Scrivener & Role Playing Games

I’ve taken to using Scrivener when I run the occasional role playing game.

I’m currently running a multi-session game that requires a fair amount of improv based off of a lot of content I’ve handed the players previous to the game. I don’t know what they are going to gravitate to or not, so it’s been very useful to break down every element I suspect is useful into it’s own separate document, then organized by sub-documents and then folders for entire sessions.

The style of game I run tends to be more of a “sandbox” and rather non-linear, so again being able to jump around folders/docs and the split screen have be super helpful. As is the corkboard for getting a bigger picture of what has happened so far and where things could go.

The reference section has been great for dropping in maps, random inspiration from Wikipedia or anything else visual I think could benefit the game. And I haven’t even begun to test out what kind of audio I could bring into the game.

If I get a little proactive I was considering assigning different player characters their own metadata tag whenever I feel like I need an improv element that would appeal particularly to their backstory.

I suspect writing role playing scenarios will be equally enjoyable with Scrivener, due to the non-linear flexibility of the system. So far so good…now only to figure out how I’ll reproduce this on the Ipad!

YES! I just made a post pertaining exactly to this, saw yours, and deleted it. But basically, last night, I was forced to run an impromptu D&D encounter, and Scrivener came to my aid as the perfect tool.

I made one folder for all the characters in the encounter, and arranged them as index cards on the cork board after they all rolled initiative. From there, I was able to have all the player statistics listed in the area reserved for document summary, and the document notes inspector was used to keep track of things affecting each character, such as Marks and Quarries and temporary status effects.

I split the view to include two documents, and in the bottom pane I could keep up the PDF’s of the creatures. And my favorite feature, although a bit silly, was that I edited the Label menu to include Bloodied and Dead, and the status menu to include Stunned, Paralyzed, Sleep, Slowed, etc.

All in all, it was a remarkably effective solution. And I agree completely, it seems also a perfect tool for world building and story design. All the elements of Scrivener that make for managing a story are perfect here. The only difference is that instead of writing the words yourself, they are played out in front of you.

Once I iron out the kinks, I’ll probably make a template and post it up.

Great use case! I’m hoping to run a Pathfinder or Dragon Age game this summer and plan to incorporate Scrivener. Using Scrivener to track status is going to be immensely helpful, and the corkboard is a great way to arrange and plan encounters. Project and document notes should also help with session comments.

This is a fantastic idea, and I shall have to borrow it some time! Particularly liked the idea of shuffling index cards by initiative and using labeling for status.

I’ve got several campaigns worth of Scrivener documents, and am very pleased with it. In fact, probably 95% of my use of Scrivener is for RPG campaigns.

I have a template that I use, more or less up to date, here:

Thanks for sharing your template rjbs, I’ll have to check it out! I just got Scrivener to write my NaNoWriMo novel in, but as I was looking at it, it dawned on me that this would be a great tool for organizing my Werewolf: The Forsaken game in.

Currently I’ve got a box of index cards that’s mostly organized, but I’ve run out of space for some of my NPC’s :wink: I also do most of my session notes digitally (in Google Docs) and was having trouble maintaining both the digital and analog stuff.

This looks to be the perfect solution. My game is also very non-linear, so it’ll help a lot to be able to have ideas in one place, then drop them in the “manuscript” in order as the players explore specific events.

That’s a cool idea; I’ll have to remember that. I got Scrivener during nano, but then I started using it to organize all the files I need for building a new Tolkien mush.

Was just about to start a new thread, but I found this one, so I’ll just post a +1 in this instead.

Scrivener is perfect for how I do role-playing games. I run a couple of different styles, but this is great. I can set up sections (and metadata tags) for my various PCs, tag different story threads with appropriate data, keep maps and creature statblocks in easy-to-access areas, and easily import-and-modify adventure text from a variety of sources (either my own personal stuff, or PDFs of adventures I bought online). It really is great.

I downloaded the NaNoWriMo demo of Scrivener thinking I was going to write a novel. I used it for a while trying to learn the program, I´m fairly sure I haven´t learned it all yet. Within a two week or so period I had bought both versions, Mac and Windows. I recall it as I started working on RPG writing, as a GM running a Dresden Files Fate RPG, during my trial before I bought the software. I found a template for RPG writing here I believe it was … anagement/
I have plans to try and write Dresden Files fanfiction for fun at some point later. My main use so far has been RPG writing as a GM in Dresden Files Fate RPG, using the above template.
I had an outline and a few characters but most of it and really a lot of it I´ve come up with since acquiring Scrivener.
To me it feels like Scrivener makes me think, focus and idly process ideas from my rpg all the time. Knowing I have this awesome software, breaking scenes, NPCs and ideas down into smaller chunks makes it so easy to work with and I´ve come up with so much content since using scrivener as compared to before.

Now bearing in mind that a lot of my documents are character sheets and some are scene ideas (regular text documents) these are my current statistics:

Words: 11.101
Characters: 63.241
Turned into a book Scrivener says 31 pages, if I hit a printer 69 pages.

This for me is a hell of a lot of content, and in game terms I think I have content for 2 sessions and a premise for the third. But I won´t know until I´ve run it by my game master. Originally this was a one session one-shot, I don´t think that´s the case anymore.

+1 (in lieu of a like button!)