The Sublocation Database in Notion
Last time, we talked about the locations database set up for our D&D campaign management system in Notion. In that post, I talked about how I have broken it out into two databases: locations and sublocations.
I have a locations database. Locations covers large units that are full of adventuring opportunities. Cities, wilderness areas, dungeons are all examples of locations. I use sublocations to provide detail on subsections of a location.
For example: in Harry Potter, Gringott’s Bank (sublocation) is a single place in Daigon Alley (location). Gringott’s Bank is large enough to warrant its own page. I wouldn’t want to include all its information on the Daigon Alley page and clutter it. I only need to reference the bank when the players would go to visit it. All I do is include a linked database on my Daigon Alley page. That lets me access all its sublocations with quick navigation.
Here are the descriptive properties I include in my sublocations database.
|Name||Title||The sublocation’s name.|
|Type||Select||The type of sublocation. Examples include: shops, inns-taverns-entertainment, organizations, monuments and features, or residential.|
|Quality||Select||The overall quality of the establishment. I use the the lifestyle guides from the 5e Player’s Handbook (excluding wretched and squalid).|
|Description||Text||A quick description of what the sublocation is.|
|ITE – Subtype||Multi-select||Tagging system for Inns, Taverns and Entertainment.|
|Shop – Subtype||Multi-select||Tagging system for shops. What type of service/goods do they provide?|
|OMF – Subtype||Multi-select||Tagging system for Organizations, Monuments and Features.|
|City District||Text||Name of the district the establishment is found. Left blank if not applicable.|
Sublocations tie to a lot of different databases in my Notion system. They include:
- Locations. Which location is the sublocation a part of?
- Characters. Which NPCs do we find in this sublocation? Are they owners, workers, regular patrons?
- Factions. Which factions have a presence here? Do they control it? Fighting for control?
- Items. Are there any important items found here? Any treasure tied to this location?
- Adventure Notes. I reference which sublocations I plan in which adventures. Makes my referencing quick and easy.
- Secrets. If there are any secrets tied to or about a sublocation, I connect them.
- Media Tome. If I’m borrowing a sublocation from someone else, I can reference their work here.
Here is a sample of my complete sublocation database:
Sublocation Notion Templates
Templates come in handy for our sublocations. Our different types of sublocations will use different information to run in our games.
Currently, I have five templates that I use:
- Inns, Taverns, and Entertainment
- Monument and Features
Most of these templates are fairly brief. You can spend a lot of time fleshing out your sublocations. But remember, you should only include the information you need to run the place at your table. If all you need is a Dyson Logos map to run the governor’s mansion, then just use that. If you need a full shop inventory for the magic item vendor, then make sure your shop template includes a link to your items database. You get the idea. The point of your templates should be to save you time. It should not require you to fill in lots of information that never sees the light of day at the gaming table.
In the next installment we will cover the factions database.
Feature Art Credit: Ede László