What is a "Framework"?

MapTool campaign files that encapsulate properties, tokens, and macros for a particular ruleset or game world. "Framework" is often abbreviated "FW".

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Azhrei
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What is a "Framework"?

Post by Azhrei »

MapTool provides support for a lot of different game systems by not supporting any of them directly. ;) (Yeah, sounds strange. Keep reading.)

The most flexible way to support a wide variety of games was to put as little game-specific code into the program as possible. Instead, MapTool provides support for all the things a game needs, but requires configuration for them to be active.

For example, light sources work differently in different games. Some games won't need light sources at all (such as backgammon or chess). For those games that do need light effects there are tools to configure the light sources: range of light, bright or dim, color of the light as shown on the map, transparency level, and so on. (Not all of these may be implemented in a particular version of MapTool. I'm trying to stick with concepts here so bear with me.)

Other examples of the differences include types of vision, how to count movement along diagonals, whether fog-of-war should be used, and many more. All of these are configurable by the user who sets up the map (usually called the GM, short for Game Master).

Some functions in a game can be very complex. It might be setting up an attack that affects a large area of the map or calculating how many hits a unit can take before it's destroyed. (Some games call them "units", others might use "tokens", "figs", "creatures", "pogs", or some other term. Essentially they are the player-controlled pieces on the board.) There's no way that MapTool could possibly support every different type of combat resolution technique!

So that's where the macro language comes into the picture. It's a way of automating things that happen over and over again in the game(s) you play. There are so many people playing certain games (D&D3.x, D&D4, Savage Worlds, and so on) that those individuals have pooled their talent and created campaign frameworks that serve as a base for other GMs to build on.

A campaign framework includes definitions for light sources, vision types, token states (such as "Blinded" in D&D or "Movement Reduced" in a game like Axis and Allies), and various properties that apply to every token. A key feature is that once that list has been established, it's quite practical to build a collection of macros that use those features to make things easier for both players and GMs.

Even if you're not going to be playing a particular game, that game's framework may be useful as a stepping off point for learning how to create your own framework!

maddog
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Re: What is a "Framework"?

Post by maddog »

Does the site software support the ability to make a hierarchical data structure for linking to established frameworks? For instance, as I mentioned in another thread, I'm hoping to find a framework for AD&D1E, but the User Creations board is disorganized and seems to be long lists of DnD4E-related stuff, with a sprinkling of a few other systems and specific campaign-related maps.

I would appreciate a system where, for example, all WotC/TSR stuff was in one area, with sub-topics for each of the game systems - a new posting for Oriental Adventures, for example, could insert that if it wasn't already there.

I understand that the management hassles possible in this kind of thing could be huge, but it would greatly facilitate actually finding what one is looking for.

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Halifex
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Re: What is a "Framework"?

Post by Halifex »

No offense, but why should a volunteer admin spend time organizing for you? The rest of us had to sift through the forum to find what we needed .. get off your lazy butt and do the same !

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Azhrei
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Re: What is a "Framework"?

Post by Azhrei »

maddog wrote:I would appreciate a system where, for example, all WotC/TSR stuff was in one area, with sub-topics for each of the game systems - a new posting for Oriental Adventures, for example, could insert that if it wasn't already there.

That's a pretty cool idea. Are you volunteering to be the organizer? If so we could discuss your plan a little more and I could arrange to make you the moderator for that forum and subforums... The first step would be to look at what's already there and decide how to organize it. For example, what the subcategories would be. Right now each game system that we see a lot of has a subforum (D&D3.x/PF, D&D4, and ShadowRun), with other miscellaneous game systems being lumped into the top level forum. When a framework has been around for awhile and is considered pretty stable by the community, the author can petition me to have a subforum created and his stuff moved into it. That's the way we've been doing it and it seems to work out pretty well. (You're the first person to comment on this. ;))

Gamerdude
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Re: What is a "Framework"?

Post by Gamerdude »

Azhrei wrote:
maddog wrote:I would appreciate a system where, for example, all WotC/TSR stuff was in one area, with sub-topics for each of the game systems - a new posting for Oriental Adventures, for example, could insert that if it wasn't already there.

That's a pretty cool idea. Are you volunteering to be the organizer? If so we could discuss your plan a little more and I could arrange to make you the moderator for that forum and subforums...
If I may put forward: A sticky thread with ONE post - a list of ALL known Frameworks, links to them, and notices when they are updated.

As I've gone through many times here (and just this week in the GURPS MT Framework thread) it is really hard to find certain frameworks (and which version is current). If they were all listed on one post that one person kept up to date (with the creator/maintainer notifying this person with updates) then it would be one stop shopping to FIND them, but discussion happen elsewhere. - yeah, I would help with that.

A second similar sticky thread could be done for the support thread for each of these.
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MT Framework Directory **LISTING** (UPDT 2012-02-10)

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Azhrei
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Re: What is a "Framework"?

Post by Azhrei »

I'm not adverse to creating subforums for popular frameworks as well. That's why we have subforums for D&D4, for example. That keeps the discussion of 4e frameworks in a single place, although there may be multiple FWs in that subforum. :|

At the top-level forum is all the stuff that doesn't seem to get as much traction: GURPS, for example. I'd be happy to create subforums for those game systems as well, but would that help? I don't know as I don't frequent this area of the forum much myself.

If someone wants to volunteer to moderate this forum (and subforums) I could do that too. A moderator can't add/remove subforums, but they can move threads around so they're in the right place, add "sticky" to threads, and so on.

Gamerdude
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Re: What is a "Framework"?

Post by Gamerdude »

Azhrei wrote:I'm not adverse to creating subforums for popular frameworks as well. That's why we have subforums for D&D4, for example. That keeps the discussion of 4e frameworks in a single place, although there may be multiple FWs in that subforum.
I had to think through how to re-explain my suggestion.

I am not suggesting a bunch of sub-forums. I'm not against it but that's just not my suggestion.

I think what I am suggesting is best explained by some examples:
http://www.wegfansite.com/forum/showthr ... #post20123
This is a catalog of all sites hosting books for OpenD6, listing each site then that the resources available. Discussion is elsewhere in the forums.

Another example is:
http://forum.mongoosepublishing.com/vie ... 89&t=36557
The Traveller sub-forum at MongoosePublishing. This one post tracks all the Traveller articles published in Mongoose's magazine "Signs&Portents" and is closed to discussion.

So simply, a sticky thread in the frameworks area, listing each framework (organized by game/system) as a link to where you host it (and discussion thread, what ever else the admins decide). Changes are PM'd to whoever maintains it and that one person makes the changes.

I hope this explains my idea better.
Al
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Azhrei
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Re: What is a "Framework"?

Post by Azhrei »

Oh. If all you want is a sticky thread, that's easy. The hard part is finding someone to add/remove the links. ;)

Ideally there should be more than one person, so if one of them gets run over by a truck the other can pick up where they left off. I don't imagine the thread will need updating very often, though. And I guess if one of them doesn't log into the forums for 6 months or something they should be considered AWOL and someone else selected...?

I would make those two (or more) people moderators of the forum that contains the sticky thread. They would each be able to edit the posts in that forum and so could update the links.

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Re: What is a "Framework"?

Post by Gamerdude »

Azhrei wrote:Oh. If all you want is a sticky thread, that's easy. The hard part is finding someone to add/remove the links. ;)

Ideally there should be more than one person, so if one of them gets run over by a truck the other can pick up where they left off. I don't imagine the thread will need updating very often, though. And I guess if one of them doesn't log into the forums for 6 months or something they should be considered AWOL and someone else selected...?

I would make those two (or more) people moderators of the forum that contains the sticky thread. They would each be able to edit the posts in that forum and so could update the links.
Unless there is someone else who has been involved with maptools/the forums longer I will happily volunteer, which I should since it is my idea. The only reason I didn't just create one and begin gathering the info is - well I think that would be very pushy of me to do.
Al B. USAF RET.
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Azhrei
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Re: What is a "Framework"?

Post by Azhrei »

Heh-heh, okay. I'll set things up this afternoon while I'm waiting for my flight home. 8) I'll send you a PM when I get it done.

Oh, and I'll probably split these last posts into a separate thread since they don't really go with "What is a Framework?" ;)

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Re: What is a "Framework"?

Post by Gamerdude »

Cool... will await the PM!
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