Hit point tracking using bubbles!

Hit Point Tracking (a poor man’s health bar)

Method Description: Write the name of the monster and somewhere (on the same page preferably) use bubbles or circles to keep track of the number of HP the monster has. Fill them in during your game session as a method to track damage.

clipped from Black Pudding Magazine

This seems like a simple task but you would be surprised how easy it makes it for a GM to know, at a glance, how close to dead or defeated your monster is!


It reminds me of a poor man’s health bar… As a player, you can just keep track of the bubbles as you do damage, so next time you encounter one, you have a better idea of its strength

I use this method in my homemade Savage RIFTS Character Portfolio to track various things like skill points, ammo, and power points for Savage Worlds.

I got the idea when I was in high school. We used to use a special form to take tests. We would fill in the bubbles for a multiple choice test, and a machine called a Scantron would read and report the number of right and wrong answers. But I am getting off point…

As an alternative use, the same method can be used to track limited use powers, or spells, to keep track of how many times they can use it. Magic item charges, dragon breath uses, potion duration’s, invisibility ring uses, the list is limitless. Another good example is with wands and staves to track the number of uses left, or times used.

Or, just do what I have always done, write them in on the margins of the page or character sheet!

Black Pudding Magazine uses the same idea for HP tracking on a monster and NPC’s. If you haven’t read it, you should! It is an OSR/BX magazine that uses a style very reminiscent to a bullet journal. It has lots of hand drawn characters, monsters, maps, bullets, stylized fonts, various layout designs… I will write about the magazine and how to apply more of the same effects to your bullet journal… Until next time…. Game On!


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