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dmbritt
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 6

Old October 16th, 2018, 02:52 AM
I am basically a beginner and, there is a lot about Realm Works that I like but, I found quite the logical mish-mash in Political groups that can potentially cause an organizational cluster-fluck when information becomes weighty.

Here's the problem. Essentially a Nation can be considered as at least two separate logical entities. On one hand a Nation is a physical location or region in the world. It has borders which represent the extent of its surface area. It has physical features and sub-locations. It has physical resources like water, metal, stone, lumber, etc,. Essentially, it is a place that exists in the 'real' world that you can go an visit.

Then, on the other hand, a Nation is a Faction or a Political Group. This is a completely abstract notion of what a Nation is. Essentially, it is a group of people(NPC's in our case) that identify as belonging in the group. They can organize and form sub-groups. They can change groups or be wiped out, but as long as one person is left who considers them self a member of the group the group goes on existing. EVEN IF THEY AREN'T EXACTLY AT THE PHYSICAL LOCATION OF THEIR NATION.

As Realm Works currently stands it has mashed these two concepts together. The Nation as a regional location contains snippets that should be reserved for the Nation as a group. And, it has me wondering if it uses the right kind of relationship type when it links these objects up. I might love the hills and valleys of my homeland but, I could hate my king.

Essentially, I am detecting the possibility for some unnecessary ambiguity that could be avoided.
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JustinThomason
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Old October 16th, 2018, 07:12 AM
Personally, I'd stick with defining a nation as a geographic region, and potentially link that to individuals who are members of that nation. You could do that either through express linkage to the corresponding topic, or by using tags to define an individual's nationality.

I've always conceived of political groups and factions as groups more focused on a particular issue within something like a nation. For instance powerful mercantile guilds, or political parties, or revolutionary groups - that sort of thing.

That all comes down to my own way of thinking about world building - I tend to divide up physical geography pretty rigidly and hierarchically (towns are contained by counties, are contained by states, are contained by the nation, for instance), and I tend to organize people more with linkage and tags since people can move between geography fairly easily. If I had a character that I was pretty sure wouldn't be encountered anywhere else, I may contain them in a geographic location (a shop owner in a town, for instance), but typically I would just add their information as snippets to the location itself (e.g., define the shop contained in the town, then detail the owner in the shop topic).

But, over all, the fact that there is no one single way to do anything is part of what makes Realm Works so great. It does make it a little overwhelming to start, but the program is incredibly adaptable to whatever organization system works best for you. I would suggest taking a little time to really think about how you want to organize stuff, and once you have a method stick with it (at least within a single realm). This is why building a few practice realms is a really good idea - maybe pull out some old adventures or supplements and start entering data to experiment with different ideas.

Regardless, welcome to the community - Realm Works takes some time to learn, but I can't imagine DMing without it now.
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kbs666
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,314

Old October 16th, 2018, 07:33 AM
Yes, it gets complicated defining a nation if you want to get OCD about it.

However RW has all the tools to let you do so if you want. You can describe the physical geography of the nation with the various places topics. The people of the nation can be described with People topics, grouped into Cast Lists and attached where they are appropriate. More abstract things like the government and military organizations of the nation can be handled by Group topics, Group lists and again attached where they make sense.

For instance:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/pdn3iakqz7...35.25.png?dl=0

my Realm Works videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU...4DwXXkvmBXQ9Yw
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Farling
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Old October 16th, 2018, 03:39 PM
The boundaries of a nation can change over time.
The boundaries of a continent don't change that much.

Farling

Author of the CSV2RW tool (http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=58156) and the RW Output tool (http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=59981)
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Shadowy_one
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Old October 16th, 2018, 11:55 PM
Actually I see a nation usually a having multiple Factions and/or political groups, so I always stick with geography…
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Greebo
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Old October 17th, 2018, 03:38 AM
Since the boundaries of nations do change in my science fantasy game wolrd and some regions are disputed territories, I use two, or rather three, hierarchies:

Physical Realm:
- Planets
- Continents
- geographical regions
...


Politcal Realm:
- Large supranational entities (Human dominated UNO vs. alien equivalents)
- nations
- states / subdivisions
- cities
...


Netherworlds / Metaplanes
...


I use relationships quite extensively to show, which region or group belongs to which realm etc.
Only in selecting parent topics for groups I am still somewhat inconsistent, even though I tend to group them under the highest level political realm topic relevant (e.g. political parties and factions, corporations etc. of an empire below that nation, supranational factions and alliances below the corresponding supranational organization).


Supporting Calendar Campaigner

Tools: Realm Works, Campaign Cartographer 3+ and Add-ons, MapTools
Games: home brew world, Lord of the Rings (CODA), Shadowrun, Earthdawn
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dmbritt
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 6

Old October 17th, 2018, 07:12 AM
From just looking at the way Realm Works defines Data entities, I'm going to go with no Hierarchy.

When I started inputting nations(I hate that term for fantasy realms ... I much prefer kingdoms) I noticed that Realm Works was automatically linking things together simply through word association. In other words, when I put the name of a Physical Region somewhere in a Nations snippet Realm Works created a clickable link to that Region from the snippet. In essence Realm Works is creating a Relational Hierarchy automatically. To force some kind of additional hierarchy on top of that seems redundant... "There is no spoon."

So, I am definitely not sure that creating contained topics is a good idea.

I would love to continue discussing the organizational theory for this application. So, please don't take any of my comments negatively. I am just trying to discover the best way to use Realm Works and everyone's input is greatly appreciated.
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kbs666
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,314

Old October 17th, 2018, 10:18 AM
Having links is great and is very helpful but it isn't always a very efficient navigational tool. If you are at the kingdom topic and need to find some topic related to the kingdom you could follow links until you find the one you're looking for or simply look at the tree till you find the right one. I think its pretty obvious which is faster.

my Realm Works videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU...4DwXXkvmBXQ9Yw
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Greebo
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Germany
Posts: 188

Old October 17th, 2018, 11:30 AM
Especially since a few hundred topics pile up a lot faster than one expects. Even for my comparatively small realms, using no hierarchy is not really an option.

Ok, having a bit of OCD, using no hierarchy was never an option for me.


Supporting Calendar Campaigner

Tools: Realm Works, Campaign Cartographer 3+ and Add-ons, MapTools
Games: home brew world, Lord of the Rings (CODA), Shadowrun, Earthdawn
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dmbritt
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 6

Old October 18th, 2018, 07:26 AM
I concede your points. Navigation would be difficult. I'm still not sure I like the idea of creating a tree in the Places section that contains everything. I'm considering a more abstract hierarchy using parallel lists and keeping Places, People, Things, and Events separate.

The Primary Tree would be:

World
Kingdom List
Kingdom
City/Town List
City/Town
City/Town Location List
City/Town Location

A parallel people list:

Kingdom People List
Kingdom People
City/Town People List
City/Town People
City/Town Location People List
City/Town Location People


And so on for events and things and groups.

This looks like it might be what Greebo is doing. And, thank you guys very much for helping me work through this. I have a world with 40ish kingdoms and it is going to be a job to get it all in so I don't want to start off with a flawed model for organizing it and then having to redo everything.

I will probably revisit this multiple times with different approaches until I can figure out how I will commit to it.


Edit**

As soon as I hit submit I had a new thought. Would Navigation be difficult? Couldn't I use a smart image and pin a topic to the smart map. Then, in the topic, is a 'cast list' notable npcs snippet that I can get auto links to. Every snippet I need to jump around is right there the topics. I think there is a lot more organizational exploration theory that we can hash out here. I wish I knew this app better, but it's going to take time.

Last edited by dmbritt; October 18th, 2018 at 07:35 AM. Reason: New thought...
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