Field Notes, makers of fine journals and notebooks, have created an amazing product for 5e in the form of The Field Notes 5E Character Journal. We’ve been keeping our DnD notes in their other products for a long time, but they’ve finally gone and created a notebook that has everything you need to keep track of your 5e character. It’s not often we come across a product that’s so loving crafted and cool enough for us to review and recommend. Let’s look and see how much character you can fit inside the Field Notes 5E Character Journal!
The Character Sheet Basics are Covered, and Then Some
As opposed to a traditional character sheet, the Field Notes 5e Character Journal splits the basic components of a character up into functional groups across multiple pages. This is the freeing part about not fitting everything onto one sheet.
While all the basics are there, they aren’t crammed together in a way that makes you hunt for numbers. The first page starts with the basic elements of the character, like name, class, and physical characteristics. From there it goes into several open pages for important details on race and ancestry, flaws and bonds, and even specific breakouts for background details.
After the background details and traits of your character are filled in, the next several pages are devoted to your stats and abilities. These are broken into a class table, your traditional stat blocks, and an attacks and spells page.
The class table lets you fill out abilities and class features as you level, which is a major improvement over many other types of character sheets by showing a sense of progression. This also makes leveling easier to plan out as you can see a clear path forward. Similarly, the spell casting table makes keeping track of known spells and spell slots a breeze.
Progression Notes Like Never Before
If you’re one of those people who make a new character sheet every level, this replaces that entirely. Instead of editing everything about your character, the Character Journal has dedicated pages for notes about each level up. Gone are the days where you can’t remember what changed from level to level. Now it’s all in one spot!
Inventory Problems No More!
With many character sheets we’ve used in the past, inventory management has been a total hassle. There’s never been enough room and when there was, it was typically just a blank square to write in without any lines or delineations. In cases where there were lines, there were never any places for notes on special items or treasures. In the Character Journals there’s several pages dedicated to equipment, treasure, and money. There’s even a space for debts owed and paid, which is a really nice touch.
Session Notes No Longer Lost
While it might not be the case with your players, ours are always losing their session notes. Sometimes their notes were on their character sheet from their last level. Other times they were in a different notebook and not with the character sheet at all. The Field Notes 5E Character Journal fixes this by dedicating the back quarter of the journal to notes on allies, factions, campaign happening, and meta notes. They even have a session log section to keep track of each session and when it occurred.
Another thing to note is that these journals have many nice touches throughout. The inside covers have notes on rules, common game information, and various places to put your information in the event the journal is lost. The notebook is made of quality material. The pages are light but strong and writing doesn’t show through to the other side. By using a dot grid in the notes pages you can easily jot down maps and sketches without much worry. Overall, it’s a super quality product – enough so we thought it was worth writing about.
Practical and Affordable
While there’s no shortage of nice things we can say about these journals, there are a few practical applications worth covering as a DM. These notebooks are perfect for NPCs that level with the game.
If you have NPCs with player classes, as either heroes or villains, these notebooks make keeping track of them a snap. Right now we’re even using ours to map out NPC backstory and level progression for campaign settings we’re writing.
What makes this even better is that they come in two-packs. If you have a new game starting, get these for your players and have everyone start fresh. Pick up a few for long term NPCs for yourself and you’re off to the races.
Hands Down our Favorite Character Sheet
We’ve said a lot about these journals, but it’s mostly because we were surprised to find something so nice at such a good price. We’ve seen our fair share of character sheets throughout the years and we’ve had a lot of favorites come and go, but for physical sheets it’s going to be hard for us to find anything that beats this.
The Field Notes 5E Character Journal is our current standing recommendation for a character sheet for any in-person game. We hope this gushingly positive review was helpful to some of you out there and hope you’ll try these wonderful journals for yourself.