how to proceed

This is my proposal on how we set up this site and our campaign.

Sorry about the formatting – only found out that its a pain in the arse to do bullet points in this editor after I’d written up the proposal in word – gonna avoid bullet points from now on….)

There are three parts to this proposal: “Way to use the site”, “Way to prep the setting”, “Way to build up the setting through play”. So I’ll just get into it.

Way to use the site

Basically this site gives us;
  • an inline blog
  • a wiki,
  • forums.
I’m think we have three (4) things we want to do with it;
  • Proposals on how to do stuff (like this one),
  • Build up the setting as a frame for episodes
  • Accumulate info from the episodes run so that this site as a campaign frame gets more and more useful.
  • The fourth thing is to develop and record homebrew rules for campaign – but so far we only got the player point accumulation sys (which I’ll get around to posting a builder doc for after set up this stuff).
I’m suggesting we use the adventure log as an actions diary.
  • DM’s would write brief session synopsis (200to500wrds)
    • players can add comments to session write ups
    • can link from the mentions of who/where etc in write up to the bios of npcs etc in the wiki
  • Anyone putting up a new page, proposal, or builder doc would make a blog post in the adventure log linking to the new page.

I think the wiki is where we put the bulk of our material. Being editable we can add to the information collected and update character bios etc for events that have / will happen. Stuff should link and crosslink. This actually seems pretty easy using the wiki’s internal square bracket system for page names.

We want to use tags well, unified system so that can search and sort even as all diff folk add more material. I propose the following divisions:

  • ”Proposal” for things like this – stuff on how we should do something. docs with proposal tag will also have the tag of the thing it a proposal on how to do…
  • ”Builder” for stuff where we’re making the setting. It would split into the following two categories with the tags. “Brainstorm” and “Defining”
  • ”Running” these are the reference docs used to make episodes and updated from the events of episodes. These could be further divided with secondary tags like “npc” “pc” “faction” “area” “locale” “event” etc
  • I’m thinking to handle our non sequential format we might also need a “first encountered at…” tag
  • We probably need a “Conventions” tag too for good copy of things like the player point rule sys.

Not sure if maps are wiki pages but thinking we should load up our campaign maps and also our combat local maps to the web site and link them into the wiki too if possible….

I think the forum is an excellent place to take discussions, esp from the proposal and builder docs.

  • I suggest that if you want to ask a question or start a discussion about something in a proposal etc then you put it in to the page as a one line comment (different colour text? Your username in brackets?). Then link that comment to the start of a forum thread so people can reply back and forth etc – maybe add a comment underneath the one liner when thread done, synopsising the result / discussion of discussion (if any).
  • you can link to a forum thread by enclosing what you want to link inquotes then using colon with no spaces between that and the thread’s url

Way to prep the setting

I can see two processes for building the setting:
  • Building up lists of brainstormed ideas
  • Decision making / winnowing processes to narrow down and firm up our idea of a particular bit of the setting
Brainstorming lists
  • Consist of lists of certain things we could have (enemies, objectives, locations, terrains etc). Each of us can simply add to the list directly so that they get huge and useful for sparking ideas
  • I think these lists are important and have ongoing use.
    • They help us corporately decide what we want in the campaign
    • They also help latter when DM’s looking for ideas to dev episodes
      • We could even add a voting sys to indicate popularity (put your name next to the three things in a list you most want to see)
  • Brainstorming lists would have the tags “builder”, “Brainstorm”, and “list”
  • Which lists should we have? (gonna link here to a list of brainstorm lists I propose we have Which brainstorm lists should we have feel free to add to the list, link a item on the list to a forum thread to debate it or else to the actual brainstorm list if it accepted and acted on…)
  • to make a link in this wiki put double square brackets around a word. if no wiki page with that name exists link will be red, creates page first time you click on it.
Winnowing processes / defining docs
  • This is were we pick what is actually in the campaign. We actually started doing this for the city the other night. By deciding details and giving names we firm up a frame of mutually agreed upon story objects that each DM’s episodes can use
  • I think that we want to define the following:
    • A career timeline
      • This is just a rough frame of when, where and what heroes doing, gives a sense of motion to the game
      • Done some work on this already, deciding that heroes start in a metropolis
  • Each of several situations the heroes act out of in the course of their career
    • like a cross between setting and home base, I think that in a game depicting a long career this should change.
    • We’ve already done a bit of work defining the first situation, see The city builder doc
    • our timeline will spew out more situations for us as we work on it.
  • Each of several situations the heroes act into in the course of their career.
    • sometimes you’re not based in an area but you sure like to go adventuring into it…. again our timeline builder will generate these
  • A few major organisations the heroes might have reoccurring interaction with.
  • I’m suggesting that for each thing that we want to define then we create a builder doc (tags, “builder” “defining”) where we answer questions in order to decide what is there.
  • Anyone could add a question to a defining doc. Start an accumulation list of possible answers and list the question to a forum thread where the choice can be debated. Once some kind of consensus is reached on a question then show which answer won…
  • These defining docs don’t need to detail the story objects in too much detail to begin with, the process of taking stuff from episodes and building on it will continue the process – we just need enough to get a certain commonality to our setting and to act as a frame to spawn ideas.

Way to build up the setting through play

We want to continue developing the setting through play. Increasing the commonality and sense of realism to the setting available while avoiding too much divergence and continuity error. To achieve this I suggest that we keep tracking docs.

I suggest that we use the following running documents:
  • A blog for each session
  • A timeline of the heroes career
  • Bios of “game objects”.
The blog
  • Written by DM, recording the basic who/what/where/how/why/when of each session. I reckon two or three hundred words should cover it (hopefully).
  • The names and places mentioned in blog should link to the relevant bios in the wiki.
  • Players can expand on the events of an episode by using the comments facility below it (I think).
The timeline
  • The developed timeline becomes a reference and calendar of what is happening when and where in larger campaign
  • DM’s would insert their episode into the calendar, linking to their blog entry.
  • The calendar can have other functionality if we build it in, seasons, moon phases etc
Bio’s of game objects
  • These will form the bulk of the wiki. Bios of npcs, locations, factions, etc.
  • I’m thinking that the DM should update the bios of all objects used in their episode for changes made or even just noting appearance. This might also require contact events to be put within “campaign time” order within the bio to handle non-sequential appearances – we’ll have to decide the form but the bios will be a major aid in getting a handle on what happening and what an npc’s stance toward heroes is at any given time in career.
  • Again players expand with comments and suppositions and such (links to forum threads proposing courses of action / possible episodes in regards to people or places?).
  • We have to decide exactly what objects benefit from bios. I’m starting a proposal list here What game objects should get written up
  • We should make up templates for blog entries and for each of the game objects to make it easier and standardise info format… If you feel like doing that then write the template as a wiki page, proposal tag, and put an announcement in the blog linking to it.

Thus ends my proposal on how to proceed – if want to put anything up for discussion then drop in a one line comment linking to a forum thread where we can debate back and forth.

how to proceed

An Episodic Life Elenari