RandomDM got rocked like a hurricane!

Posted on Updated on

Alright all you pesky readers.  I know you’ve been waiting for this one a lot longer than normal.  But there’s been a couple of things tying up my time.  In my free time, I’ve been working on getting ready for the reunion that we are planning for the Mud that I am an admin on.  Yes, it’s true.  I STILL Mud.  It has drained what little free time the day job allows
me these days.  And then, well here’s the post, and you’ll understand the other reason:

Last time there was a lot of weird code
that was displayed and not talked about so this time let’s look at that big clump of splits and dissect it a little.  The code looks like this:

_
{Split~weather_description,"<li>",str_blah,str_sky,str_rain,str_wind,weather_description}
_
{Split~str_sky,"<br>",str_blah,str_sky}
_ {If~str_blah != "" ?
|str_rain = %str_sky%||str_sky = %str_blah%|/}
_{Split~weather_description,":",str_blah,weather_description}
_
{Split~weather_description,"font>",int_temp_high,int_temp_low}
_ {Split~int_temp_low," /
",str_blah, int_temp_low}

weather_description is what we get from
the line that looks like:

|weather_description = [Weather
Generator(2,{Dice~1d5}, {Dice~1d13}, {Dice~1d12},1,1).MWeather]|

And then we need to manipulate the weather_description, strip out some of the nasty special formating that is spit out, like the we do this up in [GET WEATHER]  before we slip into  splitting our weather description into the various variables that we need to build our atmosphere.  We use this little str_blah at the beginning of our splits because of the way the text is coming out that there is nothing we need or want at the beginning, and then we used weather_description at the end so that we continue to store the remainder of the string so that we can continue to manipulate it.

With our variables we need to make our text strings.  And that is the fun of using table smith.  Our weather tells us about the type of cloud cover that is going on. We also know what kind of wind that we have, but now we need to decide what our actual temperature is.  After some testing I’ve discovered an issue; we are storing temperature as a string and not as an integer.  And I am not aware of a way to cast that string to an integer.  So what do we do about it?  Well we go back to the drawing board and we simplify the table.

So, I stared at this table on and off again for a couple of weeks, and couldn’t figure out a great way to do the weather system, so I turn to you my intrepid readers, what way do you think we should take this table?  How would you do the weather system for our table, or would you just abandon the weather all together?  Let’s hear about it in the comments.

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8 thoughts on “RandomDM got rocked like a hurricane!

    JB Willers said:
    August 30, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Miracles never cease! An article on Tuesday!

    Ok don’t wan’t to provoke, might piss of RandomDM altogether and never hear from him again.
    An interesting point you make wrt. the weather part of Graveyard.tab.

    I was looking at your previous mails on the Table and it seems to me that you might have lost track of what you initially wanted to accomplish with the table.

    I don’t think my party will be concerned with the fact that it is 4 degrees Celcius outside with low cloud cover. If the table could give a random description of the weather as part of the whole experience of visiting the Graveyard then that should cover the “weather” part of the table.

    What we can do is link the weather conditions to other descriptive factors like wind, mist, wetness of the ground, smells and also the venue itself. As far as I recall the table needed to provide for different cities or cultures? in which case a desert Citadel’s graveyard with most probably not experience rainy weather…

    …My two cents – if you agree I throw some more ideas at you. In any event thanks for the effort Troy. As always an entertaining read.

    JB

      TheRandomDM responded:
      August 30, 2011 at 7:17 am

      I sort of agree. I think the mood and setting of a graveyard has a lot to do with the weather. So I was focusing on that aspect.

      My plan for the next installment was to work on ‘interesting’ tombstones so that I could mull over the discussions being had over the best way to handle the weather.

      Thank you JB, for being a dedicated reader to the blog.

    Rxmouton said:
    August 30, 2011 at 7:40 am

    You have the same problem that I do (and it is a problem with Tablesmith.)

    I table starts out simple: I want to generate a graveyard. As you are working is Then you think, wouldn’t it be great if I could add………….etc.

    Tablesmith is a problem because it’s easy to add all this extra crap. Unfortunately it takes alot of time to research, type it all up and add intelligence.

    It does look great when it all comes together though.

      TheRandomDM responded:
      August 30, 2011 at 8:02 am

      I wouldn’t say that it is a problem. It’s a strength. The problem per-se, lies in the lack of ‘utility’ tables that solve these underlining issues. Valminder spent a lot of time when TS 5 came out to I believe to try and solve this issue and come up with an elegant way to deal with it.

      What hasn’t happened since then, is a community effort to retain those standards.

    Rxmouton said:
    August 30, 2011 at 7:50 am

    As far as the weather goes…….yes I agree with JB somewhat.

    The goal is to get a graveyard generator. Since weather and atmosphere tables are not yet created I saw you simply add some pre-generated blurbs from another table. Later you can go back and really flesh it out.

    It’s a similar concept that they used in the 3.5 DMG for NPCs. They created a table of NPC’s with all of their stats. Similar to a rogues gallery.

    I’d create a table with entries like,
    1, there is a chill in the air and a low fog clinging to the ground.
    2, the moon above shines through a clear sky casting distorted shadows on the ground.
    3, dew clings to every tombstone in the grayeyard and the air is deathly still.

      TheRandomDM responded:
      August 30, 2011 at 8:06 am

      I think the gist of what the two of you are saying is, weather is less important than I have been making it and need to focus more on the graveyard itself.

    JB Willers said:
    August 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Well ok Troy, let’s look at it this way…Your original plan (and it was a good plan) was to layout the table like this:

    :GRAVEYARD NAME
    :CITY
    :NATION
    :SIZE OF BURIALS
    :ADDITIONAL FEATURES
    :HISTORY OF GRAVEYARD
    : DESCRIPTION OF GRAVEYARD
    :NOTABLE INTERNMENTS
    :TYPICAL MONUMENTS
    :GRAVEYARD SECTIONS
    :NOTABLE MONUMENTS
    :HAUNTINGS
    :BURIALS

    I have always found that creating smaller sub tables and referencing them to a larger table will make more sense. One by one each sub table can be tested and included to the larger one. This solves the (very common) problem we all sit with that RXMouton refers to.

    Because we utilise variables it can be referred to from on central location/table etc. Obviously this can also allows you (in a limited way) to outsource the sub tables to friends.

    I always want to a) up the descriptions b) dolly up the look and feel of the page. So the golden rule is sticking to the …ahem… plan.

    RX’s descriptive example wrt the weather is what I thought you had in mind in the first place.

      TheRandomDM responded:
      August 30, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      Yes, smaller groups/tables are always a great way to add flexibility, testability, and every more goodness. But I tend to get bogged down in the smaller details.

      In regard too the weather, I had the idea that I was going build the description of the graveyard. And I was determined to get it to include a weather description. And then as a teaching exercise I thought it might be possible to show how we’d use another table to easily add depth to our table. But I failed in that aspect.

      But you definitely remind me of a great point. And a reason to do an outline at the beginning. You can jump around and work on different parts of the table when you get stuck.

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