Player Workflow Guide in World Anvil Codex | World Anvil

Player Workflow Guide

Restructuring the Codex

We are currently moving articles around and changing the general structure of the Codex. Please come back later if you get lost!
This Guide is to help you, a role-player or character creator, use World Anvil to its maximum potential. This page does not dictate how you must use World Anvil; instead, it gives you a suggested workflow so to get you on your feet and to get you acquainted with the features and tools available to you.   World Anvil allows you to track and manage your character both during sessions and between them. Additionally, it lets you interact with other characters and write session journals from your character's point of view.   Within World Anvil, these characters are referred to as Heroes. All the features related to Heroes are referred to as the Hero's Suite.

Let's do it!


1. Create a Hero

When you create your account, you'll be given the option to choose between activating the worldbuilding suite or Heroes (the character and campaign management tool). Choose the latter clicking on the big "Create your Hero" image. If you forgot to click on this option when you created your account, you can always access the character creation page from the left side bar anyway.  

2. Edit your Hero's Profile

When you finish the previous step, you will access your character's profile, which includes some social features (but we'll get to that later on). To edit the character's profile, click the Edit button under the character's short bio. The profile editing page has two tabs (three if you are an Epic Hero): basic and extended profile. In short, the basic profile will appear in the "bio box" in the left side of the character's profile, while the extended profile appears in the About tab of the profile. Fill in the fields you want (empty fields will just not appear in the profile), save the profile, and you're all set!  

3. Create Posts and Journals

Heroes is designed around a social experience for your characters. The social features are completely optional, but can be quite useful for both role-players and writers. A player might use them to interact with their party mates between sessions, while a writer could use them to develop a voice for a character through posts. Whatever your use case, here are some things you can keep in mind:  
  • There are different post types, each one with its own features. Use them to add more variation to your profile! You can also use the Out of Character post type to write a post from your own point of view (and not from the character's)
  • Journals Entries are long-form posts; use them to write about the events that happened in the last session from your character's perspective!
  • You can set individual posts to be private, in case you want to test something or just write a post that is only for your eyes.
  • Achievement posts and Journal entries will appear in a timeline located in the History tab —very useful to recall past events of your character's life! Journals and images also have their own tabs.

4. Create your Character Sheet

To create the character sheet for your character, make sure that you have an RPG system selected in the basic profile. Under the system drop-down, you will find a link labelled as "Choose your character sheet" —click it (you can also access the character sheet creation page from the Statblocks option in the sidebar). In the next page, choose the character sheet template for the system you want to use in the first drop-down. If you already created a character sheet and want to link it to the character, use the second drop-down. Have fun filling it out!  
  When you are all set, ask your GM for the invitation link to the campaign and access it from your account! The link will add you (and anyone who accesses it) as players to the campaign.     

5. Let's play

If the GM of the campaign you are playing in is also using World Anvil, you will be able to use some neat tools to help you keep track of everything! When the GM starts a session, you will see a button that will take you to the session live screen. The live screen has different utilities, including a virtual dice roller, a stats tracker, a party management screen, and more. You can find detailed instructions on how to use it in the Guide to Playing a Session, but in short:
  • Use the Scrapbook to take notes during the session. If you are a Guild member, you can also use the Notebook, which is available outside the live screen and available between sessions.
  • Use the Equipment tab to track the items that your character is carrying.
  • Even though physical dice are shiny, the live screen also has a standard dice roller where the results of the rolls are sent to the GM and the rest of players.
  • Use the trackable character sheet to track values such as your character's hit points or spell slots on the fly. The changes will be saved to the main character sheet.
  • Use the party menu to see and manage the quests that your party is currently trying to complete.
  Although the live screen is only accessible during a session, all changes you make through this screen will be saved and accessible in between session as well (mainly through your character sheet).     

6. After the session

After the session ends, you can polish your notes and put them in a journal entry so that you remember what happened in past sessions and your fellow players and GM can read through the experiences of your character from the character's own eyes. You can also use the social features to interact with the posts that other players publish, and if there are long periods of downtime between sessions, you can tell what your character is doing using posts!  

Other Workflow Guides

As this Codex progresses, we will add additional workflows for different styles of World Anvil users. Until then, feel free to ask any questions in the comments below and we will respond ASAP!


Please Login in order to comment!
Feb 24, 2020 16:34 by Donald Sims

How do I disable Heroes? Or how to I access all of my original data? All of my saved data disappeared when I changed to Heoeos. I would really like it back!

Feb 28, 2020 14:30

Hi! Can you please clarify? What do you mean by "changed to Heroes"? And which data are you referring to? Heroes is just one feature of World Anvil, so you should be able to access everything for the left sidebar. Thanks!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Feb 29, 2020 14:43 by Donald Sims

Some time after I joined, the HERO button appeared. Being curious, I clicked it, explored it, and clicked back to the original database. One day while I was looking at the HEROs section, I no longer had the ability to click back to the original database, which is where all of the articles, characters, and et cetera that I had created are residing. If there is a link in to left sidebar that I am overlooking, please let me know what I am doing wrong. Thank you.

Mar 2, 2020 07:23 by Tillerz

Left side bar, Settings, Account Details ( ), scroll down to DETAILS. YOu probably enabled the HERO only mode and the other features are disabled here. Click those bars ("World building features" etc) to reenable them.

Jul 1, 2020 14:24

How do you handle having 2 spell caster classes and dealing with spells per day and spells known? I'm not sure how to do that on the character sheet.

Jul 1, 2020 20:22

Assuming you are talking about dnd 5e, I just added the spell blocks in my character sheet's spellbook. I excluded the spells that I don't know, even if they are in my class's spell list. Hope this helps!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Jul 3, 2020 05:25

I should have specified. Pathfinder 1st edition. Thanks for your help.

Jul 3, 2020 12:05

I've got no experience with this character sheet, but I'm sure that if you join our Discord server someone in the community will be able to help you ^^

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Jul 9, 2020 14:07

Suggestions: ‘After the Session -> Journal Entry’ should be a BIG button for players to notice, so they enter journal entries for the session. There should be a way for players to visit sessions as well, and ‘Journal Entry’ should be a BIG button specific to that session (i.e., already auto-attach Journal Entry to that session). The Player view of session also shows all the journal entries. Ideally, other entries could be moved (converted) to Journal Entries for a session.

Jul 10, 2020 09:59

Hi! Feel free to suggest that as a feature using the form that you'll find here ("Do you need help?" link in the footer). You'll have to create a separate account for that because the feature request/bug tracker is a third-party service.

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Nov 19, 2020 18:31

Some other help documents refer to the "Message Center" so players and the storyteller can send private messages, but I can't seem to find the icon for the Message Center in the place that is shown in those articles. Was this feature removed? And if so, how do we send private messages between people in a campaign? Thanks!

Nov 19, 2020 19:04

Hi! This feature was removed (it caused errors) and there's no replacement as of yet. Where did you find mentions to the Message Center? I hunted them down to update the guides but I might have missed some.

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Nov 19, 2020 21:59

Looks like "Introduction to Heroes" here has it:   Also, in the screenshot on this page under "Let's Play", you can see a mail icon, which implies you can do messaging, though there's no mention of it in the actual article.

Dec 12, 2020 21:00

I've noticed after creating a hero when you go to view the Hero's profile, it doesn't list the species field even though that was filled out. Is that something that has to be toggled on/off somehow?

Dec 13, 2020 12:33

There's no toggle as far as I know, so it should appear in either the basic or extended profile. Are you sure you saved the profile after adding the species?

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Dec 24, 2020 14:57

Bonjour, je rencontre un problème: mon MJ s'est crée un monde sur World Anvil, et on doit ajouter nos personnages à ce monde. J'ai crée ma fiche personnage, mais impossible de trouver comment transférer ma fiche perso à son monde à lui ? Merci pour votre aide

Dec 24, 2020 14:58

Hello, I'm having a problem: my GM has created a world for himself on World Anvil, and we need to add our characters to this world. I created my character file, but can't find how to transfer my personal file to his world? Thanks for your help

Dec 29, 2020 19:36

Hi WA Team! How can I create a PC and assign it to one of my players? When I click on the "Transfer Ownership" button, I can't see the players I've invited using the link on the Protagonists page... Do they have to create a dummy PC first and then I'll be bale to assign the PC I've created for them? Thanks in advance for your help!

Dec 30, 2020 11:54

Hi! Typing in their WA username in the "Receiver's username" should transfer the character to their account. Just make sure to type it correctly!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Jan 16, 2021 17:04


Jan 29, 2021 18:24 by Mike

Hi all - I've just created a world and campaign, and gathering my players into it. One of the things I also did is set my world to have a given date (call it 1000 AW). One of my players would like to start writing journal entries, but date them a couple years prior to the date set for the campaign/world (e.g. 993 AW he wants a journal entry). How can that person do this, or how can I adjust things on my end as the world creator to allow them to do this?

Jan 30, 2021 11:27

You don't need to do anything! The journal editor has a date field at the bottom, and it's freeform. If they click the small "Advanced" button, they can set the day, month, and year individually so that they appear ordered by date. Hope this helps!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Jul 7, 2021 17:45

Hey was wondering how to edit the History tab, all it says when clicked on is "The major events and journals in (PC Name) history, from the beginning to today", was wondering how I could add those events for backstory purposes.

Jul 8, 2021 09:45

The History tab is automatically populated every time you publish an "achievement / life event" type of post in your character's stream.

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Dec 7, 2022 14:52

Thank you for your response I appreciate it, and hope you have a great day/night!

Aug 5, 2021 18:32

How do you delete Heroes after you've created them? Or is that not an option?

Aug 6, 2021 10:07

If you edit their profile, you'll see a "Delete character" panel at the bottom of the right column. This should work, let me know if it doesn't!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Aug 16, 2021 06:17

Out of curiosity does the GM have edit access to the character sheets? What about the journal entries, etc? Do you see those only on the character page or do the public posts show up on the Campaign somewhere? (Brand new to WA)

Aug 18, 2021 10:08

Hi! The GM has edit access to the character sheets but not to the journal entries. The journal entries are only accessible through the character's profile. Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Oct 27, 2021 04:04 by Chuck Dee

How do I delete a hero? I was just playing around with it to see what the players see, and now that I'm done, I want to delete the hero from my world. I expelled them, but they still show up in the world, and I can't delete them from the dashboard.

Oct 28, 2021 14:00

Hi! You can activate them from the left sidebar toggle (at the top). Then go to the settings -> edit profile and find the "Delete character" box in the bottom right. Hope this helps!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Jan 22, 2022 20:55

Can I somehow edit posts my character makes in the STREAM section of its profile page?

Jan 24, 2022 10:49

I'm afraid not! You can, however, delete them or make them private if you spotted an error after posting them.

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Jan 26, 2022 14:24

Aw, too bad, maybe this could be a feature to be added? I use them to write session summaries as a diary for my character. I just wanted to fix typos.

Jan 26, 2022 15:36

Features can be requested here: [url] You'll need 300 anvil coins to submit it!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Jul 3, 2022 22:42

Can anyone help me understand the difference between journals and memories? I only see journals mentioned in the workflow.

Jul 4, 2022 09:16

Hi! Journals can be written by characters, usually to summarize the latest session, but you can use them for whatever you want. Memories are tied to specific articles, so you'll see them when you browse the campaign world in presentation mode.

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Dec 6, 2022 16:52

Can GM's also create sheets for their NPCs?

Dec 12, 2022 10:09

Of course, just go to the Statblocks section of your world and select the proper sheet template for your NPC!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Jan 23, 2023 20:31

What is armor move?

Jan 24, 2023 09:12

Hi! I'm not sure what you're referring to. If it's a question about the rules of an RPG system, I recommend reading the appropriate section of the rules. If the question is about a World Anvil feature, I'll need you to elaborate on where you're seeing this.

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Sep 17, 2023 03:51

No, you CAN'T always access the Character Creation Page from the left side bar. In fact, the left sidebar is very good at taking you on a long, circuitous journey to many places you don't want to be certainly not the character creation page. You need to learn something I tried to teach my students decades ago about user interfaces. You have to realize that YOU are not the person operating the interface. EVERYTHING should be OBVIOUS to the point of simplicity. Since I was working in defense, that also meant obvious to someone who was exhausted to the point of being stupid. For you, that means Obvious to someone who probably doesn't speak your original language and will use it until they get frustrated when they will quit and go somewhere else.

Sep 18, 2023 08:44

Hi! I will be happy to guide you through the process if you want to elaborate on the issue. In general, creating new characters is always the same process:  

  1. Click the World Anvil logo at the top left
  2. Click the "Your RPG Characters" tab at the top of the global dashboard
  3. Click on "Create a new Character"
  If you don't see character-related options in the steps above, you might have disabled the character manager. You can click your profile picture at the top right and select "Features" to enable it.   Let me know if you need help with anything else!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Sep 22, 2023 20:02

It took awhile to find that you had answered, in fact, it took an email from one of your team to let me know that you HAD answered. (you might also want to implement underlining in your editing as all caps always looks like yelling which isn't always appropriate or well received.) There is a "bell" icon at the top of the page. That is usually used to indicate that someone has a message waiting. It should be simple to make a change such that that icon indicates a waiting response, or, as necessary, add a new icon to indicate that there is a message waiting here and not through email (which I, personally, would prefer). Not everything said or done here needs to be broadcast to the world. As to your Discord channels, it's not particularly easy (or sane and can even be intimidating) to try to get an answer in a channel with so many users with warnings not to DM anyone.

Sep 23, 2023 02:16

Yep, the bell at the top IS notifying you of messages. Obviously missed that; read past it. So much for observational skills. As we say in Texas, good thing I wasn't hunting snakes.

Sep 23, 2023 02:59

Statblocks: Is there a definition of these and a deeper explanation somewhere? They SEEM to be only text descriptions, and searching through lists of statblocks for character generation is awkward (e.g. monk traits and abilities that outpace the character generation capabilities). Do the statblocks provide inputs to variables for the character generator, or are they only static text?

Sep 25, 2023 08:55

Hi! We don't have a character generator for statblocks (if you're thinking of random generators). In any case, statblocks are supposed to look like a form when you edit them rather than just a plain-text description. So it could be that you haven't selected a supported RPG system in your world.   Edit your world settings (by clicking the gear icon at the bottom of the left sidebar) and scroll down to select a system. Let me know if this helps, and if it doesn't feel free to elaborate so I can help you better!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Sep 23, 2023 05:33

NLP: Is there a plan to implement NLP (Natural Language Processing) such that natural inquiries can be used in search? Are there any plans to implement global search capabilities for the Codices? For example, when I type "delete character", the search comes back "article not found". It LOOKS as though I have to know what article or sub-article I have to search in order to implement a search, but if I knew the article, I wouldn't need the search in the first place. I would also rather not have to learn to code in whatever meta-language WA is using simply in order to perform rudimentary searches.

Sep 25, 2023 08:57

Hi! No, search only looks at article titles and some other areas like tags. You could use Google with the "" tag if you want to use a more powerful search engine, but it won't account for your private content or drafts if you have any.

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Nov 19, 2023 22:18

It's very unclear to me what is and isn't available to my GM. There's Journals (which can be public and private), Scrapbook, Notebook and Memories. Which of these are viewable by the GM?   Basically, I want to create character notes listing what they know about other players, but I don't want this to be visible to other players, but I do want it to be visible for my GM. Preferably, I'd want to sort it much like the Notebook allows me to.   As a sidenote, I couldn't find any article specifically about the Notebook (but I might be looking in the wrong place). Is there a way to consistently view the Notebook without having to click the eye-button every time? (like having it be a toggle instead?) because otherwise the BBCode makes it feels like cluttered text when trying to view it quickly.

Nov 20, 2023 07:36

Hi!   The notebook is personal, so only you can see it. What you write in an article will be visible to your players if the article is public (or if it's private but shared with the players' subscriber groups). To add secret notes in a public article, you can use secrets or subscriber containers. Just make sure you don't share your private notes with your players' subscriber group, if you have added them to one.   The eye button is the only way to view the notebook with its formatting. But how do you mean with a toggle? The eye button is a toggle (clicking it toggles the view mode without reloading).   Regarding the other two features you mention: the scrapbook is only visible to you (and coauthors of your world, if you have any). Memories are a player feature they can use to take notes on your articles for future reference.   Let me know if this helps!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Nov 20, 2023 07:42

I just re-read your comment and realized you are a player, not the GM, sorry. In this case, you can use the notebook, which is 100% private. Your Memories are also private. However, your character scrapbook will be visible to the GM.

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Nov 21, 2023 15:20

So if I understand correctly: Notebook: 100% private, shared with no-one Memories: private, not visible to the GM, only possible to share with players but not the GM(?) Scrapbook: visible to the GM, not visible to players (?)   Also, for the toggle, I meant in the Notebook. There's the option to use BBCode in the Notebook to style your text, however when you navigate through a Notebook, it's always automatically displayed as editable text (aka, the BBCode is visible constantly)   This is only changed when you click the top right Eye-button, to view it the way it was BBCode tagged. Is there a way to have this permanently be the case?

Nov 22, 2023 06:40

The notebook and memories are both private. The scrapbook is visible to you and the GM only.   Regarding the notebook, there isn't an option for it to always default to view mode, no.

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Dec 3, 2023 03:54 by Christy

What about character sheets that don't exist? I.E.: I'm running my own system, it's not a published "real" commercial system.

Dec 4, 2023 05:43

Hi! Grandmasters of the Guild can design their own custom statblock templates, although it requires knowledge of HTML, CSS, and TWIG. Check out this guide for more information:

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.