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Sneak Preview of new Turn Sequencer in BRPG v1.3

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:27 pm
by heruca
BRPG v1.3's major focus is to redesign the Turn Sequencer (TS) panel to be table-based. It will also track GM-defined attributes, allowing the TS to fulfill a secondary function of Combat Manager.

The pics below show a mockup of how I expect the new TS to look and function. The TS panel is resizable and remembers its placement between game sessions. It can also be opened independently of other panels.

Note that the units are automatically sorted by Initiative, with the unit whose turn it is to act is always listed at the top. Ties in Initiative score are resolved by the Speed score. Further ties are resolved randomly. Reverse-sorting is also supported, in case your game system works with lower numbers acting first.

The GM decides what attributes (columns) get listed in the TS, simply by editing a plain text file. For example, for a GURPS game, I would not list Initiative and Speed, but instead would have Move (the primary sequencing stat) and Basic Speed (used to resolve sequencing ties). Or I may decide that I don't want to show the Token and/or the Health Status columns, or to show a unit's current portrait art instead (as a mini-thumbnail). Such changes will be easily configured, and some columns could even be marked as visible to the GM or unit-owner only.

Each row in the table is color-coded, depending on a unit's disposition to the PCs. Green for Friendly, Red for Hostile, and Grey for Neutral.

The second screenshot shows how the GM can edit a unit's values by clicking on a unit's row, which makes all the fields editable. He can Tab between cells, or Shift-Tab to cycle through cells in reverse order.

The new TS also allows Objects to be listed, not just Figures.

I think these changes will make a GM's job a heck of a lot easier, and will reduce the need for interactive character sheets (at least they will provide a temporary solution for stat tracking until actual interactive character sheets are added).

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:38 pm
by heruca
By the way, the tokens shown above are from this commercial token pack by Tailz:
http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php? ... 29614&it=1

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:47 pm
by Kepli
Wow, awesome start of this important part of gaming process :D 8)
It will definitely make me use BRPG more for my offline games too :wink:

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:56 pm
by Omnidon
Very impressive ;-)
You made a lot more progress than I expected.

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:19 pm
by oleingva
This looks real good, I will absolutely try to use this. Will it support system where some (but not all) characters might have two or more actions per turn? And really strange systems which use cards for initiative (like Savage Worlds, one card per player, or Deadlands, one or more cards per player)?

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:24 pm
by heruca
It isn't shown in the pics above, but it will support game systems that use Phases or Segments to subdivide a turn (e.g. Champions, Rolemaster, Car Wars), and probably game systems that use a continual timeline (e.g., "it's turn 3, you draw your sword, which takes two actions, so you get to go again in turn 5").

Not sure about card-based systems. Perhaps a numerical value could be used for each card drawn to determine initiative?

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 5:29 pm
by Omnidon
What I think he's asking is what I was trying to say when we talked earlier -- that several systems need the capacity for *multiple turns per round*, not just multiple actions per turn.

If Jack the Quick has 3 turns per round, Bob the Mighty has 1, and the Evil Orc has 2 then the turn order might be:
Jack
Orc
Jack
Bob
Jack
Orc

Also, some systems require, for example, half the round to swing a Greatsword while only 1/10 of the round to stab with a Dagger, so that someone stabbing could attack several times while their opponent swings. (Meaning that their turns are chronologically synchronized).

Does the new turn sequencer support that feature already?

I think that's what you meant by this:
heruca: If you mean systems that use an ever-increasing time count, that should already be supported.

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 5:44 pm
by heruca
I believe this is supported. In the example you wrote up, you could say that there are 10 phases in a turn, and that the guy with the dagger gets to act in all 10 phases, while the guy with the greatsword only acts on phases 5 and 10.

Each combatant gets a row entry on the table for each phase they get to act in. So it would be laid out something like this:

Phase 1: Man with dagger
Phase 2: Man with dagger
Phase 3: Man with dagger
Phase 4: Man with dagger
Phase 5: Man with dagger
Phase 5: Man with greatsword
Phase 6: Man with dagger
Phase 7: Man with dagger
Phase 8: Man with dagger
Phase 9: Man with dagger
Phase 10: Man with dagger
Phase 10: Man with greatsword

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:23 pm
by Full Bleed
Looking real good. Will be a nice improvement.

I was wondering if you'd consider putting in some simple TS Macros or Turn Events? Having the notes section is nice, but being able to have the TS track Turn Events intelligently would be even better.

For example, being able to set the exact turn when an "Event" ends or begins would be great. Having Blood Loss accumulate or automatically subtract from hitpoints. Having status rounds count down (i.e. have the rounds a character is stunned automatically count down/up.) Being able to trigger status messages sent to specific players or message/reminders to the GM ("Round 6 Event: 6 More Orcs arrive") Etc...

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:42 pm
by heruca
Some good ideas there for after the initial release, Full Bleed.

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:01 pm
by Omnidon
Yeah, a status effects system goes well with a turn sequencer.

Another advanced feature would be ability tracking. Allow players to set a list of abilities that each character has, and to pick from the list when it's their turn.
It could log which abilities were used, and could even automatically apply the results to the target's stats based on dice macros or fixed amounts if it were automated.

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:19 pm
by heruca
Here's another example. This time the Turn Sequencer has been configured for a Car Wars game, and turn phases are now being tracked.

Units are being sorted by Speed, and ties are being resolved by Reflexes.

Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:00 am
by BTS1967
Funny as I was about to post asking about the TS and to my joy discovered this thread.
heruca wrote:and probably game systems that use a continual timeline ...
*crossed-fingers*

I hope this is implemented. Its how Exalted and Scion runs... I think WoD\nWoD too but cannot speak for certainty on those systems (similar but some differences).

Would it be possible to edit the label used for Phase\turn\initiative count? Exalted calls them ticks.

Looking forward to this!
BTS

Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:29 am
by heruca
BTS1967 wrote:Would it be possible to edit the label used for Phase\turn\initiative count? Exalted calls them ticks.
Yes, terminology for turns, rounds, phases, segments, impulses, ticks, etc. varies from game to game, so this will have to be GM-definable.

Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:43 pm
by ursus
This is a great feature that I'm sure to use. I really like that this is system independent, mostly because there's not much out there for us GURPS players. :)

Will v1.3 be released before the 16th of December? I want to test it out with my group and our next session is on the 16th.

Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:49 pm
by heruca
Probably closer to December 22nd, I'm afraid. :(

Assuming I don't hit any major snags.

Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 1:08 pm
by ursus
Well, at least that means it will be ready for Christmas. :P

I have a long break for the holidays, so I'll have time to play with it thoroughly before our January session.

Perhaps I'll just do a demo this time with v1.1a. Wish me luck. I'm hoping that the players will like this software as much as I do.

Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 1:57 pm
by Omnidon
heruca wrote:In the example you wrote up, you could say that there are 10 phases in a turn, and that the guy with the dagger gets to act in all 10 phases, while the guy with the greatsword only acts on phases 5 and 10.

Each combatant gets a row entry on the table for each phase they get to act in.
I was thinking about this, and I realized that, while it does support phases, there probably isn't any way to automatically determine who acts in what phase. That's definitely a necessary feature for many systems, since it would be extremely tedious to manually distribute each character to their appropriate phases.

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:52 am
by oleingva
Looks good indeed. Is there a good way to use it to keep track of effect durations (spells and the like)? If not, that's something to think of for a later release. :wink:

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:24 pm
by Omnidon
Full Bleed wrote:For example, being able to set the exact turn when an "Event" ends or begins would be great.
heruca wrote:Some good ideas there for after the initial release, Full Bleed.

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:27 pm
by oleingva
. . . that would pretty much be the same thing, yes! :) :oops:

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:16 am
by Full Bleed
Btw, I love that the token shows up in the new TS.

I do, however, think we should be able to turn that off, or have them show at half-size/quarter-size so that the table take up less room.

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:15 am
by heruca
You'll probably be able to specify the exact size of the artwork, or turn it off altogether, in the initial release.

But I suspect most users will leave the art turned on, as it makes figuring out who is who a heck of a lot easier and faster. It may also be configureable to show portrait art instead of token art (although highly shrunken portrait art isn't very appealing, IMO).

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:34 pm
by ursus
In the first screenshot, you show health status. Does this adjust automatically based on hit points, or do you have to adjust it manually?

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:53 pm
by heruca
The Health Status indicator (color-coded halo) is set manually. Different people may want each color to represent a different HP threshold.