I have a loosely interconnected world where news travel slowly, but steadily so when a trader from a far off place comes visiting your place, what does he know? Whats his latest perspective on that far away place?
So, I'm not looking for a system for calculating the rate at which any given news item travels so much as a system for keeping track of all the news items used in your campaign, in a way that allows you to quickly work out which news items in the list you need to look at in particular circumstances.
I have a world in ruins, we play in the eastern outskirts of what would today be Russia. In a post-apocalyptic scenario with >99% of humanity gone. Its been ~70 years since the last new factories were build.
There are various factions that war about local leadership. The group already has met some of them but not all of them. There are some traders (working the Trans-Sib Railway) that ship the goods from the few factories that are still operating to the various cities that are still there.
My goal is to check what goes on in the various groups with a random chart (I can do that myself) and then keep track of each of the factions. I need a way to manage that consistently somehow.
I need to have a way to structure connections between key actors (Mayor of the city, some major traders, etc.) and a way to structure connections between places.
Examples and what I have so far
Please note that the examples look very "computeric" that's because I'm a software dev and look at the world this way. I am open to other ways of managing this. Especially non-computer ways so that I don't need my laptop all the time.
I have a "diary" where I keep the events like:
- 01.st day Traveller Caravan starts move from City A to City B.
- 14.th day Mayor of City B got shot, currently warring factions within the city.
- 16.th day Playergroup had fight with biker gang, nobody won. Disengaged after serious harm on both sides.
- 16.th day New faction! Biker Gang, roaming outskirts of City A. Plots against Playergroup.
- 28.th day City C is struck by Tornado, old skyscrapers topple and destroy market.
Think of the following situation: The players meet a long-distance traveller that has visited ten cities in the last year that are important to the players. I need to know what happened until the point where the traveller was last in that town. So I have the "Traveller" Sheet where I write down where he is when. Then I have one "City" Sheet for each of the cities where I have to look up the history up to the point where that traveller was last in the city.
What I am looking for
Now I would want to have different ways of looking at this info, even more as the world goes on and the amount of stuff that happened increases.
I need to manage ~50 factions / places / people with about 1 news entry every two months, so after a year there are (50*0,5*12) ~300 news entries that this trader might have. Currently it takes up way too much time to look that all up.
Why is that important
My Group is the front runner division of an upcoming new faction in the world and needs to know what they have to expect from the various other factions in the world. Some goods have to be transported VERY LONG distances (6 - 12 months) from the last place that can still produce them to the outskirts, so faction leaders need to know what happens in other places. I also want to produce a rich world where its clear to the players that other places have their own agendas, struggles, etc. and can (and should) react to that.
Solutions I thought about
As a software dev, I considered writing a program for that but I'd prefer a less work intense way.
I also thought about handling all the info on paper and maintain that on a wall of my flat with post-its and string.
But I am open to all kinds of suggestions for this problem.
I asked a similar question with more focus on software on Software Recommendations.SE.