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The Story So Far – Roleplaying Suggestions


Roleplaying Suggestions Publication #1213

I principally run sandboxes lately. Meaning I wrangle a whole lot of particulars. After a couple of periods I’ll have dozens of Pages and Log Entries in Marketing campaign Logger. After a yr, they’ll be within the lots of.

Right here’s an instance from Wizard of Journey ExileInParadise’s Sword Coast marketing campaign:

And right here’s a screenshot of my Homicide Hobos marketing campaign I’m in the course of transferring over to Marketing campaign Logger vNext from Evernote:

I discover protecting all these particulars in my head unimaginable after awhile. Particularly if there’s a cancelled session and time eats my neurons. As well as, it will get tough protecting observe of my plots, side-plots, and concepts as gameplay will get deeper.

The Story So Far Web page

My answer for that’s what I name a management doc from my venture administration days. Or when utilizing Marketing campaign Logger, it’s my Story So Far Web page:

I listing the important particulars and hyperlinks on this web page. After every session I add a brief abstract of 1-5 sentences with hyperlinks to the individuals, locations, issues, and occasions of import the characters encountered. I additionally listing my concepts for future plot factors, milestones, conflicts, and concepts.

At a look I can see a marketing campaign abstract of previous, current, and potential futures.

When prepping for a session, I do a quick-read of this web page to refresh my psychological RAM. I do the identical about an hour earlier than every session begin. And generally, after I get caught or overwhelmed in a session, I return to this web page and scan for concepts and route.

This answer works very nicely for me. It’s like an iceberg. I’ve acquired a web page guiding me and my marketing campaign poking above the water that I can entry with a keystroke. And lurking beneath the turgid waters of gameplay are my lots of of Pages and Log Entries of prep, plots, and concepts only a fast hover, click on, search, or filter away.

Crazy Planning

My Crazy Planning approach additionally helps me keep in mind, ideate, and drive my campaigns. As a sandboxy GM, I wanted a solution to current a dynamic world that responds to the occasion’s actions each session, plus information choices and seeds for the Vital Story Path and any ongoing side-plot threads.

Right here’s an outline of Crazy Planning. (Wizard of Journey members, right here’s a extra in-depth tutorial on easy methods to create, setup, and handle your Crazy Plans.)

And right here’s an article about my Vital Story Path strategy.

Story So Far Stat Block

How do I format and set up my Story So Far web page? Right here’s the standard stat block I exploit, although it could differ a bit by marketing campaign.

Title: The marketing campaign title is already within the system, however I repeat it right here as a result of if I create an evocative title it evokes by being front-and-center.

@Razor: My X meets Y theming and steerage approach. Fast rationalization of what a Razor is. A Razor instance.

~Dramatic Questions: Despite the fact that I sandbox, I nonetheless have plots together with a main one often pushed by a central villain. Asking an outcome-based query gives me unbelievable steerage.

~Plotline: A bullet listing of previous session occasions, potential encounters and plans for subsequent session, and a long-term listing of potential marketing campaign milestones. Typically I name this the Vital Story Path.

~Crazy Planning: A snapshot of upcoming plot occasions that would set off subsequent session.

~Treasure Desk: A menu of participant preferences, character hooks, and rewards. (WoAs: I’ve tutorials on creating your Treasure Desk in Module I of the Wizard of Story course beginning right here.)

~Forged of Characters: NPCs and factions at present related to gameplay.

~Gazetteer: Areas at present related to gameplay.

~Quartermaster: Treasure and gadgets at present related to gameplay.

Graphic of section divider

Base Stat Block

Right here’s the block with out definitions for copy & paste:



Dramatic Questions:


Crazy Planning:

Treasure Desk:

Forged of Characters:



Updating the Story So Far

Earlier than Marketing campaign Kickoff

Throughout marketing campaign inception I create the web page shell with stat block laid out as sections.

As I prep I fill sections with hyperlinks to individuals, locations, issues, and occasions related for the primary session. I wait till session primary is finished earlier than including rather more element since you by no means know the way a brand new marketing campaign will land with gamers.

I additionally fill out the Title, Razor, and Dramatic Questions sections with some temporary element.

And I often have a Marketing campaign Plotline constructed out in fast style that’s a speculation of how issues may go for the Vital Story Path. (WoAs: I’ve tutorials on making a Marketing campaign Plotline within the Module II of the Wizard of Story course beginning right here.)

After the First Session

As soon as we’ve performed the primary session, I’ll replace my Story So Far Web page with extra confidence and element. The first lens by which I carry out this replace is the characters.

With some gameplay below the gamers’ belts, and strolling within the characters’ footwear for awhile, we’ll all have a greater thought of character targets, prior relationships, and what pursuits them.

I refresh my plans and concepts in Story So Far with this info in thoughts and prep for session quantity two.

Between Periods

Assuming a profitable marketing campaign kickoff that survives session two, I enter a mode of recurrently referencing and updating my Story So Far.

My steps:

  1. Replace the Plotline (previous) in a bullet level of 1-5 sentences of what was notable from final session to assist my future self’s reminiscence. This turns into an superior abstract of the entire marketing campaign performed to this point.
  2. Refresh Loops (current) primarily based on final session’s encounters and background occasions from in-game time passing.
  3. Replace the Plotline (future) if vectors have modified. That means, if a milestone thought has modified or isn’t possible, I modify it out to stay agile.
  4. Swap Legos out and in in anticipation of what’s going to be related subsequent session to maintain the web page trim.
  5. Replace Treasure Desk if something there has modified.

General, this takes me 15-Half-hour and I attempt to do that inside 24 hours of a session whereas recollections are nonetheless recent.

After which I maintain this web page in Marketing campaign Logger open as I prep and GM as a form of digital GM display screen.

To not give attention to Marketing campaign Logger, however we coded it so hovering over any Web page hyperlink provides you a popup with that Web page’s contents. For instance, right here I’ve hovered over the hyperlink to Ravenwall and might scroll and work together with that content material:

Jochen constructed this characteristic for this precise use case: a digital GM display screen. Different apps on the market might need this answer. In that case, contemplate taking the Story So Far strategy as a result of it’s so helpful.

Final millennium, I had an identical system setup utilizing index playing cards. That labored nicely as a result of I may collect up all playing cards wanted to reference throughout prep or GMing in a particular field. Between periods I’d file unneeded playing cards again into their sections and pull new ones.

It’s Your Flip

The Story So Far approach boils all the way down to making a venture doc as a mini supply of reality in your marketing campaign which you could skim and scan.

Add all the small print you want on one display screen for straightforward reminders and reference.

Begin with my stat block and tweak it as desired.

Give it a shot and let me know the way it goes!


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