I found this picture on some D&D blogs:

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I thought it was a nice way for DMs to set some NPCs basic stats and abilities (like soldiers that the PCs could recruit or something). Then I realized this was on a Party-Tracking subject, there are some status conditions, some order zones, and some circles I don't get the point.

So, firstly, what are the order squares and the cirdle on the top right, and the 3 sets of 3 connected circles on the bottom left?

Second, what is this used for? Who tracks the party? The DM? Players? What is the point of this?


1 Answer 1


Marching order is the order that the characters will travel in when in narrow areas (such as a corridor in a dungeon).

Combat order is called initiative in recent editions of D&D (some older editions make the distinction as initiative being the order that set of groups (e.g. PCs and Monsters) go in and Combat Order being the order within that group.

I haven't a clue what the author of the sheet intended the unlabeled circles to be used for. You can use them for whatever you like (e.g. tracking effects that last for a number of rounds).

The sheet is designed to be used by a DM. It contains a summary of the most important information on the players' character sheets so they can get the information quickly. The DM doesn't have to ask who's turn it is next, or make the players remember what they said their marching order was when they are attacked from behind, etc.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps death saves in 5e? Unlikely considering the use of "wounds" but i suppose possible \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 0:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidBenKnoble The wounds section is for recording damage taken to HP. Two sets of those circles at the bottom are almost certainly for death saves and death save failures. The third set? Who knows? Maybe the creator thought it looked odd with nothing there. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 16:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ I can think of three reasons for big circle. Most likely its a place for a small portrait. Secondarily maybe the big circle is a Moral score, especially if it’s for NPC’s, , hirelings might need to track their attitude toward the party. Thirdly maybe a leadership score, combine the combat order and marching order and get an idea of their ability to command influence beyond their charisma. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 3:17

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