Author Topic: stargod8's Feature Suggestions (mostly player-centric)  (Read 432 times)

Offline stargod8

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stargod8's Feature Suggestions (mostly player-centric)
« on: July 26, 2016, 05:14:58 PM »
Hi all,

I'm new to Dungeon Craft but not to roleplaying or Dungeons & Dragons. I've been looking at Dungeon Craft as a tool for teaching myself to design video games, and I've been looking at the features and this site. A few ideas occurred to me, some might be helpful, some might seem odd or perhaps already exist. Here's a few things that crossed my mind from a player perspective. I see value for a version of Dungeon Craft to blend some of the original 1E classes updated to a 2E ruleset. 2E is basically backwards compatible to 1E. With this in mind, supporting all seven of the original races with the 2E writeups would be a good thing.

The assassin is an interesting class concept that Gary came up with, but it feels a lot like an upgraded thief with a dark edge. I think he could be differentiated more -- if he traded away some traditional thief skills - Pick Pockets, Read Languages, and Scroll Use, he could have Bribery, Escape Bonds, and Detect Illusions, all skills that were offered as options to thieves in skills & powers.

I think the 2E Bard was a big improvement over the original design, which was even contradictory in its requirements, whereas the 2E version has simple requirements and focuses on arcane or wizard magic.

2E also introduced the concept of arcane schools, which I've seen are being implemented in a 2E DC build thread. That is a great idea. Specialist priests are a good idea too, but I have a simpler way of looking at that. Clerics, for instance, are defined with divine spheres. The player could get the choice of customizing his cleric or druid with a build pool of appropriate spheres, letting him decide what kind of magic his priest can perform.

Monks introduced in 1E have endured through editions. Third Edition, Fourth Edition, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (a Third Party OGL D&D system), and now in 5th Edition, I think they would look very cool incorporated into the 2E framework of the rules (the spellcasting monk of Spells & Magic hasn't been seen since 2E).

Also - D&D fantasy psionics, if there's some way to use them correctly in a video game, that would be something fantastic. But my personal fear is that it is a rabbit hole, a rules system that hadn't really been realized in the early days. I liked Gary's take on how the powers work, even if his exact rules are hard to read, there was the beginning of a simple approach similar to spells, but the idea of psionics in a class was a good decision that was poorly implemented. Neither of 2E's approaches to the powers themselves felt like something someone would want to play. My friends ignored them because they felt psionics were a weakness. Still, if something could be done to make old psionics work correctly, that would be a good homage to the 1E/2E era.

On a final note, I was wondering a couple of things, one I had an answer to recently, but the other item just occurred to me today. I'll restate my first question, so that if some other new guy needs to know the answer, he can find it here: I was looking to rename a class, in this case, the Magic-User to Wizard. How do I do this?

Quote from: manikus
In the data folder of the TemplateDesign.dsn is a file called 'classes.txt'. Open this in a text editor and search for "name = Magic User" and replace "Magic User" with "Wizard". Save your changes.
In the DC editor, select 'Databases > Import/Export Databases' and click the button to import classes. Navigate to the file you just changed, and voila!

The other question: Some of the old computer games were written in a format that felt like a campaign, albeit with a tendency to trilogies. Some examples: Eye of the Beholder, the Bard's Tale
Is it possible to tether games created with Dungeon Craft into a campaign where the heroes created in the first module can be imported into the next?

Offline manikus

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Re: stargod8's Feature Suggestions (mostly player-centric)
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2016, 07:37:33 PM »
Hi all,

I'm new to Dungeon Craft but not to roleplaying or Dungeons & Dragons. I've been looking at Dungeon Craft as a tool for teaching myself to design video games, and I've been looking at the features and this site. A few ideas occurred to me, some might be helpful, some might seem odd or perhaps already exist. Here's a few things that crossed my mind from a player perspective. I see value for a version of Dungeon Craft to blend some of the original 1E classes updated to a 2E ruleset. 2E is basically backwards compatible to 1E. With this in mind, supporting all seven of the original races with the 2E writeups would be a good thing.

The assassin is an interesting class concept that Gary came up with, but it feels a lot like an upgraded thief with a dark edge. I think he could be differentiated more -- if he traded away some traditional thief skills - Pick Pockets, Read Languages, and Scroll Use, he could have Bribery, Escape Bonds, and Detect Illusions, all skills that were offered as options to thieves in skills & powers.
You can do the ASsassins changes fairly easily.
Look in the baseclass.txt file - allowed alignements and skills are controlled here. Skill namess are completely scripted, so you just need to replace the old name with the new name. However, you will also need to change the Global_Display Special Event (in specialEvents.txt) and chane the code at the end so that Assassin's will display all of their skills in the character screen.

I think the 2E Bard was a big improvement over the original design, which was even contradictory in its requirements, whereas the 2E version has simple requirements and focuses on arcane or wizard magic.
The baseclass.txt is again where you will want to look. Instead of altering a baseclass, you will want to add a baseclass, which means that you will also need to add it in the class.txt file as well.
I should say that when looking at these records, the 'Key Word' is on the left side of the equals sign '=' and are set in the code that Paul has written. On the right side of the equals sign are the 'Values' and are are user definable, i.e. by you. There is a certain grammar for each Key Word, which I hope is explained in the leading notes and by the examples in the files. I expect that I think it is easier than it actually is because I am the one who wrote all of the databases. :) Please ask for any explanations or clarifications that you need.

2E also introduced the concept of arcane schools, which I've seen are being implemented in a 2E DC build thread. That is a great idea. Specialist priests are a good idea too, but I have a simpler way of looking at that. Clerics, for instance, are defined with divine spheres. The player could get the choice of customizing his cleric or druid with a build pool of appropriate spheres, letting him decide what kind of magic his priest can perform.
Well, 1e introduced magical specialists with the Illusionists and the PHB says it is an example, so kind of like DC, I guess TSR and Mr. Gygax where telling the DMs and players to make their own. 2ejust spells it out. ;) In the FR 2e thread, I have mentioned that I have made these specialty mages. Because there are so few spells for given spell schools that they are very weak or at very least very single tracked. (In the FR 2e project, I have created a lot new spells). To use these with the current 1e spells, quite a bit needs to be done, but that doesn't mean it's difficult, just a lot of work. This will require editing of the baseclass, class, items, special abilities and spells databases.
The clerics using spheres is pure 2e, and essentially the specialty priests are a way of saying "this priest has major access to these spheres and minor access to these spheres". This is traditionally something done by the DM/designer. The 2e DMG has example specialty priests not specific to a setting and what spheres they would have access to (and other special bits, like turning undead, etc). If that is what you want to do, determine which specialty priests you want and then create them in the databases - the same five as mentioned above.
If you want to let the player choose the spheres, this will be harder to set up as it cannot be done in the DC character creation, so you will have to create some events at the start of the design to finish this up. This will be complicated, so if this is what you are talking about doing, it should get it's own thread and we can discuss it further there. It can be done, I think, but will require you to do a rewrite of the clerical spells (which may be as easy as just adding a line or two to each spell).

Monks introduced in 1E have endured through editions. Third Edition, Fourth Edition, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (a Third Party OGL D&D system), and now in 5th Edition, I think they would look very cool incorporated into the 2E framework of the rules (the spellcasting monk of Spells & Magic hasn't been seen since 2E).
So you want to use 5e monks in 2e? I can help with 1e and 2e stuff, but any higher is beyond me. Monks, cavaliers, barbarians, any classes that gain new abilities at specific levels are going to be hard to implement, not because it is hard to script the databases, but because you will have to script every Training Hall event in the game (well, all the ones that allow Monks to train). In theory, you will need tracking ASLs or SAs (Special Abilities) enough work that I haven't tried implementing this kind of thing yet. Not that it can't be done, just that I haven't taken on this kind of thing yet.

Also - D&D fantasy psionics, if there's some way to use them correctly in a video game, that would be something fantastic. But my personal fear is that it is a rabbit hole, a rules system that hadn't really been realized in the early days. I liked Gary's take on how the powers work, even if his exact rules are hard to read, there was the beginning of a simple approach similar to spells, but the idea of psionics in a class was a good decision that was poorly implemented. Neither of 2E's approaches to the powers themselves felt like something someone would want to play. My friends ignored them because they felt psionics were a weakness. Still, if something could be done to make old psionics work correctly, that would be a good homage to the 1E/2E era.
It would not be hard to implement *some* psionics, but most of it is beyond the scope of what DC can do because it is too open-ended. Essentially, you can use any straight-forward attacks and some scaled attacks and perhaps a fair bit of defensive skills related to these attacks, but not the rest. This doesn't even take into account the graphics that would be needed that are beyond the scope of DC.
If you wanted limited attacks, go for it, otherwise it is beyond what I think DC can do. If you want to prove me wrong, then I say go for it. :D Then I can have you script a Limited Wish spell, too. ;)

On a final note, I was wondering a couple of things, one I had an answer to recently, but the other item just occurred to me today. I'll restate my first question, so that if some other new guy needs to know the answer, he can find it here: I was looking to rename a class, in this case, the Magic-User to Wizard. How do I do this?

Quote from: manikus
In the data folder of the TemplateDesign.dsn is a file called 'classes.txt'. Open this in a text editor and search for "name = Magic User" and replace "Magic User" with "Wizard". Save your changes.
In the DC editor, select 'Databases > Import/Export Databases' and click the button to import classes. Navigate to the file you just changed, and voila!

The other question: Some of the old computer games were written in a format that felt like a campaign, albeit with a tendency to trilogies. Some examples: Eye of the Beholder, the Bard's Tale
Is it possible to tether games created with Dungeon Craft into a campaign where the heroes created in the first module can be imported into the next?
Do you mean PCs from one design can be used in another? As long as the databases match up, already doable. If the databases don't match up, there will be some work involved - to get them to match up. And not even all of them would need to match up 100%.

Offline stargod8

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Re: stargod8's Feature Suggestions (mostly player-centric)
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2016, 10:56:40 AM »
Quote from: manikus
So you want to use 5e monks in 2e? I can help with 1e and 2e stuff, but any higher is beyond me. Monks, cavaliers, barbarians, any classes that gain new abilities at specific levels are going to be hard to implement, not because it is hard to script the databases, but because you will have to script every Training Hall event in the game (well, all the ones that allow Monks to train). In theory, you will need tracking ASLs or SAs (Special Abilities) enough work that I haven't tried implementing this kind of thing yet. Not that it can't be done, just that I haven't taken on this kind of thing yet.

Actually, that wasn't where I was going at all. I was trying to say I want to use 1E Monks updated to 2E. I was just talking about how the Monk from 1E has endured and evolved.

Quote from: manikus
It would not be hard to implement *some* psionics, but most of it is beyond the scope of what DC can do because it is too open-ended. Essentially, you can use any straight-forward attacks and some scaled attacks and perhaps a fair bit of defensive skills related to these attacks, but not the rest. This doesn't even take into account the graphics that would be needed that are beyond the scope of DC.
If you wanted limited attacks, go for it, otherwise it is beyond what I think DC can do. If you want to prove me wrong, then I say go for it.  Then I can have you script a Limited Wish spell, too.

I can see how powers that are too open-ended could create problems. For example, in DDO, they solved the problem of Command by limiting it to forcing a creature to drop prone. Not something that this engine could likely do, but it reflects on the fact that you can script open-ended stuff if you only allow specifics. You're right about how Limited Wish and Wish wouldn't work, unless it's possible to script a spell that lets you cast lower level spells of your class or a different one, I could see that as a compromise.

Offline manikus

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Re: stargod8's Feature Suggestions (mostly player-centric)
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2016, 01:22:45 PM »
Okay, I get what you're saying about monks now. :) The problem is not creating the baseclass/class, it's implementing it in a design. I am a much more practice script writer than the last time I worked on the monk, so maybe I am making this out to be harder than it is. The trick will be getting the engine to see that a PC has just trained and to assign it the new abilities. Hmm, I guess an easy way would be to have a Training Hall event that only handles monks. Or to use a series of events that mimic a training process.
Umm, at the risk of biting off more than I can chew, why don't I do a monk class add-on? It will be 1e and then you can update it to 2e as you like. (It is already on my list, so I am just bumping it up higher)

As for being able to script a spell to allow you to choose from a list of other spells, we can totally do that. :D And we can do things like raise ability scores, skill scores, give new skills (from a list), give items, etc. but there are so many possibilities that 1) it would be a pain to script all of the options, likely thousands of lines which the engine would not like and 2) there would be so many menus that it would be very difficult for even the designer to make sense of it all and 3) there would still be so many things that we couldn't do. I suppose we could create a spell called "Very Limited Wish". ;)

Offline stargod8

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Re: stargod8's Feature Suggestions (mostly player-centric)
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2016, 02:46:45 PM »
Quote
Okay, I get what you're saying about monks now. :) The problem is not creating the baseclass/class, it's implementing it in a design. I am a much more practice script writer than the last time I worked on the monk, so maybe I am making this out to be harder than it is. The trick will be getting the engine to see that a PC has just trained and to assign it the new abilities. Hmm, I guess an easy way would be to have a Training Hall event that only handles monks. Or to use a series of events that mimic a training process.
Umm, at the risk of biting off more than I can chew, why don't I do a monk class add-on? It will be 1e and then you can update it to 2e as you like. (It is already on my list, so I am just bumping it up higher)
Thanks, it should be doable, once I get a handle on how this stuff really works. I'm going to try out that Wizard class name trick tonight to see if I can code it correctly. The assassin stuff updates are theoretical, (most of what I know about computer games is from playing them, after all) I might be biting off more than I can chew there, but I'll see what's possible and I'd like to get a look at how the 2E thief works here when it's up.

Quote from: manikus
As for being able to script a spell to allow you to choose from a list of other spells, we can totally do that. :D And we can do things like raise ability scores, skill scores, give new skills (from a list), give items, etc. but there are so many possibilities that 1) it would be a pain to script all of the options, likely thousands of lines which the engine would not like and 2) there would be so many menus that it would be very difficult for even the designer to make sense of it all and 3) there would still be so many things that we couldn't do. I suppose we could create a spell called "Very Limited Wish". ;)
I figured a focused version of the spell was possible. Choosing from other spells seemed the closest thing to making sense, as reality warping stuff is just insane to ask of an electronic game engine, but a choice of things that it already can do seemed reasonable. Permanently raising ability scores is definitely something that items or events should handle, not casting a spell. As awesome as it would be to have access to a fireball I didn't learn, I can imagine it would be a pain to code a variable spell that would allow spells from any situation. For instance, what if instead of fireball I needed teleport without error or word of recall? I doubt you could just teleport anywhere if you were in the middle of a battle, and casting fireball outside of combat wouldn't make sense in most computer games (EOB could do it, but EOB wasn't a turn-based system like most roleplaying games of its day were). I can see that wish spells are complex even when simplified, and I'm not a scripting kind of guy. When I think about it though, if one admits wish spells for utility purposes only, that might make sense. I don't really picture characters making wishes in the thick of an encounter anyway. Unless it's something cheesy like asking to start the room over again. ;)

Offline manikus

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Re: stargod8's Feature Suggestions (mostly player-centric)
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2016, 03:14:53 PM »
The Magic User to Wizard change and the Assassin skills name changes are just that easy. :D Let me know if you need further assistance.