How to handle exclusive player-DM information

kenurion
kenurion
edited July 2010 in Campaign Portal Building
I've seen requests for a way to control information access so only one player and the GM can see it. I think this can be done if each player in the party creates a private campaign and invites only the GM to join it. It's not a seamless solution, but it should work and doesn't require OP to change anything. The player has to create the campaign otherwise the GM could end up with too many campaigns.

Comments

  • Duskreign
    Duskreign
    Posts: 1,085
    Can't the information just be sent as a private message between the player and the GM? None of the other players could see it that way. Maybe in the Subject line, there could be something signifying that it is in-game information.

    A way to flag Private Messages as important would be a good feature as well.
  • kenurion
    kenurion
    Posts: 80
    Yes, it could be done that way, but I think people who are looking for this feature want the convenience of a centralized archive as well as doc layout tools. I just had someone ask me if I could split the DST I created into a public section (bio and physical description) and a DM-player private section (stats and critical background).
  • Dyluth
    Dyluth
    Posts: 92
    I would think it might also be possible to, using Duskreign's idea, send the player a link to a wiki page you created which is unlinked to by any other wiki page and otherwise an orphaned page. This way the page with the information intended for that user can only be read if you have the exact URL.

    The downside is that this page would also appear in the "Latest Updates" list at the same time, and possibly the wiki list page as well. So I'll admit, mine is not a perfect solution.
  • Duskreign
    Duskreign
    Posts: 1,085
    You could just make the name of the page "Nothing to see here. Move along."
  • Mortuis
    Mortuis
    Posts: 2
    I run my game at rpol.net and can limit certain lines of text by adding some site specific code around the text in question like so:
    [Private message to Cleric; Fighter: You can hear that there's an invisible creature lurking about somewhere ahead of the party.]
    Only the persons playing Fighter, Cleric, and the GM's would be able to see that line, which is colored orange. Everyone else won't even see the text. I'd be nice to be able to do something similar here, as I could see having a page outlining information on a faction that has blocks of information that only players who are part of that faction would have access to, while everyone else would have access to the publicly available information.

    Soylent Green is a delicious food[Private message to Aliens: that is made out of PEOPLE]!
  • Everdark
    Everdark
    Posts: 122
    I'm assuming you're playing an online-based game, therefore, I got nothin'. However, I play D&D in-person with Mr. Duskreign and whenever I wanted to deliver a private message/query I just used a yellow sticky note... Lol.
  • RaseCidraen
    RaseCidraen
    Posts: 890
    ...There needs to be a IM program that allows the transmission of messages via stickynote. Someone needs to invent this.
  • Everdark
    Everdark
    Posts: 122
    That's a good idea, Rase. I second that. In the meantime, what about having all your players use AIM or Yahoo IM, that way if you need you, you can privately speak to a player, one on one.
  • LexMajor
    LexMajor
    Posts: 8
    I'm all over this too... it would be great for a PC to be able to have a "him and the GM only" field in his character sheet. Keeping some suprises from the rest of the team usually is pretty fun, as petty backtabbing and behind-the-scenes work is the norm at our table!

    Great site and idea by the way. I'm seriously considering getting Ascendant membership.
  • LexMajor
    LexMajor
    Posts: 8
    Having read in the meantime the "how to request a feature", here's a try:

    *What does it do?*
    It's a section of the Character page which enables information sharing between the GM and the PC regarding that character.

    *What does it look like*
    It's basically a "Player-GM information" field within the character sheet that only the owning player and the GM can read and edit. It's Textile-enabled.

    Alternately, it could be a "GM and you only" checkbox on the "Description" and/or "Bio" fields that makes them show for the GM and player only.

    Thanks!
  • Everdark
    Everdark
    Posts: 122
    I concur, LexMajor. That would be awesome.
  • Idless
    Idless
    Posts: 58
    I made that request about two years ago... half the people at that time found it very useful, and other not so useful. Micah was among the latter!

    It just is such an obvious feature, and one very good reason to actually use OP, and even more a very good reason for the players to feel the need to use OP
  • LexMajor
    LexMajor
    Posts: 8
    I can see where the people not agreeing with this take issue. After all, when you are talking wiki and "common campaign infrastructure", what's the point in keeping secrets?

    That being said, there are a few cases where this would seem pertinent.
    - "Character Suprises": one of my character is going to start a "underworld secret alter ego" within the game.
    - Character stats: there is some fun to be had in keeping a level of mystery on the actual capacities of the characters.
    - Character background: some parts of a character background (dark secrets, etc.) should stay hidden from other players to prevent even unintentional metagaming.

    So all in all, I think this could be an interesting feature, although I can understand why someone would think otherwise (aren't players mature enough to separate out-of-game information from in-game?
  • Duskreign
    Duskreign
    Posts: 1,085
    Rase, I do like the idea of there being a little sticky-note printer next to my computer monitor that prints whatever the other person is writing in real-time. :D

    I think the issue Micah has with it is that he is focused on making the Obsidian Portal a place to store game data and share it with everyone involved. He put in place a way to limit the permissions for whole campaigns to just those playing the campaigns, but going beyond that kind of stretches the original purpose of this site. This debate is kind of like the one that recently reared its ugly head again: whether or not to set specific permissions for editing wiki pages, or to encourage open editing for all wiki pages by anyone within a given campaign, GM or player. Currently, GM's can keep certain pages GM-Only, but they can't prevent players from editing anything on a non-GM-Only page. For example, any one of my players can change Wyrmshadow's home page whenever they choose to do so. Some people believe this is problematic, and Micah (and I) do not. I think that the original purpose of Obsidian Portal is served best by leaving permissions as they are.

    However, as all great things, Obsidian Portal is bound to evolve into something even greater than it already is. I think that the API project is an example of their attempts to do just that. In the mean time, use the private message feature to send secret data back and forth if you need to, or e-mail, or facebook, or any of the other hundred options the Internet makes freely available.
  • RaseCidraen
    RaseCidraen
    Posts: 890
    I was just reading a technology article and I had a brilliant thought when I read your comment - If I could pull it off, I'd be rich! (Well, not really - I have no idea how many gamers would find it useful, at all.) Also, I'm about to tell the idea to all of you, in the hopes that you find it amusing and enlightening.

    Imagine something that runs on e-ink, if you will. Now combine it with wireless connectivity, writing input capability, and Obsidian Portal. Now, you have your group, sitting around a table. Each person has a little tablet, and they all are communicating with each other. They allow linking to Obsidian Portal, to look up various bits and bobs during play, keeping notes straight, a log of events, etc. But the true joy of the idea comes into play when you write a little "sticky note", then you can flick it to one person, and it shows up on their tablet, in real time. And then they could choose to keep it secret, or share it with the group. Or maybe pass the note along, so everyone can read it. Except for the poor illiterate barbarian. Nobody ever tells him what is going on.

    The idea is techy, completely superfluous, and only has the real added advantage of being able to browse the Portal on a little tablet. And potentially being "greener" than wasting stickynotes. (I'm one to talk - I take meeting notes on them sometimes. I have probably 50 useless stickynotes plastered about my desk...)
  • Duskreign
    Duskreign
    Posts: 1,085
    Rase, I simply adore the idea. I don't know how many people would be able to afford to implement it, at least until tablets become so commonplace that they are essentially an asset one could presume that people would have.

    I like it, though, and you're right. I find it both amusing and enlightening. Also a bit arousing, but admittedly, I am quite a strange man.
  • Idless
    Idless
    Posts: 58 edited November 2010
    I do not think that that GM-to-player field is any different in sharing, than the Gm-Only field

    I don't think that anyone would argue (against?) that GM notes are for the GM only.

    We don't tell players everything thats going to happen in a module before we get started! Not because we are afraid they will not be able to tell the difference between what they know and their characters know... it's just that most won't find it fun!

    We tell the story to ourselves, not our characters.

    Secrets are only fun, if they are revealed... but in due time, as a surprise to everyone else - Why does the Gunslinger call his gun Vinona, why does he insist he absolutely wrecked his former ship? Why doesn't Wentworth-evans want to go back to Beylix? (okay this was public, but could 'ave been secret for effect), What did Scruffy do on his home planet, that he can't tell the others, that made him venture into space? It is often the players own story for their character, that they get to inject in the campaign and let unfold to the wonder of others!!

    And I'd like to keep notes about on OP - already missed one good plot twist cause I didn't write it down in the right place.

    ...Troels
    Post edited by Idless on
  • LexMajor
    LexMajor
    Posts: 8
    I do see the point about sharing, but I'll try (and forever hold my peace afterward)

    It's not quite the same thing as Wiki pages edition: for me, if you can see a wiki page you should be able to edit it. This is a collaborative process, and you should trust yourselves enough for the edition.

    The "GM-player information", on the other hand, is much more like the "GM only" information: it's not that you can't see this information, but much more that you really shouldn't to preserve your fun.
  • Idless
    Idless
    Posts: 58
    That is EXACTLY the point LexMajor

    As Obsidian progresses in it's development, I still think that the GM-1-Player shared field is THE most blatant omission

    I'd have that before API and Textile editors, any day! But maybe I'm just an old cranky man...


    ...Troels
  • Idless
    Idless
    Posts: 58
    I guess the best option right now, is to link off-site, like a google doc or something!


    ...T
  • LexMajor
    LexMajor
    Posts: 8
    Being one to put my money where my mouth is, I just became an Ascendant member. This is basically to support the idea that Obsidian Portal is a kick-ass website and idea.

    I've started to use it for my campaign preparation, and as long as it fits my gaming needs I'll probably stay an Ascendant member. I have to say though that the "GM/1-player thing" would certainly go a long way to fit my gaming needs, as it's for the moment the single biggest lack in my situation!

    [I know I said I'd hold my peace forever... I lied. I'm done now, for real. :) ]
  • Duskreign
    Duskreign
    Posts: 1,085 edited December 2010
    LexMajor, thanks for supporting Obsidian Portal. As a sign of solidarity from one Ascendant to another, I will lobby alongside you for this feature to be implemented.

    "Duskreign":http://www.obsidianportal.com/profile/Duskreign

    "Wyrmshadow Campaign Setting":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/wyrmshadow

    "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/star-wars-knights-of-the-old-republic
    Post edited by Duskreign on
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