The Gibbering GM – World Anvil


One of my favourite mantras is the one that says:

Give out generously,
Give in graciously,
But never give up!

In this post and video, I am going to give in graciously by tell everyone very publicly that I was wrong…

In the past…

One decision that we all have to make as GMs is where to store our adventures and campaign notes.

When I first started playing RPGs, I used to store everything in A4 folders. I would write all my adventures out by hand and draw all the maps on squared paper. There were no computers that were easily accessible in my teens and the internet was probably only used by scientists and computer experts. I did have a faithful typewriter that I used to produce the fanzine Animated Dead with, but I was such a slow typer that it was easier to write notes by hand.

As technology grew the options where you could store your adventure notes increased. I went through a phase of using Roll20 itself before moving to Google Drive. From here I moved to a program called Realm Works and my own website. At this point I wrote a blog post called “Do I really need World Anvil

In this post basically said that I didn’t need World Anvil, but now, two years on from the original blog post, I have changed my mind! I wanted to tell everyone, that I am now using World Anvil and loving it!

Using World Anvil to the max

So, why have I started to use World Anvil?

Well to start off, Realm Works had no internet option and I actually had to add a partition to my MacBook in order to get the program to work since it was initially Windows based.

I wanted somewhere that I could access anywhere and add anything from notes to images. One aspect of the site I originally didn’t like was the number of adverts on the site. I decided to splash out on a membership to truly experience the site.

It took a while to learn how to use the site, and I am still learning now, but I quickly found my feet and started to use it for the following things.

  • Adventure Notes.
    Using articles I now write all my adventure notes on World Anvil. The linking system is fantastic! I had this when using Realm Works so I was already familiar with it. Basically, by using the ‘@’ command, you can link to other articles within your world. These appear as links so you can click around your adventures if needed. But wait! There is more! If you haven’t created the article yet, you can add a space holder that actually puts a task onto your ‘to do’ list to create it later. As well as the adventure notes, you can add NPCs, new rules, settlements and landmarks/buildings. I even use an article to keep all my notes on as I GM sessions!
  • Sharing with the world.
    As the campaign is progressing, there are times that I would like to share certain articles with the players or the followers of the campaign. World Anvil deals with this very effectively. I have set up two groups at the moment. One group contents the players. This allows me to grant access to any rules or articles that they might need during the session. For example in the first session, I shared with them the contents of the escape pod. I can also set a subscriber group linked to my patrons. One of the tier benefits from Patreon is allowing people to see my actual adventure notes after the sessions have ended. And finally, I can make articles public – sharing them with everyone, or private share them with no one!
  • And there is more!
    Although I am using World Anvil on a regular basis now, there are still many aspects of the site that I have not even explored yet. I have uploaded images to the site, but I am really looking to maps being introduced. It has the capacity to add timelines, family trees and even sound files. For me, one aspect that I am really looking forward to explore is the manuscript feature. I really enjoy writing fiction and this might be a perfect place for me to store all my attempts.


As you can probably tell, I am completely besotted with World Anvil at the moment! Their discord is very active and there are a good number of YouTube videos and websites to help you with all aspects of the site.

You can probably guess what my answer to the question – “Do I really need World Anvil?” but if you can’t guess already – the answer is definitely YES!

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