Pen-and-paper Dungeons & Dragons fans rejoice! The Campaign Notes for world building and the Session Notes for organized tabletop gaming journals from 1985 Games have dropped.
These journals are designed to help you keep important information accessible and organized, helping you remember all the little facts about the game world you’ve created (or are at least playing in). The Campaign Notes journal focuses primarily on worldbuilding, including a couple of pages to sketch your world map, a place to build your pantheon of deities, and plenty of space to detail your most important NPCs, among other things. The Session Notes journal is there to help you easily reference your players’ armor class and passive perception, take notes mid-session, and prepare everything you could need for your session’s encounters, including a full-page grid map for you to sketch your battlemaps.
Digging into the Campaign Notes Journal
The journal you should really be starting with is the Campaign Notes journal, which can help you build a homebrew world from scratch or just help you organize your thoughts after jumping into a campaign built entirely on post-it notes and used napkins. In addition to the aforementioned world map, pantheon, and important NPCs sections, you can also detail your world’s timeline, factions, major conflicts, important locations, and artifacts.
Appropriate for both new and experienced dungeon masters, this journal helps you detail some really important parts of your world. Those of you who have been worldbuilding for years may find benefit in little reminders about ways to flesh out your game world, and new DMs will likely find this as a good blueprint for building their first world. I’m a particular fan of the pantheon section, as this is an oft-overlooked, and potentially very compelling, addition you can make to your game world.
The only thing I would have liked to see is… more! Thankfully, there’s plenty of space in the large, blank world notes section, and I will personally be filling mine with notes about pivotal events I’m planning for my campaign and maybe a couple of character-specific backstory details for later use.
Playing with the Session Notes Journal
For use primarily on-the-fly during your game, the Session Notes journal includes just a few helpful sections for quick reference notes as an addition to the primary feature of the journal: six repeated pages to detail important information ahead of and during each of your sessions. I LOVE the full-page and actually quite huge battlemap – if your squares are 5’ x 5’ anyway. Sections to include a few stat blocks, initiative count, and general session notes are great too.
Much like the Campaign Notes journal, I want more, and will likely be filling my general notes section with the few missing things like magic items, random tables, and more that I typically include in my own session notes. Well, sometimes anyway. I teeter between being a heavy prep and heavy improv DM on a session-by-session basis.
Good work, 1985 Games! Can’t wait to see what else you’ve got coming down the pipeline.
Dungeon Notes is now available via 1985 Games’ Kickstarter. The campaign ends on April 8th 2021.
Jeffrey Venture is a noob gamer, an okay writer, comic book enthusiast, social media fiend, and creator of the D&Dify It series on YouTube. You can connect with him on Twitter where he mostly posts memes for D&D and all things internet culture.