Two New Features: Campaign Backgrounds and Player Secrets

We wanted to open 2011 with a bang, so Ryan and I worked hard over the holiday break to get these two features ready to go. They’re both in need of a little polish, but that’s never stopped us from launching something before.

Campaign Backgrounds

People have been asking for ages to allow more customization to the overall look and feel of a campaign. While we’re definitely in favor of it, we have to be a little careful. We want to make it easy to make your campaign look good, but we don’t want to have to support dozens of different themes with their own HTML, CSS, Javascript, and more.

Anyways, looking at Twitter and some other sites, we realized that a background image can go a long way toward giving a page a nice feel. A nice hi-res image takes the place of empty space in the margins.

We’ve got nine backgrounds right now, but we’re hoping to add more. That’s where we could use some help. We need high resolution images that we can get the rights to. We’re willing to pay, too, so if you know some artists that would want to make these kinds of images, please send them our way.

We’re also considering making it possible to upload your own image, but we’re a little hesitant. In our experience, when this kind of thing is enabled, 4/5 of the uploaded images are pretty bad: stretched, pixelated, or just plain ugly. Ultimately, it’s your campaign, but we want the overall site to look good. If a lot of it looks ugly, that reflects poorly on us.

Player Secrets

Player Secrets
Ever needed to keep a secret confined to just a few of your players? Perhaps the group just met the local Thieves’ Guild, but in reality, one of the PCs is actually pulling the strings. Or, when treasure is divided, someone is always grabbing a little more than their share and hasn’t been caught yet. Or maybe once a month, on a full moon, one PC disappears, only to reappear with clothes in tatters and no memory, or so he says.

For these cases, we’ve added the new Player Secrets. This allows you to create a new text field on a wiki page and choose which of the players can see it. The GM (and any co-GMs) can see everything, but the rest of the players can be kept in the dark as necessary.

Note: This is still a brand-new, bleeding-edge feature. I’m sure there are a few kinks to work out, and we’ll probably move things around a little. Plus, before you ask, yes, we’re going to add it to characters and adventure log posts. We just didn’t want to wait.

Sound Good? Ascend!

Both of these new features are Ascendant Only, meaning you’ll need to get your GM to upgrade in order to make use of them. For around $3/month, you can get all the awesome tools you need to manage your campaign, and everyone gets a free 15 day trial, so there’s nothing to lose. Ascend today!

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Gold ENnie for Best Website 09'-11'

Silver ENnie for Best Website, Best Podcast 2012-2013
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