How can I effectively keep track of the timeline of a campaign?


I’ve been playing table top RPGs for some twelve years now, both as a player and a frequent DM. During this time, I’ve had maybe half a dozen campaigns and none of them have been particularly accurate in regards to timeline and time management.

The problem

The problem revolves around keeping track of the smaller time frames in which events occur and, in extension, what else would occur during that time.

The bigger timeline (Year 2000: A happened, Year 2050: B happened, and so forth) is quite easy to keep track of, since most campaign (at least the ones I’ve played) take place within a year or so. The problem I have is keeping track of the day-to-day timeline.


The PARTY sets off by foot from TOWN1, through the FOREST, before intending to reach TOWN2. This journey is estimated to take one week. Now, before they left TOWN1, the WOODELF sent a message via raven, asking his siblings to meet up with them in FOREST. Furthermore, two nights before leaving, PARTY burglarised a corrupt ARISTOBRAT and stole THINGY1. ARISTOBRAT wants THINGY1 back and has sent out nationwide messages, alerting local authorities of the theft and PARTY’s description.

Halfway through FOREST, PARTY is ambushed by a band of villains, resulting in a long (play-time-wise) fight and once PARTY is victorious, the GROUP decide to call it a night.

Next time GROUP gets together, it’s hard remembering how long the journey was going to take, how long PARTY had been travelling for, how long the raven would take to get to WOODELF’s siblings, when ARISTOBRAT’s message will reach various cities and holdfasts and what the result of that may be. The timeline, and thus potentially the campaign, gets messed up.


Is there a quick, easy-to-use and flexible method, application or other service that can help me keep track of the timeline of a campaign?


  • I’ve tried writing it down in a notebook or word document. It easily becomes gibberish, and/or disappears among all other notes. Word document is easier, but disrupts the game flow (Wait, I have to write this down. Hang on, let me find the right document. Oh, damn, computer is laggy).
  • The answers to this question suggests either not bothering with it (which I obviously want to do) or using counters which I think works splendidly for keeping track of time passing, but not as much on keeping track of when along the timeline a given event occurred. thanks to @BESW for the question
  • This question relates to keeping track of events that occur regularly, with an even spread on the timeline, which is not the case for my question, as it relates more to creating and managing a detailed timeline of events that occur, pardon my lack of sophistication, willy-nilly. thanks to @BESW for the question

Is a Wild Shaped druid effectively immune to the Detect Thoughts spell?

For standard usage of the Detect Thoughts spell,

"If the creature you choose has an Intelligence of 3 or lower or doesn’t speak any language, the creature is unaffected" (PHB, pg 231).

Additionally one may use the Detect Thoughts spell to detect the presence of creatures they can’t see, however

"You can’t detect a creature with an Intelligence of 3 or lower or one that doesn’t speak any language" (231).

The description for Wild Shape states,

"your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of your beast form" (67).

Apart from the crow, no non-awakened beast has the ability to speak (the crow specifically has the Mimicry abilty and notably has no languages listed on its stat block).

So it begs the question, can a Wild Shaped druid be affected by the Detect Thoughts spell?

Going one step further, would a druid with the ability to speak telepathically while Wild Shaped be affected any differently by the spell?

Related questions:

  • Does the Detect Thoughts spell work against an Intellect Devourer?
  • In what ways can a druid’s Wild Shape be detected?
  • Can a druid speak while in wild-shape?
  • Can I Wild Shape or Polymorph into an Awakened Beast?

This question was inspired by the Telepathic feat from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.

Step size is effectively zero; singularity or stiff system suspected

\[Eta] = 0.125; rg1s = Derivative[1][u1][t] - u1[t]*u3[t] - 3*u1[t]*u4[t] + u2[t]*u3[t] + 3*u2[t]*u4[t] + 2*(1 + 2*\[Eta])*u1[t]^2 == 0; rg2s = Derivative[1][u2][t] - u2[t]*u3[t] - 3*u2[t]*u4[t] + u1[t]*u3[t] + 3*u1[t]*u4[t] + 2*(1 + 2*\[Eta])*u2[t]^2 == 0; rg3t = Derivative[1][u3][t] - 0.5*((u1[t] - u2[t])^2 + u3[t]^2 - 3*u4[t]^2 + 6*u3[t]*u4[t]) == 0; rg4t = Derivative[1][u4][t] - 0.5*((u1[t] - u2[t])^2 + u3[t]^2 + 5*u4[t]^2 - 2*u3[t]*u4[t]) == 0; sol = NDSolve[{rg1s, rg2s, rg3t, rg4t, u1[0] == -0.6*0.2, u2[0] == -0.6*0.2, u3[0] == 0.6*0.2, u4[0] == 0.2}, {u1, u2, u3, u4}, {t, 1, 10}]I am trying to solve four coupled nonlinear differential equations. But, everytime I am getting NDSolve::ndsz: At t == 2.0833315360868916`, step size is effectively zero; singularity or stiff system suspected. I have tried all the possible ways to solve such kind of problem with similar kind of problems available in stack. I want to get the value of g1,g2,g3 and g4 for large value of t i.e. 1 to 100 but I am getting only for small value of t? Could you please suggest me some way to sort out the issue?

Thank you

Does the Artificer’s Spell-Storing Item effectively bypass the bonus action spellcasting rule?

The rule on Bonus Action Casting Time states:

A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you haven’t already taken a bonus action this turn. You can’t cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

This would ordinarily prevent you from casting a levelled spell and a bonus action spell on the same turn; however, the Artificer’s Spell-Storing Item states:

[…] While holding the object, a creature can take an action to produce the spell’s effect from it, using your spellcasting ability modifier. […]

Furthermore, the following question’s highest-scoring answer states:

  • Do class or subclass features that relate to spellcasting apply when producing a spell's effect from an Artificer's Spell-Storing Item?

[…] The user never casts the spell either. They merely use a (special, unnamed) action to produce the spell’s effects. They don’t cast it and don’t get to modify it with their features which care about them casting a spell. […]

And the Sage Advice Compendium even states (page 3):

Q. Which action is used to activate a Spell-Storing Item?

A. Activating a Spell-Storing Item uses the Use an Object action.

Does this mean that a caster could use a Spell-Storing Item, creating the effects of any 1st or 2nd level Artificer spell with a casting time of 1 action, and then use their bonus action to cast any (bonus action) spell?

Does the Pyromancer sorcerer’s Fiery Soul feature work with the Elemental Adept feat (fire damage) to effectively ignore immunity as well?

The Pyromancer sorcerous origin from Plane Shift: Kaladesh gains the Fiery Soul feature at 18th level. Part of its description says:

[…] any spell or effect you create ignores resistance to fire damage and treats immunity to fire damage as resistance to fire damage.

The Elemental Adept (Fire) feat says (PHB, p. 166):

Spells you cast ignore resistance to fire damage.

Would these two stack together to allow the user to completely ignore fire immunity (so Fiery Soul treats the immunity as resistance, and then Elemental Adept further allows you to ignore that)?
Or would Elemental Adept be useless to a pyromancer at 18th level, as they can already ignore resistances?

How effectively can a trancing Elf serve night watch?

Experienced DM, new to 5e. Dealing with a party that includes two Elves. Party did not establish a night watch. Dice dictated an overnight raid of the party’s provisions. Seems fair to give the Elves a chance of hearing the activity, although being situated 50′ away, it would not be great. However, having two of them should boost the math a little.

What is fair to do here, given 5e rules?

Can a ranged rogue effectively stand back and sneak attack opponents every turn with a ranged weapon while their allies fight on the front line?

Rogues can use ranged weapons to make sneak attacks. Also, the rogue rules state that:

You don’t need advantage on the attack roll if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn’t incapacitated, and you don’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

Does this mean that basically a ranged rogue can stand back and sneak attack opponents every turn as his buddies are fighting with them on the front line? Did I miss some rule about shooting into melee or does that sound pretty mighty?

How can a player effectively use Booming Blade in combat?

Booming Blade is a fascinating cantrip. Between somewhat murky language and unclear use-cases, there’s a lot of confusion among the 5e community about how exactly you’re supposed to use the Asmodeus-blasted spell.

Booming Blade’s description reads as follows:

As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell’s range, otherwise the spell fails. On a hit, the target suffers the attack’s normal effects, and it becomes sheathed in booming energy until the start of your next turn. If the target willingly moves before then, it immediately takes 1d8 thunder damage, and the spell ends.

Most of the confusion about its use cases stems from the following fact: if you’re in range to use the cantrip on an enemy, then they’re in range to hit you, so why would they ever move from their position, thereby triggering the damage? This leads to all kinds of theory-crafting on how to force target of the spell to move, which inevitably leads to strategies that are either too difficult or too costly (in terms of action economy or combat resources) to be practical.

So, how can a player effectively use Booming Blade in combat?

In order to narrow down potential answers and prevent opinion-based responses, the following criteria define “effective use” of Booming Blade:

  1. The cantrip is used in a way that guarantees one of the following:
    • The target suffers the secondary portion of the damage.
    • The player is able to influence the battlefield in such a way that increases their odds of success in some way that does not involve directly dealing damage via the cantrip; e.g. forcing the enemy to move into a desirable location.
  2. The usage of the cantrip is “economically efficient” with respects to action-economy; i.e. the player is not reducing their effectiveness by choosing this Action over another.

Can a structured (text) document be effectively encrypted

My situation:

I want to encrypt an HTML document. My question is, if the following is known, is that going to weaken encryption?

  • It is a text-based document
  • It starts with <DOCTYPE HTML> or a few variants of
  • This is followed by an <HTML> tag, followed by a <HEAD> tag, which contains a number of ‘

Would this knowledge help a hacker to decrypt without the decrypt key? Would such knowledge make my documents effectively un-encryptable?

My apologies if this is a very simple question. I am a neophyte.

What can Psychoportive Talent effectively deny?

The description of the Psychoportive Talent Trait says,

You can expend your psionic focus as an immediate action to make a five-foot step. You may do this even if you have already moved in the round in question, although not if you have already taken a five-foot step, and doing so does not prevent further movement in this round.

What kind of attacks can I completely negate by using this ability ? Specifically (assuming no one has Reach):

1). A single melee attack from a creature who starts adjacent to me on the beginning of its turn.
2). All iterative melee attacks from the same creature.
3). A single melee attack from a creature who takes a regular Move action on its turn to move adjacent to me.
4). An attack from a creature made as part of a charge on its turn.
5). All iterative attacks from the same charging creature with Pounce.
6). A projectile ranged attack (i.e. crossbow bolt) targeting me.
6a). Same as above, and I am able to Psychoport behind an obstacle to break LoS.
7, 7a). A Ray attack targeting me (same consideration as above).
8). A Line/Cone/Burst/Spread spell effect, when I am able to Psychoport out of its area of effect.

I think there must be some basic unifying rule that describes how immediate movement interacts with attacks, but I don’t know what it might be.