How to power up your campaign with a wiki – getting started
I usually try to reduce my prep time between games. I want to be play D&D as much as possible and prepare as little as possible. But every now and then I find myself wanting to work on something big, on a campaign of epic proportions. And I recently discovered that working with a wiki beats looking through (and carrying) thick binders of notes!
Here are some thoughts and pointers about working with wikis.
What can the wiki do for your game?
- It can save time during your session. I had a misconception about working with a wiki. I thought it would save me time. It streamlines the game session because you don’t have to sift through piles of paper but it will require a sizable time investment.
- It can make preparing a game more fun. I must say I enjoy the wiki because it facilitates the linking between different factions and NPCs and makes complex storylines easier to prepare.
- It can impress you players. When your players decide to seek out that unimportant NPC they met 17 sessions ago, well, you’ll be one click away from finding your notes on that character.
- It can make your sessions more fun. That’s the bottom line, really. If the wiki streamlines your game session AND allows you to squeeze in more info, more quests, and more NPCs then a wiki is for you.
Which wiki should you use?
I chose to use the Obsidian Portal RPG campaign wiki service. It’s free and it’s it’s designed specifically for roleplaying games.
Please leave a comment if you know of other wikis that work for you.
Wikis can be time consuming
Invest time now. Save time later. That’s the point of using a wiki to plan your campaign. Just make sure you do no underestimate the time you’ll be investing when you start planning. You’ll spend some time:
- Learning the wiki structure and linking
- Choosing how you’ll link between NPCs, Items, Factions, Locations, Scenes, etc.
- Reading the forums to get pointers.
- Waiting for your computer to dry after you spill water on the keyboard (but that might be just me!)
The campaign log
You don’t have to use the wiki for planning. You could use it as a campaign log or an NPC database. Keeping a campaign log, no matter if you or your players write it, can be a great way to create a self-sustaining reaction of RPG goodness.
In the second and last installment of this series, I’ll share my strategies on preparing killer scenes, saving time, and giving your campaign a big wiki power-up.
Do you use a wiki?
What do you use to prepare your game? Pen & paper? Google Docs? Wiki? Improvisation?