Friday, October 13, 2017

Bullet Journal for scenarios - with a scenario

The Tinkerage has been experimenting with adapting the Bullet Journal concept to generating notes for gaming.

Bullets are a way of marking and arranging journal entries in a concise, logical fashion, and so they seem ideal for generating notes for RPG scenario planning and actual play.

These notes are not tied to any particular system, and can be used freeform as well. For example, a High difficulty (+) might read in a system as a high difficulty class (DC 15+ on d20), a Hard difficulty modifier (-30%), or even a difficulty adjustment (half skill rating).

Here are the (trial) bullets and entry formats for RPG scenario journaling.


Name, Type [Resilience]
The Name or Description of the character, type (optional), and Resilience (equivalent of hits, toughness, HD, CON, Stamina, Luck, and so on).
Shifty, Thief [2] - a moderately tough thief
Wolf [1] - a lone wolf

(Condition) - a temporary or ongoing state

| Equipment x/n uses
|Arrows 16/20 - a quiver of 20 arrows with 16 remaining

Level of Difficulty, Threat, or Quality 

! Very High
+ High
* Standard
- Low
? Very Low
* Stone door - requiring a standard roll to force open
+ Locked door - a high level of difficulty to pick
? Rusty gate - easy to break open
! Swordplay - the skill of a deadly master swordsman

Locations and Scenarios

:: Location
:: Ruined crypt

: Note/Story/Background
: The crypt roof has collapsed, and a wyvern lurks inside.

Events in Play, Actions

> Event/Action
> Wyvern hides in barrel vault

A Bullet-styled Scenario: Drowned Tower

: The laird of Orfyre needs retainers (or adventurers) to call at the toll-bridge at Nystie and enquire why the tolls have stopped flowing to his lordship's treasury.

:: Nystie Bridge
: Arched stone bridge, in full view of the tollhouse tower and the archers there

2 Archers [1]
! Concealed
* Archer

:: Downriver
: Shallow crossing. The bodies of the tollkeeper and his guards are washed up here
+ Strong rushing water

:: Tollhouse, a longhouse with square tower and gate, guarding the bridge
* Barred gate (recent damage)
- Makeshift bars across the rear windows
* Rough walls, climbable

: Keiraffen, a ne'er-do'well minor noble and cousin of the laird, attempted to rob the tollhouse, killed the tollkeeper and his men, but could not find the coffers, and is camped here with his gang of brigands drinking and making a desultory search. Because he's kin, his lordship will be less than pleased if Keiraffen is killed (unless it looks like an accident, or someone else's work).

Keiraffen, a ne'er-do'well nobleman
+ Swordplay
* Gambler
* Schemer
- Drunkard

4 Brigands [1]
* Brawl
* Skirmish
* Sneak
- Undisciplined

: The tollhouse coffers with more than a month's taking are cleverly +concealed under the bridge, not that Keiraffen would ever think to look there.


  1. I like this BuJo notation and its uses a lot. Do you mind if I translate this article in French and publish it on my RPG-related website? (with all credits due, of course)

    1. Glad you like it. You can translate and publish your translation freely, as long as you credit the source and drop a link in the comments here.

  2. FYI, here it is:

  3. This looks easily adaptable to 7th Sea. I'm posting it around.