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k1ngb00
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Join Date: Aug 2019
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Old August 15th, 2019, 09:45 AM
Hey family! Long time user, first time poster!

I'm going through and creating my own custom stat block for monsters, and from what I can see, there are some very important details missing from the XML that keeps me from completing my template

Would it be possible to include these in an upcoming release? I'm not sure if it isn't possible to pull these for some reason (in which case, making a custom output for a stat block for a monster is not possible) - but any details or help would be appreciated!

Things I've found to be missing thus far:

- Creature descriptions
- Multi-attack information (no-where does it say how many attacks they get)

The creature descriptions would be really nice to have for DMs to have an idea of what they are working with. It's the multi-attack information that is absolutely required for a working stat block.... I'm surprised no-one has mentioned anything? (maybe I'm crazy and missing something! Hopefully!)

Anyone from the community - any idea why the custom output that was created in the pack doesn't work? I would have used this as a template, but it wouldn't load at all, I'm no XML god !

Thanks for any help!
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k1ngb00
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Old August 15th, 2019, 06:00 PM
For fun here's what I've got so far (if anyone has anything better that I can use, by all means, this is taking me WAY longer than I ever expected)

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daplunk
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Old August 15th, 2019, 06:51 PM
What's the purpose of exporting them? Why not just use them within Hero Lab?

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k1ngb00
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Old August 16th, 2019, 03:48 AM
Thanks for the reply daplunk

I would think that the whole point of providing a custom output is so that we can customize it to our liking. I'm assuming the devs of the game put this feature in for that purpose, especially considering one of the sample outputs is a stat-block provided by HL (and in their examples of creating custom outputs in their help file, they reference making a stat-block).


Either way, the reason I am doing this is because using stat-blocks for baddies in HL isn't streamlined. The encounter builder doesn't load the stat block by default into the creatures profile whenever you load them into HL from the encounter builder (even when you modify the .cfg file to try and force it, or modify the baddy to include the source `open full stat block`).

You're then forced to open up each baddy, open up the profile settings for that baddy, and then check off `show full stat block`. And even then, I still have to click around within HL constantly to pull up different creature information, there's no way to display multiple creatures stat blocks all at once. (save for `exporting` the stat-blocks, which is super ugly and slams all the text close together mashing all your monsters together in a giant wall-of-text).


We're also now using Arkenforge for our maps, so having resources displayed that don't require input from the DM are more important now. Btw, we're LOVING this program, check it out if you haven't heard of it .


Using the provided statblock within HL `works` (multi-attack info is there + proper), so it's clearly pulling the information correctly from HL. I believe there was a mistake made when coding the XML to pull the default description of multi-attack rather than the creatures description of it.






My hope is that I could export all these looking real nice (see my example above), and create my own custom lookup so that we can have all the information readily available, with more information than a standard stat-block would give you, along with pictures and details (aka what I would think the whole point of a custom-output is).

I got pretty far and was stoked with my results, and then hit this snag, which essentially makes all my work for naught... I would need to look up each creature that has a multi-attack to see how many swings it gets.

Cheers fam !

Last edited by k1ngb00; August 16th, 2019 at 04:17 AM. Reason: update!
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Ambush
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Old August 16th, 2019, 06:50 AM
on multiple occasions i've asked questions about the xml and information that's lacking and gotten no response from the devs. good luck.

DM, RealmWorker, Character Sheet Hacker, Gamer
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Lj Stephens
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Old August 16th, 2019, 10:11 AM
Hello Ambush. We realize the XML Output and statblocks are less than ideal right now, and that it can be frustrating. They are on our to-do list for improvement, unfortunately at this time I cannot give you an ETA on when it will be done. I hope that helps a little.
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EightBitz
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Old August 16th, 2019, 12:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by daplunk View Post
What's the purpose of exporting them? Why not just use them within Hero Lab?
This kind of response is pointless and is getting old and tired.

You do things your way. That's fine. No one's asking you to change anything. No one's asking you to explain why or to justify anything. Other people do things in different ways. And that's fine, too. They don't have to explain or justify anything either.
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daplunk
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Old August 16th, 2019, 02:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by EightBitz View Post
This kind of response is pointless and is getting old and tired.
Need a hug mate? We're here for conversation. Welcome to join it if you like. You and I both know LWD are only here on the surface so we may as well talk about our issues and explore the solutions we know are available vs hang on something getting changed...

Quote:
The encounter builder doesn't load the stat block by default into the creatures profile whenever you load them into HL from the encounter builder
So much this. It's a bugbear of mine also. When working on the monsters for the community pack I've often been tempted to tick that option by default for everything. It's not the 'official' way though so I've avoided doing that.

FYI. You technically could enable this for each monster just once by making of a copy of the *.user files. There REALLY needs to be a global check box that enables/disables it for all monsters at once though.

Personally I fix this myself using Realm Works. When I load the monsters into a HL Snippet I tick this option and it saves it for future use.

Quote:
Btw, we're LOVING Arkenforge, check it out if you haven't heard of it
They gave me a copy a while back actually. I don't use it though. I prefer CC3+ for my mapping and MapTools for my VTT. Watching it closely though as it continues to evolve. LOVE that they support animated symbols. Really brings something to the table.

Are you embedding these into Arkenforge using their new campaign notes feature?

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EightBitz
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Old August 16th, 2019, 04:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by daplunk View Post
Need a hug mate? We're here for conversation. Welcome to join it if you like. You and I both know LWD are only here on the surface so we may as well talk about our issues and explore the solutions we know are available vs hang on something getting changed...
No, I'm fine. I do things the way I want to do them, and I advocate others to do things their way as well.

If someone wants to do something their own way, saying "just do it my way" does not fall under the category of "explore the solutions".

How about questions like, "Can you clarify your end goal so we can see if there's a workaround" or "Have you tried contacting support directly?" Saying "Just use Hero Lab" isn't any kind of support.
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k1ngb00
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Old August 17th, 2019, 04:47 AM
Thanks to everyone here for being awesome, this has been a great discussion thus far! I've gone ahead and emailed support with the information here for an official follow up (really hoping they might just sneak in a switch-a-roo with the next release... but I'm not getting my hopes up, lol).

I'm going to keep working on the statblock for now, and get it ready in hopes that I'll be able to use it soon. I'm happy to share it once I get it looking nice. I might even try to make it resemble the stat blocks provided in the books, I saw somewhere on github someone had posted a stylesheet for that. I'm terrible at coding\css\html so it'll take me a while anyways :P


Quote:
FYI. You technically could enable this for each monster just once by making of a copy of the *.user files. There REALLY needs to be a global check box that enables/disables it for all monsters at once though.
Hm! This is interesting! I had checked these off and re-saved them within the editor to see what happens, but it didn't seem to do anything upon loading them in the encounter builder.... could you maybe PM me this info so that I could try it out?


Quote:
Are you embedding these into Arkenforge using their new campaign notes feature?
This is exactly what I was hoping to do! Having them all exported with their names in the file, I would then be able to just do a quick local search and then attach the block right in Ark. I'm really looking forward to more updates to this program, I think they have something very special, but it does need some refinement still for sure


Quote:
Hello Ambush. We realize the XML Output and statblocks are less than ideal right now, and that it can be frustrating. They are on our to-do list for improvement, unfortunately at this time I cannot give you an ETA on when it will be done. I hope that helps a little.
@Lj Stephens - I submitted a bug report with a tl;dr of the info above so that we could add it to the XML requests. This one seems pretty easy (the multi-attack information) - so I'm REALLY hoping that someone might take a look and switch it out, as we all know what the action definition of `multiattack` is (I mean.... the word defines itself? LOL)

Last edited by k1ngb00; August 17th, 2019 at 05:03 AM.
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