- Character building
- Form Fillable Character Builder
- Every Possible Stat Array
- Class Comparison List
- Conjuration List
- Easy character creation
- Online Campaign Tracker
- Magic Items by Rarity
- Treasure Generator
- Prices Guide
- Weak Magic Items
- Mithril And Mages Treasure
- Quick Store
- Drive: NPC Generator
- Encounter and Initiative
- 5E GM Egaanon
- Poison generator
- Monsters by Challenge Rating 1.0
- Monsters by Type 1.0
- Dungeon & Town Quick
- Stores (with inventories)
- Ye olde map maker
- Updated Rules
- Sage Advice Compendium
- Monster Manual Errata 1.2
- Dungeon Master’s Guide Errata 1.1
- Unearthed Arcana Quick Reference
- Character Manager
- [Android] eRPG Tools Plus
This subreddit has been a huge source of inspiration and motivation for me. I wanted to find a way to actually contribute in some way so I put together this guide on how I use OneNote to help plan my campaign and run my sessions as a DM. It has been an invaluable tool for me but with that said, it may not fit everybody’s style. Below are some of the ways I use it personally.
Organizing Your Campaign
When organizing your campaign, it is helpful to have a clean and clear setup from the start. This can be done in any way that works best for you but be sure to do a lot of this up front as it will help you later on.
OneNote uses a system of Tabs and Pages/Subpages. Tabs should be a broad category and pages should be more specific. For example, here are my tabs. I have chosen to have a tab for general info, player characters, NPCs, items, encounters, locations, and organizations.
Session Notes, Adventure Diary, Story Outline, Player Handouts
Information about the PCs. Background, stats, etc
All of the important NPCs, including villains. Each one has a page with their history, player interactions, location, motivations, etc.
A list of all the key items in my campaign and their locations & history.
Contains information regarding potential encounters. Lots of links to /r/DnDthreads with random hooks and encounters.
All of the locations in my world.
The guilds, syndicates, government groups, militaries, etc.
Each one of the tabs will have pages for each important piece of info within that category. For example, here are my location pages. You can also make a page into a subpage by right clicking it and choosing the option.
Templates will save you a lot of time. You will likely want to create a template page for each tab that will prompt you to cover all the important aspects. Here is what my locations template looks like. You can see I have tables and headers set up that will prompt me to cover the basics. Here is a filled out version of the template.
Using the locations template as an example, you can do similar templates for NPCs or key items in your campaign.
Don’t be afraid to use the built in To Do, Important and Question features as part of your templates. I use the To Do checkbox (Ctrl + 1) a lot. I can quickly check the box to know which events have already happened and which ones never did. I also use the Question (Ctrl + 3) a lot to make sure I remember the questions that never got answered (both ruling questions and story questions).
You can also do voice recordings right inside OneNote if you wanted to record specific parts as notekeeping.
Linking to Other Pages & Search
This is a feature that I feel OneNote does very well. Let’s say you have a forest called Talgar. First thing you want to do is go to your Locations tab and create a page called Talgar. Now whenever you mention the forest of Talgar, you can just throw some double brackets [[ Talgar ]] around the word and it will automatically link to the page of the same name. If you haven’t created the page yet, you can still throw the double brackets around the important location or NPC name. When you click on the link, it will automatically create a page of the same name for you and you can move it whichever tab you would like. Links make it very easy to jump around to get more information regarding an NPC, item or location. As an example, on one of my Items pages I may list the location of the item and have link directly to the Location page for it.
The search function is also incredibly useful. It works very well and searches across all notebooks, tabs and pages. Makes it very easy to quickly look up info during the game.
Under the General tab, I have a page called Story Outline that just includes a brief overview of the history of my world as well as ideas on where the story could go. I made a quick timeline using tables that is a bit empty right now but I will fill in more info once I finalize it. It helps to visualize your history and look up quick details.
Create a page for taking notes during your session or before your session. The week prior to each session, I always have all these great ideas about what might happen the next time we meet. To make sure I don’t forget anything when it comes time to run the session, I just throw everything into a Session Notes page. As the sessions unfolds, I will edit and update the notes which then leads to the next page…
The Encounter Log is basically an adventure diary. After each session, I will take the Session Notes and condense them down into a nice readable format so that I have a running log of our sessions. This helps me remember what the characters have done already (no matter how small) so I can hook their past actions into future events. Knowing the little details helps you shape the world around your player’s actions. This makes the players want to engage with the world around them so they can the effects of their decisions.
Once the information is in the Encounter Log, I clear the Session Notes and start with a blank slate for next week’s planning.
I have created a GM screen page. It has links to all the tools I use the most while I DM. It also has tables that I have copy and pasted into the page for things such as languages, DCs, item prices, rules, etc. If you see a useful table online, just copy and paste into the page or use the OneNote clipper (not a huge fan of the clipper though).
I personally use pen & paper for this since it works well enough but here are some tips on tracking initiative right in OneNote.
First, create a table with 4 columns and enough rows for all of your party. You will want a Name, Initiative, AC and HP column. Give the top row some shading to make it a header row. Then give your PCs rows some lighter shading. This will help distinguish them during combat and it will also help you remember not to delete or overwrite their rows. When you enter combat, all you need to do is add a few rows for your monsters and fill out the info.
Tip: You can quickly move rows around by hovering over it and using the arrow to the left of the row.
Tip: You can also sort by initiative order automatically by putting the cursor in the initiative column, selecting the Table Layout option in the ribbon, then choosing Sort by Descending.
Sync With OneDrive
Make sure to sync everything up with OneDrive. It makes it easy to have your notes available across devices. I will often add quick notes on my phone if I have a cool session idea. It also makes sure you never lose all your data. I have spent hours and hours creating the world and would hate if it all somehow got lost.