I have been trying out Masterplan, and was quite impressed by its features - especially its flow chart, sub-plots, and being able to add elements to a plot point. However, the catch is Masterplan is for 4E, and I am using 13th Age -- and others besides.

Are there any software that has features like Masterplan, but could a) support multiple games or b) is generic, not assuming that it'll be used for any systems?

Software that is all-purpose and has features like Masterplan would be good too. A good export format is also important - either PDF or HTML files. The software can be web-based or a standalone application (PC preferred). Doesn't have to be free.

Update to question: What are the important features I am looking for? If I would have to rank

  1. Flowchart of Plot Points
  2. About to nest plot points within plot points
  3. Adding elements inside a plot point (sibling nodes)
  4. A export format usable on a tablet

The rest will be icing on the cake.


3 Answers 3



A general purpose application that I use for my games is Zim. Zim defines itself as a desktop wiki editor. It is a general purpose tree text editor, perfectly fitted to brainstorming your ideas or organizing plots, setting, ideas or anything. From the web page:

Zim aims to bring the concept of a wiki to your desktop. Every page is saved as a text file with wiki markup. Pages can contain links to other pages, and are saved automatically. Creating a new page is as easy as linking to a non-existing page. This tool is intended to keep track of TODO lists or to serve as a personal scratch book. But it will also serve you when writing longer and more complicated documents.

A "desktop wiki" means that we try to capture the idea of a wiki, not as a webpage but as a collection of files on your local file system that can be edited with a GUI application. The main focus is a kind of personal wiki that serves for all kind of notes: todo-lists, addresses, brainstorm ideas etc.

But we want to go further then just a wiki filled with random content. It should also be possible to use you random notes as the basis for more structured data: articles, presentations etc. Zim will not include tools to layout a presentation or something like that, you should use your office suite of choice for that, but it should be a tool that can deliver all the content for a presentation in a form that only needs a template and some layout before usage. Therefore certain features normally not found in wikis will be added.

The tree organization allows me to easily organize plots, subplots, scenes inside the subplots, or notes to the scenes. I can link a scene with the characters that appear on it.

Zim has lot of plugins that extend its functionality, but, as any general purpose applications, Zim lacks many of Masterplan's features. The big advantage for me is the speed at which you work with it.

Like all the tools I use, Zim is free as in freedom and as in beer.


Another free general purpose tool that could be used for that purpose could be Freemind. I don't use it, but I have seen a friend organizing his work notes on it, and can be used to quick brainstorming and to draw flow charts.


OpenRPG was primarily aimed to online playing, but I recall using it to organize adventure data. Many, many years have passed from that, so I don't remember it very well, and I don't know its current status, but I include it in the answer for if you want to look for it.


Realm Works

Realm Works from Lone Wolf could satisfy your needs.

Very Powerful but not free.

I haven´t tried it by myself but the features and the screenshots look like it could fit your requirements.

From their website:

Key Features and Benefits

Streamline Game Preparation

  • Quickly develop new content and revise existing ideas for any genre (fantasy, sci-fi, modern, etc.) and any play style
  • Intuitively organize content for rapid access and review
  • Weave the critical elements of your world together and visually outline the story’s events
  • Effortlessly manage diverse content, including images, maps, Hero Lab portfolios, statblocks, audio, video, and virtually anything else
  • Easily track and visualize the relationships and connections between people, places, objects, and events
  • Navigate between related content as easily as browsing the internet
  • Conveniently manage game notes and preparation tasks with full linking to game content

Focus on the Game

  • Access content on-demand during play - your entire world is instantly available at your fingertips
  • Eliminate interruptions to the game caused by searching through reams of notes for specific information – powerful search, filter and cross-linking capabilities enable you to instantly find the content you seek
  • Conveniently display maps, images or any other content during play – with complete Fog of World™
  • Visualize your world in a variety of ways, putting you in complete control
  • Efficiently reacquire context before game sessions - review past events quickly and resume gaming faster

Increase Player Engagement

  • Incrementally reveal content (including maps) to the players as the PCs uncover the information during play - without compromising what
    remains hidden and with no extra hassles
  • Enhance the entire game experience by easily showing material to players on a separate monitor during play
  • Further engage your players by sharing revealed content for independent player viewing and comments via the cloud
  • Journal allows players to record their own ideas and theories Private forum encourages player discussion outside the game, with full linking to game content
  • \$\begingroup\$ I overlooked that it´s not yet available. Sorry. It´s in beta stage right now. The official commercial release of Realm Works will probably end up occurring in September. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 9, 2013 at 10:14

Take a look at Scabard, a free, RPG campaign manager I helped develop.

It is system agnostic, and handles plots and sub-plots really well. Check out my answer to a previous question on how to use plots in Scabard.

It is web-based, so it works on PC's and tablets without needing a separate app or exporting data.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Export formats are still important. For gamers especially, we are loathe to have our notes locked up on someone else's servers. I made that mistake once, and never again. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 9, 2013 at 17:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Thanks for the feedback, I will add "export" to my list. \$\endgroup\$
    – E L
    Aug 10, 2013 at 7:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie what are you using now ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Guillaume
    Nov 16, 2015 at 21:57

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