Tracking Spell Points in Dungeons & Dragons
So, your player wants to play a spell caster, but they still have problems keeping track of hit points. This could prove to be very challenging for both the player and the DM. Maybe you have players that are more interested in the battle or the role-playing than the logistics of tracking resources or they just don’t bother to track their spell usage. Then there is the player that wants to take a short long rest every time they start running low on spell slots. Here are a few suggestions on how to handle these issues and make tracking spell slots a breeze.
Spells and Spell Slots
First, you will need to check the spell caster’s Spells Know Per Level/Spell Slots table in the Players Handbook. Each spell casting character class has its own chart, which can be very confusing for new players and DMs. The character spell charts will tell you how many spells of each level the character has available to them and how many they can cast before they need to rest and recover spell slots.
If you use an online tool like OrcPub2.com, your character sheets will come with spell cards. If you want to get a little more fancy, check out the Dungeons & Dragons Spell Cards (Amazon.com) or the Animated Spell Cards by The Deck of Many. Personally, we use the OrcPub2.com spell cards because I can use a colored marker to put a dot next to the spell’s level, which makes it easy for the players to know which color spell tracking token to use. Which brings us to tracking spell usage and spell slots…
Tracking Spell Slots Using Tokens
Choose a tracking token for each spell slot level. My two favorites are poker chips and jellybeans. The color of chip or jellybean represents a different spell level. So white poker chips would be first level spell slots, red is the second level and blue is the third level. As spells are cast, the chips are thrown into a bowl to represent the spell being cast. You could eat the jellybeans or collect them in a bowl.
When the player runs out of a particular color of chips or jellybeans, they have run out of that level spell slots. Could it be any easier?
Mrs. DMingDad found these plastic counters on Amazon. With about 900 counters, there are more counters here than a whole party of 20th level characters could use.
Tracking Spell Componetnts
We don’t track spell components on our games with younger players. This is because it drags down the game and becomes a logistics nightmare. There is a component pouch that magically produces all of the components a spell caster will need.
If you want to add money management to the game, which can be a great way to start teaching kids about money, let players know their characters will have expenses related to acquiring spell components. You might want to say the pouch must be replenished every day by feeding it a gold piece for each spell slot level the character used. So, if they used 1 first level spell and 1 second-level spell, they have to put 3 gold pieces into the bag. Or, you could keep track of the resources in your DM notes then tell the character they need to visit the local magic shop in town to get their component pouch refilled.