Good campaign management tool

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Hi. I'm starting a new campaign and was wondering if anyone could recommend a good system for managing it. I took a look at obsidian portal, but it seemed a little too clunky to me. Also, I've used things like google docs, and evernote in the past, but am really looking for something dedicated to gaming, as there is generally a trade off you have to make with these more generic tools. Does anyone have any recommendations?
You may want to check out questkick.com

They haven't launched yet, but it looks pretty impressive.  Definitely looks easier to use than the other systems I've seen for DMs.

Good luck.
I use a pretty complex system of discarded pizza box-tops and stained cocktail napkins.

Seriously though, I've found little value in electronic tools for this sort of thing. Sometimes "putting stuff into the computer machine" is more work than any benefit you may receive from it. Even those who tout tools like Masterplan generally put more into it than they get out of it in my experience.

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I use a pretty complex system of discarded pizza box-tops and stained cocktail napkins.



You should really upgrade to used tissues. You don't even have to pay for those!
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Hi. I'm starting a new campaign and was wondering if anyone could recommend a good system for managing it. I took a look at obsidian portal, but it seemed a little too clunky to me. Also, I've used things like google docs, and evernote in the past, but am really looking for something dedicated to gaming, as there is generally a trade off you have to make with these more generic tools. Does anyone have any recommendations?



If you are clever, you can set up documents in Microsoft Word, and use tables.

You can also try Excel if you are dedicated.

I would actually advise you just stick with pencil and paper. Once you have a page for your town, page for characters, page for region, page for items, page for weapons/armor/items, everything else, etc, then you can compile it into Microsoft Word.

Take it like you would an essay. Start with writing down your basics, then re-word and refine it. Once you have something workable, type it up. There are several tabletop softwares getting popular if you want to go that route.

Within; Without.

Check out Masterplan if you're on Windows and you want something dedicated to 4E.
www.habitualindolence.net/masterplan/
   

   
Wow, that Quest Kick looks pretty sweet.  It has friggin mini maps.  I hope that comes out soon or else I may have to just stick with google docs for now.

I've done the pizza box system for quite a while, and I just like to have something more organized.  I agree though, sites like obsidian portal tend to create more work than they're worth.

I'm running 3.5, otherwise I'd give masterplan a look. 
Have you tried google sites? I'm a pretty big fan.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

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"Your advice is the worst"

I've used google sites for other things.  It's pretty good, but I need something that's easier to work with for running a game.
I use a three ring binder with loose leaf paper.

I've been doing the same campaign for 7 years now, i think i've written on about 10 of the pages. 
FWIW [4e designer] baseline assumption was that roughly 70% of your feats would be put towards combat effectiveness, parties would coordinate, and strikers would do 20/40/60 at-will damage+novas. If your party isn't doing that... well, you are below baseline, so yes, you need to optimize slightly to meet baseline. -Alcestis
I rely on memory and improv for short campaigns and one-shot adventures.  I have a terrible memory, but for short campaigns it seems to work great.  Things like stat blocks go on note cards.

For the longer campaigns, I've used note cards for fluff and names and plot details and even small maps.  I've also experimented with a combination of the players' notes and improv as well  ("what was the name of that shopkeeper I told you to write down again?  Don't know/can't read it/don't care?  We'll call him 'Bill' then, sound good?")  Either way seems to work well enough to get things done.
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Obsidian Portal has been invaluable to me for my 4E Dark Sun game. I wish it was around in the 90s when I ran a bunch of really detailed campaigns--it would be nice to look back on the documents from those games easily.

I also use Google docs for things like tracking XP, making maps, etc. 
Thanks for the feedback guys.  I joined the quest kick invite list, so hopefully I can use that soon.
I'm using Oblivion Portal now, but its obnoxious trying to go between different NPCs.  Took a look at questkick.com and I've gotta say, I know what I'm going to be using next.
Very interesting, I will have to keep my eyes on every detail.

So far, I can't upload my custom races, classes, maps and everything else because of Orwellian TOS and EULA.

That is, I refuse to grant any "ownership" or "rights" to any website or entity regarding my works. I also refuse to grant any ownership or rights as a "cost of service" (instagram, for instance).

I am also nervous about using tools that "gives the maker of the tool instead of me, ownership of what I make under premise their tool made it".

Within; Without.

Which site are you using that has those TOS?
Seems hard enough for writers to get publishers to use their work when they ask them to.  They probablly aren't interested in stealing it from you.  I'm sure they have lots of other ideas of their own they'd rather work on.
Seems hard enough for writers to get publishers to use their work when they ask them to.  They probablly aren't interested in stealing it from you.  I'm sure they have lots of other ideas of their own they'd rather work on.



Was thinking the same thing.  
Thanks for the feedback guys.  I joined the quest kick invite list, so hopefully I can use that soon.



It appears they're taking pre-orders now.  You may have to join the invite list again to get to the pre-order page.
Thanks for the feedback guys.  I joined the quest kick invite list, so hopefully I can use that soon.



It appears they're taking pre-orders now.  You may have to join the invite list again to get to the pre-order page.



Got my membership!
I really wouldn't pay that much money for that subscription.
I really wouldn't pay that much money for that subscription.

The 3rd option works out to be a little over $5 per month?! Plus you get the other perks.
I really wouldn't pay that much money for that subscription.

The 3rd option works out to be a little over $5 per month?! Plus you get the other perks.



$5 per month sounds like an excelent deal to me for this.  Especially considering obsidian charges the same amount and doesn't seem nearly as good in terms of features or design.
Very interesting, I will have to keep my eyes on every detail.

So far, I can't upload my custom races, classes, maps and everything else because of Orwellian TOS and EULA.

That is, I refuse to grant any "ownership" or "rights" to any website or entity regarding my works. I also refuse to grant any ownership or rights as a "cost of service" (instagram, for instance).

I am also nervous about using tools that "gives the maker of the tool instead of me, ownership of what I make under premise their tool made it".


This is a problem with many online tools, you do all the work and they take ownership when you upload it. They need to reserve some rights, as they're publishing it on their web site, but that's implied when you upload. If you do a lot of work on your campaign world you don't want it just going to some corporation to be owned. It's your hobby after all.

I keep my campaign notes in a wiki that I host myself, I've too much to just keep paper records. I'm also working on some DM tools, but they're nowhere near ready yet.
Check out Masterplan if you're on Windows and you want something dedicated to 4E.
www.habitualindolence.net/masterplan/
 


I don't think I can recommend this product highly enough. It is the only campaign manager I've seen that I consider actually worth paying for (but it's free!). I even use it for non-4e campaigns as well.
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Just saw this on another forum: 

Quest Kick founder talks in depth about app features. Listen to the podcast: www.questkick.com/press
I don't know if I'm missing something, but Questkick seems distinctly underwhelming. I can create some simple documents, roll some dice... and that seems to be it.
I don't know if I'm missing something, but Questkick seems distinctly underwhelming. I can create some simple documents, roll some dice... and that seems to be it.



I don't know about you, but my version has a music player, mini-maps, lets me add theme songs to pages, and automatically links together related pages.  Maybe you accidentally went to obsidianportal?

Here's a video that demonstrates it: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NFzHTZ7Ltg&nbsp...
By the way, props to the Quest Kick team.  I'm loving the beta.  Please continue to add new features.
I don't know if I'm missing something, but Questkick seems distinctly underwhelming. I can create some simple documents, roll some dice... and that seems to be it.



Hi, I'm the founder of Quest Kick.

I think you may be overlooking some features.  As GoblinEgg pointed out, you can add a soundtrack to your campaign and even key certain songs to scenes in your game.  You can also keep track of players on a scrollable, zoomable mini-map.

Also, the pages are more than just "creating simple documents".  It's faster and more flexible than other RPG systems and offers features for GMs that generic wikis don't.

When you need to look up a page, Quest Kick already has suggestions of characters, locations, or other pages you're likely to want based on what page you're on.  

Also, you can structure your adventure in a chronological way, just like publishers do with adventure books.  For example you could have Part 1 with several scenes under it.  One of those scenes could include a city, and several NPCs.  Now when you're at the game table, you can follow the adventure in the order it was written, or you can lookup all pages of a certain type.  For example, you just want to see all NPCs.  These are things simple document management apps and other RPG tools don't do.

Also, we're still in beta and have only released a subset of our features.  There are more to come.

I hope you give the app another shot, and we welcome your feedback.  If you ever have questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us using the "Feedback" link on the site.

Cheers,
Brian A.C. 
Thanks; I will give it another go, then!