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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 68 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: A funny thing happened on my way to my character...  (Read 2237 times)
Lxndr
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« on: December 25, 2003, 09:57:57 AM »

Well, not really funny.  But I decided I'd try to make myself a character, and then I realized - you know, I really don't like doing stuff by hand.  Years of having computer programs help me with crunchy games like Rolemaster, Riddle of Steel, and HERO, have left me impatient (but not unable).  So, I whipped up a chintzy little Excel spreadsheet that roughly mimics the character burner worksheet.

You can get it at http://www.twistedconfessions.com/files/burner.xls

It's really nothing special, and it requires just as much reliance on the character burner as before - partly because I'm lazy, and partly because doing some of the stuff (like keeping track of Shades) is HARD.  Nonetheless, I thought I'd share it with y'all.

I don't think I'm going to create an excel spreadsheet for a "final character sheet."  But who knows?
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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Kaare_Berg
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2003, 07:05:38 AM »

tnak you thank you thank you.

I am a lazy GM and this will lift workload of my shoulder.

I never seem to get the time to generate proper NPCS, have to soon though.
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Lxndr
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2003, 07:50:06 AM »

You're welcome.  :)  I figured I wasn't the only lazy one out there, and it's not like I couldn't spare the bandwidth.  I soon plan on making a "version 1.1" that handles a few things better (like Training Skills, which right now are quite honestly handled incredibly poorly in the spreadsheet - it WORKS, but it doesn't work WELL) and has a little better format.  But this is the product that helped me make my badass spider, Kraxx, as well as a few other half-formed character ideas that I tossed out for one reason or another.

Anyway, you're welcome, and once Version 1.1 comes out, I'll post here.
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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Lxndr
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2003, 08:44:11 AM »

Update:  Version 1.1 is now available.  Same URL - I over-wrote the old one.

Changes:

* Highlighted in yellow all the equations.  I just felt like it, no real reason there.  In addition, fixed a number of formatting issues so the spreadsheet looks better when it's filled in.  Yeah, it's just a worksheet, but that doesn't mean it has to be ugly.

* Fixed the "Lead" column so it only adds a year to your age if you put "Y" in there (it was doing it if you put "N" in there as well).

* Added default shades to the skills, and set up the skill list so that the "required skills" from each lifepath would show up on the list.

* Revised the skill list so that a Training Skill would be a default "2" points and never be changed.  Right now this spreadsheet only recognizes three options for skills - Training, Open, and Not-Open.  

(I can't remember how stuff like Elven Songs, Dwarven Crafts, and Spirit Hunter Barks work... is it just "spend 2 skill points like a Training skill, but then you can raise it like a regular skill"?  If so, maybe I should change how the Training Skill stuff works back to how it was before.  I'll check my books once I get home - I'm at work - but if anyone can tell me before then, let me know.)

* Set up the Health, Reflexes, and Mortal Wound shades so they'd be able to MAYBE calculate the final shade.  They can be edited in case I'm wrong.

* Set up the "Faith" row so it can be edited, in case you've got a character with Hatred, or Grief, or Ancenstral Taint, or anything else you can imagine.  (I'm working on a race that has "Craving").

* Added a "Resources Remaining" field, which I inexplicably left out.
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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Luke
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2003, 10:42:09 AM »

Dwarven Crafts, Elven Songs and Wolf Howls all cost 2 pts to open are advanced like a normal skill.

Can't wait to see this (must find a machine with excel!)

-L
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Lxndr
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2003, 11:24:29 AM »

Okay, thanks to Luke's guidance, I've tweaked the skill-cost calculations again, and uploaded the new file (once again just over-writing the old one).  Right now, there are the following options in that section:

* "N" for a skill that is not opened (useful on a sheet like this so you can debate what skills you want open.  This will zero out the cost regardless of what you do to it.

* "Y" for a normal skill that has been opened.  It adds 1 to the total, and the default is "equal to the root."  Root has to be entered manually, because there are too many variables to take into consideration and I'm a lazy bastard.

* "T" is for "training or special skills."  It adds 2 to the total, and the default is still "equal to the root."  In other words, it's for both Training Skills, and stuff like Elven Howls or Wolf Crafts.

The sheet assumes that a jump from B to G is 5 points, a jump from B to W is 10 points, and a jump from G to W is 5 points.  It will not recognize or refund points if you go "down" the scale (a skill with a Grey root having a B value, for instance).

Finally, for skills, it assumes you're spending from your "Lifepath Points" unless otherwise specified (there is a "General Points" column to specify differently).

Oh, Luke:  You won't be able to edit the document at all, but with the free "Microsoft Excel 97 Viewer" that you can download from microsoft.com, you can at least look at it.  But seriously, it looks boring - it only becomes interesting during Actual Play.
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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Lxndr
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2003, 08:36:58 AM »

Quote from: abzu, over on the forums on his own site
It cost 5 pts to open a Gray/Heroic skill/stat. (not 6).


With this new information in mind, the spreadsheet has been updated again.  Incidentally, it also means the first two characters I made should both have one more LP skill point to spend.  I wasn't sure how this worked if one tried to "gray out" an elven howl, or dwarven songs, or so on, so that cost might be a little wonky until Luke pops in and gives his correction.  :)
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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Luke
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2003, 01:03:50 PM »

my my, aren't we just digging up burning dirt! ;)

i guess you're right, it would cost 6 pts to open a normally 2 pt skill/song/craft.

5 pts gets you a gray skill opened at your root, 6 pts would get you one a them funny skills at gray opened up at your root. No matter what the shade, what you're really doing is just paying a single point penalty for access to powerful abilities.
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Lxndr
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2003, 01:12:03 PM »

Yeah, when I research something, I research it as thoroughly as I can.  That's just the kind of guy I am.  You should have seen me after reading all 20-odd pages of Sorcerer threads after I got that game.

Anyway, thanks for the clarification, and an even newer version has now been uploaded incorporating those changes.
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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Lxndr
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2004, 08:13:18 PM »

Has anyone besides me managed to use this yet?
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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Luke
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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2004, 11:02:43 PM »

i downloaded it at work (where I have excel), but I have been so busy I haven't been able to do more than look at it. I plan on making a really wacky character to celebrate/christen it though!

-L
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Lxndr
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2004, 06:18:46 AM »

Heh.  You've seen the first two characters I made - I'm all for wacky.  :)  Looking forward to 'em!
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
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