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    Canonfire :: View topic - Campaign Journals
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    Campaign Journals
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 22, 2004
    Posts: 28
    From: Michigan

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    Mon Jan 24, 2005 5:50 pm  
    Campaign Journals

    I have taken upon myself the job of keeping the campaign journal for our party. We have started the World's Largest Dungeon, prefaced by the Caves of Chaos. I actually have two notebooks going for this, the first being at the table that I use to take notes, record things etc. The second I started because the first seemed too dry. There is a dual purpose to this, as I am making the journal more into a story, but am also finding out and fleshing out my character with it. I wasn't sure how to do this, so I just made it from my characters first person view of everything and what her thoughts and feelings would be, integrating all the other PC's actions. The problem is two-fold. As players, would you rather read the bare facts of what happened (ie 'We run into a group of orcs, we kill them, we move on) or would you rather have it as a story you would read as a book per se. The reason I am asking this is there is like 4 or 5 sessions that we have went through that I only have the facts for, and in starting the new writing, I have taken the liberty of being creative on behalf of the other characters, basically putting words into their mouths according to their class and personalities as I have seen them so far. It is also hard to record all the statements, quibbles, and conversations all the pc's have had. I haven't made it far, basically using the journal as an outline, but wanted to get y'alls thoughts on it before I proceed. What do you all think?
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: May 13, 2004
    Posts: 200
    From: MS Gulf Coast

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    Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:08 pm  

    Just to say that we do the same thing. As far as keeping a campaign journal. I'm doing it for the group, more or less to eventually write it as a story. I started it origionally as a first person account from my character's point of view. I completely understand what you mean about trying to remember all the conversations and funny little quips that happen during a game. Therefore, I devised a new way to keep notes.

    I quit trying to keep a notebook up after every session and instead of investing in notebooks, I went a little higher priced and invested in a micro cassette recorder. We record all of our gaming sessions so I can go back over them when I feel like it, or have time. I have a veritable sea of mini cassettes in a box all marked with the session and numbered. ::rubs at the big 'L' on her forehead::

    It has been a life saver as far as being able to go back and find exactly what happened. Especially since we've passed our first year of this campaign this month. It also had a funny side effect as I accidentally stumbled across the fact that people enjoy hearing little quips from our game on the session summaries I keep at our website.

    And as for the other question you had. I would much rather have it written up as a story to read. That's much funner, IMO. Cool
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 22, 2004
    Posts: 28
    From: Michigan

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    Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:45 pm  

    Thanks Tedra!
    How long would one of those tapes last? We have games that stretch as long as 8 hours, and also there is a good amount of off-game talk that goes on. I had thought of it, but wasn't sure if it would work well. The content of some of the stuff that is swaid could be useful for further black mail though!! Wink
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    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

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    Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:55 pm  
    Think about

    I would think about investing in voice recognition software. You can listen to the tape of you game, then summarize the session verbally, or while going down the road, if you have the right digital recorder. It would transcribe the whole thing into text i believe.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: May 13, 2004
    Posts: 200
    From: MS Gulf Coast

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    Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:57 pm  

    I buy the 90 minute micro cassettes from Sony that come six to a pack. I have a tape speed setting on my recorder for normal or half speed. At half speed, the tape time nearly doubles. I turn the tape on when we sit down at the table and turn it off when everyone leaves. I've seen us go for twelve to fourteen hours before, with over half of that time being out of character blabber. I've gone through an entire pack of six tapes in one evening before. Shocked

    It's become a standard 'game night supply' for someone to pick up a pack of tapes. And yes, they are very useful for future blackmail. I have some very magical moments caught live on tape. I occasionally get harrassed by my dearest friend Draga over some of the gems I've slapped on the website, but everyone's in agreement that taping ensures no faulty memories. It also allows some of the best scew-ups to be saved for future diabolic reference. Happy
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    Novice

    Joined: Jan 30, 2005
    Posts: 2


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    Sun Mar 13, 2005 2:05 pm  

    In my/our campaign, I have become the "official" journalist. It all evolved because at the time we were all away at university / first jobs and were only playing about three times a year. We called it "fishing weekends" so our respective partners wouldn't think we were too weird(!). Because of the long break between meets, I would usually consult various members of the gang about what i was writing. It became the friday night ritual to have a "campfire chat" about the previous session's events. Now that we're all older and have less time, I've condensed the overly-verbose journals into "dispatches" to our seneschal about our current activites and that works well too.

    I have often considered investing in a tape recorder, but this way seems more organic; the rule of thumb is that history is written by the victors, so if anyone has any problems with what you've written, then they can blooming well take over the writing!

    It is a worthy calling, being the chronicaller. Chronicler? Whatever... good luck
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 15, 2005
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    Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:26 am  

    In our campaign, we have the luxury of having the city editor from our newspaper as a player. She has taken on the job of journaling the campaign, and I have to say, she does amazing work.

    Where I am going with this is in addressing the point made by a previous poster about "putting words into the other player's mouths." She notes "soundbites" and quotes from the players and uses those in her journal. In the event that she needs to ad lib something for flavor or whathaveyou, she calls the player to essentially "fact check" it.

    "I had your character say 'X' when this happened..." That sort of thing. On the one hand, it makes for no ill feelings and on the other, the rest of the players feel that they are much more a part of the journal.

    Furthermore, the role-playing by the other players has gone through the roof, from a quality standpoint. I think that everyone wants their character to star in the next journal entries, and RP's their hearts out.

    Anywho, thats my 2 sheckles.
    Novice

    Joined: Jan 02, 2005
    Posts: 4


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    Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:33 pm  
    Neat Idea

    Whether the journal styles are important or not depends almost completely on what you want from them. If you want others to find them a fun read, then expanding them into a first person story sounds pretty cool to me, as long as its not over hammed like Blair Witch Project. You know what I mean...like the last page is torn and incomplete and the only legible part is ".....The drums stopped a few minutes ago..Oh God I feel soo alone..I hear things...in the dark.. all around m<blotch>".
    All in all a pretty nifty idea, tho. All I have from 20 years of gaming is old campaign shorthand notes and some blurry memories of very funny moments. A solid journal might kep the memories a lot clearer.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 08, 2005
    Posts: 11


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    Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:17 am  

    In my current campaign the players take a turn at writing the journal after each session (although I often produce a skeleton write-up for my wife to personalise for her character). Occasionally, as DM, I might create a journal from an NPC's POV which enriches the ongoing process a bit (one of my journals was a 1000-plus word epic poem describing what happened to one of the NPC's who will become a big mover and shaker).

    This way, everyone gets to chip in, they can add their own voice to proceedings, and they feel like they are all contributing.

    Once my wife gets motivated again, all of the journals will be on a website chronicling the adventures, I'll post up the URL when things are ready.
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 04, 2003
    Posts: 156
    From: Nyrond

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    Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:51 am  

    I've been keeping a journal for our Age of Worms campaign. its at: http://www.donkbrown.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=21

    The first sections are book-keeping for the party but then it moves into the journal which is my character's first person narrative of events (from his point of view, which is certainly not necessarily what has happened).[/url]
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 22, 2001
    Posts: 103
    From: Montevideo (Uruguay)

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    Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:15 am  

    meomwt wrote:
    In my current campaign the players take a turn at writing the journal after each session...


    I used to do that in my campaign too. At first it was ok, but with time sometimes the players got lazy or busy and handed the journals late... or never. :(

    Anyway, what is fun of this is that you can different writind styles. What I noticed is that the player in turn tends to be the leading character of the journal he writes. :)

    So now, I take notes during the game and write the journal myself. ;)

    Saludos,
    Gabriel
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