Monday, August 20, 2007

Campaign Histories

A while back I posted that I had created a unique way to handle hand outs for spell scrolls using Publisher. This program is a quick and easy way to create all sorts of posters, booklets and brochures.

What I did was use a great jpeg of parchment I found on the WTOC website, and then put the spell description over that. When a player finds or buys a scroll, I simply print it out and use a three hole punch to make it possible for the player to "write" it into his "spellbook" by simply slipping the page into a three ring binder.

Back in January I started posting to a blog (Severed Head Blog) my "novelizations" of the player's notes from our campaign. The player's notes are great, but tend to be heavy with game mechanics and light on the role playing. This makes them perfect for prepping for the next session, but less useful for maintaining the feel of actual role playing when trying to catch up on the full arc of the story. The blog is done entirely in character as though written by the main NPC, my "character" of Shandar. These posts include information from the module which the players failed to note but that the characters would have certainly been aware of. It also has photos of the various creatures, NPCs and terrain features which aid in keeping the details fresh no matter how long it has been since the last session. Lastly, I add some dialogue which may or may not have actually been role played by the players. The players are then free to make comments in character disputing anything Shandar has written about them, and making corrections where they feel that Shandar has been inaccurate or taken too many liberties in describing what their characters have done.

One of the flaws in blogger is that posts are done in reverse order chronologically, with the most recent first. I've had players request a way to sort the posts in the chronology of the story line and there just isn't any way to do that. As a result, I've decided to use Publisher to create a chronology using the same style as that used for the spell books. This can then be rendered as a PDF and distributed to the characters via the Yahoo message board for the campaign. If they wish, they can print it out and then can use it as a reference during the campaign. These PDFs will be annotated with maps and other useful info from the module and updated after each major section of the campaign.

Here is the image I'll use for the cover:
I don't remember where I found the image, I think I simply did a google search for book or maybe spell book. If the image is under copyright and you are the owner, please leave a comment saying so and I will remove the image or give credit accordingly. No copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Here is the image of the parchment paper:
This image was on the free downloads page at Wizards of the Coast. You could probably find other images of parchment paper on the internet which are just as good or better.



Blogger Shandar the Ashen said...

I started the project of creating a pdf of the Severed Head campaign history. Publisher 2007 is sooo much cooler than Publisher 2000.

Many more nifty things can be done and I'm having a great deal of fun playing with it. So far, it looks great. I'll make the PDF available online via a link when it is done.

5:53 AM  

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