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Valyar
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Join Date: Jul 2017
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Old March 4th, 2018, 11:38 AM
Hello all,

I would like to pick your brains about alternate approaches for adventure data entering. If moderators find this post to be for the "RW in Action" forum, please move it.

I am using Realm Works for approximately 9 months and I entered almost all data from Dark Heresy 2 books and published adventures for this edition. Quite a daunting task, but as I don't believe there will be CM packs for discontinued system (and this is what i play mostly) the time was well spent.

The result is quite amazing, I am much more organized, prepare for session with increased enthusiasm and game master better, as everything possible from rule, monster or world information is few clicks away. Having everything at one place is fantastic.

In the process I was re-visiting the structure, organizing it even further until the mechanics and world section was almost perfect... except the adventures...

This is where I need your ideas - how to make the best data entry for an adventure, that is structured in story-like format instead of the scene-like format typical for D&D/Pathfinder adventures?

Attached you will find screen shots from my realm's world almanac, adventure layout... and two page from DH adventure (1st edition, I am catching up with that now lol )

As you can see, the adventures published by Fantasy Flight Games are everything but brief on text. Mechanical references and explanations are intertwined within the paragraphs with the "flavor text" and sometimes important for the plot information is disclosed in similar way.

So, sometimes it is hard to take those walls of text and make them "fit" into the RW's topic structure and keep the same flow of events and have the presentation easy to follow during session where you have much more tasks at hand.

I have been experimenting with various approaches over the months:
  • Long sections that contain flavor or explanation for the GM/PC are put into "Further Information" topics, scene-looking content is put into "Scene" type with slight modification to add participants, extract "challenges", "rewards" and etc. from the text, but keeping the same order of paragraphs.
  • When it comes to dungeons or other city-crawling activity I use combination of "Adventure site" and Location. Location if it is general object that is not specific for the adventure (i.e. re-usable) and "adventure site" if it will be adventure-specific without re-use value outside of the current context.
  • Adventures that are mainly heavy on text that provide overall view leaving all to the GM i put as "Further Information" and workflow of reading organized by prefix and the storyboard function for example.
  • All adventure content is nested inside the main container (using "Storyline") and organized in lists (group, individual, places, others) and have prefix and suffixes

I am trying to follow the same pattern, but sometimes i deviate and things get different and "messy". Maybe I dwell too much on this adventure thing, but I am perfectionist (and suffer greatly for that) and want to make the experience for me and my players as best as possible.

So, any thought, comment, criticism, suggestions or ideas?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 01_almanac.JPG (349.2 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg 02_adventure.JPG (359.3 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg 03_chapter.JPG (486.4 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg 02_adventure_no_scenes.JPG (364.9 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg 04_storyboard_less_scenes.JPG (197.8 KB, 28 views)

The past is a rudder to guide us, not an anchor to hold us back.

Last edited by Valyar; March 4th, 2018 at 11:41 AM.
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kbs666
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Old March 4th, 2018, 12:46 PM
What works for you? Have you run games using RW? That's all that really matters. Find the format that works best for you. Format the dat the best way that works for how you run your games. That's the best advice I can give you.

I use the storyboard a lot. I know a lot of GM's don't use it at all. I certainly wouldn't feel the need to keep information in exactly the same places as FFG placed it in their books. Books/PDF's are not realms. Re-arrange things so it makes sense for how you run encounters and information is where you need/want it.

my Realm Works videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU...4DwXXkvmBXQ9Yw
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EightBitz
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Old March 4th, 2018, 03:28 PM
In terms of containers, I keep story content completely separate from People/Places/Creatures/Things (PPCT).

If I need to access PPCT topic from within a story topic, I just click on the hyperlink in the story topic.
Attached Images
File Type: png Story.png (87.5 KB, 37 views)
File Type: png PPCT.png (77.6 KB, 35 views)
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kbs666
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Old March 4th, 2018, 04:40 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by EightBitz View Post
In terms of containers, I keep story content completely separate from People/Places/Creatures/Things (PPCT).

If I need to access PPCT topic from within a story topic, I just click on the hyperlink in the story topic.
I think this is very important. If you have scenes that tell a story then those should be separated from locations even if the scenes are tied to a specific location.

my Realm Works videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU...4DwXXkvmBXQ9Yw
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Valyar
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Old March 4th, 2018, 11:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbs666 View Post
What works for you? Have you run games using RW? That's all that really matters. Find the format that works best for you. Format the dat the best way that works for how you run your games. That's the best advice I can give you.

I use the storyboard a lot. I know a lot of GM's don't use it at all. I certainly wouldn't feel the need to keep information in exactly the same places as FFG placed it in their books. Books/PDF's are not realms. Re-arrange things so it makes sense for how you run encounters and information is where you need/want it.
Indeed, "what works for you" is what happens in the end, but as the saying "two heads are better than one" goes - sometimes you just can't think of alternative approach. And this is what I am looking for - ideas, inspiration and different viewpoints.

As RW is not exact science, we have to be creative in entering content that is conceived without "realm structure" in mind. Either we fit the adventure into the box (realm) or vice versa, but latter probably will never come.

Could you share some examples of the storyboard you are using?


Quote:
Originally Posted by EightBitz View Post
In terms of containers, I keep story content completely separate from People/Places/Creatures/Things (PPCT).

If I need to access PPCT topic from within a story topic, I just click on the hyperlink in the story topic.
How you deal with multiple adventures/stories inside same realm?

For example I keep all NPCs in an adventure organized in lists in the same Story to remind myself on their purpose and from where they came just by looking at the left sidebar without clicking anything or following hyperlink from a topic.

If i separate mechanics from world/adventure (which will be the best, as it will reduce the size of each realm and its performance while playing), the lack of ability to open multiple realms or multiple instances of the programs forced me to have one huge monolithic realms per game system. Following a suggestion in another thread, to export and combine as needed didn't turn out to be fast or convenient as I thought, as re-indexing and scanning for content takes shitload of time when the mechanics/world realm is 2k articles and you have to do manual choices...

The past is a rudder to guide us, not an anchor to hold us back.
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Avi
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Old March 5th, 2018, 03:18 AM
I did not do enough data entry to give a good answer... BUT ;-)

I think Tags and Views based on tags will help you narrow down the data displayed in each session.
So you display only relevant base data (EightBitz PPCT) on the left and not all the "huge monolithic realm"
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EightBitz
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Old March 5th, 2018, 09:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valyar View Post
How you deal with multiple adventures/stories inside same realm?

For example I keep all NPCs in an adventure organized in lists in the same Story to remind myself on their purpose and from where they came just by looking at the left sidebar without clicking anything or following hyperlink from a topic.

If i separate mechanics from world/adventure (which will be the best, as it will reduce the size of each realm and its performance while playing), the lack of ability to open multiple realms or multiple instances of the programs forced me to have one huge monolithic realms per game system. Following a suggestion in another thread, to export and combine as needed didn't turn out to be fast or convenient as I thought, as re-indexing and scanning for content takes shitload of time when the mechanics/world realm is 2k articles and you have to do manual choices...
So, you and I do things a little differently. I'm doing some world-building, so I have a lot of NPCs that are persistent. Maybe not relevant to every adventure, but still persistent.

That being said, there are a few options. You can create a different topic view for each adventure.

EDIT: When I say "topic view", I'm talking about the items at the top where you have "World Almanac" and "Story Almanac". You can create your own views there.

Under "Other", you can create a general topic for each adventure, and organize your NPCs like that.

As someone else mentioned, you can create and assign tags.

You can create relationships to the story topics.

You can use prefixes and suffixes for each PPCT to relate it to a story topic.

I'm sure there are other ways as well, and each has its pros and cons. We've also been told that when the content market is released, we'll be able share information between realms. So you can have one realm with all your world-based stuff in it, then one realm per adventure, and share from the world-based realm to the adventure. Assuming that feature is still on track, that will eventually be the preferred method.
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kbs666
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Old March 5th, 2018, 12:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valyar View Post
If i separate mechanics from world/adventure (which will be the best, as it will reduce the size of each realm and its performance while playing), the lack of ability to open multiple realms or multiple instances of the programs forced me to have one huge monolithic realms per game system. Following a suggestion in another thread, to export and combine as needed didn't turn out to be fast or convenient as I thought, as re-indexing and scanning for content takes shitload of time when the mechanics/world realm is 2k articles and you have to do manual choices...
2000 articles? Is there any real chance you'll get any use out of that? I know the thought of having a link to the rules for every skill/spell/what have you linked every time the word is mentioned is extremely appealing but realistically how often will you or your players actually click the links? If the articles simply exist to bloat your realm why have them at all?

my Realm Works videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU...4DwXXkvmBXQ9Yw
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Valyar
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Old March 6th, 2018, 07:42 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avi View Post
I did not do enough data entry to give a good answer... BUT ;-)

I think Tags and Views based on tags will help you narrow down the data displayed in each session.
Oh yes, VIEWS are amazing to filter without having to use ctrl+shift+f filter in the left sidebar. I actually have configured views per adventure, but now when you mention it, i would harness the power for the mechanics section as i see trend of what i use during session. Too bad there are only 3 that can be shown in the ribbon... i don't' get why this stupid limitation.

How I assign to views based on tags?
I don't see an option when I browse the menus - it is either assign to view or not and it is based on article/topic.

I am also still not sure how to properly use tags and how i can put them to good use, so far I pretend they don't exists...

@EightBitz, i am doing exactly that, check my screenshots, i think it is exactly what you mean?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kbs666 View Post
2000 articles? Is there any real chance you'll get any use out of that? I know the thought of having a link to the rules for every skill/spell/what have you linked every time the word is mentioned is extremely appealing but realistically how often will you or your players actually click the links? If the articles simply exist to bloat your realm why have them at all?
Excellent question, and it is exactly the one I had to answer before even began data entry.

I always hate the moment when a system bloats too much and there are dozens of source books and supplements (D&D, Pathfinder, GURPS), and many times there are good things that you want to use or to have at arms reach just in case. You can't have all books at the table as it is just too heavy and impossible to carry carry, and the PDFs are super inconvenient sometimes (I am always able to find faster things in printed book than in PDF< no matter how awesome bookmarked it is, and those are quite a few).

So the only logical choice for me when i discovered RW and saw that the technology now allows it was to upload everything. It did wonders. I don't have to have dozens pdfs open during session. While preparing session all is at glance and even the fact that articles are there help me not to forget or remind me what else can be added to make things interesting.

The past is a rudder to guide us, not an anchor to hold us back.
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kbs666
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Old March 6th, 2018, 08:58 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valyar View Post
How I assign to views based on tags?[/B] I don't see an option when I browse the menus - it is either assign to view or not and it is based on article/topic.
Search for the tag in question. Create a view there is a check box in that dialog that allows adding topics shown in the navigation pane to the view.

my Realm Works videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU...4DwXXkvmBXQ9Yw
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