Child Campaign sites

thaen
thaen

Split out from here: https://forums.obsidianportal.com/discussion/comment/48670/#Comment_48670

If I had to pick one single thing that I'd love to see long-term:

I'd love the ability to create a child campaign site that is linked to an existing site. I tend to run multiple games in the same setting, it would be fantastic if the child site was able to directly link to the main site directly so that I could, in essence, build a site for my homebrew setting and then do linked sites for each individual campaign so that I don't have to port over the same data every time I want to make a new game. Bonus points if items and characters in the child sites automatically propogate to the main site. I realize that I could sort of do this now and just use external linking but that's far less convenient.

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Comments

  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 1,092

    @Abersade,

    I think I need more details about what you're wanting here.

    Can you give me an example of how you do it now and how this would make it better? How would the "External Linking" situation be different with this?

    If the Items and Characters are propagating back to the main site, how is that different than just using the main site as the Campaign site? What's the intention of creating the child campaign in the first place?

     

    Obsidian Portal Developer

  • Abersade
    Abersade
    Posts: 436

    I don't do it now, because it's a pain in the you-know-what to do.

    An example purpose: Multiple games with multiple player groups in the same setting, not interacting with each other but needing to reference the same core campaign setting material. The same towns, the same items, the same pantheon of deities, etc. In my Rise of the Durskald game there are four different pantheons that the players could choose to worship from, and Forbidden Empire uses those same four pantheons plus an additional one. I'd really like to not have to recreate shared material every time I start a new game.

    This would be different because this would allow us to do bracketed linking and would allow shared items and NPCs without the constant duplication required.

    GM of Rise of the Durnskald: Wrath of the Fallen Goddess - February 2016 CotM

    GM of Core: The Ashes of Alcarna - April 2020 CotM

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  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 1,092

    Multiple games with multiple player groups in the same setting, not interacting with each other but needing to reference the same core campaign setting material.

    Does that mean that they are in completely separate games, or could actions of one group affect the game of the other group? For example, if one group kills an NPC, would that NPC be dead in the other group's game?

     

    I'd really like to not have to recreate shared material every time I start a new game.

    Would this be solved with a Copy Campaign ability?

     

    Obsidian Portal Developer

  • vadercomplex
    vadercomplex
    Posts: 93

    A thread bump in case of missed notifications! @Abersade

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  • Abersade
    Abersade
    Posts: 436 edited September 2023
    Didn't miss the notifications, was out of town.

    Does that mean that they are in completely separate games, or could actions of one group affect the game of the other group? For example, if one group kills an NPC, would that NPC be dead in the other group's game?

    I suppose that would depend on how the DM intended to use it. In my case the games would not take place during the same time frame so the actions of one game wouldn't generally impact other games. Unless the setting heavily involves time travel like my current one does, then all bets are off.

     

    Would this be solved with a Copy Campaign ability?

    If I recall correctly, the Copy Campaign feature WIP doesn't copy pictures, which at a minimum would need to change in order for this to be useful to me. Otherwise it's just the campaign "backup that isn't really a backup" feature that we currently have, just imported as a new game. 

    Post edited by Abersade on

    GM of Rise of the Durnskald: Wrath of the Fallen Goddess - February 2016 CotM

    GM of Core: The Ashes of Alcarna - April 2020 CotM

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  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 1,092

    If I recall correctly, the Copy Campaign feature WIP doesn't copy pictures, which at a minimum would need to change in order for this to be useful to me.

    Anything further, or would adding copying pictures be enough to meet this use case for your purposes?

    Obsidian Portal Developer

  • Abersade
    Abersade
    Posts: 436

    This doesn't meet the use case either way, since it would only duplicate the contents of a single game. Any new campaigns added after that initial copy would still need to have everyting duplicated manually. If pictures, formatting, and linking were duplicated faithfully to be exported then stored as a file for import later as an actual backup that's at least making the backup feature useful as a backup.

    That could just be my take on it though. Since the backup feature doesn't give us a file that can later be imported (like a true backup would) it's not something I use in it's current state.

    GM of Rise of the Durnskald: Wrath of the Fallen Goddess - February 2016 CotM

    GM of Core: The Ashes of Alcarna - April 2020 CotM

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  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 1,092

    @Abersade, I'm not sure if I'm missing something. Let me know what part of this doesn't meet the use case.

    I'm thinking you have your original Campaign, and you play it through.

    Then you decide you want to play the Campaign again with a different group. So, you make a copy of "original Campaign", which we'll call "copy 1 of original Campaign". And you play through the Campaign a second time using "copy 1 of original Campaign".

    Then you decide you want to play the Campaign for a third time with a different group. So, you make a copy of "original Campaign" or of "copy 1 of original Campaign" ... and you play it through a third time.

    And so on.

    So, you could create copy of a Campaign and designate that as your "master" or "backup" copy, and then only make Copies off of that "master", and any updates you want to be included in future copies, you would make to the "master".

    Does that meet the use case?

    The backup feature, as far as I can tell, was just a way to pull a record of the main text of the Campaign (some text like Player Secrets aren't included and files aren't included). I don't see us putting time/effort into making it an importable thing. It's too much of a technical hassle without much benefit ... especially if this Clone/Copy Campaign feature is what people are really wanting that Import ability for. The backup doesn't even display correctly in a browser anymore with recent security updates (without doing some tweaks to the security settings).

     

    Obsidian Portal Developer

  • Abersade
    Abersade
    Posts: 436

    Let me answer your question with a few of my own, to illustrate why I think this wouldn't work:

    So how would this work if two campaigns in the same master setting were being played simultaneously? How would this allow propagation of updates from both games to a master campaign and to each other without having to recreate the games after every session and re-inviting the players? How would that look on the backend, such as the player forums? How would this automatically limit the propagation of things like Adventure Logs, which wouldn't need to be propagated since they are campaign specific?

    If I'm understanding correctly, what you are describing is essentially the same outcome as just running two campaigns off of a single site since all updates are propagated by the copy feature, except with the extra step of creating a "master" that has to be overwritten at least somewhat frequently to remain useful in any sense.

    Regarding the backup feature, I can't speak to how other people would attempt to use it. I can't even claim that other people would find my suggestion here useful, I just know that I would. I know at least some of the other GMs out there like using their campaign settings for multiple games, whether homebrew or not, so I believe that I am not the only person who likes the idea of a site to house common wiki entries, items, characters, lore, etc.

    GM of Rise of the Durnskald: Wrath of the Fallen Goddess - February 2016 CotM

    GM of Core: The Ashes of Alcarna - April 2020 CotM

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  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 1,092

    @Abersade

    So how would this work if two campaigns in the same master setting were being played simultaneously?

    I think that use case already seems to be handled well enough by just putting all of the current Players in the same Campaign, and just playing separate sessions with the groups. We have multiple Campaigns on OP that are already setup that way.

    So, in this discussion, I'm only trying to address your personal use case of ...

    In my case the games would not take place during the same time frame so the actions of one game wouldn't generally impact other games.

    I don't think I explained the Copy Campaign feature well because there wouldn't be any propagation.

    The feature we have partially done is just a straight Copy Campaign. The Copy and the Original have no relationship to each other after the copy is done, no propagation between them after the copy. Completely detached from each other. It's essentially what you're saying the Backup feature should be, but the "backed up" files aren't stored locally on your machine ... it's a Campaign in your OP account. So if you wanted to "import", you would just create a Copy of the "backed up" Campaign again. You would be able to copy any Campaign you have ... even ones that were created as copies of other copies.

    So, does that address your personal use case? If not, what's missing?

    Obsidian Portal Developer

  • Abersade
    Abersade
    Posts: 436

    Automated propagation of updates is the specific feature I'd find useful. Would this work as you've proposed? I mean, I guess, but this isn't really what I was thinking of when I mentioned the idea in the other thread. As I stated in the original paragraph with the idea I could just use external linking, which isn't convenient but might be more convenient than shuffling around backup campaigns. The point of my suggestion was for the automation, if I'm still doing things manually then it's not really saving me much time regardless of which method I'm using.

    GM of Rise of the Durnskald: Wrath of the Fallen Goddess - February 2016 CotM

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  • Abersade
    Abersade
    Posts: 436

    As a sidenote: I didn't make this suggestion officially here in the feature request forum because I don't know if it's worth spending time on. If I'm the only one who finds it useful, then so be it I'll just deal with the manual process, no hard feelings if it's not worth your development time. I'd rather see that time dedicated to ongoing bug fixes and incremental upgrades that benefit the majority of users than to fulfil some niche request of mine with no buy-in from other "power" users of the site (for lack of a better term).

    GM of Rise of the Durnskald: Wrath of the Fallen Goddess - February 2016 CotM

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  • ElMuggs
    ElMuggs
    Posts: 61

    A possible answer could be to create the ability to create characters/items/homebrew under a users OP profile level if the player is looking for a campaign, or has a PC that is in multiple campaigns?

    This could then add as a 'Parent Level' to all OP campaigns so that you can create a 'add content from OP account' button' which allows you to make content from your OP profile show up under that campaign - just like how you can use the 'add Item/NPC button - only this way you have the same entry in multiple campaigns and it will automatically sync/update.

    For example Alberta Banana is a NPC in my campaign, but her 'full' lore entry exists under my personal OP portal and she is currently in a campaign run by a different OP user and I have multiple DNDBeyond character sheets of her at various levels - all of which is a mess!

    In a ideal world I would make the 'full' Alberta Banana entry under my OP account then add her to the Accursed Archive campaign so the DM gets immediate access to all her lore.

    To me this is a must/have for OP to get player sign ups as DNDBeyond really fails at handling character backstories and campaign notes/lore and expects people to pay a yearly subscription the moment they have more then 6 character sheets!

    Allowing users to 'build a character library' on OP could make it a lot easier to find players/a table if you can advertise the PC you want to find a home for...and gives you a new source of customers who need a way to manage their PCs over running a campaign.

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  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 1,092

    As a simple example of a more general issue with using the same "parent" Character in multiple Campaigns, what happens when the Character has 45 current hit points in Campaign 1, and 32 current hit points in Campaign 2? This seems like it would be introducing a level of complexity that would be more than it's worth to deal with.

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  • Abersade
    Abersade
    Posts: 436 edited September 2023

    In my use-case that wouldn't happen, because the character only "exists" in one game at a time, with existing being another way to say "in-use". Since the character info is duplicated to the master campaign the stats would match. 

    For ElMuggs' use-case: I suppose each version of the same character would have to be identified uniquely, even if that's just a numeric value saved as part of the stub? Or something like that. Then you could have a bunch of versions of the same character, sorted alphabetically, and managing that situation would be up to the individual user. Tags would be extremely useful for that situation, maybe have a tag for the attached campaign added to the character automatically?

    Alternatively the bio info gets saved and can be linked to other games but the crunch would have to be added manually. That option eliminates the hassle of managing it but is only a slight improvement over what we have now.

    Post edited by Abersade on

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  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 1,092

    @ElMuggs, I think the situation you're trying to fix is different than the one that Abersade is looking at.

    @Abersade and I dug into this in a chat so I could better understand what was being requested.

    The scenario is that the GM has a homebrew game world and wants to run two or more simultaneous campaigns in the same game world ... but not have them interact with each other, and also be able to keep updating the game world with new things that should show up in all the simultaneous campaigns.

    The proposed solution is to have a Parent Campaign, and then the ability to create Child Campaigns from that Parent Campaign.

    The Child Campaigns will act just like a normal Campaign, but all of their initial pages will be created "on the fly" from the Parent Campaign's content.

    Members of the Child Campaign will be able to Edit any of the intial pages, but those Edits will only show in their Child Campaign, and not in the Parent Campaign, or in the other Child Campaigns. In the background, this will essentially create a local version of that page in the Child Campaign and that local page will "cover up" the page from the Parent Campaign.

    If a change is later made to the Parent Campaign's page, then the GM of the Child Campaign will see a visual indicator on the page of which section has a "conflict" with the Parent Campaign. The GM will have a way to review the Parent Campaign's changes, and decide to integrate them, or not, and then resolve the "conflict".

    There will be a way to generate a report of all of the current conflicts in the Child Campaign, so the GM can use that to find them all and resolve them. And there would also be a full report of all of the pages that have local changes that are "covering up" the page from the Parent Campaign, so the GM can see what changes have been made from the Parent Campaign.

    If this feature seems like something you'd be interested in using ... for example, if you have a homebrew setting that you like to run games in over and over, or simultaneously with multiple groups ... then comment here to let us know. The more interest we get, the more likely that a feature will get priority.

     

    Obsidian Portal Developer

  • Abersade
    Abersade
    Posts: 436 edited September 2023

    Obviously: I'm interested in this feature.

    Post edited by Abersade on

    GM of Rise of the Durnskald: Wrath of the Fallen Goddess - February 2016 CotM

    GM of Core: The Ashes of Alcarna - April 2020 CotM

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  • Notsonoble
    Notsonoble
    Posts: 8

    So this is also a thing I'd be interested in. For much the same original reasons I actually asked other DMs how they handle similar situations and got roughly 3 answers:



    1. Why would I run another campaign in the same setting? -- Boring

    2. OP is really only for individual campaigns, use something else for your setting notes. -- pretty much what i do but it's frustrating

    3. Move away from OP all together, use something like world anvil

    Tried WA, hated it. It's shiny in all the wrong ways, and incomplete in all the ways i need.



    Parent/Child Campaigns as an ascended option really has lots of interesting use cases, from simultanious games to DM collaboration to games that revist worlds. Or, like one of my settings simultanious games in the same setting but different time periods.

     

  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 1,092

    @Notsonoble, interest noted!

    Obsidian Portal Developer

  • ElMuggs
    ElMuggs
    Posts: 61

    I'm happy with the solution presented and could see it being very helpful over the longer term for DM's and players as a lot of DND groups tend to run a mix of long and short campaigns/one shots within a shared setting/history.

    Plus even if you're not using the same setting for all you're campaigns you could use the 'Parent Campaign' to keep track of any homebrew/rules for your games.

    DM of The Domains of Dread Council Meeting (...a Comedic Misadventure though the mists of a re-imagined Ravenloft! ) - COTM Feb 2023! 

  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 1,092

    @ElMuggs, interest noted!

    Obsidian Portal Developer

  • pyhriel
    pyhriel
    Posts: 2

    I think this feature would be better served by having the parent campaign information only editable from the parent campaign.

    You could add information from a child campaign but shouldn't be able to modify it.

    For example, let's say I create the following character in the parent campaign: 

    Trevor Manysold, Merchant of many things in the city of ThisPlace.

    That information would be in the parent campaign and couldn't be edited in any of the children campaigns. Now if in one child campaign Trevor is turned into a frog permanently, well I'd like to be able to add an entry in that specific child campaign that would say so.



    Wouldn't that be closer to what was originally requested.



    In fact, in a way, this feature is already kind of supported, albeit in a very tedious manner. I could create a single campaign and have all my groups in this campaign. Whenever something specific happen in a "child" campaign (like Trevor being turned into a frog), I could add a Secret entry to the Trevor Manysold page and make it viewable only to the players of that specific campaign. 



    That is not to say that I think this is a great way to deal with it, because for the DM the data would soon become very "noisy". 

    Although if you do something a bit like that, except that if you select a specific child campaign you only see the parent and the child campaign specific, then I think it would work well. 

    It feels like this would solve the situation better than the conflict warning which would still force you to then update every child campaign individually.

  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 1,092

    @pyhriel, I think both options can be available. If a member doesn't want to edit the child campaigns, then they can use your idea of using the Player Secrets.

    Obsidian Portal Developer

  • ElMuggs
    ElMuggs
    Posts: 61

    I agree that Parent Campaigns should only be editable by members of that campaign.

    This is 'the default' setting for any database/system so it would be a good-design principle for OP to adopt this.

    A simple option is to default that Child Campaigns automatically inherit Parent pages but if the DM/Player creates a page that is the same name as one in the Parent Campaign they get the option to  'override parent campaign' and 'automatically sync with parent campaign'.

    For example you might have a PARENT:Rules page for a 5e DND Campaign

    but one of your 'child' campaigns is using the Kids on Bikes ruleset - and you create a new CHILD:Rules page.

    This creates a same-name conflict - so the GM Should be given a choice of two yes/no options:

    Override Parent Campaign Yes/No

    Automatically Sync with Parent Campaign Yes/No

    This makes it clear that this rules page ONLY applies to the Child Campaign.

    But say I was wanting to 'add lore' from a child campaign to my overall world?

    I would create a page with the same name but pick:

    Override Parent Campaign: Yes/No

    Automatically Sync with Parent Campaign Yes/No

    This would cause any 'new additions' to be added to a panel in the Parent Campaign - just like how Player Secrets work now - I'd suggest naming them as 'additional lore from XChild Campaign.

    However if you don't want to have it read only - so players/DMs can't edit a parent page you just pick:

    Override Parent Campaign No

    This would make the page 'read only' for any Child Campaigns.

    Something like this anyway.

     

    DM of The Domains of Dread Council Meeting (...a Comedic Misadventure though the mists of a re-imagined Ravenloft! ) - COTM Feb 2023! 

  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 1,092

    @ElMuggs, the idea of doing a "pull request" to the Parent Campaign is interesting! I could see that being used as a way that multiple GMs can collaborate on a Campaign Setting together. 

    I'd want to see how the "basic" Child Campaigns feature was being used before we added additional complexity. Just the Child Campaigns feature itself is already a pretty advanced concept actually.

    Obsidian Portal Developer

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