In our dying days, a question–

In our dying days, a question–

In our dying days, a question–

How do you, as GMs, keep notes? I run my Freebooters games very very low prep, sometimes no prep depending on where things are at. I feel like I have the tools to come up with stuff on the fly well enough or roll for it. But I don’t always do a great job of taking note of what that stuff is. I have a moleskin I bring with me and jot things down–usually keywords–and it’s often enough to jog my memory when I’m writing up a session recap later (usually a few days later). Last session, though, I was pretty sleep deprived (isn’t parenthood a miracle), enough that I thought about calling things off, and I remember … next to nothing. My notes help a little, but not much, and I ended up just having to send out a message to the players asking them to refresh me on the events of the last session. I can’t help but think this could have been avoided by taking better notes on the front end?

So, what’s your note-taking process? How do you juggle taking notes with staying present in the fiction and being responsive/reactive to the players’ actions?

6 thoughts on “In our dying days, a question–”

  1. This is the bane of my life. Short answer is to just down as many things as possible while players are faffing about discussing whether to do some trivial thing and then write it all up within 24 hours, ideally before you sleep. Even if it’s just turning key words into abbreviated text rather than perfect notes it’ll still help remember it later.

  2. I jot down keywords as new things are introduced, but don’t always remember to do so. But it really shouldn’t all be on the GM to track this stuff during play, given how much we already have to juggle. Players need to pull their weight, and there should be no shame in asking them about details you might have forgotten.

    I sometimes ask for a volunteer each session to keep basic notes, and rotate note-takers from session to session unless there’s someone who enjoys keeping a record. You could also dangle the carrot of 1 XP at the end of the session to whoever rises to the task…

  3. As a player, I’ve used Google Docs and shared it with the team. Then everyone can add what they hear/know. The GM can correct errors, add their own notes, etc. GM secrets, of course, don’t go there.

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