PDA

View Full Version : Combat?



RizzenGPC
March 21st, 2005, 19:47
I recently bought the full version and found the sections in the manual, dealing with combat, lacking.

I'd like a walkthrough of how a combat might go and how you might efficiently administer it.

I found certain areas to be very difficult. Such as AC, Hitpoints etc. Also, when adding a monster to the combat roster... I had no way of dragging the weapon "to hit" modifiers or damage modifiers to the "die modifier" window...since those fields were not a "tab-able" field.

Any walkthrough or help with combat would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Shawn

RizzenGPC
March 22nd, 2005, 14:49
Since no one is answering this post, let me ask some more specific questions.

1) How do you easily track whether you hit the players AC? Do you ask them?

2) How do you add the "monster's" to hit modifier to the die roll? Since it is not in a "draggable" modifier field?

3) Same goes for creature damage?

tdaraa
March 22nd, 2005, 15:16
On the first matter, you should be able to see the character's ac on thier character sheet, or thier mini sheet.

Hayt
March 22nd, 2005, 15:22
Clicking on a player's icon brings up their character sheet. From this sheet you can open a mini-list which shows the character's armour class, hits points, wounds, and non-lethal damage.

Modifiers for monsters, etc can be set by scrolling with your mouse wheel on the modifer box in the bottom left hand corner. When you roll a die, this modifer will be added to it. You can also type your die roll with the "die" command and include the modifer, e.g. "/die 1d20+3". You can also add text to this command to show what the die roll is for.

richvalle
March 22nd, 2005, 16:00
Since no one is answering this post, let me ask some more specific questions.

I've never run a battle so I was letting someone else grab this.


1) How do you easily track whether you hit the players AC? Do you ask them?

Hmm, I see what you mean. That would be usefull to have up on the init list. Can you pull up the 'mini' battle page for each character? I was using that as a chracter. Pretty much just shows you your ac and hp's. If you could open one up for each character maybe that would work. Though I'd hope their name would be on it somewhere.

One problem I had with the AC is that it can vary too much to really be usefull as a 'hard' number. The fighter I was playing switched from Axe and large shield to using an axe 2 handed quite often during the fight. I kept telling the dm what my ac was.


2) How do you add the "monster's" to hit modifier to the die roll? Since it is not in a "draggable" modifier field?

Yeah, thats annoying. I think the damage should be draggable as well. Anyone?? Is there a good way to do this?

Only way I know of is to move the mouse to the modifier box and use the mouse roller (if you have one) to change the mod to the right to hit/damage bonus. Drag and drop would be much better.[/quote]


3) Same goes for creature damage?

Yep. Guess I didn't really help much. :(

rv

Visigodo
March 22nd, 2005, 16:26
Keep tracking the results for attacks , damages, hounds etc... is not easy with this software, if you dont have enough practice with the program this can be a big problem, you my have to use paper to take notes .

richvalle
March 22nd, 2005, 16:37
I think all that is needed (I make it sound so easy!) is some extra fields on the init page to hold ac, npc to hit's (up to 5 attacks) and damage mods (up to... 3?). Even if you had to manually enter them at the start of the battle it would be worth while when there are a number of bad guys to keep track of and better then resetting the mod box for every swing and hit.

rv

RizzenGPC
March 22nd, 2005, 17:01
I read another post from the devs that stated that they didn't want to put too many items specific to d20 in to the combat planning system. That they didn't want to automate too much because the program is not as extensible etc.

However, I see this as a real problem and barrier to this program. Combat is extremely difficult to run. A friend and I did a test combat and it was difficult and cumbersome to accomplish. We were both thinking how nice it would be to "drag" the creatures attack/damage on to a character portrait and have it determine hit/miss and damage all in one drag drop. If it has multiple attacks, it could compute all the attacks at the same time... It could even have discriptors in there if you didn't want to retype it.

Perhaps you can build something custom in to the XML to do this?

What can we or the devs do to make this better?

Right now its just too difficult to use the combat system... To me this is the most lacking part of this product, it really needs to have some attention.

I'm running a game tonight through it... I'm probably going to use mostly paper to do my combat. Which is too bad.

Visigodo
March 22nd, 2005, 17:07
I think automate too much may go against the D20 license. This license is so... you know what i mean.

I my be wrong but Xml is for database only, you cant make a drag&drop option with xml.

richvalle
March 22nd, 2005, 17:12
I like that drag and drop idea. If it could be kept 'unhooked' from the d20 system where what it used to determain the hit chance and damage was easily modifiable then everyone could be happy.

RizzenGPC, would having the numbers as drag and droppable from the init page into the mod box work for you? I know I saw one person asking about changing the init box to add more stuff. Maybe we can get them to post their changes or mod it into something better.

rv

richvalle
March 22nd, 2005, 17:13
I think automate too much may go against the D20 license. This license is so... you know what i mean.

Really? Truly?

Ged
March 22nd, 2005, 17:16
Regarding some aspects: really, truly, and explicitly. :(

RizzenGPC
March 22nd, 2005, 18:29
RizzenGPC, would having the numbers as drag and droppable from the init page into the mod box work for you? I know I saw one person asking about changing the init box to add more stuff. Maybe we can get them to post their changes or mod it into something better.

Yes, this would help big time... I think this would change combat a ton. Right now, paper would be much easier than the actual program... which isn't right. Thats why programs are written right? To make tasks easier... not harder.

If we can figure this out it would help big time!

Goblin-King
March 23rd, 2005, 11:46
Discussed here are some issues we want to improve on as well. However, there are some issues we have to take into very careful consideration:

The d20 license: The system can't, in any way, be used to determine if an action results in a success or a failure.
Flexibility: We don't want to a) make making new rulesets overly difficult and b) make rulesets so difficult to understand that for small changes you need to grasp a lot of stuff under the hood.
Genericness: We want to make sure that whatever we come up with, we don't have to keep patching it for different tastes and rulesetes.

We do have some ideas in mind, out of which the most immediate candidate for implementation is the ability to drag numbers directly from a text block, e.g. you could grab either the +5 or the +2 from the string "2 Claws +5, Bite +2". Probably in 1.05...

Personally, as far as the current system goes, what I usually find I do is grab some d20s and roll them without modifiers, having figured out the goal number an NPC needs to get to hit a particular target. I get the AC from the mini character sheets I have open, and the attack bonuses from the NPC sheet. I do most of the calculations in my head. This is exactly what I would do at a conventional table, and I don't feel the need to use anything outside FG. The "interaction" between the dice, the bonuses and the situation in the game world happens in my head anyway when the NPCs are doing their thing, and the description of the events to the players happens as any other activity outside of combat would. The more important factor are things the players do that the GM and other players need to see, and I think FG performs satisfactorily when it comes to these things. This is just my view of things, but maybe it can give you some insights, or maybe a better grounds to argue against the current system ;)

Bagpuss2
March 23rd, 2005, 12:23
Since no one is answering this post, let me ask some more specific questions.

1) How do you easily track whether you hit the players AC? Do you ask them?

Generally when I'm running a combat I have all the players minisheets open so I can see if I hit their AC or not straight away.


2) How do you add the "monster's" to hit modifier to the die roll? Since it is not in a "draggable" modifier field?

I use hot keys for Monster attack and damage rolls, either by setting them up before the game, by typing commands like....


/dice ?d20+4 Bandit short sword attack

/dice 1d6+1 Bandit short sword damage


and dragging them to a hotkey and renaming them or by doing the same thing in game.

By hidding the attack roll the players don't see the plus to hit and I can alway be kind and say they miss (not that I ever have, yet although on a few occasions perhaps I should have).

Rolling the damage out in the open is just because I'm mean.


3) Same goes for creature damage?

See above.

You can save yourself a lot of hassle by getting the rolls you need for an encounter prepared as hotkeys before the players arrive. Generally as a DM I know which one or two combat encounters the players are going to face during a session. With several rows (I'm not sure how many, but its loads) of hotkeys available its easy to assign everything you need to hotkeys.

For example my setup is something like...

first row of hotkeys (with no additional key press)

Panic Button - Scripted text to say I need to pause the game as the phone is ringing, I need the loo, or my baby is crying.
Initiative Rolls - Scripted text to ask for Initiative rolls from everyone.
Player 1's Minisheet - Opens their minisheet.
Player 1's mini spell list - you can guess what this does.
Player 1's spell slots - Generally only with sorcerers
Player 2's Minisheet
Player 2's mini spell list
Player 3's minisheet
Player 4's minisheet

2nd row of hotkeys (with shift depressed) Monster info/rolls for an encounter
Monster 1's sheet - Opens their personality or monster entry.
Monster 1's melee attack roll - something like "/dice ?d20+4 Bandit spear attack.
Monster 1's melee damage roll - /dice d6+4 Bandit spear damage.
Monster 1's ranged attack roll
Monster 1's ranged damage roll
Monster 2's sheet
Monster 2's primary melee attack roll
Monster 2's secondary melee attack roll
Monster 2's melee damage roll

3rd row of hotkeys (with Alt depressed) Monster info/rolls for another encounter
like above.

kalmarjan
March 23rd, 2005, 15:20
I would like to take the time to point out the beautiful thing that I like about this software.
The fact that it is not bloated with all sorts of things that we don't need

Yep, that's right :)

All of these functions like dragging and dropping monsters and such to automatically update this such thing and blah blah blah are just that IMHO.

The beautiful thing about this software is that it emulates what it would be like at the gaming table. I think we should not lose focus on that. At the table, you could not just drag and drop the monster on the pc and have everything done for you automatically.
(I tried this last night at the PnP session, for some reason it didn't work?????)

;)

Thing is, I believe that when we play d&d, we should not get bogged down too much by the rules, so, I just eyeball it, using my experience as a real PnP DM. to me, this program is like sitting at that special spot reserved for the DM. (Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to get the players to bribe me with Pizza over the internet yet! :) )

so, let's keep it simple, functional and reserve the automated tasks for bloated programs like Kloogewerks or OpenRPG.

Sound good?

just my 2 cp

Sandeman

richvalle
March 23rd, 2005, 15:32
I would like to take the time to point out the beautiful thing that I like about this software.
The fact that it is not bloated with all sorts of things that we don't need

(Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to get the players to bribe me with Pizza over the internet yet! :) )

Sandeman

Paypal!!!

:)

rv

RizzenGPC
March 23rd, 2005, 15:33
I appreciate everyones answers to this... Thats all I wanted in the first place :).

I just could find nothing that explained how combat was supposed to work in this program. I couldnt' tell if I was missing some automated means or some tricks. I think you need to write up this information and put it in the manual. I was looking for something more complex than what was there.

This will help me greatly.

richvalle
March 23rd, 2005, 15:42
We do have some ideas in mind, out of which the most immediate candidate for implementation is the ability to drag numbers directly from a text block, e.g. you could grab either the +5 or the +2 from the string "2 Claws +5, Bite +2". Probably in 1.05...


This is a neat idea. But... I'd still like to run most of the combat off of one sheet if possible and the init page seems like the place to go. Why have the init page up, mini sheets for each character and a npc page for each monster type/npc? If the attack damage was listed on the init page as above and you could drag each part out, that would be fine.

So, use the init page for most the combat and just refer to the npc page for special cases or to look up something. I guess the hard part is where to draw the line on what to put on the init page... is just the to hit and damage enough or put saves there too?

rv

RizzenGPC
March 23rd, 2005, 15:55
Yep, I agree.

Visigodo
March 23rd, 2005, 15:57
I would like to take the time to point out the beautiful thing that I like about this software.
The fact that it is not bloated with all sorts of things that we don't need

Yep, that's right :)

All of these functions like dragging and dropping monsters and such to automatically update this such thing and blah blah blah are just that IMHO.

The beautiful thing about this software is that it emulates what it would be like at the gaming table. I think we should not lose focus on that. At the table, you could not just drag and drop the monster on the pc and have everything done for you automatically.
(I tried this last night at the PnP session, for some reason it didn't work?????)

;)

Thing is, I believe that when we play d&d, we should not get bogged down too much by the rules, so, I just eyeball it, using my experience as a real PnP DM. to me, this program is like sitting at that special spot reserved for the DM. (Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to get the players to bribe me with Pizza over the internet yet! :) )

so, let's keep it simple, functional and reserve the automated tasks for bloated programs like Kloogewerks or OpenRPG.

Sound good?

just my 2 cp

Sandeman

Well im not came here discuss a subject only just for blah blah blah, i have more important things to do, the fact is that this is a software program and software programs exist to facilitate tasks thats why people buy it. Now you say that its the best at emulate the P&P game feeling and i agree one hundred percent with you but it could be better if automated some tasks for the GM, after all this is a pc software.

Grays
March 23rd, 2005, 15:59
The beautiful thing about this software is that it emulates what it would be like at the gaming table. I think we should not lose focus on that. At the table, you could not just drag and drop the monster on the pc and have everything done for you automatically.
(I tried this last night at the PnP session, for some reason it didn't work?????)

However, there are different pressures assaulting a FG GM as opposed to an IRL GM. IRL, you have instant verbal communication and physical access to all necessary material. However, online GMing requires more advance preparation and prompt response to match the speed at which you can get information out to physical players. Now, FG goes a long way to assisting at that aim. However, if you work on a digital tabletop and enjoy telling stories instead of lots of number crunching, may as well utilize extra features that help automate tasks that are laborious for humans. (Anyone who read the suggestion thread I wrote yesterday would know of one example to which I refer.) That's not to say that FG should be so automatic it's like a Baldur's Gate with a live GM, but quick-calc tools are comparatively simple to code and go a long way to making the product more attractive for players and GMs alike.

[Edit: Blah. Beat me by two minutes.]

Visigodo
March 23rd, 2005, 16:11
.....digital tabletop..... i liked this one :)

richvalle
March 23rd, 2005, 16:47
The beautiful thing about this software is that it emulates what it would be like at the gaming table. I think we should not lose focus on that. At the table, you could not just drag and drop the monster on the pc and have everything done for you automatically.
(I tried this last night at the PnP session, for some reason it didn't work?????)

That's not to say that FG should be so automatic it's like a Baldur's Gate with a live GM, but quick-calc tools are comparatively simple to code and go a long way to making the product more attractive for players and GMs alike.

[Edit: Blah. Beat me by two minutes.]

But it sounds like they are limited on what they can do by the d20 license.

:(

rv

Deusin
March 23rd, 2005, 18:42
I tend to agree with the latter posts about purity of form versus ease of use. The beauty and enjoyment of playing the game around a table with friends is not the tedious adding of numbers to various die rolls and then consulting an AC chart or a DC chart for saving throws. It's in being with friends, role playing a great session and the element of unpredictability.

Over the internet we are indeed lacking in tools and elements that we have available readily at the table top. I see nothing wrong with streamlining certain elements.

Example:
Without determining successes or failures automatically, it would be nice to drag a stat block for a Full Attack Action or Single Attack from a creature and have it roll the dice with the designated modifiers automatically. Something could be done with a shift key or somesuch to keep the results of the rolls private. Success or failure still has to be determined by the DM, by adding any modifiers they want and comparing the attack roles against the AC, but the tedium of dragging a single modifier to the modifier window and rolling a single die, then repeating for successive attacks with different modifiers can go away completely.

I'd like to streamline this aspect around the table sometimes so I can get back to telling a story and enjoying the flavor of the setting instead of everyone switching on their left brain for the mathematical computations that inevitably ensue in player's minds.

Thoughts?

richvalle
March 23rd, 2005, 19:39
That sounds pretty nice.

(Though I'd still like to drag it from the init page!)

rv

Deusin
March 23rd, 2005, 19:51
That sounds pretty nice.

(Though I'd still like to drag it from the init page!)

rv

I don't disagree with this at all. Options about where you can drag it from are great, as it allows the viewable screen to stay as clean and uncluttered as possible while still giving the maximum information and capabilities.

Here's another thought for everyone to think over...

To facilitate the genericness of the engine here, perhaps sections of a creature's Information Page (whatever it's called) can be scripted to do certain things when a left-click drag takes place. If you click and drag the attack action, it automatically rolls the correct dice for the attack roll and adds the appropriate modifier. If you click and drag the full attack action, it rolls several dice, adding the appropriate modifiers to each roll, as listed in the stat block. Extending this idea, you could drag a creature's description and perhaps it does something with that as well, like posting it in the chat log. The nice part about this click and drag concept is that it IS ruleset independant. Obviously the script has to be generated for each ruleset, but you already do something to that effect with creatures anyway, requiring conversions from Second Edition to d20, to GURPS, etc... In other formats, a different dice rolling or text writing script would be appropriate.

By script, it could be just anything that is a valid entry into the chat window, or extensible as per the developers wishes. I'd really find it useful if any modifier placed in the modifier window was applied to all rolls in the scripted sequence of rolls as well. So I can put some environmental effect modifiers, drag a full attack action from the Ghoul to the chat window, have the results displayed, and I make a quick check vs some Armor Class(es) and then as a DM describe the results. Of course, the modifier to all rolls is just gravy, but scripted drag and drop rolls would be great.

Thoughts?

Grays
March 23rd, 2005, 21:26
Indeed. You could perhaps take this a step further and allow community based scripting to create content, not just XML format it. That's certainly not against d20 license, or else Redblade 3.5 would go the way of this guy (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/bovd_gallery/88161_620_24.jpg). Let the community create a mini game app that, for example, tallies up bonuses and automatically calculates HP, saves, BAB, and skill point total. Stuff like that. It opens dangerous doors, but reaps hefty rewards.

richvalle
March 23rd, 2005, 21:52
The great unknown here is what are the Code Monkeys going to be doing for FG. I'd hate have a lot of work done on something only to have them come along and do something similar/better.

rv

Bagpuss2
March 23rd, 2005, 23:55
Let the community create a mini game app that, for example, tallies up bonuses and automatically calculates HP, saves, BAB, and skill point total. Stuff like that. It opens dangerous doors, but reaps hefty rewards.

Erm the game already tallies up Saves, Skill totals, etc.

kalmarjan
March 24th, 2005, 06:35
Cool pic! Just what the soctor ordered for those pesky rules lawyers.

I agree in principle with the idea behind draging a stat block into a NPC sheet and having everything automatically "shift" into its right place. This would not violate any d20 license, otherwise, you would not be able to use the statblock, no?

This would save a lot of tedium for sure.
One thing that is annoying to me, and I maybe haven't quite figured out the proggie yet, but the init panel can drive somebody nuts, especially dealing with large combat. (10 kobold zombies, 5 players for example.... :) )

So what this mod would be is essentially creating the info once, then dragging it to various "Slots".
As for creation... automatic tallying of attack values, whether or not you have the +213 vorpral nerf bat of rules lawyer slaying equiped or not will probably be addressed with whatever the Monkeys are well, monkeying around with! ;)

The point I want to make....
The last thing I want to see is a cool program loaded down with crap that we don't need. This would probably drive up the price, make it so you need an advanced degree to use (cc2 anyone?), and generally make it so noone in their right mind would want to GM, because it would be more than a full time job!

2 cp worth = 4 cp worth in total....

Sandeman
:twisted:

Grays
March 24th, 2005, 14:10
Erm the game already tallies up Saves, Skill totals, etc.

If I create a Fighter1/Sorcerer2, I want the program to tell me my saves are 2/0/2, my BAB is +2, I have 2 feats plus one for being human and one Fighter Bonus Feat, and with a 12 Int I have 15 available skill points. That's the sort of example I mean. The best community program that does that sort of thing now is Redblade, but even Redblade has annoying problems (it's inflexible, has no automatic-random-select functions to quicken process, you can't create own classes without using the hard-to-use interface, etc.).

richvalle
March 24th, 2005, 14:28
That would be nice... but isn't that tying the program too much to d20 which the devs have said they don't want to do? And what would that do to the guys making grups/star wars/what ever rule sets. It would make it much harder I think as now they have more things they have to change.

Another thing, one thing I hate about pc games is that you are stuck with the rules as they devs made them. One think I love about table top games is you can make the rules anything that makes you and your group happy. The more stuff you put 'under the hood' the harder it is to change things. What if I deside in my game that Sorc's get better saves because of the magic flowiing though their system. Now I'd have to go in and muck around with xml to try and find the sorc saves and change them.

There is a trade off between making things easier and keeping them flexable. The way it is now its more work but, as in pnp, easy to change. Its also easy to get wrong if you missadd something. :(

I guess what would be nice is to have your auto-clac ability but also have a nice front end to modify things (change modifiers, add spells and monsters, ect).

I suspect it will be a while before we see something like that.

rv

richvalle
March 24th, 2005, 14:43
The reason I said the big question is what about what the Code Monkeys are doing is because some of what they do provides the capabilities you are looking for. Like PCGen. There are a ton of rule sets in it and it keeps track of the number of feats, skill points, saves, bab ect, ect.

What we could see is a program from them that lets you create a character using what ever rule set you want and then export it to an xml file that you can then use inside of FG.

Would something like that work for you?

rv

Grays
March 24th, 2005, 14:48
It depends on how flexible the system is, which is why (as I said) I don't like Redblade. If you're using Redblade as an example, you're perfectly right--a lot of work went into that program, but it's crap coding. All it wants to do is exactly replicate the PHB+DMG.

Good coding focuses on bases alone, and everything else in some flexible equivalent "event notation." Granted, I'm drawing on an ongoing project my professional-coder friend Hellfire and I have been (sort of) working on for months called Weregen. When I say "(sort of) working on", I mean that we haven't done much except toyed around with conceptual code and talked about what it would do and how it would do it.

The ideal generation program does the following: for each hit die of a creature or player, it tallies all the basic elements. Hit dice (not HP!), stat bonuses, base saves, BAB, base skill points, base feats, and spellcasting (a separate mess). Then, EVERY other element, from class abilities to racial abilities to spells to items, has an effect noted by EFFECT NOTATION.

Effect notation has four primary parts: a number, a type, a target, and a name. If I put on Gauntlets of Strength +2, for instance, the corresponding effect notation would be "2 enhancement strength 'Gauntlets of Strength' ". Rage would have two effect notations associated with it, "2 rage strength 'Rage', 2 rage constitution 'Rage' ". Then, when rage runs out, it "flags" the condition fatigued with the shortened effect notation "1 fatigue", which can be later turned off with "0 fatigue". Fatigue itself has the effect notation "-2 null strength 'fatigue', -2 null dexterity 'fatigue'" NOTHING on duration or success/failure is ever kept. And, effects can build off of other catalogued effects, such as an item with the property "1 'Rage' ", which searches for and turns on Rage effects when activated (this can be streamlined with a databasing system, in coding).

What I'm getting at here is that a durable, scalable generation tool can be implemented alongside FG, or can even be its own program that smoothly integrates with FG's formatting program. As long as everything is kept sufficiently general, the program neither violates the d20 license nor creates a restrictive system, because as long as you are familiar with effect notation, you can create effects on the fly.

Please note: I mention Effect Notation here for the benefit of discussion, not with a desire to see it directly copied by anyone. When and if Hellfire and I finish Weregen, that will be the base engine.

kalmarjan
April 15th, 2005, 04:14
Not to dredge up an old argument here, but I was just rereading this post and had some thoughts on the topic.

A) First off, if you are the DM, it is your job to know most of the things that you are asking to be automated here. This program is a tabletop emulator. (So to speak..) When you are at a real session, you are forced to (Gasp!) come up with things on the fly or figure out the bonuses, mods etc on the fly. THis is part of DM preparedness.

B) Now and then I am surprised by the requests of users for fuctionality of software for draging and dropping pieces for the program to do the work for you. We play an RPG for heavens' Sake! We are supposed to be able to figure these things out! (Aren't we???)

C) Not to knock any programs out there, but nothing beats old fashioned calculating with the (Gasp!) PHB or DMG for figuring things out. Then you are not at the mercy of a programs bugs.

Seems these days that players and Dms are getting lazy, and are demanding that the programs do all the work for them. For Shame!

Sorry if this comes as a rant, but I figured something had to be said.

Sandeman

steev42
May 22nd, 2005, 23:39
Obviously it's been a while since this was touched upon in this topic, but I had an idea (read, slight issue with the program) when I was putting in a modifier into a room (+4 on Move Silently checks).

If it could be possible that anytime the program sees a "+X" or a "-X" it could be drag/dropped, I think it would be a very useful addition.

As an aside, is there a specific place to put feature requests/bug notifications on these messageboards?

Feanor_Finwed
May 23rd, 2005, 19:36
Everyone,

Thanks very much for this thread. I agree with some of the points, and disagree with a few others, but discussions such as this one help everyone in the long run.


steev42As an aside, is there a specific place to put feature requests/bug notifications on these messageboards?

Ged
May 23rd, 2005, 19:41
]As an aside, is there a specific place to put feature requests/bug notifications on these messageboards?

This is the place. If the feature request deals with ruleset customization, then the request would be better placed in the Workshop. The best way is to label the thread "Feature request: [the feature requested]" or something the like :D