Notion Case Study: Items Database
Now that we have laid out the blueprint for our Notion system. We can continue our series of digging into the databases that make up our D&D organization system. The case study in this post is the items database.
The item database is one of our content databases in Notion. Remember that content databases capture the elements that make up your game world. These are the nouns that populate your stories at the table. In this case, the items database is your literal trove of treasure. All the different magic items and treasure you create or use within your games should go here.
Item Database Properties
My item database has a lot of properties. This is because magic items have a lot of classifications to them. Lets take a look a stock magic item, the Potion of Healing:
Potion of Healing
You regain 2d4 + 2 hit points when you drink this potion. The potion’s red liquid glimmers when agitated.
We see immediately that there is a classification of Potion. This is the item’s type. Other types include: weapon, scroll, staff, and so on. We also see that the potion has a rarity. In this case, its a common magic item. In Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, they introduces the “tier” system of items. For 5e, there are minor and major items. We also have magic items that are a one-time use (consumable). The player consumes the potion when they use it. It becomes no longer available for use at a later time. Unless, they carry multiples with them.
Here are the descriptive properties I include in my items database:
|Magic||Checkbox||Yes or no indicator.|
|Consumable||Checkbox||Yes or no indicator.|
|Rarity||Select||Ranges from Common to Artifact.|
|Tier||Select||Major or minor classification used in 5e’s treasure tables.|
|Type||Select||The type of item. I use the different types listed in the Dungeon Master’s Guide magic items chapter.|
|Sub-type||Select||Used to specify the type of weapon or armor.|
|Treasure Type||Select||Descriptor types used for non-magical, yet high value items. Examples include: art, clothing, gems, trade goods, and jewelry.|
|Value||Number||The item’s monetary worth in gold pieces.|
|Quick Description||Text||A short text blurb about item.|
The items database ties to a lot of different databases in our Notion system. Note that these columns are all of the relation type. They are linked to the associated database of the same name (reference: the blueprint). They include:
- Location. Is the item found in a specific spot?
- Character. Does a specific character have the item?
- Adventure Notes. Is the item featured in a specific adventure? If so, link it to those notes.
- Fronts. Is the item a focus of a specific front in your game? Connect it for reference.
- Events. Is the item a focus of a specific event (part of a front) in your game? Connect it for reference.
- Media. Did you take the item from a specific source? You can reference that source here for review later.
- Player Characters. Do the PCs have the item? Connect it for reference.
- Secrets. Is an item tied to a specific secret? You can connect it.
- Sublocation. Is the item found in a specific sublocation (dungeon, castle)? If so, connect it for reference.
Here is an example of my complete item database:
Item Notion Templates
I did create a simple template for magic items. If you reference magic items in the DMG or other source books, they have a specific format. Because I am used to reading magic items like that, I like to mimic that formatting in my own work.
Here is what my template looks like (see below). Its a bit simplistic in design. I have set up placeholders that I then overwrite with my own text. It serves as a reminder for all the components I want to include in the formatting. I also include an image block incase I find an inspiring piece of artwork online (be sure to credit the artist).
Further Reading on Notion:
Feature Art Credit: Ede László