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[Project] Online Campaign Management Tool

DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
edited February 2007 in Critical Failures
Note: I don't think this qualifies as site-whoring since no site exists, but I think this community would be able to give me some useful input. Feel free to lock if this breaks any rules.

I'm in desperate need of a project, so I've decided to move forward with a idea I have in my head called simply "Campaign". I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head, but this is the basic idea:

*Each campaign will have it's own private (By Invitation of GM) Forum, Wiki and Blog interface

*Every user will have a "character" profile within the campaign they are playing in. This will also be their display name while in a particular campaign, so you'll see IC posts by "Tar'mek the Half Orc" rather than "BasementGeek616"

*SIMPLE! Should not be specific to any campaign setting or game system, but still allow for a useful level of customization

*Speed of Play Enhancements for Play by Post: Inline private messages and GM-mandated automatic checks. What this means is while the GM is typing out a description, he can request a Spot check from everyone, put in the text for success and failure (or exceptions for people not privy to the check). The system will make the check based on the values in the character sheet. When the character views the post, he will only see the text from the result of the check, not "If you beat DC 15 you see this, if you fail you see this, Stannis the bard is in the other room and hears this." This setup will have the added benefit of breaking metagaming a bit, since characters will only have access to the information they actually see.

*Complex die roller system - Allows you to "roll" multiple dice at once. Should also allow for "Player/GM confidentiality" on die rolls.

*Action/Description seperation options: When making a post, you can execute the action part of your post before making the post (Making an attack, for example) allowing you to take into account the result before describing the action. This will allow for less "I'm using Flurry Of Blows, I got a 15 and a 19?" and more "[Action succeeds]Mynarch the Dwarf Monk flat palms the kobold in the face and immediately raises his knee to the monster's chin"

*LFG/LFM System - Basically an advanced searching system by which a player can input what kind of campaign they are looking for and what they want to play and get back a list of campaigns that will fit their need.

*GM Tools: User-built databases of adventure hooks, NPC stat blocks, plot outlines, etc. They will be able to maintain private databases of the same things for use in their own games.

These are what I've thought up on my own over the past few days. What features would you want to see in a Campaign Management/Play by Post website?

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DeVryGuy on

Posts

  • CatrelStevensCatrelStevens Registered User
    edited February 2007
    This seems like a pretty solid idea, and I'm surprised that a system like this doesn't already exist. (Unless it does and I'm unaware of it.) The big things I can think of that you'll need to figure out are the obvious ones: "Speed of Play Enhancements for Play by Post" and "Action/Description separation options." You'll definitely need to flesh out how this will work quite a bit more. It's a really good proposition, but the devil's in the details. You'll need to be able to program a very complex system of permissions and privileges to make those features work coherently. I have pretty much no knowledge of programming, though, so I can't tell you how realistic that is.

    I hope you can get this off the ground. It would be a very useful tool if you could fully realize it. I'm sad no one else's commented on this so far. Although, this forum does move pretty slowly.

    CatrelStevens on
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  • Legoman05Legoman05 Registered User
    edited February 2007
    I don't know about wiki functionality, but you could take some yahoo or google group functionality and graft some of the more dice-oriented stuff on to it.

    I'll brush up on some of my CGI programing and look into working on a database and a way to call both rolls, and clear individual players to view certain information.... it wouldn't be that hard, I don't think, the database management would be the hardest part - I could do it on a local machine with a perl script pretty easily, but I'm not sure about how to do it on a CGI backend.

    The biggest problem I see would be allowing an individual wiki for every campaign.... you can bet that you're going to have big problems with kiddie porn and things like that - I work with the Network Security group on a major university, and we hate wiki's for just that reason - anyone can put anything on it.

    Legoman05 on
  • DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Legoman05 wrote: »
    I don't know about wiki functionality, but you could take some yahoo or google group functionality and graft some of the more dice-oriented stuff on to it.

    I'll brush up on some of my CGI programing and look into working on a database and a way to call both rolls, and clear individual players to view certain information.... it wouldn't be that hard, I don't think, the database management would be the hardest part - I could do it on a local machine with a perl script pretty easily, but I'm not sure about how to do it on a CGI backend.

    The biggest problem I see would be allowing an individual wiki for every campaign.... you can bet that you're going to have big problems with kiddie porn and things like that - I work with the Network Security group on a major university, and we hate wiki's for just that reason - anyone can put anything on it.

    The privacy of the wiki would be the most important thing. It may go against wiki philospihy, but the only people who would be able to use it are the people participating in that particular campaign (perhaps outsiders get view-only access). I wouldn't forsee any problem with inappropriate content more than any other online user-generated content system.

    DeVryGuy on
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  • Legoman05Legoman05 Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Right, private wiki's are fine, just so long as you have someone who is responsible for the site getting a feed of what's happening.

    The problem that you'll run into though is that with a small pocket of private, user generated, chmod777 content, it's unmonitored. No passer-by is going to report in-appropriate content, and that opens you up to trouble.

    Why do you need a wiki anyway? I mean, it'd be cool, and I'm not attacking your idea, I just want to know if there's some uber-cool idea that I'd been missing out on.

    Legoman05 on
  • DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
    edited February 2007
    We use a wiki now in our campaigns for all info management such as character backgrounds, important people, places and things the PCs have encountered, etc. While a forum will do all those things, wikis are a little more organized by design.

    DeVryGuy on
    Pokemon Diamond: 5369 6910 9799
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  • Legoman05Legoman05 Registered User
    edited February 2007
    That sounds rather useful - though from a security standpoint, I'd rather just do it via forum.

    Now, if I were only to get off my ass, finish my spellcaddy.xls, and then get on this... After this quarter is over, I'll probably try my hand at some of this, assuming I don't get a second job.

    Legoman05 on
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