I'm analysing the possible outcomes of certain plots in my campaign. At some point I realised that keeping the possible causes and effects in purely text form was inconvenient. Luckily, thanks to an article that I rediscovered thanks to an answer on this very stack, I know the term for the more visual tool that helps handling them: causal influence diagrams.
However, I soon discovered that it's still not always easy to keep all the information visible and distinguishable, without relying on huge notes or keeping all of the relations between elements in mind.
Is there an already developed/established convention of conveying element types and relations in causal diagrams, concisely conveying such information through the graph? If there aren't widespread conventions, does anyone of you have narrower, personal experience of successfully using some way of conveying such information in a diagram for a campaign (largely relating to quests and plots)?
In case it helps answer, here are some of the key things I currently already need to keep track of (but it's likely that I'm overlooking some):
- Element type is a faction.
- Element type is a quest item or items (in some cases a unique artefact, in some cases a technological thing of which some number is required and can be developed/produced).
- Element type is an event.
- Relation: element (faction) X produces element (item) Z.
- Relation: element X affects element (usually item) Z.
- Relation: element X destroys element Z.
- Relation: element X causes event Z.
- Relation: element X uses item Y to [any of the above].
- Relation: only if element X is intact, event Z happens.
- Relation: only if element X is destroyed, event Z happens.