RttToEE

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

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lmarkus001
Great Wyrm
Posts: 1862
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:30 am
Location: Layfayette Hill, PA

Post by lmarkus001 »

Technology Update

MapTool 1.3 b40

* Initiative in MT, hooray!!!!
While in its infancy, having this bare minimum of a tool was wonderful!
I created a initiative macro for each PC so they could automatically roll their own initiative and although most of my player LOVE their dice, they took to doing Initiative in MT whole heartedly.

Code: Select all

<!-- 
[ res = d20 ]
[tres = res+Initiative]
-->
<b>Initiative:</b> <image src='{tblImage("D"+"20", res, 50)}' align="middle"> </image> + {Initiative} = <font size="5"><b>{tres}</b></font>
<!-- [token.init=tres] -->

Note: Initiative is this property: {0 + DexB} (Replace 0 with modifiers like Improved Initiative)
with DexB as: {floor((Dexterity-10)/2))}

* Health Bars.
The health bars are much cleaner than the dripping blood and have been embraced by my crew. I enforce hitpoint tracking in MT now, and at a minimum the clerics love it (they know who is hurt for a change as that is an ongoing issue... either folks don't speak up, or they roleplay the invincible barbarian until death).

I use a single macro to record hitpoint gains and loss... just put in a negative number for loss. This macro sets the health bar, prone/disabled/dead states, and manages temporary hitpoints from things like the Aid spell.

Code: Select all

<!--
{HPt = ChangeHP}
{damage = if((HPt < 0), 1, 0)}
{HPtemp = HPtemp + damage*HPt}
{HPChange = if((HPt < 0), HPtemp , HPt)}
{HP = min(HP + HPChange,HPmax)}
{HPtemp = max(0,HPtemp)}
-->
<b>[HPChange] </b>&nbsp; {HP} of {HPmax}+{HPtemp} hitpoints remain...
<!--
{state.Update = 1}
{state.Update = 0}
{state.Disabled = if(HP!=0, 0, 1)}
{state.Prone = if(HP>=0 && state.Prone<1, 0, 1)}
{state.Dead = if(HP<=-10, 1, 0)}
[HPPct=round(HP/HPmax*100+0.49999)]
[state.HP100=if(HPPct>95, 1, 0)]
[state.HP95=if(HPPct>90 && HPPct<=95, 1, 0)]
[state.HP90=if(HPPct>85 && HPPct<=90, 1, 0)]
[state.HP85=if(HPPct>80 && HPPct<=85, 1, 0)]
[state.HP80=if(HPPct>75 && HPPct<=80, 1, 0)]
[state.HP75=if(HPPct>70 && HPPct<=75, 1, 0)]
[state.HP70=if(HPPct>65 && HPPct<=70, 1, 0)]
[state.HP65=if(HPPct>60 && HPPct<=65, 1, 0)]
[state.HP60=if(HPPct>55 && HPPct<=60, 1, 0)]
[state.HP55=if(HPPct>50 && HPPct<=55, 1, 0)]
[state.HP50=if(HPPct>45 && HPPct<=50, 1, 0)]
[state.HP45=if(HPPct>40 && HPPct<=45, 1, 0)]
[state.HP40=if(HPPct>35 && HPPct<=40, 1, 0)]
[state.HP35=if(HPPct>30 && HPPct<=35, 1, 0)]
[state.HP30=if(HPPct>25 && HPPct<=30, 1, 0)]
[state.HP25=if(HPPct>20 && HPPct<=25, 1, 0)]
[state.HP20=if(HPPct>15 && HPPct<=20, 1, 0)]
[state.HP15=if(HPPct>10 && HPPct<=15, 1, 0)]
[state.HP10=if(HPPct>5 && HPPct<=10, 1, 0)]
[state.HP5=if(HPPct>0 && HPPct<=5, 1, 0)]
[state.HP0=if(HPPct<=0, 1, 0)]
-->


* Common AE states
I added PrayerALLY & PrayerFOE macros so now I can easily track Prayer (and did it for bard song). While my players still mostly roll their own real dice, these macros make GMing tons easier as they make all of the necessary adjustments and show me the state icon.

Code: Select all

<!--
[pStatus = state.PrayerFOE]
[state.PrayerFOE = if(pStatus==1, 0, 1)]
[MiscATK = MiscATK - if(pStatus==1, -1, 1)]
[MiscDMG = MiscDMG - if(pStatus==1, -1, 1)]
[Fort = Fort - if(pStatus==1, -1, 1)]
[Reflex = Reflex - if(pStatus==1, -1, 1)]
[Will = Will - if(pStatus==1, -1, 1)]
-->
{tmsg = if(pStatus==1, "<b>Prayer:</b> The effect fades.", "<b>Prayer:</b>  Suffer a -1 luck bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saves, and skill checks.")}


* GM view of the map
I found the default opacity for GM Fog of War is too dense and needs to be adjustable. In the end I had to disable player access to the map, turn off fog, look and memorize the relevant area, move the relevant tokens, then re-enable fog and player access. It worked but fog opacity would be greatly helpful.

Anyway, folks had a good time...

Image

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lmarkus001
Great Wyrm
Posts: 1862
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:30 am
Location: Layfayette Hill, PA

Post by lmarkus001 »

Aug 22, 2008

Attending:
Bill/Goth 5th
Laura/Electra 4th
Haley/Larka 5th
Lindsay/Wait 6th
Elizabeth/Colodra 6th
Doug/Mordecai 5th
George/Smoke 6th
Lisa/Beverly 4th


Beverly, Larka, and I catch up to the rest of the party recovering and examining the aftermath of a recent battle. Apparently I missed the chance to defeat a Dragon, abet a small one. Some of this might be a recap, but its new to me, so… A body the Dragon was eating had a unholy symbol of Apep –evil god, followers wear ocher robes. We also encountered an Elder Elemental Eye –more evil worship. And lastly, our temporary pass to operate as a band of adventurers is for 10 days, and we are on day 3. And we are supposed to be on an information gathering mission, to see if evil is raising its ugly head again at the Temple of Elemental Evil.

So we help the party finish checking out the abandoned moat house. The in ruins and ransacked long ago. Anything here now has moved in afterwards and escaped the notice of the Dragon. To the south we kill and acidy ooze. North East of the Dragon was a room that we believe housed the 2 people the dragon killed (Rogue and evil Cleric). A Longsword and perhaps some other booty was recovered there, not my concern since it probably counts as Dragon treasure and I was not there for that.

We find stairs down and I lead the party into the depths. 2 Gnolls take me by surprise and miss me 4 times. Before we dispatch them they are reinforced by stench emitting ghouls. Colodra and I attempted to turn the undead and we noticed something strange. Perhaps of education from the Galactic Repository not only gave us new abilities, but perhaps it could also affect how we channel our Turning energies. Neither of us figured it out, but it warrants further study. During the battle, Colodra exploded a Ghoul, but it got better (DM error, nothing to do with the weird turning stuff).

One of the Gnolls was trying to run to a specific door. I detect for evil through the door and detect many evil presences. We prepare and rush the room. There are many skeletons (including an Ogre), more Gnolls, and Human female Cleric, Gren. The battle lasts long enough for my shield to shout out to Pelor. (Ornery ochre Ogres eating organic ocra while groping Opra)

Most of the battles were straight forward. Of note, I turned undead for the first time, a human and ogre skeleton. I once changed and almost slipped and fell, there is black slime in the cracks about. And Goth ran into the big battle room to take 10 points of damage from Gnolls.

Treasure was not split or identified. We Found:

splint mail, heavy steel shield, masterwork morningstar, light crossbow, 10 bolts, ochre robes, elixir , potion empty, potion of cure light wounds, 12 gp, 20 sp, unholy symbol (black iron triangle with an inverted yellow Y), an iron torch and three black cones(magic), a black scepter with violet gems, a small black sphere(magic), and a black metal tube.

There are at least a few more rooms to search under the Moat house. The question is if the evil we have uncovered here is all there was and we are finished, or was this just the tip of the Giants nose. We shall see.

Technical:

Map tool version 1.3b40

-4 computers, all in the basement, so no Skype.
-We had the initiative table up, and rolling initiative changed your order on the table (Haley delayed her initiative until after mine once, Lindsay manually moved her, but then added another monster and Haley popped back to her old spot)
-Lindsay updated the token Macros. When things like Bard song or Bless happened, our Macro took that into account for hits and damage.
-Bills’ comp could not see tokens for a while.
-Lauras’ comp went offline and had to delete the Cylon wireless settings and download a new update.
-Map Tools tracked hit points, a bar over the head of the token, green healthy, orange or yellow hurt, dead dying, empty bar dead. Macro to surge heal.
-Needed to use the Macro for initiative for the initiative tool, even if you rolled dice for everything else.
-States: prone, enraged, etc.
-When outside we had unlimited vision but still had sight blocking. To achieve this we had to have no players with light sources turned on. We figured this out trying to see push pins, but I believe one push pin remained invisible to one computer.
-The Initiative tool keeps track of rounds (very handy) but I believe it had a bug with Initiative modifiers: two people tied with initiative of 6 and the person with the higher modifier went 2nd.
-This version was lagging a lot.
-Vision blocking bug. When someone went out of visual range, if you put your cursor over the spot the token was at, it told you the tokens name.
-Changed map, we had to look away.
-Elizabeth lost connection, it said Server had disconnected.
-In the chat window to help others at remote locations to know who’s turn it is, it says ‘[token name] has received initiative’.
-Larkas’ Macro had multi attack errors.
-Bard song put a symbol on us
-No Ranged Weapon Macro
-Double clicks (I forget why I noted this, perhaps it was just Bills’ funky mouse).
-Elizabeths’ computer lagged worse than the other computers.
-Lindsays’ fog of war was too dark to see his tokens (gray monsters, gray background, gray fog)

Doug

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lmarkus001
Great Wyrm
Posts: 1862
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:30 am
Location: Layfayette Hill, PA

Post by lmarkus001 »

Image
August 29, 2008

Attending:

Todd/Ghrym – 5
George/Smoke – 6
Elizabeth/Coladra – 6
Lindsay/Uaithne “Wait” – 6
Lisa/Beverly Hill - 4


We continued searching the lower floor of the moathouse after the combat with the gnolls, skeletons, and evil clerics. One evil cleric is alive. She has a name tag with the word “Gren” on it so we assume that is her name. She is unconscious. We debate about what to do with her, and decide to take her back to town. Killing her would have been, like, a lot simpler, but oh well.

In a room, carefully organized on a white blanket, are the following items:
Iron torch (magic)
3 black cones—fuel for the torch
Black sphere, small (magic)
Black metal tube—scroll tube, not magic
black scepter with violet gems

Coladra determines that the scepter is probably a religious totem or sign of office, perhaps for use with a ritual. In the scroll tube is a worm-eaten piece of disintegrating paper, in a strange language. Coladra casts Comprehend Langs, we determine it’s instructions on how to complete a ritual that takes you to another plane to find a sort of temple called the Black Cyst. It holds an Orb that can help wake up the really evil god this Cult of the Elder Elemental Eye worships. His name is Apep. He is the God of Like, Total Destruction. Coladra makes a vague summary of it just to jog our memories, and Grhym tears it up. We are worried the info could fall into the wrong hands. The summary:

In Black Cyst is orb of oblivion there are 2 pillars and a horn and after sacrifices of elements the portal forms and you die.

These are half and four fold. Torch lets you see. Cold to death. Makes wights who like sunlight. Orb is crystal round skull with four niches for elemental stones.

We decide the iron torch is the Torch of Revealing that lets you see in the Black Cyst.

We then thoroughly search the bottom level of the complex, or at least are in the process of finishing that up when Coladra hears someone behind a door. We open it and find Spugnoir, who says he’s the town wizard and came here to fight the dragon. When his electricity didn’t hurt it (didn’t do his homework, blue dragon = electricity, I mean duh!!) he fled down here. Or so he says. Seems a little farfetched.

Still, he is very helpful. He tells us where to find the secret door that leads to the rest of the complex. Opening it, we find stairs that go up to the outside, plus passages that lead on. We go in and discover Garrik the Gnoll, who is like, totally overconfident. We slice and dice him. Meanwhile, Grym by himself in the passage is surrounded by gnolls. Not so good. We run to his rescue and succeed in taking down all the gnolls, including one who tries to run away.

We find goodies:

On Garrik:
brooch with triangle symbol (magic)
long sword (MW)
short sword (MW)
short bow & arrows
studded leather, magic

In chests:
2 potions, 1 CLW
2 scrolls (animal messenger, stone shape)
6 tindertwigs
curved ceremonial dagger with gold inlay (worth 50 gp)
Sheaf of papers (Lindsay to post handout)

We finish with two unconscious prisoners, 1 Gren and 1 Gnoll. Wait is watching Spugnoir. Hmm…

Technology

-The system was very stable until Todd crashed his program fooling around with something interesting in one of the lefthand boxes that we weren’t supposed to be able to see.

-The initiative box worked better. The Next button helped us keep combat moving along, and will do that even better when we start remembering to hit it. The decimal point Lindsay added broke ties nicely.

-The initiative box is tied to the map you are on. So if you switch maps—like, for example, if you are pursuing a fleeing gnoll back upstairs—your initiative list goes away. Lindsay also has to copy and paste our tokens when we switch maps.

-Lindsay had some delays sometimes trying to find things, but I’m not sure what those were about.

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lmarkus001
Great Wyrm
Posts: 1862
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:30 am
Location: Layfayette Hill, PA

Post by lmarkus001 »

Technology Update

Door symbols need to be very visible. They either need to protrude or recede from the wall. They need to be a different color than the wall. Top down doors are just plain hard to see.

Had an issue with campaign macros. Duplicated one and edited the duplicate. Both entries changed to the new content and seemed to remain linked.

The initiative tool worked wonderfully.

Reduced the HP tracking bar on PCs to 11 states and NPCs to 5 states. This reduction in states seems to noticeably speed up MapTool. Additionally, 10% increments for PCs seems plenty, and 20% for NPCs keeps them guessing a bit (but allows for reuse of the same HP state images).

The fog of war image vanished and some other object in the campaign file would cause a crash. This appears to be a version issue as this campaign file was built a while ago.

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trevor
Codeum Arcanum (RPTools Founder)
Posts: 11311
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:16 pm
Location: Austin, Tx
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Post by trevor »

lmarkus001 wrote:The fog of war image vanished and some other object in the campaign file would cause a crash. This appears to be a version issue as this campaign file was built a while ago.


Was this a one time oddity, or does it happen all the time ? If it happens every time please send me the campaign file so I can debug it
Dreaming of a 1.3 release

Lindharin
Dragon
Posts: 668
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 4:51 pm

Post by Lindharin »

lmarkus001 wrote:Had an issue with campaign macros. Duplicated one and edited the duplicate. Both entries changed to the new content and seemed to remain linked.


This is a bug in the campaign macros that should be fixed in b42. Until then, I'd recommend never using duplicate for campaign macros.

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lmarkus001
Great Wyrm
Posts: 1862
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:30 am
Location: Layfayette Hill, PA

Post by lmarkus001 »

Technology Update

MapTool 1.3b41

Without MapTool we would not have played, so HOORAY for MapTool! Normally the majority of participants meet at my house and just 1-3 tie in remotely. Last night rain, children, jobs, et. al. conspired to make it so no one could play. Instead, we all got MT and Skype working remotely and had 4 remotes and 2 local players. I can not say how much we all appreciate this tool!

With us so spread out (as I said, a new experience for the group), we quickly discovered the need for an easy way to designate Away From Keyboard. While you can type that in chat, we thought adding a State on our token would also be helpful. So I quickly whipped out a macro that would toggle the token state and send AFK or Back to the chat window. It was very effective.

Code: Select all

[ H: msg = if ( state.AFK == 1 , "<i>Back</i>",  "<b>A</b>way <b>F</b>rom <b>K</b>eyboard" ) ]
[ H: state.AFK = if (state.AFK == 1, 0, 1 ) ]
{msg}



Overall the game went smoothly and MT did its thing solidly. We had a couple of crashes but they were from my error (trying to code a macro on the fly is not always smart) or known bugs in b41 (like trying to remove a token from the init panel by right clicking on it in the init panel). No new bugs revealed themselves.

The controlled vision continues to be fun. Last night the rogue slipping ahead says, "Hey, there is a ghoul watch out!". Meanwhile everyone else is saying, "Where? I attack it, where is it? Down here? Point on the map I can't find it!" This is extra fun when the wizard runs up a movement and states he is going to Magic Missile the ghoul, only to pause and say, "um, I can't seem to see it yet, guess I will take another move action...".

With more folks remote, we used the macros and in program dice a lot more (normally we roll real dice on the table). I have a default set of macros for monster tokens which I made available on the PC tokens. The players quickly decided they wanted to modify those macros and make them more specialized to their PC. So today I did things like add weapon crit range and crit multiplier properties to the Property set and make smarter combat macros that auto roll crits.

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lmarkus001
Great Wyrm
Posts: 1862
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:30 am
Location: Layfayette Hill, PA

Post by lmarkus001 »

Uaithne (6) - Lindsay
Smoke (6) - George
Halbrod (5) - William
Felix (6) - Steve
Colodra (6) - Elizabeth
Ghrym (5) - Todd
Beverly (5) - Lisa

Loot

Check the online loot spreadsheet for current status of all loot (http://www.editgrid.com/user/lmarkus001/FR_Loot). Everyone, even those not present, received 190 gp, 1 sp from sale of ill-gotten gains recovered from the clutches of deceased/defeated, nefarious, no-goodniks.

Technology

All seemed to work quite well today. All systems were up and running with minimal issues. George's secondary monitor seems to be helping in sharing displays. The sound was good (from my end) and connectivity was working quite well. There was an occasional hiccup through the night with some pieces of MapTools connectivity/communication, but, hey, we're running all this stuff on Microsoft OS's so the only thing that is suprising is that we weren't plagued with even more issues :-) Even Steve's reclining playstyle worked well! :-)

Synopsis of Recent Events


The crue (motley as they are) had relatively recently made their way to the small but thriving village of Hommlett. There had been some time spent getting acquainted with the inhabitants and then they went off to investigate some structures off in the swamps. They returned a little battered and with a prisoner! There had been some effort to interrogate the prisoner, but as he still had all limbs and organs in relatively working order it could not have been too strenuous an "interrogation". There are some mysteries here for me. Due to my recent absences from the Crew (Paul? no, that is another story), I don't know what it was that motivated them to come to this village nor to engage in their investigative work in the swamps. Not that this is a secret, I just need to remember to get answers to thest questions. There was also some reference to a ten-day deadline, I need to find out the history on that, too. So, I returned from my diversions to rejoin the others on the evening of their return from the Moathouse...

Current Events

The prisoner (a crazy spell-caster) was turned over to Sherriff Elmo for safekeeping and further questioning. Smoke warned us that there had to be a spy in the village and that we need to watch ourselves. (Hm, spy for whom? Probably the band of whatevers that are inhabiting the Moathouse). In any case, we spent a relaxing evening at the inn and had an uneventful night's rest despite the prospect of a spy in the village.

At dawn the following morning, Ghrym went off to the Church of Helm/Cuthbert (the gods here are known by different and varying names) to check in with a cleric there, Giday. Colodra and I went off to the Temple of Pelor to speak to Yether the Keen. Since they were just beginning their dawn rituals, we joined in with them. Yether the Keen gave us some information about how to cleanse the evil holy symbol that Colodra was carrying with her, which is what we really came here for. There was a bit of a dispute over the sanctification of the symbol, but it ended with Colodra and I heading off a bit into the woods to perform the cleansing ceremony. Well, she performed the ceremony and I got to clean up afterwards. The cleansing process involved spells like Bless, Bless Water, Remove Curse, and the application of the Holy Brillo. The symbol was consecrated (yet again if you believe Yether) and determined to still be magical. She then gave the broach to Uaithne to be used as a method for all of us to track him/her/it when he/she/it becomes invisible (but he/she/it doesn't know that).

By the time we returned from the woods, most of the others were up and about, grabbing a morning repast at the bakery or the inn. Once the local store owners opened their shops, the invasion began...

Felix bought all of the scrolls (Magic Weapon - Shield - Sleep - Invisibility - Levitate - Mirror Image - Fireball - Water Breathing) from the scroll vendor with the exception of Colour Spray and Identify; he also preordered a scroll of Tongues for which he put down a deposit of 375gp.

From the potion vendor, we purchased the following: Smoke - Spider Climb and Hiding; Colodra - Levitate and Water Breathing; Beverly - Cure Moderate Wounds and Bull Strength.

Uaithne made use of his/her/its magical powers to charm Gren (the prisoner) and was able to learn that she had some relics that are part of a "ceremony", also that we should never have gotten any of these relics. This relics are the strange collection of items that were discovered by the crew on their last foray into the Moathouse and have been divided among the crew to distribute their evil influence among as large a number of folks as possible.

...

With all of these preparations in place, we decided to return to the Moathouse and continue the invasion (investigation)...

The trip to the Moathouse was uneventful, although we did hear the distant croakings of the man-eating frogs. We were fortunate enough not to have attracted their attention, however. We searched through the first floor of the Moathouse again, just to see what, if anything, had changed since the previous day. As there weren't any significant signs of changes, we headed to the first sub-level. Here we did see that the bodies from the previous day had been dragged off down the hallway to the left. So, naturally, that was the direction we took. The hallway took a turn to the north shortly and opened into a large room with many alcoves in it. Before we had an opportunity to make a more detailed evaluation of the room, we were assailed by a number of ghouls! Melee ensued, magic was tossed and the power of the gods was invoked! Although, I still don't understand how a walking stool can be used effectively as a weapon, Smoke worked some serious harm with his, quite impressive to see. When Colodra first attempted to rebuke the ghouls with power of her deity (which is who?) a blast of light emanated from Ghrym, knocking some of the ghouls back and harming them with its power, very odd! Subsequent attempts at rebuking the ghouls was much less effective and impressive. Eventually, we destroyed the 4 ghouls and had an opportunity to survey the room.

This room is a large, "T"-shaped crypt with many alcoves around the room, piles of gnolls corpses scattered around. It is dismal and cold, dusty and cobweb-filled, sarcophagi are stored in dark, shadow-filled alcoves along the walls. A quick investigation of the room revealed a burrowed-out tunnel in the back of one of the southern alcoves that had bloody trails passing through it. The tunnel headed stouth a bit and then split, surrounding a central area where there were more stacks of gnoll corpses. A number of us explored through this initial tunnel area, finally determining that it ended in two different sections to the west that were filled in with collapsed rock.

While the southern tunnel complex was being explored, Smoke did a bit of investigating at a suspicious area of the northern branch of the ghoul room. He was able to discern a well-hidden door that revealed a hallway heading north. The hallway ended in a shaft that went up and had iron rungs in one wall. The top of the shaft ended in a pillar in room 22 that contained another secret door. Hm, tricksy folks!

Having finished our investigations to the north, we put some effort into examining the collapsed tunnels in the southern tunnel complex. It appeared that there was a bit of a breeze coming from the northern branch and there seemed to be an open area beyond the rock pile. With a bit of effort, we cleared enough room to allow Smoke to get through and begin investigations in the area beyond. There was another rough-hewn tunnel complex that quickly turned into a maze-like area. Uaithne used his/her/its magical powers to maintain mental communications with Smoke. Although we couldn't get an exact location of Smoke's progress, we could at least keep up, somewhat, with his progress and, certainly, his discoveries - up to a point...

Smoke's meanderings eventually led him to a room in the tunnel system, it wsa cold, a soul-numbing chill that "grips one's heart as well as one's sanity" (either Smoke or Uaithne was waxing a bit poetic). It was plain to Smoke that this room was evil, not just a hint of it, but a certainty. Rising from the floor to the ceiling is a tall, four-sided column that was natural but extensively carved so that each side (four of them) held a graven image. This was wimilar to a pillar that the Crew had found yesterday. There was an altar on one side of the pillar, it was made of a purplish stone and looked cloudy with a core of darkness, there was a depression in the top of the altar. When Smoke went to touch the altar, we lost communications with him.

A description of each of the statues follows:

The first is jet black and depicts a tall, muscular man in full plate armor with unfamiliar flanges and fluting. He wears a cape and holds a wavy-bladed sword.
The second side is dark green, carved into a man swathed in a flowing robe with long sleeves and a high collar. Covering the face is a mask resembling the one that the dead Master Thaque possessed (see Area 6).
The third side is deep blood red and depicts a man in high boots, a doublet, and gauntlets of twisting design. A hood drawn tight around the face covers his head.
The fourth side is a statue of a man colored deep indigo. The figure is clothed in a many-pleated robe with a sash covered in strange sigils (impossible to decipher). His head is cowled and he cradles a scepter in his folded arms.

A bit concerned by Smoke's lack of response, we began to move through the maze in an attempt to find him. Although we had a general idea of the direction he had taken, we had to wander through the maze to locate the room where we lost contact with him. (Lindsay saved us from further struggles in the maze by saying we eventually found the room, whew!)

...

In the room, we found Smoke hunched over the altar, which we now saw to be made of amethyst with an amorphous black center. Smoke appeared to be paralyzed instead of having been transformed into an amethyst statue that would be animated by the evil forces of the room when we entered. The tale would be a bit different had that been the case...

Ghrym pulled Smoke's body out of contact with the altar and felt some of the negative energy from the altar coursing through Smoke's body at first. When Smoke's body was no longer in contact with the altar, the altar began to change color and turned smoky purple, no longer transparent. Colodra investigated the altar to determine if it was related to a specific deity and determined that it belonged to the worship of Apep. As a test, Colodra shot the altar with a bolt of Searing Light, which caused the altar to revert to a transparent amethyst with a dark amorphous center. Hm, so feeding it positive energy changes it to some extent, interesting... As we watched, the altar changed back to a cloudy purple stone.

We examined the various statues on the pillar and determined that the sceptre seen on the fourth side was similar to the sceptre that had been picked up on the previous day. Additionally, the mask was similar to the one that was gotten from the Dragon yesterday. Ghrym closely examined the first statue and found a small compartment hidden in it, using his dagger, he managed to pry it open, revealing a small bead similar to the sphere that we had already found. Examining each of the statues more closely, we found similar hidden compartments containing the following items:

Statue 1 - The secret compartment contains a small black sphere. (Felix)
Statue 2 - The secret compartment holds a skin-covered black drum. (Beverly)
Statue 3 - The secret compartment has a set of silver chimes (worth 200 gp). (Colodra)
Statue 4 - In the compartment is a bronze brazier and three chunks of incense. (Halbrod - brazier; Felix - 3 chunks of incense)

We divided these items among the group, the current disposition is listed in the online loot spreadsheet. Uaithne later determined that only the small black sphere was magical.

As we pondered the statues and some findings from the previous day, Felix stated that he believed that the facings and all of the pieces that we have found are part of some process. Colodra gave us some additional information by reading through some notes that had been found that made us realize that there is, indeed, a process involving many items such as these and a living sacrifice that will give us access to an extraplanar area knows as... The Black Crypt!

We continued wandering through this tunnel complex (carrying Smoke's paralyzed body) but found nothing further of interest so we headed back towads the ghoul crypt. We attempted to cover our tracks but didn't seem to have any particular skill at that and attempted to refill the collapsed rock area to hide the fact that it had been opened. We headed back out to the north/south hallway and headed down the hallway that headed southeast. It ended in an unnatural stone wall that Felix determined was the effects of a Wall of Stone spell that had been there quite some time.

As we were trying to determine a next step, Uaithne attempted to use Detect Thoughts on Smoke and received thoughts only of fear. This led us to believe that both Smoke's mind and body have been paralyzed by some effect of the altar. We spent the next three hours searching other areas of the complex without any results. Smoke's paralysis wore off towards the end of this time, which was certainly a good thing!

*Note - Room 32 has a smaller statue set similar to the large pillar found in room 34a*

We decided that the only remaining path for us to take lies in a room to the far south (*room 32*). Among other things, there is a large hole in the floor over which is suspended a large, circular, wooden platform suspended from a pulley system. Looking down into the shaft we see that roughly 15 feet from the top of the shaft, indications exist that a stone plug was once placed here, then carefully mortared and sealed. Just above that point, a 4-foot-wide tunnel carrying an underground stream empties into the shaft, the water spilling down into the darkness below. A 2-foot-wide opening is visible just below the top of the shaft. We decided to have Beverly lower the platform down the pit and explore the area below the outpouring of the underground stream. As we are lowered, we see that the water pouring down beside the descending platform creates a mist below, deepening the chill that you feel as you go deeper. Through that mist, you can see that the floor below is just over 60 feet from the top of the shaft. It appears very smooth and black, with veins of deep violet. The shaft walls spread out into the darkness, opening onto a vast cavern.
The floor resembles black marble but has no luster, while the veins of purple are thick and jagged. The entire surface appears to be slightly convex, with sides lower than the center. Stranger still, the floor does not extend to the cave walls around it, as though it were merely a large platform itself. It is about 30 feet across — the cave is much larger than that in every direction. Beyond the floor edge, the cave walls plummet farther down into darkness. At the western rim of the black floor, another circular wooden platform hangs suspended over the darkness, with another rope and pulley system pounded into the rock above it.

Once the wooden platform settled on the stone floor, Ghrym and I began walking in the direction of the second wooden platform off to the west. Ghrym stopped to observe the stone floor which had purple veins that writhed and seemed to grab at him, becoming even more frigid and causing some discomfort. Smoke raised the first wooden platform about a foot so that we could see what was below it (there was nothing remarkable there). As Colodra and Smoke were preparing to move to the second wooden platform, we were attacked by a hideous beast from the depths of Hades and Shadow, a horrible, misshapen creature that reminds most others of agiant, floating brain with tentacles. The vicious predators have a large, bulbous body of wrinkled light gray flesh, with a sharp beak but no other visible features. Ten long, spiny tentacles hang down from the bottom of the body. The grell floats in the air of its own volition. I was quickly entangled in its tentacles and paralyzed by the poison injected through its tentacles. Before the grell could make off with me for later dining, a flurry of magical and mundane missiles and magical energies slew the beast. As it began to plummet into the depths, dragging me along with it, Uaithne cast Grease upon me, resulting in all of the grell's tentacles losing their hold on me. While others are carefully standing around the area on very slippery surfaces, my fate hangs in the balance as I am poised, paralyzed, near the edge of the abyss... :arrow:

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lmarkus001
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Post by lmarkus001 »

Technology Update

Now using MapTool 1.3b45

Overall this is a reasonably stable build. Our sessions have had very few MT related technology issues.

The major DM issues with MT have come from the rapid macro capability changes. That on top of some issues updating campaign files created with earlier builds has caused some rework, and some just living with the older capabilities. But those are expected issues with beta code that is rapidly changing.

I still struggle trying to have voice, video and MT. I currently run MT on a desktop and remotely connect to it with a laptop, and the laptop runs Skype and UStream. Skype + Ustream is a very heavy load and so we usually go without the video (it is just candy anyway).

The new initiative and macro capabilities are greatly speeding my DMing. MapTool is now starting to increase game-time performance (up until recently it generally slowed me down). Soon I will not be able to live without MT :-)

As players we are getting much better at using the technology. We have floundered a lot with keeping focus, setup time, relearning the tool every week, and being distracted. We have been developing a series of approaches that is helping, and maybe I need to start documenting that to add to the MT faq...

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trevor
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Post by trevor »

lmarkus001 wrote:Technology Update

Overall this is a reasonably stable build. Our sessions have had very few MT related technology issues.


Whew, that's good to hear :)

lmarkus001 wrote:MapTool is now starting to increase game-time performance (up until recently it generally slowed me down). Soon I will not be able to live without MT :-)



Mwuahahahahaha !
Dreaming of a 1.3 release

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lmarkus001
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Post by lmarkus001 »

Technology Update

MapTool 1.3b45

So far things have been reasonably stable and working well.

I have a host of little issues, but from what I can tell almost all of them have been addressed in fixes and updates that will be coming in b46. So it is not really worth mentioning/repeating them here.

As a DM, I am spending a lot of time mucking with the XML as elements vanish (campaign macros) or prevent the import of a campaign property set (this appears to be a combination of older 1.3 version info and possibly an undiscovered issue relating to using the default dice tables.)

My players have been struggling with the fact that I now want them to use the macros I wrote when they want to change property info on their tokens. They keep forgetting about the Selected window. Other than using my practice sword to whack them over the head, I was thinking maybe making that window come to the foreground when a token is selected? This is probably not worth the coding effort and training is probably the correct solution.

Basically, the patches waiting in the wings should make a huge difference to stability and usability.

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lmarkus001
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Post by lmarkus001 »

Technology Update

MapTool 1.3b45

Nightmares and woes...

Well the perpetual annoyances have become critical failures. The wiping of campaign macros has been causing rebuilds of campaign files in the middle of gaming sessions.

The zooming issues with state images (if you zoom too close or too far you go boom) have actually brought my gaming session to a total collapse. We had to stop play because all we could do is lock it up if we zoomed one way or another more than about 3 steps.

The fact that I had not updated the one campaign file with my latest macros slowed the session down a ton. My newer macros really do make a HUGE difference.

So in the end, I think we are going to stop this campaign until B46 makes it out...

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trevor
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Post by trevor »

did b47 fix the memory issue ?
Dreaming of a 1.3 release

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lmarkus001
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Post by lmarkus001 »

trevor wrote:did b47 fix the memory issue ?


No but I see from the announcement thread you have probably discovered the issue and b48 will make it all better!

Meanwhile, we will just play without image states. Now that I know the thing that is causing the collapse, I can work around it!

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lmarkus001
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Post by lmarkus001 »

Session/Technology Update
MapTool 1.3b47



Now that we know about the fatal issue with image states, we were able to keep playing and not a single person zoomed out or in too far so no crashes from that (it was an annoyance but not a critical failure).

We had a very successful night and once again MT is greatly assisting the group. We had one person too sick to come to the house to play but well enough to stay home and connect in, one person with new baby connect in, and a total of 8 people playing all on their own machine.

Everyone LOVED the color coded macros. I LOVED having a single source of macros (campaign panel).

From our play we noticed a number of usability/functionality concerns so I figure this is a great place to share them.

1) We have found that moving your token with the keyboard instead of the mouse is tons easier. The mouse tends to have you warping about and precise movement is challenging. With that said, we encountered two distinct issues with using the keyboard.

* If you select your token, then run a macro, your token remains selected BUT the focus for the "cursor" is now in the chat window. This means that if you now try to move your token and the first move is UP ARROW (aka take a step forward), instead of moving, you are accessing the chat history which in this case is the macro you just ran. Now you find yourself mightily confused and befuddled!

* When you select a token and start moving it, the labels beneath it become visible and have 2 levels to them with the bottom level being the username. This is fine however should either of those labels encounter fog, you can not move. So in effect, your token becomes the size of the token PLUS the 2 labels. So moving about becomes troublesome as you get stuck on (or away from) walls, pillars, etc. See this screenshot for an example:

Image

For our game session, I manually removed the troublesome fog (which worked fine since they had explored the other side of the fog already or it was just fog over a pillar) and once the fog was gone they were able to move.

2) Initiative Panel
We could not live without this panel, but there are a number of functionality quirks that make it less intuitive to work with.

* Race conditions. If everyone presses their INIT macro at the same time, only a subset get added to the Init panel. It appears that what is happening is the AddToInitiative() function takes a snapshot of the panel and then adds the token and updates the panel. So if 2 hit at the same time, the first one in gets lost.

* Check mark. The check mark is position affixed and not token affixed. So if you add a token to the panel that has an initiative higher than the current point, the mark moves to a different token. This is not a show stopper but is confusing.

* Round counter. The GM needs the ability to click into the counter box and type in the round number. The current workaround is to write a macro to set the round.


Suggestions from the Crew

1) New state option, TOKEN OPACITY. For tokens that are hidden or invisible, having a state that changed the opacity would be cool.

2) Separate chat window for macro output. There really needs to be 2 chat windows, one for chat, and one for macro output. The benefits of this approach include:

* Macro output could skip the smiley processor allowing us to have smilies in chat but not blocking the macro output.

* Macro output tends to be extensive or lengthy and "spams" the window, separating it to a different window will help keep the flow of chat.

* Up arrow used for token movement would not access the last macro code since it would only be accessing the chat window buffer and not the macro window buffer.

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