Organizing your worldbuilding content effectively is very important, and that’s why tables are so great! Let’s take a look at how interactive tables on World Anvil can improve how you organize your articles!
What are interactive tables?
Interactive tables are a World Anvil feature that provides more options than a standard static table. You can:
- roll on the table to get a random row (think random encounters, treasure, etc)
- link to other tables, to create a chain of tables (either randomly rolled or selected)
- search its contents (useful for those endless tables!)
- use all kinds of interactive content, such as checkboxes, dice buttons, images, and more!
This animated GIF showcases some of the many things they can do:
Looking for more details on how interactive tables work? Check out the documentation guide!
Use tables instead of lists!
Sure, sometimes you need a list, but regular lists are boring, right? That’s why they’re regular! If the content of your list always follows the same structure, use a table instead. It will feel more organized and will also break the text, which your readers will be grateful for!
For example, you could have a table with your characters and use each column to track things like current location, abilities, age, personality, whether they’re dead or alive, and so on. Or use it for a quick overview of your world’s countries! You can then specify the dominant religions, languages, cultures, and species that live in each country. It’s a great reference tool both for you and your audience —whether they’re players or readers!
In her world of Kairas, D. Hale Rambo uses a similar idea to summarise a set of abilities and their properties. Much cleaner than a list!
Random roll tables – Interactive style!
If you’re an RPG player, you probably know what a random table is. But it’s useful for writers too! Basically, with a random table, you can roll a die on it and get a random row. Then, use it for your project! It could be a random encounter for an RPG or a writing prompt for a story! If you’re running a game, they’re a great tool to prepare for improvisation. With a couple of well thought out tables, you can generate a full city on the fly with just a couple of clicks!
Another fun way of using a random table is to give your readers random articles to read! You can set the table to automatically open the link in the dice result’s row. So you could create a table with your best articles and tell the reader to roll for a random article!
The great thing about interactive tables is that you’re not rolling physical dice —so you can have as many rows as you’d like! You can even give some rows more weight than others – making it more likely that they’ll be selected!
It’s like a toy for your readers
A good way to keep your readers’ attention is to add things they can interact with! Spoiler buttons, interactive charts, and maps are all great tools for that. And interactive tables are too! Let’s take a look at this example from TJ’s world of Melior:
The table has a list of 100 book titles, which makes the use of a scrolling table very handy! But notice how he kept the Roll button —your readers might not read 100 entries in a list, but if there’s a button to click, they’ll click it!
Track your worldbuilding progress
Want to track your worldbuilding progress? It’s a great thing to do in events like WorldEmber or Summer Camp! You can set a column to have a checkbox for each row and another with everything you want to write about. And then, when you complete a row, just click the checkbox! It’s a great strategy to keep your motivation strong! RiverFang, the creator of Seireitei, used this concept for her WorldEmber progress tracker —she even kept the roll button, which helps to randomly pick an article to work on!
Ready to start creating tables? Create an account on World Anvil and be creative!
Or maybe you’re already using Interactive tables? What are you using them for? Throw your reference links in the comments!