Ever dreamed of a way to see the story of your world without having to scroll through countless text walls while you’re running a session? Or maybe a way to visually show the progress of your RPG or D&D party? Well, stop dreaming, because Chronicles is the solution you need to plan and record your campaign!
Plan and record your campaign villains’ movements
As Game Masters, we want to simplify everything we’re doing behind the screen as much as possible. Cutting down complexity lets us focus on what matters most: keeping the plot moving, roleplaying our NPCs, or doing whatever is fun for you and your group. However, running a campaign often means that you not only need to have a ton of lore handy but also know what the villains or antagonists are up to at any given point. You could have a hundred-page long article on World Anvil about that, and frantically scroll up and down, desperate to find that small detail about the villains. Or, to make things a thousand times easier, you could have a Chronicle!
Because Chronicles are visual (based on a map) and interactive (you can click around to get further information), you’ll only get the information you need when you need it. So, before your next game, spend some time adding events to a Chronicle and link them to map pins so you can also quickly know where everything happened. If you’re short on time, give priority to the events that will affect (or have affected) the party directly. And, of course, make sure the timeline is private so your players can’t see it!
Adding events is as easy as right-clicking on the timeline position you want to add the event in and filling in the pop-up with the event’s title and description! If you want to link it to a map pin, create the pin first. Just right-click anywhere on the map to create it at that position.
Display the history of your world
I mentioned lore in the previous section—well, you can do that with Chronicles too! Create a new timeline on the Chronicle you already have, and make this one public if you want your players to see it. Now this will have a double purpose! On one hand, you’ll be able to quickly refer to your world’s entire history. But on the other hand, your players will be able to view it too! And while many players don’t really want to read a long text wall about your world’s history, playing with an interactive timeline is another thing! You could even turn specific events public or private based on the party’s knowledge of the world’s history.
To make an event private, edit it (click it on a timeline and click the pencil button on the event card), and go to the Privacy tab. You can also make pins private (with the same method), and even whole maps, using the map manager, which you can access on the right side menu.
Show the party’s progress
There’s nothing more satisfying for a player than seeing how their decisions and actions have changed the world. With Chronicles, that’s super easy to show off! Create a public Chronicle with a map of the setting you’re playing in and fill it with your party’s actions. It might look like a ton of work, but if you do it after every session, it will be super quick and you’ll get a full Chronicle to show to your friends by the end of the campaign! And since a timeline in Chronicles has four lanes, you can use different lanes for different characters if they decide to split the party!
You might have realized that the three screenshots are actually the same Chronicle. I strongly suggest you do it this way too! You don’t have to worry about your players seeing secrets, as you can turn individual timelines and events private. And the upside is that you’ll be able to see how events influence each other! For example, maybe a historical event kickstarted a party action, which then changed what the villains were doing. If you have all of this information in a single place, your world’s history will feel more consistent and realistic!
To create a new timeline, go to the right side menu and click on the timelines manager button (second from the top). There, you’ll be able to edit timeline settings as well as create new ones. If you want to learn more about how Chronicles work, check out the YouTube tutorial:
So, what are you waiting for? Create a World Anvil account to plan and record your campaign!
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