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Sword_of_Spirit
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 40

Old December 25th, 2015, 06:10 PM
Just got Realm Works, and I'm liking what I see so far (did the research first, so that is expected).

I'm currently watching tutorial videos and reading the manuals, so I already have that base covered.

I have two basic questions, and I was hoping someone could share their thoughts as far as my best ways of accomplishing what I'm going for.

1) What should I *not* do?

2) What should I do?

I put the "not" first to avoid wasting effort.

A far as what I'm particularly planning to do with Realm Works, here are the basics.

A) I'm *not* that interested on using it to control the flow of plots and stories. I might end up using those features if they are useful, but it isn't my primary goal.
B) I'm primarily using Realm Works as a multi-world setting database--something I can use for any and all campaigns that may be run within this same multiverse (in this case D&D).
C) The kind of things I want to do with it is enter data for things that come up (like that innkeeper they struck up a conversation with), or that I know are important parts of a particular world (such as a pantheon or a kingdom).
D) I have a combination of a top-down and bottom-up design technique. Basically, I create a strong skeletal top-down approach with a lot of blank space on the map/society, etc. Then I can insert whatever I need as needed.

So are there any thoughts beyond what I'll run across in the manuals and tutorials are that particularly important for what I'm going for?
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Exmortis
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Old December 28th, 2015, 12:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sword_of_Spirit View Post
Just got Realm Works, and I'm liking what I see so far (did the research first, so that is expected).

I'm currently watching tutorial videos and reading the manuals, so I already have that base covered.

I have two basic questions, and I was hoping someone could share their thoughts as far as my best ways of accomplishing what I'm going for.


1) What should I *not* do? Nothing

There is really no wrong ways to begin, what ever you do now, can always be used, even if it has to be moved,, re categorized, even new topic.



2) What should I do? Begin where your comfortable

It is as simple as that. Start with planet name, then a few continents. Start with a city or town, start with name of adventure and map out the plot, or write up the events.

The secret is to know that RW is very very forgiving and you cannot really go wrong. My realm has evolved immensely since I began and not one single topic had to be tossed or redone, it just "changed" as I needed it too.



I put the "not" first to avoid wasting effort.

No such thing, one of the best parts of RW is you can use the topic like a note pad, then reorganize later.


A far as what I'm particularly planning to do with Realm Works, here are the basics.

A) I'm *not* that interested on using it to control the flow of plots and stories. I might end up using those features if they are useful, but it isn't my primary goal.
B) I'm primarily using Realm Works as a multi-world setting database--something I can use for any and all campaigns that may be run within this same multiverse (in this case D&D).

RW can do this in spades. each can be its own realm, or one realm your choice.


C) The kind of things I want to do with it is enter data for things that come up (like that innkeeper they struck up a conversation with), or that I know are important parts of a particular world (such as a pantheon or a kingdom).

Then begin here, you have answered you're own question. Begin with the Inn Keeper, then info on the Inn, then the pantheon. You can always move topics later, you can move topics between categories.


D) I have a combination of a top-down and bottom-up design technique. Basically, I create a strong skeletal top-down approach with a lot of blank space on the map/society, etc. Then I can insert whatever I need as needed.

Then RW will support you, in anyway you see fit to enter the data.

So are there any thoughts beyond what I'll run across in the manuals and tutorials are that particularly important for what I'm going for?

Your last statement D, is the answer you seek from us. Begin with what you have done, with what you have previously recorded (cut and paste is your friend). then begin with what you know.

Before long you will be fighting to control your creativity, RW has a bad habit of letting you be overly creative.

once you begin, keeping focus will be your toughest hurdle.

Exmortis aka "Scott"
RW - Needs Rez spell
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kbs666
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Old December 28th, 2015, 01:42 PM
The only not that I can share is, don't worry too much about doing things the "wrong" way. RW is a very flexible program. Use it in whatever way works best for you. You may enter some topics and find you don't like something and change things somewhat but that isn't the end of the world.

Do keep in mind your goal for using RW. It is easy to get swept up in tangents that detract from your overall goal.
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JustinThomason
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Old December 28th, 2015, 02:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbs666 View Post
Do keep in mind your goal for using RW. It is easy to get swept up in tangents that detract from your overall goal.
This.

My biggest challenge when I started using Realm Works was the compulsion to "fill all the blanks." Just enter what you actually need to run the game. If you enter an Inn keeper, you don't need much more than a name and a basic description and personality. If the inn keeper ends up being important to the plot, you can always add to the topic later.
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MNBlockHead
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Join Date: Dec 2014
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Old December 28th, 2015, 02:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sword_of_Spirit View Post
Just got Realm Works, and I'm liking what I see so far (did the research first, so that is expected).
Welcome to the forum. My first bit of advice is to continue asking questions here. You'll find the users here to be active and helpful. The developers are also active in these forums. Be sure to check out some of the older threads. I think the following two are particularly helpful to those starting out:

How Has Your Work With RealmWorks Evolved
http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=54536

I Want to See A Complex Realm
http://forums.wolflair.com/showthrea...=complex+realm

Quote:
I'm currently watching tutorial videos and reading the manuals, so I already have that base covered.
That's good, but I doubt you will absorb it all. When I started I watched all the videos and read all the manuals, but it doesn't really stick until you begin to use the program. For new users, I would recommend the quick-start guide and maybe the most recent GenCon Video (if you watch the GenCon 2015 video, I'm not sure you need to watch all the earlier ones).

Then start working in the program, looking up things as you need to. Re-read the manuals after you've worked in the program for a while.

Quote:
I have two basic questions, and I was hoping someone could share their thoughts as far as my best ways of accomplishing what I'm going for.

1) What should I *not* do?
First, don't be overly concerned about getting it "right." Get in there and start working; almost nothing is unfixable. I would spend SOME time familiarizing yourself with the difference between topics and articles and understanding what the purpose of the various topic and article groups and categories are. That will save you from having to change articles to different types later on, but even if you have to make such changes, it is pretty simple to do.

Still, there are some things I would suggest avoiding...

Don't edit categories in Manage Categories until reading the manuals and forums about category management. RW is very customizable, but the LWD team did a really good job with the out-of-the-box categories. I would first make sure you understand WHY they organized things the way they did before you go crazy with customizing things. That way you'll be better able to determine when customizing categories is needed and how to best customize them.

Avoid huge images. RW is very forgiving and you can throw a lot of files into it, but when it comes to displaying in the player view, things can get unstable or sluggish if you have huge images. For more information on this, see the following threads: Max pixel size 4096x3072 and Crashing on Player View.
[*]Don't try to put EVERYING in one smartmap. When I first started using the program, I had a huge known-world map where I put pins for all the cities, realms, regions, geographic areas, etc. It soon became very unwieldy. Now, I instead have world map with pins just for the reams or major regions and then have realm-specific maps in ream topics where you go into cities and drill down from there. Another approach is to break your map into grids. For a great example of this see Anna Meyer's blog post "How I use the Flanaess map in Realm Works" at http://ghmaps.net/how-i-use-the-flan...n-realm-works/[/LIST]
Quote:

2) What should I do?

CONTROL+Q is your best friend.
I may have read about this hotkey in the manuals, but it didn't stick and I think I went half a year without using it. Where it really helps is creating topic stubs on fly. Say you are writing flavor text for a topic about a city and you mention that it was founded by Firstman Sodbreaker. You think that you'll eventually want to have a separate topic about this historical figure and maybe build an adventure around acquiring Sodbreaker's Magical Self-Propelled Plough. You can highlight Firstman Sodbreaker, hit CNTRL+Q, quickly have it create a topic that will be tagged "empty" and you can continue writing. It allows you to create placeholders to capture ideas without having to interrupt what you are currently in the middle of writing.

Customize your categories. Don't let my warning above scare you away from customizing your categories. One of RW's greatest attributes is its flexibility. Some tips on customizing categories:[LIST][*]Hide, don't delete. If you want to import content from the content market when it is available, you will need to have certain default categories. RW does a good job at warning you when you try to delete things it may need, but it is easy to think you'll never want to import anything and ignore the warning. It is much safer to just hide categories that you don't want. [*]It is safe to *add* snippets and tag fields to existing categories. You don't need to duplicate a category to edit it how you want it. If, however, you want to remove a lot of the default fields, it may make sense to duplicate a category and hide the original version.
[/quote]

An example in my realm is that I am using DnD 5e, so I created a new category for spells that has all the fields that I want for that system and none of the fields I don't want. I did the original spells topic category and only use my custom 5e one. But that is the only new category I created. I use the default categories for everything else, though I have added additional snippets and tags to some.

Hope this is helpful to you!

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
Other Tools: CampaignCartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer, Evernote
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Silveras
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,524

Old December 28th, 2015, 07:16 PM
The best advice I can offer is to start playing with a "test" realm. Experiment there. Try different things there. Find what works best for you, then go ahead and make a more "permanent" realm.

As others have said, don't be afraid to make mistakes. RealmWorks allows you to work in the way that's best for you.. that means there can be multiple ways to do the same thing... so play around in that test realm and find what works for you.

The tutorials are best when reviewed after, or in tandem with, a little playing around to get a feel for the program.
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Sword_of_Spirit
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 40

Old January 2nd, 2016, 04:34 PM
Thanks all! Excellent advice; it's exactly what I was hoping for.
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