I tend to throw a lot of factions and “plotlines” in my campaigns. Worldbuilding, and especially the kind of emergent worldbuilding that occurs when players interface with a world that I designed, is my favorite part of TTRPGs, but when that is already my predilection, and in a campaign that still mostly conforms to the modular / sandbox principles of OSR design as opposed to a railroad or more genre-driven or narrative style of game, I inevitably wind up with an exponential explosion of stuff going on in my campaigns.
To be clear, I am 100% a-ok with that. In fact, it’s a lot of fun, when you have all of these pieces in the sandbox, that keep interacting in increasingly complex ways, where I’m as uncertain of where things will go as my players are, and yet in the end, from the players’ perspectives, it is so seamless that to them it is as if it had been planned exactly that way.
I have a bad memory for detail, and I am not always great with notetaking, so I’ve been trying to think of ways to better manage all of these factions and events. My goal is to come up with a tool that not only helps me with organization, but also with creation.
I am experimenting with the use of flowcharts. What I’m finding is that by visualizing these factions and events, it makes it easier for me to think about how they inter-relate, and add those relations on the chart as well. In this way, I can (relatively) easily model the entire “sandbox” as it currently exists.
I am terrible at anything even remotely related to art or graphic design, so I’m doing this in a really ugly and inefficient way and I probably could have just done it in spreadsheets or coded it and used plotting functions on the graph data structures, but for now this is how I’ve done it.
I will say, it has succeeded in doing what I wanted it to do, which is, to help me mentally model the sandbox and think about the relationships between nodes, but in order for this to be practical for me, I’m going to need to figure out a better way to do it.
Any thoughts on this approach?