FGCon2021
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  1. #1

    ChatBat (Chat comBat Extension)

    This is my first attempt at an extension. I expect there will be bugs, but I hope you find it useful. PRs are welcome if you are a developer and want to help.

    It allows users to do targeting from the chat window. I built it with CoreRPG so it should work with any ruleset, but I've only tested it with 5e.

    The idea is to drag the commands from chat into hotkeys, and then be able to do auto targeting and clear targeting with hotkeys.

    What follows is a copy and paste from the readme, which is easier to read on github: https://github.com/zymsys/vam-chatbat

    From the chat window, type /cb (or /chatbat) to get quick help.

    If you are the GM, ChatBat will work with the combatant who's turn it is. If you are a player, ChatBat will work with your PC(s) only.

    Targeting


    To auto-target type /cb t. If you are targeting from a 'friendly' or 'neutral' faction it will target the nearest 'hostile' combatant. If you are targeting from a 'hostile' combatant it will target the nearest 'friendly' combatant. Entering /cb t again will target the next nearest combatant, eventually cycling back to the nearest.

    To override the target faction you can type /cb t {faction}. You can specify faction as f or friend for friendly, h, hostile or foe for hostile, or n or neutral` for neutral.

    To target multiple combatants, add a count to the command. For example, if you wanted to cast Bless on three of your friends you could use /cb t f 3. If you are targeting enemies then you can leave out the faction and just give a count, such as /cb t 3.

    To target by radius, use /cb t r {distance}. This will target creatures within the given radius regardless of faction.

    To clear your targets use /cb c.

    Targets can be memorized and restored. Use /cb m to memorize the current list of targets, and then /cb r to restore those targets. This is useful if you want to list more than one ChatBat command on the same line as explained below under Command Stacking.

    Actions


    Actions are currently available for the 5e ruleset. I plan to add additional rulesets in the future.

    To get a list of available actions, type /cb a. You can then select an action with /cb a # where # is the number of the action. You can also give the name with /cb a {name} to avoid hotkeys changing when the actions on your character sheet change.

    Tip: If you assign /cb a to Alt-0, and then the numbers /cb a 1 to /cb a 9 to Alt-1 to Alt-9 then you can very quickly see a list and select an action.

    To roll damage after using ChatBat to roll an attack, use /cb d. Note that this only works for attacks invoked through ChatBat actions.

    Command Stacking


    This currently doesn't work well for players, which is where it would be most useful. I'm working on it.

    You can stack commands by separating them with a comma. For example, to attack the nearest enemy with a dagger and then return targeting back to how it was when you started, you could use /cb m,t,a Dagger (M),r. What I'd really like to offer is including the damage command in there too, but I have some work to do before that works. I need to make damage conditional on a successful attack, and I need to make stacked commands wait for dice rolls.
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    Last edited by Vam; February 7th, 2021 at 18:22. Reason: Version 0.2

  2. #2
    damned's Avatar
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    Very nice. Well done.
    I was struggling with the utility of the concept reading the first couple of lines but the auto selecting targets is very neat. I like it.

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  3. #3
    Nice concept Vam, well done

    Cheers, Steve

  4. #4
    Thanks for the encouraging feedback. I found targeting is what slows down the campaigns I'm running more than anything, so I think this will help a lot to make combat run more smoothly.

    I spent some time working on auto-attack but I think that'll be a much bigger project. I figured out how to get at NPC weapons so far. Next is to figure out how to translate those into attack rolls, and then to expand out to spells, PCs, and other powers. Once I get that far I think damage will be a breeze. It looks like attack will be ruleset specific too. I'd like to have it auto-select melee vs ranged based on distance, etc.

    I don't want to go as far as suggested in the feature "Enemy AI - Auto Combat for Monsters", but I like the idea of automating simple attacks for GMs and repetitive attacks for players using hotkeys. I'll keep chipping away at it.

    Edit: I think I have attack rolls sorted out. They seem to be working well with NPC weapons. Next will be selecting melee vs ranged based on range, then I'll move on to powers, PCs, etc. I probably won't have much/any time to tinker again until next weekend, but I'm happy with the progress made this weekend.
    Last edited by Vam; January 25th, 2021 at 00:38.

  5. #5
    I tried this with my group last night and it really sped up combat from the GM side! Hitting the shortcut key 3 or 4 times to quickly loop through the PCs as a target from each NPC is much quicker than scrolling the map around to find who to target. It also feels like I get a better overview of combat... maybe because is is so fast to see the distance between all the tokens...
    Anyway, it works awesome. Thanks!

  6. #6
    @VAM I test your extension with the Starfinder RuleSet and so far has been working great! I hope you find time to expand this extension. Thank you for sharing your creation!
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  7. #7
    Myrdin Potter's Avatar
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    Will try this next Monday. Great idea!
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  8. #8
    Thanks for the great feedback! I had a chance to use it in a real game myself this week and it worked well, although not all of my players could be bothered to set it up. I liked having it, and I'll certainly use it as a player too.

    I have been chipping away at it this week, and hope to have another release out this weekend with weapon attacks and casting. I don't know yet how that'll translate to other rulesets, but I hope to keep it generic enough to work across games.

  9. #9
    Excellent extension. My only query is whether it is possible to restrict targeting to enemies that the PC can see. At the moment it's a bit of a spoiler as PCs are able to target enemies that are outside LOS thereby gaining unfair intel. I understand that if you have the NPC set to invisible on the combat tracker it works fine but if you want to have the enemies visible there and rely on LOS to hide them it allows targeting. I understand if this would be too difficult to implement but thought I'd ask anyway.

  10. #10
    Just tried it in FGU with the PF2e ruleset and it works a treat, my players are going to love this.
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