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I am toying with the idea of writing up a custom campaign from top to bottom. Are there any tools out there for this sort of thing?

I'm thinking of an editor that allows you to insert the stuff you'd see in a published module as you go. For example, I'd like to be typing up the description of a room, easily insert a some monster stat-blocks, encounter maps, treasure tables, etc. -- right into the text as you go along.

I'll be DMing the campaign with a laptop, so anything that linked to DDI pages or something like that would be fantastic.

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This is very close to… – rjbs May 4 '12 at 3:15
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Here's a few tools people seem to like:

  • Masterplan - PC only and tries to do it all,
    • plot building
    • stat blocks
    • encounter maps (built of tiles or bitmaps)
    • run a virtual table
  • Any wiki with plugins/user-modules.
    • I like Dokuwiki, but there's so many available
    • Host locally, on a service, or just one of the providers in the cloud like:
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Masterplan! Can't believe I haven't seen this before! – dpatchery Apr 7 '11 at 12:08
Be aware the GoogleWave is going to be discontinued so it won't be available in the future. – mirv120 Apr 7 '11 at 16:13
Wave is going to be "discontinued" but wave like options will be available one way or another. – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 7 '11 at 23:27
Yep. Google has said that the Wave will be available indefinitely until they find a way to save existing waves. And then there's always Apache Wave. – dpatchery Apr 8 '11 at 11:33

I use Evernote for this. The editor is pretty nice and you can insert just about anything. There are Evernote clients for Win/Mac/tablet/phone so you can edit whenever the urge strikes you.

Evernote has email functionality so you can immediately send out the text of a long speech, or cryptic poem if you wish to avoid hardcopies (or forgot).

There are some specific gaming portals that allow you to manage your campaign as well. Obsidian Portal is the one I'm most familiar with. It has a wiki interface and support for characters of most systems. The feature I most like is that every page has a hidden section that can only be viewed and edited by the GM. It's really nice to keep your public and private information about a character/location/plot in one spot.

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The only disadvantage to Evernote is that it's a cloud-hosted app. This is also an advantage. Since you'd like to link to DDI while you're using it, that might not be such a disadvantage for you. For locally hosted tools, you might want to look at similar recordkeeping/notebooking desktop apps. I can personally recommend Scrivener (writing tool) and DevonThink (info database tool) for collecting bits and pieces of various sorts (written, images, links) and gluing them all together, but they're more Mac-centric; others may have PC- or Linux-based recommendations. – Viktor Haag Apr 6 '11 at 19:24
@Victor Haag: It would be great if you made your local tools suggestions a separate answer so that it could be voted up. – okeefe Apr 6 '11 at 19:26

I second the Scrivener comment -- the nice thing about it is it allows you to easily organize information. I have one folder for each session, a folder for experience points, folder for NPCs, folder for maps, etc.

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