[Alternity] v0.2 *BETA*

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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Bone White
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[Alternity] v0.2 *BETA*

Post by Bone White »

Alternity v0.2 *BETA*

Last update: 18/08/2012

Description

Let it be known I'm trying to resurrect an old TSR roleplay game called Alternity, released in 1998. It's a very open rule-set, being adapted for post-apocalypse (Gamma World) and modern day settings (Dark•Matter), through original mechanics, but later developed through proper settings rulebooks. Originally set for the heights of sci-fi and expanded through the Star*Drive campaign book, it features a healthy list of additional rulebooks, settings, campaigns and such, and was abandoned in roughly 2000 due to Wizards of the Coast (TSR's successor) concentrating on more profitable campaigns such as Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms.

A thread discussing detailed mechanics and trying to intrigue the existing global alternityrpg.net community can be found here

[spoiler=Detail]Alternity's main defining feature is the rolling system. You will have a target to reach for: a skill, statistic, or score as with most games, and the dieroll is a d20. However there is a second die, the "situation" die. If there is one thing making the task tougher, you must add a d4 to the d20 roll. If there are two things making the task tougher, you add a d6. This continues all the way to d20 (and even to 4d20 for high level campaigns).

Other features include:
  • Simultaneous combat: each character who acts in the same "phase" has their actions resolved at the same time - yes you can kill each other by shooting at the same time! (Each round is divided into four phases based on initiative, each phase occurs at the same time. Characters who are fast acting either mentally or phyiscally (will & dex) can act in multiple phases if initiative is good enough)
  • Differing levels of success: Critical Failure, Failure, Ordinary Success, Good, Amazing, Automatic Success. Do you somersault over the chasm, overshooting it by 10 m and hit the ground running, or trip over on your run up, only to be left dangling over the drop... on the wrong side!?
  • Four health stats: Stun, Wound, Mortal and Fatigue help to record how different types of damage affect people differently. Rubber bullets don't have much chance of killing you, but you can be knocked out by them. Meanwhile falling three stories onto spikes is going to make you bleed profusely, if not puncture major organs.
  • Vehicular combat: build and create your own vehicles, from jeeps to starships, all with compartments and structural hitpoints.
  • Cybertech: implanting characters with various things from bionic eyes to retractable mechanical blades.
  • Comptuter hacking: hack into or defend yourself from comptuer attacks, or full cyber-combat with your internet "shadow".
  • Additional Rulesets: fantasy, modern day, psionics, magic/divine powers/demonic powers (called FX), alternate realities - and all interchangeable.

I'm a big advocate of this game, and the die-roll style just "makes sense" to me. However trying to find anyone to play this game is hard enough, even searching the entire internet, so I figured the best way was to (attempt to) create a framework for the game so people could play without reading 500 pages of rulebooks. If you're interested to learn more, the official website for alternity, http://alternityrpg.net/ has free fast-play rulebooks and lots of information.

Back on subject, if any of you have ever played this game, or want to, I'm looking for ideas and requests for features. These will not currently include polished/luxury features such as spell libraries or richly formatted forms. I know these are important to get people into a new (old) game, but let me walk before I can jump.[/spoiler]

Feel free to pm me if you wish to discuss anything in detail.

Link to Current Framework
http://forums.rptools.net/download/file.php?id=6281 v0.2

Link to Older Versions
http://forums.rptools.net/download/file.php?id=5767 v0.1

Brief quick-play guide for v1

Installation Instructions

  • Edit -> Preferences -> Application (tab) -> Uncheck "Show Initiative Gain Message"
  • Initiative Window Drop-down Menu (adjacent to "Next") -> Check Lock Movement

Update Instructions

No compatibility with previous version.

Change Log

New features for this version v2:

  • Complete tooltips for the attack macros and skill rolls from character sheet.
  • Dual actions implemented for both in and out of combat.
  • Complex skill checks also implemented for in and out of combat.
  • Diplomat dual-classing.
  • Combat Spec bonuses.
  • Level up macro (does not cover purchaseable 'perks' upon levelling up, only converts achievement points to skill points and re-calculates health).
  • Some more handier macros e.g. Stun Recovery lets you use First Aid / Treatment in combat easily.
  • GM settings pane to control optional settings.


Currently planned features for first public release are:
  • Weapon/Equipment list driven attack macros for ranged, melee and last resorts - Done
  • Character "sheet" - Done
  • Character creation - Done
  • Implementing the four-phase rounds - Done
  • Applying effects at the end of each phase - Done
  • Macros to cover main features yet to be implemented, such as damage heals and skill-checks - Done
  • Creating a small library of NPC tokens complete with statistics and equipment Postponed
  • Designing a map or two to showcase the game Postponed

Code: Select all

Issues:
   If a player changes token facing to non cardinal point (N/E/S/W) then all macros dealing with facing (attacks) will not function.
   When a specific combination of ko, and active tokens in initiative, and the last token is also the first active token in the next round, may cause turn locking or turn skipping when using Next Initiative to end the round.  Needs further diagnosis/investigation.
   
Notes:
   When saving a token, you must first set refresh character sheet property to 0
   Each token involved in combat must be owned by ONE player.  The GM should own NPC tokens.
   You'll find a couple of ready-made tokens to try combat with, but bear in mind, combat will not work unless each token has one owner, and last resorts will not work properly unless you are running a server with a different client connected. To begin combat, select all the tokens you require and press "Start Combat".

To Implement:
   Automatic fire on multiple targets
   Full level up table
   Explosives
   More GM options (house rules)
   Stealth
   Surprise checks
   Lighting


Credits

  • Xaelvaen - for helping me test prior to first release.
  • The MapTool community, especially in the Macro sub-forum, for their continued support.
Last edited by Bone White on Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:13 am, edited 17 times in total.

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Dadalama
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Re: Input desired for conceptual Alternity framework

Post by Dadalama »

Sounds like an interesting system!

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Bone White
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Re: Input desired for conceptual Alternity framework

Post by Bone White »

Due to the increasing interest in my framework I thought I'd show you how far along I am so far. Please find attached a screenshot of the character sheet (slightly incomplete as I'm working on the Armor/Weapons data structure yet again). Skills can be easily be clicked on the sheet to roll for.

[spoiler=]
charSheetExample.jpg
charSheetExample.jpg (72.34 KiB) Viewed 7453 times
[/spoiler]

Below, you'll find an example of some combat.

[spoiler=]
Alternity Progress Screenshot.jpg
Alternity Progress Screenshot.jpg (255.06 KiB) Viewed 7453 times
[/spoiler]

In the red box, Morgana places a shot of ordinary success (I haven't included this in the broadcast, so I've noted this to amend), as she rolled under the first of the three numbers, but over the second. She then rolls for damage, which is applied after the Dragon's armour roll, including secondary damage. This is all automated, all Morgana did was click the Dragon, and press Ranged Attack.

I then cycled to the next initiative using the nextInitiative macro. Because this is a new phase, the damage to the dragon should be applied here (this is the next step in my project). Currently it is applied immediately. Regardless, Morgana receives the initiative again (see the green box in the bottom right). She shoots the now unconscious (and prone) Dragon, which makes her shot more difficult. Note the change in the situation die from -d6 to +d0 because her target is prone it is harder to hit and implies a +2 step penalty.

Morgana however, lands a good success with her attack roll. (between the second and third numbers). Usually in Alternity, Morgana would deal more damage, perhaps even mortal damage instead of wound however my "Generic Pistol" deals the same damage for ordinary and good, so the damage is rolled again. Because the dragon is out of wound durability, he takes mortal damage instead - haemorrhaging his spleen, or whatever you desire.

In the blue box, the Dragon's receives initiative through the nextInitiative macro (Which isn't declared, something to note as well for me to fix). I decide that the Dragon is having an unlucky time, so decide that if he can successfully pass an Endurance roll, he can rouse himself, and try to get in one last attack before he bleeds out. I opened his character sheet, picked the skill from the list. In the input box which popped up, I decided to apply a +3 step penalty (as trying to regain conciousness from lack of blood is rather difficult) however he rolls a natural 1, which is an automatic success. Jerimiah and Morgana aren't safe yet!

You may note from the combat that the facing arrows modify Morgana's shots, and I'm adding more GM tools to allow the GM to control/fudge/creatively tell the story.



I'm currently experiencing a lot of problems with making the framework stable for new campaigns, as the token properties are all saved over from botched and ill-fated attempts at the macro language, which unravelling and making stable are proving to be a painful experience. I am however hopeful for the future, and I appreciate the support and help I've been given over the months here.

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Bone White
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Re: Input desired for Alternity framework

Post by Bone White »

Applying the damages at the end of each phase was easier than I previously thought. I've now completed that part of the framework for my first release, now only needing to work on Melee combat, some basic "apply custom value" inputs (skill checks and applying rules I haven't implemented yet), and a map with characters.

The further the framework progresses, the more excited I get! Please find below another screenshot of the phase applied damage. Note I have chosen to hide damage results until the end of the phase (if you can shoot each other dead, you aren't going to be able to tell if your shot killed them before their shot hit. At least that's my reasoning.)

[spoiler=]
Alternity Progress Screenshot2.jpg
Alternity Progress Screenshot2.jpg (228.49 KiB) Viewed 7430 times
[/spoiler]

von_walther
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Re: Input desired for Alternity framework

Post by von_walther »

Looks good, keep up the good work.

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Re: [Alternity] *ALPHA*

Post by Xaelvaen »

It has to be the most complicated and interesting combat mechanics I've seen. I love the simultaneous phase execution. That alone, applied to an oriental type setting, has my imagination intrigued. Iajutsu duel to the death is a whole new meaning, heh.
"An arrogant person considers himself perfect. This is the chief harm of arrogance. It interferes with a person's main task in life - becoming a better person." - Leo Tolstoy

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Bone White
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Re: [Alternity] *ALPHA*

Post by Bone White »

It's a shame my screenshot doesn't show two combatants killing/incapacitating each other in a phase, but it is entirely possible (and intended). I hope to add better screen shots with the impending first release.

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Re: [Alternity] *ALPHA*

Post by Bone White »

Alternity v0_1.cmpgn
(926.92 KiB) Downloaded 421 times


Please find attached, the first release for my framework \o/

I've not coded Melee yet, though most of the functions should work. For those of you coming from alternityrpg.net I realise there are a lot of features that aren't coded yet, this is more to let you know o my progress and to let you get a feel for Alternity on MapTool.

I'll be adding to this post with instructions, screen shots and such.

Please leave any problems, concerns, ideas or general feedback as a reply to this thread or a pm.

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Bone White
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Re: [Alternity] v0.1 *BETA*

Post by Bone White »

This guide assumes you know basic operation of MapTool. For more information on this, visit http://www.rptoolstutorials.net.

Quick-Play Guide for Potential GMs

After opening the framework from within MapTool, make sure to follow the installation steps listed:
  • Edit -> Preferences -> Application (tab) -> Uncheck "Show Initiative Gain Message"
  • Initiative Window Drop-down Menu (adjacent to "Next") -> Check Lock Movement

You will see on the page two "i" symbols in yellow, these are Library tokens, and hold most of the information that make Alternity work on MapTool. You should not need to interact with these in any way, but do not remove them. You can move them if they get in the way, but make sure they are on a map in your game somewhere.

Character Creation

The first step towards playing is making NPCs, so select a Token from the Library window and drag onto the map. You will probably want to Right-click -> Size -> "Medium" (which according to a distance-per-cell of a map, would make it take up one square metre). Now left-click the token and choose from your GM tools list NewCharacterSelected. This will pop up with a couple of warning windows asking if you wish to reset your token (incase you would overwrite another token), and after this lets you choose stats for your new token.

Note for experienced players: I am using only the default Alternity setting, and Optional Rules 2A and 2B, and yes, the Professions aren't correct, so bear with me.

Once you have made your token, a message will appear confirming the statistics of the token you've created. You now need to add skills, so from your GM tools choose Add Skills Selected. This macro is rather inefficient for now, so please be patient with changing ability pages. You can add/remove skills with your points by choosing the radio buttons and pressing add or remove. Remember Melee combat is broken for the moment, and there are no primitive weapons in the library, but you can still use the manual macros to utilise these.

Now your skills are finished, it's time to buy some gear. The library you are supplied with contains all the PL5 (Modern Day) equipment from the default Alternity setting. To purchase a weapon and armor, use the Purchase Armor Selected and Purchase Weapon Selected macros. Money allows you to go into negative at the moment so don't worry about cost.

After purchasing equipment, you will need to equip them with Equip Selected.

Once you have finished all these parts, you can now look at your finished character sheet. Press Open Character Sheet Selected and wait for a few seconds for the sheet to load (Once the sheet has loaded once, it will be fast until you change your skills again). This is the more familiar character sheet for Alternity.

For any NPC you will want to double-left-click the token, go to the Config tab, and check "Visible to Players", otherwise your players will not see the NPC.

Combat

By now you should have a NPC or two to play with. To initiate combat, right click each token (or select them all and right click one) and choose "Add To Initiative". The tokens will now appear in the Initiative window. To initialise combat, press nextInitiative and process for combat should be relatively automatic.

When it is a token's turn, left-click a target, and press Ranged Attack. The macros should be rather self-explanatory from here. When a token has finished their turn, press nextInitiative again.

Notes for Players

Players have access to the top row of macros, which have identical features as their name-sakes and colour-sakes, but will only affect the tokens they created.

----------------

This guide is by no means comprehensive or exhaustive, and I will endeavour to update as people ask questions or give me feedback.

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Re: [Alternity] v0.1 *BETA*

Post by Xaelvaen »

It looks amazing so far; I can tell you just from helping you test the first few sets of bugs, I've taken a strange liking to the core mechanic. I can understand why the system isn't overly popular; its a lot more tracking than your core d20 type systems, but the detail is amazing and with a nifty bit of help from maptools, tracking becomes an obsolete issue of the past.

I see you fixed the character sheet skill check links (at least the ones I've tested) and they work great, which makes it perfectly functional 'out of the box' if you don't mind manual editing of hp and such (referring to melee).

Anyway, wanted to say great work! *downloads and tinkers* -
"An arrogant person considers himself perfect. This is the chief harm of arrogance. It interferes with a person's main task in life - becoming a better person." - Leo Tolstoy

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Bone White
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Re: [Alternity] v0.1 *BETA*

Post by Bone White »

To update, this is by no means a dead project. I hope to start a game using my framework as-is shortly to give it a proper testing. Taking a break for Christmas, illness and a new position at work; now I'm just musing about re-opening the code book =3

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Bone White
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Re: [Alternity] v0.1 *BETA*

Post by Bone White »

I believe I've just completed the melee part of my combat macro, as well as dual-action usage in combat (and outside). This includes dual-wielding weapons as per the rules in the core rule-books. I'm considering implementing the more obscure rules such as parrying, blocking, aimed shots etc, but for now, I'm glad this part is looking useable.

I'll be correcting the professions for my next task to include the correct rules for Diplomats.

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Bone White
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Re: [Alternity] v0.1 *BETA*

Post by Bone White »

I am currently considering re-working the way that attacks are calculated. Reading into the rulebook for mechanics like FX or optional rules, I'm going to make my macros far more complicated than they need to be with their current format (especially for combat). In the meantime I have updated the professions to properly include professions, combat spec bonus speciality modifier and the rather tricky to implement Last Resort system (at least for combat anyway).

I'm now working on adding tooltips to all rolls, to show just what affects each (to improve clarity for newcomers to the game which was my original intention).

I've noticed I've been leaving out some core rules, such as checking for a knock-out on amazing damage, and reduced skill checks based on mortal and fatigue damage. These will not likely to be implemented for a while, as they'll give me a headache hunting for the relevant part, and adding exception macros (due to limitation of [code:] nesting)

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Bone White
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Re: [Alternity] v0.1 *BETA*

Post by Bone White »

Slowly moving towards a more modular way of working and starting to see the results now. I am currently beginning to implement some rules which I believe should be optional (e.g. +1 step penalty when on less than half stun health). These will be controlled through a GM options panel.

Also, I'm adding proper tooltips and formatting to the other rolls, such as skill checks and applying damages. Unfortunately, new position at work requires a lot more of my time than previously.

Oh, and the Diplomat sub-professions should be working as intended now, though it requires more testing before a release.

Things to implement in the near future are surprise, ammo expenditure, dedicated macro buttons for healing and recovery, automatic recovery/skill checks during combat and after combat for health purposes. In the long term, I hope to implement an automatic system for stealth detection, especially during combat.

While I'm not sure how many people are actually interested in the framework itself, I feel it's important to update the community of my progress - to who I owe so much of my MapTool macro knowledge to. Besides, it's a semi-blog and notepad for myself. :mrgreen:

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Bone White
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Re: [Alternity] v0.1 *BETA*

Post by Bone White »

Another month, another update.

Automatic stun recovery is implemented now as per rules in gamemaster's guide, as well as a dedicated macro for in-combat first-aid. For now, skills don't check that the user has the relevant item required e.g. first-aid kit; which may be implemented in a later release. Other additions to note are the physical resolve check on amazing damage to avoid stun (can be turned off in gm settings), step modifiers on stun/wound/mortal/fatigue damage (again can be disabled).

Complex skill checks make an appearance now, both time-delayed (non-automatic) and instantaneous.

Next into the frying pan are achievement points (xp) for levelling up, and all associated macros. Then I'll want to bug-splat and play-test before my second public release.

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