I’ve been GMing and playing 13th Age since before 13 True Ways was published but after its Kickstarter ended. A while! Here are tools I use to make life easier on myself.

Google Sheets battle tracker

My hybrid table uses a Google Sheet for tracking initiative, damage, and conditions.

Everyone can edit it, so I can offload that bookkeeping to players. Cell A1 is the escalation die. We tend not to use columns J and higher anymore.

Copy of 13th Age Online Battle tracker

Owlbear Rodeo virtual table top

When we play 100% in person, we use minis—usually without a battle map—to augment our theater of the mind. When we’re hybrid or all online, Owlbear Rodeo helps us keep things simple. No account or sign in or software download is required. Just share the link.

I generally take a zero-prep approach. Most of the time, I just use the built in battle maps. You don’t need it, but when I want tokens, I use Token Stamp for PCs, which are once and done, persistent across sessions. I don't bother finding or creating monster tokens in advance. When we roll initiative, one of the players does that on the fly, just dragging and dropping images into Owlbear.

Owlbear Rodeo

Google Sheets character/icon chart

I use this chart to keep track of character icon rolls (à la ****Core Rulebook page 180). It’s also useful as a prep and improv aid, because I can see all the characters’ icon relationships at a glance. Basically a rudimentary data visualization.

I use the tilde (~) as shorthand for conflicted relationships. I use double or triple (~~ or +++) for two or three point relationships.

When I'm prepping, I pull up the Sheet digitally, but during play, I use a print out. So it's formatted to export nicely to a one-page pdf.

I like to keep notes about the in-game story of how the characters benefit from the players’ rolls. I can't say I review those notes later but somehow the act of writing keeps me centered in running the game.

Copy of Character/Icon Chart

Notion for GM prep

I use Notion.so for work and personal productivity. I also use it for GM prep and game notes. I modified a template from Slyflourish, whose post about it is quite in-depth. Here’s his original template:

Lazy RPG Campaign Template

Here’s my session planning template. If you use it and make changes, let me know. I’m sure I can learn from you.

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