Guide to Campaign Creation

This guide will guide you step-by-step on the process of creating an RPG campaign campaign. If you are interested on knowing how to run a session and using the Digital Storyteller Screen, take a look at the Guide to running a session.  

Creating the campaign

From your Global Dashboard, click on the My Campaigns button (or the Campaigns link in the sidebar). Afterwards, click the Create a new Campaign button at the bottom of the list of already-created campaigns (if you have any). The following form will appear:   Fill it with the details of your campaign. If you are a Guild member, you'll be able to set the campaign as private. Once you are happy with it, click the save button (you can always edit the campaign settings later!). When accessing the campaign, you'll see the following menu bar:
create new campaign.png
campaign menu bar.png
  Let's break down each of these pages!  

Prepare your campaign

 

Invite some players

Click on the Protagonists (PCs) option in the menu. There you will find an invite link you can send to your players. Keep in mind that your players need a World Anvil account and also a created character on Heroes. When the characters follow the invite link, they will be added in this page.
invite to campaign.png
  If you accidentally post the invite link on a public place or invite the wrong person, you can always remove them with a single click on the Expel red button. If that happens, remember to re-generate the invite link!   Additionally, as the GM of the campaign, you can edit the character sheets of your players by clicking on the Edit Sheet button you will find in this same page.  
CAREFUL: When inviting a player make sure that there isn't already an article with the exact same name (and as a result the exact same link) in your world. This will cause both articles to show a 404 page when navigating to them. To resolve this issue just delete or rename the article NOT connected to the character profile of the player!
 

Create NPCs

The Supporting Cast (NPCs) lets you create NPCs for your campaign. Just click on the Create a New Supporting Cast Member and fill in the form! When you click the Save button, you will be redirected to the previous page, now with your new NPC appearing in the list. You can now click on the Edit button to add more details. You will see that the NPC edit page has two sections: basic and extended. The Extended Bio part is meant to be used for major NPCs; we recommend using only the basic part for most NPCs.   If you need to attach a stats block to the NPCs, you can do so from the Basic Bio (Current Character Sheet field). Note that you will need to have created the statblock from the Sheets page (see the Guide to Sheets. The NPCs will automatically have a character article created in the campaign's world unless you select an already existing character article from the Advanced options. The extended bio of the NPC can be edited from both the campaign manager and the article (and will update both; they are technically the same).
create npc.png
 

Form a Party

This is completely optional, but the Party Manager lets you keep track of their quests and shared equipment. Click on the create button and fill in the form, choosing which PCs should be in the party. Once created, click the Edit button and the Party Management screen will open.  

Quests & Tasks

In order to create a Quest, just fill the form in the right column of this screen. Once it's created, it will be listed in the Party Quests & Tasks section. You can edit them to add more details, including the final resolution and it's completion state: Accepted (default), Active, Completed, Failed, Abandoned. States are color-coded, so you can easily see which quests have been completed:
create quest.png
list of quests.png
 

Shared Assets & Equipment

You can also make a list of all the items a party shares. Note that this is not supposed to be the personal equipment of each character, but shared equipment. This section allows you to add and remove items; you can specify their name, type and quantity:

party assets and equipment.png

 

Plots

You can add plot articles from your world to the campaign to outline its development. The plot will be accessible from the Digital Storyteller Screen (DSTS). When you first access the Plots section of your campaign, you will be asked to select a plot article or to create a new one. The first plot you add will automatically be set as the mast plot, and all subsequent plots will be considered "subplots".   Once the first plot has been added, you can keep adding (and removing) more plots. Keep in mind that the plot articles need to be published to be added to the campaign (but they can be private if you are a Guild member).  
CAREFUL: Make sure to never create a loop of plots by adding a plot as a parent which is a subplot of that plot. Even if there are more plots in between. When you do this you will no longer be able to view the plot list of the Campaign screen. To resolve the issue simply remove the parent relation that creates the loop.
 

Planning your first session

Of course, you can't run a game without a game session! Click the Schedule a new Session button in the Sessions section of the campaign and fill in the form:  
create session.png
  Click the Schedule Session button and the session will be created. If you want to start running it, click on the Start button in the session box:  
session start button.png
  This button will open the DSTS; see the Guide to running a session for more information.  

Primer

The Primer is a collection of articles from your world that are easily accessible by your players while in game. If you go to the Primer section of the campaign you'll see a list of all of your world's articles. Click on the green + button (right image) to add them to the Primer articles (left):
primer list.png
add primer.png
 

Settings

In this page you can change all your campaign's settings, including the cover image, the Discord chat server, and the visibility status. You can also add storytellers to the campaign and delete it from this page (be careful!).   You can also attach Timelines and Maps to your campaign from here!
campaign timelines and maps.jpg
 

Guild features

If you are a member of the Guild, you can change how the url of the campaign will look from the Guild features page of your campaign.
Rather watch a video? Check out the Quick Guide to get started:

FAQ

How are campaigns and worlds related?
Campaigns are automatically created inside the currently active world. The campaign will appear in the world's home page under a Campaigns header. Similarly, a link to the world will appear in the campaign public page. There are other integrations, such as NPCs having an article in the world that is always in sync with their bio in the campaign, or features such as the Primer or the Library in the DSTS drawing from the articles in the world (more information in the Guide to running a session).
 
I don't see any button to create my campaign!
Go to your account details and make sure that the RPG features are enabled for your account. Don't forget to check if you have set an RPG system in your World's Configuration
 
Which RPG system should I select if I'm using my own system?
There is a "Homebrew" option for these cases. The RPG system affects the statblocks you will have access to, the rest of the features are system-agnostic..
 
Can I turn NPCs into PCs?
Edit the NPC's profile and enter your player's username in the text box of the sidebar! See screenshot:
npc to pc converter.png
 
rank-journeyman
Can I customise the public campaign page appearance?
If you are a guild member, you can edit your campaign's CSS from the campaign settings.
 

Session reports and journals

When you end the session, you (the GM) will see a Write report button in the sessions section of the campaign interface. You can use the report to describe how the session went so that you are all in the same page when the next session starts!   Additionally, our players can write reports from their characters' point of view. More information on that in the Guide to character interaction.

Comments

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31 Oct, 2019 02:26

How do you delete a campaign

31 Oct, 2019 21:11

From the campaign settings page :)

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
10 Apr, 2020 19:58

How about if it's not linked to a world?

4 Dec, 2019 00:07

Which parts of these can be seen by the players? For instance, is there a button I can press so they can see their shared inventory, or their current quest logs?

4 Dec, 2019 09:35

Your players can see all of the party information from the session screen, this includes shared equipment and quests. They will get access to the session screen when you start it.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
10 Dec, 2019 17:22

Oh, they can only see it during the session?

17 Dec, 2019 21:17

Yes. If you want them to have access to it always, you can always not end the session.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
1 Jan, 2020 00:00

How do you change which world a campaign is attached to?

1 Jan, 2020 15:26

You can't, unfortunately. You'll have to delete the campaign (from the campaign settings) and create it again.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
21 Jan, 2020 17:04

I'm making a sequel campaign; do I need to Expel the characters from the previous one to put them in the new one?

21 Jan, 2020 21:30

I don't think so! Just send them the link to the sequel campaign. If it doesn't work, then that means that characters can only be in a single campaign, so you'll have to expel them from the previous one. I haven't tried that (I haven't gotten to the point of having a sequel yet!) but there's nothing wrong with just trying it :)

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
29 Jan, 2020 20:07

The Plot section says, "Keep in mind that the plot articles need to be published in order to be added to the campaign." I'm about to start a campaign and would like to understand what this means before I start adding my plots. I've one over-arching story line for the players with many side quests and one-shots along the way. The quoted line leads me to believe I need to add them as plots in some kind of order. Can you expand on this?

29 Jan, 2020 22:18

Sorry, this is bad wording, I'll fix it now. In order for the plots to be added to the campaign, they must be published (i.e. not drafts). I can see how "in order" could be misunderstood here, so I'll edit it out. Thanks!

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
30 Jan, 2020 00:47

I just realized I my confusion and came back to delete my question but you got to it first. Great service, thanks!

13 Feb, 2020 00:26

How to close/end campaign?

14 Feb, 2020 14:14

If you mean deleting it, you can do so from the settings page for the campaign, but keep in mind that this is irreversible and you won't be able to see its content anymore.   If you instead mean ending the session, just click the "stop" (or "end"? not sure) button in the sessions list.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
13 Feb, 2020 00:29

Why can't I add a Time-line part just created specially? What must it contain to be able to add it?

14 Feb, 2020 14:14

I don't understand what you are trying to do. Add a timeline where? Can you elaborate a little bit? Thanks!

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
15 Aug, 2020 00:41

I think what he's talking about is the "timelines and maps" section, which I can see on the public page for my campaign, but I can't find any way to add timelines and maps to it. This is the question I came here for.

14 Feb, 2020 15:06

When attempting to create a second campaign for my world, I receive the following message. "Hold on there partner! In order to create a campaign you will need to have a World for the campaign to take place into!" How can I create a second, third, or more campaigns without creating a new world? Do I need to upgrade my subscription?

15 Feb, 2020 13:00

Hi! Freemen can have two campaigns, so you should be able to create a second one. Make sure that your world is active when creating the new campaign (its name should appear in the left sidebar).

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
17 Feb, 2020 14:29

Thanks for the quick reply.

16 Feb, 2020 16:40

I actually have two questions!   Are you able to have multiple GM's? What is the maximum amount of Characters you can have?

16 Feb, 2020 16:55

And another one. Why are articles not showing in the Library tab during a session?

17 Feb, 2020 20:02

Not at the same time, as far as I know. You can switch who is acting as the GM though.   Use the search bar on the DSTS (in-session screen) to look up articles and blocks. Choose one of the search results and click "Add to library" to add it to the library.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
17 Feb, 2020 20:03

Correction for the first question: go to campaign settings, there's an "add storyteller" option. You can only select world co-authors, though.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
18 Feb, 2020 01:46

Thanks for the replies!

17 Feb, 2020 14:37

I've created my 2 campaigns as a Freeman. One of them is in the correct world, the other isn't.   1) Can I change what world the campaign is in? If yes, how do I change what world the campaign is in?   2) Do I need to create a new world every time I create a new campaign? Can I add a campaign to a world that already has another campaign? I have several campaigns in the same world at different time periods of the world (i.e., (ancient, modern, and post-modern time periods). Many of the supporting characters, places, etc. exist in all three time periods.

17 Feb, 2020 20:04

1) I'm afraid there isn't a way to change what world a campaign is in.   2) No, you don't need to. You can totally have multiple campaign in a single world (but as a Freeman you only get 2 campaigns, I think).

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
29 Apr, 2020 07:26

Can you import NPCs from your world into the campaign without re-typing everything? I tried linking articles in the "NEW NPC" screen but it still creates a duplicate character article.

29 Apr, 2020 10:48

Hi! I created an NPC and linked it to an already-created character article to check if it was working and I didn't have this issue. Are you sure you linked a character article and not a character sheet? The advanced options on the NPC creation form has three drop-downs: linked character article, current location, character sheet. Use the first one to avoid duplicates.   Let me know if this works!

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
29 Apr, 2020 20:24

I could've sworn thats what I was doing, but i tried it again and it worked. Maybe I was using the character sheet drop down.

16 May, 2020 01:30

If I am making my own RPG (not based on DnD or Pathfinder etc., but my own worldbuilding), what do I select as my RPG system?

16 May, 2020 17:22

There is a "homebrew" option for these cases! This only means that you will only get generic blocks (for random/regular tables, etc) while still getting the RPG functionality explained in this page.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
2 Jun, 2020 22:04

Hi! Is there a way to re-order plots that I have added to a campaign? They appear in Alphabetical order and I am unsure how to re-order this without just putting a numeral at the beginning of their title. Thanks!

Author of Hollowlight
3 Jun, 2020 09:23

I don't think this is an option, unfortunately. I personally name them "Session 1: [name of the session]", so they are sorted but it's also easier for me to remember which session is which.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
3 Jun, 2020 20:51

Hmmm... OK I'll figure something out. My plots aren't structured around sessions as I have no idea how many sessions they will take. My players can be a bit wild at times ;) Thanks for the response!

Author of Hollowlight
4 Jun, 2020 09:41

Oh, absolutely. My plots are arcs rather than individual sessions. They start as "session 1", but then I rename them to "session 1-3", for example.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
17 Jun, 2020 05:37

How do I add maps?

17 Jun, 2020 08:54

Take a look at the Guide to maps!

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
4 Jul, 2020 21:39

I want to play with my kids but we only have one laptop. is there a way to add heroes without them needing to have their own device?

5 Jul, 2020 15:39

Hi! You can create the Heroes yourself, then just copy the invite link and open it with the PC as the active character.   I often play with people who prefer pen and paper, so I just use the campaign manager for the GM side and let them use paper character sheets. Much easier than having to self-invite and keep track of everything yourself.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Grandmaster RealmsDM
Richard Rouillard
12 Jul, 2020 19:40

'Campaigns' exist inside of 'worlds', correct? So we build a 'world' first, then build a 'campaign'?

14 Jul, 2020 07:05

That's correct!

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
15 Aug, 2020 00:43

How do I change the name of the party without losing all of its info?

15 Aug, 2020 10:20

In the "Parties" tab of the campaign manager, click the "Edit Party" button. There's a text field to change the name.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
16 Aug, 2020 20:44

I can see a "timelines and maps" section on my campaign's public page. How do I add to it? Also, can I give my players the ability to edit those timelines, or even certain articles? I'd really like to link a timeline to my campaign and let my players add to it, and even let them edit certain articles so that they can collaborate more directly in the worldbuilding process as their characters affect the history of my world.

16 Aug, 2020 20:45

Related: I'd also love to be able to quickly and easily link my players' journal entries as articles in my world.

17 Aug, 2020 11:18

Hi! I think that any map or timeline that is set to display in the world homepage should also display in the campaign public page.   Players should already be able to edit their own character articles (since their profiles are synced with the articles). If you want to go further than that, take a look at the guide to authors. However, if you give them the editor role, they will be able to see everything in your world, including secrets, drafts, and private articles. The Advanced writer role will let them edit articles you choose, but not timelines.   As for the last question, there is no quick linking for journals unfortunately. However, you can use the full URL, using the [url][/url] tags. The URL is unique and won't change if the player edits the title.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
17 Aug, 2020 22:03

I have two maps and two timelines on my world homepage, but the "Maps and Timelines" section of my campaign public page is blank.

18 Aug, 2020 13:15

Hmm in this case, I'm not sure what to tell you. I suggest you join our Discord server, there's a help channel with people who will be happy to help you out!

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
6 Sep, 2020 00:14

Hey, quick question:. I created two weapons for my character and only one will show up in the equipment page. The block link in written form shows up and i don't understand what I'm doing wrong.

Journeyman Didz
David Hatch
21 Sep, 2020 15:46

How do you create a second campaign? I can't see a create campaign button anywhere.

24 Sep, 2020 10:51

When you go to your list of campaigns, you should see a create button in that page.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
22 Nov, 2020 07:19

When adding an item to a party is there a way to link to an item document within the world? The @ function doesn't seem to work.

22 Nov, 2020 16:17

That's not currently possible, but it's a good idea! Feel free to suggest it using the feature idea button of this page.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
22 Nov, 2020 18:18

Good to know, thank you!

1 Jan, 2021 09:18

I have deleted a campaign multiple times (went through the process and received the 404 thus your world is at an end message) I am the owner of the world but why cant I delete it?

1 Jan, 2021 11:53

That's strange, probably a bug. Can you report that using the bug tracking system? You'll see the link in the help page (you'll need a separate account for the bug tracker because it's a third-party service).

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
18 Jan, 2021 10:41

Can I have one campaign tied to one world and another campaign tied to another world? Currently both my campaign are on the same world wich does not work as it being two completely different campaign settings and maps etc.

18 Jan, 2021 11:24

It's possible, but I don't think you can change that after the campaign has been created. If the campaign you need to move doesn't have much content yet, you can delete it (Settings tab). Then, activate the world you want the campaign to take place in and create the campaign again. Hope this helps!

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
18 Jan, 2021 11:50

Good thing I haven't gotten far I guess. I would suggest to make it possible to switch on case you do as I have, create campaign first then world.

18 Jan, 2021 15:37

That's a good suggestion! Feel free to use the bug tracker to make sure Dimitris sees the request. It's accessible from the help page.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
8 Mar, 2021 01:19

I'm not able to edit my players character sheets for some reason. I can pull up their character profile fine, but when I click edit sheet I get a 404 error screen.

10 Mar, 2021 09:17

Hi! This is definitely a bug. Can you report it? The bug tracker is on GitHub (there's also a link on the help page), so you'll need a GitHub account to do it. Thank you!

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
14 Mar, 2021 02:10

I created a bunch of character articles on my World Anvil account. Is there a function to export information from a character article to an NPC entry in a campaign?

14 Mar, 2021 12:17

There is! Edit the NPC entry from the campaign interface. When you create a new NPC entry, click the "Additional details" button (very small letters before the "Save changes" button). There will be a "linked character article" drop-down where you can select any character article from your world. After saving changes, the extended NPC profile and the character article will be synced, so you'll be able to edit that information from both sides.   Unfortunately, I don't think this is possible with already-created NPCs, probably because information in one of both ends would be overwritten.   Hope this helps!

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
4 Apr, 2021 20:58

Hi. I created a World and added a co-owner. However he could not create a campaing in this World. Is it really impossible for him or we are doing something wrong?

5 Apr, 2021 11:44

Hi! He should be able to do it if he's a co-owner. This could be caused by a number of things:

  • Maybe you misclicked and made him editor instead (check the access rights page)
  • RPG features could be disabled for his account (make him check his Account features and make sure "RPG features" are enabled)
  • Make sure your world has an RPG system selected in your world settings.
  Let me know if any of this helps!

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
6 Apr, 2021 10:37

I've followed your instructions but nothing's changed. He still can't create a campaign. :(

6 Apr, 2021 11:28

I'll need more details, then! Can he see the "Create campaign" button in the world dashboard (or the "+ New Campaign" button in the drop-down to switch worlds on the left sidebar), or does he get an error when he clicks it? Also, is he a freeman? I can't see a campaign limit in the pricing page, but just in case, it'll be good to know. Let's see if we can get to the bottom of this! :)

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
6 Apr, 2021 13:58

Ok, thanks :) He's doing the same as I am: clicking "Create a new Campaign" button in "Your Campaigns" tab. After that he immediately recieves the message: "Hold on partner. In order to create a Campaign you will need to have a World for the campaign to take place into".

6 Apr, 2021 13:59

He's a freeman, yes.

6 Apr, 2021 17:46

Ok, it sounds like he isn't being processed as a world owner. Can you try removing him from the access page and re-adding him (making sure he's set as a co-owner, not as an editor or a writer)? Make sure he has an active world when creating the campaign too (the name of the world should appear at the top of the left sidebar). If he's a full co-owner of the world, he should be able to create a campaign in it as long as he doesn't have more than 2 in total.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
7 Apr, 2021 22:24

I tried but it didn't help unfortunately. Quite a mystery :))

8 Apr, 2021 09:32

In this case, do you have a Discord account? We have a help channel where someone else might be able to help you out with this! I'm afraid I'm out of ideas.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Master Barcodum
Marcus Cupps
7 Apr, 2021 06:40

I started a campaign but it linked it to the wrong world. Can I unlink it from that world and if so, how?

7 Apr, 2021 17:24

Unfortunately unlinking campaigns is not possible! Your best option is deleting it (from campaign settings) and re-creating it again.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
9 May, 2021 03:21

Hey, I was just curios. I'm running a campaign and on my campaign public page, the Supporting Cast list appears, but when my players view the campaign page as players, they cannot see the supporting cast list. The NPC's are all set to visible, is there a setting I'm missing so they can see the Supporting Cast list when viewing the campaign page as players?

9 May, 2021 10:10

Hi! I just tested it with my campaign and the NPCs are visible for my players just by setting them as visible in their basic profile page. If you're sure the NPCs are set to visible and your players aren't looking at the wrong spot, I suggest you join our Discord server! We have a dedicated help channel where someone might be able to figure out what's happening.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.