Why the Hex Journal?

In my current job, I work 12 hour shifts. It’s tedious, boring work, and sometimes there’s nothing to do at all for a few minutes. My only solace was that I was allowed to use headphones during most tasks, meaning I could load up on podcasts and audiobooks. Never had I been so well read!

Until the rules changed. Long story short, due to abuse, all electronics are now banned. The only things they couldn’t take away are my smartwatch and my pocket notebook, which I use as a Bullet Journal. For a while, just keeping notes and organizing my thoughts was enough to occupy those extra moments. But eventually, my mind cleared – good for me, but I got bored again.

Meanwhile, with my daughter just born, it was tougher and tougher to get my Fate Core games together. So why not play some games by myself, in my journal? A watch app provided the dice, and the journal was a good place to take notes and keep track of the situation. I tried some random ideas, spinoffs of my group games, and finally realized that some structure and planning was needed to keep me going.

The Pathfinder kingdom building rules and other hex-based game structures interested me at the time, so I devised a way to use random generators to make a complex campaign for myself. I ruled that I could only play if I was caught up on other journal tasks – a simple incentive without too much tracking or frustration. It took some extra research and bookkeeping to start, but it’s already paying off.

The question then becomes, what is the system I’ve put together? I’ll answer that in my next post.

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Author: Phil N. Schipper

22-year-old creative writing student at Western Michigan University. After self-publishing my first book in April of 2013, I turned to game design. Also contributing at OpRainfall.

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