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kmc
March 10th, 2010, 21:49
I've created an NPC with an aura. I'll be using her in the first game I ever host on FG2. Go night is still a few weeks away, and I want to know if there's any special way that I need to describe the aura to have at least some of its effects apply automatically. The aura extends for 2 squares and has the following effects:

Shadow creatures within the aura (including the NPC that generates the aura) gain concealment.
Enemies treat the area within the aura as difficult terrain.
Enemies that start their turn within the aura, or enter the aura, take 5 necrotic damage.

As of right now, the NPC must use a minor action to sustain the aura through the start of its next turn. It ends if the NPC assumes an insubstantial form, but can be re-applied as a minor action if that form ends.

This aura is a modified version of one from a monster in the 4e monster builder.

Is there a particular way to write this aura on the NPC's sheet that will maximize the number of effects that apply automatically?

If it helps, I'm not committed to the minor action thing, and I don't expect to have the aura automatically end when the creature is insubstantial.

Moon Wizard
March 10th, 2010, 23:58
There is no mechanism to apply effects automatically, such as from an Aura or Zone. Your player will need to apply the effect each time it should be applied to a target.

My recommendation is to set up an effect ability and a damage ability in the PC's power entry. The damage ability would be for 5 necrotic damage, and the effect ability would be "CONC" with no expiration. Make sure that the power has the "Aura" keyword, then the expiration will automatically be set to the "Start" of next turn when the effect is applied.

Cheers,
JPG

kmc
March 11th, 2010, 04:13
Thanks for the quick answer. If it were one of my players, I'm sure they'd remember. But its one of my monsters and I'll probably forget once or twice.

Unless maybe there is a way to cast a shadow around the token permanently, like the one that appears to show reach when you hover over the token? That would actually be a good reminder.

Moon Wizard
March 11th, 2010, 20:02
Yes, I typically forget to apply auras quite frequently, whether it's in a face-to-face or FG game. I think it's just the nature of that power type.

If you created the NPC power with the Aura keyword and a range value, then the ruleset will place an [AURA] tag in the NPC attacks section of the CT. Hovering over this tag will temporarily replace the size underlay with the aura underlay.

Regards,
JPG

EugeneZ
March 11th, 2010, 20:36
I wish there was a way to make the underlay more permenant by clicking something. I have the same problem and often forgot to apply AURAs... having the NPC underlay be huge would probably remind me, heh.

kmc
March 12th, 2010, 06:11
I actually figured out a pretty easy way to do this permanently.

Step 1: Download Paint.NET (or use photoshop etc; basically any imaging software more elegant than MS paint - the key is you need to be able to have translucent colors)
Step 2: Create a new image, sized as a multiple of the token you are going to use. (Example: your token is 50x50 pixels for a medium creature. The creature has aura 1. Make your new image 150x150 pixels.)
Step 3: Fill the layer with paint (any color) using the paint bucket.
Step 4: Make the layer of the image translucent (about 1/3 opaque).
Step 5: Import the token as a new layer and center.
Step 6: Save into the appropriate token folder.

BruntFCA
March 12th, 2010, 13:35
What the guy posted above works really well.

I've got a series of sexy digital translucent cut-outs for burst123, blast etc. They are translucent tokens with a cut out square in the middle.

I can drop it on a Nasty or Player, and then its easy to remember, you can even make them different colours too. I think it even adds a bit to the immersion as you can "see" an aura or burst around a character.

Remember, one of the flexibilites of Fantasy Grounds is that it provides for a very good Virtual Table. You don't need to stick everything into a notional "ruleset", I doubt it would be possible.

I love the rulesets, but I personally wish people weren't so obsessed with them. I played a game last week, where I was told to set up tons of "special" powers, with sub attacks and blah blah. All so that some -2 penalty could be "auto" applied to monsters. It took ages and ruined any immersion. The issue could literally have been resolved in seconds...instead we spent 15 mins farting around with it.

If you ask me it can often be more trouble than its worth, not to mention, you eventually come across a combination that the ruleset can't cope with. It's often easier to just drop some tokens on the board and roll the dice, just like in a real game.

Moon Wizard
March 13th, 2010, 02:44
I like your sentiment, BruntFCA. I tend to make up the slack on the GM side, rather than impose the burden of any capabilities on the players.

Also, I feel like the effects still need a little streamlining. I knew that they would, but I wanted to get the feature going since I could spend a long time constantly tweaking without getting feedback.

I already have some ideas on streamlining, since I tend to do all the work as a GM and I prefer to make it easier for the players to do themselves. Please let me know if you have any ideas as well.

Thanks,
JPG

EugeneZ
March 14th, 2010, 01:12
I love the rulesets, but I personally wish people weren't so obsessed with them. I played a game last week, where I was told to set up tons of "special" powers, with sub attacks and blah blah. All so that some -2 penalty could be "auto" applied to monsters. It took ages and ruined any immersion. The issue could literally have been resolved in seconds...instead we spent 15 mins farting around with it.

I have two types of players. Those that "get" how the ruleset/effects work and those that don't. Thing is, for those that *do* get it, the ruleset is amazing because it lets us not worry about remembering a stupid -2 and concentrate on the game. Just spend 15 minutes setting up a few special attacks and learn how to use them and you can spend more time playing DnD and less time remembering modifiers and figuring out who has what.

But I can also understand those people who don't really get how the effects work. I generally let them do whatever is comfortable for them. But over time, even those people learn the nuances and our game improves. What's wrong with spending a bit of time learning a new system that makes everyone's life easier?

BruntFCA
March 14th, 2010, 05:14
I don't see why you need to polarize the discussion into people that "get it", as it were, and those that don't. I used to be a C++ programmer, "I get it", but that does not mean I have to enjoy it or like it.

For example "Veggiesamas" Framework over at maptools is now over 30,000 lines long. Within 5 minutes of loading in My Charater via various XML parsing tools, I found about 10 things the "ruleset" could not account for. So what to do? Copy and paste the core macro....start writing a "new Macro"...cool now it's 30,100 lines long.

I honestly think that some people who use VTT like to play with rulesets as much, or even *more* than the like to actually play games.

I've also seen games fall apart due to rule-set bugs and issues when people could not get things to work, or even forgot rules, or rules got messed up...*on account* of the rigid ruleset.

To my dismay someone wanted to write a ruleset over at maptools regarding surprise rounds. Well happy days...too bad if that interpretation of surprise rounds gets accepted and bought into by say 30% of the community. Probably an interpretation based on some programmers view of the rules, and not a human GM, who can take lighting, fog of war, skills, **qualitative and non numerical things in the story** into account.

Also for various features like targeting into fog of war that are often not implemented into various rulesets, people ignore, so in effect they are playing the ruleset and not the RPG. In addition I've seen the rulesets mess things up all the time, like not removing status effects at the right time.

Over at maptools to get a game you must now.

1 Find what version of maptool your ruleset supports.
2 Load up the *exact* version of maptool that support it.
3 Configure your Java Stack Size etc, according to the readme file in your chosen ruleset
4 Try to find game for an RPG you like
5 Try to *match rulesets*
6 Hey dude! we use Rumbles Ruleset,....not Veggies!
7 Er....Go back to step 1 and re-configure maptools
8 Re-Create your token based on the new ruleset
9 Player drops out...new player understand rpg rules but does not like Rumbles ruleset.
10 Shoot yourself in head.

I hardly think the ruleset fetish mentality necessarily makes things easier for people. One reason I got FG2 was on account of being so sick of all the BS over at rptools.

Also for the numerous reason stated above, I've found that complex rulesets can actually mess things up for people. Even Xorn who wrote the excellent tutorials for this product specifically states that there is only so much "automation" that he is comfortable with, and he's a pretty experienced DM.

Thankfully things at FG2 have not reached the insane levels over at maptools......yet.......

EugeneZ
March 14th, 2010, 10:18
I don't see why you need to polarize the discussion into people that "get it", as it were, and those that don't. I used to be a C++ programmer, "I get it", but that does not mean I have to enjoy it or like it.

I don't need to. It was just an observation; those are the two types of people I play with. I'm sorry if I implied you didn't "get it."


For example "Veggiesamas" Framework over at maptools is now over 30,000 lines long. Within 5 minutes of loading in My Charater via various XML parsing tools, I found about 10 things the "ruleset" could not account for. So what to do? Copy and paste the core macro....start writing a "new Macro"...cool now it's 30,100 lines long.

I don't know what any of this means.


I honestly think that some people who use VTT like to play with rulesets as much, or even *more* than the like to actually play games.

Maybe. I just wanted to add to the discussion the fact that I find the ruleset complexity very useful, as do some of my players, and some other people I know who use FG2.


I've also seen games fall apart due to rule-set bugs and issues when people could not get things to work, or even forgot rules, or rules got messed up...*on account* of the rigid ruleset.

If your games are falling apart due to ruleset bugs, you've got other problems, and they're not ruleset related. I mean, that's the beauty of FG2: you don't have to be using this stuff. But if you do use it, I can assure you there are plenty of successful games out there. The ruleset isn't perfect but I don't think it's to blame for the failure of a game.


To my dismay someone wanted to write a ruleset over at maptools regarding surprise rounds. Well happy days...too bad if that interpretation of surprise rounds gets accepted and bought into by say 30% of the community. Probably an interpretation based on some programmers view of the rules, and not a human GM, who can take lighting, fog of war, skills, **qualitative and non numerical things in the story** into account.

I've never used Maptools. Never seemed like the tool for me, but the tech seemed pretty cool.


Also for various features like targeting into fog of war that are often not implemented into various rulesets, people ignore, so in effect they are playing the ruleset and not the RPG. In addition I've seen the rulesets mess things up all the time, like not removing status effects at the right time.

Over at maptools to get a game you must now.

1 Find what version of maptool your ruleset supports.
2 Load up the *exact* version of maptool that support it.
3 Configure your Java Stack Size etc, according to the readme file in your chosen ruleset
4 Try to find game for an RPG you like
5 Try to *match rulesets*
6 Hey dude! we use Rumbles Ruleset,....not Veggies!
7 Er....Go back to step 1 and re-configure maptools
8 Re-Create your token based on the new ruleset
9 Player drops out...new player understand rpg rules but does not like Rumbles ruleset.
10 Shoot yourself in head.

I hardly think the ruleset fetish mentality necessarily makes things easier for people. One reason I got FG2 was on account of being so sick of all the BS over at rptools.

It seems to me that your frustrations are far better directed towards the Maptools community. I've seen nothing but praise of moon_wizard's ruleset. He implements it with a rigid competency of the rules, but also, he seems 100% aware that sometimes people find rulesets a pain and don't want to use the complex features. A lot of the more automated stuff in the ruleset is either off by default or can be turned off.


Also for the numerous reason stated above, I've found that complex rulesets can actually mess things up for people. Even Xorn who wrote the excellent tutorials for this product specifically states that there is only so much "automation" that he is comfortable with, and he's a pretty experienced DM.

Absolutely. Different people are comfortable with different levels of automation. I have a decent amount of DM experience and I'm very comfortable with automation. My games are stable and never fall apart. I know another DM who has far more experience than me and he also uses the automation to a great extent. But I've also met an experiences DM who did not use anything but the basics, and his games seem to work, too.


Thankfully things at FG2 have not reached the insane levels over at maptools......yet.......

I don't really see it heading in that direction, either. Every release of the ruleset is praised by the community and makes my life, and the life of every FG2 user I know, much easier. It's not uncommon to hear people say that using FG2 is actually easier than traditional pen & paper. I'm sure there are people successfully using it in face-to-face games.

Moon Wizard
March 14th, 2010, 10:23
I like to take this approach to my ruleset development:
* Automate what makes things easier. (i.e. double-click rolls)
* Add in more complex features, but make them optional. (i.e. effects)
* When in doubt, make it an option.

Cheers,
JPG

DNH
March 15th, 2010, 12:14
FWIW: my brother runs a Pathfinder game for our group. He used to use kLoOge for that and it worked rather well but he then decided that it was doing things he wasn't too comfortable with, like automating certain checks and rolls. I am sure there was the option to disable these things but it got him thinking about how the game was getting and comparing that with how we used to play 'pnp' at the table. We discussed things a little in the group, even had a couple of ad hoc sessions to try it out, and now we play like this ... we use Skype, and that's it. Each player uses whatever tool they like to track his or her character. Some use PCGen, some use spreadsheets, some use something else. Me, I use a printed paper copy and a pencil! It's the same for the dice; some players use DiceTool from RPTools. Me, I roll actual dice. No-one cheats, because where's the fun in that? Besides, nine times out of ten, you could tell. We use no combat maps or minis or representation of any kind during play, with all the action going on inside our heads! The DM is able to describe the action sufficiently well for us all to follow it, and in case of dispute, the DM's version holds sway (of course). Any particularly complex fights or environments would see us recourse to using MapTool for a quick and basic representation of things, but that has yet to happen. We are currently playing the second chapter of Rise of the Runelords (just arrived in Magnimar) and things are working really well.

I would not advocate this approach for 4e, however. And neither would my brother. It works for certain games/systems, if you're happy with it, but 4e is far too battlemap-oriented to be able to operate without minis.