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Thread: Ask a GM [02/09/09]: Campaign / Adventure Logs

  1. #16
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    Talking

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    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko View Post
    i'll do it for you for a bribe. ^^
    very tempting......


    Vulture the Great

  2. #17
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    No i don't

    I've never kept a journal because most of my adventures are, pretty much, make it up as I go along. I don't worry much about continuity because I find that IT adds too much weight to the game (if you like it you call it depth, if you don't it's just baggage) eventually IT makeS the stories unbelievably complicated. If I can't remember it, it's not worth remembering, and if it's worth bringing back i will remember it.
    Last edited by LAST CRUSADER; 02-15-2009 at 12:40 PM. Reason: SPELLING

  3. #18
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    Like nijineko, my Game Notes usually resulted in large piles of it-was-near-to-hand-objects which accept pen or pencil marks... everything from paper to napkins to envelopes to mini-notepads and more.

    And then, I got my computer.
    This changed how I kept note a LOT.
    Sure, I would still do the above for quick note-taking.
    But then I would transfer those into a Word document as soon as I was able.

    Depending on how much time I have, also changes the style of what is placed there.

    Little time means only important facts: Monsters and Important NPCs encountered and where and when - And in what order.

    More time means that I get to practice my Creative Writing Skills.
    I also do my best to reward the Players for keeping their own Journals/Diaries of the Adventures they have had. These help me to refine my notes and stories. While leaving their creations alone.
    Underestimate No One.

  4. #19
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    Campaign Journals

    I have made it a habit in the last few years to keep a running journal. Its not always complete. I also add in as many discussions and email threads as i can between the players. If you try and capture lots of details, its gets long winded and the effort to correct spelling, grammar, sequence of everything, etc. can be overwhelming. One of the 2 campaign's i currently journal is at http://www.incarna.net/iweb/host/kel...t/c_dunst.aspx. Its got pieces missing and its hyperlinked to a bunch of other materials... it takes hours of time each week to keep up a log like this. Thats too much for most GM's... but my group likes detailed cohesive campaigns, not a series of randomly strung together scenarios.

    Also, I use google docs to communicate and track story issues, sharing them with other players and GM's as needed.
    Last edited by templeorder; 02-26-2009 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Adding extra content

    Incarna; Role-Playing Game System
    www.incarna.net
    Running: 3+ campaigns set in single custom milieu world.

  5. #20
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    I used to, as a player, to help me remember the stories in the long term. Sometimes I do it because I'm grasping for context between all of the struggling personalities involved. I'd treat it like a blog: put something in it right before or right after the game that expresses the central tension of the game at that point. Unless there is something more you might be looking for in it?

  6. #21
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    Game recaps

    I didn't write a journal when I while the game was going on. I like shooting from the hip style since I didn't have much time to plan for a session. Plus, the size of the group was always in question.

    I would send out game recaps, filling in the gaps to make the plotline more realistic, adding some roleplaying dialog, etc. At the end of the recap would be experience points. This was e-mailed to all players in the group so if someone missed a gaming session, they knew what went on. It worked out pretty well until this semester started then I had to step down because of time constraints.
    Last edited by KERMlT; 03-08-2009 at 12:34 PM. Reason: testing sig

  7. #22
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    Ideally, i like everyone to make their own writeups after each adventure, not for the sake of continuity, or history, but because i like seeing things from different characters' perspectives. However that takes a certain minimum level of dedication form all the players, so i find it doesn't usually work out. But the idea of rewards, hmm... I just finished my 4th session of my new campaign and i now have 4 players. I told them that next time i would discuss experience, character advancement, acquisition of henchlings and so on. I'm going to ask how they feel about journals.

    Thanks, McBride!

  8. #23
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    For my real-life game, I've always rewarded players who have done logs or journals on my site for their characters. For the online games, I've never really needed them; we have a IRC bot that functions both as a dicebot and a log keeper. We have over 5 years of games on that thing. Let me know if you're curious and I'll show you some.

  9. #24
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    Late to thread, but new info.

    I broke my last campaign up into chapters. After each chapter I made an online forum for the characters to discuss what happened.

    I only go through two chapters of this because of time constraints though. It was a bummer.

    The members that participated in the forum, received bonus character points to spend as they chose. It was usually double the amount of character points that were awarded at the table.

    http://marsbasetobelt.webs.com/apps/...ral-discussion

    The best reward from this style of log was that I really got a feel for what the players enjoyed and remembered and I was better able to tailor hooks that they enjoyed.
    Last edited by michael; 08-31-2009 at 11:39 AM. Reason: to ad additional thoughts

  10. #25
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    I started keeping a campaign journal in late 2008, finding it necessary to do so if I wanted to actually remember what we had been doing in-game. What I usually do is summarize the session, and then I'll eventually list monsters and treasure. One of the other players in the group will itemize the treasure and determine Challenge Ratings for the monsters we've fought and parleyed with.

    Here's an example of an almost continual campaign journal, in which I was a player (screen name Sacrificial Lamb), where you can watch the campaign flourish and then eventually fade out with a whimper. It includes maps, pictures, monster lists, treasure tables, and even a few feats and incantations:

    http://www.therpgsite.com/showthread.php?t=13052

    Also, I just began a social group and journal on this website only weeks ago, but I'll soon include maps and treasure tables and whatnot. It's a work-in-progress.

    http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...hp?groupid=244

    I hope these examples help.
    http://www.facebook.com/#/profile.php?ref=profile&id=567267220

  11. #26
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    I've kept journals of every game I've run or played in since 1991. In the last year or so, I've taken to audio recording every game I'm in for more detailed journals.

    Mostly they were AD&D or D&D but from 07 to 09, I ran Call of Cthulhu and kept detailed journals there. Those are actually all online. I also tend to try out new games often and write up journals for them too.

    I find the journals very useful for an ongoing campaign and, as said before, it's great to see what actually happened in the game years (or a decade) ago. My players love them too and we've gotten together sometimes just to read from the journals of the old adventures. When I'm in someone else's game, I usually print out a copy of my journal for them - kind of a way to say 'Thanks for going to all the trouble to run.'

    It also means that gaming has a productive side. It's not just socializing or having fun, it's also helping me to better my writing ability.

    The Call of Cthulhu journals can be found here, starting with Crack'd and Crook'd Manse 1. Spoilders! These are mostly published scenarios:

    http://www.yog-sothoth.com/modules.p...hat=Max_Writer

    The others can be found here:

    http://blog.myspace.com/max_writer

    I have binder after binder of typed up ones at home as well.

  12. #27
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    I like to just remember things, and seeing as I have an apparently good memory, this has never been a problem.

  13. #28
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    I wish i could remember all those moments in 30 years of gaming but they do slip by. I still use a journal for my current campaign, it helps the players review and pick up strongly again after 2 weeks (we play about every 2 weeks). I drop email dialogue, dialog from the game, notes from characters as they journal themselves, and just some placeholder text to serve as a reminder of what happened in what order.

    http://www.incarna.net/iweb/host/kel...mprec/c_dunst/

    Incarna; Role-Playing Game System
    www.incarna.net
    Running: 3+ campaigns set in single custom milieu world.

  14. #29
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    I cheat and use an online virtual tabletop (Fantasy Grounds). All it means is a save of the chat log and some small amount of tidying up. Then up the log goes on the Google group for the players to reminisce over. It's good for reminding everyone what happened last week. Not that we middle aged gamers can't remember from one week to the next. It's just the individual days blur in to one another.
    Four Ugly Monsters - Virtual Tabletop Gaming Community
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    European FG2 RPG - Fridays (8pm UK time)
    European FG2 Sunday Nights - Sundays (8pm UK time)

  15. #30
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    As a player I always kept some notes in one format or another. My preference was to write it in the voice of the character since that helped me keep things in the correct perspective. My memory isn't good enough to remember what was going on from one session to the next, so having the notes was crucial to keeping any good continuity. As a DM I've tried to keep relevant materials available to the player. Typically in the form of session synopsis compiled from the notes I took during the game.

    As technology improves I've taken to setting up wiki pages for the campaign. I'll keep journal entries in the character's voice just as I did before. Alongside that I could also keep more detailed out of character information on the world and NPC's that we've met.

    It takes a bit of extra work to keep everything up to date, but it does help the sessions out since there's a reliable reference that all the players can use to remember where we left off and why we're tracking down some macguffin.

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