Your character sheet does a great job recording information attached to your character and its growth like stats, equipment and spells memorized.
But, it misses an important aspect of tabletop gaming: The adventure your character and her companions are neck deep in: NPCs they meet, clues they collect, and suspicious behaviors they see.
You may be keeping this part of the game stored in your head, on a loose sheet of paper, or in an old, wide-ruled notebook right now. There must be a better way.
As tabletop gamers for nearly 35 years, we know the joy of playing in-character during the game an then discussing it after.
We also know the frustration when we — or other players — have to stop gameplay to ask the GM about something we forgot, but our characters didn’t; who was that dwarven wizard? What’s the name of that town? Who stole the amulet?
There is a better way! Enter the RPGournal.
The RPGournal tracks gameplay activities not logged on your character sheet so you can keep your head in the campaign.
After years of tracking gameplay action (analog and digital), and participating in countless wrap sessions, we realized there isn’t a great way to capture character interactions that complement game-play mechanics.
We created a tabletop gaming journal that tracks important activities without hindering the action.
Oh…you’re still thinking “why do I need this when I have a character sheet?” Well…
How about some science?
Productivity gurus call the back and forth between two activities (in this case playing your character in game and talking about your character and the game) “task switching.” Task switching takes a toll both on your working (short-term) memory and your willpower.
And, if you’re trying to “just remember” things, you’re not focusing on the game.
Your character sheet isn’t designed to record the narrative and mechanical functions your character encounters — names of NPCs, clues, suspicious behaviors, temporary bonuses in combat, etc. So that information is usually either jotted down in a notebook (digital or analog), or held in your working memory — and current neuroscience shows that our brains do not hold information well. Plus, if you’re trying to remember things, you’re not focusing on the game.