This is a guest post by Avlor (who goes by Avlor on TT’s GMing Q&A Forum, too), who won 2nd place in the Treasure Tables GMing Tools Contest with this entry.
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I tinkered with several wiki programs when I redid my gaming group’s campaign’s glossary.
This isn’t a multi-user-editable, server-side wiki (like MediaWiki). It’s meant to exist on your own computer and be edited, with the option of putting it onto the web. (Side note: There are versions of TW that will allow for server-side, mult-user editing: ZiddlyWiki and RoWiki. But I don’t have experience with those.)
For my first time as a GM, I used it solely as my session planning notes (printed onto index cards, using “print selection”). Slick!
I liked the non-linear, blog-like approach. My brain had so many things swirling around — I needed a place to write them down and organize them.
Just adding [[ ]] around a WikiWord makes it a hyperlink. Very useful, because it’s type-as-you-go. No extra mouse clicks. I added links for items I wanted to fill in later. Easy to find, too. (Look in “More”->“Missing” or look for links that are italicized).
Example: One of my plot items is, “The twins need a rare herb Oede for the patient who has a dreaded Illness. They need someone to find it or accompany them while they search for it.” I was able to easily find the links that needed info and fill in details for Oede and the Illness, so I had references for them.
I prefer the ability to reprint, rather than rewrite an index card. (After college, my handwriting was almost illegible — even to me! There are days I stare at my grocery list in the middle of the store wondering what I meant by a particular chicken scratch…)
Tags help my short memory. If I can’t remember the name of an NPC, I search through the place names and NPC tags (right-hand side, “Tags” tab).
With the checkbox plug-in, I made a to-do list and a plot check list for what I had to complete before I was ready to GM the session.
If you’re interested in it, here are a few other links for TW that I’ve found useful:
- TW help/start: Main Features, TW Tips
- Addons/plug-ins and help: Plug-Ins, TW Google Group, and the TW Development Google Group
(My favorite plug ins are: toggleTag, CheckboxPlugin, UntaggedListHandler and NewFromTemplateMacro)
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Along with blogs (see Blogging Your Game Sessions for more info), wikis are becoming more and more popular as campaign management tools. Avlor’s post makes it clear exactly why they can be so useful, and I love her examples (I get random ideas all the time, so this sounds like a very good tool for me!).
I’ve never used a wiki myself, so I’d really like to see a guest post here on TT that delves into ways to use them as GMing tools — wikis are so versatile that I think there’s still useful ground left to cover, even with Avlor’s excellent introduction to the topic. If you’re interested in writing this guest post, drop me a line.
Do you use a wiki for your game? If so, please tell us a little bit about it — and share the URL, too!