D&D Initiative Tracker Prototype



A little background for people unfamiliar with D&D. When you start combat in D&D, you determine your turn order, called initiative, by rolling a 20 sided dice. The higher the number, the earlier you go.

Tracking initiative order is beneficial, because it lets you know when your turn is coming up so you can prepare. There are a number of different ways to track initiative; write it on a white piece of paper, a dry erase board or mate, folding a index card and hanging it on the DM screen, or using clothespins (apparently).

So, I decided to design an initiative tracker that we can use for our game.
Here is the Prototype.

Front side, that the players can see, will have a portrait and name. This is for a generic monster. Because I didn’t take a nice picture, you can’t tell that I painted in the engrave red before removing the masking. The coin at the top I plan on painting with dry erase paint, so you can write your initiative number in.

Back Side, that the DM can see. For Player Characters, I’ll probably make another portrait. For Monsters, I added clips to hold up paper that can have monster info on it. Also, I’m thinking of painting that side with dry erase paint as well, so you don’t need to use paper if you don’t want to.

Side view of the back, showing the clips.

Here’s the fun part, its all held up by magnets.

There is a modular base that gets hung on the DM screen. The coins will have Player’s or Monster names written on them, so they can be easily identified. They they go on and come off very easy. All the magnets were pressed in, no glue needed.

I’m planning on painted the modular section black. Also, for Player’s portraits, I was planning on making them our of plywood or hardwood. But that will take some more testing for magnet placement.

You can find Draftboard settings for magnet placement here:

Any comments, thoughts, suggestions, vicious mockeries?


Great idea!


??? Absolutely not…these are great ideas!! My son found his Dads old book and dice bag awhile back and has been wanting to play with others other than us…lol. May have to start looking at cool stuff like this for ideas for him. As a13 year old…he’s a pretty good DM…lol



I was thinking of something similar that you would have coin tokens that you can move around for initiative. I had not though of magnets, but rather of little “holders” that the coins sit in. Something like this:


Perhaps with a small clear board on top that partially covers the holes and holds the coins in place.

I was also thinking of cutting the “coins” out of acrylic. So that the DM can write on them using a dry-erase marker. I’ll have to experiment with materials.


I have no idea why I didn’t think of using Acrylic for this! That will be much cheaper and easier than the dry erase paint!


Nice! I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to play! My wife said she would consider playing with us at that point.


Most of this went over my head, but it does make me want to try engraving some clothespins.


Fantastic idea! So many opportunities just in D&D projects


Wow! Nice ideas! Someone call E. Gary Gygax! Taking the DM to the next level. Nice!


I think you will have to contact him in Valhalla for that particular communication…


My two boys love DM-ing D&D games - actually my older boy (senior this year) created a new game from scratch just so it would fit his friends play style better (which is pretty fast and loose :slight_smile: ) Both my boys are wanting custom DM screens as very early projects on the Glowforge…which is scheduled to arrive Thursday…may end up being the shortest and longest four days of my life. Guess who hasn’t cleaned the office yet. I’ll give you a hint, it’s the same moron who’s sitting here typing in the forum instead of cleaning right now :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


“Hey guys, check out all the cool D&D stuff they are making on the Glowforge! Isn’t it awesome! Too bad I don’t have time to clear out the office to make room for our Glowforge. Otherwise you guys could make all this cool stuff, too!” (Rolls deception check) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Evil :smiling_imp: I love it!


Fast and loose is the current style of RPG.
Gamers want 100 pages of fluff and 10 of rules.

Unfortunately since i run Avalon Hill’s Power and Perils that marks me out as a dinosaur from another epoch


I’m actually doing one similar! I am using etched copper with a space in the middle to whiteboard marker in names!


My older son would actually prefer something more “structured” but his friends really enjoy the roll-play more than the gaming itself, so as a good DM, he tends to cater to what they enjoy.


I thought if we had a laser anything was possible. I am pretty sure the folks at glowforge know the Valhalla area code.


I love this as I play D&D regularly and its hard to keep track of larger groups and which player is next.


Here’s how Jolly Blackburn from KenzerCo does it(Hackmaster, Aces & 8s, Knights of the the Dinner Table comic/game magezine).


Looks great! The red paint adds an otherworldly touch. Magnets always make things cooler, too :slight_smile: