If you follow Nerds on Earth closely, you’ve noticed that we are always looking for things that help us make our tabletop roleplaying games work a little better. Recently, we have been focusing on the combat part of our games and how we can make it meaningful but also not slow down the game incredibly. With that in mind, when we got the latest product from TopDogGames.Net to review, I was excited to see how well they would work in games.
Stat Trackers is so simple an idea that you wonder why someone hadn’t already created it before. While I have definitely seen some homebrew variations of this idea, the excellence and quality that this one is done with really makes it stand out.
To put it simply, Stat Trackers are cards that you can use as part of your roleplaying experience as a DM. The cards come in three kinds and each is worth reviewing.
First, they have created over 317 official 5e Monster trackers. On each tracker you get all the relevant information that you need in order to run a creature in combat, all in a quick to use and easily digestible format.
On the DM side, you see the Armor Class, the hit points, the core statistics and then any abilities, spells etc that each creature has. Every DM has their way of handling things but in this case, Stat Tracker has taken the creatures in the Monster Manual available via the Open Gaming License (OGL) and created the card for you. And while you as a DM can see everything, your players just see the creature name and where it falls in initiative.
And Stat Trackers works great for initiative because you can also use the blank character card and collect all the information that you need for your players. And it is on a similarly sized card where, again, the players see their name and where they fall in combat and you see everything else. It is so much more helpful to be able to easily see PCs’ spell save DC versus having to ask over and over again.
I found these blank player cards to be super helpful and valuable. Even if you are using a different system for initiative tracking, it is worth having this information from your players in a format that is far easier to use and read than a full player sheet. I am even considering offering these to players as a kind of cheat sheet for their own review.
Third, the set offers you blank cards for monsters which allow you to add monsters and NPCs not featured in the Monster Manual; including space for all of their relevant information and stats. While it is nice having all the SRD monsters easily available, when you are running a new campaign with creatures not in that pack, this is an easy way for you to create them and add them. As you can see here, I took a card and quickly wrote up the Girallion that my PCs run into in the jungles of Chult.
Having the ability to create the card also means I can highlight the things that I sometimes forget, like when a creature has a resistance or immunity or when a creature has multiple attacks.
Finally, the quality of the product is impressive. While I can see someone taking this idea and easily making their own version, I have to say that the thoughtfulness of this product should make you pause. The stat trackers are printed on high quality card stock. I have had to erase and re-erase things on some cards and they handle it just fine. The card also have a small indention that is just the right size for the standard DM screen. While it would be easy to bend the card at the one point, they have managed to give you a predetermined slot that works well.
You can currently purchase the whole set on their website which comes with the 317 pre-printed monster cards, plus 50 blank character trackers and 50 blank monster trackers in a very nice box with alphabetical tabs for organizing the set for $60. If you wanted to just try the blank character and monster cards, you can purchase those as well: 50 blank cards for either players or monsters for $10 each. You certainly could take your time and effort and make a different version but I think for the quality you get, these products are definitely worth checking out.
[Disclosure: Nerds on Earth was provided a review copy of this product.]