lessons learned from the maiden voyage of a D&D PKM

Yesterday was my first actual D&D session. While it was a lot of fun, my best intentions for being prepared turned out to be a bit of a disaster:

  • I had gathered information that I never used
  • I failed to quickly locate specific information when I needed it
  • My in-game note-taking was sporadic

I gleaned some larger lessons from this sub-optimal experience.

No amount of preparation can prepare you for the real experience

I may have consumed a lot of PKM information, and set my system up according to all the best practices I know. But when playing the game, and actually feeling the interactions out with my co-players and observing the flow of information – none of this in-game experience was reflected in my PKM. The fact is that there was no way for me to know what it would be like until I tried it out. This is a strong feedback loop I’ll be feeding from as I improve my D&D PKM for future sessions.

Starting small can be better

Instead of trying to plan for every scenario and eventuality, scaling back and focusing on providing core information can be a better starting point for a new PKM. I sacrificed speed when I prioritized information documentation over practical use. For next time, I have a different idea of how to organize my information, and it will be according to how often I need something. I won’t delete anything, but I will prioritize information differently.

PKM fitness can only be measured through use

PKM fitness is built over time through use. Until my PKM is given a job of strenuously interfacing with my brain to help me perform at my best, its fitness is unknown. It’s like equipping a brand new kitchen with all new pots, pans, condiments, spices, tableware and so on, and then watching over time what you reach for the most, and what proves to be a reliable companion to you in the kitchen. Real estate in the kitchen is limited, so you may promote some spices to the counter for easy reach, while stashing others in a less accessible place. This pattern of optimization can only emerge through use.

I had a lot of fun preparing a new PKM for playing D&D. I am excited to further refine it for play in a fantasy realm, and bring lessons learned from this PKM to my actual PKM.

Original tweet

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: