Game Masters, Dungeon Masters, or whatever you wish to call yourself, love stories. It’s a reason a lot of us take up the mantle. With that mantle often comes a brain teeming with ideas. Epic boss fights, shocking plot twists, and of course lore. Lots and lots of lore. Just as we were sucked into our favorite novels and video games, so too do we wish that our players will be engrossed in our worlds. But before that happens, we have to organize it all into something we can actually read.
You could get by with a collection of Google Drive folders. The following tools, however, store your lore in a way that makes more sense. You can make wikis that plot out various factions and countries in ways that flow for the reader. You can upload maps and even pin them as the campaign progresses. Your party can create and maintain conspiracy boards of important NPCs (shoutout to my Strixhaven crew).
Here are the best lore tracking tools for DMs and GMs.
Let’s start off with something for the budget-minded. LegendKeeper has a free 14-day trial, and then is $9 a month after that. The subscription offers unlimited storage and an unlimited number of guests accessing your work. So it’s a good deal for a single person and a steal for a group.
LegendKeeper lets you sort your prose into wikis: a nicely organized format that most internet users are already familiar with. Hi-res maps are also allowed with, again, infinite storage. Players can be given access to pin the map with various areas of interest or quest markers. Finally, digital whiteboards are supported to mess around or draw clear connections between NPCs, events, and clues.
For GMs, convenience is the goal. You can use templates for faster wiki creation, add tags for quick searching, and even mark secrets to hide twists.
This is the biggest name in the game and for good reason. World Anvil has features offered by other tools–easy article templates, interactive maps, robust search tools–and so many more. Higher subscription tiers allow you to craft things like family trees and rollable tables.
The subscription bit is where World Anvil can get confusing. They even made a blog post about it to clear it up. That’s because World Anvil’s features are so numerous that they’re used by novel writers and game creators to lay out their worldbuilding. Each of the four tiers offer different amounts of tools, data storage, and extra features. How useful they are to you depends on how deep you want to get into worldbuilding and if you ever plan to publish your content.
The Freeman tier costs nothing while only granting the most basic features. It’s still wonderful for plotting out your lore and sharing it with players. The Master tier is $7 a month and unlocks the family/diplomacy tree and other similar extras. The Grandmaster tier is $12 a month, which gives you all of the worldbuilding tools and a huge number of player slots. This is mostly for pro GMs with many campaigns or groups running West Marches style. Finally the $34 a month Sage tier gives you more professional tools like Patreon integration.
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for your campaign, Obsidian Portal can fill that need. You know the drill by now; Obsidian Portal offers wiki building, character organization, and an adventure log to share session notes. It also offers a campaign calendar to schedule sessions as a group. You don’t need me to tell you how useful that can be.
Obsidian Portal also offers tools for finding other players. You can search for games happening in your time zone, or others if you have a weird schedule. Campaign pages can be made public so you can browse and find one that looks promising. These tools are all formatted for mobile as well.
Obsidian Portal keeps it simple with two tiers. The free tier gives you two campaigns and one map. You’ll have to opt for the $5.99 a month Ascendant plan to get unlimited campaigns, private pages, and the campaign calendar.
These are the big three lore tracking apps for D&D and other TTRPGs. Whether you’re looking for convenience or comprehensiveness, something here should do the trick. No go forth and make worlds!