Helping us help you help us all
The coronavirus lockdown is a great opportunity to try out more RPG gaming, as I previously mentioned. Playing RPGs in person generates a bunch of content, some of which is ephemeral and some of which is more permanent. Playing online, it would be nice to both: i) have something straightforward to use for these bits of content, and ii) be able to save them for future reference and enjoyment.
I’ve been self-hosting services for as long as I can remember — this blog dates back over fifteen years (!) — so this is an avenue I’d like to explore for this use case. Self-hosting isn’t for everyone, and does have its downsides. Especially for content my friends and I create, I’d rather not be beholden to the whims a third party for access and retention. For non-content bits, it is reasonable to consider third parties.
For video communication I would explore Vector first as it runs over Matrix and I have some familiarity with that. Alternatively, Jitsi (SIP) has been around for a while and seems like a reasonable choice.
Lastly, for the VTT (virtual tabletop) software, Foundry VTT is an option. I have yet to check this out fully, but a ten minute glance while writing this looks very promising (it can even be Dockerised!), and I have seen a couple folks speak highly of it. It has yet to be released, however.
For Fate specifically, I will be using a Trello-like system as recommended by Randy Oest for the cards/decks to track aspects. For this I turned to Wekan. The interface is smooth. I have yet to use it fully but it looks something like:
I will try to remember to update the image above once we’ve done an actual session!
For keeping track of worlds, sessions, characters and the like a wiki is the obvious choice to let multiple people contribute and end up with something that looks decent. BookStack looks and acts slick, so I went with that. If you prefer, there are dozens-to-hundreds of other wiki systems. It looks good and is easy to edit; I ‘accidentally’ spent cough minutes writing up a session because it was so smooth.
I also like the (shelf /) book / chapter / page approach, which I think lends itself perfectly to keeping track of RPGs.
It also works well for reading as well as writing.
I got Wekan and Bookstack running on a Docker host, which was reasonably straightforward, details to follow.