You can find all kinds of advice on how to use a wiki to help out your roleplaying campaign, but there is one aspect I discovered during the last game I played in which I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned by anyone. Sure wiki can be great for keeping track of loot, NPC’s, and plot threads but there is an even more powerful way in which you can use a wiki as a tool. I experienced this as a player in Dave’s last 3.5 game, spending some idle time looking through the game’s wiki on Obsidian Portal and now I am actively using this in my game for my few players that actually spend a little time every now and then reading up on the game.
What I’m talking about is secrets, hints, and Easter eggs. As DM’s and GM’s we naturally know quite a bit about what is going on in our games, but the players usually don’t follow even a fraction of this. If you’re using a wiki for your game, no doubt this helps give the players a little bit more insight into how you think about the game, but what if you actively put things in there that the players didn’t know yet or weren’t sure about? This can really make your players feel like they’ve stumbled upon some important, hidden fact and if done sparingly and correctly can help keep players excited and anticipating the next session even more!
For instance, in a write up of the history for a minor villain you could slip in a line about how they are known to have a conscience and to have done good on previous occasions. Any player that notices this will give pause the next time they run into that character, perhaps even turning a villain into an ally. Another easy thing to do is add in details about locations that the players haven’t visited yet, like how the citizens of a particular town are particularly fond of a certain precious metal, some industrious player might stumble upon this information and use that to their advantage before they head out for the town. This is what I consider a form of meta-gaming that is not only acceptable, but can be beneficial for a game and everyone involved and ought to be encouraged every now and then. It helps the players feel more involved in the game, and more important as well, and can help to alleviate some of the feelings that the player doesn’t know nearly as much about the game world as their character should.
If you are looking for advice and help setting up or using a wiki for your game, I suggest checking out these posts: Treasure Tables – Wikis for GMS part 1 Dungeon Mastering – Power Up your Campaign with a Wiki One of the best sites that will save you the trouble of setting up and managing your own wiki is Obsidian Portal, which I highly recommend.