Character sheets frustrate me. Most of the time there isn’t enough space to record everything about my character. There’s always room left over for categories that don’t even apply to the person I’m playing. Some information is on the back when it would serve me better if it were on the front. While some are better designed than others, they remain a one-size-fits-all solution that ultimately isn’t the best solution for anyone.
In the 1990s I started carrying a 3-ring binder. There would be an official character record in the front, inside of a clear sheet protector. I dutifully updated it in case the gamemaster needed to see it. (Spoiler: he never did. In over 40 years of tabletop roleplaying, I’ve never seen a gamemaster ask to see a character sheet. As a gamemaster, I just ask the player for the information I need. It’s called trust. After all, it’s a cooperative, creative activity, not a matter of national security.)
The rest of the book was comprised of my notes on the campaign. I would have pages with lists of my character’s abilities. If I needed a reminder of how things worked, I could add that. With the aid of tabs to create sections, I documented things about the other player characters, supporting characters we met, places we traveled, and adventures we had. It was cool, and I never actually looked at my character sheet other than to change things when my character advanced. But the 3-ring binder was clunky.
Then I discovered bullet journaling.
Bullet journaling has become something of a phenomenon over the past few years. You add what you need as you need it. The creator, Ryder Carroll, describes it as a method rather than a format. Bullet journaling is a way of doing things, which means you can customize it to do what you want. It’s a perfect tool for tabletop roleplayers regardless of what system, setting, or genre you’re working with.
This book intends to provide you with tips and suggestions for using a bullet journal in conjunction with playing a tabletop roleplaying character. Like roleplaying itself, what you get out of it depends on how much you put into it. Make it your own. Take what works, ignore the rest, and use the basic principles to create whatever you need to make your roleplaying experience great.
In these pages you will find:
- Journaling Basics: This section covers the methodology of bullet journaling. From selecting a journal to creating spreads and collections to the process of logging information, this is the foundation for building your character journal.
- Index: The index functions as the table of contents for your journal, pointing you to the locations for information on different topics.
- Rapid Logging: This simple note taking methodology balances speed with accuracy. Rapid logging uses symbols to identify different types of information as you write it down.
- Future Log: A future log is a collection, broken down by month, where you can record appointments and tasks to perform at a later date.
- Monthly Log: A touchstone for the current month, including goals, tasks, and events, collected in a convenient two-page spread.
- Session Log: The means to document a single game session, keep notes, and capture tasks to follow up on later
- Trackers: A tracker is a calendar, grid, or checklist used to monitor a recurring task. Rather than writing it down every time, mark the tracker whenever you perform that task.
- Collections: These make up the bulk of a bullet journal and organize information by content. Collections can be logs, lists, trackers, etc. Other popular collections include habit and mood trackers, fitness or diet trackers, a list of books to read, restaurants to try, etc.
- Glossary: A collection of bullet journaling and relevant tabletop roleplaying game terminology gathered in one place for ease of reference.
The DoubleZero system is a tabletop roleplaying toolkit. First designed for action, espionage, and thriller adventures, the skill-driven tabletop roleplaying system is perfect for mysteries, police procedurals, and crime dramas based on your favorite television series, movies, and novels. DoubleZero works with any “realistic” modern setting that doesn’t lean into magic, the supernatural, or superpowers.
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