D&D 5E – Time Tracking Tool
Posted by Ronny
on August 20, 2016
DM Tool for Tracking Time
Download your free copy here.
I have tried several different ways to keep track of time in a dungeon. Years ago I even wrote a “Time Tender” software program. I was thinking of getting a toy clock, or a broken clock that I could turn the hands on. Thinking of clocks, I came up with this simple idea, and it works! Download and print as many of these as you may need. The idea is that you use a pencil to mark off the time as your players explore the dungeon.
Each clockface represents one day. One sheet can track 4 days. The hours are marked around the sides. Midnight is at the bottom and Noon is at the top. There are 6 little boxes between each hour. Each box represents 10 minutes. I fill in each box as time passes in the adventure. I find this works well. I say it takes 10 minutes to search a room. I mark off 10 minutes after each combat for searching bodies, recover arrows, clean up, etc. Moving along a cooridor doesn’t take much time unless it is very long or they are being slow. I also mark time for other activities as well: one hour for a short rest, eight hours for a long rest, overland travel time, etc.
There is plenty of blank space to scribble notes.
Brilliant! I should have thought of this years ago. Below the date, I simply write any major event(s) that occurred that day, like “poison begins to effect Marius”, “Carobb gets separated from group”, or “Delaney’s fever breaks”.
Thanks for this, Ronny!
Me too. Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to see.
If you have any other playing aids that you use, please share.
Brilliant! Thanks again Ronny
Glad you like it.
You are welcome. Let me know if you use it.
Brilliant! I tried using one with random highlights at certain time slots and watched the players freak out as they approached.
I just started to DM my first campaign a couple weeks ago and I was really frustrated with my inability to keep a grasp on the in-game time. I’d often guess and sometimes caught the players off guard when they found out that not much time had passed. I’ll have to give these a try.
I hope they help.I have found them useful (when I remember to use them). You will also want to have a calendar to mark off the days. I recommend this for that:
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Wow! Thanks for that. I’ve been using a cheap weekly planner to track the days but I’ll have to give this a try.
You are welcome. I guess it is about time for me to make another post of all of the cool web sites I have ran across that have useful tools and references.
This is a shameless plug, but like everyone else, I’ve had trouble keeping track of in-game time. This summer, I decided to do something about it, taught myself to code, and after about 7 months this is what I came up with. Quest Clock – A time tracking app for RPGs. Hopefully somebody will get some use out of it! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quest-clock/id1277275995?mt=8
I love this.
Unfortunately, I don’t own any apple products.
A couple of questions:
1) Do you plan on offering an android version?
2) Can I enter my home-world’s calendar (like the one here https://donjon.bin.sh/fantasy/calendar/ )?
This brings back memories. In the 1980’s I wrote a program similar to this. I called it “Time Tender”. I remember that I called TSR and asked them if I could write and sell a program that could be used to create D&D characters and was told that I could not, so I wrote this instead.
I first got an Atari and wrote it for that. I bought a case of 10 minute cassette tapes and printed out a bunch of labels. I couldn’t sell any. Lots of people said that they didn’t have an Atari, but I should offer it for the Commodore. So I got a Commodore, re-wrote it and even rented a table at a D&D convention. I sold ONE copy.
Here’s wishing great success.
Great idea thanks
Thanks for leaving your comment. I’m glad you like it.
I’ve tried keeping track of time in previous campaigns, and I always fall off the wagon pretty quick. I found this little tool and have been using it over a year now on my current campaign and I LOVE it! It’s well designed and simple enough to do what I need without getting in the way. I love being able to share in the boxes. Thanks so much!
Thanks for feedback, and thank you for posting a link to this on your site.
For any of my followers that haven’t yet discovered the “Dungeon Master Pastor” site, you should check it out. It is definitely geared to Christian players but it has a lot to offer to all serious D&D enthuses.
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