I am an RPG creator and publisher, who likes to write notes. Lots of notes. I've developed the Worldbuilder's Notebook over the past couple of years to address the problems I run into when creating gaming content for myself, and others.
The notebooks are 192 pages, divided into five distinct sections. They are hardbacked and cloth covered with foil stamping and a ribbon bookmark. Their bindings are sewn for maximum durability, and the page size is 5.5" x 7.5" to make it easy to carry with you on the go.
The notebook comes in four different colors, and each color features an illustration by an amazing fantasy artist. Royal blue features a piece by Daniel Horne. Red features Martin Sobr. Grey features Tim Hastings, and Black features "Sea Witch" by the legendary Frank Frazetta.
So what makes this notebook better for crafting RPG worlds and campaigns than a regular old notebook?
- Page Numbers, Page Titles and a Table of Contents. Every page is numbered, and the upper corner has a spot for a title. The notebook also begins with a blank table of contents so you can quickly reference the notes you write once they're written.
- Black section borders. Every 12 pages the notebook is printed with black page borders that bleed off the edge of the page. This visually breaks the book into sections, making it easier to flip to the general portion of the book that you want, when you want it.
- Grids are printed in Cyan. If you want to extract a map or drawing or handwritten note from your notebook, the cyan grids make it much easier to digitally clean up your scans. The sewn binding also helps make it easier to scan pages because the book can open almost flat.
- Grids have "nubs". Pages with dot grids, have nubs at the vertical center of the grid, so you can quickly divide a page into two columns. Dot grids have horizontal nubs too, but instead of being at the exact center, they divide the page into 20 rows, and 16 rows. This makes it easy to divide the page for a d20 random table and a 3d6 random table.
- Multiple grid styles together in one book. The notebook contains 6 pages of 130 hex grids (Regional Maps), and 12 pages of 19 hex grids (Subregional Maps). It also contains 12 pages of isometric grid paper, so if you'd like to try your hand at making maps with a new perspective you don't need to go out and buy a new pad of paper for your experiments. The isometric grid also comes in handy if you need more hexes too! The bulk of the book is made up of traditional dot grids which are great for both writing and drawing.
- An Offline Reference Section. Each book contains 8 maps by the amazing Dyson Logos. Information about the biomes and landforms of the earth. A list of descriptive words commonly used in old school pulp Sword & Sorcery fantasy stories, and a section on probability. It's everything you need to get a creative kick when you're working offline and trying to avoid getting lost in a Wikipedia research rabbit hole.
- Last but not least: Blank Squares. Every page in the notebook (except the Table of Contents) has 6 blank squares that bleed off the edge of the page's margin. The squares serve as a "visual tagging" system for your content to make it easy to find, and also to make it easy to work on multiple projects or campaigns in the same book. These enable you to write your content in any order and find it quickly.
4 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
While I love the aesthetic and the attention to detail and the organization, there are some things keeping this from being a great notebook. The binding is stiff so the book won't lay open. It can be annoying to write and hold it open at the same time. The pages are a pretty rough texture. That's the only way I can describe it. Other notebooks paper turns and takes ink well. This one feels more like the pages of Hot Spring Island, than the pages of a journal. I also wish there were more hex pages. Not a deal breaker by any means though.
Great little system-agnostic book for building a campaign world, with some handy charts and tables in the back and a good assortment of page types for hexmaps, zoomed-in hexes, insometric mapping, and top-down maps. Will be very handy next time I'm building a campaign setting from scratch!
Honestly, solely for the art. Also the red when printed is blood red and the photo doesn't do it justice. Great in person.
These are great little books and a nice accessory for the gaming table. The index boxes in the margins will be a big help for easy reference. I especially like the Frazetta art that was chosen for this one. For the benefit of people who didn't back the Kickstarter, more pictures of the product should be provided.