Using a Wiki for Role Playing Games

I have run Role Playing Games (RPGs) for some time, and played in them for longer.  One of the things that comes up as useful is ways for the players to sort and organize their notes, discoveries, etc., and for the Game Master (GM) to do the same thing.

In this modern age, where many (if not all) of the people at my gaming table have laptops or tablets, the use of a Wiki should be perfect.  However, many wikis have a strong feeling of “The Wiki Way”, which says everyone should be able to see and edit everything so that the experience and knowledge of everyone can be gathered and stored.

There’s at least two problems with this for a gaming Wiki.  First, the gaming Wiki’s probably on the Internet, where “anyone can edit” translates into “instantly defaced by spammers”.  That’s not ever good, and it seems to be ignored by many of the Wiki packages.

The second problem is that the GM needs a private place on the Wiki to conspire against the players.  If there’s more than one GM collaborating, they need to share information.  The players need to be kept out, so the things there can be a surprise when the game plays out.

It’s great if the players have a place to put their collective notes and information as well.  Some GMs want access to those, and some won’t.  Some will think these should be hidden to only players in the game, and some won’t.  (If the player characters are doing anything salacious or gaming anything subversive, it is perhaps best not to have those on Google.)

Enter Foswiki.  Foswiki allows access control by groups.  The next articles will detail how to set up Foswiki for RPG use.

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