In writing adventures for my own use, I often find it helpful to include stat blocks in my notes. The benefits are obvious: I avoid spending the time to look up a creature in the Monster Manual, I avoid having to flip back and forth between entries when a battle includes several different types of creatures, and if I want to modify the creature from its MM entry I can easily to that too.
In the interest of saving space on the page I usually also abbreviate the stat block. So what do I include? And what format do I use?
Well, here’s what a typical orc might look like in my notes:
**Orc.** HP 15. AC 13 (hide armor). 100 XP. Str 16 Dex 12 Con 16 Int 7 Wis 11 Cha 10 Aggressive. Dash as a bonus action. Greataxe. +5, 1d12+3 slashing. Battleaxe. +5, 1d8/1d10+3 slashing. Handaxe. Thrown 20/60. +5, 1d6+3 slashing.
Just the important stuff!
Something you might do if you’re using this format is use the ability modifiers instead of the scores. (Instead of Str 16 you’d have Str +3.) I’ve also experimented with punctuation on that line — it comes down to taste.
I removed a lot of detail from the block, but there are a couple things I added. More axes! I like to include alternate weapons for a creature so I can mix it up within a group.