Proposal: Allow Character Builder summary sheets in place of EW templates - Page 9




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    Quote Originally Posted by evilbob View Post
    There already exists Excel 4.0 sheets which are incredible. They fall into the "need to be constantly updated" category, tho. They are on Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition.
    Actually, I say this, and then when I test it out by entering one of my characters I find 2 errors (one missing power and incorrect application of Weapon Focus: Staff). So we'd still be at the mercy of someone else's programming.

    (I changed my edit.)

 

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    Just Started fooling around with Google Docs Spreadsheet and I already feel really good about this. I'll have something substantial within the next few days. If I can't sleep, something to see by tomorrow.
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    Awesome, Scorp! I look forward to seeing something substantial!

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    I agree with Kalidrev, can't wait to see what you'll come up with. Get some sleep though.

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    You know, a lot of the requirements listed by evilbob could be met by pages on a wiki but without using code templates. Basically just "plain text doc" on a wiki would still give you a common place to store things, plus a page history that could be tracked and viewed.

    The advantage of the templates to make the summary on the current sheets is just that it outputs a nice, consistent format, which is definitely a plus. But that's not an absolute requirement. A simple template for the sheet - not a code template, but just a sort of pre-formatted example sheet you could fill in and use for cutting and pasting - might produce results that are almost as good, and would almost certainly be less work to fill out.

    That would still leave math for character checking. If the CB summary can stand in for that, then great for those who have CB. Those without CB could still do it "long hand", or maybe an excel/google doc spreadsheet could be made for that limited purpose.

    I'm not saying this would be the best solution, but no one seems to have even mentioned it, and it seems worth considering. We will have to find a new wiki at some point anyway, that cannot be avoided. Magical Excel spreadsheets or javascript would be great, but realistically they simply may not be practical.
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    Part of the point of a template is that you can put in one number once and then it fills itself in multiple times. I'm not knocking the "fill out a page" idea, but it is undeniably slower. Quick vs. easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evilbob View Post
    Part of the point of a template is that you can put in one number once and then it fills itself in multiple times. I'm not knocking the "fill out a page" idea, but it is undeniably slower. Quick vs. easy.
    If it was actually quick, no one would be complaining...

    Now if we had a sheet where all you do is plug in the number once and that's it, that would be awesome. However, that's not how it is now. If I have to pick taking time out to long hand a sheet and taking time pulling my hair out trying to figure out the wiki templates, I'm going with the longhand even if it takes the same amount of time. At least longhand isn't frustrating and tiring plus everyone understands the longhand right out of the gate and can start a sheet with right away.

    And to comment on what you said 'it is undeniably slower.'. Really? IMO I could make a character sheet from scratch in the time I finish a wiki character and I'd do it much quicker if we start with a blank sheet and fill in the boxes.

    To reply to ryryguy, I'd personally like nothing better than to never see a wiki sheet ever again. That's why the goggle option makes me smile. If we can make wiki work so that we just type in normally and we don't use any coding, I might change my mind. Maybe...

    I'd be all for a CB file or a excel math section attached to whatever we end up with. The plus of excel is that it's easy to understand and fill out with auto math adding things up. If we leave it as just the basics (hp, defenses, skills) it shouldn't be hard at all to do. If we could add the excel directly into the sheet that'd be even better but I have no idea if that's a viable idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by samursus View Post
    The question is, since some others have expressed they have no problem with things as is, does the community want to expand? If there is a serious need/desire to expand the player base... then I would humbly agree with the others who have said the chargen process needs to change. If there is no such need/desire, then... it is what it is.
    For my part, expansion is not a goal, but it's not something necessarily to be avoided, either. We need some influx, since we're always losing people to burnout, loss of interest, lack of free time, interference from that pesky real life nonsense, and so forth. Without new people, we'll eventually trail off into inactivity. (*cough*LEW*cough*) Besides, there are lots of really cool, interesting people in the world, and I'm pretty sure not all of them have joined L4W yet.
    But we can't afford to grow too quickly, either. Right now we have plenty of DMs for our player base, and we're (barely) keeping up with judging responsibilities. But if we got 50 new players tomorrow, well, that would be messy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dekana View Post
    Would it be practical to port over the enworld wiki to wikia.com? Our current scheme may not be the easiest for new users, but it has a lot of benefits that have been pointed out by evilbob. I like the wiki.
    I think it's time for something like this, yes. Someone (JNC?) made a test wiki over at wikia to try it out: L4e test Wiki

    Someone should try copying and pasting our templates over there, and a character sheet or two, just to see if it still works outside of enworld.

    I'm not thinking about wikia with a mind towards changing our character sheets or improving reviewability or anything like that (so this is a bit off-topic), just thinking of trying to preserve the information content of the wiki for when Morrus gets around to shutting it off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by elecgraystone View Post
    If it was actually quick, no one would be complaining...
    Right. And if it were quicker, it would probably be less easy. (Although our current sheets could probably get cleaned up a bit to fix both, there is an upper limit.)

    As for relative ease and speed, wiki vs. hand sheets: I guess honestly it comes down to "what you are used to." I understand the wiki pages very well now, although I spent about a full day to do it. But now I could fill them out very quickly. Hand sheets are slow, but if you're used to them, you could also fill them out quickly (or at least, as in your case, faster than the wiki). Neither are particularly fast for newbies, tho.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evilbob View Post
    As for relative ease and speed, wiki vs. hand sheets: I guess honestly it comes down to "what you are used to." I understand the wiki pages very well now, although I spent about a full day to do it. But now I could fill them out very quickly.
    Lucky you. I understand them but they are still frustration and time consuming as I go back and edit the same thing 20 times to get it to look right or show what I want. If I did it long hand I'd only be filling it out once and fixing actual mistakes instead of fixing wiki mistakes over and over again.

    Case in point: Trying to type in one of the new summon druid powers, summon pack wolf. Do you know how many BLANKing time I tried to get it to BLANKing show the BLANKing instinctive effects? I lost count... If it'd been my first character, there would have been a good chance I'd have given up.

    Quote Originally Posted by evilbob View Post
    Hand sheets are slow, but if you're used to them, you could also fill them out quickly (or at least, as in your case, faster than the wiki). Neither are particularly fast for newbies, tho.
    Slow and I know what I typing. I'm never sure that what I type in wiki will look like what I typed when I accept it. While the hand sheet might be slow, there isn't the frustration factor of things not working like you think they should. Really, how many time do you expect someone new to try to enter the same information before they throw up their hands and give up?

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