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the_redbeard
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Old September 30th, 2016, 01:07 AM
DMs vary in style, and I suspect many customers in RealmsWorks tend to utilize more heavily scripted, pre-planned campaigns or adventure paths rather than sandboxes.

Be that as it may, there are many DMs that create content on the fly with random generators. Even pre-planned campaigns have random events, or at least random weather as requested before.

Here's an example of a competing product (competing on some features, not on others) that now generates random content for the DM to use: Campaign Logger Introduces New Features, including random fantasy names, random villages and random NPCs. There are DMs out there who use features like these (besides me), and RW is missing out.

Currently one option in RW is to make a link to a data file for something like Inspiration Pad Pro. This works well for something like random encounters, events or weather. Include the resource/table link as a topic in the location, boom.

This has a few issues:
1. The results don't reference other data in RW.
2. The results aren't stored in RW.

Problem 2 is solved with cut and paste, though cumbersome and contrary to the ideal operation of one program for campaign management. Problem 1 can't be solved with an external solution like this.

Ideally, I'd like to be able to define random tables, and reference them as DEFAULTS in a topic category. Then, creating a new topic would have those snippets automatically populated.
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AEIOU
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Old September 30th, 2016, 07:33 AM
If there weren't really mature options like IPP readily available, I'd bump this up in my personal wish list. I'm interested and supportive but not until the missing core functionality is implemented.

If implemented, I'd like to see importation of existing generator data as an option. Being able to support existing datasets is essential. Exporting to them would be appreciated.
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JustinThomason
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Old September 30th, 2016, 08:44 AM
I agree wholeheartedly with @AEIOU - an integrated random generator would be lovely. However, for my use case, I have been more than pleased with embedding IPP table files as snippets and leveraging that program.

Of course, most of my uses are for random encounters and the like, so a really deep integration is not really needed. I am not sure I would really need anything more integrated than that, but having the option eventually would be nice.
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Greebo
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Old September 30th, 2016, 09:27 AM
+1

Would by nice to have and usefull to me. But I agree with AEIOU and JustinThomason that the core functionality is way more important.


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AEIOU
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Old September 30th, 2016, 10:21 AM
All this IPP talk makes me wonder how many really great tables are out there that are itching to be shared. I've played around with it in the past but never invested the time to actually make a bunch of tables. But lordy do I have a bunch I could/should be making....
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the_redbeard
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Old September 30th, 2016, 11:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AEIOU View Post
All this IPP talk makes me wonder how many really great tables are out there that are itching to be shared. I've played around with it in the past but never invested the time to actually make a bunch of tables. But lordy do I have a bunch I could/should be making....
Yeah, I have IPP but I rarely use it because it is ANOTHER ADDITIONAL TOOL, that doesn't share data with anything else, has its own format, etc.

I do a lot with excel/libre office calc, actually. I have a template I use to populate dungeons so I use it for random table generation pretty frequently as well. In one campaign I had a megadungeon that was being explored by two different groups. The excel sheet of the dungeon made it easy to change room contents, even though much of the room stayed the same. I also used excel to calculate the percentage of empty rooms, monsters, traps, and calculate the amount of treasure on each level even as it changed. But then that stuff wouldn't be in RW.

I want ONE TOOL TO RULE THEM ALL, ONE TOOL TO....

you know the rest.
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MNBlockHead
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Old September 30th, 2016, 12:12 PM
Like AEIOU, JustinThomason, and Greebo, I would like this but it comes pretty far down the development timeline. Nice to have, unlikely to have soon.

Like Redbeard, I have IPP, but after playing around with it for a couple weeks never opened it again. It was just another tool to deal with. I want RW to me my in-game tool. The only exception is Hero Lab, but that is so well integrated, and the combat tracker so useful that usefulness justifies the extra effort and complexity.

I've played around with attaching webpages (you can find threads on this with example HTML and java script), but while it allows me to have my randomizer within the RW interace, the results do not get hyperlinked.

What I do now is that I have my random tables in RW as formatted tables. I've thought of workflows where I could tags those that I use, but I find it easier to job down random created people and areas on a pad of paper and add them as topics later.

I also played around with created generators using PhraseExpress, a universal macro and text expander application that I use to enhance RealmWorks and make things more efficient. My idea was that I would have a random character generator macro created that would automatically open a new person topic and fill in the details from a number of random tables.

In my tests I found this to not work well in-game. Just easier and less disruptive to jot notes on paper, which I can do while talking and still making eye contact. Maybe if I had a more powerful computer it would work better.

I do find it useful when prepping a session. But I haven't had the time to create all the tables and scripts in Phrase Express to get the most use out of it.

For pubs, stores, etc., I have containers for unsituated merchants with subcontainers for those that are region/culture specific. I pre-created a whole bunch of these, so I can easily just pick one in game and jot a not about where the party encountered it and I can refile it after the game.

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
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rob
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Old September 30th, 2016, 05:59 PM
Here's an idea that I've found useful and might work for your needs. I setup a collection of Scene topics for the various different encounters, allowing the list to be extended very easily. Then I have one topic that serves as the "table". Each of the different scenes gets an entry in the "table" topic, and the table provides the list that can be easily randomized from. You can also put all the scenes in a true table within a snippet, associating different probabilities to each of them.

Everything gets linked. The scenes are wholly reusable. It all works pretty smoothly. The only requirement is that you actually need to perform the randomization yourself. But I don't find it hard to roll the dice once to figure out which encounter to use.

There are various ways to adapt this to different usage styles within RW. And this same approach can be readily adapted to more substantive things like NPCs and the like.

I suck at names. For tables of random names, I just have a few topics with long lists that I cribbed from elsewhere. Then I grab from the list when I need one and mark it as used. There's nothing hard about that.

For simpler encounter tables, such as wandering monsters, I use a similar approach to the names. I have tables with the various random sets, and the table itself details what the encounter consists of (e.g. 3 ogres), with the monsters linking to the creature entry on the mechanics side. I can mix-and-match this approach with "important" encounters that can be stumbled across randomly by the PCs. This is achieved by having separate Scene topics for the important encounters that get linked to from the table, while all the non-important encounters are simply spelled out within the table.

The one area where there's no real way to model it in RW is things like generating random villages. This is a much less common need, from what I've seen, since the majority of GMs I've encountered don't rely on randomization for things like that. As such, it's something that we have on the "would be nice" list, as opposed to the "everybody will use this" and "most GMs will use this" lists.

Hope this is helpful!
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the_redbeard
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Old September 30th, 2016, 08:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob View Post
Here's an idea that I've found useful and might work for your needs. I setup a collection of Scene topics for the various different encounters, allowing the list to be extended very easily. Then I have one topic that serves as the "table". Each of the different scenes gets an entry in the "table" topic, and the table provides the list that can be easily randomized from. You can also put all the scenes in a true table within a snippet, associating different probabilities to each of them.

Everything gets linked. The scenes are wholly reusable. It all works pretty smoothly. The only requirement is that you actually need to perform the randomization yourself. But I don't find it hard to roll the dice once to figure out which encounter to use.
I kind of do that. Although not all the entries on the table have their own topic... because my mechanical entries are nearly non-existent. Only my homebrew monsters are in RW.

That works for an encounter table, a concise list of known possibilities. But it doesn't at all work for a new random entity, which would have its own snippets of random data, like a new npc, a random table of possible hirelings available, the village that I didn't know was in the forest hex, etc.

Quote:
There are various ways to adapt this to different usage styles within RW. And this same approach can be readily adapted to more substantive things like NPCs and the like.

I suck at names. For tables of random names, I just have a few topics with long lists that I cribbed from elsewhere. Then I grab from the list when I need one and mark it as used. There's nothing hard about that.
Yep, I do this. I grabbed a bunch of names for various cultures from Chris Pounds Random Name Generators and entered them into snippets of the respective culture's topic.
I open the culture's topic, highlight one of the names and create a new content element with control q. Before I leave the culture's entry, I save and do a content link detection and the name is highlighted so that a) I don't pick it again and b) the new npc already has a link to their culture.

Quote:
The one area where there's no real way to model it in RW is things like generating random villages. This is a much less common need, from what I've seen, since the majority of GMs I've encountered don't rely on randomization for things like that. As such, it's something that we have on the "would be nice" list, as opposed to the "everybody will use this" and "most GMs will use this" lists.
Generators like what you're saying are not used by the majority of GMs are being incorporated into the Campaign Logger product. I've already invested time and money into RW so I'm not likely to switch any time soon. But they do seem to be catering more to my DMing style.
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MNBlockHead
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Old October 1st, 2016, 08:20 AM
Quote:
Quote:
The one area where there's no real way to model it in RW is things like generating random villages. This is a much less common need, from what I've seen, since the majority of GMs I've encountered don't rely on randomization for things like that. As such, it's something that we have on the "would be nice" list, as opposed to the "everybody will use this" and "most GMs will use this" lists.
Generators like what you're saying are not used by the majority of GMs are being incorporated into the Campaign Logger product. I've already invested time and money into RW so I'm not likely to switch any time soon. But they do seem to be catering more to my DMing style.
I use Cityographer for this. I will generate a random village or town based on a few settings. It includes random NPC snippets (name and few adjectives) for each home, inn, store, etc. It also randomly generate menus and items for sales, along with prices for inns and stores.

You can create your own tables to make the random lists a better fit your campaign.

I used it more early in my campaign. As I've become more confident as a DM, I find I just wing it. Rarely is there a need to have a whole village or town mapped out. The random maps start to feel very generic and I have a a bunch of small villages and towns from ENWorld, the Forge Studios, and Drive Thru RPG entered into RW for placement when needed.

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
Other Tools: CampaignCartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer, Evernote
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