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Taking Note: Adventure Logs, Session Notes, and Staying in the Moment

February 27, 2014
Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks

I’m currently running two different games: Pathfinder and The Dresden Files RPG. For each one, I’m running both a “group” campaign and a solo campaign for my wife. For all of these sessions, I post adventure logs and/or NPC character journals to the requisite Obsidian Portal sites for both posterity and as a reference between sessions. In order to do that, I try to take copious notes of what happened in each session so that I can not only be as accurate as possible, but also able to convey the spirit of the campaign at that time.

It’s a lot of work, frankly. And though that work is worthwhile, I worry that it is taking me out of the moment in the game. It’s hard to keep momentum going when I have to pause to note down some point of dialogue or some-such instead of simply playing and reacting to that dialogue or bit of action.

I’ve thought about recording our sessions so that I have a detailed record to refer back to when creating my session logs. But, as our sessions go on for about six to seven hours, that’s a lot of recording to sift through.

Maybe I should take up shorthand in order to facilitate my note-taking? I don’t know. I really feel like my GMing is suffering, though my notebooks are full of action and dialogue. But if I take it easy on the note-taking, then I feel like I’m going to forget something and my session logs turn into dull, inaccurate records.

Any tips or tricks out there for note taking while staying “in the moment”?

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