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Kobold
 
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:03 am
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 Post subject: If you had documentation for lmarkus001 framework...
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:44 pm 
What would you want?

I'm currently teaching myself Maptools for a D&D3.5e campaign.

I'm of course going to use the framework.

As such, I'm thinking from what I've read it's mostly 'self taught' with users.

But what do you think would be needed for a 'beginners guide'?

If people tell me what they think would be ideal, I'll try and write something up. Obviously I will try to avoid 'common maptools usage'. I won't go over fine detail. eg. I won't list exactly what needs to be done to place a token. But I will do something like "For players, add a token and then ..." type deal.

If people tell me what they think should be and importantly MUST be included in documentation, then I will start typing things up. As I learn it, I'll type it. Then I'll post a 'beta' of documentation for the experts to read over. We'll then start doing revisions of documentation. :roll:

Time to dust off my brain in 'technical writing' (Yup. I did training in that as part of my apprenticeship).

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: If you had documentation for lmarkus001 framework...
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:10 pm 
I think your idea of "Start here and do this, then do that..." is perfect. It will give users a step-by-step guide of what they need. Break it down by goal and it's all set. So something like...

So you want to...

1. Create a token to represent your PC:
Start by dragging an image from your desktop or web browser onto the main MapTool window. Then [...]

2. Level up your token when your PC levels up:
Start by [...]

And so on. :)


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Kobold
 
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:03 am
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 Post subject: Re: If you had documentation for lmarkus001 framework...
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:42 am 
OK.. I'm wading my way through this and making lots of notes.

However, a few things I want to clear up.

1) viewtopic.php?f=53&t=5475 refers to having macro sets and all sorts of other things and wierd and wonderful things we have to do with hidden layers and tokens etc. However, latest download has a campaign files which has all sorts of things going on.

From this, am I to assume that we just need the campaign file. Save it as the campaign you want to make and then just start a new map and begin your exciting adventure?

2) Manufactured and natural weapons. Does this mean what I think it means? As far as I'm concerned, a manufactured weapon will be something like a sword or axe. Natural would be claw and bite etc. Reason I ask is that a lot of things I see have 'javelin' as 'natural'. Wha? Is it just that it defaults to natural if nothing is selected? If so, that's cool, I'll just document it.

3) Tracking movement.. Is there an easy way to do this? I've done a little messing around, but even with speed 10, I can still move 90 in a round of combat and then belt someone at the end... So, am I missing something obvious here? It's not super obvious to me at the moment.

4) There is a 'inventory' macro in the list. It allows you to add a 'weapon'. Can this be made to automagically plugin to your character sheet? Or is it just a memory aid?

--------------------------

Still reading through the 100+ pages on the macro information. Some of it is still gibberish to me. But when I think I stumble on something that needs explaining, I'll ask more questions.

I plan on this being a document where a first time Maptools GM can pick it up, and have a reasonable idea of how to create a basic dungeon which looks more complex than it really is type deal.

I think I've got most of the "Player Creation" sorted out. I'm going to be experimenting with levelling up soon.. :P Ultimately, a fun exercise so far. I hope to have a first revision of 'Here's how to build a character' in the coming week for review from the professionals. :P

Cheers,
Dave


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Great Wyrm
 
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 7:51 pm
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 Post subject: Re: If you had documentation for lmarkus001 framework...
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:42 am 
Aydee wrote:
1) viewtopic.php?f=53&t=5475 refers to having macro sets and all sorts of other things and wierd and wonderful things we have to do with hidden layers and tokens etc. However, latest download has a campaign files which has all sorts of things going on.

From this, am I to assume that we just need the campaign file. Save it as the campaign you want to make and then just start a new map and begin your exciting adventure?

Yes, you just open the campaign inside MapTool and then Save As... your campaign name and begin adding maps, tokens, VBL...

Aydee wrote:
2) Manufactured and natural weapons. Does this mean what I think it means? As far as I'm concerned, a manufactured weapon will be something like a sword or axe. Natural would be claw and bite etc. Reason I ask is that a lot of things I see have 'javelin' as 'natural'. Wha? Is it just that it defaults to natural if nothing is selected? If so, that's cool, I'll just document it.

Yes again. Manufactured deals with swords, axes, nets, javelins, bows... and claws, bites, slams, stings... deal with Natural.

Aydee wrote:
3) Tracking movement.. Is there an easy way to do this? I've done a little messing around, but even with speed 10, I can still move 90 in a round of combat and then belt someone at the end... So, am I missing something obvious here? It's not super obvious to me at the moment.

In this campaign there is no way to track movement unless you drop in CoveredInFish's macro set that deals with this. Otherwise you just look at the movement on the hover over statsheet and make your move(preferably using waypoints).

Aydee wrote:
4) There is a 'inventory' macro in the list. It allows you to add a 'weapon'. Can this be made to automagically plugin to your character sheet? Or is it just a memory aid?

Nope, Plothos's Inventory manager is just to see what the character is carrying so the DM knows if the player is encumbered and such.

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Kobold
 
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:03 am
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 Post subject: Re: If you had documentation for lmarkus001 framework...
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:13 pm 
Awesome. I was 'reasoanbly' certain of this. But it's nice to have the confirmation.

After all.. If I'm writing documentation I don't want to 'lie' to newbies (And myself.. :P )

I am now 'reasonably' certain I know how to create a PC character. I have now done a go-to-whoa of a lvl 1 cleric. :P

I may not have time to do more documentation stuff tonight. Game is on tonight for the campaign I'm playing with my group. I'm going to start using MapTools tonight. It'll ONLY be a battle grid as opposed to campaign style game. So I'll be relying on players doing their own tracking of everything (eg. Initiative, HP, AC etc).

But I suppose this means that when I finish writing this documentation I should be more comfortable with hosting games.

If I have time (ie. If I finish writing things up and creating the map for the players) then I'll bash together a "Here's how you get started" thing this afternoon and post it up for people to read.

Thanks people.

Dave


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Kobold
 
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 Post subject: Re: If you had documentation for lmarkus001 framework...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:21 am 
Not forgotten. Postponed. Real life.. Sick family. Wife in hospital. Blargh.. (Cancer scare that turned into a non-event. *relief*)
Anyways. All is well now.. Things back under control.

I'll look into documentation over the coming days.

AD


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Kobold
 
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 Post subject: Re: If you had documentation for lmarkus001 framework...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:11 pm 
OK.. Still a long way to go.. Things have been hellfire IRL for me. Not bad. Just changing conditions with everything in life.

When I have time to sit down and 'relax' I am creating adventures in Maptools, rather than documenting, or I'm playing adventures.. :D

I'm sure you can appreciate that...

Anyways.. I've got a 1 page start so far.. It does NOT cover the PC character creation.. It mentions it at the bottom. That's where I stopped because things went haywire (That was when my wife went into hospital), and I haven't gotten back to it yet.

It is JUST 'how to install the framework' for beginners. (As in.. I've never used maptools, I've heard about it, I've just installed it and I want this framework)

I'll submit it now in it's very early raw form, and if people want to give suggestions on writing style or clarification, I'll take it on board, and work on it. Thus I can be consistent throughout the document in an easily readable format with an 'agreed standard'.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0Bxbe_a ... U3YjE0Y2Nj

(Google Docs link.. Sorry. I tried attaching but PDF and Docx got rejected below)

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Deity
 
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:11 pm
Posts: 7696
Location: Bay Area
 Post subject: Re: If you had documentation for lmarkus001 framework...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:39 pm 
Looks good so far. I semi-recently did an online tutorial and I wrote up a list of things to talk about. Perhaps this list can help you out.

Things I plan to go over in my demonstration:
  • DM specific setup and tools - quick overview (5 or less minutes)
  • Setting up character tokens (30 - 60 minutes.)
    • Set up core stats (no mods)
    • Speed and Movement
    • Skills
    • Weapons
    • Items
    • Spells Lists and Abilities Overview (There are two spell managers out there, but I'm not sure which one is more usable)
  • Making skill checks (2 min)
  • Making saving throws (2 min)
  • Attacking (10 min)
  • Dealing damage and healing (5 min)
  • Other tools (10 - 20 min)
    • Apply negative levels
    • Stat Damage
    • Using Channel Energy and Turning/Rebuking
    • Special Attacks (trip,charge,bull rush...)
    • AFK
    • Initiative
    • Creature Size
    • Token mods and states
    • Teleporting from one map to another
    • Mod Report
  • DM specific questions and other resources to add to framework (time as needed, but up to 30 min)
    • Disguise Mod (I created this) - Quickly change the image of your token
    • Impersonate Mod (I created this) - Best for DM to talk as NPCs, but usable by anyone
    • Spell Reference Mod (I created this) - Look up spell descriptions in PHB
    • Spell Manager (Plothos & Wrathgon) - create spell lists and set up use for ability and magic item use
    • Message Manager (Plothos) - Good for saving notes and displaying messages
    • Inventory Manager (Plothos) - Keep track of loot and items
    • There are some more I need to check out first before I recommend them, but look very useful. (Bag of Tricks)

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Kobold
 
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:03 am
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 Post subject: Re: If you had documentation for lmarkus001 framework...
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:33 am 
Big thank you.. I'll use that outline.. I was just going to point myself from one end of the 'campaign' to the other and write what I saw. To have a 'structure' is helpful.

If I can also given written documentation that supplements that, it will be fantastic. (After all, you know this better than me.. I will be supplementing YOU!)

I will do some more in the coming week.. Meanwhile, I have a map to draw before next Monday nights session.. :P

I will tidy up my writing. Although the 'friendly chat' style of writing is easier to read, it is harder to skim to get to the pertinent details.. I'll make it a bit more 'step 1 step 2' without being clinical..

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 Post subject: Re: If you had documentation for lmarkus001 framework...
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:05 am 
Just a quick correction note: it is MapTool, not maptools or Maptool.

Suggestion: "I would suggest saving your campaign file several times during each game and saving your campaign file with a different name occasionally(perhaps every few sessions or more frequently if you want to be really cautious), and absolutely prior to upgrading to a newer release of MapTool."

Or something along those lines...

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I save all my Campaign Files to DropBox. Not only can I access a campaign file from pretty much any OS that will run Maptool(Win,OSX, linux), but each file is versioned, so if something goes crazy wild, I can always roll back to a previous version of the same file.

Get your Dropbox 2GB via my referral link, and as a bonus, I get an extra 250 MB of space. Even if you don't don't use my link, I still enthusiastically recommend Dropbox..


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Kobold
 
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:03 am
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 Post subject: Re: If you had documentation for lmarkus001 framework...
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:27 am 
Good...

That is the criticism I need... :D

Seriously. Tell me HOW you want it written, and I'll try to do it. See a typo? TELL ME!!!!

I'll do a rewrite.. I'm not going to give myself a deadline at moment.. Again.. Life.. (Wife now well. But she has a new job.. If it's not 1 bloody thing it's another... *sigh* )

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Cave Troll
 
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:04 pm
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Location: Fort Pierce, FL
 Post subject: Re: If you had documentation for lmarkus001 framework...
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:12 am 
Aydee wrote:
What would you want?


Everything I need to be able to do to setup and play a session using the framework. Both from a player perspective and as a GM :wink:

I tried doing this for Sozin's framework, I put together a 30 minute video tutorial: http://tarsis.org/?p=55

What I tried to cover: creation of tokens, bringing those tokens into MapTool, setting up an encounter and then playing through that encounter using the framework.


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 Post subject: Re: If you had documentation for lmarkus001 framework...
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:56 am 
Yeah, but that's a slippery slope. Once you get started describing how something works, then you want to take a tangent and talk about this other really cool feature. And then your "short video" becomes a 10 part miniseries. ;)


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Kobold
 
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 Post subject: Re: If you had documentation for lmarkus001 framework...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:01 am 
Slippery slope indeed. But at the end of the day, how far do you need to go.

I suppose, what I really need to do is an overview. At the end of the day, I shouldn't HAVE to show you how to do everything. I should be able to go "Here are the attack macros. Play through them for a little while to familiarize yourself with them".

That's the best way to learn in my personal books.

Anyways, I'll have more time this weekend (maybe). I've already been booked for tonight and tomorrow night.. I really can't win lately.. At least the monday nights online run maptool game is going fantastically. Admittedly, I have not been using this framework for it too much, rather just stealing little bits of it here and there, but it is more based on the fact that I'm trying to teach "Never played D&D before" people how to play by running a game for them. I feel that they shouldn't have to rely on this tool to play, so the tool is mainly used as a battlemap and 'tracking information' for me.

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