Guide to the Campaign Manager

The Campaign Manager is a set of tools that allow you to run RPG campaigns in your world. The RPG tools are tightly integrated into the world codex, which makes running campaigns much easier. Note that this is not a full replacement for a virtual tabletop; instead, it's meant to be used as a digital GM screen. However, some interaction between the GM and the players is still possible, such as private messages and handouts.   If you are a Game Master, keep reading. Otherwise, you can skip to the Player section.  

Getting started

Follow these instructions to prepare your world for a campaign and then to create it:

Preparation

  • Go to your World Configuration and choose a system for your world. Some systems, such as DnD5e and Genesys, will unlock system-specific settings later. To unselect a value ctrl+click it.
  • Go to the RPG Blocks Page and create Stat Blocks for every Player Character.
  • Create an Empty Character article for every Player Character.
 

Campaign Creation

Inline-Tut-Campaign-1.png
  • Go to the Campaign Page through the top bar if the dashboard and Click the Create a New Campaign button to the right. Fill out the page it takes you to.
  • Once you've done this you will be at the homepage for that campaign. Any campaign-related actions you do henceforth on the site will affect this selected campaign. To change which campaign is selected, or to make a new one, return to the Campaign Page.
  • Open up your Cast and create all of your characters. If they are protagonists then assign a Player to them.
 

Campaign edit interface

When editing a campaign, you have this menu on the top of your screen.  

Campaign top menu

  This section will cover each of these options, from left to right.  

Home

In the home screen, you will see a log of past sessions. If you have just created the campaign, the page will be empty. You can't do much with this page, so let's go to the next one!  

Sessions

On the left column, you can see the list of sessions. Each session will look like this:  

list of sessions

  The logs are created from the DSTS (see below), but once you end a session you can also write a more detailed session report clicking the Write Report button. You can also edit de session's details or delete it altogether.   You can prepare a new session from the right column:  

create session

  When you click the Create Session button, it will appear in the left column. When you are ready to run it, click on the green Start button and the DSTS will open.  

Plots

You can add plots to the campaign from this page. They will show as quick links in the DSTS, so you can use them to write down your thoughts and plans for the campaign, both the general plot or more detailed arcs. When you access this page for the first time, you see this message:  

Add plot

  Choose a plot from the dropdown to add it to the campaign. If you haven't created an article with the Plot template in your world, the dropdown will be empty; you need to create one first! After you have added them, the plots will appear in the left column of the page:  

list of plots

  You can then edit or remove them from the same page.  

Cast

From the Cast page, you can manage the characters of your campaign, both PCs and important NPCs. To do so, click the pink Add new Character button on the right column and fill in the fields:  

Add character

  If you want the character to be linked to a player (i.e. it's a PC), you will need to have added some players from the campaign configuration previously. Make sure that the character has also an article describing it and a character sheet for its stats. The player will be able to edit their character.  

Quicklinks

Quicklinks are a great way to have some relevant articles in hand while you are running a session. They will appear in the right column of the DSTS. To add an article to the quicklinks, go to the article list of your world and click the + button:  

Add quicklink from article list

  Please note that you don't need to add plots, characters or session reports as quicklinks, as they are already added to the DSTS from the Cast and Plots sections. You can see which articles are added from the Quicklinks menu of your campaign. The list looks like this:  

Quicklinks edit interface

  From this page, you can remove articles from the quicklinks and you can also directly access their edit and view pages (buttons highlighted in light blue). From the bottom of the list, you can also change the category of an article (highlighted in green) or edit some of its settings (highlighted in red).  

Corkboard

The corkboard is a page of the DSTS where you can add sticky notes. It's useful if you need to remember important things that too short for a whole article. To add them click Corkboard on the top menu and use the sidebar to add a new note. You can also choose a color to make each note more distinct:  

Add note to corkboard

  The notes accept full WABBCode, so you can use regular formatting, including embedding blocks or articles. You can also see the list of notes (and edit and delete them) from this same page:  

Corkboard from edit interface

 

Configuration

The configuration page is pretty self-explanatory. From the right sidebar, you can add new players to the campaign and change the storyteller, as well as delete the campaign. In the main body, there are generic settings, such as campaign name, excerpt, and description, as well as visibility settings and social media links. This is also where you can change the RPG system of your campaign.  

View

Clicking on the View option of the menu will take you to the presentation page for the campaign. This page contains the campaign description, cast, sessions and some information about the setting. Note that, if you are a guild member, you can make this page private or only available to subscribers from the campaign configuration page.  

The Digital Storyteller Screen (DSTS)

Once you have everything prepared, it's time to run the session! To do so, go to the Sessions page of your campaign and click on the Start button of your prepared session:  

start session

  The Digital Storyteller Screen (DSTS) will open. It will have a top bar that looks like this:  

DSTS top bar

 

Notebook

The Notebook is where you can jot down your notes about what's going on during the session. There are four sections here:  

Log entry box

Any log entries you save will be added to your session log when you end it. The log can be viewed by the GM only by default, although individual entries can be made public. You can make the log entry either public (all players can see it), private (only you can see it) or private but choosing a player who will be able to see it. Use the dropdowns under the text box to set the privacy status.  

DSTS private log entry

  Under the text box to add new log entries, there is a section containing the full log for the current session, so that you can read it if you need to recall details from the beginning of the session.  

Scrapbook

The Scrapbook is a text box you can use to jot down quick notes. When you end the session, they will appear in your session details when you go edit them:  

DSTS scrapnotes

scrapbook

 

Dice roller

You can use the dice roller to roll the traditional RPG dice. You roll them by clicking on the die you want to roll or by entering the notation in the text box (for example, 2d20+4).  

DSTS diceroller

 

Library, Search box and Quicklinks

The Library section allows you to read articles and stat blocks, both from your world and from your system's SRD (in case they have been entered in World Anvil). The following screenshot highlights different parts of this page:  

DSTS library

  On the right column, you can use the Search bar (in green) to look up articles of your world and stat blocks. Under the search results, there are the Quicklinks (in cyan) you added from the edit interface. If you click on the article, they will be added to the main body of this page.   Articles have three buttons next to their header (in red). From left to right, the first one will post the article to the handout screen (see below), the second one will open the article in a new tab, and the third one will remove the article from the Library.   Finally, you can clear the whole Library with the Clear library button (in purple).  

Corkboard

The Corkboard displays all the notes you have added from the Corkboard edit interface (see above). They are highlighted in your chosen color and are not editable from the DSTS.  

DSTS corkboard

 

Protagonists

This page lets you track the stats of your players' characters, such as hit points and conditions, as you can see in the following screenshot:  

DSTS character sheet

  In order to use this page, you need to have created a character sheet and set it to the character (when you added it to the campaign). For more information on the creation of character sheets, see [this] guide to blocks.  

Handout screen

The handout screen is a page where you can post articles from your world for your players to see. You can post them from the Library section in the DSTS, pressing the blue button with a monitor icon. The players will be able to access the screen from their own accounts and see all the content you post.  

Player's interface

This section contains information for the players of a campaign. To access your playing interface, go to your Dashboard. There, you will see a section named Your Characters. Click on the "Edit & Play" button of your character:  

Your characters

  This will take you to a page where you can edit your character and see your character sheet.  

During a session

In order to play in a session, click the "Enter session" button in the sidebar of this page. It looks like this:  

Player enter session

  This page has a header with some options, the main body with your character sheet by default, and a sidebar with some trackable fields, such as hit points and conditions.  

Tracking sidebar

To modify one of the fields, just change their value and click the "Save changes" button at the bottom:  

Player tracking side bar

  Note that by default only the Health & state section is visible. You can make the other ones visible by clicking on their headers. This sidebar is also visible in the Notes section.  

Notes

Click on the Notes option in the header menu and you will access a page with four modules. In the left side, you have a text box to post notes. Only you and the GM can see your notes, and they will be saved to the session log automatically:  

Player log entry

  On the right side of the main body, there is a box showing your fellow party members. Beneath it, you can use the Scrapbook to keep some private notes. When the session ends, you will be able to see the Scrapbook notes from the sidebar:  

Player scrapbook

Player scrapbook view

  Finally, under the Scrapbook, there's a virtual dice roller. You can either click on the dice you want to roll or use the dice-rolling notation (e.g. 5d8+6):  

Player diceroller

 

Between sessions

You can edit your character details, write session journals and read the session log. You have four tabs on your edit page:  

Player tabs

 

Profile

Your profile explains who your character is, rather than the purely mechanical information. You can use it to describe their physical aspect and their backstory, as well as to upload a portrait. You can use the pink View Character Page button at the sidebar to see your character's profile as your fellow players and your GM will see them.  

Character Sheet

Use this tab to edit your Character Sheet. Keep in mind that all trackable information will already appear in the sidebar of your in-session screen, so the Sheet should contain static content only (you can consider your level static content, even if it can change during a session).  

Journals

You create a Journal for a session from your character's point of view. The edit interface is pretty straight-forward; other than the title and main text, you also have a section for secret notes (only you and the GM can see them) and the game date (you can use the in-game calendar, for example). Don't forget to choose the related gaming session, so that other players can find your journal easily!  

Log entries

From there, you can see all public logs from the session or the logs that the GM has sent to you only:  

Player log view

Contents

 

FAQ

Why can't my players see/edit their character sheets? Make sure that you have added your players to your campaign configuration and then added them to a character from the Cast section. Don't forget to choose a character sheet when adding them!   Can I access the Digital Storyteller Screen (DSTS) without starting a session? No, you can't. However, you can create a test session to familiarise yourself with the system before running the actual section. Afterward, you can delete the test session.   How do I delete a campaign? Go to your campaign configuration page. There is a red Delete campaign button there.   How do I add characters to the campaign? For PCs, you need to first add your players' accounts to the campaign from the campaign configuration page. Once that's done, go to the Cast section of your campaign to add the characters.  

See also



Cover image: by Brandi Redd

Comments

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16 May, 2018 18:10

How do I link a plot article to my campaign?

16 May, 2018 20:22

With your campaign selected (it's name should be there instead of 'campaigns' on the main page) you should be able to go to the articles page and click a + symbol for each article you want to link to the campaign.   If that doesn't work let me know. :)

18 May, 2018 14:14

Thank you very much for your swift reply! I have done as you suggested, and indeed my plot article now appears in the quicklinks section of my campign, this is very helpful, thank you!. However, and I realise this might not have been very clear from my question in the first place, I would also like my plot article to appear in the "plots" sub-page of my campaign. This was still not the case; however, I realised that it ws only possible to add my plot once the plot article was published (rather than a draft). So it's working now! Thank you for your help!

18 May, 2018 14:55

I'm glad to hear and glad to help! If you have any questions in the future feel free to comment them or to join the discord since I'm active there in the help channel. :)

10 Jun, 2018 05:59

Might be good to explain what the point of a "campaign" feature is. I am currently trying it out but keep getting confused by all the elements intended for GMs who want to run their game online. I just want to track my players' storyline...

11 Jun, 2018 17:33

Will do! Until then: the campaign feature is the overarching grouping of functionalities for creating a campaign, adding players, adding sessions, and adding journals and notes to those sessions. It also includes a corkboard and notifications for coordination, notekeeping, and communication.

12 Jun, 2018 03:42

Thanks!     That sounds like a great feature but it is a little misleading for a GM like myself. I was very excited to use this tool but got halted pretty early on when I was required to add players as users. None of my players use this site so...   Am I missing something?

12 Jun, 2018 03:50

You are not, they need to have a login for you to add them to the campaign if you want to use its full features and give them character pages they can edit.   That said you can still make use of the site for campaign management by using it as a storehouse for worldlore and events and they can navigate your world normally without needing to login.

12 Jun, 2018 04:13

Yes, that's exactly what I'm doing and I'm loving it :-)   It might just be good to have that disclaimer in the Campaign tool before another person like myself gets too excited wanting to use it...

16 Jul, 2018 17:41

How do I delete a campaign?

16 Jul, 2018 18:12

Down at the bottom right of the campaign configuration page.


  1. Click your campaigns button at the top nav bar
  2. Click to edit the campaign you want to delete
  3. Click configuration up towards the top nav var
  4. It should be on the lower right-hand side

I hope this helps!

17 Jul, 2018 14:52

On the Plots section it states that once you add a plot to your campaign you will be able to have quick access to it via the Digital Storyteller's Screen. I have added a test plot to my campaign yet don't see any mention of an DSTS. Did this get renamed to something else or am I blind? :-)

19 Jul, 2018 06:50

A different screen is generated per Session you've made. Once you have your Campaign in edit mode (by going to the campaigns page and clicking edit on the campaign you want) click the Sessions option from the header and click Resume to see the Storyteller Screen for that session.   If you have any other questions or need any clarification post them here or hope in the discord server and [b/]@Ademal|Ethnis or one of the @Anvil Assistants and we'll get you sorted.

30 Jul, 2018 10:38

Hi, on the summary of this page we can read "Corkboard: Miscellaneous sticky notes which will be visible to the party." I created a player account to help me understand the features of the storyteller screen and interaction with players. I did not found a way for the player to see the Corkboard, honest i actually hope they can't I was hoping to use it as a repository for writing quick secrets idea during play based on what happens. But I want to be sure, are they supposed to see it, and if so, how ? Thank you, loving world anvil and will be migrating here from obsidian portal very soon ;)

31 Jul, 2018 14:57

The corkboard is visible on a session when you create a session. It's a place for you to pin notes and articles for everyone to reference.

16 Sep, 2018 11:39

Hi! Is there any way to quicklink an NPC and to be able to see him in session view? Now I can only see other articles.   There is a side note "DO NOT add Plots, Characters and Session reports here unless you really need to." But what to do if I need (I've got a number of important NPCs)? Can I bypass this somehow?

16 Sep, 2018 16:18

When you say NPC do you mean the RPG block assigned to them or the character article? If it's the character article you can pin them in your corkboard.

16 Sep, 2018 16:34

Thanks for answering. I mean an "Character article". No RPG Block attached to it. I would like to have it pinned to quicklinks and be able to see it in the Library View.

16 Sep, 2018 17:34

Yes you can do that. If you're having problems with this join us in Discord and ask in the #help channel for more realtime help.

20 Nov, 2018 12:03

How can I create a campaign if I am not running a well-known system, or if I am running a completely unpublished system?   I have created my own system, and it is unlikely to be published for quite some time (if ever), so I think that a system-agnostic option for the campaign functionality would be helpful.

20 Nov, 2018 17:49

You can select "Generic" as an option for your RPG System in your world configuration, as shown here.   This unlocks all of the RPG functionality that you need to create a campaign and run it.

20 Nov, 2018 23:45

Thank you haha I must have missed it, I love World Anvil by the way!

21 Nov, 2018 02:34

16 Dec, 2018 03:17

I'm not seeing the option to select an RPG system on my World Configuration page. Is this feature only available at certain membership tiers?

16 Dec, 2018 05:38

Found the issue, I had RPG features disabled in my account settings for some reason.

16 Dec, 2018 07:44

Ah right, I forget that's a thing. Good catch!

10 Jan, 2019 17:55

How do I delete a campaign?

12 Jan, 2019 06:27

Go to the campaign configuration page and it's on the bottom right! :)

19 Jan, 2019 05:01

Can't seem to select a character sheet template for my PCs

19 Jan, 2019 10:59

Have you created one through the RPG block page first?

13 Feb, 2019 17:55

How do I add a user to my campaign?

13 Feb, 2019 18:51

  1. Create a character article for their character
  2. Go to the RPG block page and create a stat sheet for them (text is fine)
  3. Click the "campaigns" on the top bar
  4. Click "edit" on that campaign
  5. Click "configuration" on the top bar
  6. Add them by username on the righthand side
  7. Click "cast" on the top bar
  8. Click "add character"
  9. Fill out, selecting the sheet, character, and player
  Hope this helps!

13 Feb, 2019 18:58

Thank you very much this was very helpful

14 Feb, 2019 01:03

Happy to help!

21 Feb, 2019 16:39

It'd be very useful to have a link to "add user to campaign" on the "create character" page. Took me ages to find this link!

21 Feb, 2019 21:52

I believe this is presently being updated because we had a user with 200 players point out that very fact haha.

12 Mar, 2019 12:50

Is there a way to add encounters to your session/campaign ahead of time? I was trying to get some encounters set up before we start playing and have all the stat blocks ready to go, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it without starting the session.

16 Mar, 2019 18:00

I'd suggest just creating the species articles for them first so that you've got all the info read to just link in when you need it.

16 Mar, 2019 17:01

Thanks for this. Question: on my main campaign there is a "Setting" section. However, I'm unable to figure out why I cannot get anything to appear under the headings provided. Thanks in advance.

16 Mar, 2019 17:59

Can you link a screenshot so I can see exactly what you're referring to?

23 Mar, 2019 17:17

how do I players join my campaign?

23 Mar, 2019 21:30

Check out the Cast section :)