Because of so many product combinations, we will send out a Pledge Manager survey after the Kickstarter ends to finalize orders and collect shipping based on the products you've ordered. Shipping costs are estimated to be $5 per set of five booklets in the US and $15 per set for Canada. International shipping is $25 for one set of five booklets. Shipping cost may be a bit higher for people adding on card holders and other add-ons.
VAT and Duties — International customers are responsible for any VAT, customs fees, or duties that may be due at time of delivery. We are unable to estimate these fees. These fees are solely the responsibility of the recipient.
Ship Dates — Final physical product sets will ship as soon as we have the products available.
Rogue Comet is an RPG company formed by fans of the hobby who want to create time-saving GM tools to make gaming easier. Together with a hoard of helpers and supporters we strive to create fantastic products for everyone! This will be our seventh crowdfunding project, and we look forward to expanding our product lines. Together with a hoard of helpers and supporters we strive to create fantastic products for everyone!
Is this tied to the Dungeonesque White Box products? The covers look similar.
Yes, we’ve used the same parchment cover style and booklet format that we use in the Dungeonesque White Box booklets. However, you can use the booklets with 5e just fine; no need to use our Dungeonesque RPG products.
Is the content completely new?
If you've purchased the Dungeonesque RPG, you've already seen a lot of the cool content we include in our Gamemaster Codex (although much of the codex is new). Almost all content in the Almanac is new. There is some content (a few of the 20 Towns and 20 Magic Items) which appeared in a previous Rogue Comet product (Adventures in Varria: Volume 1) which we are reusing due to the low funding target of this Kickstarter.
How does the Almanac support both low and high magic?
There are 20 types of encounters, and each encounter section has twenty entries. For each table, the first 12 entries are low-magic events that work well in both low or high magic settings. The next 8 entries are specifically for high-magic settings. If you’re playing in a low-magic game setting, roll a d12 on the tables. For high-magic settings, roll a d20.
I want to buy your other White Box style products from prior Kickstarters. How do I do that?
The Red and White Box products from our previous Kickstarters should be shipping in April. For this Kickstarter, we’ll send out a pledge manager survey in February at which time you can add-on other related products to go along with these Chronicles booklets, if you so choose.
Why would I use the Chronicles booklets instead of just scraps of paper and a large GM book?
In my prior career I was a human-centered-design expert for many years. Table-top ergonomics are a big focus for me. I want the content to be easy to scan, easy to understand, and easy to thumb through to find the content you want. I’ve been testing the method I’m presenting in these booklets for many months, and I have found that this system works really efficiently during the game to find and record information. Having concise and usable tools at the table will help you run fast-paced, well-organized, on-the-fly games and get the most out of your roleplaying games.
Risks and challenges
The majority of the text for the booklets is complete. Most of the art is complete. Only some additional text and layout remains. We think we can deliver this project without problems.
However, as with any manufacturing process, things can go wrong. Delays in layout or print production could happen. So we have allowed additional time in our schedule as a buffer to enable us to avoid such delay issues. If all goes as planned, we may even be able to deliver the project a little sooner.
We understand the printing process, as our founder has published several RPG books before and has worked with multiple printers.
No matter what problems occur, we will always keep our backers and supporters informed of any issues that arise so you will be aware of the situation and how we will be handling it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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