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Chemlak
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 432

Old November 21st, 2014, 06:01 AM
Okay, first let me start by saying that I'm probably not a typical user: due to distance, my group can't meet up in person, so we play remotely using Roll20 as a VTT, and chat via Skype (due to a number of problems using Roll20's own video/voice chat functionality).

The group consists of me (GM), my wife (who is at her own computer next to me when we play), and two of my best friends, who I've known for 28 years and 10 years respectively.

Ever since RW came out I've been slowly getting my campaign written up in it, from copious notes I've made over the last 25 years or so.

Now, I'm notorious for not reading manuals. I've skimmed it, read through some bits in detail, but I make no pretence that I've got all of the functions memorised. Or that I know everything Realm Works can do.

Most important to me was getting the current adventures in, which I've done (or at least thought I had) and revealing the things my players know about.

And then along comes Player Edition. Unfortunately, it was the version that didn't allow players to sync after they first grabbed the Realm, so I couldn't let them see the changes I'd made at the end of the session. But that's been fixed, so I don't consider it to be a problem (my wife and I spent yesterday rejigging my realm to better reflect player knowledge rather than the GM-centric snippets I had before, so I know it works now).

The biggest single "say what, now?" moment was with smart images. I'd forgotten to strip the reveal mask off any of my maps. Since it was maps of cities and countries my players were looking at, I wanted the whole thing revealed from the start - perhaps a "reveal all" option (if there is one already, I couldn't find it).

The next thing was about the storyboard - I hadn't considered that the notes associated with each plot point would be revealed to players, and I haven't yet spotted a GM Note equivalent for them. So I had a mild panic moment when one note revealed more of the plot than I actually wanted.

The last "negative" point was one of structuring: the PCs have recently met an NPC who was actually one of the bad guys pretending to help them. This NPC is a member of a group, and I had that group set up as a container for the members. Since the PCs know a bit about the group, I revealed it, and I revealed the NPC, too... which showed her as contained within the group. Not what I wanted. My players learned that she's a bad guy before they learned it in character. I know I could have got away with it by using a relationship and not revealing that, but she is meant to be contained in that group, with the way I've structured things. Perhaps make containers a revealable pseudo-snippet like relationships?

Now, on to the positives: my players just wanted to spend time following links around, to see where they went, and what they knew. They learned things that they'd forgotten, and the players being able to catch up on revealed information after an absence was excellent! (My wife, in particular, learned loads of things the others hadn't told her because it had simply slipped their minds.)

In the process of their trawling around the Realm, they also pointed out some things which they know that I had either failed to create snippets for, or forgotten to reveal, and it was the work of seconds to solve that.

And User Notes have been a big hit! My wife, in particular, has started keeping some brief jottings about things, and practically danced with joy when she discovered full linking! Together with the fact that the notes are private, she's basically overjoyed.

But now she wants a journal so that she can share stuff with the other players! Looks like I'll be adding Journals to my list of things to beg for lots in the survey, along with calendars.
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Kilgs
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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Old November 25th, 2014, 06:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemlak View Post
The last "negative" point was one of structuring: the PCs have recently met an NPC who was actually one of the bad guys pretending to help them. This NPC is a member of a group, and I had that group set up as a container for the members. Since the PCs know a bit about the group, I revealed it, and I revealed the NPC, too... which showed her as contained within the group. Not what I wanted. My players learned that she's a bad guy before they learned it in character. I know I could have got away with it by using a relationship and not revealing that, but she is meant to be contained in that group, with the way I've structured things. Perhaps make containers a revealable pseudo-snippet like relationships?
This sounds like a fairly major issue. Hopefully, easily fixed.
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Seregil
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Old November 25th, 2014, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilgs View Post
This sounds like a fairly major issue. Hopefully, easily fixed.
I just tested it and, yes, if it's a container, it shows.

I thought I was ok but when I testd it, it showed up.

However, it turns out that I had made my npc a member of the group using the relationship functionality.

So, Mirt is in Persons, Lords of Waterdeep is in Groups and they are linked by a Relationship of Type Belongs to/Within: Affiliate or member.

In that case, even if Mirt and the Lords have both been revealed, the RELATIONSHIP can be revealed independently.

I would recommend using that method. In that way, if ever my players learn that Mirt is a Lord, that SPECIFIC membership can be revealed.
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Chemlak
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Old November 26th, 2014, 04:23 AM
Exactly.

I've reached the conclusion that with the current way containers are implemented, they should be used for physical containment (the community Waterdeep is in the Region (geographical) The North) that is direct, singular, and won't change. For individuals you will almost always want to use Relationships, because a) you can have more than one, b) they're more flexible, and c) the relationship itself is a revealable piece of information, regardless of the reveal state of the topics involved.

So I'm currently in the process of redoing my individuals to prevent that problem in the future, though it does make my content trees a bit less hierarchical.
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Zaphod Beebledoc
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Old November 26th, 2014, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Chemlak View Post
So I'm currently in the process of redoing my individuals to prevent that problem in the future, though it does make my content trees a bit less hierarchical.
What about a special type of relationship that functions as a container for the content tree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemlak View Post
Perhaps make containers a revealable pseudo-snippet like relationships?
This to.

Sleet was enjoying a tasty beverage at his local tavern, when a Tarrasque showed up in the local area. He managed to valiantly get on it's back and ride it. How he did it is a mystery to this day...

RW: Engine Heart, I Love The Corps! Home Brew: Star Gate: Avalon, Monda Minutia. I'm good with: OpenOffice, Paint, Lego Digital Designer. & not so good with: Realm Works, Hero Lab, CC3+, GIMP, Cityographer, Hexographer, Fractal Mapper, AstroSynth, Inspiration Pad Pro. RW Kickstarter Supporter.
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monsterfurby
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Old November 30th, 2014, 03:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgs View Post
This sounds like a fairly major issue. Hopefully, easily fixed.
It appears that it's generally better to only put places under places, organizations under organizations and characters under characters, and just do everything else with relationships.
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Chemlak
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Old November 30th, 2014, 05:17 AM
It's not unreasonable to put some organisations inside a location container: sticking with the Waterdeep example, the Lords of Waterdeep government group can reasonably fit inside the Waterdeep community, since that is where it exists, and doesn't exist anywhere else. But the individual members should be given member/affiliation relationships with the group.
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Silveras
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Old November 30th, 2014, 07:58 AM
The notes on using Containers specifically recommends things like "Geography" as the example case. If a group is almost more of a category ("Active Deities" and "Missing/Dead Deities", for examples) then these are reasonable possible uses for Containment.

If you use the World Almanac to hold Setting background data (material that would generally be known "from the top down" of relationships), then topics in the World Almanac are more workable as Containers than the same type of Topics in the Story Almanac (where, presumably, adventure- or campaign- specific topics are located).

Increasingly, I am using the new "Story Source" topic type ("new" as it was not there when I got into the beta) as the root for containment of content from that source, and putting Individuals and such under Storyline entries all contained in the tree for that Source.

I don't know if that helps, but I don't see anything "broken" or in need of fixing.
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AEIOU
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Old November 30th, 2014, 11:20 AM
Containers are great for nesting content. They give us necessary visual organization. We can understand the data at a glance.

Unlike printed modules or printed source books, we can move things around whenever we feel like it. If an NPC is in your Secret Assassin's Cabal container but should be undercover, MOVE IT OUT. Put the NPC in a logical place and link it to the Cabal with a relationship so you can still find it with the rest of the nasty people.

We need to give ourselves permission to not treat our material as printed gospel. If it needs to be fluid, make it fluid. Let it go.... I know we're all set in our ways that a book is a book is a book and the story doesn't change. But with RW, there's no reason this has to be. Just like we can adapt material for our campaign, we can adapt the way RW works to our campaign.

If there was a relationship view with nested hierarchy like we have for containers, I'd be in hog heaven. But with multiple relationships possible for each item, this is more difficult to achieve.
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Silveras
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Old November 30th, 2014, 04:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AEIOU View Post
We need to give ourselves permission to not treat our material as printed gospel. If it needs to be fluid, make it fluid. Let it go.... I know we're all set in our ways that a book is a book is a book and the story doesn't change. But with RW, there's no reason this has to be. Just like we can adapt material for our campaign, we can adapt the way RW works to our campaign.
Yep.. RealmWorks makes these things "living documents" subject to change as needed and as the game plays out. What you see in a sourcebook, or even your own notes, is usually the "starting state", and that will change over the course of the campaign being played out. One of RealmWorks' strengths is the ability for the authoritative, or master, copy of this information to be updated centrally.
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