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Topics - theDwarf

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DFRPG / Locations - Could city building use an intermediary sheet?
« on: January 24, 2012, 05:20:16 PM »
Hello.  I was working on designing my own city and I noticed something.  There are two city sheets in the game, the High Level sheet and the Locations sheet.  That's it.

That may be sufficient for some, possibly even most, but I an into real estate and thus I also identify neighborhoods.  Therefore I created an intermediary sheet that allows for the grouping of locations into neighborhoods, districts (wards, community areas, whatever), municipalities, and townships.  The reason is that most sufficiently large metropolitan areas are actually made up of a sequence of other areas that are often grouped together, each having unique features, threats and so forth.  By adding an extra layer I feel I have a better view of locations, NPCs and how they tie together.  I will start with an example of why I think and added sheet is useful ...  and given most have read Dresden Files I will use Chicago as an example:
  • In the book Harry mentions "The Loop" community area (aka official designated community area 32), which is the main business district and includes locations such as the Art Institute, Carson Pirie Scott, Chicago Board of Trade, McCormick Place, Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower, which had its own zip code), Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park etc, and is actually a collection of 5 neighborhoods, including the main area known as "the Loop".
  • The Field Museum is also referenced, but that is just one location in the 57 acre Museum Campus (aka, the SE corner of Grant Park), which also includes the Shedd Aquarium and the Alder Planetarium ... so is it one location, three separate locations, or four?
  • Rush Street ... it isn't just one location, but in a way it is.

I could go on with many more examples (I used to work in Chicago) but I think people get the picture.  Most Locations are conceived as a single place:  Harry's Apartment, Harry's Office, the Field Museum, Buckingham Fountain, etc. But some areas are also collections of other areas (Museum Campus, Grant Park and The Loop being great examples as Grant Park is east of The Loop and contains Museum Campus as well as other named parks and areas it is considered part of the Loop Community Area (Community Area 32) said community area does NOT include Museum Campus).

Due to such areas like that existing in real life I felt the Locations sheet did not capture the essence of a city as a collection of districts that in turn are collections of neighborhoods which are collections of locations.  Each level has different people (neighborhood watch captains, aldermen, police & fire stations and their personnel etc.) that the players may need to interact with.  By limiting it to just Locations and High Level all that layering of the middle ground is either lost or more easily overlooked, IMHO, thus allowing for a disconnect for players.  Yeah, I am a structure type of GM.

  I have attached a JPG image of the PDF I created.
I hope people find it useful and if Jim's people or the DF RPG people want a copy of the PDF feel free to contact me.

DFRPG / Dresden online material - the gathering
« on: September 27, 2011, 04:53:19 AM »
Hello all,
  I appologize if this has already been covered but I think a gathering place is warranted (or a good idea to refresh). I am aware of and I figure gathering up other online Dresden resources would not be a bad thing.

  One thing I noted about the DFRPG-resource wiki is although it had a "Travel Guide" section for cities it did not have a section on specific locations.  See, cities are useful but hard to build up from scratch, but locations can often be more easily transferred between cities, worlds and games.  An example would be the bookstore that I created in the game I play in.  Such an occult bookstore could be easily inserted into into other cities (as in a chain of bookstores, each unique and eclectic) or even be added as it exists (same place in different worlds, or a more standardized chain).

Just a thought.

Back to topic:  I hope people post replies with links to other online resources.

DFRPG / Programming Character sheets
« on: July 29, 2010, 02:52:06 AM »
Given the "writable character sheet" thread is up to 5 pages I figured I start a whole new thread on programming character sheets.

Why?  Because a number of us may have some programming tips to pass on :)

Here is one:

Wingdings "m" creates a blank circle, Wingdings lower case "L" a filled in circle.
If you want check boxes you can look through the other Wingdings characters and select.

If you are making a character sheet in Excel or Open Office and you want to create a selectable list that can be automatically transferred into a character sheet you can use Wingdings m's & l's to indicate selection then use a numerical incrementation to pinpoint what values you want in, then the vlookup function to put things in the right spot.  Example:  You want to allow the players to be able to select three of the following 8 powers, but you don't know which they will select.  Below the player has selected powers 2, 5, and 7


.. 1  Power List
m 1 <power 1>
l 1 <power 2>
m 2 <power 3>
m 2 <power 4>
l 2 <power 5>
m 3 <power 6>
l 3 <power 7>
m 4 <power 8>
.. 4  <blank>

The cell for the powers (PowerLst) calls a table that includes the number list and powers (not the m's or L's).

So, the formula =vlookup(1;PowerLst;2) will yield <power 2> since that is the last call with a 1 and  =vlookup(2;PowerLst;2) will yield <power 5> and  =vlookup(3;PowerLst;2) will yield <power 7> in the example above.  Therefore a non-printable "Creation Worksheet" can be created without using any macros and yet you can still drop all the proper powers into the "Character Sheet" even if you don't know what the player may select.  Only requires the powers list and refresh costs to be coded.

Additional coding can be created to handle specialties (using a numeric), etc.

I hope this also serves to explain why it can take a while to do ... lots of typing.

Furthermore, since it would copy longer selections from the book it may be considered to be a type of infringement on EvilHat's copyright and thus why I would rather mention here HOW it can be done rather than distribute such a sheet.

Well, good luck, happy programming, and I hop others use this thread for other helpful character sheet programming suggestions as well as additional questions/comments of character sheets as well as other sheets (city, etc)  :)

DFRPG / City Sheets - An Alternate View / Sheet
« on: July 26, 2010, 04:41:55 AM »
OK, I have been starting a game and looking at the various City Sheets provided and noticed something was wrong.  What finally struck me was that one "level" of sheet to be missing.  To recap what exists, we have the High Level, Locations and Faces sheets, but these three do not make up all of how cities are organized or considered.  Basically they cover the High and Low levels, but ignore the Middle.  So, what is missing IMnsHO? A neighborhood/district sheet.

Cities are not generally a collection of individual locations and people, but rather a collection of neighborhoods.  Look at Chicago and "The Street Level" is neighborhoods. The Loop, Gold Coast, Cabrini-Green, Lincoln Park, Uptown, Chinatown ... each has a different feel, mood and tenor.  You might say "but those are just locations" but when you look at the sample City Sheet (Locations) on page YS38 what you see are SPECIFIC locations (with one exception). A business, a park, a bridge.  Note that the park in the example is not a neighborhood called Federal Hill Park but rather a specific park by that name (many neighborhoods are referred to as "the <blank> Park neighborhood" ... yep, I look at neighborhoods & neighborhood names for a living).  The only potential exception given is Fells Point / Canton which appears to refer to a specific location and an area (like Rush Street in Chicago used to be).

So, what I did was add an additional layer called City Sheet (Neighborhoods & Districts).  I put in a choice box for Neighborhood, District, Municipality and Township, a section for Description, a row of 5 circles for "Threat Level" (0-5 ... to indicate how dangerous the area is generally considered), retained the Name, The Idea, The Aspect and The Face but added a section called "Areas Included" that allows for a list of a half dozen or so Locations (with space for Type to be listed).  A Neighborhood is a collection of one or more Locations, a District one or more Neighborhoods, a Municipality (City, Town, Village, etc) one of more Districts, and a Township one or more Municipalities as well as the non-urban areas (Locations or Neighborhoods) in a roughly 36 sq.mi. area.  What this allows if for the GM to say, for example, that the local INS building (where Karl Kolchak works) is near the border of Cabrini-Green and the Near North Side ... or maybe it is located in Printers Row just south of The Loop.  In any case a group could use such a sheet to gather a number of locations in the same neighborhood and thus be better able to understand how the Themes work together and such (I may replace The Idea and The Aspect with Themes for this sheet).  I fit only 6 per page, but it looks like it may work.  I will see if I can construct and attach an image to this post.

Edit: Since the image insert worked the two samples are districts in a fictional city I am building for my own game.  The first is a ethnic district (aka a Chinatown) and the other is something that I may or may not treat as a separate municipality (depending on player input).  The former has a collection of locations that are neighborhoods and the latter has a collection of districts and highlights the most noteworthy neighborhood and business located in the area (aka, the occult bookstore).  The Names field would likely list aldermen, mayors, and so forth that are not generally tied to a specific location.

BTW, a link to a Chicago NBHD map :)

DFRPG / On Demenses and Connections to the Nevernever
« on: July 15, 2010, 04:16:42 PM »
The book mentions the Nevernever power Demense, but what if the concept is a character that has inherited something besides just a "physical domain" in the Nevernever?  What about servants, title, and so forth?  If we assume the Nevernever is the effective location of many of the fairy stories (with ogres holding castles and such) then would it be logical for there to exist a power (or mortal stunt) that indicates you have a "crew", "household guard", "estates", or so forth?

Just rambli9ng here and trying to figure things out, gather opinions, and maybe expand the Stunts/powers somewhat :)

DFRPG / Focused Practitioner - Alchemist
« on: July 10, 2010, 09:18:38 PM »
I have been toying with this concept for a bit and, reading the rules, here is what I have figured out:

  • 1) Max out Lore: Creation of Foci, Enchanted Items, and Potions is based on Lore.  Lore is the base strength of the Potion and can be reduced to increase the number of potions / uses.
  • 2)  Ritual and Thaumaturgy:  Yep, you technically do not need anything else really yo be an alchemist, just Ritual or Thaumaturgy.  Ritual is useful to save more points for Refinements (and thus extra Foci/Enchanted Item slots) but a character with Thaumaturgy can specialize in Crafting with +1 to Frequency and thus gain an extra potion per Enchanted Item slot.  More on the benefits of that below.
  • 3) Take Refinement - Extra Slots:  Ritual or Thaumaturgy starts the character with 2 Foci slots, one of which can be turned into 2 Enchanted Item / Potion slots.  Each Refinement adds 2 Foci slots (4 Enchanted Item / Potion slots ... see top of YS183) therefore with a few Refinements an Alchemist can go from 2 to 6, 10 or possibly 12 Potions uses even in a Feet in the Water level campaign.  Doesn't sound like much, but see #4
  • 4) Crafting Foci: Here things really start getting good.  By my reading only one of the two Foci slots for Ritual or Thaumaturgy can be used for 2 Enchanted Items or Potions slots.  You might be thinking "that's not fair" until you read YS280 on Crafting Specializations and catch the line at the top of the 2nd column.  Combined with the mention in the text about additional Thaumaturgy Refinements not stacking except with Foci, then creating a Foci, such as an Alchemist's Mortar & Pestle or Alchemist's Cauldron that adds to frequency would turn the two slots to yielding 2 uses each per potion, meaning you effectively "break even".  Not so great at first, but as you add refinements that add 4 more Potions each which suddenly become 8 more each Refinement slot.

Putting it all together ...

-3 Refresh: Character is best off having Ritual - Alchemist (or Ritual - Crafting) with 1 Refinement slot and thus yielding a Foci and 6 Enchanted Item slots and thus 6 potions of base 2 uses each if Foci is Crafting-Frequency.

-4 Refresh: If you happen to have Thaumaturgy rather than Ritual you "lose" one Refinement slot but can specialize in Crafting - Frequency and yield 3 uses per slot (therefore 2 potions of 3 doses each for the basic Enchanted Item slots and 12 doses per Refinement (4 slots at 3 doses per slot) and therefore with 1 Refinement you would be only 2 behind a character with only Ritual and 2 Refinement slots, but you would have the whole spectrum of Thaumaturgy to boot (Wards, etc) to allow for more versatility on that -4 Refresh.

-5 Refresh: Thaumaturgy (Crafting Freq. Specialist) and 2 Refinement slots yields a Foci and 10 Enchanted Items slots for 30 doses (up to 10 different potions of 3 doses each if Foci is also Crafting-Frequency).

Even in a Foot in the Water game the character would have some flexibility as a spell caster.  Add to that the fact that the items can be transferred to other players (or, unfortunately, lost).  Now Lore for Foot in the Water is limited to Great, but that means the character can turn in additional levels for additional uses per day (or more people) and end up with a LOT of daily uses, or "only" the number of uses per day mentioned above but at Great +4 Strength (or higher, depending on Aspects and campaign level).

Note the character could do similar things with a slightly different Foci (say a Crafting Hammer) and accomplish the same affect entirely in Enchanted Items.  I would tend to call such a character an Artificer rather than an Alchemist, but it works.

Like I said, just some notes on one way to create an Alchemist type character, probably more useful at the lower levels, but a different type of "Hedge-Wizard" to consider.


DFRPG / Norse Mythology and the Nevernever
« on: July 09, 2010, 04:58:47 PM »
I see a number of related posts about various elements of Norse Mythology:
Dwarves / Dvergar
Frost Giants
Fire Giants
Norse Trolls (Trow?)

and so on.

Given how posts get lost, and because I am thinking about a character along these lines, I figure I start a thread on the subject.

Right now I am a bit pressed for time, but will come back with a few notes in a bit.
Hopefully others will comment as well.    ;D

Site Suggestions & Support / RPG Subforums
« on: July 04, 2010, 06:31:59 AM »
I was looking through the Dresden Files RPG forum and I notice a few things:

1) A number of patterns / types of threads
2) there are 978+ threads on a relatively new game
3) threads get buried very quickly

It is good the forum is so active, but it can cause "problems" as well.  (I know of games out there that have been around for around a decade that never had this volume of daily activity and total maybe 3x the post count all told)

Where the problem comes in is that posts get buried faster than people can look at them, posts and questions get duplicated more, and posts get lost very easily.

A few buckets (sub-forums) within the category could help immensely, probably one for cities, one for magic & items, one for creatures & characters, and one for general or some other set of groupings.    Separating out cities would help encourage "group" effort and suggestions by making them easier to find and track.  The rest separate the general patterns and distributions effectively reducing post count in each to 1/3rd to 1/4th current total.  That would help slow down the post lost rate.  ;D

Not certain if it is doable or advisable, but it is my comment from the peanut gallery.

DFRPG / Player Concept - Changeling Ogre (my players please stay out)
« on: July 03, 2010, 05:47:25 PM »
I have a question for people ... what do people think of a character in a Feet in the Water game playing a Changeling Ogre with the
(click to show/hide)
powers listed in the OW book?

(I did spoiler so players glancing here don't automatically see what Ogres get :) )

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