I have been playing and running Dungeons and Dragons games for decades. I’m always on the lookout for game aids that are innovative, relevant, and something that I need at the table. Several months ago Stat Trackers came across my radar on one of the social media streams. They are quick-reference cards on sturdy glossy cardstock. Each one is easily held in place by folding then over the DM screen allowing quick and easy visual reference for the DM. Ironically, I just purchased something similar from DriveThruRPG, but Stat Trackers had the advantage of having all the work done for me. A product that was innovative, relevant to my current game needs, and something I needed at the table; I was intrigued! For the sake transparency, Top Dog Game Club did provide me with a review copy of Stat Trackers for this review.
Stat Trackers is a way for 5th Edition Dungeon Masters (DM) to track initiative order with little to no effort; simply arrange the trackers in initiative order and away you go. Stat Trackers have the added benefit of giving the DM all the necessary statistical information for all monsters, animals, NPCs, and players in one location. No more referencing the Monster Manual!
IS THIS GAME AID INNOVATIVE?
There are hundreds of game aids available on the market today and while most are simple and genuinely helpful, the vast majority of them are not innovative in any meaningful way. Stat Trackers, on the other hand, is innovative by placing all the important details at my fingertips without all the flipping back and forth in the Monster Manual. I have yet to find any other product that consolidates all of the needed information from the Monster Manual and places it at my fingertips without me having to do any leg work. Not only that, but they are first and foremost, a simple and useful tool for tracking initiative that is intuitive and without being fiddly. While hanging “stuff” on the DM’s screen is not new or innovative in and of itself, couple that with the convenience and the amount of info Stat Trackers provides at your fingertips and it is.
IS STAT TRACKERS SOMETHING I NEEDED AT THE TABLE?
Yes, absolutely! Every DM tracks initiative, there is no getting around that little fact of life. Stat Trackers have taken the fiddliness out of some of my game prep. I used to spend a lot of time creating similar types of aids that required me to update them regularly, especially when player details changed. Additionally, I was manually creating equivalent monster cards and that process was time-consuming and problematic. At one point I purchased Monster Cards from Gale Force Nine and while they’re very nice and useful in their own right, I couldn’t hang them from my DM screen for initiative. No one product that I could find was a true-fit solution for me. That is until I came across Stat Trackers.
WHAT ARE YOU ACTUALLY GETTING?
There’s a total of 417 tracker cards plus 20 dividers. This breaks down to 317 official 5e monsters, NPCs and animals. Each presents officials stats in a condensed and easy to read format for the DM’s reference. There are 50 Character Trackers that make keeping track of player character information super easy. Each Character Tracker features information such as HP, AC, Saves, Skills, and so much more. The last major component is the 50 Blank Monster Trackers. These allow DMs to create new monster trackers or bring in monsters from other sources. In addition to a handy storage box, there are also 20 alphabetical dividers to make sorting and storage a breeze.
I would like to point out that due to the condensed nature of the Stat Trackers, some easy to read and internalize “shorthand” has been utilized. Most of the “shorthand” will be intuitive to even beginner DMs. But fear not, there’s a really short and easy to understand pamphlet included that helps to get the most out of the Stat Trackers.
The overall production quality is amazing! Each tracker is reasonably thick and is coated for long term durability and stain resistance. Each tracker is also pre-scored for easy folding to hang from the DM’s screen. Each tracker has a simple player-facing portion so that your players can easily follow along with the initiative order. Let’s talk about the box for a minute. It’s built like a Sherman tank! I don’t suspect I will have any issues with long term storage and repeated use from this box; it will do its job and then some. The box cover art is fantastic.
I would like to point out that there is no artwork contained on any of the trackers. I know this was a space savings consideration due to the information density of many of the monsters trackers. I suspect there was also potential licensing issues and other costs associated with including artwork.
WHAT DID I LIKE?
Innovative design and presentation
Provided me a solution and saved time
Functionally designed for ease of use and quick reference
Complete! animals, NPCs, and even divider cards
The ability to buy more blank Monster and Character Trackers
WHAT DID I DISLIKE?
Moster Trackers were not even remotely alphabetized before shrinkwrapping, sorting was not all that fun
No artwork on the player-facing side of the trackers
If you’re a 5e Dungeon Master and value your prep time and have a desire to maximize your play time, you really should check out Stat Trackers. I’m confident that they will allow you to do just that! They have begun to make my life a little easier. During game prep, as I come across a monster, animal, or NPC I need, I just pull the trackers I need and have them ready to go behind the screen. When the time comes, I add them to the top of my screen and voila! initiative order is set and visible to everyone at the table. My players now have better and more usable visual cues to ensure they’re ready to act on their turn. Thereby decreasing some of the unnecessary delays and downtime at the table. For me, they are a win-win solution to several problems; I save time during game prep and speed up play for everyone at the table.
**CORRECTION – James, the company owner, has clarified (below in the comments) that Stat Trackers does not include the entirety of the Monster Manual, but rather they have included everything that was allowed under the OGL. Read his comment below for other tidbits of insight.**
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