PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framework

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PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framework

Post by travist627 »

This thread will contain updates and links for my parser token--originally based on JamesManhattan's Statblock Parser. This token is designed to work in version 5 of DN's D&D Character Sheet Framework only. I am no longer updating the token for previous versions of the DN framework.

This token is designed to help dungeon masters copy PDF text from MM1 and MM3 sources, text from the old Monster Builder program, and XML text from the new DDI Adventure tools, and turn it into a functioning monster token.

[spoiler=Preview]Paste the stats card from Monster Builder (PC program text export or online XML export) or a PDF
EntryFrame.PNG (61.98 KiB) Viewed 12337 times

...and get a functional monster token with stats and powers automatically created!

CharacterSheet1.PNG (59.74 KiB) Viewed 12337 times

CharacterSheet2.PNG (33.42 KiB) Viewed 12337 times

First and foremost, you must download and get the framework going. Visit the framework's thread at http://forums.rptools.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=15969&start=0.

This will be the one-stop area to download the current version of the token.

Current Version
(127.18 KiB) Downloaded 345 times

Upload date: November 9, 2011

Previous Version
(114.67 KiB) Downloaded 174 times

Upload date: October 8, 2011

If you need help using the token, I have copied the text from the token's help button and reformatted it here. I incorporate steps that helpful folks in this thread have contributed, so if you find a helpful step on your own, please post it!

[spoiler=Current Help File]RegExParser for the DN Framework

Setting up Maptool for the Token:
  1. You must use Maptool version b76 or later; b87 is suggested.
  2. Configure Maptool to run a stack size of 4MB or larger. The parser runs several iterations and launches several functions as it checks the monster stat card text for its various sections, so if you don't set Maptool for a large enough stack size, it will fail and probably not even give you an error message.
  3. You must be running DN's framework version 5. You can download the framework from http://forums.rptools.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=15969&start=0.
  4. Once you have launched Maptool with the correct stack size and have loaded DN's framework, drop the parser token onto your library map and configure it for hot keys.

Setting up the Parser Token for Hot Keys:
  1. Select the Lib:RegExParser.
  2. Drag the macros from the Selection window (in the section called CopyToGlobal) to the Global Window.
  3. Right-click "Launch StatCard Entry" from the Global Window. Select "Edit".
  4. In the upper right, select "F3" from the "Hot Key" drop down menu.
  5. Check "Apply to Selected Tokens" in the bottom left corner. Click "OK"
If you want you use the trap parser, repeat steps 3-5 above, substituting "Launch Trap StatCard Entry" for the macro to edit, and using F4 as the hot key.

Hot Keys:
F4: Trap Stat Card Entry window. Use this to bring up the entry window that you will use to write your trap's information to the token.
your monster and rolling damage dice.
F3: Monster
Stat Card Entry window. Use this to bring up the entry window that you will use to write your monster's information to the token.

Procedure for Creating a Monster Token That Will Work in the DeviantNull 4th Edition Framework
  1. Drag and drop a token to the MapTool map space.
  2. Click on the monster token.
  3. Hit F3 to pop up the entry window. If it does not pop up,
    you may need to click on the RegExParser token once and then back up to step 2. Also, make sure that you followed the steps in the first section, which details how to setup the hot keys.
  4. Fill out the entry windows according to the steps and
    guidelines given below.
  5. Choose the source material for your monster (MM1 PDF, MM3--also works for old Monster Builder program, or XML--exported from the new online Monster Builder.
  6. Click the Save button on the entry window.
  7. Edit token to reflect any changes that you want to see with powers, etc..

Monster Stat Card Entry
  1. The top of the Stat Card Entry window will indicate whether you are using the Monster Manual 1 ("MM1 Monster Stat Card Entry"), Monster Manual 3 ("MM1 Monster Stat Card Entry"), or XML ("XML Monster Stat Card Entry") format. Beneath that line are clickable lines of text that allow you to switch to the format you are using. Click the link until you see the title for the format which you will be pasting into the entry window.

  2. Copy the entire stat card from a PDF source or from Monster Builder
    1. If you are using a PDF source, start selecting text with the monster name and finish after the ability scores and copy to the clipboard (CTRL-C from the PDF).
    2. If you are copying from Monster Builder, right-click the monster's name, choose "Copy as," and then "Copy as text." The parser will automatically clean out the copyright and origin text that comes from this source, so you don't have to worry about editing it out once you paste..
    3. If you are copying from the online Monster Builder, you will have to export the monster online, save the file to your computer, open the XML file in a text editor like Notepad, copy all of the text, and then paste it into the monster parser.

  3. Paste the block of text into the first text entry box (CTRL-V to the "save to token" box), directly und the "Save to token" check box.
    For MM1 sources: If you find that some powers appear in the same section of a previous power on the F2 stat sheet, you may need to insert a line break just before the power in this window. You may also want to replace characters that MapTool does not handle very well, like quotation marks and apostrophes (after saving the stats to the token and reloading the Monster Stat Card Entry frame, it is easier to see the characters that need to be replaced).
  4. If the body text of a power contains parenthetical information, you should replace the parentheses with double minus signs to simulate dashes. For example, "(see additional information in sidebar)" should be typed in as "--see additional information in sidebar--" because parentheses will make the parser think that the entire body entry is a power name.
  5. The Save to token check box is checked by default. Enabling this option causes the RegExParser to write the stat card information to a token. It also configures it to be an NPC token for the DN framework, which is necessary for the other areas of the entry sheet to function. The first time you edit a monster token, you should keep this enabled; however, since it resets the stat info on the monster token, you may want to disable it if you are just running the entry frame to update knowledge checks or add tactical information.
  6. You do not need to configure the token to use DNA properties, since the parser token will do that automatically for you.

Tactics Entry
  1. Copy the entire tactics block from your PDF, starting with
    the line, "(monster name) Tactics"
  2. Paste this text into the entry box.
  3. Enable the check box in order to save to your monster token.
  4. If there is tactical information available in the XML text that you pasted, you can have the parser use that information by selecting the "Use tactics from XML" check box.
Information pasted into this window is added to the end of the DNA_CharacterNotes property, which is viewed in the Notes section of the character sheet. RegExParser makes the first line bold if it has the word "tactics" in it.

Lore Entry
  1. Copy the entire lore block from your PDF, starting with the
    line, "(monster name) Lore."
  2. Paste the block of text into this entry box.
  3. If you want to delete unnecessary line breaks so that
    paragraphs do not look as choppy, do so now.
  4. Enable the check box in order to save the knowledge check
    information to your monster token.
RegExParser should accurately create knowledge check entries on your
monster token if they exist in the following two formats:

  • ...with a successful (skill name. i.e. "Arcana") check.
    DC 25: Check results.
    DC 30: Check results.
  • ...with a
    successful skill check.
    (skill name) DC 25: Check results.
    (skill name) DC 30: Check results.

If, however, your lore entry looks like :
...with a successful skill check.
(skill 1 name) or (skill 2 name) DC 25: Check results.

you can save this information and it will create checks for skill 2. To
create checks for skill 2, simply overwrite the skill 2 name with that
of skill one and save the information a second time.

Attempt to create powers.
Because powers exist in a seemingly endless variety, this function will not create powers on your token with 100% accuracy. Use this function as a time saver that will create most of your monster's power entries on your token, which you can then edit for details. RegExParser will create power entries with what it thinks the names of the powers are, as well as power types, action used, and recharge information. You will want to edit your powers so that they behave the way you want them to and so that they show the appropriate information.

Enable this check box if you would like to create powers on the token. Disable the box if you do not want to save ower information to the token (for example, if you are just updating the token with lore information).

Output complete power text entry to chat window.
If you check this option, the complete text entry for a given power will be copied to the "Special" field for the power and will appear in the chat window when you run it. If you leave this option unchecked, the text will still be copied to the "Special" text field for the power, but the check box to display the text will be unchecked.
Note: This option currently has no effect on XML monster tokens.
Output nonempty Effect, Attack, and Miss boxes
Checking this item will select to show the contents of the Effect, Hit, and Miss boxes for the power (as long as they contain text) in the chat window.
Note: For XML monster tokens, this will also display power requirements in the powers list.
Group all MM3 power entries in one power window.
If you leave this unchecked, the parser will created a separate power group window for each group of powers (i.e. traits, minor actions, etc.). If you want to conserve window space and see the text listed out in the same window, check this box. Your choice will be saved to the parser token as the default for the next time you run it.

Set the token's Private Rolls option to ON.
Check this to automatically set your token's option for making rolls private. Note: This only toggles the option for the framework to use, and doesn't affect how the framework actually employs its use. As of the time of the entry for this help file, the FF buttons in the framework still do not allow for private rolls.

Set the token's Hidden Rolls option to ON.
Check this to automatically set your token's option for making rolls hidden (prevents tooltips from a mousover that show the dice and base values). See note for previous entry.

Set the token's Private Health Rolls option to ON.
Check this to automatically set your token's option for making health rolls private. See note for previous entries. Currently, the option only comes up as the default in health/damage rolls that are linked from token powers.

Recharge Roll Type:
(From DN's help section) Sets how a token processes its recharge rolls when using rechargeable powers. Separate Rolls means it rolls a 1d6 for each power it can recharge. Singe Roll means it makes one 1d6 roll and checks that result against every power it can recharge.

Apply Damage States:
(From DN's help section) Sets if the character sheet should apply the bloodied, dying, and dead states to a token when it takes damage.

When Dying Change To:
(From DN's help section) This changes the layer of the token when it becomes dying, handy to change them to objects to get them out of the way.

When Dead Change To:
(From DN's help section) Same as dying except the trigger is Dead.

Save Button
Click the save button to write all information in areas whose check boxes are enabled to the token. The frame window stays open so that you can change information.

When you no longer need the entry window, you can close it and recall it at a later time by selecting your monster token and hitting the F3 key.[/spoiler]

[spoiler=Change log]
    • The parser will now accept XML text exported from the online Monster Builder
    • Updated help button.
    • Removed references to F2 and quick stat card.
    • MM3PowerSifter: Fixed issue finding ongoing damage in text with multiple conditions.
      Fixed secondary Hit text grabbing "Hit:" as well as other text.
      Hit text that doesn't contain damage roll info now does not contain "Hit:".
      Fixed an issue with triggered action powers whose name contains "Attack" before the open parenthesis.
    • KnowledgeParser: Fixed some bugs.
      Knowledge checks now add onto current knowledge check list rather than replace it.
    • MM3PowerSifter: Fixed Free Action setting for triggered effects.
      Attack (without the initial damage roll), Miss, and Effect information now goes into those boxes (for secondary attacks as well).
      Checks for prone condition.
      Checks for ongoing conditions that a save can end--from this list:
        removed from play
    • PowersParser: Checks for prone condition.
    • MM3EditMonsterFrame: Added option to output nonempty Effect, Hit, and Miss boxes.
      MM3PowersParser finds Traits and Powers sections when they are completely capitalized.
      MM3PowerSifter & PowerParser: now add damage type to power. They also add ongoing damage that a save can end.
      MM1 & MM3 EditMonsterFrame: Added token options for recharging roll type, applying damage states, and changing token type when dying or dead--and remembers choices. Frame now remembers choice to save stat card and to create powers.
      MM3PowerSifter & PowersParser: Corrected an issue where the parser was adding the die number as extra damage to a roll where there was originally no bonus damage.
      Began color coding macro buttons to make it easier to edit and reference in the help file.
    3alpha08: Added preliminary support for traps.
      StatsParser: Sets the DNA_HealingSurgeBase value along with the other surge values so that they are not lost when you edit the monster's stats.
      Writes the selected values for private health, private rolls, and hidden rolls to the monster token.
    • StatsParser: Shows first bloodied trigger text.
      Checks for vulnerability on MM1 and MM3 cards.
    • MM1 & MM3 MonsterFrame: Added options for hidden and private rolls.
      Split power options and token options into two sections.

    • StatsParser: Pulls in resistance, vulnerability, and immunity information for both MM1 and MM3.
    • PowersParser: MM1 stat entry now creates a new batch of powers instead of tacking them on the end of the previous list.
      Now lists triggers in the power sheet.
      Now places the full power text in the special field.
    • MM1EditMonsterFrame: Has option to output MM1 full power text to chat or to suppress it.
      StatsParser: Sets private rolls option to of, and sets private health and hidden rolls to on. Code is documented, so you can see where to change it if needed. In the future, these will be an option on the parser token itself.
      Added Zalarian's Streetwise fix.
      Help: updated help button with posts from discussion thread.
      Added option to save MM3 powers in one power group instead of splitting them up.
      Parses Other Powers.
      Parses move actions.
      Looks for hit points, temp hp, and surge usage in healing powers, then adds them on as another attack entry so that you can use the link in the chat output.
      Full power text appears in Special field.
      There is now a check box on the MM3 input sheet that allows choosing whether the Special field is output in the chat window. This selection is remembered.
      Parses for triggered actions.
      Fixed several pop-ups for MM1.
      Close attacks now blank out area size and range if they don't exist.
      Fixed keywords not showing.
      Fixed AOP notes not showing.
      Added frame for MM3 sheet and ability to switch between MM1 and MM3. Parser token remembers last setting for card style.
      Fixed method for parsing perception abilities, languages, and alignment so that StatsParser should now parse MM1 and MM3 sheets.
      Will parse Traits, Standard Actions, and Minor Actions for MM3.
      Fixed aura names issue for MM3.
      Some powers in Monster Builder list recharges with dice and some give lowest die roll possible. Fixed the recharge parser to cope.
      Fixed attack vs. not showing properly.
      Now looks for secondary attacks.
      Range and action type icons now show.
      Fixed issue where attack showed when power wasn't an attack.
      Parses most powers, but only does icons for recharge and aura.
      Fixed assignment of aura type if "aura" was present in an attack power.
      Creates Powers group and adds names of powers.
      Fixed passive insight and passive perception.
      Only designed to work with MM1 stat cards.
      Power creation is disabled.
      Haven't bothered with trap functionality.
      Enters monster stats and will set knowledge checks and tactics.
Last edited by travist627 on Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:10 pm, edited 29 times in total.

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Re: PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framew

Post by DeviantNull »

If you need anything answered, ask away. Heck, I can post and explain whole macros as well as lay out the entire JSON Key structure for Powers, Items, whatever.

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Re: PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framew

Post by travist627 »

DeviantNull wrote:If you need anything answered, ask away. Heck, I can post and explain whole macros as well as lay out the entire JSON Key structure for Powers, Items, whatever.

OK, I decided for simplicity to simply create the power group within the power parser by simply dropping the number 0 into the DNA_PowerGroupIndex and putting the json object "Name":"Powers" in the property DNA_PowerGroup0. When I develop the MM3 version, I plan on creating groups with assigned numbers (0=traits, 1=at-wills, etc.) to make it easier for me to track what's going on. I've tested the creation and recall of the group, followed by the addition of more groups via the sheet, with no problems.

The previous framework used the following json structure that I basically assigned values to and passed them along to the power creation engine.
[spoiler=Original Keys]

Code: Select all

{"PName":"","PLink":"","PFlavor":"","PType":"At-Will","PRchg":"","PUses":"","PAction":"No Action","PReach":"","PRange":"","PAreaType":"","PArea":"","PRequire":"","PTrigger":"","PAtks":"0","PBasic":"0","PTargets":"","PTargetPrompt":"","PWeap1":"NoWeap","PAbil":"0","PAtkBonus":"","PVS":"0","PWeap2":"NoWeap","PAbil2":"0","PAtkBonus2":"","PVS2":"0","PDamage":"","PDamAbil":"0","PDamageMod":"","PDamageType":"","PCritDamage":"","PCrit":"","PDamage2":"","PDamAbil2":"0","PDamageMod2":"","PDamageType2":"","PCritDamage2":"","PCrit2":"","PHit":"","PMiss":"","PEffect":"","PSustain":"","PSpecial":"","PNotes":"","PShortDesc":"","PKeywords":"","PConditions":""}
From the PM you sent, I'm not sure that I can do it the same way. Parsing the powers to get the values will work the same, but I need a good strategy for passing the values into the json key structure. Heck, it's entirely possible to bypass the power creation engine and write a power to the power group since I know what the indexes are going to be anyway and monster powers don't really have to be customized so much (read, choosing weapon or implement, etc.).

I made a quick test power in the power group and pulled up its value:
[spoiler=New Keys]

Code: Select all

{"Name":"Test","Tracker":"","Flavor":"","UsageType":"At-Will","Uses":"","Recharge":"","Action":"Standard Action","Range":"","Distance":"","AreaType":"","AreaSize":"","Requirements":"","Trigger":"","Targets":"","AttackRoutines":1,"IsBasic":"1","Effect":"","SustainAction":"","Sustain":"","Special":"","Notes":"","Short":"","GroupSlot":"0","AttackWeapon1":"","AttackType1":"1","AttackAbility1":"","AttackBonus1":"10","AttackVS1":"AC","DamageDice1":"2d8","DamageAbility1":"","DamageBonus1":"4","DamageType1":"","DamageSpecial1":"","CriticalRange1":"","CriticalDamage1":"","Hit1":"","Miss1":"","ConditionBlinded":"1","Conditions":["Blinded"],"ConditionEndBlinded":"6","ConditionDamageBlinded":"","ConditionPenaltyBlinded":"","ConditionNotesBlinded":"","RangeIcon":"","ActionIcon":5,"SustainIcon":"","RechargeIcon":""}

I'm starting to think that the direct write approach could work more quickly than the engine approach I used in the last incarnation. Will it break anything to write the power entry with all possible keys, with null values for the keys not used?

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Re: PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framew

Post by DeviantNull »

I'd recommend against index value # of 0 and instead start at 1. I currently don't make much if any use of index # 0, but I like to keep it open in case a need arises for a blank, null, or template for things since the die roller for index generation can't roll a 0. A good example is DNA_Item0 which some folks use to make a dummy item entry to read empty name values from so they can put equipped items on the maptools statsheet.

Null Keys don't break anything as the dialog entry passes Keys with Nulls anyways for all blank entries. Additionally since I'm using jsonGet on a JSON object, if a Key is missing for some reason a Null is returned, hence why I tried to set it up so Nulls are the defaults. I just checked and there is 1 exception, AttackRoutines, but otherwise you could have an entirely empty JSON object for a power and it doesn't break. AttackRoutines is used in ForEach loops and I don't convert a Null to a 0 first since the editing macro was setup to catch empty strings. This could likely, and will likely, be changed so even it can be blank. I'm actually sort of surprised I left it the way it is, I try to zero out all my number strings on execution and not on storage, that was sloppy of me.

From looking over the JSON I did also notice it was leaving in the Key GroupSlot which is supposed to be stripped out, though it doesn't actively effect anything since it's never really read from a power except during editing and I'm pretty sure it's overwritten to start with.

I see nothing wrong with bypassing the frameworks normal editing process and constructing and writing a power JSON directly to the token. Editing is set up to allow someone to hand off a JSON to it and then it can pick up and do all the indexing, but it isn't necessary. It's more a byproduct of how the dialog windows function since all they do to start with is make a big huge JSON object that I keep merging together until it hands off to the editor. This can instead be done by your macro set as long as it's putting all the bits and bobs in the proper indexes and properties.

If you want to set icons for Action/Range/Recharge you'll need to crib the icon setting code from the PowerEdit macro. Ranges might be the hardest thing to get right since display requires matching in a JSON which is case sensitive. I THOUGHT I set it up so if it didn't match it defaulted to the stored value but after doing a quick check it appears it's not. Again, I can mod this easily enough without doing any harm to existing tokens and storage, it's entirely a retrieval issue.

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Re: PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framew

Post by travist627 »

I tinkered around today and managed to get rolling a bit on power creation. Using DN's suggestion, I'm starting the power group numbering at 1. I am bypassing the power creation engine--at least for now. I've had a bit of good luck and the parser will now create the names of the powers and put them in a group. It's not yet parsing for anything other than the power name.

Capture.JPG (38.94 KiB) Viewed 14757 times

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Re: PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framew

Post by travist627 »

Today I got the parser working for most powers. I still get some pop-up boxes here and there, but they didn't seem to interfere with the powers' results. Power information is placed in the chat output area, and attack information should show up, although ongoing conditions aren't yet parsed.

Aura and recharge icons should show up.
[spoiler=Screen cap of power list]
Capture.JPG (38.78 KiB) Viewed 14738 times

Next up on the plate will be range icons.

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Re: PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framew

Post by travist627 »

This is now starting to become usable for MM1 stat blocks. Check the change log for updated details.

[spoiler=Ancient Red Dragon Powers]
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[spoiler=Breath Weapon Against 2 Targets]
Capture2.JPG (69.68 KiB) Viewed 14722 times

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Re: PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framew

Post by Thanlis »

Reed (halfling sorcerer P3) // Collin (human fighter P2) // Cine (eladrin psion H2)
Sirath (deva shaman H1) // Alesk (dragonborn cleric H3) // Kevin (halfling barbarian H1)

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Re: PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framew

Post by travist627 »

:D Announcing partial support for MM3 monster blocks! :D

See first post for change log specifics and latest version. Version 3 alpha 1 supports MM3 blocks and will parse out Traits, Standard Actions, and Minor Actions. See images below for examples.

Please note that I have only tested by pasting from the Monster Builder (Copy as text). I don't know if it will work with Compendium text.

[spoiler=Example 1]
Capture.JPG (53.41 KiB) Viewed 14680 times

[spoiler=Example 2]
Capture2.JPG (66.96 KiB) Viewed 14680 times

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Re: PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framew

Post by Natha »

Great job !

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Re: PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framew

Post by Wind_Dragon »

Looks great!

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Re: PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framew

Post by sheibeck »

travist627, you're my hero. Thanks for putting this together, you've saved my campaign!

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Re: PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framew

Post by travist627 »

Thanks for the kind words! Last night I managed to get a version going that parsed the keywords move actions correctly, but I had to leave it in the middle of working on parsing healing and temporary hit points. I won't post the next version until those last are worked out, since I want to use the framework's management of health and damage via chat output to full effect. From there I'll move on to triggered actions and look at ongoing damage.

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Re: PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framew

Post by Venatius »

Thank you. That is the main and first thing I want to say. This tool made life so much easier before, and having it back really brightens my day.
I've never been sure about the chat output, though. I feel like including things like the attack/damage roll modifiers is unnecessary (since those are already factored in), and like the remaining text should go to the Hit line instead, where the GM can, as desired, enable/disable the output checkbox based on their desired level of secrecy for that portion. Would this be feasible, and/or not antithetical to some part of your design philosophy? Perhaps there could even be an option as to whether to enable chat output for a given monster's powers while pasting it in, to avoid having to go through and set/unset each one.

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Re: PDF Monster Parser for DN's D&D4e Character Sheet Framew

Post by PinkRose »

Venatius, I agree that the info doesn't need to be in the chat output.
However, I like that the parser puts it there. So that I can go through each power and check it against what the parser did.
I don't think TravisT can build a fully compatible parser with all the exception-based design of WotC (no offense).
So because of that, I like being able to go in and delete stuff from the chat output as I confirm it works.

I guess an option wouldn't be bad. More options are always good. I just don't want to lose what we have because I find it valuable.
I am a special snowflake!

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