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-   -   Random Encounters (http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=63793)

ruhar February 4th, 2020 09:55 PM

Random Encounters
 
I have been playing around with my Random Encounters topic and I'm close to having it laid out in a way that I like. I have a couple of questions I want to throw out to the forum for some feedback.

I'll begin with explaining how I have the topic laid out. The first section is the Overview and contains any extra information I'll need about the particular set of random encounters. The section concludes with a table of the random encounters. The table contains d%, Result (# Monster example: 6 orcs or 1d6 Driders), Average CR, Source – pg#, Description (quick bestiary description of what the PCs see).

I like showing pictures of the scenes, NPCs, monsters, etc. to help with the visualization so the next section is Mug Shots. It contains a simple picture snippet for each encounter. Each picture includes a GM Direction with the monster's name instead of attached to the picture. This is in case the PCs are clueless of what they are fighting I don't want the name to appear with the picture.

The final section is Portfolios which has a portfolio snippet for each encounter.

Now to my questions. I notice that with an intense random encounter topic that has lots of information, a long table in the Overview, followed by lots of mug-shots and equally lots of portfolio snippets the scrolling tends to be a bit jumpy. FYI, this is for Emerald Spire combined with Thornkeep so there are at least three different random encounter tables/topics, the one for the spire is long. Should I put all the mug-shots of the different encounters into one topic (in alpha order) to prevent the jumpy scrolling? Or would the large Mug-Shots topic have the same issue? Thoughts and ideas are welcome.

On a side note, I have to say that this is when it would be nice to have anchor links within a topic so the Gray Ooze in the table can link its mug-shot and portfolio. sigh

Next question. I also create the encounters in Hero Lab in a folder for that group of encounters. I'm not sure what to do with encounters that include something like Bandit Gang that includes 3–6 warriors of 1st–2nd level plus a leader of 2nd–5th level. The leader is a fighter (30%), ranger (30%), or rogue (40%).

Thanks.

kbs666 February 4th, 2020 10:50 PM

Are these just images of the monsters? If so I'd create an article for each with the pic.

I'd also put the portfolios with the encounter table entry rather than separate sections. Then you don't want anchor links.

On the final one, I'd create several portfolios, randomly generated if you want, and just use them in order as those encounters happen.

MNBlockHead February 5th, 2020 09:21 PM

I would use sections and subsections then I would just click on the result in the table of contents on the right navigation pane to jump to the encounter after the roll.

Farling February 6th, 2020 01:17 AM

The general rule is that very long topics are bad (for performance).

If you have an image for each entry in the table, then certainly having each entry as a separate topic would make RW more responsive when you are running the game.

It would also allow you to link to each encounter topic directly from within the table.

Raistlindantilus February 8th, 2020 09:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ruhar (Post 285612)
I have been playing around with my Random Encounters topic and I'm close to having it laid out in a way that I like. I have a couple of questions I want to throw out to the forum for some feedback.

I'll begin with explaining how I have the topic laid out. The first section is the Overview and contains any extra information I'll need about the particular set of random encounters. The section concludes with a table of the random encounters. The table contains d%, Result (# Monster example: 6 orcs or 1d6 Driders), Average CR, Source pg#, Description (quick bestiary description of what the PCs see).

I like showing pictures of the scenes, NPCs, monsters, etc. to help with the visualization so the next section is Mug Shots. It contains a simple picture snippet for each encounter. Each picture includes a GM Direction with the monster's name instead of attached to the picture. This is in case the PCs are clueless of what they are fighting I don't want the name to appear with the picture.

The final section is Portfolios which has a portfolio snippet for each encounter.

Now to my questions. I notice that with an intense random encounter topic that has lots of information, a long table in the Overview, followed by lots of mug-shots and equally lots of portfolio snippets the scrolling tends to be a bit jumpy. FYI, this is for Emerald Spire combined with Thornkeep so there are at least three different random encounter tables/topics, the one for the spire is long. Should I put all the mug-shots of the different encounters into one topic (in alpha order) to prevent the jumpy scrolling? Or would the large Mug-Shots topic have the same issue? Thoughts and ideas are welcome.

On a side note, I have to say that this is when it would be nice to have anchor links within a topic so the Gray Ooze in the table can link its mug-shot and portfolio. sigh

Next question. I also create the encounters in Hero Lab in a folder for that group of encounters. I'm not sure what to do with encounters that include something like Bandit Gang that includes 36 warriors of 1st2nd level plus a leader of 2nd5th level. The leader is a fighter (30%), ranger (30%), or rogue (40%).

Thanks.

I use the mechanics section to create hierarchical nested trees of creature types organized by environment.

Here I can link to specific creatures in an encounter table or dungeon and have my mug shot, creature statblock, etc without clogging up my topics like quests or lengthy dungeons that tend to get bogged down with too many pics etc.

I keep my portfolios in the dungeon/quest topic because each iteration of the creature might be different HD, or a different party makeup in the portfolio so I can't standardize that under the mechanics section, but at least I can offload the burden of photos.

Also another note, GM directions also create lag (and tend to get corrupted and cause sync problems and snippet/topic bloat). You can use the annotation section of the snippet whether on the mug shot or on the portfolio to store the actual creature name where it is not visible to players.

I use descriptions like "ugly monster" in the player visible title areas.

ruhar February 10th, 2020 11:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raistlindantilus (Post 285713)
Also another note, GM directions also create lag (and tend to get corrupted and cause sync problems and snippet/topic bloat). You can use the annotation section of the snippet whether on the mug shot or on the portfolio to store the actual creature name where it is not visible to players.

I use descriptions like "ugly monster" in the player visible title areas.

I use GM directions all the time and this is the first Ive heard about them causing problems. What about the rest of you?

Ualaa February 10th, 2020 12:48 PM

I use GM directions all the time, and haven't had issues with them to date.

ruhar February 10th, 2020 02:28 PM

I would think that GM directions would be the same as text or labeled snippets just slightly different coding but not enough to cause problems. I suspect the problem was too many mug shots making a large category. I’m going to just make each encounter link to its own page. A little more work but helpful for the long campaign.

Raistlindantilus February 16th, 2020 12:39 PM

It may be a coincidence but I've had two snippets on three occasions that got corrupted and prevented a realm sync due to background data that isn't visible in the realm works UI itself, and both of these snippets had GM directions attached to them.

Just something to be aware of.

kbs666 February 16th, 2020 03:35 PM

I think that was bad luck or some other issue. I have hundreds of GM directions snippets and have never had a corrupt realm.


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