Gamers' Corner


Organizing Your Campaign

Written by Kate Manchester

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Another good campaign organizational tool is a calendar. If you have a modern or historical campaign, there are a number of calendar programs that can assist you, such as Microsoft Outlook. For a futuristic or fantasy setting requiring a non-standard calendar, there are other programs that can allow you to make customized calendars. You could even create one using a spreadsheet program or paper and pencil. In my experience, the use of a calendar is a rather common suggestion, and have seen recommendations for keeping a calendar that goes at least one or more years before the start of your campaign, and five years ahead. Using this tool, you can keep notes as to the weather that day, holidays or festival days, lunar cycles, etc. You can also use it as a way to keep track of major events that take place during the course of the campaign.

If you have access to a computer, put that processor to work! Create a folder for any game related documents and store them on your hard drive. I also find it helpful to use spreadsheets; I have one for experience points earned by my players, and a second for keeping track of XP expenditures. This way, it virtually eliminates disputes over XPs or what they were spent on.

You can also use your computer to set up a mailing list for your campaign. When you need to e-mail one or more of the players, you can simply send it to your list, thus saving the time you might spend searching for a player's e-mail address or typing out each and every one of your players' e-mail addresses. If you need to send something to only one or two players, make sure their addresses are set up in your contact list and just select the addresses you need.

The next piece of advice is primarily geared toward the "Traveling GM." If you're like me and you run games at conventions or hold your game somewhere other than your own home, then you are a "Traveling GM." Allow me to point you back to my first piece of advice: Keep all your stuff in one place! Gather up your dice, books, binder, and other materials into an expanding file folder, portable file box, briefcase, tote-anything that will hold all your stuff. Better still, get it ready the night before the game if you can.

You might also want to try to avoid doing any pesky last minute tasks. Try either getting them done earlier in the day or rescheduling them. That way you can avoid possible distractions and are less likely to 'rush off' and forget something. There are few things worse than being halfway to your destination and realizing that you left something important at home.

Last but not least, I offer you the old adage: "A place for everything and everything in its place." Translation: if you take anything out of your binder or remove a source book from its usual place, put it back in its proper place as soon as you're done using it.

Good luck and happy gaming!

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