Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Obsidian Portal

I just recently decided to become an Ascendant member of Obsidian Portal.  This makes me both an early adopter and late to the party.

You see, about four years ago, one of my DMs discovered OP. And I signed up - but I never did anything with it.  He even gave bonus XP if we'd spend the time to update the site - which was nice.

I never really took advantage of it.  I poked briefly at OP, and then just ... left it.  It looked to be little more than a GM tool which allowed player access. And - to a point - I was right.

But then I joined a Dresden Files game. The GM put the game up on Obsidian Portal, and offered FATE points to players who updated and maintained the pages. And this time, it seems to be working.  The players are actively involved with keeping the pages up to date.  The Adventure Wiki is a bit behind, but the characters seem to be accurate, and - again - the players are active. And I have no idea what the GM has up that is concealed from the players.  I'm not even using my printed character sheet for this game - I'm using my laptop with a window open to my character's page on Obsidian Portal.

It's going well enough that I decided to put my game up on the site. Before too long, I'm going to be running Cthulhutech, but, to get the players used to Obsidian Portal, I'm starting with a short Traveller game.

There's not much up, yet.  I have a map I need to scan, and I need to put the characters up (once they're generated). But I have a couple different batches of Scream Sheets (with a number of plot hooks and Easter eggs) ready to go.

It's astounding to me how easy it's been to get rolling on the game details.  I also have some very creative players, so I expect I'll have a host of cities, asteroids, shops, and NPCs in relatively short order - once the players relax a bit and get comfortable adding to and updating the wiki.

I don't think it's quite clicked, yet, how much of a free hand I'm giving them.

I think I'm going to give bonus XP to players who update and maintain the page during Cthulhutech, too.  I may even count Traveller updates and maintenance for Cthulhutech bonuses, because of how very differently Traveller handles character growth.

The more I poke at it, the more useful it becomes - and not just for gaming, either.  I have several friends who are writers who could use this to keep track of key characters, places, and things in their fiction.

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