Starfinder Playlist
  1. #1

    Importing Information

    I am curious how information is imported into the system.

    If I have a map from a module, how does it get drawn?

    If I have an illustration from a PDF or JPEG file, how do I use it with your software?

    Can characters be imported via stat-block?

    Can I modify monsters on the fly?

    If a character uses a custom spell or non-SRD ability, how does the software handle it? I don't really want to type in every rule book expansion that I have.

    Let's say a group of vampire spawn is being attacked by a cold-ball (variant fireball), how does it get implemented? Damage has to be rolled, affected spawn have to make saves, cold resistance has to be applied. How is this facilitated?

  2. #2
    Very good questions - as a potential customer, I'll be looking forward to hearing the answers.

  3. #3

    Re: Importing Information

    Hello and thank you for your interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheiromancer
    I am curious how information is imported into the system.

    If I have a map from a module, how does it get drawn?

    If I have an illustration from a PDF or JPEG file, how do I use it with your software?
    The supported image formats are PNG, JPG, GIF, BMP and TGA. You can use any image in these formats, and share it for all the players to see. Fantasy Grounds supports any image size, but you may want to pay attention to it to make it more convenient for the participants. Huge images don't fit on the screen all at once, and can be annoying if you need to see it all (such as, say, pictures of NPCs). On the other hand, things like dungeon maps can be larger than fits the screen since the action is typically focused on one area. Since the images are sent to the players over the internet, you might want to pay attention to the file size as well. Images can be panned, and the GM can keep players focused on one area at a time.

    As for how you add images, each campaign you create has a folder dedicated to this. You can drop image files there even as a session is underway, and get instant access to them. No need to do anything else except select it from the list of images. Later, you can sort images into categories and rename them in the list for easier access.

    You can also use features such as gradual revealing of images, pointers and drawings on any bitmap image on a separate layer. A bigger image can be transferred to the players in the background if you know beforehand that you're going to need it in a few minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheiromancer
    Can characters be imported via stat-block?
    Not at this time, but this is something we have been planning to implement at some time in the future. Also, the data files are in a generic XML format so anyone could easily come up with utilities that help here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheiromancer
    Can I modify monsters on the fly?
    You can create copies of monsters in the NPC list, and modify the copy. This is very handy if you want to make, say, an orc chieftain with some fighter levels or such.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheiromancer
    If a character uses a custom spell or non-SRD ability, how does the software handle it? I don't really want to type in every rule book expansion that I have.
    The best way to approach this is to think what you'd do at a traditional gaming table. Chances are, you'd write down the name of the spell on the character sheet, and a short description to go along with it. This is exactly how you add spells to the Fantasy Grounds default character sheet. You can also copy them from the reference spell lists if you want to have quick access to the standard d20 spells. When you use the spell, you roll the dice you need and the GM determines the result.

    Now, if you want to include these new spells in the reference spellbook for all characters to see, you do need to make a modification to the default ruleset. However, it has been split into sections to help with just this kind of data only modifications, and you'd basically have to define a data file with the spells, and a line to include it in the set. All mods are automatically downloaded by the clients when they connect to your game, so that will be all that's necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheiromancer
    Let's say a group of vampire spawn is being attacked by a cold-ball (variant fireball), how does it get implemented? Damage has to be rolled, affected spawn have to make saves, cold resistance has to be applied. How is this facilitated?
    All this is subject to what the GM decides. The software does not do the saves for the creatures, apply resistances or damage. There are the dice, the sheets, and the controls that allow the user to use them effectively. This leaves the GM with all the control he has at a traditional gaming table. (Also, that's all a d20 license compliant piece of software can do without breaking the license.)

    I'd be happy to elaborate if I missed a point you'd like to know more about.
    Tero Parvinen
    Fantasy Grounds Guru

  4. #4
    Another question about importing - will you be adding open info from other D20 sources in the future?

    Say, if you wanted to later buy the open content from a Green Ronin book, would that be possible?

    What if you wanted to type up all the open info and add it yourself? Is that possible?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Ashy
    Another question about importing - will you be adding open info from other D20 sources in the future?
    We are currently focused on making sure the software itself improves even further. We will also be providing some content in the form of modules and support the community to distribute their modules by putting them up on this site for others to download. Of course, the form of the stuff we release will be ultimately determined by the feedback we get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashy
    Say, if you wanted to later buy the open content from a Green Ronin book, would that be possible?
    Yes. It would need to be converted to our format, of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashy
    What if you wanted to type up all the open info and add it yourself? Is that possible?
    Yes. The procedure for adding any data is basically the same. Since there are a lot of people with varying levels of technical knack for XML and such, an example might be informative here. Here's a look at what the magic missle spell looks like in our data:

    Code:
    <node name="magicmissile">
    	<stringvalue name="name" value="Magic Missile" />
    	<stringvalue name="school" value="Evocation &#91;Force&#93;" />
    	<stringvalue name="level" value="Sor/Wiz 1" />
    	<stringvalue name="components" value="V, S" />
    	<stringvalue name="castingtime" value="1 standard action" />
    	<stringvalue name="range" value="Medium &#40;100 ft. + 10 ft./level&#41;" />
    	<stringvalue name="effect" value="Up to five creatures, no two of which can be more than 15 ft. apart" />
    	<stringvalue name="duration" value="Instantaneous" />
    	<stringvalue name="save" value="None" />
    	<stringvalue name="sr" value="Yes" />
    	<formattedtext name="description">
    		<p>A missile of magical energy darts forth from your 
    		fingertip and strikes its target, dealing 1d4+1 points of 
    		force damage.</p>
    		<p>The missile strikes unerringly, even if the target is 
    		in melee combat or has less than total cover or total
    		concealment. Specific parts of a creature can't be 
    		singled out. Inanimate objects are not damaged by the 
    		spell.</p>
    		<p>For every two caster levels beyond 1st, you gain an 
    		additional missile - two at 3rd level, three at 5th, four at 
    		7th, and the maximum of five missiles at 9th level or 
    		higher. If you shoot multiple missiles, you can have them 
    		strike a single creature or several creatures. A single 
    		missile can strike only one creature. You must designate 
    		targets before you check for spell resistance or roll 
    		damage.</p>  
    	</formattedtext>
    </node>
    The respective data definitions in Fantasy Grounds are open game content, so you'll find a lot of other examples to fall back on if you want to add something.

    I want to point out that this only applies to any additional ruleset data. A GM wanting to run a standard d20 set can modify e.g. monsters using just the application interface.

    Any more technical, and this thread should be cut and moved to The Workshop
    Tero Parvinen
    Fantasy Grounds Guru

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin-King
    The respective data definitions in Fantasy Grounds are open game content, so you'll find a lot of other examples to fall back on if you want to add something.

    I want to point out that this only applies to any additional ruleset data. A GM wanting to run a standard d20 set can modify e.g. monsters using just the application interface.

    Any more technical, and this thread should be cut and moved to The Workshop
    So you are saying that you allow the user to actually manipulate the code of the base ruleset within this software? COOL! 8)

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