How to start?

Hi, this is me, Alex Schroeder, trying to show you how to create your first wiki. If are wondering, why you should be doing this in the first place, take a look at the previous article in this series: Why use a wiki?

What do you want?

A wiki doesn’t have an inherent organisation. It has the structure you impose on it. Thus, you need to decide on a structure. I recommend the following:

You want a page for each player character because they’re always important. You only want a page for each important non-player character and location. In this context, important means that they are recurring, and that there is something interesting about them that people want to remember. If they are neither recurring nor interesting, skip them.

Beware writer burnout: don’t write too much.

The first page

Visit the main page and enter the name of your campaign. You should end up on an empty “HomePage” that just says “Welcome!” Congratulations. This is your first page. Bookmark this page.

Click on Edit this page at the bottom of your page and start with something like the following, replacing the details as required.

This wiki is for my biweekly Wednesday campaign.

== Characters

* [[Morgan Ironwolf]], fighter
* [[Silverleaf]], elf
* [[Federik]], dwarf
* [[Sister Rebecca]], cleric
* [[Black Dougal]], thief

== Locations

* [[Haunted Keep]]

== Sessions

* TODO

Notice the markup we have used: * and a space to start a list item; == and a space to start a level 2 heading, [[ square brackets ]] to create local links.

In the Summary field, write something trivial like “First draft”.

In the Username field, write the username or nickname you want. You might use “DM”, for example. These usernames are not protected in anyway. Anybody can use any name to make an edit.

Click Preview and double check, make any last minute fixes and click Save.

Creating more pages

You’ll note every local link has an underlined question-mark after it. Click on these and write a sentence or two.

Morgan Ironwolf:

Morgan is the leader of this party. She's a fierce fighter.

Silverleaf

An elf from Alfheim.

Federik

A young dwarf, new to the overworld.

Sister Rebecca

A devout cleric.

Black Dougal

Your friendly neighbourhood assistant, eager to please.
There is absolutely nothing suspicious about him.

Haunted Keep

This castle belonged to the Rodemus family but it was abandoned a long time ago.
The eastern tower is still standing.
A bunch of goblins live here.

And that’s it! Let the players add more information, if they want.

Session reports

Remember, players don’t usually read session reports. They were there, after all. Don’t be discouraged.

So here’s what you do after a session: visit your first page, click on Edit this page at the bottom of your page, and add to the list of sessions:

* [[Death of Black Dougal]]

Click Preview and double check, make any last minute fixes and click Save.

Click on the new question-mark and create the new page:

Death of Black Dougal

We had killed the hobgoblins and descended down the trap door to the second level.
Here, we fought some goblins and found a wooden box.
Sadly, it was secured by a poison needle trap and [[Black Dougal]] bit the dust.
We escaped some bandits and retreated further into the dungeon.
Fought some hobgoblins, too.

Treasure found: 2000sp, jewelry worth 1300gp, [[Elven Boots]].

Notice how we linked to a player page and to a magic item, and we used an empty line to separate paragraphs.

Click Preview and double check, make any last minute fixes and click Save.

We might as well follow the two links. Edit Black Dougal’s page: follow the link, click on Edit this page at the bottom, and add at the bottom:

Poisoned by a needle trap on a chest on level 2 of the [[Haunted Keep]].

And we can return to the session report, click on the new question-mark and create a new page:

Elven Boots

These elven boots allow the wearer to move silently at all times.

Click Preview and double check, make any last minute fixes and click Save.

And if you feel like it, you can go back to Morgan Ironwolf’s page and add:

Found some [[Elven Boots]] in the [[Haunted Keep]].

And that’s it! This is how you grow the wiki.

Adding more structure

After ten or twenty sessions, you might want to create a page linking all the magic items you have. Or move all the links to the old session reports to a different page. No problem, just do it.

Take a look at the Info and Advanced pages for more info. Don’t feel like you have to use it all, though.

Vandalism and Spam

Make sure to keep an eye on your RecentChanges. Click it every now and then and make sure nobody else is editing your pages.

What to expect

Most tables I know naturally delegate tasks to a single person. If you’re volunteering to map, nobody else will map. If you write the session reports, nobody else will write the session reports. Perhaps you can find a way to go around the table, have a different person write every session report?

In my experience, writing session notes is a lonely business. It’s like writing a blog that nobody reads. But then again, writing notes in your notebook at home is also a lonely business, and yet you like to do it because you like the game, right? Writing things on a campaign wiki makes your notes easy to search and to share, and easier to organise, and that’s a start.