How to use References in Kanka

In this post, we will be covering the basic “how to” of references in Kanka. This Kanka guide is for those who aren’t quite sure where to start.

In Kanka you can create different kinds of entities like characters, locations or events. Each one of these can hold a lot of information and is quite useful in its own way. But to get the most out of it, it is recommended that you mention, reference to or just link your entities within each other.

The mighty hero Borg, who was on the hunt for Orcs, travelled to the town of Aburg. To his surprise, the town was full of people who celebrated Highharvestide.

In this post, I will show the different ways to relate and link entities together. To explain the different ways of referencing I will use the hero Borg as an example. All entities used as examples are available in this campagin.


This will be probably the one you use the most. When you write a text and want to quickly mention another entity you can use the @ sign. After typing at least three letters, the autocompletion will kick in and make suggestions for entities. The @Borg is then changed internally to ‘[character:1944809]’. This is called advanced mentioning. It uses the type of the entity (here a character) and its index id (here 1944809). You can copy an entity’s advanced mention to your clipboard by viewing an entity and clicking on “copy [] mention” in the entity’s action menu.

copy advanced mention interface on an entity

The displayed text will be the name of the mentioned entity. To change this text you can use an | at the end of the mentioning and add a text to display: [character:1944809|the mighty hero]. Changing a normal mention’s text by replacing the name of the entity in the marked area is also supported. This saves it as an advanced mention.

For Firefox users, please be aware of a bug in the default text editor. It might be impossible to exit a mention and to do so, you need to enter a new line to escape the marked area.

Reference fields

Starting from patch 1.11, if you want to reference a specific field from an entity, you need a similar syntax to the display changing text. Let’s say, that Borg has the title “the mighty hero”. To reference his title, you can use [character:1944809|field:title].

Here is a current list of all possible fields to link (excluding Entry and Image):

– Characters: Name, Title, Family, Race, Location, Type, Age, Gender, Pronouns

– Locations: Name, Type

– Maps: Name, Type

– Organisations: Name, Type (but kinda broken?)

– Families: Name, Type, Location

– Calendars: Name, Type, Suffix

– Timelines: Name, Type

– Races: Name, Type

– Quests: Name, Type, Date

– Journals: Name, Location, Date, Recurring Periodicity

– Items: Name, Type, Price, Size, Location

– Events: Name, Type, Date, Location

– Abilities: Name, Type, Charges

Reference attributes

You can reference an entity’s attributes within its own description by using curly brackets. Assume Borg has his hit points (HP) and number of killed monsters (monsterkills) as attributes. With {HP} and {monsterkills} you can show the values of them in the text.

Note: To get them set up correctly, you need to select them over the autocompletion, just using the curly brackets does not work. The curly brackets will get transformed into {attribute:2203635}, where the id of the attribute is unique and therefore case-specific. This means when you delete and recreate the attribute it will receive a new id. Therefore these references will not work in templates.

For Abilities, it is also possible to reference to the attributes of an entity with this ability. So if we take the abiltiy “Hunting” and reference {monsterkills} in it’s entry text, we then see the 102 killed monster by Borg.


Another way to use references in Kanka can be achieved by using good old website links. In the editor, there is the link option that asks for a display text and a link. Here you could enter a direct link to another entity.

Note: To link to a specific post, you can open the post in a new tab to edit and then remove the edit?from=main part of the link.

There are also other forms of connecting entities together.


Formerly knowns as relations, with connections you can create all kinds of links between entities. For example, you could show the connections within a family or organisation. Starting with patch 1.12, it is not only possible to show these connections in a nice graph but also show related entities and entities with mentions.

Parent entities

Some entities can have a parent entity. An example would be Aburg, Bburg, Cburg and Dburg are in region 1 and the towns Eburg and Fburg are in region 2. Both regions are in the same country Kankopia. Each of these entities is a location, where the region is the parent location of the towns and the country is the parent location of the regions.

Every entity type except these can have a parent entity:

  • Characters
  • Items
  • Conversations (deprecated)
  • Dice Rolls (deprecated)


If a reference is not possible because the target does not exist or you do not have the permissions to read them, the displayed text is Unknown.

As a final note, I hope this guide on how to use references in Kanka is helpful, and let us know in the comments below if you have any questions concerning the reference system.

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