Roll20 uses cookies to improve your experience on our site. Cookies enable you to enjoy certain features, social sharing functionality, and tailor message and display ads to your interests on our site and others. They also help us understand how our site is being used. By continuing to use our site, you consent to our use of cookies. Update your cookie preferences .
×
Create a free account
This post has been closed. You can still view previous posts, but you can't post any new replies.

Handouts ought to link to characters, not to players

1336349258
Agemegos
KS Backer
As an exercise, and because I am hoping to get up a game amongst the beta testers, I am setting up a con game that I designed some years ago in Roll20. In this game, each character consists of four pages: three Word documents and a hand-filled form. I'm going to have to scan the forms, I guess. At the con I photocopies two of those pages onto each side of an A4 leaf, so that each player had one side of two A5 pages to read before play and one side of two A5 pages to work from during play. That that's not practical here. Now, of those four pages, one is a character description with a picture, a phrase describing professional role, a phrase describing persona, age, homeworld, biography, family, hobbies, biomods, and relationships to other characters. That stuff has all gone very well into that pop-up page thingie that you get when you double-click on the characters in the character menu. No worries there. Second page is a briefing on the setting and the situation. Four characters get one version, and the fifth gets a slightly different one. Third page is a character sheet, which I'm going to have to scan, I guess. Handout is the obvious way to distribute those, and each player gets a different one. Fourth page is an equipment list, different for each character. What I would like to do is to set up the characters so that each one comes with the biographico-thingie, the appropriate briefing, the appropriate character sheet, and the appropriate equipment list. But I can't, because I can't attach handouts to characters, only to players, and I don't have any players in the campaign to attach things to at the time I am preparing the campaign.
1336349694
Deightine
KS Backer
Sheet Author
Solution idea: Perhaps have Characters be something we can create as a placeholder in the editor, then assign them to logged in players? That would also have the added benefit of doing all of the "assign this token, assign this handout, assign this name" etc that we have to do right now, but all at once, just by assigning a Character to a Player. Just a thought.
1336350395
Agemegos
KS Backer
Yeah, that's what I had in mind. Assign handouts and tokens to the characters (and at that stage, in future, save the campaign as a module). Then when players join we (or if someone else launches our module to play the adventure, he or she) can assign the character to players and all the other fiddly assignments (info handouts, individual items handled as handouts, etc.) will follow automatically without effort or error.
1336351455
JJ
KS Backer
The more I think about it, the more I'd like to see just about every mechanic link to a character rather than a player. That would make prep time a lot easier, and then there'd be no chance that I'd forget to give a player access to see a handout or NPC that they've met before, after that player joins the game for a given session.
1336355789
Deightine
KS Backer
Sheet Author
Well, we could handle NPCs the same way, if you think about it. Just have it default to the GM if there is no assigned player, etc.
1336356947
Nolan T. J.
Roll20 Team
The more I think about it, the more I'd like to see just about every mechanic link to a character rather than a player. That would make prep time a lot easier, and then there'd be no chance that I'd forget to give a player access to see a handout or NPC that they've met before, after that player joins the game for a given session. That's an interesting idea. Out of curiosity, do most people think linking macros to "characters" as opposed to "players" is more beneficial? (To be fair, as we're like 80% GM's in here, I take our mindset with a grain of salt sometimes... :)
1336360866
Abd al Rahman
KS Backer
Sheet Author
API Scripter
I think it is more beneficial.
1336373479
Ixnay
KS Backer
I organize by character, not by player. I think the players do, too. While some macros would be common, most macros will apply to the character. The same applies to handouts, place on the tracker, and tokens.
1336385522
Eric D.
KS Backer
Having everything link to Character would be very useful when doing campaign setup. Then when we start a game I can quickly go and assign each char to the right player for that evening. While we generally play with the same group this would make life easier when someone was missing and other person was doubling up and playing two PCs
1336396627
Riley D.
Roll20 Team
It's hilarious that this is exactly how the token assigning used to work (see that very first overview video where I show it like that), and then I went back and enabled token assignment directly to players instead because I thought it was too many levels of abstraction to have to assign tokens to Characters then Characters to players. I think the benefit (as you guys have pointed out) is that you can do a lot of prep work in advance and then just modify one value to allow the Player to do everything that "Character" can do. The "Modules" point is another good one too and one I hadn't really even considered at this stage yet. The disadvantage (aside from the abstraction I already pointed out) is that it puts a requirement on the GM to make a Character for each PC no matter what. Which was actually what made me remove it since I thought it went against the simplicity of just dragging and dropping a token then going. Maybe the solution here is to let you assign a token (and handouts?) to *either* a Player or a Character -- so you can assign it to Characters if you want that level of abstraction (and then of course we'll give any Players who have control of that Character control of the token), or if you are just looking to keep things straight and simple you can just assign directly to Players. I'm not really sure what to do about macros, yet...
1336397391
Eric D.
KS Backer
Dual-Assignment seems quite reasonable if you won't go insane implementing it :)
1336397819
Daryl P.
KS Backer
I'm on the "assign to player" side, but I do understand the perspective put forth here of assigning to a character. Maybe abstract it further so you can have "seats" that are later filled by a player once the players join after the campaign is created, and thus [these "players who haven't joined yet"] can be assigned a given characters and all associated content in advance.
1336400219
Agemegos
KS Backer
The disadvantage (aside from the abstraction I already pointed out) is that it puts a requirement on the GM to make a Character for each PC no matter what. Which was actually what made me remove it since I thought it went against the simplicity of just dragging and dropping a token then going. Well, making a character is pretty simple: click "add", type the player's name, click "close". Besides, I don't see that you do have to do it if you are happy to leave handouts unassigned, which is what now you have no choice but to do. Maybe the solution here is to let you assign a token (and handouts?) to *either* a Player or a Character I'm not happy about this from a point of view of either programming or conceptual simplicity, but I think you might have to do that anyway, for those game in which play starts before the players have characters, and character creation is the goal and result of the first session or first part of a session, I.e. in which character design is part of the game and not something external and preliminary. GMs could work around by assigning each player a dummy character ab initio and then letting character-player edit them as the characters acquire definiteness. Perfectly functional, but I'm seeing a bit of principled resistance to workarounds. I'd just like to add that "grab a token and go" isn't all that straightforward. In the first place, in some games play begins before you have a character, let alone a location. Second, I'm finding it very difficult and time-consuming to find PC tokens that are even vaguely suitable for the pPCs in the games I want to run.
1336555052
Dakcenturi
KS Backer
I think the character assign is needed and if to have that dual assignment is needed then I support that.