Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Relationship Record Cards

Here are some 4' x 6' cards to keep track of who's interacting with who in your steamy world of fantasy intrigue.  Here is a pdf.  I realize I was sort of muddling power or decision making structures with personal relationships in my last post (and sure, they are related).  I've made two types of cards the first has a typical pyramid hierarchy like you might expect in a guild or church:
This next one:
 is meant to record things like vendors in a market place, or maybe the players at court, groups of people scheming and interacting but not necessarily in a hierarchy.  Here's the back to record the names of the people involved.  You would probably want individual records for folks if pcs start interacting with them, but this is just meant to be a key to the diagram on the front:
And here is a crude example of how you might use one of these:

I've used playing card suits as per this post.  I drew a few relationships in certain directions and some going both ways. These can mean whatever makes sense to you.  Maybe 6 owes money to the guildmaster.  Maybe 8 and 10 like getting together to debate while 7 is extorting money from some out-of-guild entity, maybe without permission. 

My guess is that, as DMs, you probably would only need these as you generate, we humans seem to be wired to remember this kind of stuff fairly well.  But, these cards could be useful for your players trying to unravel the various power relationships in your world.  And if you want players to engage your world socially, giving them some of these would help send that message to them.


  1. I like this idea. I may give it a try.
    I started creating a type of chart but it was becoming unwieldy. I guess it's time for another go at it.

  2. Very interesting, I might just give these or something like them a shot. With all the town adventuring we've been doing lately the names are starting to pile up and get away from me. Bloody War and Peace, you know?

  3. I have a similar but both simpler and more complicated idea in the city kit which i would tell you all about right now if it weren't for the fact that i guess i have to wait until after the book's put to talk about it.

  4. Okay, who's 20? The only relationship I see 8 in is talking to 10.

  5. Relationship webs are a great way to drive stories. That's pretty much how you run WoD chronicles. There's no such thing as a "module" because sessions are driven by the tension between any two points on the web being agitated by a third NPC. Ron Edwards wrote about their use at length in a supplement for Sorcerer, Sorcerer's Soul, I think. If'n ya want I can photocopy the section and mail it to you when I get back to work in a few weeks.

    It's neat that you offer some .pdf worksheets. Very keen content you've been rolling out my man. ):

  6. Thanks for the comments. I'd haven't tried this myself, but I'm kind of excited to.

    @Zak, I'm intrigued, looking forward to seeing your book.

    @Christian: I was thinking of you while doing this, wondering how you keep track of your webs. I'd love to take a look at the pages you mention.