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Author Topic: Opinions or Advice on Wiki for Campaign Setting?  (Read 2310 times)
Chaoszero
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« on: August 24, 2009, 12:31:59 PM »

This would be my very first post at the Forge, and I'm glad to have stumbled upon it. I love RPG design theory.

I have been running a campaign setting for the better part of seven years and last November, I started a campaign wiki that turned out to be a tremendous help. Of course the purpose of the site is for my players to have a reference guide to my setting and ho to make characters appropriate for the game.

Its not complete, no not complete. But I am looking for opinions on ease of use or navigation, what should be there that isn't, this subject desperately needs expanding, etc. I have not (nor shall I, I suspect) put any game mechanics on the wiki as it is meant to be pure fluff. I go by core rules of whatever system we are using, though it was made with Dungeons and Dragons 4th Ed in mind.

Any helpful criticisms would be appreciated.

http://dawnofanewage.wikidot.com/
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7VII7
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Posts: 59


« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2009, 05:17:04 PM »

This is semi-offtopic but how do you go about doing that? (making a wiki I mean)
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Vulpinoid
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Posts: 803

Kitsune Trickster


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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2009, 05:44:28 PM »

I'm using a purely fluff wiki as the background for my current project Quincunx.

http://quincunx.wikidot.com

The rules should be dowloadable through the wiki as free pdf files very shortly, but everything else on the site has no mechanics, numbers or game related statistics (real world statistics such as population densities, demographics, viewer ratings...yes. Die values, difficulty numbers...no.)

The wiki is gradually being developed to look like a fan site for a television series, with conspiracy theories and occult paraphenalia littered through it. Of course the setting is based on a "reality TV show", so the wiki is a good fit for the theme I'm going for.

My hope is that eventually, many groups around the world will use the wiki as a standard repository of data, using their home campaign to flesh out their local parts of the world, then maybe use the wiki as a feeder mechanism to introduce collective global storyline. Like the ongoing sourcebooks that you find in other systems but without the ongoing costs. Anyone can log on and see how the world is evolving, local GMs can make changes to the pages describing their home towns, then someone coordinates the big stuff.

You're probably not after something as grand as this, but I think wikis are great for campaign info.

Now to address your questions...

I'd start with an opening page that has some good hooks to draw people in, a few recent events that players might want to get involved in, and a couple of key articles that might have recently changed...you've got that, so it's a good start.

Second, you're using wikidot, which has some great potential for formatting and really getting the feel of your campaign world to the reader. If you know some CSS, don't play it safe, don't make your wiki look like every other wiki out there. But then again, it's always good not to go overly experimental because people like their web interfaces to be user friendly. Good looking, but functional...I could keep on this point, but there are plenty of great websites that talk about this sort of thing in a way far better than I could.

Generally though, it looks to me like your heading in roughly the right direction.

Just my 2 cents...

V 

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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
greyorm
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My name is Raven.


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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2009, 08:37:03 AM »

One thing to concentrate on for a campaign Wiki isn't so much the static details, but things players and potential players can do things with or to: hooks, for lack of a better word. Either character hooks or campaign hooks. That is: not just information, but things players can use to make games or characters happen. For example, contrast: "The river is 600 miles long and maintains an average temperature of 45c year-round" with "The chilly river runs from an unknown source in the northern forests and is populated by bands of well-organized river pirates, the descendants of refugees displaced and forgotten during the last great war".
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
HeTeleports
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Posts: 66

The name's Youssef.


« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2009, 11:24:53 AM »

One thing to concentrate on for a campaign Wiki isn't so much the static details, but things players and potential players can do things with or to: hooks, for lack of a better word. Either character hooks or campaign hooks.
.... For example, contrast: "The river is 600 miles long and maintains an average temperature of 45c year-round" with "The chilly river runs from an unknown source in the northern forests and is populated by bands of well-organized river pirates, the descendants of refugees displaced and forgotten during the last great war".

Even more obvious hooks listed in each wiki entry could start with "No one has ever..." (climbed to the top of Mt. Doom, escaped the Company after being captured, broken all ties to the mafia, etc.).
To paraphrase and adapt E.A. Poe, every page of the wiki should have a hook.
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pells
Member

Posts: 192


« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2009, 09:35:07 AM »

Wikis ... they do great stuff, but maybe not enough. Well anyway, here's my suggestions, as how your wiki might turn out to be a great tool.
Please note that those suggestions might imply that you will need to review some parts of your information architecture.

Cross references would be a great asset !!! Here's an example of what I mean :
Let's take the halfling page. Here's their description. Great !!
But, which characters are hafling ?
In which cities or regions do they live ?
You mention some parts of their history, but how about some details ? You've already described the history of the world, so, can you extract part of that history to get the parts where the halfling are mentioned ?

You are using tags, but I think that is not enough. For instance, for the halflings they are :
Quote
page tags: age ara bard battle cacike crying elknor free guan halfling island league magic ocarina onslaught people pirate race sailor undead war waves

Which are characters ? locations ? events ?

Also, I would put a relationship map in there !!!

But, to acheive this "cross references", you would need to go to some level of details that would require a lot of job (for instance, dividing your "history of the world" into some small pieces).
I recommend to aim for a tool : quick reference between elements, easy navigation. Get outside of "characters : here's a list of characters". A book can do that !!
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