Gaming Thursday

November 13, 2014

In starting up our new campaign, I got inspired to try and make an online portal for it. I envisioned something that would serve and blend both thematic and practical purposes, and also be useful for both the players and the DM. Thematically, there was all the background information for the world, as well as all of our gang members (our primary, secondary, and support characters) and their rich backgrounds. Practically, there’s tracking what happened each game session, what the characters know and learn, and what the party has in their possession. Where the two could blend nicely was in a journal section, where I saw characters (not the players) able to chronicle their experience each day/game session.

While there are certain sites out there that cater specifically to the RPG crowd to make a portal, I went with a free solution already at my fingertips: Google Sites.  They’re simple web pages, but more than serviceable and easy to make into something good looking and easily navigable. In short order I had the site set up with the following pages:

  • Campaign world’s history
  • Information on the campaign city
  • Our gang members (aka the party)
  • Characters and their backstories
  • In play information (places, people, rumours, party items, and a running timeline of each session)
  • Journal

Blam! We’re only a few sessions into our game, but so far it’s proved very effective as a reference for us – including the DM! – to get into the world each week, to know our characters better, remember where we are after each session, and to keep track of things we hear and know and have.   As we only play once every couple of weeks, having this refresher is great for keeping the game alive. Plus, as a sandbox campaign, it aids the DM to keep track of things and to plan forward.

The journal’s has worked out especially great. Not only has it proven to be a great way to get further into character by essentially in-character diary writing, it’s immersive to see things from the different character’s eyes: one journal entry begins with “Our assault went well,” whilst another character’s begins hers with “The assault went terrible.” We read the journal entries at the start of the session, and it gets us back into things, in media res.

I’m sold, and I can’t imagine not having this for future campaigns going forward. I’d recommend giving it a whirl for your games. If you have a gmail account, you’ve got access to making a site. If you don’t have a gmail account, well, they’re free!

And, as you likely would like to see, here’s what it looks like:  https://sites.google.com/site/draggate/

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