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guttert
February 17th, 2014, 05:53
Hi, I'm new to FG, and I've been trying to get started on creating an adventure, but I have a couple of very basic questions.

First, I have created a library module (exporting a story and replacing encounter tags with data). I see it listed as a library module, I have activated it and set it to force load. However, it doesn't appear in the list of available modules (either for me as a GM or when I connect as a client). I have updated the game. (I saw a similar question about a specific ruleset and the problem seemed to be updating the ruleset.)

Second, when I go to NPCs and create them, I see a very limited set of data: Size, Reach, Rolls, Equipment and Languages. There's nothing for hit point or skills or a way to create what field I want, as I can with the character sheets. How can I track NPC stats? Though compressed and not very usable, I use Rolls to enter things like Axe 3d6+5, Axe Damage 1d6+3, which I can then drag for a dice roll. How can track things like Health and mana?

Thanks.

damned
February 17th, 2014, 05:56
After activating module - go into Stories or NPCs and there should be a new Tab with the relevant (eg Stories or NPCs) module data in there...

damned
February 17th, 2014, 05:59
There is also an extension here: http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?20296-New-Core-Extended-ruleset&p=166221&viewfull=1#post166221 that adds a few extras to the CoreRPG character sheet.

Nickademus
February 17th, 2014, 06:06
Second, when I go to NPCs and create them, I see a very limited set of data: Size, Reach, Rolls, Equipment and Languages. There's nothing for hit point or skills or a way to create what field I want, as I can with the character sheets. How can I track NPC stats? Though compressed and not very usable, I use Rolls to enter things like Axe 3d6+5, Axe Damage 1d6+3, which I can then drag for a dice roll. How can track things like Health and mana?

CoreRPG is mainly for use as a platform for other rulesets. It only contains the bare minimum that is common among most game systems. For a more detailed list of stats for assets such as NPCs try a more specific ruleset such 3.5E, 4E or PFRPG.

It sounds like you are looking for 3.5E personally, though I can't be sure with only the few examples you are giving. If you don't find what you are looking for in one of those three rulesets, tell us a little more of what you are wanting and we can direct you to the best ruleset.

guttert
February 17th, 2014, 06:12
Thanks for the quick response, but unfortunately, I'm not seeing the library module that I created in Story or NPCs. FYI, I followed the steps from this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3KCNFqIIFA

And I had already found and installed the CoreRPGExtended pak, which adds nice options for PCs but not for NPCs.

I would have expected to track HP in the Combat Tracker.

guttert
February 17th, 2014, 06:15
I'm trying to set up a Dragon Age adventure. I was use the CoreRPG set since I thought it might be the easiest to get up and running. Since we're testing Dragon Age to see if it's something that we might want to play more of, I really hesitate to jump into ruleset editing.

guttert
February 17th, 2014, 06:19
For some reason, my response to Damned wasn't posted. I've installed the CoreRPGExtended, and, while it improves the PC sheet for customization, the NPC window is the same and doesn't really have flexibility. I would have expected the Combat Tracker to hold the HP info at least.

damned
February 17th, 2014, 07:34
As Nickademus says - it cpntains the bare minimum... not all rulesets have HP or handle them the same way...
It has a lot of the logic and features to support all the things we love but the interface to these features is not there - that requires some coding.
If a particular ruleset contains even half of what you are looking for - start with that. If you want to develop your ruleset you might be better making an extension which turns off or hides some elements and adds your new features.
I havent played or read Dragon Age so I cant comment on what might be closest. But Pathfinder probably has most of the elements (if not the mechanics) of most fantasy games...

guttert
February 17th, 2014, 16:01
Thanks, Damned. With Dragon Age, PCs and NPCs have 8 attributes. I know 4e/3.5/PF, so I first looked at those, but unfortunately, they're not really usable as is for Dragon Age. I looked at several of the unofficial rulesets as well.

Even without the CoreRPGExtended pak, the CoreRPG allows custom skills and attributes for PCs. It's inconsistent to not offer similar customization with the NPCs at the very least. It's odd that HP isn't available for NPCs because games like Fate don't use it, but there are Size and Reach fields. It would be good to give a way to play a system without a ruleset more out of the box. That would be a good thing for folks who are trying different systems and not yet committed to one. (We've been playing 3.5e and Pathfinder for a long while and looking for something else.) Creating a ruleset seems a bit daunting for a game that someone might play for only 2-3 sessions. Plus, as I've read through these boards, I've seen comments that you need to be a programmer to create a custom ruleset.

It looks like an extension is the way to go for my purposes, though it's more work than I wanted to spend. I see the overview of extensions: http://www.fantasygrounds.com/modguide/extensions.xcp I'll look for tutorials and other helpful topics for working with extensions, but I'll probably be diving into the reference documentation regardless. If you have suggestions, I'd appreciate it.

I think making it easier for non-programmers to pick up and play is something Smiteworks should consider. That seems one reason roll20 and Hangouts are popular, at least among the players on G+ that I follow. I've tried Roll20, and while it is somewhat easier to get up and running with a new system, Roll20 is clunky and has some bad designs. The CoreRPG seems probably not far from being a good option for a non-ruleset system and non-programmers.

Thanks, folks.

Nickademus
February 17th, 2014, 17:07
I think making it easier for non-programmers to pick up and play is something Smiteworks should consider.

And they have.
Ruleset Wizard (http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?19549-New-project-Ruleset-wizard) (in construction)
Post #29 specifically says:

I'm proud to announce that I have reached an agreement with Smiteworks to develop and release the Ruleset Wizard as an official licensed Fantasy Grounds product. The development will be funded by a kickstarter that will be announced as soon as some legal issues are resolved. We are just finishing the details of the project, wich will be presented along with the kickstarter.

Of course, there is a large gap to cover between a programmer and a non-programmer so don't get your hopes up for a miracle cure. I mean after all, FG is a computer program. To modify FG requires the ability to edit computer programs, which is done by programmers. For a non-programmer to attempt to modify FG would require them to learn how to edit a computer program which would thereby make them now a programmer.

guttert
February 17th, 2014, 18:13
I saw that and think it's a good project. While I'm not a programmer, I work with programmers, understanding basic programming concepts, and have done a fair bit of hacking. So, a ruleset wizard is a good step for someone like me.

Another approach is to make the CoreRPG more customizable. It won't have automated calculations, of course. But you could still drag and drop for rolls, track PCs and NPCs, and link resources. As is, it's not all that far from being that sort of ruleset. The CoreRPG Extensions certainly help. Allowing similar customization for NPCs and the Combat Tracker might be enough.

Trenloe
February 17th, 2014, 18:26
I think you'll see further improvements/additions to what is available in CoreRPG happening in future releases. CoreRPG was only introduced in FG 3.0 (released only exactly 2 months ago) and the FG developer, Moon Wizard, had a lot of work to do to get the main rulesets layered on top of CoreRPG and this is the first effort at providing a "generic" base ruleset that is provided with FG as standard. (I know there have been other generic/core rulesets, but these have never been packaged with Fantasy Grounds).

I'm sure Smiteworks are taking feedback and once the CoreRPG ruleset beds down you'll probably see more functionality being added to CoreRPG...

To make life easier for the developers - if you have specific requests, please add them to the FG Wish List so that they can be kept track of and voted on: http://fg2app.idea.informer.com/

Michael Hopcroft
February 17th, 2014, 19:36
Of course, there is a large gap to cover between a programmer and a non-programmer so don't get your hopes up for a miracle cure. I mean after all, FG is a computer program. To modify FG requires the ability to edit computer programs, which is done by programmers. For a non-programmer to attempt to modify FG would require them to learn how to edit a computer program which would thereby make them now a programmer.

A beginning-level book on XML programming might be in order for people who use either or both of FG or Hero Lab (a popular multi-system character generator) and want to build their own formats. Something to simply the process would be nice in both programs, of course, and then there's the sticky legal dilemma of editing pay rulesets and sharing the results (such as building a Runequest 6 ruleset with the BRP of Call of Cthulhu rulesets as a basis -- do pay sets need to be copy-protected in some way?)

Nickademus
February 17th, 2014, 19:46
In my opinion, the xml isn't the problem. Doesn't take long to learn the format for things since a lot of the xml syntax is the same everywhere. It's the Lua that can cause a lot of grief, especially since the convention of naming variables and structuring functions is completely up to the programmers and can widely vary between development groups.

The ruleset wizard is designed to replace the xml. It won't be able to supplement the lua scripting.

Trenloe
February 17th, 2014, 20:46
A beginning-level book on XML programming might be in order...
This is available in numerous places on the web. Do a search for "xml tutorial" and pick one that looks OK. Here is one example: http://www.w3schools.com/xml/ Keep clicking "next chapter" to go through the tutorial and ignore the JavaScript mention in "What you should know" on the second page.

As Nickademus says, XML isn't really the main problem it is essentially a container for information - you can pick it up pretty easily if you dedicate a little bit of time to go through a tutorial (like the one I link above), and then look at how it is used in Fantasy Grounds - there are plenty of examples in the following two documents available in the FG library:

Ruleset Modification Guide (http://www.fantasygrounds.com/modguide/)
Ruleset Reference Document (http://www.fantasygrounds.com/refdoc/)

damned
February 17th, 2014, 20:50
I *believe* that the ruleset creator will do the XML only.
As in you could create a new Dragon Age ruleset and it would have the character sheets and maybe NPC sheets etc but all the addons would not have any new LUA attached to them...

Trenloe
February 17th, 2014, 20:53
I *believe* that the ruleset creator will do the XML only.
As in you could create a new Dragon Age ruleset and it would have the character sheets and maybe NPC sheets etc but all the addons would not have any new LUA attached to them...
Yeah, that's what I understand - it might include a basic LUA skeleton structure to get you going, but beyond that would require coding. Unless a clever wizard type interface might allow you to get some base LUA defined for common functionality.

guttert
February 18th, 2014, 00:18
@Trenloe, thanks for the background information. I've looked at the survey and given my input. I look forward to the updates.

As for getting started, I agree that XML basics are covered elsewhere. If anything, it's learning the structure that can be time consuming, even if you know XML basics. But if I look, for example, at the XML for an extension and look at the windows in FG, I can get a better idea of what defines what. And finding "inspiration" from others' code helps, too. :)

I noticed in the thread discussing a 3.0 how to make a ruleset, someone posted a suggested format that starts with a goal, like how to customize the icon toolbar. Hunting down where to make the change can take time. A user then look at what's there, what the reference doc says about each element, etc.

Lua is a different thing, but knowing at least the connections between the XML for the character sheet and the Lua scripts connected to it. But I've not looked at the Lua scripts just because I didn't want to get that deep yet. The problem is that coding isn't like modifying the UI in XML. I might be able to learn a limited amount about the XML to modify the NPC window, but I expect to have to know a lot more about the overall scripts, like knowing what libraries or functions are already defined and available. Even if the main or most commonly customized areas were identified, there are many ways even those top 5-10 areas could be customized, especially when you get into some of the dependencies of some systems where an attack roll could have modifiers from skills, buffs, weapons, distance to target, size of target, etc.

guttert
February 18th, 2014, 00:21
FWIW, this reminds me of Neverwinter Nights, when people who hadn't really coded before wanted a GUI interface to creating an adventure. So much of it really depended on the code. Creating objects wasn't really that hard. Someone did create a decent GUI editor that created some basic stub code. But it was far from creating working code.

Nickademus
February 18th, 2014, 01:16
I remember back in the NWN days, designers would team up with programmers to make the good stuff. Promotes teamwork.

seycyrus
February 18th, 2014, 02:04
I remember back in the NWN days, ...

It's still kickin!

damned
February 18th, 2014, 03:48
What needs to be in definition.xml to see it in CoreRPG? The only module I can seem to get to open in CoreRPG is Calendar...

Nickademus
February 18th, 2014, 03:55
I believe if you leave the <ruleset> tag empty it will default to CoreRPG.

Dakadin
February 18th, 2014, 04:12
What needs to be in definition.xml to see it in CoreRPG? The only module I can seem to get to open in CoreRPG is Calendar...

Try using:

<ruleset>Any</ruleset>


or:

<ruleset>CoreRPG</ruleset>

damned
February 18th, 2014, 05:31
I have tried Any, CoreRPG and blank.
Maybe there is something else I am missing?

definition.xml
db.xml
zip it up and rename it .mod

Nickademus
February 18th, 2014, 06:39
I have tried Any, CoreRPG and blank.
Maybe there is something else I am missing?

definition.xml
db.xml
zip it up and rename it .mod

Send me your definition.xml and db.xml; I'll message you my email.

Trenloe
February 18th, 2014, 10:43
I have tried Any, CoreRPG and blank.
Maybe there is something else I am missing?

definition.xml
db.xml
zip it up and rename it .mod
Make sure you zip up within the folder containing those files - don't zip up from outside (i.e. selecting the directory folder then zipping) as this will create a directory within the zip file and FG won't reognize it.

damned
February 18th, 2014, 11:10
I cant believe I did that...

:dead:

damned
February 18th, 2014, 12:15
Ok - I dont know why I couldnt convert Nickademus's .mod but doing it the other way - creating some content in the campaign and exporting it and then updating that file has worked for me...

And yes - at least on some of those attempts I did zip up the root folder too - doh!

So... moving along...

To be able to drag content (of any nature) into a character sheet... like you can drag spells into spell sheet and items and armour and weapons into inventory.... Is that coding in the spells/armour/weapons/equipment lists/database/module or in the character sheet tab?

Look I *know* I'm asking some dumb questions - but I'm finding this really bloody hard ok!

Trenloe
February 18th, 2014, 12:53
To be able to drag content (of any nature) into a character sheet... like you can drag spells into spell sheet and items and armour and weapons into inventory.... Is that coding in the spells/armour/weapons/equipment lists/database/module or in the character sheet tab?
It's all in the character sheet control where the drag-drop is taking place.

Assuming you're doing this in the C&C ruleset?

Look at \campaign\record_char_abilities.xml - the "abilitylist" control is defined as follows:

<list_text name="abilitylist">
<anchored to="abilityframe">
<top offset="30" />
<left offset="15" />
<right offset="-15" />
<bottom offset="-15" />
</anchored>
<datasource>.abilitylist</datasource>
<class>char_ability</class>
<sortby><control>value</control></sortby>
<newfocus>value</newfocus>
<acceptdrop>
<class>ability</class>
<field>*</field>
</acceptdrop>
<script>
function onDrop(x, y, draginfo)
local sDragType = draginfo.getType();
if sDragType == "shortcut" then
local sClass, sRecord = draginfo.getShortcutData();
if sClass == "ability" then
local w = createWindow()
if w then
local n = w.getDatabaseNode();
DB.copyNode(sRecord, n);
DB.setValue(n, "locked", "number", 1);
end
end

return true;
end
end
</script>
</list_text>
The <acceptdrop> tag allows it to accept dropped data of the type "ability" and the onDrop script code performs the data copy locally - you won't need to do this with an image, just link to the image itself in the database - no need to copy the data, use something like:

w.value.setValue(DB.getValue(nodeSource, "name", ""));
w.shortcut.setValue(draginfo.getShortcutData());
See the 3.5e ruleset "list_charabilities" template in \campaign\template_char.xml as an example - which is used in record_char_abilities.xml file (the Abilities tab of the PC charsheet).

Another way for you to do this is to add an extra tab and put a <formattedtextcontrol> in the tab: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/refdoc/formattedtextcontrol.xcp These have the ability to have links embedded - but there is not direct drag-drop capabilities, you need to enable the link first and then drag/drop the item to the link - just like creating links in Story entries.

damned
February 18th, 2014, 13:05
Hi Trenloe - sorry you have asked twice:


Assuming you're doing this in the C&C ruleset?

No - doing this in CoreRPG.

I'll go check that out right now...

Nickademus
February 18th, 2014, 15:50
Ok - I dont know why I couldnt convert Nickademus's .mod but...

I didn't give you a .mod file; I just gave you the .xml file to put in the .mod with the definition and thumbnail.

Some other things I noticed with the .mod you sent me:

You need to add 'Any' to the ruleset tag to get it to appear in the module list. The blank tag isn't working.

<ruleset>Any</ruleset>

Need an end tag for the category.

</category>

Need to add the folder for the file location in the .mod file to the image tag.

<image type="image">
<bitmap>refimages/cfa1.jpg</bitmap>
</image>


It worked fine for me after that.

Trenloe
February 18th, 2014, 16:04
You need to add 'Any' to the ruleset tag to get it to appear in the module list. The blank tag isn't working.

<ruleset>Any</ruleset>


You can remove the whole <ruleset> line from the extension - it will act the same as "Any", i.e. it will be displayed for all rulesets.

Nickademus
February 18th, 2014, 16:15
Good to know. The tag

<ruleset></ruleset>
was causing problems.

damned
February 18th, 2014, 19:59
thanks Nickademus and Dakadin and Trenloe.
Id been changing so many things and changing stuff the versions I sent was very sad :(
thank you for all your help.