[Call of Cthulhu] Cthulhu Base v5.6 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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brad
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[Call of Cthulhu] Cthulhu Base v5.6 Framework

Post by brad »

This framework is currently built with MapTool v1.3b85. Version 5.6 in the title refers to the edition of the core rulebook I used.

I would love any thoughts, feedback, or debugging. I will start using this framework in my own campaign in the end of January 2011.

End Goal: To make the mechanics fade into the background as much as possible. To me Call of Cthulhu is all about the storytelling, suspense, and drama. Players and Keepers having to stop to remember a rule or do math takes away from that. So, where ever I can automate and integrate rules and mechanics I plan to. That is if it can be done, in a easy to grasp and smooth way. Automation can be a distraction/frustration too. I learned that one with my last framework. I have tried to make the interface as graphical oriented as possible.

Using this Framework:

To use this framework you download the campaign file. Then use it as a base. So, you would "save as" and rename a new copy. Then you would just add new maps on top of the "Staging Area" map. That way all the Lib tokens are there like they are supposed to be. Any token can be dragged in and used in any map that you add to the campaign file. The Test Token is just there so you have something to fiddle with.

Character Roll-up Tutorial
Using the Character Sheet Tutorial

A note on Versions. A change of a tenth, meaning 1.0 to 1.1, means new features were added. A change of hundredths, meaning 1.0 to 1.0.1, means fixing bugs.

Known Bugs
  • During character creation. If you add new skills(general or weapon) and any of those skill names contain a space, when you attempt to distribute skill points you will get an error. For now just use an underscore or something in place of a space.
  • Armor names cannot have spaces in them either. Messes with putting them on and off.
  • If you have a spell with a linked skill roll. Then you add a new skill to the general skill list. If that new skill is before, not after, the skill linked in the spell, the linked skill will change and you will need to reassign the skill for that spell, to correct it. You see it is remembering the number of the skill in the list. Putting a new skill into the list before the linked skill bumps its number by one. So doesn't affect a token if it doesn't have spells that have linked skill rolls. For those of you confused by the description of this bug. Just put any new skills(meaning skills created by you) at the very end of the skill list to avoid the issue.
  • Same as above, but for the weapon inventory and only if you add new weapon skills to the Weapon Skill List(not the normal skill list). Get around this by just adding any new Weapon Skill to the end of the list.

Future Features
  • Change token stats to a creature from a list. I will input some, but you will be able to add your own.

Cthulhu_base_2_4_1.cmpgn
Version 2.4.1
(1.11 MiB) Downloaded 758 times


Changes
  • Run with b85 or later.
  • Sanity Roll with Loss Roll. The UI just wasn't working well and was limiting. Now you just type in what the roll or amount is for if you make or fail the roll.
  • There was a bug were when you checked ticked skills the first weapon skill you had ticked wouldn't get checked. The normal skills would check and all weapon skills after the first one that was ticked would. That is fixed.
  • Upgrade a campaign file from version 2.4. Just replace the lib:gm token.

Version 2.4

Changes
  • NOW RUNNING WITH b85 or later!!!!
  • Token Image macro. There is a table called "token_image". You can populate this with token images. Make sure you number them in order. Click the macro and it gives you a drop down list of the table's images to choose from and instantly change the selected token's image.
  • Handout macro. There is a table called "handout". Populate it with any images you like. Make sure you number then in order. Click on the macro and it will give you a drop down list of the table's images to choose from. Select and a link is printed in the chat window. Whoever clicks on the link gets that image put in their selected token's handout spot.
  • Light Editor. On the character sheet the green fog now does something. Click on it and it calls up Wolph42's Light Editor. Very quick and convenient. I haven't populated the light sources with useful modern stuff yet, but I will. For now you will have to.
  • Did a little color coding for the macro buttons in the Campaign window.
  • Upgrade a campaign file from 2.3.1. Replace lib:gm token. Import or just create the two new tables(handout, token_image). Import the new macro set or just copy the two new macros into the Campaign window(Handout, Token Image).

Version 2.3.1

Changes
  • Weapon Skills were not getting skill checks. Just the normal skills were. Fixed.
  • New macro button in Campaign Macros window. Input Characteristic Values. Just a list of all the Characteristics with their values that you can quick change. Realized that this was sorely missing to quick input NPC characteristics.
  • Changed UI for Sanity Roll with automatic Sanity Loss. Choosing the dice was just confusing the way I had it set up, so I simplified.
  • Upgrade from version 2.3. Replace lib:gm. Import in Campaign Window macro set for new macro button.


Version 2.3

Changes
  • Added distance reference list to attack macro. I makes no difference if you choose a token from the list. The number in front of the token is the distance to that token. Only tokens visible on the current screen are listed.
  • Update a campaign file from version 2.2. Replace lib:gm token.

Version 2.2

Changes
  • When manually changing Sanity Points there was an error. Fixed
  • Some of the Hand to Hand and Muscle powered weapons in the inventory list had their Malfunction percentage put in as 0 instead of 101. Making the Malfunction all the time, rather then never. Fixed
  • Update a campaign file from version 2.1. Replace lib:gm token and import new campaign properties.

Version 2.1

Changes
  • Added 2d6 shift as a third option for character roll-up. It allows for a bit more customization.
  • Update from v2.0.1: Replace lib:gm


Version 2.0.1

Changes
  • When I split the skill list into a normal and weapon skill list, I didn't change the list name in the attack macro, so it was grabbing values from the normal list. Fixed.
  • Just replace the lib:gm token to update a campaign from v2.0

Features
  • Spell Creator, Spell Modifier, Spell Shortcut Assigner, and Spellcaster.
  • Skill marking(I call it ticking) and skill checking which checks all ticked skill and lists any increases made.
  • Resistance Table
  • Whisper macro that remembers the person you are whispering to.
  • Rumble's DiceBox
  • Plothos's Inventory Manager. The default database is 4e D&D, but the manager is so well made that it doesn't really matter. It is very self explanatory and you can figure out how to use it in a sort time.
  • Take damage macro.
  • States and state tracking where ever HPs can be changed.
  • The right and left hands can be armed and attack.
  • Ammo tracking and reloading
  • Weapon Forge can now create new weapons or modify old ones. A list of common unarmed attacks and 1920s weapons is included.
  • Two Sanity Rolls. One just rolls and tells you if you succeed or fail. The other lets you input how much sanity you loose if you succeed or fail and automatically calculates that.
  • Added Initiative button. Here are the rules and how I dealt with them. I used big numbers as that was an easy way to deal with the rules and MapTool is sorting not us! 1)Everyone is sort by highest Dex. Ties are broken by a 1d100 roll. I multiplied everyone's Dex by 1000 and then added a 1d100. This would only change the initiative order is there were ties. 2)Anyone with a firearm "at the ready" goes before anyone else. Anyone who checks that option gets a 10 put in front of their initiative. This makes them go first and still deals with highest Dex and ties. 3) Anyone with a firearm "at the ready" that is shooting twice gets tossed in a second time with all the normal folks at normal initiative. So, if you check "Firearm at the ready" and increase your attacks to 2 or more, this happens. 4) If you have a "firearm at the ready" and are shooting 3+ times or had a firearm NOT "at the ready" and are shooting 2+ times, the remainder of your shots happen at half your Dex. So, I take your Dex*1000 and divide by 2, then add the 1d100 to deal with ties in advance. So you could be in the Initiative Window 3 times, as per the rules.
  • Automated character roll-up.
  • Occupation and Interest points distribution
  • Can add new skills and manually modify characteristic and skill values
  • Characteristic, Sanity, Skill, and generic rolls available
  • Modification of Sanity, Magic, and Hit Points through the character sheet
  • Ability to "Show only to Keeper" on Characteristic, Skill, and generic rolls.
Attachments
Cthulhu_base_2_4.cmpgn
Version 2.4
(1.11 MiB) Downloaded 354 times
Cthulhu_base_2_3_1.cmpgn
Version 2.3.1
(704.13 KiB) Downloaded 221 times
Cthulhu_base_2_3.cmpgn
Version 2.3
(703.22 KiB) Downloaded 227 times
Cthulhu_base_2_2.cmpgn
Version 2.2
(702.75 KiB) Downloaded 216 times
Cthulhu_base_2_1.cmpgn
Version 2.1
(702.96 KiB) Downloaded 221 times
Cthulhu_base_2_0_1.cmpgn
Version 2.0.1
(701.48 KiB) Downloaded 207 times
Cthulhu_base_2_0.cmpgn
Version 2.0
(701.51 KiB) Downloaded 205 times
Last edited by brad on Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:14 pm, edited 52 times in total.
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Re: Call of Cthulhu v5.6 Framework

Post by brad »

Reserved. I will be dropping in some useful information for anyone who wants to make changes in this framework for their own campaign. How I organized things and what not, to make code changing easier.
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plothos
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Re: Call of Cthulhu v5.6 Framework

Post by plothos »

Haven't played CoC in ages, but your spiel got me all tingly. :) If you have an open call for players, keep an eye out for me!
Drop-In Utilities:
My Spell Manager for D&D3.5 and PFRPG
My Inventory Manager for D&D and PFRPG, but more generally useable than that.
My Message Manager -- My Top-Down D&D Token Images
and my Custom Initiative & Status/Spell-Effect Tracker (work in progress, but functional).

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Re: Call of Cthulhu v5.6 Framework

Post by brad »

plothos wrote:Haven't played CoC in ages, but your spiel got me all tingly. :) If you have an open call for players, keep an eye out for me!


I hope I won't need an open call, but I might. I am currently wrapping up a 3+ year campaign that is more of an action/drama genre. I am hoping to keep all the current players, but 6 months and a change in genre can loose folks. Good to know I might have a backup player. :wink:
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booga
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Re: Call of Cthulhu v5.6 Framework

Post by booga »

That's a very good start !

Looking forward to seeing you future additions to the FW.

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Re: Call of Cthulhu v5.6 Framework

Post by Venatius »

Awesome! I love CoC, so I'll definitely be checking this out. If you don't mind, what would you say mainly sets your framework apart from DrVesuvius' (viewtopic.php?f=33&t=8812)? I'm not try to challenge you or underhandedly attack you at all. I just know different frameworks can offer different options for the same game, and if yours has any fundamental differences in design philosophy, it'd help clear up who should look into which. I'm not trying to pin down a "better/worse than", just a "different in (x)".

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Re: Call of Cthulhu v5.6 Framework

Post by brad »

Venatius wrote:Awesome! I love CoC, so I'll definitely be checking this out. If you don't mind, what would you say mainly sets your framework apart from DrVesuvius' (viewtopic.php?f=33&t=8812)? I'm not try to challenge you or underhandedly attack you at all. I just know different frameworks can offer different options for the same game, and if yours has any fundamental differences in design philosophy, it'd help clear up who should look into which. I'm not trying to pin down a "better/worse than", just a "different in (x)".


I don't mind your devious underhandedness. :wink: I did look at the Doctor's framework first and it is a good framework. Very complete and organized. There were two reasons I decided to make my own.

One is the UI. I have been running another campaign with MapTool for about 3 years, with another framework that I created(Hero System). DrVesuvius's set up actually reminded my a lot of mine in that framework. Similar thought process. In the end though, all those macro buttons suck a lot of time. I had players that were with me for the full 3 years and they would still pause and search for buttons. They were all grouped and color coded, but they still had to read through them. And if you have a framework that is anywhere near comprehensive it is going to have a lot of buttons. A bunch of buttons are not pretty or easy to use, especially for new players. In the end with my Hero campaign I did make up a interactive character sheet, though it was a bit hacked together and well Hero is so complex to start with... With this one I plan to take my time and fiddle and edit. Include images if possible. So, players just have to look to find what to click, not read.

The second is having the macros stored in the tokens. As a GM I have decided I don't like it. Having to drag in the generic token and then switch the image gets annoying. I like being able to drag in any token and just go.

So, those are my reasons for making my own. Design really, not function. We will see in 6+ months how much functionality I have integrated. I will make a note on each new version what needs to be done to upgrade. In case anyone starts using it.
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Re: Call of Cthulhu v5.6 Framework

Post by brad »

Version 1.1 is up. Changes listed on first post.
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Re: Call of Cthulhu v5.6 Framework

Post by brad »

Version 1.1.1 is up. Good implications for future design.
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Re: Call of Cthulhu v5.6 Framework

Post by brad »

Version 1.1.2 is up. Any feedback or thoughts on design would be appreciated. I am trying, considering, and changing things at this point.

Is the Initiative button obvious? About the hands and anvil. I plan for the anvil to be a link to a macro where you make new weapons/attacks. You will arm your right and left hands and click on the hands to attack. The "Name" underneath them will be a link to the weapons/attacks list that you can change what you are holding in that hand. I figure I will package a bunch of 1920's weapons with the campaign file, along with standard unarmed attacks. Then people can use the anvil to make more as needed. My first thought was to use the hand images, but now that I think about it I think I will make it a fist image if you are using unarmed attacks and have it change to a revolver if you have an actual weapon of some kind. I need to find a better image for the generic dice bag. That on is just a place holder for now.
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Re: Call of Cthulhu v5.6 Framework

Post by DrVesuvius »

Nice work. Reminds me how desperately I need to bring my HTML/CSS game up to scratch :-)

I'd like to address the question of the difference in design philosophy, coming from the other side. My frameworks are deliberately minimalist, supporting only what the players would be physically doing if the game were a traditional face-to-face game. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the more game rules you actually encode into the framework, the harder it becomes to deal with any exceptions to the rules as written that come up. And they do come up, regularly. So I prefer to leave as many human touch points in the process as possible. Click to roll the dice to-hit. Players look at the results and if necessary then click another macro to roll damage, then the person on the receiving end clicks another macro to edit their damage. I get that an all-in-one macro might save some time, but in practice I find it no slower than carrying out the same physical actions in a face to face game.

Secondly, piling to many options into the macros can have the reverse effect and slow things down. I've opened highly automated macros where an attack roll macro gives you a full screen of options to pick through. Since most attacks won't use most of those options, I find it quicker in the long run to have a simple macro with an open-ended "modifier" input parameter.

To be clear, I'm not criticising creators who go for highly automated frameworks. It's purely a matter of personal preference and I know I'm in the minority. Yet somehow someone was still able to criticise my CoC framework for "doing too much" and reducing the game to "okay to do this push this button" so I'm obviously not at the extreme end of the minimalist scale :lol:

One thing I think we do agree on is that the future lies in players running as much as possible off the character sheet. The framework I wrote after this one for a Prime Time Adventures series did this, and it's way more aesthetically pleasing. However in practice, with only a fraction of the different tasks that players need to do, some still managed to forget what to click on the character sheet to give someone fan-mail, use a trait etc. But when we restart CoC the first thing I'll be doing is writing a better character sheet that should do most if not all of the things currently done by macro buttons.

You've got a lot more time to work on your framework (you're running CoC next year, I was running Coc next week :D ) and you've got a lot more cool features in MapTool to play with nowadays, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how your framework develops.

All the best

DrV

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Re: Call of Cthulhu v5.6 Framework

Post by brad »

Hi DrV! Glad you responded. Bouncing opinions, ideas, thoughts, etc, usually leads to a better end result.

I haven't gone through your framework in detail, but I don't think we are that far apart in the amount of automation. I might go a half a step further in some cases. And some of that is how this system handles things. In Cthulhu you have the option to dodge if you get hit(assuming you haven't already attacked), so you can't really have the damage roll already sitting out there or automatically applied to the target. Maybe links printed to chat that will make those things happen, but not automated. Hmmm... That would cut down on needed macro buttons wouldn't it? I might try out the links in the chat window thing. This is why I like discussing stuff like this.

I definitely do agree that too many options in a macro can slow things down. In the Hero framework what I ended up settling on was try to have a macro cover the options that are typically used, say 90% of the time. Many of the spot rules almost never show up. Those can be resolved with the "generic roll" or "dice bag" macro. That kept things manageable. In Cthulhu that will keep things down right simple.

One thing I did with the Hero framework that cut down the attack roll to a more simple state, while integrating more features, is create weapons/powers. Then the player attacked with that premade weapon/power and the bulk of the options were already in there. This was really necessary in Hero as there is so much flexibility type of power and maneuver. Killing, normal, or stun only attack? How many times armor piercing? How many times Penetrating? Any bonuses or penalities to hit for a well made or magical weapon? And the options went on. But, all of that was done when the weapon/power was created, so the actual attack macro used in the game was short. By Hero standards anyway. Cthulhu is a more minimalist system to start with, so the macros are able to be more simple as well. That has been a treat actually.

I would love to discuss more and have your feedback as I go. I have to say that if you made your framework in a week you really buckled down and did an awesome job! :!:
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Re: Call of Cthulhu v5.6 Framework

Post by brad »

Version 1.2 is up. You can forge weapons and arm yourself now. You just can't attack with those weapons yet. :shock: I want to take my time with the attack macro though. Make sure I cover all the most used options and still keep it simple.
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Re: Call of Cthulhu v5.6 Framework

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Version 1.3 is up. You can now attack with what your hands are armed with and there is ammo tracking. Any feedback/thoughts/ideas/criticisms on the attack macro would be appreciated.

A quick run down. You "forge" a weapon(I will be including a list of unarmed and 1920s weapons by default when I get a chance). Then you click on the name under the hand to assign it a weapon. If the weapon has ammo, how much you have left will be listed after the weapon name. Click on the number to reload. You hit the hand to attack.

There are a few options in the attack macro, but most people shouldn't need to do anything but hit "ok". You can change the number of attacks, which is then treated as a automatic burst. There is a generic divide the skill chance or give bonus/penalty to the skill roll to cover any situational mods the Keepers wants to through in. It tells you the range for Point Blank and you can check it for the bonus. It tells you what the weapon range is. Let's you set range multiplier if you are going beyond standard range. Then lets you check Unaimed Shots if you are doing that.

In the end it tells you how much you Made/Failed the roll by and what you actually rolled in parenthesis. Then it gives you damage rolled(assuming you hit) followed by the dice rolled in parenthesis. If you malfunction it just tells you that. If you Impale that is figured into the damage roll automatically.

I will probably end up not having the damage listed right away. I think a link that can be clicked to reveal the damage. That way if someone is deciding whether to dodge or not, they don't know the damage. They just know they were hit, which is how it should be. If they reveal the damage before they dodge then they have to take it.
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Re: Call of Cthulhu v5.6 Framework

Post by brad »

Version 1.4 is up. Added Take Damage macro. Added states and state tracking where ever HPs can be changed. Next up is skill checks and resistance table.
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