Secrets | WA Codex


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!
Written by Ademal and update by SoulLink

Guild Exclusive

This is a guild-only feature. To get access, Join the Worldbuilder's Guild!

There are a great many things you do not yet know, traveller, secrets which will make your skin crawl and your teeth chatter. You'll come to learn them in time, and you will come to damn the fact.
— The Innkeeper

Create a Secret

Secrets can be created from within an article or from the Secrets List. Secrets created from within an article are automatically attached to that article.

Fields of a Secret

  • Title: The title of the secret is always displayed at the top of the secret as a heading. The title cannot be omitted.
  • Content: The content is the heart of the secret. You can add any BBCode here.
  • Related Article: The related article of the secret. Secrets attached to an article will appear at the bottom of the article as a tab on the metadata section. This tab appears as soon as there is any secret attached and is shown to anyone who can view the article, regardless if a viewer can see any of the secrets. Avoid attaching secrets to articles if it is important that viewers are unaware that there are any secrets.
  • Subscriber Groups: Add subscriber groups to the secret if you want anyone to see it.

From within an Article

Any secret created this way will be attached to the currently edited article.

Managing Secrets

The Secrets List gives an overview of all the secrets within your world. It does not distinguish if a secret is attached to an article or not. You can filter the secret list based on the titles with the search bar at the top. The table shows the following data:  
  • Title (Author): The copy secret BBCode button, the title and the author of the secret.
  • Subscriber Groups: A list of all the subscriber groups added to this secret.
  • Edit Secret : Open the secret editor.
  • Delete Secret : Delete the secret. Asks for confirmation via browser alert.
Sidebar Secrets Selected

Sharing Secrets

To share a secret it has to be either attached or embedded within an article. By default, secrets are only visible to the person who created them. Secrets can be shared with co-owners and editors with the Open Secrets setting. Who can see the secret depends on the subscriber groups attached to them.

Using Secrets for RPG Campaigns

Secrets are the most powerful and flexible way to organize information that is not yet known by your players. The flexibility of subscriber groups gives you the ability to share this information with your entire party or just one or several players.   Use secrets to write about secret characteristics or roles of your characters, hidden treasurers within locations or secret steps of a ritual. You can then easily reveal these secrets within the articles while you play to your players. They can then reference this information in future sessions.   In some campaigns, you might only want to share something with a single player. To accomplish this create a separate subscriber group to just that player and assign this group to the secret. Only that player will then be able to access this piece of information.

Using Secrets for Monetization

Whether you're using World Anvil as a supplemental to your creative endeavours or as your primary platform, you can use secrets to reward core readers with extra content that nobody else can see.  
  • Share additional background information for important characters or organizations. Or any other type of article you have.
  • Share additional or variant TTRPG rules and statblocks to your worlds articles.
  • Share preview/sneak-peek content with some of your readers ahead of publication.


Alternative Ways to Hide Content
for Grandmasters & Sages
Visibility Toggles
Generic article | Oct 29, 2023

Visibility toggles offer an easy way to temporarily hide and reveal information within an article.

Subscriber Containers
Spell | May 30, 2024

An easy way to share content only with a specific group of people.

Hiding the Secret Title
Currently there is no setting to hide the title of a secret but it can be achieved with the use of CSS.   All guild members can hide the titles of embedded secrets either for the world or per article with the following CSS:  
.user-css .user-css-secret h5 {
  display: none;
  To hide the title only on select secrets use a Container around the secret like
and adding the following to your World CSS:  
.user-css .secret-hidden-title .user-css-secret h5 {
  display: none;

This article has no secrets.


Please Login in order to comment!
Jul 13, 2019 01:19 by Jaime Buckley

Thank you for explaining this, though I'm still a bit confused on one aspect. I'll copy my question from the Discord:   QUESTION: I am reading the Codex, about Secrets and I read this:   Important: Don't create your secret when the article has pending changes, and don't edit your article while you have an unsaved Secret.   ...and I don't understand the definition of 'pending changes'?   Does that mean if I'm going to ADD to my article I shouldn't create a secret??   Because my articles won't ever truly be "done", since it's based on my book series...   Does this mean I should have my articles saved, THEN create a secret (and save it also), THEN I can make other changes to my article?   Hope that makes sense...

Storyteller, Cartoonist,..pretty awesome friend =)
Subscribe to Life of Fiction to see the live results of all this worldbuilding.
Jul 13, 2019 04:37 by Ademal

Secrets and articles have different saving processes. If you save a secret, any edits to the article since its last save will be lost. If you save an article, same in reverse. Save your article changes, then make your secret.

CSS Whisperer • Community Admin • Author of Ethnis
Oct 3, 2019 23:36 by theTraveler

Is there an easy way to make an entire article (or even an article and all of its children) secret? At the moment, I just have my world set to public and the relevant articles set to private, but if I ever add my players as subscribers, they will be able to see private articles, yes? And there are some topics that the party simply does not know about that shouldn't be visible to them at all, or at least not to all of them.

Oct 4, 2019 03:49 by Ademal

Being a subscriber doesn't reveal all private articles, no. Under the access tab of each article is the ability to determine which of your subscriber groups can see that article, so you can make things visible as they find them.

CSS Whisperer • Community Admin • Author of Ethnis
May 31, 2020 02:15 by Elia Browning

I'm having a glitch with secrets right now, does anyone know how to help? I just bought a Journeyman membership so I could make secrets. However, when I try to hit the "Add Secrets" button on my article editing page, the popup comes up, but the page is dark like it's still loading and I can't click anything. It freezes like that, and the only way to back out is to reload the page. Help!

Jun 2, 2020 02:44 by Ademal

Try in incognito first. If it works, then one of your browser extensions are causing the error.

CSS Whisperer • Community Admin • Author of Ethnis
Jun 10, 2020 10:49 by Amy

That happens to me when I'm using Microsoft edge. Try using a different browser. Chrome works perfectly fine.   It's because there is an invisible popup waiting for you to close it. The popup will appear properly in chrome.

Jun 27, 2020 03:42 by Elia Browning

THANK YOU!! To be completely honest, I'm not entirely sure why I didn't think of that before seeing as I've had so many issues with Edge doing things like this before. Thanks a million!!

Sep 8, 2020 00:20

I'm having a bit of problem hiding my secret title. I am grandmaster and I need a bit of help. So a few questions. 1) Do I keep my title as is on the secret? 2) I put the secret in the article like this right? [secret id here]

Sep 11, 2020 23:33 by Ademal

You just paste the bbcode tag for the secret, yeah. To hide your secret you could use CSS to target the secret headers in your world or article (.secret-container h5) and set them to display: none;.   If you need some CSS help with that, hop in the discord!

CSS Whisperer • Community Admin • Author of Ethnis
Sep 11, 2020 23:37 by Ademal

Alternatively. If the secret is going to only be used in that article, you can use subcontainers. You can use subcontainers by typing [ followed by the name of the secret group, and autofill will recommend and autofill for you. Whatever you write inside of the tag is visible only to them.

CSS Whisperer • Community Admin • Author of Ethnis
Oct 2, 2020 04:52

Just a tip that if you add to your CSS:   .user-css-secret h5:first-of-type { display:none; }   it will remove only the title of the secret and not any other H4 headers you might have in the text of your secret.

Jul 15, 2021 01:21 by Dylan

Helpful article however I don't see any way to view the article as a different subscriber group (eg. Players, General Public, Subscribers). Is this a feature? I am just wondering what my players will see when I have a secret in the article but I don't want to have to log out every time.

Jul 16, 2021 19:13 by Ademal

There currently isn't a preview feature.

CSS Whisperer • Community Admin • Author of Ethnis
Dec 28, 2021 12:43

Using secrets more and I really enjoy them, the only problem is organizing them. Is there a way to do that like we can articles? embedding subscriber group-specific secrets directly into an article is a great way to hide things from your average readers. But your secret section quickly gets overrun and finding the one you need is a pain when NPC 1/3/5 each has a secret called "journal" or "the journal of a noble". (I know you can have subscriber group blocks if you're a grandmaster but not everyone is and has to make do, hiding info in other ways)

Jul 5, 2023 00:05 by Ørvar Blackwood

Is it possible to have secrets be discoverable by entering passwords? Like answering a riddle of sorts.

-TXMX (ae/aer, he/him, vamp/vamps)
Jul 5, 2023 18:46 by Ademal

You can password lock an article, and I believe Stormbril figured out how to hack that sort of thing in with lots of CSS and Grandmaster Containers, but there's no built in passworded block of text, no.

CSS Whisperer • Community Admin • Author of Ethnis