Player Binder

My preferred campaign style is a sandbox. If you run a sand box game, you know that players sometimes get overwhelmed about details. We only manage to play twice a month so remembering details session to session can be difficult.

I’ve considered the idea of making up a digest sized booklet for players like a little travelers guide book. Every session the players are running into something. A booklet would be alright for house rules that don’t change often but not for something that is constantly growing and expanding like a sandbox campaign.  

Putting player info on a wiki type page like Obsidian Portal would be of limited value for me.  I live in the boonies and we have terrible internet service. Using online tools to manage campaign information is not all that useful at the table when it can take minutes for a web page to load.  I don’t like the amount of table real estate a laptop or multiple laptops take on the table or the distraction they can be. A tablet would take up less space and be less distracting so I may revisit using a PDF or some other electronic format at some point if I get a tablet device.

What seems like a more obvious solution is a group binder for the players to use at the table. I would hang onto and set it out for them each play session.  What I’m envisioning is a three ring binder with some separators and some extra pockets. The party could keep their own notes in there so when Bob misses the session everyone else can remember the name of that NPC they wanted to murder. When the party unlocks a new piece of information I can print out a copy of it and drop it in the binder. The players can add to it and write their own notes on the handouts and keep group records and notes as reminders between sessions.

Here are 10 things I plan on putting in the binder to start:

1. House Rules and DM’s Procedures

2. 20 questions on the campaign

3. Carousing Rules and Table

4. Extra Character Sheets

5. Honor Roll of dead PC’s and Henchmen

6. Basic info about known points of interest

7. 5 things everybody knows about…

8. Short entries about NPC’s that the PC’s meet or know about with lots of blank space for them to add their own information.

9. Equipment, Weapons and Armor tables

10. Maps

I’ll try it out for a few months and report back to let you know how it is going.