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DnD GM Stat Block

Dungeons and Dragons – Mystara

Game Management – Annotated Stat Block

What is a Stat Block? well it is short form of Statistical Block of text to describe your character in a reference form so you take up less space and have something useful in a game session for a role playing game with this form.

What is an Annotated Stat Block? An expanded stat block that provides references to the source material as well as a short form of the abilities that can be used in the game. It helps to have details that save you from having to look up the text, but if you have to check, at least you know which book or source material this is referenced from. It is a breakdown of a character for the role-playing game that is done in a consistent way and everything is located in the same place. It is not using fancy fonts or symbols or colours to separate things.

What this allows me to do is then use it in which ever tool I am running my games with, and keep as much of the format intact as possible. Special characters don’t transfer into some of my virtual tabletop tools.

A player providing an annotated stat block for all their character levels gains the table a GM’s Luck Roll each game, as long as its provided at least a week before, in an email, with no need for formatting by my. It also helps provide a character for when they are unavailable to play. If you ask why so restrictive, this is a extra bonus to the game they benefits everyone, and to earn it I need to be able to use what is provided without need to work on it.

Why do I use Annotated Stat Blocks? this is a interesting one, because I see many variations on character sheets over the years that I want something to be simple and consistent within my games so if needed they can be re-used when the player is not there. With a annotated stat block I am able to provide everything needed to run the characters at the table, with or without the player present. If they forget their character sheet, they have one available. If they are not present, their character is able to participate at an effective level and there is less suspension of disbelief in the story of characters coming and going.

Example Blank D&D 5E Annotate Stat Block

Building a annotated stat block for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition was something that I needed to get consistency between my games and how the players had interpreted their character and abilities.

How to Fill Out my D&D 5E Annotated Stat Block

Here is a run down of the various components of the stat block and how to fill them out for my D&D Games.

Section 1 – The Heading Section

Blank Section 1

This is the base identification of a creature or character, and in all cases the name is the most important part of the character.

Next we have the size which determines scale between a character and another creature it encounters. If they are medium, they are bigger than small creatures and large creature are bigger than they are. There is usually a bonus to actions based on the size difference.

Alignment is usually a two part alignment, though in my game they are a three axis alignment of Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic. Good, Neutral and Evil axis only exists with outsiders as mortals have free choice to make those actions as situation dependent. An evil sorcerer may make acts of good because it suits their beliefs.

The three alignments:

  • Lawful beings follow the rules
  • Neutral beings follow the rules as appropriate as long as they don’t contradict their beliefs
  • Chaotic beings act appropriately to their beliefs.
Quick copy example – Section 1

Name
Size race, alignment
Class

Example 1st Level

Here is an example from my Atruaghin campaign where the party encountered a Minotaur who has Elk horns instead of Bull horns. The annotation aspect is noting that the race comes from source ps-a19. This is a reference to Plane Shift – Amonkhet page 19.

I have also included Background and Class underneath as this is a good place to fit this information. They include a reference to the Players Handbook and the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

Example 4th Level

As an additional example, here I have the Martial Archetype Weapons Master which is using the reference for my website.

Section 2 – The Mobility and Defence Section

Blank Section 2

Here we have the Armour Class, Hit Points and Speed of the character.
Armour Class or AC is the ability for you to avoid being hit by targeted effects in the game.
Hit Points or HP is the ability to take damage without being knocked out or killed in the game.
Speed is your ability to move a distance in the game and can specify types of movement such as climb, fly or swim that makes possible without a dice roll.

A point to make here is that when you have different classes, you can have different Hit Dice, so you will need to list each one under the hit points section.

Hit Points: 26 (2d6+2, 2d10+2)

This represents two levels Wizard, then two levels fighter.

Quick Copy Example – Section 2

Armour Class:
Hit Points: (d+)
Speed:

Example 1st Level

Here I show how I lay out the armour class so it is obvious what give the bonus’s the character has to its armour class. The hit points are always max at first level with the constitution modifier added. The speed is determined by the race.

Example 4th Level

As a further example the level’s beyond 1 have half the hit dice plus one (d10 in this case it is 6) and gain the constitution modifier as well.

Section 3 – The Attribute Section

Blank Section 3

Attributes are your basic abilities and this is the short form version of the abilities written as normal.

  • Str – Strength
  • Dex – Dexterity
  • Con – Constitution
  • Int – Intelligence
  • Wis – Wisdom
  • Cha – Charisma

Modifier = (Value – 10) / 2 round down

There is a bonus based on your score which is usually from 8 to 15 as a starting character (not taking into account racial modifiers) so the way you figure out the bonus is a formula (games like this like math) so it calculated this way:

Quick Copy Example – Section 3


STR 0 (+) DEX 0 (+) CON 0 (+) INT 0 (+) WIS 0 (+) CHA 0 (+)

Example 1st level

So for example:

  • Str 17 -10 = 7 / 2 = 3.5 rounded down is 3.
  • Cha 8 -10 = -2 / 2 = -1 no rounding required

Section 4 – The Skills and Proficiency Section

Blank Section 4

Here are what I call secondary characteristics, things that don’t come up as often as the attributes. Saving Throws, Skills, Senses and Languages.

  • Saving Throws are for proficiency and gain your proficiency modifier to this roll.
  • Weapon and Armour: I added weapons and Armour to represent which proficiency your character has learnt.
  • Tools: Then there is a section added for tools, which again is something that is not always available so left off the basic form.
  • Skills are for skills you are proficient with and add your proficiency modifier to this roll
    • Available Skills: Strength (Athletics), Dexterity (Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, Stealth), Intelligence (Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, Religion), Wisdom (Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Perception, Survival), Charisma (Deception, Intimidation, Performance, Persuasion)
  • Senses show which different ways your character can notice something, examples are scent and low-light vision.
  • Languages are for which forms of communication can you understand, read and write in.
Quick Copy Example Section 4

Saving Throws:
Weapon and Armour:
Tools:
Skills:
Senses:
Languages:

Example 1st Level

In this example I show how you apply your attribute modifier for Strength (+3) to your proficiency modifier (+2).

In the weapons and Armour proficiency I have including advance weapon mastery shown as skilled.

Then there is a section added for tools you can see a Flute (musical instrument) has been added.

Skill have been given their attribute and proficiency modifier.

Languages also include dialect in brackets which can counter disadvantage when talking to someone in a region with that dialect that is distrustful of outsiders. Other benefits may crop up in game.

Example 4th Level

As an advancement, I have also shown Weapon Mastery up to Expert level for proficiency in Warhammer in this example.

Section 5 – The Abilities Section

Blank Section 5

This section is meant for abilities that can effect game play.

Example Blank Spellcasting Abilities

If your playing a spellcaster you need to have extra details added such as what is your spellcasting DC (Difficulty Class) and your attack bonus for using spells.

Also included are what spells are available that day, and noting that prepared casters have a limit on spells known based on level of the character plus the spellcasting attribute modifier (Wis for clerics and druids, Cha for Paladins, Int for Wizards)

Then it lists the Spellbook which each have a number as you can have more than one spellbook with 100 pages available in the book itself.

Next is the ritualbook which is different to a spellbook in that you can cast directly from the ritualbook and all spellcasters have access to one as part of character creation in my setting.

Quick Copy Example Section 5

ABILITIES

Spellcasting (ph#) The spellcaster is a #-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is # (spell save DC 8+prof+ability, to hit with prof+ability with spell attacks) The caster has the following spells prepared: (A prepared caster has access to level + ability spells known from their spellbook)
Spellbook – The spellcaster has the following spells in their spellbook. A book has 100 pages, a spell takes as mange pages as its level with a cantrip also taking a page.
Ritualbook – The spellcaster has the following rituals in their ritualbook. A book has 100 pages, a spell takes as many pages as four times its level. Spells have a DC of 8 + 2xSpell Level (if not prepared). Add +5 if it is a higher level than you have a spell slot for. Your tradition uses # skill to cast rituals.

Example 1st Level

As an example of such abilities are the two racial abilities of Relentless Endurance and Savage Attack which effect combat, and Uthgardt Heritage which effects the characters foraging and interactions with the tribes of the Elk clans.

Example 4th Level

As an additional example, here is action surge, which can be used once every short (or long) rest and give you an extra action and bonus action (as long as you have used your bonus action this round)

Section 6 – The Actions Section

Example Blank Section 6

Action are to list what types of actions your character can take in a combat situation split into (A) Action or (B) Bonus type. You character normally starts out with only one attack, unless you can use a bonus action to attack with an weapon in you off hand.

Example Actions for all characters:

  • Attack Action (ph192) – you can make one weapon attack.
  • Dash (ph192) – you gain extra movement for the round equal to your speed.
  • Disengage (ph192) – Your movement does not provoke an attack of opportunity this turn.
  • Dodge (ph192) – Until the start of your next turn, attack rolls against you have disadvantage. Dex saving throws have advantage. These last unless you are incapacitated, or your speed is reduced to zero.
  • Help (ph192) – You can aid another giving advantage on the next ability check, or attack roll if you are within 5 ft of the target.
  • Hide (ph192) – You make a Dexterity (Stealth) check to hide.
  • Ready (ph193) – You can hold an action to use as a reaction. Set a trigger, if that trigger occurs either complete the action or you lose it and your reaction. Spells require concentration to ready and can be broken.
  • Search (ph193) – Either make a Wisdom (Perception) or an Intelligence (Investigation) check to find something.
  • Use an Object (ph193) – Allows you to interact with one of more objects on your turn.
Quick Copy Example Section 6

Actions (1 per round)

Example 1st Level

Here we see that there are two actions listed, the attack action and the Second Wind bonus action, though if you look at some of the weapons you will see they also have Bonus actions that you can use if your holding them in your hands. This does give you multiple options for your characters in a combat situation.

Example 4th Level

What the upgraded level is showing off is some nice weapon mastery features in the Warhammer which has reached Expert level in mastery and a Mystara weapon the Lasso, good for capturing creatures.

Note: Weapon attacks can be moved to the optional weapon section.

Section 7 – The Bonus Actions Section

This is an option section, putting bonus action information here makes it easier to keep track.

Example for all characters:

  • Two Weapon Fighting (ph195) – If attacking with a light weapon in one hand, you can make a melee or thrown attack with a second weapon in your other hand. You don’t add the modifier to this attack unless it is negative.
Quick Copy Example Section 7

Bonus Actions (1 per round)

Section 8 – The Reactions Section

This is an option section, putting reaction information here makes it easier to keep track,

Example of Blank Section 8

Reactions are similar to actions and are listed here as you can use one reaction a round. My example does not have any reactions at this stage. Should be laid out similar to Actions and Features. If in doubt ask.

Example for all characters:

  • Opportunity Attack (ph195) – You can make one attack against a hostile creature that moves out of your reach.
Quick Copy Example Section 8

Reactions (1 per round)

Section 9 – The Weapons Section

This is an option section, putting weapon information here makes it easier to keep track.

Example for all characters:

  • Grapple (special) see ph195.
  • Shoving a Creature (special) see ph195.

This is a good place to organise all the weapons mastery entries.

Quick Copy Example Section 9

Weapons

Section 10 – The Equipment Section

Blank Section 10

Here is where you list all the items that your character is carrying.

Example for all characters:

  • Basic Arms and Armour: List all the basic arms and armour and where to find it.
  • Basic Equipment: List all the basic equipment and where to find it.
Quick Copy Example Section 10

Equipment

Example 1st Level

For example a first level character will only have what they get from their class and background. They will pick more up in the course of the adventure

Example 4th Level

I have added a magical item here, and another weapon as part of them gaining more skill in Spears. So with all magical items, they will have a reference number and gain more information on the website including possible a history or fun facts. Any magical item can gain this information.

Section 11 – The Feats Section

This is an option section, putting feat information here makes it easier to keep track.

Quick Copy Example Section 11

Feats

Section 12 – The Notes Section

Black Section 12

This is for all the things that do not fit into the rest of the character stat block that might be necessary to know.

This is a good place for players to also write important notes they want others to be aware of about their character incase someone runs it while they are away.

Quick Copy Example Section 12

Notes
Age: Height: Proficiency Bonus:
Characteristics:
Downtime:
Character Variations:
Weapons Mastery:

Example 4th Level

Here I have provided age, height and proficiency bonus as nice to have, but not necessary for most of the character play, include abilities that have been selected that provide things like proficiency weapons or static bonuses like the defence in fighting style.

Section 13 – The Spells Section

This is an option section, putting spell information here makes it easier to keep track.

Example Spells

Bless (1st – Enchantment) CT 1, R 30 ft, C (V, S M holy water), D (C up to 1 min) – d4 to 3 targets for attack and save. Higher Level: +1 targets.
Create or Destroy Water (1st – Transmutation) CT 1, R 30 ft, C (V, S, M drop of water or sand), D I – (Create) 10 gallons of clean water, or rain in 30 ft area. (Destroy) 10 gallons of water, or fog in a 30 ft area. Higher Levels: 10 gallons or 5 ft increase per level higher.
Cure Wounds: (1st – Evocation) CT 1, R Touch, C (V, S), D I – Heals 1d8+ ability mod, does not work on Undead or constructs. Higher Levels: increase by 1d8 for each slot.
Detect Magic: (1st – Divination) CT 1, R Self, C (V, S), D C (up to 10 minutes) – Sense magic within 30 ft, knowing its school of magic.
Detect Poison and Disease: (1st – Divination) CT 1, R Self, C (V, S, M yew leaf), D C (up to 10 minutes) – You can sense poisons, poisonous creatures and diseases within 30 ft. You know the type of poison, creature and disease.

Quick Copy Example Section 13

Spells

Example Spells

Fist of Iron (C – Transmutation) CT 1, R Self, C (V, S), D C (up to 1 minute) – See Iron Fist attack
Guiding Bolt (1st – Evocation) CT 1, R 120 ft, C (V, S), D 1 round – See Guiding Bolt attack
Identify (1st – Divination) CT 1 minute, R Touch, C (V, S, M a pearl of 100 gp and an owl feather), D I – Identify items or spells on a target
Machine’s Load (1st – Transmutation) CT 1, R Touch, C (V, S, M a 1lb weight), D C (up to 1 minute) – Increases creature’s touched carry capacity by 1 size increment. Higher Levels: For each spell slot higher, add an additional target.
Protection from Good and Evil: (1st – Abjuration) CT 1, R Touch, C (V, S M holy water, silver or iron), D C (up to 10 minutes) – Protected against aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead. Target can’t be charmed, frightened or possessed by creature types, they have disadvantage vs target and the target has advantage on spells already effecting of those types.
Sanctuary (1st – Abjuration) CT 1 bonus, R 30 ft, C (V, S M silver mirror), D 1 min – Cannot selected targeted creature without a Wis save.
Searing Smite (1st – Evocation) CT 1 bonus, R Self, C (V), D C (up to 1 minute) – See Searing Smite in Attacks
Shield of Faith: (1st – Abjuration) CT 1 bonus, R 60 ft, C (V, S, M holy parchment), D C (up to 10 minutes) – Targets its +2 bonus to AC.

Section 14 – The References Section

Here is an example of the references I have used to build this example character.

Complete Example

This is something that I put together in about an hour based on what the Wizards of the Cost have done in their Monster Manual and NPC stat blocks.

I hope this is useful for my D&D group as I will be moving on to lay our how my pathfinder annotated stat block works as my next blog post.

Quick Copy Example – Complete

Name
Size race, alignment

Armour Class:
Hit Points: (d+)
Speed:

STR 0 (+) DEX 0 (+) CON 0 (+) INT 0 (+) WIS 0 (+) CHA 0 (+)

Saving Throws:
Weapon and Armour:
Tools:
Skills:
Senses:
Languages:

ABILITIES

Actions (1 per round)
Attack Action (ph192) – you can make one weapon attack.
Dash (ph192) – you gain extra movement for the round equal to your speed.
Disengage (ph192) – Your movement does not provoke an attack of opportunity this turn.
Dodge (ph192) – Until the start of your next turn, attack rolls against you have disadvantage. Dex saving throws have advantage. These last unless you are incapacitated, or your speed is reduced to zero.
Help (ph192) – You can aid another giving advantage on the next ability check, or attack roll if you are within 5 ft of the target.
Hide (ph192) – You make a Dexterity (Stealth) check to hide.
Ready (ph193) – You can hold an action to use as a reaction. Set a trigger, if that trigger occurs either complete the action or you lose it and your reaction. Spells require concentration to ready and can be broken.
Search (ph193) – Either make a Wisdom (Perception) or an Intelligence (Investigation) check to find something.
Use an Object (ph193) – Allows you to interact with one of more objects on your turn.

Bonus Actions (1 per round)
Two Weapon Fighting (ph195) – If attacking with a light weapon in one hand, you can make a melee or thrown attack with a second weapon in your other hand. You don’t add the modifier to this attack unless it is negative.

Reactions (1 per round)
Opportunity Attack (ph195) – You can make one attack against a hostile creature that moves out of your reach.

Weapons
Grapple (special) see ph195.
Shoving a Creature (special) see ph195.

Equipment
Basic Arms and Armour:
Basic Equipment:

Feats

Notes
Age: Height: Proficiency Bonus:
Characteristics:
Downtime:
Character Variations:
Weapons Mastery:

Spells

References
ph – Players Handbook

References:

Content Updates

  • 2021-03-20 – Added in section on spellcasting for reuse.
  • 2020-10-14 – Clean up of the layout and adding in page links.
  • 2020-05-12 – Quick copy version updated.
  • 2020-04-14 – Structure.
  • 2020-03-09 – Structure and content cleanup.
D&D 5E in Mystara

D&D MenuAdventures, Artefacts, Backgrounds, Classes, Dominions, Downtime, Feats, Gazetteers, Gods, Magical Items, Organisations, Pantheons, Races, Ranks & Titles, Rune Magic, Secret Crafts, Settlements, Spells, Timeline, Weapons Mastery

WRATH: Campaign, Design

Game ManagementAnnotated Stat Block, Character Creation, Choosing a New Campaign, Gaming over Skype, GM’s Luck Roll, Tracking Experience

Class Builds – Barbarian – Totem Warrior (Ethegnarian), Totem Warrior (Heldannic), Bard – College of Valour (Sunfey), Druid – Circle of Dreams (Woodfey), Fighter – Battlemaster (Seashire), Eldritch Knight (Kerendan), Weapons Master (Makai), Weapons Master (Stonebound), Monk – Way of the Elements (Waterchild), Paladin – Oath of Radiance (Sunfey), Oath of Vengeance (Firechild), Sorcerer – Wild Magic (Shadowfey), Warlock – Celestial (Sunfey), Wizard – Bladesinger (Seasonfey), Dragon – White. Multiclass – Cleric/Wizard (Ethengarian), Rogue/Cleric (Atruaghin), Rogue/Sorcerer (Seashire), Wizard/Rogue (Traladaran)

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Game Management

GM – Choosing a New Campaign, Downtime Uses, GM’s Luck Roll, House Rules, Running Games over Skype, Sandbox vs Linear, Table Rules, Tracking Experience

Annotated Stat Blocks: Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Pathfinder 2, Star Wars FFG

Creating a Campaign: D&D Mystara Design, Genesys, Pathfinder, Pathfinder 2 TRAP Design, Shadowrun, Star Wars

Character Creation: Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder 2, Star Wars Beta, Star Wars FFG

Concluding a Campaign: Star Wars

Virtual Table Top (VTT) Software – d20Pro: Installation, Realm Works: Players and their Characters, Using for D&D, Realm Created

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By thedarkelf007

I am a long term gamer, I run 6 RPG's a fortnight, host board game, card game and LANs each about once a quarter and have an addiction to buying more games. Games I am currently running are Pathfinder (1st and 2nd Edition) and Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition).

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