Archive for the ‘RPG’ Category

Obsidian Portal – First Impressions

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

A few years ago I stumbled across while searching for a specific Earthdawn adventure. On the occasion of my newly starting Pathfinder campaign I thought about setting up a blog for campaign management. Instead I now created a page with Obsidian Portal.


So far this site makes a good first impression. I set up some NPCs, entered details for some locations and prepared some hidden information, which I will make available to the players once they reach certain stages in the campaign.


The good

I like the option of setting up characters with portraits, descriptions etc. and assigning them to specific players. Thereby only that player (and the GM) can change the entries.

I also like that the basic version is free and you don’t get bombed with advertisements.

It is good that you can use Obsidian Portal for virtually any roleplaying (or boardgame) campaign. There are listed campaigns for older games such as Twilight 2000, WHFRP 1st Edition, Tunnels & Trolls, etc.


The bad

The price for the full version (called ascendant status) is quite substantial in my opinion. The upgrade costs 5$ a month or 40$ a year. That is basically 40% of the price of a typical MMO subscription (and the time of the subscription based MMO seems to be over anyway).

A minor nuisance is that IE9 does not work well with the site (I am unable to login). Instead I use firefox.

Other things I am missing are predefined flags for the characters. Now I use labels (which you can define yourself and assign as you like to characters, wiki entries, items) to signify whether a character is an NPC and/or a villain etc.



I recommend trying the page for your campaign management. If you restrict yourself to small file sizes for the images and/or work with external links you should be able to squeeze your first campaign into the 2MB, which are offered for free. The decision to upgrade or not I would make considering:

  • How often do you play?
  • Do you get contributions from your players to the wiki/blog?
  • Is the campaign going on between sessions (i.e. are the characters pursuing quests or professions outside the regular gaming sessions)?




I just noticed the site has an embedded pathfinder character sheet, which makes some of my previous comments obsolete (and thus I deleted them).


2nd edit:

I’m not sure if I like the included character sheet templates. If you switch the format or remove them all stored information is apparently lost.