Wednesday, 9 March 2011

DM Notes - how do you do it?

In my first KotB session I thought I was quite clever by using my pdf copy of B2 to make some electronic notes and printing it for the session.

An example page looked like this:

Trouble was in the heat of the DM moment I could barely read quick enough, not to mention the font was tiny, and I missed lot's of stuff I didn't wish to.

In my second session completed last Saturday and still to write a session report for, I moved to this format:
I first screen captured the B2 pdf map. Imported it into photoshop elements, cut the section I was interested it in, exported as tiff, pasted it into Word and then created textboxes around it for the individual rooms. Wasn't as complicated as this sounds.
I found it smoothed my ability to DM and know what was in rooms nearby considerably.

Any thoughts on how you generally do it? 


  1. I guess I am pretty "old school" in the sense that I mostly create handwritten notes. Some major NPCs or plot arcs or massive re-keying of dungeons or maps I will type up in MS Word. But nothing as elegant as what you've got here. You can see a sample of one of my DM maps at the bottom of this post:

    I really like your second model, and it is well within my physical and technological capabilities to emulate it. Thanks for sharing! (I LOVE behind-the-scenes stuff like this.)

  2. New to this, but I like the second one, the notes tied to the map seems to be more useful, and it seems easier to read.

    Although if you are using photoshop, can you just slap the text boxes right on top? Or use GIMP or something else to do it in layers? Then you could use your same map for other purposes, which might be more important if/when you get to drawing your own maps.

  3. I always want to keep notes. And I do a great job for the first 2-3 games and then something happens. Something like, I can do these tomorrow. Tomorrow turns into next week and now I am two sessions behind. Before you know it the campaign is over and I admire my first games notes and wish I had kept more.

  4. Yeah, you're right Dale. This is a LOT like my new piece. Although, my solution is probably too labor intensive for a GM to do for their own games unless they are a layout designer in their day job life.