July 13, 2010

{Quest Log} Writing Campaign Wikis isn't easy...

So I have decided to build my Silver Marches sandbox and have reactivated my Obsidian Portal account, thinking that it was the right tool for the job.

Well, it is but right now at this moment, I'm getting a little frustrated about the formatting and all the information crumpled together looks like an unorganised mesh, which wasn't what I had in mind when I started writing in the wiki.

I think I have ran straight into my first brick wall about writing this sandbox which is how am I going to put the information from the books in such a way that it makes it easier to reference. Bear in mind, the reason why I wanted to take the information out of the books is so that I can put them somewhere where they are cohesive and linked properly.

I think I need to draft a template which list down the significant information for adventurers in a certain order. I'm starting with the town of Quaervarr, which is really a simple town that only has one landmark (but more of my own creations will be added later) but it's already giving me a headache as I try to rearrange where and how should I present each information about the town's defenses, government, people, food source, important NPCs and plot hooks.

So far my template would include in order;
    Overview - A brief overall look of the location, perhaps one or two paragraphs just to give a general feel of the place.
    History - The complete history of the place, somehow I tend to get a better idea of a place when I know where it's coming from that led to its current position
    Population - A rough estimate of the populace but combination of what races inhabit the place is more important. Should I mention where each race comes from?
    Law & Order - A breakdown of the location's enforcement, defense and judicial system just in case the players want to get smart in looking for trouble.
    Economy - The important imports and exports that the location and what sort of goods that can be found there.
    Points of Interest - A list of places that might interest adventurers, each with their own wiki entry.
    NPCs of Note - A list of NPCs and personas that the adventurers would most likely meet, each with their own separate wiki entry along with a short description to mention any titles or positions.
    Plot Hooks - For GM information. What could draw the adventurers to the location and what adventurers are afoot in the location?

Somehow I feel something is missing and there's where you guys can come in. Do you think this list of information is complete for a sandbox? What would you include in your list of information for a sandbox-type wiki entry?

If you have a different approach of organising sandbox information, I would like to hear them too!


Alex Schroeder said...

What I did for my Alder King game is that I just created very big Home Page for the wiki, linking to all the major settlements, cultures, tribes, and al the session reports. The system still works after 36 sessions.

If you check out some of the settlements (eg. Delan), you'll note that it's very unorganized. It's linked with other pages, and there's highlighting to make important stuff stand out.

In short, I'd try to keep it as simple as you can. I did it because I was afraid of getting a campaign burnout because of the effort the wiki required.

Bevin Flannery said...

I tend to post only the bare minimum of what the players need to know in order to navigate their way through the world/current storyline. The Wiki then builds as details are developed or need to be added. I like your starting list -- in fact, it's more detailed than mine is (see ).

I've found that my players want a pointer to information that has become relevant to them in some way. You may want to put a link directly to Quaervarr directly on the main Wiki page, with something like "You are HERE" -- the type of link that might be changed as you go forward and the "here" becomes somewhere else.

I also encourage you to make use of the Character tracker option that lets you list all NPCs, with short or long descriptions, and the ability to create tags. This lets my players answer questions for themselves like "who was that silversmith?" by clicking on the tag "silversmith," or find all the NPCs they met in a particular city by clicking on the tag with the city name.

The Clever Coyote said...

I'm running into a similar issue creating my own wiki for OP. How much information is necessary? What should actually be there?

At the moment, I'm updating it slowly, working on session logs. As something comes up in the session log, I create a wiki page for it. So if they encounter several NPCs or a certain organization, there is a wiki with a small blurb.

I'm running sort of sandbox with Star Wars, in that I have a planet and a bunch of things happening on said planet. The things will happen regardless and the players will effect certain situations, depending on when they approach them and what information they have. This, in a way, makes it easier to manage the wiki.