Page 1 of 2 12 Last
  1. #1

    Fall of Delta Green (and other GUMSHOE) automated ruleset

    Short Version

    I wrote up a fairly comprehensive implementation of the Fall of Delta Green ruleset. It has pretty complete automation and targeted rolls for skills, automated conditions, stability tests, etc. I didn't really alter the general look and feel of CoreRPG much (focused on actually scripting the game system instead) so here it is as an extension. I tried to keep everything fairly editable so this should be easily portable if you want to play Trail of Cthulhu, Timewatch, Night's Black Agents, or whatever else in GUMSHOE (just change / add / remove skills).

    Long Version

    Veteran professional software engineer here. I started using Fantasy Grounds three weeks ago. I'm a big fan of Delta Green and am pretty eager to try the new Fall of Delta Green book so I encoded the ruleset and interface into Fantasy Grounds.

    main.JPG

    Here you can see most of the custom functionality. PC characters start out with the FoDG skillset for both general and investigative abilities and with the starting values as per the book. Each skill has two numbers and a little plus icon. First number is the rating, second number is the pool. Clicking the plus icon will add that ability to the spend pool at the bottom of the char sheet. You can keep clicking the plus to add more points to your spend. At the bottom, next to the skill name and spend, there are three buttons.

    spend.JPG

    The first is a rollable. You can either double click to just get the roll value (factoring in various conditions and whatnot) or drag to a target. Dragging the skill to a target in the CT will perform the roll and test against that target's respective stat. E.g. if you're rolling firearms or unarmed or melee weapons (or other attack) it will test against hit threshold. If you're rolling Disguise or Stealth it will test against their Alertness (plus default target value of 4). If you're rolling Sense Trouble it will test against their Stealth (plus default target value of 4). It will notify of success or failure and what the margin was for attacks. If you're rolling First Aid, it will either heal the Bleeding condition or otherwise restore health to the target as per the rulebook. If you're rolling Psychotherapy, it will either remove the Disorder condition (signifying an active disorder episode) or restore stability as per rulebook. Note that removing conditions when healing requires a minimum of a 2 point spend. If you spend only one and roll, that point will effectively be lost. Rolling Stability against a target will test against a difficulty 5 (unnatural stability test) and on failure will apply X stability damage to the character, where X is the target's Stability Loss value. If you roll Health without a target, you will perform a consciousness test as per the rulebook ("unconscious" condition will be applied on failure). Everything else will always test against Hit Threshold.

    The second (a looking glass icon) is meant to be used for investigative spends. It will simply print the character, skill name, and spend value to the chatbox.

    The third is a discard button which will refund the points back into the pool.

    Finally, there's also two buttons at the top of the spend box - one to refresh general skills after a short rest (as per rulebook) and one to refresh everything at the end of the operation (as per rulebook).

    We've also got automated attack damage. Whenever you add an item that has the "Is Weapon?" field set to true to the character's inventory, and equip it, an attack will automagically appear in the attacks section. Removing the item will remove the entry from the attacks section.

    attackinv.JPG
    attack.JPG

    In the attack entry, you have the name of the attack, a damage bonus field, lethality (fully automated), and an ammo tracker. Click the ammo box to decrement ammo (min of zero). Click the reload button next to it to reset to max ammo. If you're into that sort of thing, that is. It has a draggable die that, when dragged to a target in the CT, will roll damage, calculate lethality, and apply the appropriate effects and damage. Note that you can create and delete entries in this attack field. I would recommend this for full auto weapons (just set the lethality to L1, as per the rulebook).

    Any equipped/removed item with an armor value will update the character's armor field (which is factored into damage rolls).

    There's also Adaptation to Violence and Adaptation to Helplessness. These need to be manually entered, but once it hits value of 3, it will lock the field and apply the penalties for each (as per rulebook).

    I've encoded most of the common conditions as well. These do what the rulebook says. I've hit the attachment limit here, so no more screenshots for you!

    E.g. "FullCover" will add +1 to the hit threshold of the target (and remove the bonus once condition goes away). You do have to manually apply the "Surprised" condition, since it's largely left to the GM's discretion, but the effect should be as per rulebook (-2 to general skills).

    We've got bonds, disorders and network. These have probably the _least_ automation, since their use can be very situational and largely up to the GM, but the basics work as you expect. Note that clicking the spend button on a Bond adds it to the modifier stack. This is meant to be used in conjunction with a Stability test (and spend). It will not be reflected in the spend box (yet) but you should see it applied to the modifier stack and be factored into the roll.

    NPC entries are fairly close to the character sheet, and work similar to the fields on there (except NPCs have the extra alertness, stealth, lethality resitance, etc fields as per the rulebook).

    Items should be pretty self explanatory.

    Recommendations

    Keep in mind the spend Bond thing I mentioned above. It can be a gotcha. I will improve this for the next release.

    I would create a stub NPC that I keep at the top of the combat tracker that can be used for all general skill tests. I added the relevant mods and hit threshold to the Spacing section of the combat tracker (it's no longer the spacing section, but retains its icon) and you can adjust them directly in there. This lets you change target numbers on the fly and have your players roll their skills directly against this facade NPC. E.g. someone wants to jump a wide chasm. I change the hit threshold on the facade NPC to 8 to represent the difficulty, have the player set their spend, and drag the roll to the facade NPC. They will get a success or failure message against the target I set without having to talk about hit thresholds at the table or getting cagey with revealing them.

    I had some issues with visibility setting child list items that are likely due to a template inheritance setting I'm missing. Hence, skills that would have sublabeling (e.g. Drive or Pilot) are listed like any other skill. Just keep those tracked in the Notes section for now. I'll get those in for next time. The code is in there to do sublabeling, I just had issues with conditional visibility in that particular scenario.

    I wrote this up over two weekends so there may be some bugs. Generally, it should be pretty solid. Notify me of any bugs here. I'm actually about to go out of town, but after I'm back I'll probably push a second release with better layouts and any bug fixes as necessary.

    Should be super easy to play any gumshoe engine game with this.

    If I didn't mention it, assume it works (as per the rulebook) and is automated. If it isn't post here and it'll _get_ automated. The one exception for the near future is things that are stated as happening "Once per operation". Since there isn't a particularly good way to track that at the moment, I do not automatically apply any effects that occur "once per operation" (generally around sanity / stability stuff). You will need to apply those effects manually, though this should be a rare case.

    Some of my implementation is quite messy (particularly around layouts) as I was figuring out the framework as I went along. If I were to start over, I think I could do this in half the time and half the codebase.

    Always be sure to activate windows. Piracy is not a joke.

    Comments on Fantasy Grounds

    Kudos to the chef here. I've been around and it's a pleasure to see a singular, focused vision executed with this level of competence. I struggled a bit with layouts, but lets be honest, nobody gets those right. I mean, look at CSS. Extremely well put together framework and I'm excited for the future of this product.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by goldendase; April 8th, 2019 at 22:19.

  2. #2
    Here's some more screenshots. Investigative abilities:

    Attachment 26984

    Notes section:

    Attachment 26985

    Inventory:

    Attachment 26986

  3. #3
    Awesome!

    I'll have to give it a try sometime soon.

  4. #4
    damned's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    18,509
    Blog Entries
    1
    Welcome goldendase and well done!

    MoreCore - Generic Ruleset
    --- Projects ---
    Extensions | Tutorials | MoreCore | MoreCore Themes | Call of Cthulhu | Maelstrom | FG Con

  5. #5
    Having slept on it a bit, and with the warm-up out of the way, I've conceptualized a solid implementation of a core GUMSHOE SRD ruleset. Optional extensions for each setting (Trail / Ashen Stars / MCB / FoDG / etc) that implement visual interface differences and "personal sheet" differences (Pillars vs Bonds and whatnot). I see the rule variants from each subsystem presented as FG option sets. This would allow for a toolkit approach where you can pick and choose the custom rules from each system (personally, I like the stun rules from Timewatch in my Night's Black Agents). I estimate it's realistically about five weeks of work (not counting testing and debug), but won't be able to start on it until mid-May (in the process of moving, at present). There are a few good ideas I have that I plan to implement that can make running games in this engine quite smooth.

    I'd like to include all the reference materials as well. This obviously runs up against licensing issues. Does Smiteworks have an existing relationship with Pelgrane Press? What is the process for publishing licensed content here? Obviously the reference modules would need to be made available on a commercial basis. To be clear, if this involves me doing anything other than engineering, I immediately lose interest (meaning someone else has to set up legal). Even absent a raw reference datadump to pull from, in the worst-case scenario, I think the process could be expedited by ripping official PDFs and leveraging some simple algos powered by NLTK for processing and structuring the reference modules (with some human/script post-processing obviously being necessary, but NLTK should be able to do 80% of the work for us, and ramp in accuracy quickly with each additional reference doc processed). Estimate on timing here is rougher, but likely another few weeks. The good news would be that the extract / normalization process can be implemented in a generic manner that could be reused with minor modifications for future imports (I've done something similar with some existing RPG books already).

    In other words, make it possible from a legal and licensing standpoint for me and I'll take care of the rest. And then we high five.

    I'm also a huge Kevin Crawford fan, by the way, so doing something similar with Stars Without Number would also be something I'm interested in (and with Crawford's stuff I can get really next-level).

  6. #6
    Valarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Worcestershire, UK
    Posts
    2,387
    The Gumshoe SRD is Creative Commons (or OGL) licensed. I would imagine that you'd be able to work on that as long as you include the license in the library. The different properties are another matter and you wouldn't be able to include library modules for those unless there was an official agreement with Pelgrane.
    Current Regular Games: European FG2 RPG

    Using Ultimate FGII - that means anyone can play.
    Valarian's Fantasy Grounds Rulesets - Now also linked in the Wiki

  7. #7
    @Valarian, yup, and I acknowledge this in the second paragraph. My question was what would be the process if I wanted to create the SRD as an open module and provide additional commercial reference supplements (and I do ask "Does Smiteworks have an existing relationship with Pelgrane Press?").

  8. #8
    damned's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    18,509
    Blog Entries
    1
    I wrote a Trail of Cthulhu and Esoterrorists extension a couple of months ago. I also converted the SRD to FG format.
    There was an agreement with Pelgrane for Trail of Cthulhu some years ago but the project didnt get completed and I dont know if the agreement is still in place.

    SRD https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forum...77-Gumshoe-SRD
    Last edited by damned; April 9th, 2019 at 22:50.

    MoreCore - Generic Ruleset
    --- Projects ---
    Extensions | Tutorials | MoreCore | MoreCore Themes | Call of Cthulhu | Maelstrom | FG Con

  9. #9
    Nice, that's great. I have a little bit of time left before I have to take off, I'll make some progress on a general GUMSHOE ruleset with system extensions. I'll write with your SRD in mind.

  10. #10
    damned's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    18,509
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by goldendase View Post
    Nice, that's great. I have a little bit of time left before I have to take off, I'll make some progress on a general GUMSHOE ruleset with system extensions. I'll write with your SRD in mind.
    its a very simple SRD - there re no drag and drop entries (from memory - just a refman).
    you code it the way you want it and the SRD can be updated if required.

    i havent had a chance to test your version yet but I will as soon as some time clears for me.

    MoreCore - Generic Ruleset
    --- Projects ---
    Extensions | Tutorials | MoreCore | MoreCore Themes | Call of Cthulhu | Maelstrom | FG Con

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Log in