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Realm Works Spotlight Series: Going Beyond PDFs and Wikis


freeport_bloodsaltdistrict_navigate_tnWelcome to the first installment in our Realm Works Spotlight Series! My name is Liz, and I’ll be your “host” this week. For this initial entry, I highly recommend you pop on over to our YouTube channel to watch our video version. No seriously, watch the video. Still here? Don’t worry, you’ll still get all the same information. But, you will miss actually seeing some of the cool things available in the upcoming months!

Realm Works is changing digital content as we know it, moving RPGs well beyond traditional PDFs and wikis. We’re teaming up with your favorite publishers to bring premier products to you through Realm Works, and it all starts in early 2016. We’ll be bringing adventures, settings, and source material from publishers like Paizo, Green Ronin Publishing, and Kobold Press. I’ll be showing off portions of this content throughout the Spotlight Series.

Goals

So what can you expect from the Spotlight Series? Let me start with what it’s not. This series is not an introduction to Realm Works. If you’re brand new to the product, I recommend first watching our Virtual Tour or exploring our website for some basic info.

The Spotlight Series will focus on the upcoming Content Market and answer three important questions:

  1. What sets Realm Works apart from PDFs, wikis, and eBooks? – I’ll show how Realm Works was designed with GMs and players in mind, from the way content is organized to how it can be shared with players
  2. How can I use published content in my games? – You’ll see how you can easily tailor published material to your game and seamlessly integrate it into your existing world
  3. What should I expect when the Content Market releases? – I’ll highlight some of the content that will be available for sale, show-off various upcoming features, and share details on both pricing and our phased roll-out plan

Over the course of this series, I’ll also cover additional Realm Works details, such as the role of the cloud in the Content Market.

Key Concepts

Before delving into the Content Market, I need to first review some key Realm Works concepts. If you’re already familiar with these aspects, I’ve still got something to whet your appetite. I’m about to show-off content you probably haven’t seen before in Realm Works.

When it comes to organizing content, Realm Works is very different from traditional, published content. Most GMs are used to books and PDFs written in linear prose. This approach is good for initially reading the material, but it presents challenges for actual use. The linear prose is often impractical during play, causing slow-downs while searching for a particular fact or making it easy to completely overlook a crucial detail. Sound familiar?

People, Places, and Things – Oh My!

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Reviewing Kendra Deverin, Mayor of Sandpoint, in the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path from Paizo

In Realm Works, content is organized by the people, places, events, and things within the world or story. NPCs, locations, and scenes are broken out into separate topics. Let’s take a look at Kendra Deverin, Mayor of Sandpoint in the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path from Paizo. The “Kendra Deverin” topic includes all pertinent notes for that NPC. As you can see, a topic can include text, tags (e.g. “race: human”), images, and a host of other things.

Text in Realm Works is different from traditional published content. Rather than paragraph after paragraph, text is carved up into bite-sized chunks of text called “snippets.” In addition to other benefits that I’ll go over in weeks to come, smaller snippets make it easier to find and present info during the game.

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Exploring Sandpoint, a large town in the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path from Paizo

Let’s take a look at Sandpoint, a location in this Adventure Path. This topic includes text similar to Kendra’s topic, but it also has a map of the town. Maps are a powerful resource in Realm Works, which I’ll explore further in future installments.

If I wanted to expand on Kendra or Sandpoint, I could edit the text or add a variety of other resources, such as audio files, Hero Lab portfolios, statblocks, PDFs, or even something non-standard like a Photoshop file. There are numerous ways you can tailor the content to fit your game.

Let Me See the Story

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Visualize the adventure with Realm Works’ storyboards

In addition to topics, GMs can view the various campaign plots through the Storyboard. Storyboards and plots are great for visual GMs like me! You can easily visualize how the story progresses in relation to the topics. I’ll go into more detail on these in upcoming episodes.

For now, it’s just helpful to know that the storyboard is a great option if you want to visualize the plot of an adventure or module.

Cool! What’s Next?

That covers it for our first installment of the Realm Works Spotlight Series. Tune in next week, as we take a look at how content is woven together, saving valuable time during prep and at the table. Speaking of next week, we can automatically email you when the next installment is out. Sign-up here to receive an email with every new update.

If you have questions that you want answered in future installments, let us know! Please check to make sure your question isn’t already answered on our Frequently Asked Questions page. If your question isn’t there, we encourage you to ask it on our forums.

May the dice be with you!

Liz Theis
Lone Wolf Development

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