Taking Notes Makes You Like Your Game More

Players and DMs alike take note: taking notes is important for everyone at the table. That means every player and the DM should each be taking their own notes. Why so much redundancy? Isn't one person taking notes enough? The answer is simple: taking notes actually makes you have more fun. Seriously.

Taking notes

Your memory is flawed, it's well-documented that you can't remember most events clearly, and witness testimony can be become flawed from the Misinformation Effect. So it makes sense that when you meet Grizzlebald Thalbear and he tells you the secret pass phrase to enter the thieves' guild hideout, someone should probably write that down.

It's also important for the DM to take notes. Every time you introduce a new person or place to the players, even if it's made up on the spot, you're making it real in your world. That's something your players could reasonably want to revisit in the future, and the most important job of the DM is to create a consistent framework for their players to adventure in. That's why there are rulebooks, to prevent the party wizard from declaring that their fireball deals 800d6 damage in a radius the size of the entire village. That's a violation of the Player's Handbook and the Geneva Convention.

The people and places in your world need to be consistent or else they stop existing. Players can accept almost anything, like the existence of octopus headed monsters that paralyze you with a thought before eating your brain, but they can't accept things behaving inconsistently. When you forget the name of a town and give it a new one, you're actually removing the connections in your brain to that entire town and causing it to disappear entirely over time. Keeping your maps updated and taking notes as the DM will prevent your world from falling away.

It's clear that the DM should be taking notes for their world and one of the players should be taking notes of important things, but now we come to why everyone should be taking notes. The more a memory is visited, the stronger it becomes and the stronger emotions you feel. As your emotional bond with a memory increases, the more details you recall overall. Taking and revisiting those notes makes your brain revisit those events in your D&D or tabletop campaign over and over again, allowing you to flesh out further details and create a stronger emotional bond. In essence: the more you remember your previous sessions, the funner your future ones become.

Memorable knight

Even if it's just the name of an NPC you met in that session, the memory of that person connects to all the other events that happened. So for the price of a name, you get to recall everything else. Each time you recall everything, those events become more detailed and real. Each time you revisit that place in your game, you also get to revisit and enjoy everything else that happened there. That's nostalgia, and it can make your current and future sessions more fun by creating a stronger emotional bond with your friends and the act of playing itself.

Remembering your old sessions increases your excitement and anticipation for future ones, and notes are the easiest and most reliable way to do that accurately. Take notes, all of you! Not just for the sake of your forgetful memory, but for your enjoyment as well. Each note is like a piece of gear your character carries to help in future sessions.

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