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JackOfAllGames
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Old November 7th, 2013, 12:35 PM
I'm a newbie DM. I've had some ideas floating around for upcoming campaigns. I'm really looking forward to Realm Works (as, I'm guessing, all of us are). I'm curious. Does anyone have any suggestions on how best to have our info organized once Realm Works does arrive?

What are you guys using in this interim period?

Me, I'm using SimpleMind (relational tree software) on my Android + Windows PC for brainstorming, mostly. Keeping track of more abstract ideas than specifics, the details to be filled in later.
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Jenks3
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Old November 7th, 2013, 01:33 PM
Currently I use Evernote to keep track of ideas. I use curio sometimes (mind mapping mostly), but at the moment I am running an adventure path so I don't have as much need for it.

However, I will be using the crud out of Realmworks to run a sandbox campaign I have in the works.
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Chemlak
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Old November 7th, 2013, 02:49 PM
At the moment, I am mostly using RealmWorks. I'm also using OneNote for timeline tracking while I desperately await the calendar function to be cleaned up and implemented.

As far as organising your existing notes, in almost all cases RW will be just a bit different to anything you use right now, but it's extraordinarily well thought out.

High level overview (subject to change, beta product, etc, etc):

Categories: moderately broad groups of topics that are of the same overall type. Examples include Individuals, Communities, Groups. The included Categories in the software will cover most of your needs, but you may need to create custom Categories for your specific needs.

Topics: specific entries. Every character is a topic, every city is a topic, every organisation, kingdom, god, magic item, planet, plane of existence, etc... they're all topics. If it has a name, it's a topic.

Snippets: individual pieces of information about a particular topic. If you're like me, you won't be used to separating information into these discrete little chunks, but it's well worth the effort. Just looking at a single person, you'll have snippets for: Date of birth, place of birth, place of residence, friends, family, foes, beliefs, likes, dislikes, job, history, personality, appearance, race, gender, pictures, and many more. As many more as you want.

Your biggest task will be to create all of your topics. I would recommend starting big, and working your way down. Planes of existence, or planets, or galactic quadrants, or whatever the largest-scale regions of your campaign are. Then move to tighter and tighter scales. There are really two reasons I suggest this. Firstly, so that you have a definite input plan and can see your progress starting to shape up quickly, but secondly (and perhaps more importantly) because when you create smaller-scale topics you will want to use the larger scale ones as Containers (topics which are made up of numerous other topics), and having the larger topics already in place means it's easy to get into the habit of assigning the Container as you're going along.

If you already have your campaign notes in electronic form, you've already won half the battle, though, since copy/pasting information and breaking it up into snippets is utterly trivial.

And I haven't even touched on plots.
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Zaphod Beebledoc
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Old November 7th, 2013, 03:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemlak View Post
At the moment, I am mostly using RealmWorks...

...

...

...

...And I haven't even touched on plots.
Like, like, like!!
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AEIOU
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Old November 7th, 2013, 04:29 PM
You touched on how to prepare for RW. This doesn't answer you question directly but may be helpful....

I suggest that you start gathering your images, maps and other importable materials. That way you can add pins to maps, add images to NPC's and add player handouts quickly and easily. This will help build plotlines more easily.

If you will be pulling data from PDF's, beware that you will need to proof the info after copy/paste as there are lots of odd spacings and amazing typos that I cannot even begin to understand. I'd recommend waiting for RW and then import as you'll be creating snippets as you edit by pressing CTL-ENTER for over and over and over. I edit my material on the fly as I break it into snippets.

For NPC's, try to think of templates and start putting those templates together for major NPCs the players will interact with. By this I mean really simplified statblocks with soft skills or RP things like personality or social or whatever. Full statblocks are beautifully covered by HeroLab portfolios.

Think through how you want to use snippets ahead of time. I broke a lot of things down into lots of snippets and later went back to recombine the things that are GM-focused. I have found that material for players is better as sentences; material for GM is better as paragraphs. Since we don't have the cloud yet, I'm basing this on instinct rather than fact but I think it'll play out this way. Your mileage may vary.

Think about how NPC's and areas and locations and plots interlink. I place my NPC's in town "containers" to group them all together. And my towns are in nation "containers". And my scenes within quests and quests withing plots.... This will all make more sense when you start messing with RW. But for now, start to think about how to group things.
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thedarkelf007
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Old November 7th, 2013, 10:06 PM
The user doc is on the way will help as I've included lots of examples

If you have specific questions I'm happy to answer as I have five realms all running using different build idea starting points.

Working on - SW RPG d6 or add this source Update Souce and SW RPG FFG and More FFG SWnot working yet
Author of Realms Works Guides
Blog writer at thelatenightsession.com now with Realm Works tips
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Caraldur
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Old November 8th, 2013, 06:31 AM
I have a question about the installation of RW. Can you target a directory for your campaign that is outside of the RW root directory, like a dropbox folder?

-Car
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Chemlak
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Old November 8th, 2013, 08:00 AM
No. We're given to understand this has the potential to severely break things.
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weogarth
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Old November 8th, 2013, 03:05 PM
As Chemlak has mentioned, this question has been asked/answered a number of times. The answer has always been highly discouraging the practice to avoid Bad Things.

Is the answer probably out of an (over-)abundance of caution? Yes. Do I care to be the one to find out they were right with my precious data? **** no. I'm using my Dropbox as a location for database backups, which I then restore on my other computer. After a few times of forgetting which computer made the backup (I'd been using a timestamp in the file name only) I started adding in an extra character indicating the source computer.

HTH.
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Zaphod Beebledoc
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Old November 8th, 2013, 03:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AEIOU View Post
If you will be pulling data from PDF's, beware that you will need to proof the info after copy/paste as there are lots of odd spacings and amazing typos that I cann ot even begin to understand. I'd recommend waiting for RW and then import as you'll be creating snippets as you edit by pressing CTL-ENTER for over and over and over. I edit my material on the fly as I break it into snippets.
I've got into the habit of pasting from PDF's into Notepad, then into OpenOffice, though Word is just as good... (Pasting into Notepad removes most of the formatting of text.) In OpenOffice I then spell check and do anything else necessary to the text.

(On the slightly technical side of things, I've noticed that PDF's use line breaks rather than paragraph breaks. Once you know this, it makes things a little easier as you can then use search and replace to change them.)
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