So I’m working on a game and I have a lot of notes but I’m having trouble converting those notes into readable lore. Any suggestions or strategies?
What’s worked for me is to strip it down to the essential notees, and then write them in the form of a diary or journal entry. Make it an ongoing campaign journal. It’s proven invaluable for me when the game continues for months or years to be able to look back for specific names, events, and dates.
I always sing the praises of OneNote. I keep one section just for note, doodles, plot-hook ideas. etc. when they coalesce into something I move them over to one of the Active sections such as “Location: Geographic” or “NPCs”, “Maps”, etc. It works amazingly well. I use to keep the entire notebook private, but I’m currently messing around with keeping sections open to my players to plug in general knowledge, lore, and codified house rules. Seriously, a great tool. Hope that helps.
Is it the physical conversion? Or the story, making the notes into a solid tale of old? For the first I too like one note, but mostly keep a note book that more looks like a scrapbook as I organize my stuff.
Unfortunately, this for some can be the grind of story telling.
If it’s more the second question, I find for me it’s easiest to have a solid “where did the lore come from”. Is it mostly myth and legend around a being or happening, with some tangible roots, or is it very literal with lots of solid history. Then I decide how it should manifest for the players. What opportunities or challenges will the lore provide for the game world. Is it just cool back ground or character slamming facts that shape the here and now in response to the players actions.
Lore is often times both for the game world. Sorry my ramblings probably didn’t help much.
Depending on the crew your running for, some folks aren’t going to read anything that isn’t presented in a “10 bullet points or less” type of format, others want an in-depth diary approach, some won’t read it unless it’s specific to their character, etc, etc.
My thought is that if you make the lore something that applies to each character - Say the Elf PC get stuff that matters to them, and the human wizard get stuff that matters to them, etc - then you’re going to increase your chances that folks use/read what you give them.
That approach may also help keep certain things a bit mysterious for those who don’t know what you told the 1/2 elf thief until that PC divulges that info.It’s also a chance for those PCs to be experts/authorities on certain bits of lore and then tell that story of that lore item to the group instead of listening to you tell them.
Just an idea - feel free to ignore if you’d like
It’s more around world building for myself and for the future (if that makes sense). When I run I like to build-out the world so that I can effectively make it spin even if the players don’t interact with certain events. Where I get stuck is converting my thoughts and notes into a readable format that can be easily presented to players on an as-needed basis or for them to ingest if they show such an interest…
I’m not sure this will help, but my daughter used voice to text to make notes for her college papers while she drove back and forth to work and college. She would then copy them to a word doc, edit if needed and print. This saved her hours of typing. I’ve used this method for short notes that come to mind while not where I can utilize pen and paper.
My biggest hurdle was classification of the notes, i.e. where do they belong. I use OneNote as my World Building Tool and have tried to fit my notes into these categories as I come up with ideas. I hope the list helps. My main advice is DO NOT over think and paralyze your brain.
b. Astronomical Events
c. Weather Events
i. Regional weather
ii. Local weather generation
- Atlas – the set of maps for the campaign
a. The World
- Bestiary – the list of monsters (flora & fauna) in the world with descriptions
- Cyclopedia – articles providing more in-depth information
b. Page types
v. Organization (org)
- Gazetteer – the index of places on the maps with their short descriptions
- Glossary – the sets of descriptions for the campaign world
- GM Notes - reminders, checklists, ideas, plot RADAR, tasks & tools using
I like how you have yours organized Eric. I’m stealing some of it for my OneNote for two reasons 1) as I said I like your organization and 2) the term Gazetteer needs to be used more often by everyone
Also stealing from @huscarl