I’m an organization freak when it comes to working on my RPG stuff. As much as I like the old school method of pen and paper, the convenience of electronic formats really can’t be beat. There’s a few tools out there that I’ve used from a DM perspective, like Fantasy Grounds and Obsidian Portal, but they were either installable apps or didn’t cater specifically to the DM planning process.
This project is a website which will focus on allowing DMs to plan and write up their campaigns and adventures, to run them from the site, and to share them with the community.
Where It’s At Right Now
I’ve got the user registration/login/logout/profile stuff working, although there’s some gaps. It’s got enough to get people into the system, although it’s not pretty. The next step in this rapid-fire development scheme is to allow users to create their campaigns, modules, and pages so I have more data to work with.
Thing is, I know what I think I should have when working on these elements in a finished product, but that’s not necessarily what others would consider necessary when working with these elements. So I’ve got some questions for the DM community (regardless of whether or not you see value in a project like this) that will help in creating this tool.
Right now, I’m looking for input on defining the campaign, module, and page.
Planned Organization Scheme
The current plan for the tool is to organize data in a Campaign > Module > Page hierarchy. A Campaign is like an overarching event, or even a game world. Modules are individual adventures that take place within that arc or world. Pages are the “scenes” within an adventure (Kobold cave, chase through the market square, etc).
Ancillary to that will be data buckets, created at the campaign level, for Handouts, NPCs, Maps, Treasure Parcels, and Encounters. Once these ancillary items are defined, they can be assigned to the Pages where they are used. They can be re-used on as many pages as needed.
Questions for DMs
Since the idea for this DM tool is to put it out there for people to use, I figure that the best way to pique folk’s interest is to get feedback from folks whom I hope will consider using the tool when it’s launched. If you’re a DM (of any game system), please take a few minutes to drop a line in the comments about these questions:
- If you had to summarize an original Campaign you were creating, what info would you expect to provide (Title, synopsis, etc)?
- What kind of info would you use to define a Module?
- What kind of info would you need when working on a “scene” or “area” Page?
In Other News: Finding a Home
To be honest, I thought the “code name” I’ve been working under would be pretty good for the site, which means I would be almost guaranteed that the domain name would be taken.
Turns out, it’s not! But I’m not going to reveal it until I can get the cash to buy it, so some random jerk doesn’t swoop in an snag it before I get there.
In the meanwhile, I’m considering setting up a dedicated site for this project, since it’s moving at a pace that provides me a lot of things to talk about, and because this is technically a video game blog. If I opt for this route, I’ll register the domain, then create a new site under that URL for the time being, until the site is ready for public testing.