Thursday, August 18, 2016

RPGaDay 2016 #18 What Innovation Could RPG Groups Gain The Most Benefit From?

One thing that I would recommend to anyone running a fairly long term campaign would be using timeline software. I found a great program for free here!

I don't know how many of you GMs out there have toyed with the idea of keeping a detailed campaign calendar, but couldn't figure out a way to organize those notes effectively. Maybe you make a note for an important date in your campaign, but either lose the note or forget it when the time comes. Timeline software can help.

The first time I used it was for my old school megadungeon game. The old school rules I was using included lots of mandatory downtime for characters. When I had only a handful of characters, graph paper was fine. but as I picked up players and as player picked up characters, my paper notes were becoming unwieldy.

On the advice of my brother, I started looking into timeline software and found the program I linked above. It had a few other benefits besides just tracking character downtime. I could nest categories, so that I could organize characters by player and also sort henchmen by who they were henching for (If any of the players were brave enough to try, I could also track activity of their henchman's henchmen). I could also make more detailed notes for events, since I didn't have to worry about how much paper I was taking up. I'm currently using it for my Pathfinder campaign (using the downtime rules from Ultimate Campaign) and I plan on using it to track stardates for my Star Trek game.

If I could add a feature, it would be the support of custom calendars, though the latest version does include an option to use the calendar from the setting of the German RPG The Dark Eye.

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