The Girl in Glass

Tell us how you are using our gaming tools and how your sessions are going.

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tomlib
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The Girl in Glass

Post by tomlib »

I am planning on starting up my new 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Campaign this Saturday, Nov 14, 2009. We had a test run this past Saturday and after a few glitches things seem to be working well.

Setup
GM running MapTool from a Laptop in two instances, one for GM and one for Player. Display setup for Dual Monitors and I'm pushing the Player Instance to the 24" monitor which is facing the players.

Game Information
All the game information including updates and downloadable files can be found at http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/the-girl-in-glass.

Players
We have six players one of whom is always remote and the others who are usually on site although it is likely some will play via LAN and others using pencil and paper.

Wish me luck!

Tom

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Jector
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Re: The Girl in Glass

Post by Jector »

Good luck, Tom!
I cast firecube! ~4E

tomlib
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Re: The Girl in Glass

Post by tomlib »

It was an experience!

Things went pretty well although there were a couple of minor glitches.

When running two instances of MapTool and connecting via LAN on the same computer there are mouse issues. When I wanted to use the mouse the players couldn't and vice versa. This caused some problems because the monitor facing the Players is not visible to me as GM. We managed to work it out fairly well by the end of the night.

The big issue and one I'm searching for now in the Forums was my Global Macros. I created them on my home computer but am running MapTool (downloaded that night from site) from the laptop at my friend's house. So, all my Global Macros were gone. I'm guessing there is a library file somewhere in my root folder with these? Should I copy the entire MapTool folder from my computer to my thumb drive?

**** EDIT ****
I found the Global Macro Export tool.
************

Finally, a number of Macros didn't work in practice and I've got to clean them up a bit.

Still, all in all it was a very good experience. It was the group's first foray into 4th Edition and they seemed to pick it up very quickly.

Hopefully next week will be better!

I love MapTool,

Tom

More Edit: I didn't get any live screen shots but some people asked for images so I though I'd post shot of my original map. If people like I can post more.

This is when KiaAkiona, the "Girl in Glass" makes her sudden appearance at the Taking the Gray Ceremony and launches the campaign.

KiaAkiona Appears
Last edited by tomlib on Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tomlib
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Re: The Girl in Glass

Post by tomlib »

Second Session Report

Full Recap Here

We tried a slightly different setup with the In House players using one PC and me a second. This worked very well as players could only do things on their turn and although we had multple mice so everyone could reach.

The player furthest from the screen had some trouble seeing and I'm not sure how we are going to resolve this one except maybe put out another laptop at the end of the table.

I forget a few more things on the character sheet which caused delays but it was worked out in short order.

I found it interesting that the player I thought would enjoy not having to look at numbers and just click a button grumbled the most and the person I thought would probably just keep rolling dice loved the macro buttons! Go figure.

We had to adjust the windows on the screen for the players but by the end of the night found a good compromise. I also cleaned up the Campaign and Selected Macros so there is no more duplication as this just wastes screen space.

Finally, I found the biggest issue the players had was that my Attack and Damage Macros simply listed a final result. The players didn't say anything out loud but I could tell they would prefer to see the actual rolls. So, I rewrote every Power in the game for PCs this morning and I hope they will like it.

As far as the speed of the game. We completed two large combats, a skill challenge, and a good deal of role-playing in about 3 1/2 hours which is maybe a tad faster than normal. But, the second combat, when people were getting a handle on the screen and their various powers really went fast. So, hopefullly that is a sign of things to come.

Anyway, I love MapTool,

Tom

tomlib
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GiG Session 003

Post by tomlib »

Wiki with full recap and information here:

The Girl in Glass

We played our third session last night and things went very well. There was a lot of role-playing but we did two combats in very short order. There was some bad luck with the dice rolling but that will all even out eventually.

I also had a few more minor problems with my macros but things are coming along very nicely. The new arrangement of windows helped and people found their macros much more quickly.

I grabbed a couple of screen shots of the battles.

Middle of Alley Battle

End of Alley Battle

Golden Apple Cellar Mid Battle

I love Maptool,

Tom
Last edited by tomlib on Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jector
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Re: The Girl in Glass

Post by Jector »

Very cool. Glad it's working out for the group.
I cast firecube! ~4E

tomlib
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Session 004 - Dec 19, 2009

Post by tomlib »

We played our 4th session last night and things went fairly well. The full recap is here with MapTool pictures: Session 004

I found a couple of more small problems with my macros and I didn't understand that the Dialog() tool only displayed for the person calling the Macro. So I had to do some in game adjustment to make it show for the players.

Our host was away and took the laptop we used in the past to host the server. There was some trouble getting the router password to knock a hole in the new machine but we eventually struggled through.

The session was pretty much role-playing with only one combat which went very quickly. The players are really getting the hang of MapTool and combat speed is greatly improved.

I drew some of my Vision Blocking squares larger than I should have and this caused some problems when tokens moved into the blocked area and then could not be seen.

We used b62 and had the everyone knocked off problem. We'll use b63 next time.

Tom

tomlib
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Session 5

Post by tomlib »

We finished Session 5 last night and I just finished with the recap which you can read in its entirety with MapTool screen captures Here

We used v63 and it was a big improvement. We saw faster load times, less Macro Delays, and no disconnects. I would say it was perfect.

I rearranged the Selected and Campaign Macros to be more like Rumble's and this speeded things up considerable. We did three fairly large combats and a lot of role-playing in about four hours. Everyone was really happy with how things went. It was our best session yet! :D

I found a couple of more small problems with my Macros but I've really cleaned things up along the lines of Veg's Framework with one Library Token taking care of a lot of the issues.

As always: I love MapTool

Tom

tomlib
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Session 6

Post by tomlib »

We played last night and I've posted the latest recap including MapTool images.

I created a new map especially for a non-combat encounter using my increased skills with MapTool and I think it looks great!

It was a good session with one long combat which was really two combats that ran back to back, a Skill Challenge, and a pretty good hunk of role-playing. We had some trouble getting started because our generous host purchased a new router that runs the entire house and there was some unexplainable IP issues involving a duplicated address. We finally ran a DNS Flush to clean off the laptop and that solved it.

We had one disconnection but unlike the previous circumstances it was simply a matter of reconnecting and all was up again with no problems.

The macros worked very well although we are still having an issue with the person at the end of the table not being able to see the Macro button text.

The big combat presented what used to be a huge challenge as a GM for me in that new combatants entered a combat already underway. With MapTool I simply added them to the Initiative Pane and combat proceeded with no delay!

MapTool slowed us down in one circumstance. In the past when a battle gets reduced to a single foe I tended to let all the PCs roll their attacks at the same time. With MapTool we had to roll individually to dispatch the stubborn last resistor.

It was a very nice session indeed.

Tom

tomlib
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Session 7: Jan 17, 2010

Post by tomlib »

We completed another session yesterday and as far as MapTool goes it was flawless. Everyone is really getting a feel for how it works. It was mostly a role-playing session with one combat.

The Recap does have screenshots should anyone care to look.


In addition, it looks like part of our group may have to move out of town so we may be playing completely remotely in the future. Hooray for MapTool or this would have spelled the end of the campaign.

Tom

tomlib
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Session 008 - Jan 23, 2009

Post by tomlib »

We finished up another session of the Girl in Glass Adventure Path last night and I've posted the Recap here.

I've got the MapTool Campaign file, Global Macros, as a .pdf of the compiled word processing documents linked here.

We did two large combats that basically ran back to back for one huge combat and two smaller combats along with a moderate amount of role-playing. We did the two big combats in about an hour and a half! It was incredible. Everyone has a feel for their powers and the interface and things are moving very quickly and smoothly. The small combats took about 15 minutes each!

We had no problems with MapTool other than a few of my macros with minor issues like typos and the such.

I cannot begin to describe what a time saving I experience as GM as far as bookkeeping for initiative, hit points, and damage.

One of the smaller combats involved a great deal of Ongoing damage and the tool really made this quite simple.

I love MapTool,

Tom

tomlib
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Jan 30, 2010

Post by tomlib »

Another week another flawless session of MapTool.

Main Wiki

Latest Recap

There were no problems at all and we did four combats, three of them fairly complex along with just a bit of role-playing. This was the kind of session that would have led to people walking away from the table while combat rolled around but this time the rounds moved so quickly that everyone stayed for their turn.

These are the last of my lower quality maps made before I got more of a handle on MapTool although I'm sure I'll continue to improve with the tool.

The group is almost 4th Level now and getting deeper into the plot of the Heroic Tier which involves destroying the Plunging Blade Cult.

I love MapTool,

Tom

tomlib
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Re: The Girl in Glass

Post by tomlib »

Session 10 - Feb 6th 2010

Main Wiki
Latest Recap

There was nothing new to report. MapTool functioned perfectly throughout the entire evening. We had a birthday party for one of our gamers so that ate into our time but we still managed to complete two fairly large combats and a complex Skill Challenge.

The players have reached 4th level now and I'm working on updating my combat macros to make them a little more uniform but it is tricky with all the variables.

The next adventure the group heads into Gnoll lands to find out more information about the machinations of the Plunging Blade Cult and their hopes of overthrowing the Gray Lord.

Tom

tomlib
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Feb 13, 2010 Session

Post by tomlib »

We completed another session last night and it was not our best.

Full Recap Here

We experienced the dreaded 4th Edition Combat Grind for the first time since I've been using MapTool. It was sort of a litany of errors that bogged us down.

First, I rewrote the attack macros to take all bonus's into account and a couple of them were a bit messed up despite my best effort at testing.

Secondly, the battle had over 30 foes which came into the fight by little groups each round. I made the mistake of adding all the creatures to the Initiative Order before the fight rather than just adding them as they arrived. This forced me to loop through each one even when they weren't in the fight.

Thirdly, our main warrior had a ridiculous string of bad luck with the dice (virtual though they might be) which prolonged the combat into an almost interminable stage.

But, my new macros made other things run more smoothly and I've added more along the automation line for next week so I'll report on that then.

Meanwhile, the group itself has embarked into Grelm and Gnoll territory in the third installment of the Girl in Glass.

I love MapTool,

Tom

tomlib
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Feb 20, 2010 - Session

Post by tomlib »

Full Recap

Main Wiki

Another session come and gone. MapTool performed quite ably and most of my updated Macros worked making a big difference. I automated all the attack macros so that the attacking PC could choose which Enemy to hit. There were a couple of problems that I've fixed this morning.

1. To pick the NPC I used a LIST and this proved cumbersome and sometimes it got stuck on the first item. I switched to a RADIO and this works better I think although we'll find out next week.

2. I had the macro use getNPCNames() to list all the enemies and switched to getExposedTokenNames() to hide NPC in Fog of War. This again looks better to me but we'll find out next week.

We have a Shaman in the group and his Spirit Animal basically ignores all damage until one hit kills it which was strange when enemies were attacking it. For now I've put a Heal Spirit Fox button on it so I can heal it quickly if it is not killed by an attack but I've got to think about how to handle that situation.

I've also added a couple of properties called miscHitBonus and miscDamBonus to apply bonuses for situation that I can't solve easily with coding. Naturally this means I have to redo every PC attack to accomodate the changes. Sigh.

In any case,

MapTool simply rocks!

Tom

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