Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lauding the Wiki

One of the cooler things we've put in place the past month or so has been the Gothic Greyhawk campaign wiki.  I had asked for recommendations some time back, and folks suggested a few platforms - we started playing around with the free version of Obsidian Portal.

I wasn't interested in posting backgrounds, NPCs, and using the wiki to organize the DM's content - the typical stuff (I use OneNote on the laptop).  Instead, we've been using it to keep track of the group's public information - their expedition equipment and gear, treasury, list of magic items and resources, that kind of stuff.  This has been a huge advantage for enabling player planning.  Take the list of scrolls, for instance.  In between game sessions, anyone in the campaign can peruse the list of scrolls and see what's in the group's arsenal. Ditto with the magic items.  My players wouldn't have been nearly as successful in some of the recent knock-down fights without the ability to collectively discuss the resource pool and brainstorm in between sessions on how to deploy their resources.

They've even taken to bringing tablets so they can pop out to the wiki if necessary and look stuff up.

There's also a body of standard procedures that always gets written down and lost - marching orders, overnight watches, standard memorized spells.  Putting those things on the wiki and defaulting to the standard procedure has also stream lined play and maximized table time.  I dislike spending game time on stuff that you should be able to write down once, and just reference and update.

It's still a work in progress, but you can see what we've done with the wiki here:
Gothic Greyhawk on Obsidian Portal
List of Magic Items
List of Scrolls

*Smitty, one of the players, put together that nifty Gothic Greyhawk banner.  Thanks man!


  1. I'm really not a fan of electronics at the table. I wish I had known that before my current campaign started, as now people are used to it and I would feel like a jerk asking them not to bring gadgets, especially as some people use tablets and laptops as character sheets. But they are such big distractions too. I know people are also browsing their feeds and doing other such things (I would also not be able to resist if I had a laptop in front of me).

    The other downside of players using laptops (not so much with tablets) is that a table of laptops feels like everyone is behind a referee screen.

    Regarding standard procedure stuff, I tend to write that down in my ref binder or notebook. I have different players week to week though, so I often have to refigure things like marching order anyways.

  2. I agree that technology at the table is a slippery slope. I want folks to be able to look stuff up (rules on PDF) or check spell lists on the wiki, but you also don't want folks scrolling through their facebook stream and updating their twitter and not paying attention, either. And laptops would put everyone behind little forts. My group is respectful with their gadgets.

  3. That's a good use of for it, might have to get my lot to try it out too. Just made one for my campaign too: