Page 1 of 1

GM's Notebook

Posted: 27 Aug 2017, 17:39
by Agamemnon
I'm trying to organize my thoughts on a matter, and I thought I'd throw the topic up for discussion.

What do you use for a GM's notebook? How do you organize it? What kinds of stuff do you include in it? How do you track/manage/organize all your campaign stuff?

Look forward to your feedback.

Re: GM's Notebook

Posted: 28 Aug 2017, 06:25
by Benedict
Being the old fart that I am, pencil & paper are simply mandatory. I'll have none of that digitized foolery. :lol:

Jokes aside, for most games a simple 50pgs A5 notebook will do, plus some spare A4s for scribles, notes, tracking stuff, etc.

Organizing said notebook:
  • Roughly 16* pgs for:
  • Full character sheet per PC in 1 page (blocked stats)
    • plus 3 blank pages per character to track history and notes
    This leaves roughly 28* pages to track:
  • A rough account of the time and place
  • Journal
  • Important NPC
    • Stats are blocked
    • history is tracked if needed
    And 10 pages for:
  • House rulings
  • Other miscellanea
*These numbers can fluctuate, I give them with the assumption of 4 players; I rarely (if ever) run games with more people nowadays

I say most games, because most of the times nowadays I GM "one-offs" that are concluded in 10ish sessions; that's 3 months for me given my schedule -- if not less.

If we decide to play a full campaign instead I also use a A4 binder. I organize everything from the notebook into PDF format (I lied about digitized foolery), print it, and archive it in that big binder. I use both a notebook (for the game table) and the binder (mostly for my referrence), getting a fresh notebook everytime it gets full, updating stuff in the binder as we go.

You'll notice the glaring absence of story; that's because there isn't any. My PCs make the story, I being the chronicler.

Re: GM's Notebook

Posted: 28 Aug 2017, 16:07
by taelor
I usually just use a Google doc.

Re: GM's Notebook

Posted: 28 Aug 2017, 16:50
by dysjunct
Pages on the iPad.

Re: GM's Notebook

Posted: 29 Aug 2017, 03:28
by EinBein
WHen I GMed my last long open-ended campaign, I used MyInfo made by Milenix. But I think Evernote is better for keeping track of spontaneous ideas when in the tram...

Re: GM's Notebook

Posted: 29 Aug 2017, 10:01
by thirtythr33
At the table I've got a notebook for things like writing down random NPC names I make up, initiative & wound tracking in combat and random notes or ideas I get during play etc

On my GM screen, I've got a printed off character summary sheet of all the PC, a premade brainstormed list of plot-hooks and frequently used NPC stats blocks and other game-related summary tables.

Between sessions I do all my organizing and brainstorming on the computer. It's mostly word docs and bookmarks for reference materials etc. That all stays on my laptop, which I have at the table but try not to use unless I really need to.