Huh… this seems like something that’d be useful in Stonetop.

Huh… this seems like something that’d be useful in Stonetop.

Huh… this seems like something that’d be useful in Stonetop.

Anyone out there ever use for relationship mapping in your RPGs? Got a good template to start with? Any advice for getting the most out of it? Alternately, do you know of a better tool?

The link below is an abortive stab at mapping out some of the PCs and NPCs I use in my examples. Not sure I’ll keep building on it.

Initial impressions:

1) super click-heavy to use… UI isn’t terrible, but it’s not easy either

2) You can color-code or otherwise change connections based on tags (like “enemies” or “allies”) but there’s no easy way to see the unique description of each relationship.

3) No ability to crop/zoom/re-position images within the circles (y’know, like Facebook/G+/etc. let you do). Means you have to crop/center images before uploading. Pretty big pain in the ass.

4) You can make unlimited publicly visible maps for free, but still grant editorial access to specific others. That’s nice.

5) There are handful of public RPG maps out there that are discoverable… but man are they kinda messy. Not entirely sure how I’d actually use a big ol’ map like that once play began.

3 thoughts on “Huh… this seems like something that’d be useful in Stonetop.”

  1. I toyed with it. My big problem is that it’s not useful in play. My favorite tool was actually Google drawings. You can drop images in, mask them as circles, and then connect them to other bits and bobs.

  2. I’ve used it a few times. I really like it, but I generally just use it for the start of game relationship mapping. It might be good for tracking relationships in play, but I’ve never really used it as a primary note taking tool.

    For number two, you can rename connections by clicking on their title. Then the name will appear floating next to the connection, like the names of elements do.

    One minor annoyance is that you have to add people manually; there’s no invite link like there is with… well, most things these days.

    One cool trick is that you can add new fields that appear in each element (in addition to the default fields like ‘image’). So I’ll set a ‘theme song’ field, make the field type URL, then add YouTube videos for each character, location and so on.

    And then, kumu lets you export the relationship map as a spreadsheet, limited to certain elements if you like. So you can export all the theme songs, then use an online conversion tool to turn it into a YouTube playlist.

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