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All Thread Categories General Discussion What I'm looking for in a Campaign Manager...
What I'm looking for in a Campaign Manager...General Discussion • about 2 months ago by Tiggertooth
I've spent several nights exploring what Chronica has to offer. I've been building up my campaign data to test to see if it will suit my needs. I haven't (yet) committed to it fully, but after considering (and testing) a number of the other campaign managers, Chronica seems to be closer to what I'm looking for than the others that I have tried (or at least found).
However, there are still things that I want to be able to do that I fear Chronica can't quite do. I'm curious if anyone has specific insight into if it is possible to do these things, or if the developers know if they have any plans in these directions.
I predominantly want to use the service to write up the adventures in a highly structured way, such that during an adventure I (as the GM) can use it as a live "script" if you will. Essentially a list of events and encounters with branching pathways. Thus I'd like to chain them together, but not just as linear progression (the way the quest system seems to support now) but more of a if players do ____ then this becomes active, else that is active. I'm imaging a linking of these events and encounters with a sort of checkbox interface. When Encounter SuchNSuch occurs, if the players defeat it, unlock Event SoNSo, otherwise, unlock Event ThisNThat.
I realize that things rarely go according the GMs plan. But what I want is to be able to author these high level connections. And as the situation proceeds, easily see the next opportunities. While playing, I want the "campaign manager" to act as an Adventure Manager and have that remind me of the flow of events. (The town mayor will now be angry with the players, for bringing attention to the smuggling. There will be fewer ships in the harbor, but the King will send down a small troop to "deal with the problem.") Rather than simply writing this all out linearly, I'm looking for the website to help me capture these connections digitally. Twine (at twinery.org) is an example of this sort of interface, but it doesn't have any notion that it is supporting a RPG campaign. I want that general idea, but one that knows that I can have encounters, and PCs, and NPCs, and that NPCs can die, and so on.
I haven't found *any* service that really attempts to address this. It appears to me that they all sort of focus on the data-driven things, like NPC lists, character sheets, and relatively simple quest lists. They're solving the relative easy stuff (storing data in a nice format). Chronica is good at these things too, but I'm hoping to find a way to make it help with really authoring dynamic adventures which can then be tracked.
Some specifics, relative to Chronica:
- I'd like to have narrative text (things I'm going to explicitly read to them) intermixed with GM secrets. I'm finding that the current flow of a Quest is sort of "Description, Notes, and GM secrets," which is causing me to have longer and longer GM secrets section. I think I'd like to see a way to simply have these parts more a single flow, but flag paragraphs as secrets on the fly.
- I'd like to explicitly link Encounters in the middle of a Quest description (particularly from a GM secret area). So I'm running the quest, things are going along, and then click on a link in the Quest GM secrets and I'm taken to the Encounter. Is that possible?
- I'd like to differentiate Encounters from things-that-happen-independent-of-the-players. For now I'll call these Events. So, if the mayor of the town decides to bar the players from re-entering the town, I'd like that to be an Event, that's triggered (by me clicking) at the end of the Encounter. The player's don't know this has happened, and it doesn't involve them, but I don't want to forget it. Some way to have these events occur and ways to trigger them in reaction to other outcomes.
I've found a number of other minor things I'd like to see/report, but I don't want to make this post even more complicated. I should point out that I have absolutely no interest in online play of the game--I'm not looking for that kind of functionality. I want to have my laptop available while we play at the table, and I'll use it as a guide, reminding me what to do and what's happening, with me interacting with it to capture the big ideas (the player's *did* rescue the prince; the player's didn't find the broach), and having those changes enabling and disabling content appropriately so the flow continues and I'm constantly reminded of these larger picture.
To anyone reading this far, thanks for taking the time to read it!
Love these ideas. Very much the flow and usage I'd like to see too
This is all really good information and fantastic ideas, thank you so much for writing all this out! I am going to gather this into a note to discuss internally. I think all of this would be really useful for other players as well. We already have patch 1.6 (current) and 1.7 mapped out, but this is something I think we could definitely work on. I would love to hear the other smaller items you mentioned if you want to post here or email us at email@example.com! :) Thanks again!
Thank you Lithxe for keeping these thoughts in mind. And for continuing to update it. It is one of the reasons I decided to go all-in and choose Chronica. Feels like you all are working and improving the site regularly and that is very important to me.
I'm writing up a more detailed description of kind of what I'm looking for which I'll either email you or post here (depending on the length) once I've got that captured.
I'm also writing up a list of those other things that I've bumped into where I felt I was really missing something. A good example is to have a simpler mechanism as the Character Stats but for Items. We (our campaign group) is starting to add Items to the campaign, but there isn't a way to capture item stat data (like for weapons the damage and other stats associated with it). We can enter it all in as plain text, but if I can create a template it'll make item creation, maintenance, and reference that much faster.
I've been putting in a fair bit of time (from my perspective at least :-) trying to build up the campaign and author quests. So I'm trying to exercise as much as possible. I"ll post more on this thread as soon as I can on those two things.
This is also one of the things that I have been waiting for in Chronica. With the failure of Realm Works going to a Online service instead of a installed app I can see a great many users of realm works users coming to Chronica. I've been consistently excited about all the updates that have been released. Being able to do a High level highly structured way of Campaign management so what I've been holding out for before Moving Thousands of pages of notes and information to Chronic. Please keep up all the great work!