Okay, noob GM question: How much/what do you write down as you go?

Okay, noob GM question: How much/what do you write down as you go?

Okay, noob GM question: How much/what do you write down as you go? My first session I drew a map (which I shared) and I made a note of the numbers and HP/Armour values of any monsters, but that’s pretty-much it… Oh and I made a note of any PC background info that might be interesting… Should I be noting more?

11 thoughts on “Okay, noob GM question: How much/what do you write down as you go?”

  1. You should maybe note things you find particular interesting or things you want to ask about later (because right now would be a bad point to do it)

  2. I have a 3×5 card for each character, and keep a running list of bonds, and stuff they made up/did. That way I have a quick cheat sheet for each player, that I can refer to as we go.

  3. I usually write illegible, very long papyri, filling them with every info we discover during the game, even the most futile, but that’s because I have the mnemonic abilities of a hamster and should I note less I would find it difficult to reincorporate things.

  4. I draw lots of maps. I have a big “world level” map which has any city, dungeon, spire, wizard tower, lake (acid or otherwise) or major land feature on it, then lots of smaller “location” maps, for towns, lairs, etc. None to scale. I also write down the basic info of any monster encountered by the group on an index card for easy reference, and sometimes I draw little pictures on those, or make note of monsters that might recur (if they escape or are otherwise significant). I also sketch and title magic items onto index cards, to make clear who is actually holding them at any given moment, and to write notes on. Usually I hand them over unidentified, with no name, and then let the players add details as and if they learn them.

    But, hey, make as many or as few notes as you like.

  5. Write down enough to maintain continuity.  It’ll vary from person to person, and on things like how often you play.  For an every-other-week game, I’m doing well with an about half-page of notes per game.

  6. * I write down anything that gets a name and a short line about it; Any background NPC, any Place, and any Thing.

    * Once it gains enough importance to be mechanically relevant I’ll break it out to a paragraph and the short stats (NPCs get instincts and links to other NPCs/Players, places become steadings or dungeons depending on friendliness, etc).

    * Those get tucked away either in my document or stack of filing cards behind the most relevant Front.

  7. Wow, thanks! Matthew Allen and Shawn McCarthy, I think I’ll get myself some index cards and build up some key points on each PC and anything else interesting. Adam Drew, I love maps. I’ll draw plenty of maps. Cheers all. Very helpful :)

  8. A list of names.  You don’t want to wind up going to Bobstowne to see Steve the wizard.  Preferably, this list has a blank next to each name so you can just fill in what it is.  Viola! You’ve got a page of campaign notes.  

    “Name every person” (and I would add every place)

  9. Dude, I don’t take any notes besides HP and character names. Whatever your playstyle is, go with it. There is no such thing as a right way to play the game. Plus if you forget anything (which I always do), that’s a perfect opportunity to interact with your players on a personal level. They’ll remember that stuff for you. 

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