FAMILY TREES | A World Anvil Quick Guide Tutorial


Greetings and salutations! I’m Janet from
World Anvil and in this video I’ll be taking you through our latest worldbuilding feature release – family trees oh yeah so family trees – sorry for my
immense excitement – but family trees were our number one requested feature in 2019
and everybody wanted them: writers gamers pure worldbuilders – you all asked for
them and we are so happy to announce that they’re here and they’re freaking
awesome! Today I’m gonna take you through how to make a family tree on World Anvil
and show you how they’re gonna revolutionize your worldbuilding. Are
you ready? it’s time to light up the forge! So family
trees are an amazing tool for writers and for gamers you can use them to
create all sorts of cool things in your world like noble houses for example the
family trees in Game of Thrones like the Lannisters or the Targaryen –
but they can also help you figure out stuff about your world: who’s gonna be
king who is gonna inherit all the rich stuff in your family and even more than
that you can use them to write about things like genetic conditions and
traits. Is magic inherited in your world for example? A family tree is going
to help you figure out who has the magic or maybe you’re playing a vampire the
masquerade game or writing an urban fantasy novel? Family trees can be used
to track bloodlines of powerful vampires or werewolves or… I don’t know other
supernatural species evil spoon people! SPOONS! In fact family trees are a
worldbuilding goldmine so I am so thrilled we have them ready for you! And I’m
gonna get you started with worldbuilding them! Here we go! So as always we’ve tried to
make things as easy as we possibly can for you guys – the family trees will
auto-generate based on the information that you set in
your characters! So to get started go to a character article in world anvil right
under the relationship tab you’ll find you can set the biological parents of
the character. Just start writing the name of the parent and the character
will pop up in the drop down menu. If you haven’t already created that character
in your World Anvil world, just click the blue plus button where
says “create a new character and link it” voila a small form with first name
surname birth and death date pops up this will automatically create a
character article in a draft state for the new parent that you’re creating
after you saved your article you can see this new panel here on the right under
the publishing tools this is the family tree panel the character’s parents are
shown as article links here just click on the name of the parent to go to their
article and then you can have their parents and on and on until you have a
gloriously vast family tree and when you click copy family tree embed, the code
for the family tree will be copied to your clipboard and this is what the code
looks like in the edit mode! Just paste the family tree embed code into any text
field in an article and now check it out in the view mode! Oh yeah! So this is just
the first step with our family tree, it has automatically generated images but
if you’ve added profile images to your characters they’ll show up in the family
tree that looks like this! Snazzy huh? So let’s talk about what information you
can see on a world anvil family tree obviously this family tree looks more
fancy than the one we just made but it’s literally built in exactly the same way
just adding parents to characters. You can see that each character appears in
the tree with reference to a spotlighted character and that’s the focus of the
layout the spotlighted character has a gold ring around their profile picture
in this example here you can see that Zhikhuvar Alduin is the spotlighted
character when you mouse over another character in the family tree you’ll see
a little pop-up showing their relationship to that spotlighted
character assuming you’ve added the information each character on the tree
will display a nickname and a full name which will also be a link to the
character article birth and death dates will also show if they’ve been added and
the blood drop with a cross through it? that shows that a character is not a
blood relation of the spotlighted character. in this example you can see
that Mariah Alduin Thorne is not a blood relative of Zhikhuvar
Alduin but an adopted child. Of course you can drag the family tree around
within the window to see all the members the family tree shows up to five
generations from the spotlighted character with children on the left and
parents on the right so track left from the spotlighted character two children
and two grandchildren and follow right from the spotlighted character to
parents grandparents and great-grandparents siblings of the
spotlighted character appear here above them whilst partners who have children
with the spotlighted character appear beneath you can cycle through multiple
spouses or partners of the spotlighted character by clicking the left and right
buttons the tree will reload with the children of your chosen couple and if
you want to spotlight a different character just click a character’s
profile picture and the family tree will reload with them as the spotlighted
character instead if you want to jump to the character article of that character
click their name it’s that easy and if you want to have a play with this
interactive family tree you can find that link in the description so what’s
next for Family Trees? Because in true world anvil style we want to make more!
We want to make more cool tools for you guys so we’ve got additions coming to
this project which we’ve nicknamed Project Hera – you know like the mother of
the gods in the Greek mythology and it’s going to make things even more awesome
so to start with blood lines are coming blood lines will be a special kind of
family tree so instead of tracking the whole extended family they’re gonna
focus on blood relations you’re going to be able to track blood lines of either an
individual or a couple and this is really gonna help you track down blood
relationships through the ages so if you’re making a vampire the masquerade
game if you’re tracking hereditary conditions magic or anything else this
is gonna be awesome that’s coming soon and then there’s Organograms! I am so excited for this feature, so you know how guild members
get those fancy article trees of related articles? Well organograms is going to be one step further you’re gonna be able to create your own
article trees and also like mix different template types within them so
this is going to be amazing for creating visual tree
of for example schools of magic and their associated spells countries
districts and their rulers and organizations with their members
underneath them you’ll be able to organize everything just as you want it
perfect guys please do let me know in the comments below what you’re going to
be using family trees for and how they’re going to be working in your
world this is so helpful for us when we’re building worldbuilding features to make sure that they’re working for you and make sense for your worlds, you know because
like that’s what we do with our lives. If you want to catch more World Anvil streams
more World Anvil updates and more worldbuilding worldbuilding tips then please subscribe to
our Channel and hit the bell so you don’t miss any new videos! now grab your
hammer and go worldbuild!

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23 thoughts on “FAMILY TREES | A World Anvil Quick Guide Tutorial

  1. So cool! I hadn't thought about all of the other uses for this like schools of magic, countries, districts & rules….simply amazing! This will bring my world to life even more and being able to visually see how everything or everybody relates is, quite literally, a game changer. Thanks for all these great features and ideas!

  2. This will be helpful in building history of royal families. Could this be used to create hierarchies like command or government structures? My novel is filled with various characters with their own ranks, titles, and affiliations to certain organizations and families. I am also designing the complex structure of an imperial government showing the chain of authority from the lowliest slave up to the Emperor himself.

  3. Awesome, awesome, awwwwwwwesome, Janet!
    What will I use this for?

    Forst off, I can get out my generation book of characters and start uploading my notes, but I'm also excited to use this in the creation of our creatures. Simon has been working on dozens of breeds of dragons and a unique ecosystem. We want to show the various breeds of animals…

    THEN I'm hoping to get to organizations! Corporations, guilds, and more, tying in all the leaders and who is in charge of what.

  4. What about characters who discover who their grandparents were (through magic, prophecy, or otherwise) but do not know their parents. Can you create empty slots for the parents or better yet skip them and show a missing link on the family tree?

  5. I plan to track culture, languages and species that forked along the history of my world. I think this toll is goning to be very helpful 😉

  6. This is really awesome – But I am wondering, how would stepparents and stepsiblings be shown? Would a stepparent be seen as an adoptive parent even if they are married to a biological parent?

  7. Both family trees and organograms will be extremely helpful. I am working on a fantasy world. With people marrying into various families to gain power or other benefits, keeping track about who is related to whom and how is definitely helpful in figuring out who might request what from a person and how that person might react. Now one will no longer have to resort to external resources for a visual presentation.

    Are you guys planning on the option to link events to characters and connections too? I use a timeline to keep track of births, deaths, marriages and other important life events of the characters and I often write a brief description underneath. Like when marriage is a part of a deal, say in exchange for military support. It would be nice to see those descriptions when you hover over a character in the tree, or a line. For some events like births and deaths, it could be linked automatically, based on the "Life, Birth/Death" and "linked article" combination. For other stuff like marriage it would probably have to be linked manually since only one article can be linked to an event.

    PS. Since it's my first comment, I just wanted to thank you, guys, for creating such an amazing online tool for worldbuilding and documentation and making it free and accessible for anyone. I only just started using World Anvil and I'm already loving it. I am definitely going to become a guild member soon, both to gain access to even more great features (that aren't a necessity, one can use the website just fine without them but they appear to make some things easier), and to support you, guys, because I can't thank you enough for this marvelous creation and your amazing attitude of making it free to use and creating so much additional and useful content like videos posted on this channel and Twitch. Love you and your work! 🙂

  8. Why, oh gods why are the family trees horizontal and not vertical? Parents come ABOVE children, not beside them. This is so confusing.

  9. This made me realise my world is populated with people without parents but with grand-parents. Or at least on this point unknown parents. Guess I've got a whole bunch of No Name 1,2,3 characters to make to fill that out.

  10. I can't wait for bloodlines to be added. In my series one of my main characters family members are born with mysterious creatures that are said to be monster like and give the host super strength and increase their power, but the creature is only passed down to the last child born to a couple, whether it be twins, quaduriplets, or octuplets.
    Also, do you guys think you can create a chart or guide for weapons?

  11. so first thank you for this new feature , I waited for it for some time
    I tried it out and I have like maybe some suggestion to make, even though idk if this would make it to complicated.

    So I wanted to show in my family tree that two characters are cousins which wasn't possible, so like maybe in the future you guys could add like a feature in which I can modify that aunts,uncles cousins etc are shown

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