Campaign Logs

By Shamus
on Mar 21, 2008
Filed under:
Tabletop Games

Sometime in the early days of this site I mentioned that I enjoy reading accounts of people’s D&D sessions. Campaign logs. (It seems like we need a better name for these. “web log” got shortened to “blog”, but if you shorten “campaign log” you’ll end up with something like… “clog”, which doesn’t really work for me.) Once in a while someone finds those old posts and sends along an email with a link to their campaign log, hoping I’ll read or link it. I normally don’t mention them because they’re always brand new: It doesn’t make any sense to send readers into a brand spanking new blog with no content. What you want to do is get a few posts under your belt, and then promote it. It’s easier to get links when you’ve got content, and it’s easier to acquire and keep new readers if you have a good story to hook them.

Complete campaign logs like mine are pretty rare. Blogging a campaign is rare. Of those that do, a lot of the games fizzle out, for all the normal reasons games fizzle. Of those that go the distance, often the campaign finishes but the blog doesn’t get updated. (I was guilty of that myself for a while. It took a lot of prodding from my readers to get me to finish the thing, and our campaign wasn’t even that long by most standards.)

I enjoy reading them, but good ones are danged hard to find. Many are semi-private. They’re not hidden or anything, but the author (usually the GM) is setting things down for the benefit of the other players in the group, not strangers like me on the internet. What I look for in a campaign blog is one that will let me enjoy the session vicariously.

Everyone reads and writes these things for their own reason. Here was how I approached my own campaign blog, and what I look for in others:

  1. Let the reader sit in on your session. You need to draw them not just into your gameworld, but into your group. Let them know who is playing. (Use pseudonyms to protect your player’s privacy if you need to.) How old are the players? How long have you been playing together? Letting the reader know the age and gender of the players lets us put their roleplaying into context. Someone playing a character of a different gender and age is a lot more interesting than someone that just seems to be playing themselves, but as an elf.
  2. Be careful with the flavor text. Some campaign blogs try to turn their story into a novel. This can make for interesting reading, but it’s risky. It takes a long time to write that way, which increases the odds you won’t be able to keep up with the thing. You don’t talk that way to the players, which means you’re not so much blogging the campaign as writing a book in parallel. Odds are you’re not a professional writer, but people reading your work are going to compare you to one if you go for that style of writing. This is not always a bad thing, and honing your writing skills is always good for a storyteller, but you need to be aware that if you go for novel-style writing you’ll most likely end up doing a lot more more work for fewer readers. I give Jennifer Snow a nod for doing this and doing it well, but her site is an exception.
  3. Let the reader in on the campaign setting. Post maps if you have them. Give the reader a little background. I hit a lot of campaign blogs that feel like I just started reading a book in the middle. You don’t need to define every little hamlet and NPC in the game, but a general overview of the major locations, leaders, and problems is really important for people trying to make sense of your story.
  4. Break huge posts down into smaller posts. It makes it easier for people to read the thing if you put it up in bite-sized chunks. Some people just want to read their blogroll over morning coffee, and don’t have time for your five thousand word beast on Monday morning. It’s also a little more rewarding for you as the writer. Once you get done typing it all up, you’ll have five posts instead of just one. Finally, this makes it easier for readers to link to and comment on the bits the interest them.
  5. Normal blogging rules also apply: Regular updates. An “about” page or something for newcomers to get up to speed. Some author info. Make sure you have good navigation so visitors can easily read the whole thing in sequence.

I’m looking for some fun campaign logs to read. Don’t worry if they don’t follow my list above, that’s more a personal ideal than a list of rules. If you have or know of a good campaign log, please drop a link in the comments.

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202020565 comments? This post wasn't even all that interesting.

From the Archives:

    • Maldeus says:

      Shamus, I’m proud to be the first person to shamelessly abuse your comments system in order to shill my own work (falric.blogspot.com). Hoorah for rampant and unrepentant narcissism!

      Having given that introduction, I’d like to link you to my campaign log of not one, but three different campaigns my group is running on different days (no one DM wants to run more than a session a week, and no one player wants to wait a whole week for more D&D).

      The three campaigns (four, counting the cancelled Series 2) are Series 1 (yet to get a wittier name), the now-cancelled Series 2: How Not To Play D&D, and the still-running Series 3: Phoenix Rising and Series 4: On A Mission From Gods. The DM of Series 1 is referred to as the Mind Screwer, because the plot involves time travel and we all know where that leads. The DM of How Not To Play D&D is referred to as the Comedian, because the campaign was ridiculously light-hearted, which unfortunately led it to an early death. Phoenix Rising’s DM is called the Tragedian, because I was “raised on Final Fantasy X and because I am Joss Whedon’s clone.” And finally On A Mission From Gods is run by the Puzzlemaster, so called because bugger all if his puzzles aren’t fiendish. As far as I can tell, he’s planning on running a fairly sandbox world where we wander around wherever we want and he’ll just have an adventure waiting for us around every corner.

      You may recall I posted about this in a separate post and mentioned I was unable to find this one. I also asked if you’d link to it if I gave you a link. I’d like to officially request you glance over this and, should you take a liking to it, give it a link, although I fully understand if you haven’t got the time (I am honestly awed by the amount of writing you do in addition to having an actual job).

  1. Liz says:

    I have two sites for you!

    First, the current one: I play in a 7th Sea play-by-email game that’s been going strong since 2004. It’s a little different from a tabletop game, in that we lean heavily *away* from using dice (though they’re not entirely gone), and we try to write the emails (or in the case of combat, IRC lines) so that what emerges is already in a novel-style format. The rest of the website provides background information on the world, so that’s the link I’m giving here. For the actual campaign log, follow the “Our Story So Far” link. 7th Sea PBEM (Note for others who might be interested: No, we’re not accepting new players right now. Sorry.)

    The other is a historical site for a game that’s no longer happening, but it’s got seven or eight years’ worth of archives in the Transcripts. This was an experimental “game” that took place on IRC, loosely based on AD&D 2nd Edition Forgotten Realms, but it was strictly freeform — no GM at all, though there were moderators available to settle disputes (though I can count on my fingers the number of times that was necessary in the whole life of the thing). Think of it as the bastard child of a MUD and a collaborative fantasy novel. It should be noted that although it looks like a cast of thousands, there were really no more than a dozen or so players, and most of the long-lasting characters belonged to about five core players (who, incidentally, are all part of the 7th Sea game above). The Meadehall

  2. Ryan says:

    Since yours is the only one I’ve read, I can’t advise on any others (although I’m always looking for good ones).

    However, you mention that you’ve read several, but that “good ones are hard to find”. That implies that you have found some good ones — could you share those links with us too? :)

    Thanks!

  3. Andre says:

    I’ve wanted to do something like this ever since…

    well, ever since I read your campaign logs. I don’t think my group’s campaigns are worth transcribing, though. Our group consists of two 20-something men and our respective <20 sisters (11, 17, and 20), and so far we haven’t completed a campaign.

    Our first campaign was out of a 3.5e campaign book (“Expedition to Undermountain”), and it sucked. We had a new DM (me), and all of the players were new too.

    Currently we’re doing “Last Breaths of Ashenport”, a Lovecraftian mini-campaign that I found on Wizards.com. The campaign is GREAT, but we’re still so inexperienced that we’re spending too much time figuring out the rules and getting distracted by conversation to actually get anything done in a single session.

    We’re all waiting for 4e, which we’re hoping will be less complicated for all of us, including the DM. When it hits, I’m going to let someone else DM for a change, because I need a break. When my turn comes around again though, I have an idea for an original campaign that should be interesting, if I can pull it off. Actually, I’m reusing the setting from my first-ever campaign. I made it up to play with my little sister a few years ago, when I was teaching her D&D, but it fizzled out after a handful of sessions because I didn’t know what I was doing and I was focusing on all the wrong things while prepping, which made it take too long to get a session ready. I still don’t have much time for technical prep, but 4e promises to make that part relatively simple. I’m coming up with a story now and leaving rest for later so that when the time comes, prep will just consist of plugging the necessary monsters and rewards into what I’ve already done. I’d love to log this adventure, but I’m not sure I’ll have enough time.

  4. Hal says:

    I’d post the email logs of the campaign I just finished with my guys, Shamus, but, um . . . you might find it somewhat familiar. As in, they just completed the “Lich of Mar Tesaro” campaign. Heh. :-D

  5. Nazgul says:

    I’ve toyed with the idea of making our campaign notes public, but they’re really targeted as summaries for the players rather than a general audience. They’re written from the characters’ perspectives though, which has worked out very well.

  6. Nathon says:

    On the subject of names, blog is derived from weB LOG. It’s not wlog. So maybe campaign logs should be called nlogs or plogs or (my personal favorite) paignlogs (with the silent g being optional) or something.

  7. Penn says:

    Well, the obvious place to look is the Story Hour section of the ENworld forums. It’s set up pretty much explicitly for campaign logs (which I call ‘story hours’ because of this).
    I can particularly recommend Wulf Ratbane (finished), Spyscribe, Piratecat, Sepulchrave, and Sagiro, but really just look for ones with lots of pageviews.

  8. GAZZA says:

    I guess the reason I’ve never really bothered is because it’s tough enough getting my own players to read them, let alone anyone else. :)

    I doubt this fits many of your criteria, but what the heck: this is an old D&D campaign I ran: http://members.iinet.net.au/~gazza/dnd/skaili/

    Don’t feel you have to read it out of politeness. ;)

  9. Davesnot says:

    I’m ok with all of this.. except.. well.. I like Camplog.. it implies a place to sit while someone spins a tale.. rather than something my arteries are doing because I’m sitting in front of a computer instead of enjoying this awsome SoCal day.

  10. Hm, I’ve been writting session summaries for myself and my players. In the beginning I did this for the benefit of the players that could not attend. Then I did it to get some peer review on my DM decisions because I knew a fellow DM was reading my posts. Recently I’ve decided that what I wanted to do in fact was to write for other DMs to compare notes. What worked, what didn’t, how did I rule on certain questions, and so on. At least that’s where I want to go. It never occured to me to write for random people on the web that are just curious… I’ll think about them in future posts. Thank you for your thoughts on what would make the blog postings more appealing for them.

    Here’s what I have right now:

    My Monday Group: We’re currently playing the City of Brass. D&D 3.5.

    My Sunday Group: We’re currently playing the Vault of Larin Karr. D&D 3.5. The early posts for this game are in German, but the last few months have been in English.

    I’m also playing and running other games, but those don’t have “enough posts under the belt.” :)

    I’ve also toyed with the idea of creating a wiki “hive” where other people can create a little wiki for their own campaigns. I called it Campaign Wiki.

  11. Graham says:

    Well, I’ve been putting up my DM logs at my site.

    http://criticalanklebites.com/category/tabletop-rpgs/dm-logs/

    (I also have been trying to make some DM prep posts, but time constraints haven’t allowed my to do many yet.
    http://criticalanklebites.com/category/tabletop-rpgs/adventure-prep/ )

    They’re mostly there for myself, and for my players, but I try to make them interesting to read in any case, and I welcome anyone who is interested. Feel free to read and comment on them.

    To cover your points:

    1) All of us are in our early 20s. We currently have a male bard played by a female player.

    2) I like to think I don’t try to overshoot my own capabilities in this respect, though if my players start up their PC logs we might get some more professional writing on the site, as two are avid writers.

    3) Since I’m playing in a published adventure/setting from Paizo, this is unfortunately difficult to do explicitly. Oh well.

    4) Yeah, I’m bad for this sometimes. I try, though.

    5) Regular, eh? I make a post within the week after playing (we play almost weekly). I think that’s good, eh? Otherwise I don’t remember enough to do the post, so it’s mandatory for me to do.

    In any case, I hope you enjoy it (along with anyone else who feels like coming by).

    I post other D&D and RPG-related posts as well, in different categories, including house rules and creations.

  12. EK says:

    Two things:

    To #11: I’ve been using Wikispaces for campaigns m’self. Works really well, and I highly recommended it; I’ve used it for games with anywhere from six players to fifty players before, with fun had by all and technical difficulties by very few. Your thing looks kinda like PBWiki, which I also toyed with once (for a GM-only wiki). In a nutshell: Wiki + RPing = awesome, in my book.

    Second: What about play by e-mail games? I don’t know where, exactly, those might fit on your list of attributes given above for a “good read” game; they certainly get things broken down into smaller chunks, but there’re plenty of bits that are perfectly skippable, and sometimes files are hard to access… But if that’s your bag, I’ve been told my old PBeM was a god read by some.

    *shrug* No worries if you don’t read anything of mine. I’ll keep reading yours! By which I mean the blog. <,<‘

  13. Graeme says:

    My group has a wiki at http://www.claymore.co.za/verdant/ , with the campaign log at http://www.claymore.co.za/verdant/index.php?title=2_AC

    It’s really more for keeping notes and detail on the campaign (so not really designed for outside viewers), but it’s been relatively diligently updated. I’m male, but all the regular players (and all the characters) have been female.

    I absolutely love using a wiki for this sort of thing; it’s so useful for keeping track of places, events, npcs, etc., and it gives the players a chance to contribute to the world too.

  14. Tarous Zars says:

    I plan on doing this with the campaign we just started. Although I intend for everyone to contribute not just the DM. Since we don’t play every week, I think this will be a great way for us to remember what happens. I think the point of view idea Nazgul said his group uses sounds like a great idea. This should help us practice getting in character since we are all pretty novice RPGers.

  15. Jacob says:

    I see we’re not the only ones to use a wiki to document our campaign. If you want the story, most of the beginning was documented by my wife (who plays the princess) in the Princess Diaries. I’ve been documenting our more recent adventures (under the adventures section), though it’s not as easy to follow as a campaign blog would be. Jay (of Rampant Coyote fame) is an excellent GM and has been using this world for all of our 20 years of gaming together.

  16. Tommi says:

    There are some actual play posts on my blog (two more coming when I have time for them).

    Generally speaking, actualplay.com (http://www.actualplay.com/) is a directory that deserves to have more games listed in it. It has a rating system and other nice perks. Add your games in while you are at it.

  17. Phlux says:

    Painglog above is pretty funny. I also like camlog or camplog. Camplog amuses me because it evokes camping, fire and of course: LOG!

  18. General Karthos says:

    There’s several play-by-post sites on the web, and I play on what is BY FAR the best of all of them out there. I’d suggest you check it out.

    http://www.roleplayinggames.net

    There’s D&D, Star Wars, Superheroes, all sorts of stuff over there. And some of it makes for really good reading. D&D isn’t really as good for the story-telling as far as Star Wars is. A lot of the Star Wars stories are really involved. In particular “http://www.roleplayinggames.net/cgi-bin/mainboard.cgi?&board=3”. (Which is currently at more than two million words, or twenty times the length of a lengthy novel. It’s a hefty read.)

  19. Thanks for the plug, Shamus. I just want to add that since my logs are the edited version of our chat game, very little of it is my additions. I clean up the spelling/grammar and straighten out the conversations while adding some flavor text, but that’s pretty much what happens during our game.

    I’m a little behind, but I’m working away on getting caught up. Unfortunately the Psionics game ended, but after I get caught up on logs I may post a brief “what would have happened” to wrap it up.

  20. Oh, and check out http://obsidianportal.com, a fair number of people track their campaigns there, and they generally include a wiki, maps, and other information.

  21. Kage says:

    This is the Fallout campaign I’m running. I should point out a few things. First is that this is the first game I’ve ever GMed. Second is that we’ve only had one play session so far, so there’s only two posts on the adventure log so far (an intro and the first session), but we will be having another session tomorrow, so I should have a new post up next week hopefully. Third is that I posted some minimal info on the players on the wiki page. Fourth is that I’d like to second Jennifer Snow’s callout to Obsidian Portal. It’s a great site, IMHO.

    EDIT: P.S. If we’re officially deciding on a name for campaign logs, I’d like to place my vote for “camplogs.”

  22. Cryptoknight says:

    Hey, check out http://www.khoras.net. It’s a highly detailed world setting with fauna/flora, religion, cities, races, politics, maps and other such fun stuff with which to build your campaign upon. The forum has session notes from the creator’s campaigns. Fun stuff.

    Cheers!

  23. P'kay says:

    In that case:

    Shiny shiny elves is a small campaign-logging community that has essentially always been mostly focus of the adventures of Calair Icebrook, the sequel of which is currently active. I suggest you start at the beginning, although getting through Lj’s muckup of the page is a bit of a hassle. (they’re still in the right dates, but the order of said dates has been somewhat corrupted) Later pages are a bit easier. Be warned: some adult material. But all in all, good fun. And We doo try to keep readers up to date. Except Edward. Edward’s summaries are notoriously few and far between.

  24. Joshua says:

    Well, I am running a play-by-post game right now over at the Game Master Foundation forums here.

    It’d be nice to have some more members over there to help keep it alive.

  25. Tuck says:

    Oh dear, nobody’s yet linked to the AGC D&D excerpts!

    I’d been reading this one for ages (from start to when it went on hiatus) before I came across DMotR and the Twentysided campaign: AGC D&D excerpts — superbly detailed, contains both descriptive and general dice-crunching numbers where necessary, and explanations of the more obscure references! Highly recommended.

  26. Christopher says:

    Has no one thought of “cog” as a suitable term? Sure, maybe it’s a bit short, but it brings to mind the mechanizations of many a DM.

  27. Face says:

    http://boisehackmaster.blogspot.com/

    Is my lame blog. I thought about going the big-time game blog route, but I’m not that good. I tried (and fared better for a while) with http://evilgamergirl.blogspot.com/

  28. Daviot44 says:

    I actually have notes for an entire campaign, weekly summaries written by me at the start, and then by my players as I ran out of time/got lazy. I’ve contemplated putting it all together, potentially in a camplog like this, but 2.5 years is a bit daunting to look at. I also wonder whether I should leave the summaries as is, or edit them up with what details I can remember, and what OOC details I should add. They were originally written so that I would remember what happened last week when I started the next session, so I’d probably have to add a fair amount to make it intelligible to people who weren’t there. Do you think this would be a worthwhile project to undertake?

  29. GM West says:

    Hey all, I’ve been a fan of this site for many months (since DM of the Rings began) though I rarely post my thoughts, satisfied with lurking I suppose. But I can’t help myself from putting in my two cents on this particular issue.

    Many years ago, after buying the 3.0 D&D rulebooks out of curiousity, having been away from the game for many, many years, I found my interest in the game renewed. But now that I’ve got a wife and kids, getting away for a gaming session on a regular basis is difficult at best. Not to mention I couldn’t find any other folks of my age and general personality to game with.

    I found a site where gamers like myself played online, in a ‘play by post’ format using dice, rulebooks, etc. The pace is really slow, but the ability to craft a written story that describes an adventure in detail is worth the effort, in my book.

    After having some creative difference with those that ran the board that introduced me to ‘play by post’ gaming, several players from that board, myself included, began our own and it’s been going strong ever since.

    http://d20worldofgreyhawk.yuku.com/

    Lots of great adventures can be read there, and a great many are still ongoing, in some cases after years of work from players and moderators alike.

    Feel free to check it out, if you’d like. And maybe you’ll have the urge to create a character or two and join in the fun!

    GM West

  30. Mine can be found here and covers about 14 sessions so far… it ends in 5 more sessions.

    My style changes from game to game depending on what I wish to focus on with my writing.

  31. DavidRM says:

    I have session logs going back to … pre-blog days here:
    http://www.davidrm.com/rpg/

    Current campaign (and the one just before it) is set in the Iron Kingdoms. I also have the logs of my group’s attempt to slog through “The Shackled City”, and the logs of a handful of homebrew campaigns and the odd Forgotten Realms romp as well.

    I started my session logs so I could keep track of what had happened, who had offended whom, and so on. Then, in 2000, I started posting the logs to my Web page so the players could also keep track of what’s happened. These days I usually post the previous session while prepping for the next session.

    -David

  32. Alan De Smet says:

    I’m reasonably pleased with our Shackled City wiki. It’s reasonably heavily interlinked for people and places. Tarik’s Journal is my own blog-like portion of it, one post per session.

  33. HC says:

    http://www.enworld.org/forumdisplay.php?f=14

    The EN World story hour forum has plenty of completed campaigns, and several decent ongoing ones.

    Recommended – Sepulchrave’s Wyre/Viridity and Saizhan (start here: http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=58227&page=1), Jollydoc’s several campaigns (a consistent group of players with high technical skill – of particular interest on tactical or character building issues), Jon Rogers’ Drunk Southern Girls with Guns (sadly incomplete, but excellent), or the two Sagiro/spyscribe campaigns (on the boards, but the beginnings are more conveniently recompiled offsite here:http://stevenac.net/sagiro/StoryHour.htm). And if you like planescape, Shemeska has two campaigns memorably reimagining the yugoloths.

  34. journeyman says:

    In that case, what are ones you feel are worth reading? I really enjoyed yours and I’m holding out for a sequel, but if you can recommend someone else’s, that’d be great too.

    Also, in light of your recent posts on pirating and attempts to stop it hurting PC gaming, I thought you might find this interesting: http://games.slashdot.org/games/08/03/21/2134239.shtml

  35. Sempiternity says:

    I’m not sure it is entirely what you have in mind, but this forum is devoted to hosting the actual play reports of people’s Burning Wheel ‘campaigns’.

    These four threads host the classic example of a really awesome game:
    BW One on One Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4

    I love reading APs!

  36. Noumenon says:

    Hey, can I ask all you D&D aficionados a question? I started playing D&D 3.5 and I tried to cast Hypnotism on a person I was talking to. My DM said as soon as it became clear I was casting a spell, the person would be very alarmed and I’d have to roll for initiative. Am I supposed to hypnotize people by from around the corner or while hiding in their closet?

    He also said spellcasting is alarming and illegal in most towns. Is that normal for D&D, or is he basically saying, “I have a house rule: no non-combat spellcasting”?

  37. Noumenon: I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s reasonable to assume that if you start chanting and waving your arms in front of someone in a culture where magic is a known thing, they’re *going* to become alarmed. They have no idea what you’re casting on them, but they KNOW you’re casting SOMETHING. Otherwise, what are the Silent Spell and Still Spell feats for?

    (This is similar to the blanket rule in Mutants and Masterminds where if you have to make a saving throw, you are aware of the fact that you had to make a save for some reason. There is a special ability you can buy, a VERY expensive one, to remove this, but otherwise if you try to mind control someone, they know it.)

    Hypnotizing people from around the corner could work. OR you could get the Silent and Still Spell feats. Or you could be a little more subtle about it and use the Bluff skill to create a diversion. There are a lot of opportunities if you use your head a little.

  38. Daviot44 says:

    Noumenon: I agree with Jennifer, in general, you’re never randomly casting “cure light wounds” on people; they’ve either asked for a spell to be cast on them, or you’ve announced a beneficial spell, or you’re attacking them. However, though rolling for initiative is not uncalled for, I as a DM would decree that you get of the spell first in the surprise round, unless they have a readied action, and then combat continues or not as normal, depending on the result of the spell/saving throw.

  39. C David Dent says:

    Someone mentioned the term CampLog which, to me, sounds like something you’d roast marshmallows over and sing Kumbaya.

    PLOG would seem the more logical choice… Play Log…since that is what it is…a log of your Role Playing Sessions.

  40. Bevin says:

    Last year the two main DMs/storytellers in our seven-person group hinted strongly that they wanted others to step up and take on the burden of leading. Since one of them is my husband, I figured I should do something to help. As a first time DM, I write up a summary of what happened, for anyone who couldn’t make it, and so I can remember “what was the name of that guy you met in that city?” My husband said he’d like for us to keep an on-line running summary — and if I would do it, he’d consider doing it for the next campaign he starts. (He’s near the end of one now, so wants to start fresh.)

    So just this weekend, I put up the first post, and am working on the current summaries to put up. http://houseruled.blogspot.com

    The frustrating part is seeing all the gaping plot holes. But my players are tolerant, so they agree to look away from them and pretend they don’t see them.

  41. John Lopez says:

    Does anyone have any idea how much time one could lose reading these! Curse you all! :-P

  42. Excuse ME, Mr. Lopez, but I write mine because I enjoy writing it, not because I expect anyone to read it. If you do, good for you. Otherwise, who cares. :D

  43. Noumenon says:

    Thanks for answering, Jennifer and Daviot. I’m just surprised that this isn’t like a standard FAQ. The handbook spends a lot of time warning you how somatic components can be disrupted by armor and grappling and stuff, but never mentions once that the verbal components make you conspicuous. I was surprised to find monsters targeting me for casting spells, too.

    Hypnotism, specifically, says they don’t know you ensorcelled them if they fail their saving throw. But my DM says they’ll still remember I cast a spell on them, so it doesn’t help.

  44. Huckleberry says:

    I am, as a player, right now in the middle of a very complex campaign (so far, more than 60 named NPCs have turned up). As we don’t play very regularly, and as there are numerous plots going on that we need to keep track of simultaneously, it is a real challenge to find a way to systematically store all this information. Right now we have a crude wiki-based site that separates names (there is one page with all the names and very basic info, which is linked name-to-name to a page with more extensive info for PCs and important NPC) from ongoing plots (with cross-references to character info)and has again separate pages for cross-referenced important objects and places and one for unordered open questions (more or less a ToDo list). Does anyone know of a better solution to order all this information?

  45. Hmm, I put up two campaigns, http://adrr.com/story/ and http://adrr.com/hero/norns/15.htm

    You’ve got me thinking about what I should do with both if I should start them back up again.

    Thanks.

  46. Lorechaser says:

    Curse you Shamus. Because of this, I had to go out and find the logs from our old games. They weren’t really logs as such – mostly they were in character diary entires by each character, so they didn’t really worry about being good logs, they were just references for ourselves, and flavor.

    And now, I wax nostalgic about the campaign, which I shall never again play….

  47. Kujaku says:

    http://www.brokengaming.com

    not so much a clog, but check it out please!

  48. Tuck says:

    Hypnotism, specifically, says they don’t know you ensorcelled them if they fail their saving throw. But my DM says they’ll still remember I cast a spell on them, so it doesn’t help.

    From what you’ve written it sounds like your DM made a slightly off (poor, unfair, whatever) ruling: that the NPC would have a chance to act before you cast the spell. If they still failed their saving throw, though, they ought not to realise they were hypnotised.

    If I was DMing, I would never have made you enter combat (I assume that’s what’s meant by rolling initiative) for casting hypnotism in the course of a conversation. I would judge the spell — by its very nature — to have verbal and somatic components that the target wouldn’t immediately recognise as a spell being cast…otherwise the whole point of hypnosis is lost.

    But that’s me. :)

  49. I’m a newbie to D&D and have been writing out our campaign from the point of view of my character, a Drow Scout. Diary of a Drow is updated every Sunday, and sometimes Monday when I have to split a session into two posts.

    …and because I’m delightfully random, my site also has a Geek Love section dedicated to helping geek men find and keep geek girls! :)

  50. Shawn says:

    http://orpheuschronicle.pbwiki.com/

    That’s the Wiki for the Orpheus game I’m about to wrap up. It’s pretty horribly unorganized, but if you read through season two through six, you should have a pretty decent idea of what chaos is going on. It’s all IC, usually journal updates, news items, or what have you.

  51. Micah says:

    Argh!! You guys are killing me!!!

    This is exactly the thing that Obsidian Portal is for. We’re trying to provide a place where people can aggregate all their campaign materials together and make it easy to set up a campaign website.

    Seriously, check it out: http://www.obsidianportal.com It’s very easy to set up, and you get lots of tools that are specific to RPGs. For example, what other blogging platform has a section on every post that is only visible to the GM?

    Shamus: PLEASE!! Link Obsidian Portal in the main post! With over 1400 members and 400 hosted campaigns, we warrant at least a mention…

  52. Noumenon says:

    Huckleberry, how does your DM organize all of this information? It kind of reminds me of Chris Carter with the X-files — what if he’s just adding more and more plot and characters and never going to pull it all back together?

    I have to say that the obsidianportal site seems to have it goin’ on, just going by what I read of the featured campaign (A Deadly Affair.) Shamus, you should try giving your players XP for helping you document your campaign.

    sempindernity’s second link, though, is my favorite out of the few links I’ve managed to read so far.

    ps The editing function you have is amazing! License it!

  53. Roleplay says:

    Most of our users really appreciated this article! Thanks a ton!

  54. Laura says:

    Logs from a five-year science fiction campaign: Hippocratic Oath. It was modeled as a TV show inspired by early Andromeda; each run was one “episode”, and the overall arc had five “seasons”. Original world background, maps, etc, are linked from the site too.

  55. Huckleberry says:

    Noumenon: the adventure is — in large parts, though certainly not entirely — based on a bought campaign, so — apart from the fact that I trust the GM — I’m sure the plots do actually have at least one plausible ending each.
    I don’t know how the bought materials structure the information, as I can’t look at them while the campaign is still running, but as they are in book-form, I suspect that it is quite unwieldy to handle (no links to click! shockhorror!). I don’t envy the GM his task to keep most of this information organized in his head, but he is extremely good at it. It might be easier to memorize stuff when you know the big picture and thus know where every little bit fits in, while we as the players have to keep all kinds of still-unrelated clues in mind and are often unsure whether information given by an NPC is true or not.

    And I thought I’d just add: it’s great fun, despite all the paperwork! (Plus, I like thinking about how organizing knowledge works.)

  56. Tacoman says:

    I thank you for this Shamus. I have recently been looking for clogs, and while you gave us a few, your call for more has given me the fix I will need for a long, long time.

  57. LoopyWolf says:

    Ours have always been logged I2D and WOWF

  58. Noumenon says:

    One thing I really like about Alan de Smet’s Tarik’s Journal log that he posted is the way he has “pull quotes” from his players from each episode. I think every campaign blogger should intersperse these in their log. It really conveys what it’s like to play with the players, not just their characters.

    For example, the campaign log will look like this:

    The barkeep asks what we’ll have. Kyrin clumsily announces the codeword, “morter”. The barkeep quickly covers, suggesting that we want “Morter Ale”. He invites us back to a “private table.”

    “I’d like a fine tall glass of wink-wink.” Joe 2006-03-12

    It makes the players look funnier and smarter, and the meta aspect makes the campaign more fun to read.

    Other examples:

    “There’s dried semen on the rug. That’s how good your Search check was.”

    “The next giant insect I see, I’m going to explain the cube-square law until it collapses under its own weight.”

    Even a typical encounter with hobgoblins can be spiced up when they’re the ranger’s favored enemy:

    “I like D&D because racism gives you bonuses.” – Joe 2005-10-16

  59. Baruch says:

    Thanks a ton! This helped a lot in starting my new campaign blog (found here). It’s made it easier to write up what happened without being too long winded (though I think I may slice and dice one of my session summaries, you’re right, smaller chunks would be better).

    Anyway, thanks again!

  60. Baruch says:

    Wow. I guess it’s been a while since I HTML coded. Don’t know what I botched there. Ah well. Just copy & paste this:
    realmofnerdiness.blogspot.com

  61. […] spotted on Twenty-Sided is an article on campaign logs and blogs.  Shamus mentions the Literatrix as good campaign […]

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  1. […] spotted on Twenty-Sided is an article on campaign logs and blogs.  Shamus mentions the Literatrix as good campaign […]

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