ORDER versus CHAOS! Keeping your Campaign organized.

(*all of information in this blog post is subject to changes and may have been altered by their respective owners once this blog has been posted)

When my friend and co-host, Jaime Pierson of the RPG Brewery, asked me to run a story ark for our podcast's Actual Plays (Realms of Terrinoth in this case), I also wanted to look into and try out a few RPG campaign organizer sites.

One that I was fairly familiar with was Obsidian Portal, which I had used for a face-to-face game I ran about 4 or 5 years ago (wow, time flies). I liked it as it was easy to use and had many categories to keep things well organized, and it was the first one I ever heard about.

You can use it as a free service with still quite a few features available to you. But if you subscribe to the monthly (aka Upgrade to Ascendant membership) package then you all the bells and whistles. You can event just get the Adventurer package which is the middle ground between free and Ascendant. And if you’re not sure what package to get, you can try their 15 day free trial, so that’s really cool. (edit.: You can use the free version indefinitely, but you will not have any advanced features of course).

The Adventurer adds a few more things, such as 5 Campaigns versus 3 in the free version, as well as Custom styling your pages, players secrets, more memory storage and a dice roller. Whereas the Ascendant adds even more, such as Unlimited number of campaigns, a campaign forum and email notifications, just to name a few.

Check out this link, to see their comparative chart and all the options available:

It all depends on what features you want and believe you and your players will use.

Once you have created a campaign page, you will have access to different tabs. First is the Dashboard which shows some basic actions, information and latest activity. Then we have the Front Page where you can see entries, the GM and PC’s profile/icons. Other tabs may depends on the package you are subscribed to, such as the Forum, the Calendar.

The Adventure log is great and this is where you, or your players can type out what happened during a session. The Media Library is where you can drop files related to the campaign.

Then we get to the Wiki tab, where you can create a detailed ‘’wikipedia’’ like store of information. Followed by the Characters tab where, you guessed it, the Player characters and the GM’s NPC info is kept.

Finally is the Maps tab. Once again, the package you have will limit you to a certain number of maps.

O.P. also has menus for their Blog, Help, Community (a Forum), and a Games Nearby menu to help yo find others who use O.P. around the world.

When I used Obsidian Portal, I really liked having all my campaign data in one location and having available to me remotely if needed, as well as having the information available to my players. That being said, it’s really only really worth it IMHO, when the players also use the site and it’s tools. If you’re OK with little or no player participation, this is still a great Campaign Organizer.

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Another Campaign Management tool I found recently is called Scabard. To quote their own website ‘’Scabard is a freemium world building tool for organizing RPG campaigns.’’

An in case some of you out there are not familiar with the term ‘’freemium’’, here is the definition: Freemium is a combination of the words "free" and "premium" used to describe a business model that offers both free and premium services. The freemium business model works by offering simple and basic services for free for the user to try and more advanced or additional features at a premium. And even though they do not have a free trial period, they do have a 30 days money back guarantee.

When I ran my Shields of Terrinoth, which I later named ‘’In the Shadow of the Whispering Woods’’ I began using this Campaign management tool that would allow me to work with it’s features. Now, I only used the free version since this was a short story arc for the RPG Brewery actual plays we record for the podcast, and did not feel justified to buy the Hero level subscription.

Here is the link to see what you can get for the Hero package: 

The basic free version is just that, very basic and with 8 features, basic editing and image limited to 250KB. Where as the Hero level opens up to 5MB for images, advanced editing as well as things like Secret pages, Stat tabs for characters, Maps, etc.

All that being said, Scabard does have a few benefits that O.P. doesn’t. You can enter a PCs’ Connections, in campaign dates (DoBs, RIP dates, …), Secret pages, Campaign time lines, assign a fellow gamer as an Assistant GM, and Stat Tabs that are generic enough to use with most systems out there. Scabard even has a Tools & Tips menu, a Forum (but these are links to Facebook and G+ (which will disappear by august 2019 so who know what will happen then)

This graph below shows you how things are connected. A nifty visual to quickly see the link between people and/or places.

The Stats tab for characters is system-agnostic and allows the GM to customize it to the rule set he is running.

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Comparing the two Management tools price-wise:
- Obsidian Portal is $49.99 yearly for the Ascendant level and only $20.00 for the Adventurer level.
- Scabard is $39.95 yearly

Both are good Campaign Management tools, with similarities, some key differences. Neither are really difficult to use, with a fairly easy learning curve.

I hope I at least pointed you in the right direction if you were looking for such a tool, and let me know what you think of either tool if you did pick one.

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You can always reach me for ideas, suggestions or comments at

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This blog is proud to be associated with the Nerds-International Gaming Network.

Check them out on the Google+ community 

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 - The RPG Brewery, for interviews with guests, as well as product reviews, etc.

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    - The Wild Die podcast, for all things about Savage Worlds.

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Finding the Narrative podcast, for the new Genesys universal RPG system.


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