RPG 101 – Organizing Your Stuff: A Questionnaire

RPG 101 – Organizing Your Stuff: A Questionnaire

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in Tabletop and Board


Well, the search is already over, I’m afraid. I thought I’d stop back here and provide an update in case anyone finds this post later on and has a burning desire to know what was decided, or even if someone wants to give an alternate suggestion.

I had totally forgotten that I owned a copy of Scrivner. Scrivner is an application primarily aimed at writers of novels and short stories, scripts, and other organized documents. It has a fantastic organizational approach, allows for linking between documents, and even embed media.

One thing I had to check on before I got 100% excited was whether or not the iOS version could sync with the desktop version, and the answer is that yes it can if the data files are stored somewhere like DropBox.

For those who are looking for their own powerful organizer for their RPG content, or really want to start working on that Great American Novel (or Great Wherever You Live Novel), check out Scriver for Windows, MacOS, or iOS.


As our D&D game is winding down, I plan on taking a bit of sabbatical to consider options. It’s been a long time since I’ve played an RPG, so I might lean in that direction, or I might sit everything out for quite a while. We’ve been on the D&D track for several years now starting with 4E and then segueing into 5E and to be frank, I’m pretty burned out on the sword and sorcery angle. If I were to run another game, I’d want to move onto a different system. I’ve been working on a small one-shot module for Call of Cthulhu, but have also been considering an idea for a campaign setting for Numenera.

Organizing a homebrew used to be easy. One pen. One notebook. But since my groups aren’t local, and my locals aren’t interested, I turn to the Internet with its wealth of online tools. I’m never one to use a shovel when a transdimensional AI-enabled cranial backhoe will do, so I am always on the lookout for tools to help organize my thoughts.

The problem, though, is that nothing feels like a good fit, which is why I turn to you, dear reader, and your friends, dear friends of dear reader, for ideas.

What tools do you know of to help organize a world-building exercise for RPGs?

I do have a few requirements for what I’m looking for, although none of these are non-negotiable:

  1. My goal is to have something as full-featured as possible. This means text and visuals under one roof without having to store images with a hosting service and linked to the rest of the content.
  2. Ideally, it will be online. Offline is OK, especially if I can store data files in Dropbox or OneDrive or something.
  3. Ideally, it will be for PC, although if it’s online, something that works well on a tablet browser is also welcome.
  4. I’m really just looking for something that I will use; I don’t need the ability for players to use it since it’s intended to serve as a reference for future campaign designs.
  5. Free is good. Cheap is also good. Expensive one time fees will get a consideration. Subscription is less good, but if it’s the end of the road and that’s the only meal to be had, so be it.

And also to save some folks the trouble:

  1. I know all about pen and paper notebooks. For me, in 2017, they no longer cut it.
  2. I know all about eNotebooks like Evernote and OneNote. I use them frequently, but they are too unstructured for creating a reference manual. Office Online and Google Docs are also known, and also are lacking.
  3. I know about Obsidian Portal, but see item #5 above. I also have RealmWorks from Lone Wolf, but ye gawds it insults my eyes. I also have (and love) Fantasy Grounds, which works, but is rather un-portable.

If you have experience with eTools for organizing your campaigns and general world-building, please let me know. I’m so desperate I’ve started writing something myself, but that takes longer than I’d like to spend building tools to build tools. Also, if you could please share this with folks that you know in RPG communities, I’ll grant you Inspiration, an extra 1d8, or some other boon on your next attempt at success.