Currently I am writing in my journal the notes for this saturday’s session, and on the 5th page I realized the confrontation with the Lord Baron will be most of the session, but I have yet to get to that point. Meanwhile, some journals appear to only dedicate a page per “scene” and rarely go past 4 in a single night of game play. So, how many pages do you have per game session? Does it vary wildly or only by a page or so?
Usually, I plan around three encounters using a minimalist style bullet journal method of taking notes and that takes up about two pages, using normal sized notebook paper.
A lot of stuff I will only build at the table in the moment and only if the game permits it.
I love this SO much! Great example!
yup. that how i remember it. it was a great game
They never get through more than one page for me. But for me one page is a whole dungeon. I don’t go into much detail in my notes. Like in Alex’s first room in the (totally amazing BTW) example he shared my own notes would be “fog, bears”.
It seems I am the odd man out. I like to write down everything that comes to mind. Now, I rarely use everything written down, but it provides a buffer of information. Usually for when i have to also keep the table focused and moving (A turn limit timer may be in my future for indecisive spell-casters).
I use my journal not just to use for that night’s gameplay, but to brainstorm and process too. I basically think in shrinking circles, starting with general ideas and eventually zoning in on what is actually going to make it to the table. If you let your mind wander and explore, you can come up with a lot of fun stuff!
But I always make sure to create NPCs and spaces, but not exactly narratives, because that’s up to the players.
For instance, this weekend I have a location and several possible goals and bosses, but I have no idea how it’s going to play out. Will they brute force it? Will they play it smart? Who knows? But what’s important is I know how to play my NPCs and about the locations they can go.
If writing everything down works for you, keep doing it. Everybody’s mind works differently and there is no right or wrong way. Personally I agree with the majority here. Trying to write too many things down slows me down during the game and makes me forget or confuse things. I like to keep things simple and simple things I remember.
This is an important point and why I have transitioned to a much more simple style. I do brainstorm, though, trying out bits of dialogue or thinking about room mechanics when I am in the car. What I have found is that overprepping leaves my sessions feeling rehearsed and rigid.