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rodney418
April 20th, 2020, 13:28
I finally bit the bullet and purchased the Symbaroum ruleset. Myself and some of my players ran a quick test this morning using it with Fantasy Grounds Unity and here are a few issues we ran into, in rough order of severity:



Is there a way to automate NPC attacks in the Combat Tracker? I can drag & drop damage rolls to a target and it rolls the armor dice and applies the dice automatically, but I can't figure out how to drag & drop attacks. Currently I have to tell my players to manually set the Defence modifier and then roll their Defence. This massively slows down the game.
Players cannot set their own targets in the Combat Tracker - this is very annoying, especially for spell casters. They have to keep asking the DM to set the target for them, which slows things down a lot, and reduces the feeling of player agency.
Maintained spell effects in the Combat Tracker are not removed when the caster fails their automatic maintain roll.
Manually removing spell effects in the Combat Tracker throws up a script error in the FGU console.
Larvae Boil spell damage is supposed to ignore armor, but it doesn't. Each time it's applied in the Combat Tracker the victim's armor is rolled and deducted from it.
Death test table appears to be missing (p.160 of the rulebook). This should preferably be applied automatically when a character reaches 0 Toughness or less.
Selecting Create PC in the Library window changes the right side menu to just show the Characters button - it should show all of the buttons useful when creating a character e.g. Archetypes, Race, Abilities, Mystical Traditions, Mystical Powers, Rituals, Items, etc. (this is how it works in other rulesets).
Fonts are quite wonky in places - I assume this is an FGU thing?
Little red + symbol beside spells that opens up the drop down spell menu isn't very obvious, took us about an hour to figure that out. So that's either a UI issue or a players being dumbasses issue, you decide :-)
Can't drag & drop occupations into the Occupations field in the character sheet, but you can drag them into the Abilities field?
The Images folder is labelled as Maps in the right side menu, but called Images in the Library and when you open the folder - the menu item should be called Images to stay coherent, and because it contains more than just maps.
The original book is full of atmospheric images but they aren't in the ruleset - can we have those in the Images folder as well please? I would love to show them to the players in appropriate places.


The Promised Land

No Encounters created within the adventure, or even links to the appropriate NPCs within the body of the text. For example, Scene 1: The Tryout should have a link either an Encounter with the Caravan Guard NPC, or that NPC should be directly linked in the text so that the GM doesn't have to go hunting for it.
Same goes for the Scene 3 - the map is linked (yay!) but the NPC encounters are not (boo!).


I'd like to start start streaming a new campaign with this ruleset on Twitch, but currently it still feels a bit rough round the edges and not quite as slick as it should be. If we could at least have the first few of these issues addressed it would go a long way to improving things...

Thanks for your hard work on this already!

Rodney

rodney418
April 20th, 2020, 13:46
Another small thing: all of the weapons in the Items list only have 1 quality listed. Long weapons and Short weapons should preferably have those qualities listed as well since they make a material difference to how they operate.

rodney418
April 20th, 2020, 15:07
Another small thing: the pregens listed don't have portraits and only have 1 gendered name. Whereas the versions given on The Iron Pact have both male and female names listed, plus portraits. See:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2zIvdT-XhJiTUhPSWxvVmVZTHc/view
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2zIvdT-XhJia2x0SUgwc0QzbGc/view
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2zIvdT-XhJiNC1jVmV5bEV1MVE/view

rodney418
April 20th, 2020, 15:20
Modifiers & Effects tables both seem to be empty. How do I apply Advantage or the reroll effects of Critical Damage for example? Are the effects of a Perfect Hit or Fumble automatically applied?

Simpe
April 20th, 2020, 17:04
Hi Rodney!

It's really hard to answer all your questions when you post them in multiple messages. The best way for the future is if you edit your first post instead of posting multiple times.

Secondly it would be great if you report which branch you are running on (Test/Dev/Live), as well as the client FGU/FGC.

1. The idea here is that the player rolls their defense, and then you check if they have rolled enough successes to beat the modifier from the enemy. It's hard to automate this although possible.
2. That's a good suggestion! I wonder why it's not like that in CoreRPG? I don't think Symbaroum has modified that behavior anything, but I could be wrong.
3. I've managed to reproduce this with Larvae Boil, it worked with Entangling Vines so that's weird. I'll look into it! Thanks.
4. I can't reproduce this. I just tried with Entangling Vines (and Larvae Boil). There should be an update today, try it out and then if it still fails - please provide a more concrete example, thanks!
5. You're right, this seems to be a bug in Larvae Boil. I'll fix it to the next update!
6. You're completely right! I'll add this to the next update as well.
7. Interesting, I'll try to look this up as well and fix it, thanks!
8. I don't know about fonts in FGU sorry. I haven't ever started FGU much less tried the ruleset in it.
9. What icon would you suggest?
10. Abilities field accepts basically anything. But yeah preferably you should be able to drag it into the Occupation, even though Occupation is only a string. I'll see if I can fix that but it's fairly low priority.
11. Hmm yeah that's a very good point. I'll see if I can fix it!
12. There are quite some images in the reference guide. For example, if you look into "The Ways of Life" you can see it or under "The Iron Pact". Maybe it's different in FGU, I don't know.

The Promised Land: Those are fairly low-prioritized but I'll see if I can find time to insert them.

13. You're right. long and short seems to be missing from weapons. That's very interesting. I'll definitely fix this.
14. "The Iron Pact" that you're referring to is not official resources. In the book, there are no such portraits.
15. Those modifiers have not been added to the modifiers list. However, if you deal enough damage to a monster or player they should be knocked prone. In the effects-list in the Combat Tracker you can select if a target is elevated and/or if attacks versus the target has advantage. It's not very obvious but hover the two now flattened diamond-shaped symbols there and you should get more information.

Thanks for reporting all of this. I'll try to get it fixed as soon as I can!

Cheers,
Simon

Simpe
April 20th, 2020, 17:39
Hi again Rodney, regarding the long/short quality - that's embedded in the weapon type (weapon type short/long etc), and the quality should be working correctly. Please let me know if that doesn't work.

rodney418
April 20th, 2020, 18:51
Hi Simon!

Will try to keep things all in one place in future, sorry about that :-)

Re versions: I updated to the most recent FGU this morning, running on the Live branch, so that's 04-17.

1. It's standard in FG that you should be able to drag & drop your combat dice rolls directly on to the target. While it's true that Symbaroum has fixed amounts for NPCs rather than dice rolls, the ruleset does handle this correctly with the Damage system, so would be much simpler if the Attack roll worked exactly the same way. If I drag an NPC's weapon damage to a PC in the Combat Tracker, the PC autorolls the Armor amount and the resulting damage is automatically applied. It should work the same way for NPC attacks. I should be able to drag the NPC attack modifier to a PC (or use a dedicated Attack button) and have the PC autoroll their Defence. (This should work if an NPC has targeted a PC previously and the GM just double clicks the NPC's Attack and Damage rolls)

2. In Savage Worlds for example (which I think is based on CoreRPG), a player can grab the Attack dice or Spellcasting dice in their character sheet and drag it to an NPC field in the Combat Tracker to automatically target that NPC and make an attack roll on it with either the weapon or spell. We couldn't figure out how to do this with the spells in Symbaroum. The player had to tell the GM which enemy they wanted to target, then the GM set up the targeting in the Combat Tracker, and only then could the player roll to see if they hit. If you are used to the drag & drop method this seems very clumsy in comparison.

4. Screenshot enclosed

8. "I haven't ever started FGU much less tried the ruleset in it."

I would strongly suggest that you do. Unity is pretty far advanced in beta already and as an official ruleset the expectation is that Symbaroum should be fully compatible with it (and I believe that it is already being advertised as such). So you absolutely need to be testing on it.


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Simpe
April 20th, 2020, 19:29
1. Not really possible due to a lot of reaction mystical powers and similar abilities.
2. That's supposed to work with weapons at least in Symbaroum, it probably should work with mystical powers as well. I'll look into why it doesn't work there.
4. I still don't get this error myself. Maybe it's something that only happens in FGU? Can you try it in FGC and see if you can reproduce it there?
8. Since FGU is in beta and not officially released yet, and as I have very little time to spend on this I am only maintaining the main line. When FGC will be no longer supported by SW I will switch over to FGU. I'm sorry to say that this is a question of throughput - plus that would mean that I'd have to buy FGU - something I don't think I've done. Afaik, it's up to SW to make sure that the ruleset is working as good at FGU as it is on FGC?

I'm not the only developer with the FGU-issue. I know there are people even considering not using the forums until FGU is completed because they're having issues with FGU bugs being reported as FGC-bugs. I'm sorry to say but at this point I don't think it's up to me to make sure that the ruleset works as good in FGU.

rodney418
April 20th, 2020, 21:40
You don't need to buy FGU in order to test with it, your current FGC license will licence FGU as well during the beta period. I'm kind of amazed that as an official developer they don't give you an NFR license anyway.

And given that we are already in Public Beta stage, the time when it will be officially released is imminent. That means all Devs should be testing with it NOW. The idea that some Devs are actively ignoring forum posts about it is actually quite astonishing to me. The whole point of a Public Beta is so users like me can report problems and you guys can fix them. Not ignore us.

I understand your time issues and I do sympathise. I don't expect you to fix this right away, because I know we all have Real Life to deal with. But I would like to hear "I am looking into it", not "I am not going to bother".

damned
April 21st, 2020, 00:28
Hi Rodney!

2. That's a good suggestion! I wonder why it's not like that in CoreRPG? I don't think Symbaroum has modified that behavior anything, but I could be wrong.
8. I don't know about fonts in FGU sorry. I haven't ever started FGU much less tried the ruleset in it.


Hi Simon,

If someone edits their post there is no additional notification that such a thing has happened other than a small note at the bottom of the post.
2. CT interaction is designed for GM use, not player use. Players can target on the map - they can also drag and drop attacks and damage onto the CT but they cannot use the targeting widget.
8. Many fonts dont work in Unity....

rodney418
April 21st, 2020, 08:30
2. CT interaction is designed for GM use, not player use. Players can target on the map - they can also drag and drop attacks and damage onto the CT but they cannot use the targeting widget.


The problem here is that players can't drag & drop spell attacks, so they can't do any targeting with spells, they have to ask the GM. But the even bigger problem is that the GM can't drag & drop NPC attacks in the CT, or use the targeting widget for attacks, so there's no actual way to perform NPC attacks AT ALL. I understand that Symbaroum is a little different than most RPGs in that the GM never rolls dice, just the players, but the GM still needs to be able to initiate an attack for the player to respond to. At the moment the attack process is not automated, it has to be done manually (although the damage rolls are automated, which is good). Simon said that it's

Not really possible due to a lot of reaction mystical powers and similar abilities.

I'm really not sure what that means. Surely it would be possible to have whatever those ability effects are available as Effects in the CT too? As I pointed out in my original post, in the Symbaroum ruleset the Effects and Modifiers windows currently contain no data at all, which we found very weird. For example, Savage Worlds has effects like Distracted and Entangled that can be applied to characters in the CT, so can't the same thing be done here?

I would consider these fairly fundamental functions in FG and the lack of them was very noticeable in our test session. It was like going back to the old days when we were still using Roll20 :-)

damned
April 21st, 2020, 08:42
The problem here is that players can't drag & drop spell attacks, so they can't do any targeting with spells, they have to ask the GM. But the even bigger problem is that the GM can't drag & drop NPC attacks in the CT, or use the targeting widget for attacks, so there's no actual way to perform NPC attacks AT ALL. I understand that Symbaroum is a little different than most RPGs in that the GM never rolls dice, just the players, but the GM still needs to be able to initiate an attack for the player to respond to. At the moment the attack process is not automated, it has to be done manually (although the damage rolls are automated, which is good). Simon said that it's

Not really possible due to a lot of reaction mystical powers and similar abilities.

I'm really not sure what that means. Surely it would be possible to have whatever those ability effects are available as Effects in the CT too? As I pointed out in my original post, in the Symbaroum ruleset the Effects and Modifiers windows currently contain no data at all, which we found very weird. For example, Savage Worlds has effects like Distracted and Entangled that can be applied to characters in the CT, so can't the same thing be done here?

I would consider these fairly fundamental functions in FG and the lack of them was very noticeable in our test session. It was like going back to the old days when we were still using Roll20 :-)

Not discounting your concerns and I have never used the Symbaroum ruleset - I was just replying to very specific points - and mostly to Simpe

Are you not using a map for your combat? If you are using a map is there anything stopping you from targeting via the map?
There are a few systems that dont have GM rolls. I run Dungeon World and it does complicate things when the NPCs inflict damage.
Effects are non trivial and they get more and more complex when Effects stack and/or cancel each other out etc.
SaWo has a significantly larger player base, and hence a bigger revenue base, so it will get more coding effort for that reason alone.

rodney418
April 21st, 2020, 09:24
Of course SW is a much more popular system, it's been around a LOT longer, and there's more people developing for it, I understand that. I'm not saying that I expect the Symbaroum ruleset to be as polished as the SW one. I'm just using it as an example of an FG system that I am very familiar with, and things that work in that ruleset.

I wasn't using a map in the Symbaroum test we did, but since map targeting is basically an extension of CT targeting I can't see how that would work any differently. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be any drag & drop of spell targeting or NPC attacks at all.

Currently the NPC attack procedure as I understand it is:



GM drags targeting reticule in the CT from the current NPC to selected PC
GM decides what modifiers apply and adds them up mentally
GM tells PC that NPC is attacking and tells PC what the the total modifier is
PC manually inputs the modifier number into the little modifier box at the bottom left of the screen
PC double clicks on the Defence box in their character sheet
Dice are rolled to check if the attack succeeds or not


Now that is completely doable, and it's quite similar to how it would be done around a real table, but it feels really fiddly on a VTT. If there's a better / easier way of doing it in the Symbaroum ruleset, I would love to know - I'm not ruling out that maybe I'm just not understanding something correctly here.

Whereas the expected behaviour in FG (at least for me) is:



(Optional) GM drags from Effects or Modifiers windows on to the PC in the CT to set up applicable situational modifiers
GM drags the NPC weapon or spell attack on to PC in the CT
Dice are rolled to check if the attack succeeds or not


Note: the first step is listed as optional because quite a lot of the time there are no situational modifiers, or if there are, they often remain unchanged from one combat round to the next.

I think it's pretty clear that the second procedure is a lot faster and slicker than the first one. That's not to say that the first one doesn't work, but it's a pain in the *** when you are trying to keep a VTT game moving. That level of automation is why I bought FG in the first place instead of sticking with Roll20.

Valyar
April 21st, 2020, 11:01
In Symbaroum the players roll all the dice. So far I have run dozens of sessions and nobody complained, as this is the spirit of the game. The game system definitely does not prevent you to make NPCs roll, after all they have the same rules as PCs when it comes to the calculation target number, but I consider this optional and quality of life improvement, to reduce the amount of rolls a player does.

Don't get me wrong - I like the idea.

What you suggest is doable, but puts even more work on the GM. Symbaroum is very complex game to automate, as it is based on exceptions, rather than rules. I would prefer to get APG rather than this. There is more important bug to fix related to the calculation of the advantage and usage of modifiers box.

rodney418
April 21st, 2020, 11:18
So far I have run dozens of sessions and nobody complained

And that's great - for you. But my players definitely didn't like it, so now someone IS complaining.


The game system definitely does not prevent you to make NPCs roll

As I have pointed out several times now, you can't currently automate NPC attacks. If there is a way to do it that I have missed, I would love to know.


I consider this optional and quality of life improvement

That's up to you, but I consider it fundamental functionality in Fantasy Grounds. That kind of automation is why I bought the FG software in the first place. And it's what I expect in every officially supported ruleset.


Symbaroum is very complex game to automate

One of the things I love about Symbaroum is that the rules are very simple compared to most other RPGs. So I find it weird that people seem to be saying that it's very complex. I really don't get that at all.


I would prefer to get APG rather than this.

I would prefer to have both :-) But I understand your point. In any software project there's always a tradeoff between fixing bugs, adding features, and creating new DLC. I'm not Project Managing this, I'm just here reporting on issues as honestly as I can and saying what is important to me. If something else is more important to you, then that's great too. Both of our opinions are important.

Valyar
April 21st, 2020, 11:38
But my players definitely didn't like it, so now someone IS complaining.
So... you guys play a game that by design requires players to roll all the dice (like Numenera) and you find this problematic and now this is problem with the ruleset? I would say it is wrong expectation here. Don't get me wrong - I agree with you that such optional feature would be nice.


As I have pointed out several times now, you can't currently automate NPC attacks.
Yes, because in the game all rolls are done by the PCs :) As I said above, nice to have definitely.


One of the things I love about Symbaroum is that the rules are very simple compared to most other RPGs. So I find it weird that people seem to be saying that it's very complex. I really don't get that at all.
You are right - the principles of the game are simple and rules are easy to learn and use. At the table. The problem is when you have to program this. Computers are not smart in general. Every ability and spell have 3 levels that change how certain things are rolled add extra options to a roll. This means that in the code, you have to handle many cases as exceptions, i.e. code explicitly for that. Also, some talents have block of text that state you can do either this or that on Novice/Adept/master level, such as the Wrestling ability from APG. This is what I mean that it is very complex. The code you need to push to handle all possible options - if-then-else and swtich constructs.
As person who has been doing some coding for FG I can tell you that while this is possible, it is not feasible from commercial point of view. Also in some cases this will not be desirable, some groups want to have control over what is happening and have house rules that do this or that, therefore full automation might be working against you.

rodney418
April 21st, 2020, 12:00
Another bug report:



Twin Attack is changing Main Hand damage correctly as it ranks up, but not Off-hand damage.
The character sheet lists Maximal Toughness. This should read Maximum Toughness.
Size and Reach values in the CT don't make any sense to me. PCs default to 5 in each category, whereas NPCs default to 2 in each. Am I missing something? (See screenshot)
Flat Effect diamonds in the CT cover over the green Add Effect button (at least they do in the current Unity version).
Is there a way to enable the optional Critical Damage rule (rulebook p.178) and Perfect Hits & Fumbled Defence rule (rulebook p.179)? I like these options a lot and would like to be able to use them.


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rodney418
April 21st, 2020, 12:34
So... you guys play a game that by design requires players to roll all the dice (like Numenera) and you find this problematic and now this is problem with the ruleset?

Well... ALL RPGs require players to roll the dice! FG is designed to automate all the bookkeeping associated with that. That's kind of the whole point of the software in the first place. My issue with this ruleset is not that players have to push a button to roll dice to Defend against an Attack, it's all of the other stuff that the GM and player have to do BEFORE they can push that button, as listed in the procedure I laid out above. Of course you can argue that this level of automation is not essential, but by the same logic you might as well argue that we could just get rid of the CT entirely and do everything like we do around a real table. BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT FANTASY GROUNDS IS ABOUT. If I wanted something that emulated the tabletop experience exactly I'd be using Tabletop Simulator, which emulates a real tabletop experience way better than FG does (and does it much cheaper too). But I use Fantasy Grounds because it's an app that does complex stuff for me so I can just get on with playing.

I can tell you that while this is possible, it is not feasible from commercial point of view.

Now that is an argument that I can understand. I've managed plenty of projects where it came down to that. I get it. And if I can't have everything I would like to have, ok, fine. I'll deal with that. I just don't want to be told that wanting to be able to automate an NPC attack is somehow weird or wrong when it's something that every other ruleset does as basic functionality in FG already. It SHOULD be a valid player expectation. If it's not working for specific resource or ruleset reasons, then fine. Add it to the list of Nice to Have, maybe take another look at it in a year's time, and for now get on with fixing the other stuff that can be fixed given current resources.

However also understand that from MY commercial point of view, I paid $25 for this ruleset, and for my $25 I expect a certain level of functionality and reasonably bug-free operation. So far I am genuinely unsure if I am getting my money's worth, which is very disappointing, but I'm willing to help report bugs if I have a decent expectation that someone is going to take care to fix them. That's my commercial point of view, and it's just as valid as anyone else's.

Valyar
April 21st, 2020, 17:49
We are not in disagreement here. I feel I am less demanding and have less expectations. :) I am sure the bugs will be fixed and this quality of life can be implemented.

Valyar
April 21st, 2020, 19:16
And we have an update! :)

rodney418
April 21st, 2020, 21:35
Yeah, I know I'm coming across as being very demanding, and that's not my intention. I genuinely just wanted to report stuff to help make this better for everyone. Myself and my players are really keen on running a Symbaroum campaign in FG (and probably live streaming it too), so we want it to be the best it can be.

I also don't want to come across as ungrateful - Simpe has done a fantastic job on this so far, and I want to thank him for all his hard work. Long may it continue.

rodney418
April 21st, 2020, 21:37
Wait, there's an update??? What changed?

Valyar
April 22nd, 2020, 05:36
There is post in the City Hall that describes what is happening: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?56704-Release-Updates-for-April-21st-2020&p=499461#post499461

Simpe
April 25th, 2020, 13:04
Hey guys,

Sorry about missing out on all the posts. It's hard for me to keep up with so many discussions in so many places, and every minute spent here is not spent on trying to improve the ruleset.

Thanks Valyar and Damned for helping out with answering questions.

I have a couple of fixes incoming, mainly being able to drag-and-drop actions and their damage (an action is my name for what an ability/mystical power etc actually can do in an automation-supported way). I've also fixed actions not correctly applying their damage ignore.

Hopefully that should help a bit with the automation process.

Now for some explanations as to why enemies attacks are not automated.

I think there's been a fairly good explanation here about the spirit of the game where the GM doesn't roll any die. That's the spirit of the game and that has been attempted to follow here. That means that the players should only roll their defense - OR apply any of the reactions that they may have due to their reactive abilities or spells.

There is also a reason that there are abilities that allow you to use other people as a shield when you're being attacked, there are riposts, there are abilities that you can activate as a reaction when someone attacks providing extra armor or reflective damage, there are reactions that other players can take in order to make the attack less able to hit or hit someone else... and a lot more. The amount of reactions that can be taken in order to modify an attack are too many to feasibly consider when one would want to implement something like this. It would take a huge amount of time and even if it was in the spirit of the game - it simply would not be feasible to do.

I'm going to submit these fixes that I've done to hopefully improve some of the behavior that we've seen - and there's more to do. If someone could help me keep track of the bugs and prioritize them for me - that would be greatly appreciated and would probably result in my time spent in the most important areas. I used to have a trello for this but unfortunately it's not very up to date and included work for future modules.

Cheers,
Simon

rodney418
April 25th, 2020, 14:09
There is also a reason that there are abilities that allow you to use other people as a shield when you're being attacked, there are riposts, there are abilities that you can activate as a reaction when someone attacks providing extra armor or reflective damage, there are reactions that other players can take in order to make the attack less able to hit or hit someone else... and a lot more. The amount of reactions that can be taken in order to modify an attack are too many to feasibly consider when one would want to implement something like this.

This simply isn't logical. Your argument seems to be that since there might be exceptions to an automated function, then there shouldn't be an automated function at all.

Wouldn't a simpler, clearer system be: it is automated unless the GM decides to apply an exception? That's kind of how exceptions are supposed to work: they are exceptional, not standard behaviour.

All I want is a system where an NPC's Attack modifier is automatically applied to a PC's Defence roll instead of having to be manually typed in every time. Because every time a PC is attacked, that modifier needs to be applied. In the rare cases where there needs to be an additional modifier added manually that can still be done.

I'm amazed that this conversation is still ongoing. This isn't rocket science. As I said a couple of days ago, if you don't want to add it now, just add it to your Nice to Have list and look at it again some other time down the road.

Anyhow, that's my last comment on this topic.

rodney418
April 25th, 2020, 14:10
I've also fixed actions not correctly applying their damage ignore.


Thank you for this.