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 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool

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Amnon
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:41 pm

Though it is far from done, here is a sneak peek at the new Combat Card stuff. You can see the actual cards samples that these are based on in the DMG on page 220, right before the Index.

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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:36 pm

Updated Version:

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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:03 am

Hey troy, I might just be an idiot but I tried going to the encounter tool website and logged in but it wouldn't allow me to make a combat card. I tried clicking on the button that says "Creat combat card" (or something close to that) but all it kept doing was basically reloading the screen every time I pressed it.
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Amnon
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:06 am

Yeah, that's because I havn't published any of the new stuff yet, so it only exists on my local machine. I will, however, publish it this morning so you guys can check it out if you want. Right now, I haven't set up any of the automated stuff, or the auto-refresh, so it is litterally just a bunch of html text boxes that you can type in all day long, but don't do anything fancy yet. Though, the entire page IS created dynamically, which is pretty cool, but anyway... So, at this point, the Combat Card is almost exactly like a real, paper card since you can write stuff on it, but it doesn't do any fancy tricks yet. I am probably going to use it today anyway though, because even without fancy tricks it will still help me keep track of my conditions, HP, Defenses, Encounter Powers, Daily Powers, Utility Powers, Healing Surges, Action Points, and wether I've used my Second Wind.
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:38 pm

Perhaps it would be helpful to have a single area to post the various party effects. For example, Dravis grants everyone a +2 to Init, so that could be listed, and if I do something that gives everyone +1 to Perception or whatever, that could be listed too, etc.
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:38 pm

Quote :
Perhaps it would be helpful to have a single area to post the various party effects. For example, Dravis grants everyone a +2 to Init, so that could be listed, and if I do something that gives everyone +1 to Perception or whatever, that could be listed too, etc.

That could be useful. I'd just need to think of a way to implement it so that it is easy enough to use that it would actually get used.

As for what is already made, and as for the direction this is now going, what does everyone think? I don't know who actually used it, or even glanced at it, but if you did the more feedback I get about it the more useful this is likely to be. The more useful this is, the more likely it is to be used. The more likely it is to be used, the more likely I will be to be content with it and to be driven to work on it, etc.
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:29 am

Probably, now that I think of it, we should just note that crap in a text window in maptools, the same way we do initiative. It would clutter up the screen a bit more, but it's probably worth it to keep track of all the ongoing effects.
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:52 am

There are so many ongoing effects and stuff as we start to get more levels that we need the encounter tool to just keep track of all that. Hurry up Troy!
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:00 am

Really, it might just be best if we plan on keeping track of our own character's effects, bonuses, penalties, and other modifiers. I think just doing that will be difficult enough without also having to track group effects in a separate manner. I'd say, if there is a group effect, take note of those effects for your own character, and assume everyone else will do the same. That is really how the DMG intended the Combat Cards to be used anyway, so I say let's just do that for now and see how it goes.
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:22 am

So does the DM update all the data on the monster combat cards then or do we have to keep track of what is going on with every monster as well?
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:44 pm

Amnon wrote:
Really, it might just be best if we plan on keeping track of our own character's effects, bonuses, penalties, and other modifiers. I think just doing that will be difficult enough without also having to track group effects in a separate manner. I'd say, if there is a group effect, take note of those effects for your own character, and assume everyone else will do the same. That is really how the DMG intended the Combat Cards to be used anyway, so I say let's just do that for now and see how it goes.

I still like the idea of a web-based program to do all that for me. That way I can just pop back and forth between programs to keep myself updated on status changes, powers, etc. You should create something and send it to the RP programmers and ask them to incorporate it into maptools. That would be pretty sweet too. But for now, I like the idea of keeping a PC card handy so I don't have to write shit down.
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Amnon
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:24 pm

I have gotten the Combat Cards to the point in which you can create you own card and have it display dynamically, vs. the static cards that you guys saw last time we played with (Amnon and Goblin 1). For the most part, this is really the bulk of what the Combat Cards are for, still acting like the paper version, but with the convenience of typing. I have not yet added the ability to save changes to the cards, nor have I added the ability to use the initiative roster yet, but that will be coming soon.
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:20 pm

I've added the ability to save your combat cards while using them. Also, I've added some AJAX to the page that will cause it to autosave the cards and autorefresh them every 15 seconds. When the refresh happens, other players' cards will be updated on your end so that you will see the changes they have made to your their cards. This will allow you to know how many powers, hp, healing surges, action points etc everyone else has at a glance. You will also be able to see their defenses, active conditions, whether they have a second wind left, etc at a glance.

I only auto save and refresh every 15 seconds for performance reasons. However, since I imagine there will be times in which you will not want to wait up to 15 seconds to see something updated, I have also added a refresh button to each card, with which you can manually a card if you want.
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:07 am

Sweet dude
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Sat Jul 26, 2008 10:08 pm

I worked on this all day today, applying various bug fixes and solidifying some of the things that were already in place.

I also created roles behind the scenes with which to associate users: Player and Dungeon Master. Now, only users that are a part of the Dungeon Master role will be able to see the Monster and NPC Cards. Though this only affects the DM, I've added buttons that can be clicked to easily filter the cards so that only Character Cards are on the screen, only Monster Cards, Only NPCs, or all to display all cards at once, all of which is just meant to help readability. Currently, only Dean and a test user that I have are associated with the Dungeon Master roles.

I also did some work on the Combat Card Editor screen. When looking at that screen, you'll notice a dropdown list in the top right corner of the web form. That list will allow you to select cards that have been created before, so that the card's base values can be edited. Of course, new cards can also be created. In way of explanation, there are two general "states" that a card has: base and modified. The base card is the card that you get immediately after creating it and the modified card is the card you have after yo have modified any values on it and saved the changes. Soon, I'm going to add another button to each card that will allow you to reset the card back to its base values, which will be useful when we start a fresh encounter without any modifiers. I created the ability to update the base card values in the Combat Card Editor since your card's base values will change as we level.

Another reason I made the base card state is so that Dean can create base monster cards ahead of time. Then, once a base card is created for a monster, it will always be there for us to use later on.

Features that are coming soonish:

- Auto bloodied calculation. Once your hit points reach half your max (which is established in your base card values) a condition of "Bloodied" will automatically be added to your card.
- Initiative. Relatively soon, I want to add the ability to roll initiative on your cards, and then to have an initiative roster be automatically generated on the top of the screen. Then, we can just copy and past the roster into MapTools, or just reference it from the Combat Cards page.
- Ability to "Put Card Away". This is just a button that will take a card off the screen. I have done some of the work to add this feature already, but have disabled the button for it until I create the ability to "Take Card Out" again.
- Ability to delete a card. I've actually made it so that a card will not be deleted, rather it will be "flagged" as deleted. This way, the card will still exist in the database and I can recover it if it was deleted by accident or whatever. Currently, if a card needs to be deleted I can do it in the database very easily, but I haven't made the ability yet for anyone else to do it.
- Clickable labels. In order to make the cards easier to use, I want to make the labels next to fields, such as "Healing Surges Remaining", for example, clickable. When a label is clicked, it will cause the field associated with it to be decremented automatically by one. So, if you have 5 Healing Surges left, and you click the "Healing Surges Remaining", the 5 would instantly change to 4. This should help make the cards easier to use.
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Sat Jul 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Quote :
- Auto bloodied calculation. Once your hit points reach half your max (which is established in your base card values) a condition of "Bloodied" will automatically be added to your card.

This is done.
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Sun Jul 27, 2008 5:53 pm

Dunno who bothered to give the cards a try during our last session, but if you did give'm a try let me know if you have any feedback. Or, if you didn't give them a try let me know what I might be able to add so that you will want to use them. I know I found a few bugs with them during our session, but I'll get those ironed out and continue to add stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:22 pm

Sooo.... does no response here mean there is no interest? Or, does mean something more along the lines of you saying, "The whole damn thing is just too complicated and I wouldn't even know where to begin to offer any sort of suggestions even if I had to"?

Just curious. I'm pretty happy about the direction this project is going, actually. Jon seems to like this idea, I like the idea, and it has been incredibly useful to me in both school and work, so it's win-win for me, but I'm always open to feedback.
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:46 pm

I think it's cool and looks really promising, I say keep up the good work!
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:41 am

Amnon wrote:
Sooo.... does no response here mean there is no interest? Or, does mean something more along the lines of you saying, "The whole damn thing is just too complicated and I wouldn't even know where to begin to offer any sort of suggestions even if I had to"?
For me it's the second one. To tell you the truth I haven't really used it, but I tend to be conservative about that sort of thing. (Conservative = too lazy to take ten seconds to learn the rudiments of a system that will save tons of time and effort later.) I'm also not very good at multitasking, so paying attention to Vent and Maptools and the Maptools chat and my character sheet and the books all at the same time kind of taxes my brain; I'm reluctant to add a website on top of that. Sorry for my lack of suggestions.
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PostSubject: Re: 4th Ed. D&D Encounter Tool   Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:58 am

Well someday this website will be able to replace the book and the character sheet that is one of the reason I am so excited about it as well. If all I have to do is look at maptools and the encountertools site it will be awesome. I hate having to look in the book for exact wording of stuff while I am playing it totally breaks the flow for me. Some of my suggestions for the site was sort of a tabbed aproach to how it looks now so that we could have one for our powers one for our combat card and then a group view that has everyones basic stats like HP, AC, Fort, Ref, Will, and maybe any effects currently on them so I would know when I should heal or use a power to help give people a saving throw or whatnot. I love the combat card so far and am looking forward to all the changes in the future!
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