Thought I'd share my new technique.
Don't know if any of you other GCs out there have a problem with action dice, but I frequently find I forget to hand them out, have trouble keeping track of who got the most so I can spread them around, and reconstructing how many went out for the purposes of handing out XP.
So, I came up with the idea of tracking this using the GC screen. Here's what I did:
First, I simply went into excel and made a one column chart that has:
- The session time listed in reverse order in 20 minute intervals (in excel, you can do this by entering the end time in A1, enter "=A1-TIME(0,20,0)" in A2, and then using the grabber to pull it down until you have the session start time.
- Then I skip a space and list the name of all the characters.
- Left/middle justify the cells
- Create lined borders in the time list and the names list
- Adjust column heights to 25
The result looks like this (note, I cut off times after 14:00/2PM so I could show you the agents "block"):
Now, I print that out, and cut out the "bar" I've just made.
Then, I take some tape tape it on the top of the inside plastic flap of my GC screen (I use the Savage Worlds customizable screen with the Spycraft screen in it). When it's sideways like this, the time is ascending as you read left-to-right. Also note that I put my agent names in reverse alphabetical order, so they'd be alphabetical left-to-right when turned sideways.
If you don't use a GC screen, you could use some other convenient surface, like the corner of a folder, a fold-up battlemat, or whatever.
Other than that, all you need is a box of colored paper clips.
Now, at the beginning of the session, stick a different color of paper clip over the name of each PC in attendance. This serves as a reminder of which PC is assigned what color.
Then, as play progresses, stick a paper clip of the appropriate color on the next open time slot. It doesn't matter if the time actually matches; the time is only there as a reminder if you aren't meeting the 20-30 minute recommended interval for assigning action dice. You also have a visual reminder of who you have been doling the most AD to, to remind you to send some AD at some other players.
Then when you are done, no need to try to remember who got what. Just pack up your stuff, and when you are figuring out XP later, just pull it out and count 'em up.
Here's what my screen looked like after today's session:
As you can see, WHEELS racked up the AD, with the other players coming in about even (except AUSTIN, whose player couldn't attend.)