So, generally I’m pretty low-key about my initiative tracking. I use that long tracker that came with the Game Master’s Toolkit and simply add on Post-It flags that I got at my local Staples. This generally works pretty well, except on those rare occasions when everyone rolls the same initiative and I have fifty little flags on the same space.

Analogue Tracking

Lots of things are going to bite poor Timmy before he gets a turn.

This way is easy, it’s cheap, and it doesn’t take up too much space on my table. The only problem is that I end up throwing all those little flags away after every session–and after a heavy combat session, that’s a lot of little plastic flags.

I was somewhat intrigued by the several options available for the iPhone, but all of them were exceedingly DnDish; they all seemed to track way more than just initiative, and most of the things they track aren’t necessary in WFRP3e. I wasn’t interested in having my tiny screen cluttered up by a bunch of info I didn’t need.

D. Brad Talton’s Tabletop Initiative Tracker has just come out for the iPad, though, and it didn’t look too cluttered, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s a beautiful and simple tool, consisting of an area that lists your PCs and NPCs and cycles them from row to row in order as each takes his/her turn. Neat and clean, it uses graphics to track the few ‘extras’ (such as silenced or slowed) that it notes. It also has a handy area underneath the main area for ‘waiting’ or ‘out of initiative’ monsters.

Tabletop Initiative Tracker App

This app keeps things to a beautiful minimum.

I actually like this app quite a bit. It’s easy to see everything, easy to move monsters into and out of initiative, easy to set up ahead of time, and one touch cycles through each turn so that you never forget to let someone take his turn. My only criticism from a WFRP standpoint is that it simply records order, not initiative rolled. If a player has a 5 initiative and is first in turn order, but the next person in turn order only rolled a 3, that first person won’t actually trade turns when s/he rolls an hourglass on a conservative stance roll, so you must know exactly where everyone stands. Ultimately, I think the “damage” column might be useful for recording rolls. I think I’ll try it next game and see how it goes.

I’d also really love to try the Paizo GameMastery Combat Pad, but apparently I’m more likely to see a unicorn hanging out in the potato chip aisle of my local Stop ‘n Shop than to get my hands on one.