Zag24
 supporter, 653 posts
Sun 25 Oct 2020
at 16:12
(Big) Feature request:  Skills Management and Rolling
I realize that this would be a major new feature and take a fair bit of work, but I thought I'd plant a bug anyway, for some time you're feeling ambitious, jase.

Most Gaming systems have some concept of skills, with a value of some sort associated with it -- either just a number like d20 games or a dice specification.  As a GM, I frequently find myself looking through all the character sheets to find what everybody's value is in a particular skill.  I already have saved as dice commands the ones I commonly roll for everybody at once (Spot, listen), but even that is a pain because I have to update my command when they level up and improve in the skills -- it isn't tied to their sheets at all.

So here's the feature:

1.  New GM page where GM defines the skills available.  You want the GM rather than the players to define them, because if each player enters his own skills by name, there will be spelling and abbreviation differences.

On this page, the GM also defines how skill values translate to a dice command.  For example, in a d20 game where the skill is a value that is added to a d20, the GM selects "Append Value to" and enters "d20+" in a text field.  Other choices would be to prepend value (for instance, where the skill value is a number of d6 to roll) or just the value itself is a dice command.  I don't think you'd want this to be different per skill, but maybe in some systems you would.

2. The players would have a new page, or a new section in Character Details, in which they fill in their current skill values.  It may be a little d20-centric, but the ability to sum up these values from a few different columns would be very helpful.  I can see, however, the database explosion that creates.  (games x players x skills x modifier columns)

3. Finally, the GM has, either on the same page as the setup or on a new page, a place to view and roll the skills for all the players.  In a table with the skills as rows and the players as columns, each value is a link to make a dice roll.  In addition, there is an extra column for "Roll All" that has a similar effect as my dice command here:   [dice=d20+11,d20+4,d20+7,d20-1,d20+3,d20+0 memo="Spot: Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, Pebbles, Bambam"], where it rolls for every player and puts a comment of the players names so I know how to correlate rolls to players.  Since I'm often going to be making several different rolls, I wouldn't want this to take me to the Dice Roller page, I just want it to do the roll, perhaps with a shortened view of the dice log below but also putting the values in the regular dice log.  (I guess that means that I need the secret roll checkbox, here, too, maybe some of the other settings?)

This message was last edited by the user at 16:15, Sun 25 Oct.

Skald
 moderator, 914 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Mon 26 Oct 2020
at 05:46
(Big) Feature request:  Skills Management and Rolling
Interesting ... off the top of my head and sticking with the D20 terminology I know and love ...

1) Wouldn't you also need to allow for player rolls ?  Your mileage may differ, but in most games I play in/run the players mostly do their own skill checks.

2) Why limit it to skills ?  Why not attack/damage rolls, saving throws etc as well ?  If you're setting up an interface with description, dice and modifer, that could apply to absolutely anything - indeed, just because it's labelled 'skill' wouldn't stop people putting in "Attack (longsword)" or anything else they want - same as some games use Languages for radio frequencies.

3) Won't it be a lot of work to keep track of the modifier ?  EG temporary boosts to abilities, use of spells or Feats to give bonuses, situational +/-


As a manual workaround - you could set up a game thread with a post per player (post on behalf of to set it up in the first instance) with a private message wrapper to hide it from other players, and create a table within the PM which GM and Player could both edit with had those embedded die rolls - see the "How do I ... Put die roller links in posts and character sheets?" section in the RuBB Code tips and tricks FAQ:

RPoL faqs (rubbcode)
Shannara
 moderator, 3872 posts
 When in doubt,
 frolic!
Mon 26 Oct 2020
at 13:19
(Big) Feature request:  Skills Management and Rolling
Well, I don't know how useful it is to bring this up, but there are VTTs/Character Sheets that integrate with VTTs that currently do this for rolls - skills, as well as damage and the like, over multiple systems.

It's a great feature for playing virtual tabletop, and it would be useful on play by post as well.

Theirs is more complicated, I think, because they're putting in a lot of the open source data to calculate the rolls for the users -- and it's possible to program in your own if you're up to the task.    It'd be enough to have the fields that could be set up to roll the dice combinations needed, be they for skills / attacks / damage / saving throws / etc.

I love the idea, if it could be implemented.
Zag24
 supporter, 654 posts
Mon 26 Oct 2020
at 20:14
(Big) Feature request:  Skills Management and Rolling
@Skald:
1.  (Player rolling help) Sure!  Great idea.  In the page where the player edits his own values, we could easily have a 'Roll' button on each row.

2. Attacks and saving throws are just skills under a different name.  However, your point about damage does point out that not all rolls follow the same sort of pattern of, for instance, d20+<<value>>.  Perhaps each row has just a checkbox that the value entered in the field is a complete dice roller string and should not be constructed like the others.  That gives the back door you'd need for any system while still maintaining the simplicity and ease of use for the systems where most rolls can be constructed in the same way.

3. Yeah, temporary modifications would be hard to keep up to date -- you'd just have to add them on after the fact.  But for my primary use, where I want to roll a spot check for everybody to see if they stumble into the ambush, or a listen check to see if they hear the creature tailing them, it is fine;  these rolls won't typically have temporary adjustments.

Often I just want to know who is the highest at something, such as a particular knowledge skill.  Just having all the players' skills in a tabular form would be a huge value.
JohnB
 supporter, 2101 posts
 Demigod of the Stunties
Mon 26 Oct 2020
at 20:20
(Big) Feature request:  Skills Management and Rolling
*grin* maybe I am a mean DM -  if my payers don't roll for themselves, they get a Passive 'Take Ten' roll from me  :)
Skald
 moderator, 915 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Tue 27 Oct 2020
at 05:15
(Big) Feature request:  Skills Management and Rolling
I do have a problem in either assuming or not assuming that players would always be on the lookout for an ambush or someone following them (or any number of similar 'in the moment' checks) ... but then JohnB's response provides a solution for that ... unless players have specifically stated that they are looking/listening then it'd not be unreasonable to assume a basic level of awareness of their surroundings ... which would be that 'Take 10'.  I've got a new house rule so I'm happy.  :>
Zag24
 supporter, 655 posts
Tue 27 Oct 2020
at 14:13
(Big) Feature request:  Skills Management and Rolling
Even taking 10, it's a pain to have to go to each of the character sheets one by one to see the value.  Or, I can keep those values together somewhere, but then it's on me to update them every time any character levels up.
JohnB
 supporter, 2102 posts
 Demigod of the Stunties
Tue 27 Oct 2020
at 14:52
(Big) Feature request:  Skills Management and Rolling
Create a thread with a post in the name of each character.  Then put their current stats into a private line (addressed to the player) in their personal posts.

Then tell them it is their responsibility to update those posts every time they level up.  All the stats are in one thread and, as the GM, you can see them all by just scrolling down.  If they don't update it, it is their responsibility :)

I use something similar for player aims, objectives and campaign status in my game (I run Pathfinder with a home brew Campaign System)