Though I'm not new to MapTool (etc), I only recently joined the forum to discuss work on MapTool documentation.
I am a long time D&D GM and player. I started in college 35 years ago. After graduating, I formed a small group of guys (mostly, there have been women along the way) to play regularly. That group is still playing together after three decades, though people have come and gone from it. We have several GM's and take turns running. About three years ago I moved away from the group (in the Boston area) to upstate New York (near Ithaca). We've tried playing together by phone, but it just doesn't work with out some way to push tokens around on a board. Hmmm.
About a year ago, I started converting some of my game to run using MapTool. If it were just a matter of importing maps, adding sign blockers, etc. it would be a mechanical conversion. The problem is that we play using AD&D2 rules. Dungeons and Dragons has evolved quite a bit over the years. We started with the original boxed set and Chainmail miniature rules. Still, we tracked the improvements to the game up to AD&D2. I and two other GMs bought heavily into AD&D2. I mean it when I say "bought". My rules books occupy six running feet of bookshelf space. It's a considerable investment since these books ran $25 to $40 at the time, which means in the ball park of $1000 on rule books alone. It's an expensive hobby, in some ways.
When 3.0 and then 3.5 came out, I bought the player's and DM handbooks, but had no interest in moving over to it. Modern D&D is a different game, frankly. The rules are heavily influenced by card games (Magic, mostly), and MMORPGS (World of Warcraft, etc). Not that I have anything against this, I still play D&D Online, but as a PNP game, D&D peaked at 2.0 - in my opinion.
So we come to the problem. I couldn't find a set of MT Macros for the AD&D2 rules system. I've heard rumors, but never found any (do tell me if you hear of any). So I'm in the process of building a set of AD&D2 MT Macros. I've got a reasonable character sheet working and some basic combat. I've experimented with spells and have a pretty good idea how to do it. The MT Macro language is powerful enough to do what I want, but the learning curve is steep. It's full of irregularities, exceptions, and special cases - kinda like it evolved over several years.
I'm a professional software developer, so I think it's fair to have an opinion about such things. The good news is that it works.
Once I get a decent set of macros working, I'll post them up to the campaign repository. I doubt there will be all that much interest. AD&D2 is pretty old at this point - a relic (like me). Still, if you have any interest in using them, let me know. I'd be happy to share.
- Mark Norton