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View Full Version : NPC Sheet / Monster sheet changes, A Modest Proposal



SalmonElla
September 23rd, 2005, 23:05
I have been looking over the npc / personality/ monster sheets over and over again and frankly I cannot see the reason it was designed in the way it is. Dont get me wrong, I love the way that the xml dynamically generates the entries based off of the groups in d20_adventure.xml. What I am referring to is the bab, attack, full attack things.

In order for the sheets to be useful they should be able to have the contents of the particular pieces dragged. Let me cite an example:
I create an npc : Tommy Two-Tone. I do all the work of adding the descriptions and whatnot and get to the combat section. I make his Attack be Slam +15 melee( 2d8+10)
I then try to use tommy. I am forced to roll the dice manually and none of the modifiers are selectable.

Here is a possible solution( I dont like to complain without having a better way):
Separate the bab into a series of number boxes that show sign:



<group id="h">
<stringcontrol>
<bounds hpos="10,64" vmargin="6,0" />
<font name="chatfont" />
<static value="BAB" />
</stringcontrol>
<numbercontrol name="bab1">
<bounds hpos="76,37" vmargin="5,0" />
<displaysign />
<frame name="controlarea" offset="4,2,2,1" />
<tabtarget next="bab2" prev="ac" />
</numbercontrol>
<numbercontrol name="bab2">
<bounds hpos="120,37" vmargin="5,0" />
<displaysign />
<frame name="controlarea" offset="4,2,2,1" />
<tabtarget next="bab3" prev="bab1" />
</numbercontrol>
<numbercontrol name="bab3">
<bounds hpos="164,37" vmargin="5,0" />
<displaysign />
<frame name="controlarea" offset="4,2,2,1" />
<tabtarget next="atk1" prev="bab2" />
</numbercontrol>
</group>


The above would allow 3 BAB/GRP items separated so they can be dragged to the modifiers box.

Lets take this a bit further and script attacks:
Separate Attacks and attack damage.


<group id="i">
<stringcontrol>
<bounds hpos="10,64" vmargin="6,0" />
<font name="chatfont" />
<static value="Attack 1" />
</stringcontrol>
<stringcontrol name="atk1">
<bounds hpos="79,-28" vmargin="5,0" />
<font name="smallcontrol" />
<frame name="controlarea" offset="4,2,2,1" />
<tabtarget next="atk1d" prev="babgrp" />
</stringcontrol>
</group>
<group id="j">
<stringcontrol>
<bounds hpos="10,64" vmargin="6,0" />
<font name="chatfont" />
<static value="Attack 1 Damage" />
</stringcontrol>
<stringcontrol name="atk1d">
<bounds hpos="79,-28" vmargin="5,0" />
<font name="smallcontrol" />
<frame name="controlarea" offset="4,2,2,1" />
<tabtarget next="atk2" prev="atk1" />
</stringcontrol>
</group>


Ok now we have selectable boxes. Let us add the following to Tommy Two-Tone:
Attack 1: /die 1d20+15 Slam,BAB,Str
Attack 1 Dam: /die 2d8+10 Slam,Str

Now these items can be dragged to hotbars or the gm text chat area and used.

I have more things that I changed but I will wait to see if this is welcomed or if I am forced to wear the hubcap of shame.
--SE

kalmarjan
September 23rd, 2005, 23:25
I am right now in the process of overhauling the NPC sheets myself. Just FYI, when you change the NPC's you must also change the monsters as well..... a very big project.

Also, automated attacks and such are not a fly for the license that SW has, but there is no reason the EU can't type in the box him/herself the /die commands. It is just cumbersome.

Just some thoughts....

Sandeman

Ramza0Tyr
September 24th, 2005, 00:40
Also, automated attacks and such are not a fly for the license that SW has, but there is no reason the EU can't type in the box him/herself the /die commands. It is just cumbersome.

SalmonElla,

I just wanted to point you in the right direction for the restriction that Kalmarjan mentioned. I’m also hoping that we’ll begin actually directing people to the documents when we discuss these issues on the FG forums. Assuming that we want to make as many improvements as possible while complying with the OGL and d20 restrictions, I’m hoping that we all spread knowledge, not fear. Pointing out the documents and citing them is a great practice for ensuring accurate information and a great way to ensure that those that speak about the topic are knowledgeable.

Go here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/article/20040121a

You can read the Open Game License, d20 System License, and the d20 System Guide. Depending on what you actually do you may have to comply with both OGL requirements and d20 requirements. For simplicity, I’m assuming that you must comply with both in this post. For the purposes of the “automated attack” restriction, you want to know that d20 System products may not be “Interactive Games”.

They are defined as: (you can read this definition in the documents mentioned above.)


"Interactive Game": means a piece of software that is designed to accept inputs from human players or their agents, and use rules to resolve the success or failure of those inputs, and return some indication of the results of those inputs to the users. Success and failure includes any determination wherein one outcome is preferable to another. This includes the random determination of hit points, ability scores, and the like.

If I understand your suggestion, it doesn’t seem you run afoul of this restriction, even using a very, very risk averse course of action. Mostly, this is because what you are suggesting happen is all already possible within FG. (As Kalmarjan points out correctly, assuming I understand what you are suggesting.)

So, as I understand your changes, your altered sheets would allow more “drag to hotkey or chat area” functionality. Having the sheet provide you with draggable content is not the same as creating an “Interactive Game” as defined above.

So, I hope that you’ll take a peek at the document in full yourself. Get comfortable with the terms of the OGL and d20 Systems requirements. Allow that to guide your modifications so that your suggestions / alterations will have been conducted with the restrictions in mind. Don’t let it stop you!


I have more things that I changed but I will wait to see if this is welcomed or if I am forced to wear the hubcap of shame.

I think your suggestions are exciting so no hubcap for you!

Later.
Ramza

kalmarjan
September 24th, 2005, 04:18
I just wanted to point you in the right direction for the restriction that Kalmarjan mentioned. I’m also hoping that we’ll begin actually directing people to the documents when we discuss these issues on the FG forums

You know how it is... your at work and you fire off a quick Email.... :oops:

I do not mean fear mongering... so please understand that I am just trying to point out what the Devs here have said and/or their stance on things.

Right now, I am totally not for any sort of automation. Thank the gods above that the Devs are considering adding scripting, so that any changes are optional, as opposed to blanket changes. Right now, my rolls and everything are already automated. I just need to use my hell u D&D skill to fill in the hot key slots. That, for me, is the most automation that I want. I like the tabletop feel of this program. There is and never was any automation at my RL gaming table, and that is the way that I like it.

Don't get me wrong, there are all sorts of types of Players and DMs. Some like everything done for them, others like nothing done for them, and there are those inbetween. (Read aloud text is a good example... some hate it, others swear by it.) I am glad that there will be an option as to whether automation will occur in the future.

When making characters, one thing that annoys me about character generators, is that they (IMHO) make the player/DM lazy. Sometimes there are blatent mistakes made by the creator, and they are missed, because this NPC/PC was built automatically. There is no math it seems anymore.

/steps from soapbox....

This is just some rambling on my part... just the way that I feel about this program. You can all see that I am passionate about this platform, and I feel that already my money is well worth what I gave up for this program.

Hats of (Or hud caps on) to the Devs! (You know who you are!)

Cheers,

Sandeman

Ramza0Tyr
September 24th, 2005, 14:04
You know how it is... your at work and you fire off a quick Email.... :oops:

No worries.

Certainly, no need for ---> :oops:

lol :D

And, I agree, FG is great. And as it keeps improving, I'm hoping folks will keep bringing their creative energies here!

Later.
Ramza

Goblin-King
September 26th, 2005, 11:09
I'm not going to go into major detail yet, but most of the concerns expressed here will be addressed in 1.06 (not exactly in the way described here but I'm pretty excited about our design myself). 1.06 will probably be to the NPC sheet what 1.05 was for images, but better :P

kalmarjan
September 26th, 2005, 11:44
cool... are we looking at using the new stat block introduced in the DMG II?

That would be awesome... (Mind you, I got a prototype if you are interested... <Grin>)

Cheers,

Sandeman