Index/Compendium Screen

Hello everyone, I’ve recently started writing my own IF story and while it’s still in very early stages, I’m a bit stumped.

In some stories I’ve read (/played) an “Index/Compendium” page can be accessed through the stats screen. They’re most useful and are usually found in sci-fi/fantasy stories with a lot of made up races for example.
My story is not on that scale but does revolve around sub-cultures that some may not be familiar with and has a few made up terms.

My concern is how to effectively write them in-game and have the player remember them. I know that in my case for example, a big turn-off is having an overwhelming amount of terms thrown at me in the beginning and having to somehow remember them. Following the story gets hard and reading becomes more of a chore.

Do you think Index pages are useful or do you think they’re just proof of a writer’s inability to write good exposition? Should I have one in my game or should I just focus on pacing the introduction of different concepts/terms withing the story correctly?

I’m not putting a poll up because I’d rather get more developed opinions than just yes or no.

I apologize if there are any mistakes, English isn’t my first language and I’m still learning. Feel free to point them out if you spot them though.


During my development time on writing the story, this thought is one of the first that comes to mind. For now, my current plan is to include a codex-style page at a special section I manually made that will appear at the end of every chapter: Result Page. Hopefully, this will lend to itself better since my game is more gamey than the usual CoG/HG.

IIRC, through a DM, someone pointed me out that this is a refreshing take on the usual codex-on-stats-screen, since you won’t have access to it whenever the weird terms show up. It’s either you conjure up what is this term supposed to be depending on the context, or simply move on.


I think I might have said that. I remember it being one of the most interesting parts of your demo, especially since if memory serves, the selections you made at the beginning determined whether it even appeared or not (based on how game-like you wanted the experience to be).

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Heheh, yes you’re.
I suppose, I apologize for altering your original quote and affixed my own PoV into it :bowing_man:t4:

Don’t apologize. I was only saying it was me because I was excited the feedback had meant enough to still be remembered many months after the fact. I didn’t actually care about being namechecked or anything.

I have a “Codex” page for Shepherds of Haven that’s essentially an Index/Compendium page! (I do have a lot of made-up races in my game, if that helps lol). In my opinion, codex pages should be used for supplemental information, but not information that’s vital to a reader’s understanding of the story. I think world-building should be done in a way that everyone can understand the gist of what’s going on (the general dynamics of the world and such) and then if they’re curious to learn more about the nuances of the game, they can go look at the codex. But I don’t think that trusting the readers to go check the codex every time a new or confusing term pops up (and isn’t explained in the main story) is a good way to go.

So short answer: I think focusing on pacing the introduction of different concepts and terms within your story is the most important thing by far. Other information that you can’t naturally divulge in the story (but which exists and could be fun for curious readers to learn) should go in the codex. That’s just my two cents!


Not to revive a dormant thread or anything, but I consider codices and compendia an accessibility feature, like the quest journal in a more gamey game. They’re appropriate and helpful for anyone who has memory trouble, or for people who want to set the game down for a while, and then pick it up again. They’re also nice for letting the reader know the level of significance that characters, events and locations hold. Is this a major player, a bit player, or just some background flavor? A good codex can answer these questions.

My WIP includes lists of major locations (in lieu of the traditional fantasy map) and characters. I included the sort of things I thought I would want as a player.