View Full Version : Creating or altering character sheet appearance

May 2nd, 2006, 12:24
Is there some special process that must be done in order to make changes to a character sheet and not have FG crash?

I copied all the files into a new ruleset, and then went into the Frames directory and opened two of the .PNG files (The one for skills and the one for main). I made some minor changes to the graphics on the sheet, saved the files, then tried to open FG.

FG will not open now, it crashes with the "Fantasy Grounds has encountered an unexpected error" popup.

I know I have seen examples of sheets where the graphics are different...can I not modify existing .PNG files in the Frames directory? Must I create brand new files from scratch?

Any help appreciated!

May 2nd, 2006, 13:40
I know I have seen examples of sheets where the graphics are different...can I not modify existing .PNG files in the Frames directory? Must I create brand new files from scratch?

What you did is not enough. :) In addition to editing images, you also have to edit the corresponding XML documents. Fantasy Grounds' GUI works in such way, that XML files describe the interface in terms of interaction - like "create an editable field at coordinates x, y" - and PNGs are just graphics that lie underneath.

I can't give you a detailed example right now, because I have no access to FG files where I am at now, but I believe there are plenty of other users, who will be glad to extend my thoughts. :)

May 2nd, 2006, 14:35

Yes, I think I understand that to get what I "really" want, I will need to go into charsheet.xml and fiddle with the definitions for the stringcontrols, numbercontrols, etc. I even think I understand the overall structure of a field you type into...

But why would the program crash simply because I opened the character sheet skills .PNG file, painted the word "Astrogate" over the word "Decipher Script" (for example) and then flattened the image to make it one layer, and then saved the .PNG back out? I know that anything put in that field when dragged to the modifiers area would still say "Decipher Script" until I adjusted the charsheet.xml files, but...

It seemed like making any change to the graphic caused FG to bomb. If I copied back over a fresh .PNG file, it worked fine again. My confuzzlement comes from why can't I just make a little change to the backend graphics without things blowing up? :)

May 2nd, 2006, 15:59
Have you changed the ruleset name? I mean, when you copy a ruleset you have to change the paths in XML files... Unless what you did is to just backup the original in some safe place and only edit the image. Then - I don't know really, it shouldn't crash, unless there are some specific graphics related problems, but I know close to nothing of art. ;P

May 2nd, 2006, 20:58
The best practise to keep things working is changing things little by little.

1. Just create a new folder, e.g. [Fantasy Grounds install folder]\rulesets\my_ruleset (my_ruleset for short in the following).
2. Copy the base.xml from rulesets\d20 to my_ruleset.

Then, say you wanted to change the graphics if the character sheet:

3. Copy the d20_graphics from rulesets\d20 to my_ruleset, that's where the graphics are defined, and rename it (if you wish) to my_graphics.
4. Change the reference <bitmap file="rulesets\d20\frames\charsheet_main.png" /> to whatever file you wish to use, e.g. <bitmap file="rulesets\my_ruleset\new_main_charsheet.png" /> in my_ruleset\my_graphics.xml and the attributes in the same framedef. And notice that if you make changes to the original charsheet_main.png without copying it to a new place, the sheet will not change.
5. Change the line <includefile source="rulesets\d20\d20_graphics.xml" /> in my_rulesets\base.xml to <includefile source="rulesets\my_ruleset\my_graphics.xml" />

Do not change anything that does not need changing and let the rest of the base.xml intact; change it only if you need to change some particular file that the base.xml points to. Even if you are creating a ruleset for a completely different system, there are probably a lot of elements that suffice for the time being.

May 2nd, 2006, 23:50
Houston, we have a problem! *grins*

I apparently do not have a d20_graphics file anywhere on my PC, yet FG will load and run the default ruleset (which makes reference to that very fill in base.xml) just fine.

I'm going to try a reinstall from ground zero and see if that "fixes" things.

I'll post more results later.

May 3rd, 2006, 01:23

During the reinstall, I installed the "Source files" and lo and behold d20_graphics was there..I'm happily working on my new ruleset!

Thanks everyone for the help!...Star Wars D20 here I come!

May 3rd, 2006, 09:30
I apparently do not have a d20_graphics file anywhere on my PC

FG is half logic, half art IMO. I did not have the d20_Graphics file either. I had to run the resource.pak file to get the default occurrence to appear. Freaky! I guess it has an internal copy or it deletes the default copy and recreates it, but I had been playing FG for months before modding it, so I don't know where that file was hiding out at. I am absolutely sure it was not there when I started modding.

FG has a bunch of default files that it automatically creates. That is one of the reasons for making a separate copy of the d20 ruleset before modding. If you try to edit the d20 ruleset directy, FG will copy over your files. I guess this is some kind of safeguard, but it's frigging annoying.

FG also get's wierd if you make a copy of the data folder and make changes to the new data folder. I was trying to fix that stupid token box. I would rather have a nested list of tokens, but I don't know if that's even possible to create outside the compiled part of FG. I was trying to make the token box simply bigger and I lost all kinds of functionality.

FG is really buggy and unstable, but it does the job of facilitating table gameplay online. I'm sure they have reasons for why they built it this way.

May 3rd, 2006, 13:18
Look for a file in your FG root folder called UnPak.exe and run it. That should create the graphics.xml file and bmpfonts.xml files in your Fantasy Grounds\Data folder.

What's causing your ruleset to crash isn't the graphic being changed, it's something (I know not what) not being defined or pathed correctly.

May 3rd, 2006, 14:30
*nods* thanks everyone for the help!

Once I got the source files installed and the path issues defined, then it all clicked into place. I've got a "working" rough that I can use in a pinch, the issue now of course is making it pretty. Lots of art work to do at this point. :)

May 4th, 2006, 01:31
Don't I know it ;)

It's not too bad though. You might even nab some of the modern/futuristic art we did for the MSRD at Digital Adventures. It's free after all.