Tuesday, February 19, 2013

[TechTuesday] Getting it Mapped Out

When putting together a Framework for Mutants and Masterminds in Maptools, there are a number of things I need to consider. Given that as a player, there are many things that one would need to get their game going. For the Game Master, it can get a lot more involved.

What I will go into detail in this post will involve my plans, goals, and reasoning behind getting this all together. And if anything, I hope to detail how I will plan it all out in such a way to allow for playability to some extent throughout the process.

Maptools, We meet again!

Goals

So here we are, I have have decided to stick with the RPTools framework. Reasoning is, it is open source and there is a rather strong community out there for it. I have been able to find a lot of resources over the course of my playtesting of RPTools as compared to Roll20, and I have touched on some of those things leading up till now.

The decision made, the goal is now to put together a framework for Mutants and Masterminds to allow for a smooth game that, to some extent, will run itself by the end of it's development.

As I do so, I hope to share with the world my experiences as I put it all together. As it would so happen, I have been very lucky that I am not the only one who has gone through all this. Check out The Online Dungeon Master, who happens to have a number of posts about this very topic. Some of his post from back in 2011 specifically deal with running RPTools in his Dungeons and Dragons 4e game. I will likely be using his experiences to augment my own.

Using 3e has allowed me to really make this plan simple!

The Plan

Now the plan for all this will likely follow this process:
  • The Core (d20 Roller, Universal Character Statistics)
  • Conditional (Damage, Condition, Ki Point, and Initiative Tracking)
  • Supplemental (CharTool Mod, Macros for making Abilities, Token Modification)
Luckily, Mutants and Masterminds is pretty straight forward with only one die roll needed to be kept track of. On that one die roll, there are very small modifications to this roll, ranging from a +/- 2 to 5 modifiers to a Ki Point re-roll which allows even 10 or lower rolls to have a +10 added to the roll.

For the Framework to really work as a base, the game will need for the very least to have a d20 roll to be available either through a dialogue or a quick button that a player can click and see what they roll.

The Core

Since Maptools will already have an option to roll a simple d20 via a chat command, a dialogue to allow for additional options will be more ideal and will likely be the primary thing to develop early on.

The dialogue will need to allow for universal modifications (the +/- 1, 2, or 5, associate the roll with a chosen ability score, and Ki Point modification) that will likely require a token to be selected.

What is a token and why is the token important? A token in Maptools is the one item in the game that revolves around any particular object or character in the game that has properties that can be influenced by the Game Master or Player. The Player for example can have a token that is completely under their own control that has properties that relate to core ability scores that have an effect on everything in the game.

As such, when a player selects their Token, they can then click on the die roller, choose which ability score is going to impact the roll, any additional modifiers by means of a drop down, input box, or check box, and produce a roll that relates to that players token.

Since all these rolls at this point are universal, this can work fairly well for defaulted skills, unarmed/thrown/grapple attack rolls, and any other appropriate attack options that could affect the roll.

This will of course be absolutely basic stuff, and will allow for players who already have character sheets to play the game with the need of only one button and their token. Also, since most of this is straight forward, players will likely have to keep track of their own conditions, damage, and other effects as the game progresses, which has seemed to work very well in other games I have played.

Later development will allow for players to keep track of conditions, and possibly go as far as to include a full character sheet with Player and GM notes. One step at a time!

Final Notes

As I continue development on this setting, I will of course be taking input, and if possible provide a playtest or two before running into a full fledged campaign. As I do so, new options/features will be included and I will hopefully get the chance for players to really add in new options.

I will of course provide all the code for those interested, as well as provide in the public folder the ability to copy or download the framework itself directly from Google Drive. Of course, if you happen to use this and make any changes, I would love to hear about them!

Here is to looking forward to an enjoyable experience!