D&D General What goes in your DM binder?


On that metempsychosis tweak
I usually include the following in my GM/DM binder:

A piece of paper on which I keep track of the group's AC, attack bonuses, passive perception scores, and other conditions/abilities affecting or having been granted to the player characters.

Session notes, including story outlines, maps, encounters, locales, dungeons, etc.

Homebrew monster statblocks.

Tables upon tables of homebrew rules, elements of the economy, and other setting details.

The setting '(b)ible'.

We keep records of what the group has done on Discord, and, I like to carry a tablet or laptop around for audio and the occasional visual effect.

log in or register to remove this ad


I like the idea of having the players rotate having the extra NPC. Do you take a turn with that as well, or do you keep her for the players?
She's always played by one of the players - I have enough to keep track of with the monsters and non-party NPCs.

We used to have a dwarven cleric of Moradin NPC to provide healing for the party, but she got killed on a rather permanent basis. So this elven druid, the pre-established little sister of one of the original PCs, got brought into the group to replace her. Passing her around from session to session for someone else to play allows the players to share the burden and also get a taste for running a spellcasting PC (for our newer players who tend to run more physical combat types).

However, that said, now that the PCs are 19th level and just about everyone else has a familiar, animal companion, or dedicated henchman associated with their PC, my son runs the druid on a nearly permanent basis. The fact that she's 5 levels behind the rest of the party makes it easier for him to run her as well as his own PC, and since his PC is a gnome fighter he isn't already inundated will spell prep.



No rule is inviolate
...Then as I go more comfortable with the rules, I got the mini version of The Worlds Greatest Game Screen from Hammerdog games (The World’s Greatest Screen - Hammerdog Games) and used a lightly modified version of the inserts created by DM David (http://dmdavid.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/mini_screen_5E_v2.pdf)...

Nice, should've added that I have a DM screen with inserts (4 each side, 8x11 sized), giving me quite a bit of freedom to use inserts for both players and myself. I fluctuate on what I feel I truly need on my side at all times.


Victoria Rules
Sticking just to paperwork and ignoring other things like dice, etc. and stuff in player folders...

In the binders are:

  • infrequently-used charts and tables
  • maps
  • homebrew monster and magic item write-ups
  • stats and records

On and behind the DM screen are:

  • frequently-used charts and tables
  • game-world calendar including moon phases and major holiday or celebration dates
  • notes pertaining to here-and-now effects etc. on specific characters
  • game log sheets (includes treasure list, xp notes, what-happened notes, dates, etc.)
  • maps and notes on, or the module for, the most recent, current, and potentially next adventure
  • character sheets for party NPCs
  • a bunch of rulebooks (DMG, several MMs, etc.)

Elsewhere nearby are:

  • character sheets for dead or retired characters both PC and NPC
  • printed 'forms' for player use for character finances, xp tracking, and a character sheet template
  • archived game log sheets and notes, and archived adventure notes/modules

Online or in my computer (but would otherwise be paper, and once were) are:

  • spell write-ups
  • pantheon and deity write-ups
  • the 'blue book' of houserules that now almost completely replaces the PH
  • player-facing game logs and notes
  • magic item lists and prices

There's probably things I missed, but that gives a good idea of it. I run at home; were I to run a 'road' game I'd end up taking a box or two of paperwork plus the non-paper supplies e.g. dice, board, etc.

Epic Threats

An Advertisement