RPG Software Part 4 – Obsidian Portal

Obsidian Portal by AisleTen LLC

FREE / $5.00 per Month or $ 40.00 Year

While not really a software it is one tool I am really fond of. I just wish my player where more enthusiastic in using it. On its surface it is a WIKI for your campaign, and that is the base of it. But it is a WIKI base especially created for RPG campaigns. Besides a WIKI there is a blog like adventure log, a separate tab for player Characters and NPC a page for Items and much more. It is possible to have active character sheets that calculate derived stats that your players simply need to fill out directly in the character section. There are versions for the most common systems available. If you are technically inclined you can create your own too. And to round things out you can add a Campaign map and put pips on it like in Google Earth. And these Pips are linked to WIKI entries again.

I use it to keep a log of the adventures and use the WIKI to add things the characters learn about the world. Magic,  Monsters, Locations that sort of thing. We also add any noteworthy Items the group finds and of course all the NPC the characters meet, good and bad. It is also useful to put up your houserules so everyone has access to them. Linking and tagging the information available makes things easy to find even after month of playing. I am happy I can quickly add an entry for a npc, write 2 sentences and have a refresher for ever. And when I have a bit more time I add more info, link it up to others, give him a portrait etc. The GM can also prepare material in advance and keep it hidden. When the players are ready to see it simply change the setting of the page and everyone has access to it. This makes it easy to either keep track of what happened or plan out what is going to happen.

The free version gives you basic features to use and is ad-supported:

  • 2 Campaigns
  • 2 MB / Campaign Storage
  • Public Only Campaigns & Characters (Cant make it private)
  • 1 Campaign Map
  • 1 GM per Campaign

If you become a so-called ascendant member you gain access to a lot of additional, useful features.

  • Unlimited Campaigns
  • 5 GB / Campaign Storage
  • Public, Friends Only, or Private Campaigns & Characters
  • 10 Campaign Map
  • Multiple GMs per Campaign
  • Share secrets with specific players
  • Campaign Forum
  • View, Compare, and Restore old page versions
  • Campaign Calendar
  • Search within your Campaign
  • Campaign Backgrounds
  • Email Notifications

I am happy with my yearly subscription. There are alternatives like RPG-Campaign.com or a free, more tradition wiki. But I found nothing as specialized and feature rich as Obsidian Portal. It is well worth the $ 40.00 a year subscription fee for me. The good thing is only the GM of the Campaign needs to have the ascendant membership. So if the players chip in too it is a very cheap offer all things considered.