Shadowrun or World of Darkness on a Virtual Tabletop?

As you may know, I've been reading lots of different game systems (and playing when I can) in an effort to make sure that EpicTable can support a wide variety of games. I've been on a [... [View original post]

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  • Hello there, First off let me say, I came across your project when I began looking for a virtual tabletop that would help me run my World of Darkness games with my friends across the country.



    Then immediately I saw this post and thought about what I could do to offer my input with what I've discovered on other Virtual tabletops and forums.



    The number one issue I've encountered when using a World of Darkness system (WoD for short) is the dice command.



    Most programs seem to use this thing called an explosive command, where it will reroll any dice that hits the max number.



    An example of rolling 5d10: 1,6,4,10,8. it will reroll the 10, and obtain another number.



    Now there are some issues with this, what if it rolls another 10? Nothing I've encountered has rerolled that second 10 and followed through if another 10 would be rolled. There is also the issue of counting all the "successes" obtained, namely 8's, 9's, & 10's. Along with any rerolled successes.



    There are some special cases where there is also 8-again, and 9-again, and this hasn't been implemented in any option of dice rolling that I've seen so far either.



    This is pretty much the same issue with Shadowrun (4th edition) instead of a d10 though, using a d6.



    Hope I was able to provide some insight, and I greatly look forward to see where this goes.
  • Thanks, Serge.

    I've already implemented the bit about successive 10s; i.e., rolling a 10, spawns a die, which rolls another 10, which spawns a die, and so on. I plan to implement counting successes.



    What I'd not encountered, prior to your post is "8-again", "9-again", etc. Am I correct in assuming that "8-again" means any roll of 8-10 spawns another die?
  • Hey John, thanks for replying so fast, concerning the 8-again and 9-again, you are correct, when thinking it means any 8-10 reroll, 9-10 reroll, though it only happen in rare cases and most often as a story/plot result.
  • Welcome Serge. I'm very glad to have a voice for Shadowrun and WoD added to the forum!



    Another quick question for you: How much use do you make of maps in your games? Most D&D folks (I think) make pretty heavy use of maps. Story gamers seldom use maps. I'd guess that Shadowrun falls more in line with D&D; not sure about WoD. Are maps a big part of the game?
  • Serge Wolf;485 wrote: Hey John, thanks for replying so fast, concerning the 8-again and 9-again, you are correct, when thinking it means any 8-10 reroll, 9-10 reroll, though it only happen in rare cases and most often as a story/plot result.


    Actually, I think my design for rerolls supports that already in every respect except the UI. One thing kind of interesting about all this is how to put together a dice roller that's intuitive. The easy/common things should be easy and the other things possible. The trick is, "common" varies across game systems. Right now, the dice roll designer is game system agnostic, but I've been thinking of a simple vs. advanced mode where the simple mode is specific to the game you're playing. In other words, if you're playing WoD, you've got d10s and rules like "10-again" at your fingertips. If you're playing D&D, you have the wider complement of dice and don't have 10 again. Maybe.
  • Well, I'm more of a voice for WoD, but Shadowrun (4th Edition) has been of interest to me as well. Just haven't taken it up as feverently as WoD.



    When it comes to D&D, I've always, at least made an overland world map, so to model the world and distance settlements, dungeons, and other landmarks.



    When it comes to WoD, I myself Have made a few maps, of certain city blocks, or taken google image of overhead cities, if only to provide imaging.



    One thing I've not had the option of doing is using a map to demonstrate positions in combat in other VT's. And I can say, that it would be a great use. Though there are a lack of modern maps for combat situations, (unless you count those for d20 modern)
  • Serge Wolf;488 wrote: ...I've always, at least made an overland world map, so to model the world and distance settlements, dungeons, and other landmarks. ...I myself Have made a few maps, of certain city blocks, or taken google image of overhead cities, if only to provide imaging.

    For this kind of thing, you'd probably just distribute the map to the players as an image handout, right? EpicTable would let you do that.

    Serge Wolf;488 wrote: One thing I've not had the option of doing is using a map to demonstrate positions in combat in other VT's. And I can say, that it would be a great use.
    Tactical combat maps are a big part of EpicTable. But it's only fair to tell you that other VTs do this. MapTool, Battlegrounds, and Fantasy Grounds, to name a few, support tactical combat maps. I don't want to push you away from EpicTable--I believe that you'll find some things to like about how it handles tactical combat maps--but you should know that you have options.

    Serge Wolf;488 wrote: Though there are a lack of modern maps for combat situations, (unless you count those for d20 modern)
    That's actually the biggest pain with pulling things together quickly for a sci-fi or modern game. I think there's some reasonably decent stuff on RPGNow in PDF form, but you don't have the breadth of choice that you do with fantasy maps.



    You might check out this blog entry on maps/tiles. There's at least one site referenced there that had Star Wars map tiles that could be used in a variety of settings. Also, if you're a do-it-yourself mapper, Dundjinni has some urban resources, and it's hard for me to say enough good things about Dundjinni.
  • John Lammers;490 wrote: For this kind of thing, you'd probably just distribute the map to the players as an image handout, right? EpicTable would let you do that.
    Well, When I used OpenRPG, I just uploaded the image to the minimap from there, and then a few minutes the program would crash XD.

    John Lammers;490 wrote:

    Tactical combat maps are a big part of EpicTable. But it's only fair to tell you that other VTs do this. MapTool, Battlegrounds, and Fantasy Grounds, to name a few, support tactical combat maps. I don't want to push you away from EpicTable--I believe that you'll find some things to like about how it handles tactical combat maps--but you should know that you have options.
    I've tried using Maptool, but it really did confuse me, and it lack a lot of interface options so I Stopped using it, battlegrounds, and Fantasy grounds I haven't checked out, but when I read up on them, I didn't really seem drawn to them, much at all.

    John Lammers;490 wrote:

    That's actually the biggest pain with pulling things together quickly for a sci-fi or modern game. I think there's some reasonably decent stuff on RPGNow in PDF form, but you don't have the breadth of choice that you do with fantasy maps.


    It rather is a pain, but I don't often run games with maps, since I'm mostly playing in Play-By-Post games, and I pretty much describe everything, though I look forward to using more sci-fi modern maps later on in the future, hopefully in conjecture with EpicTable.^^

    John Lammers;490 wrote:

    You might check out this blog entry on maps/tiles. There's at least one site referenced there that had Star Wars map tiles that could be used in a variety of settings. Also, if you're a do-it-yourself mapper, Dundjinni has some urban resources, and it's hard for me to say enough good things about Dundjinni.


    I've tried using Dundjinni, and found it really confusing as well, though I have used Campaign Carteographer 3 with some good success. Though, I've been thinking of taking a hard look and seeing about learning Dundjinni, giving it a 2nd chance.
  • Serge Wolf;492 wrote: I've tried using Dundjinni, and found it really confusing as well, though I have used Campaign Carteographer 3 with some good success. Though, I've been thinking of taking a hard look and seeing about learning Dundjinni, giving it a 2nd chance.


    Kudos on successfully using CC. I've thrown myself against that wall a couple times--but in fairness, not against version 3, and I've never really invested more than an afternoon...but I always came away unhappy with my progress.



    Now, it may be a matter of what you're after. I really like pretty maps, and Dundjinni maps can look great. Their forum is full of some amazing stuff, and the people there are very supportive. I seem to remember having to spend some time gaining the rather modest level of proficiency I have with it, but I've been pretty happy with the results. The forum has helped a lot. There are a couple tutorials there that really boosted the quality of my maps and my understanding.
  • John Lammers;493 wrote: Kudos on successfully using CC...



    Now, it may be a matter of what you're after. I really like pretty maps, and Dundjinni maps can look great. Their forum is full of some amazing stuff, and the people there are very supportive. I seem to remember having to spend some time gaining the rather modest level of proficiency I have with it, but I've been pretty happy with the results. The forum has helped a lot. There are a couple tutorials there that really boosted the quality of my maps and my understanding.


    I love making pretty maps, and I was originally using Dundjinni for that before I just got to confused. But I like to mix functionality and looks with my maps, I begin to grow frustrated when it looks nice, but not realistic, at least geographically.
  • It would be so great to see a good WoD Table!
  • venom818;555 wrote: It would be so great to see a good WoD Table!


    And I'd love EpicTable to be one!:D



    I haven't played any of the WoD games (though I have the core book and Changling), so I'll be looking for help from the community in making sure it meets your needs.
  • Serge Wolf;483 wrote: The number one issue I've encountered when using a World of Darkness system (WoD for short) is the dice command.



    Most programs seem to use this thing called an explosive command, where it will reroll any dice that hits the max number.



    An example of rolling 5d10: 1,6,4,10,8. it will reroll the 10, and obtain another number.



    Now there are some issues with this, what if it rolls another 10? Nothing I've encountered has rerolled that second 10 and followed through if another 10 would be rolled. There is also the issue of counting all the "successes" obtained, namely 8's, 9's, & 10's. Along with any rerolled successes.



    There are some special cases where there is also 8-again, and 9-again, and this hasn't been implemented in any option of dice rolling that I've seen so far either.


    Battlegrounds can handle those dice mechanics very easily (no scripting required). It can re-roll each die on a result of x or higher, and tally successes on a per-die basis, and it will even tally the re-rolls for success, if you want it to. That sounds like all you'd need for a WoD game.
  • Hey all. I'm personally looking for a good VT, having recently moved to South America. It's nice to see one that's looking to cater to those of us who like the red-headed stepchild systems like World of Darkness and Shadowrun.



    Something I wanted to add:

    World of Darkness also has rules where 1's may be subtracted from successes, or where the 10-again rule does not apply.

    For instance, poor-quality weapons, according to the Armory, don't receive the 10-again rule.



    There are also "rote actions" where (if the ST okays it) all dice in a particular roll that don't succeed (i.e., 7 or lower) may be re-rolled.



    EpicTable would need to take those rules into account; I would suggest a menu when rolling the dice that allows you to check a box--"Don't re-roll 10s", "8-again rule", "9-again rule", "Rote action", "1s subtract from successes".



    Just my two cents--I'm following the development of ET closely!
  • Jasz;644 wrote: ... I would suggest a menu when rolling the dice that allows you to check a box--"Don't re-roll 10s", "8-again rule", "9-again rule", "Rote action", "1s subtract from successes"....


    Thanks for the suggestion. I think something along these lines could work pretty well. I've been pondering the user experience of "ad-hoc friendly" dice rolls--essentially the ability to customize a dice roll quickly and easily just before rolling. What you're suggesting kind of plays into that idea.
  • I just wanted to cast a vote for seeing something for shadowrun, I wish I could help on giving comments as to what works for me at the table, or on a VTT with it, but alas, it's just a dream of mine to play someday on a VTT with friends, I have the 3rd adn 4th ed books, and just have fun reading them and imagining the fun I'll one day have... (hopefully on your VTT heh.)



    thanks!



    zWolf -out.
  • I am new to role playing in general, probably my first experience was sort of a Virtual Tabletop in Neverwinter Nights singleplayer/multiplayer. Not sure Diablo would count...



    Well, from my experiences, finding others to game with in my area is problematic at best and completely non-existant at worst, so gaming online by PC is pretty close to my only option. So, I bought SR4A for the fun rules (reminds me of Fallout 1/2/3) and its stories, which is what first attracted me to it, having stumbled across a few of the novels based in its setting. I am just forging ahead regardless, trying to see if I can make other new players out of friends and family.



    I found this article by googling Shadowrun Virtual Tabletop. Other VTs seem to be focused on D&D primarily and I get that itch scratched by NWN2 already pretty good. Please allow me to put in a vote for having as much support for Shadowrun 4A in your product as possible, so I can scratch this itch. Looking at the dates though, I hope there has been some sort of update/progress to this issue.
  • Welcome CanadianWolverine. Thanks for joining the EpicTable forum.



    I've been gaming a long time, but it's been almost exclusively D&D until the last couple years. Lately, I've been branching out a lot more, playing more of the so-called "story games", like Primetime Adventures, Don't Rest Your Head and My Life With Master...and while I haven't played, I've felt oddly drawn towards Shadowrun. I've known about it for years, but it's only recently that I've been reading the rulebook.



    Why does any of this matter? Because it means that, with EpicTable, I'm focused on the challenge of supporting many games and allowing you to adapt the virtual tabletop to the game you want to play, rather than going deep into d20/D&D support. Don't get me wrong--EpicTable isn't going to be a Shadowrun-dedicated environment either. But I'm intent upon supporting a wide array of game mechanics, and I have a certain sympathy towards Shadowrun, so it'll be playable on EpicTable.



    One word of warning: I don't know how true it is, but I've heard that it might be difficult for anyone to build really dedicated support for Shadowrun. I'm told that when Microsoft acquired the rights to do a Shadowrun video game, they also acquired rights that make it very difficult for anyone to do anything online with Shadowrun. This isn't a huge problem for EpicTable, because its approach is to let you adapt the VT to your game of choice. But it might mean that I won't be able to work with Catalyst Game Labs to publish a Shadowrun module for EpicTable. You can bet that the dice mechanics and other things you need will be there though.
  • I will do what I can to check on the legal rights - though, if I am not mistaken, thanks to Microsoft messing up their chance(s) with Shadowrun when they did that First Person Shooter as a Vista (DX10?) exclusive for a bit there and gamers gave it bad word of mouth, Smith & Tinker got the rights next if I am not mistaken. They are the ones behind the latest revival of Mechwarrior, I think.



    Well, even if you are not a dedicated SR platform, one interesting thing to keep in mind that I have discovered as a newbie is that SR so closely resembles ours, it is totally possible to do something like use images from google earth then draw on them, for larger maps. For smaller maps, a simple diagram of a building and/or utility diagram usually works fine - heck, I would even consider using old construction blueprints I have. This is all fine and dandy for the physical part of Shadowrun but then the fun part really comes on when you realize SR's Augmented Reality Matrix and (Magic) Astral are like overlays on that physical world, close but not the same. Virtual Reality Matrix is anything it wants to be almost, like visiting Second Life in a Virtual Reality getup, only some things can kill you - though, to be honest, I would probably play it a lot like the Augmented Reality Matrix, tie it into the physical world. Hope that helps some. Oh, and I hope it is SR4A - Shadowrun 4 Anniversary Edition that you are reading through, some really fun stories in there and the index is vastly improved.
  • CanadianWolverine;1016 wrote: ...SR so closely resembles ours, it is totally possible to do something like use images from google earth then draw on them, for larger maps. For smaller maps, a simple diagram of a building and/or utility diagram usually works fine - heck, I would even consider using old construction blueprints I have.
    Those are great ideas. I hadn't considered Google Earth. RPGNow has some decent stuff in PDF, map-wise, and I go trolling through there sometimes. Haven't looked for modern stuff specifically, but have had good luck with finding sci-fi stuff.

    CanadianWolverine;1016 wrote: Oh, and I hope it is SR4A - Shadowrun 4 Anniversary Edition that you are reading through, some really fun stories in there and the index is vastly improved.
    I have SR3 and SR4, but not SR4A. Didn't even know about it, actually.
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