Scarred Lands 5E Material

150 years after the defeat of the Titans, the world remains scarred and untamed.
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Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:49 am

OK folks. Since 5E is now officially a thing for the Scarred Lands (thanks to the license and the kickstarter), we can start writing material for it (instead of screwing up with a ill-fated system).

So here is a document containing material that I wrote some time ago, in French, updated for D&D 5E and of course translated => https://scarredlandslite.wordpress.com/sanctuary/

Have fun reading and do not hesitate to give me your feedback ;)

EDIT: btw, Big Mac, do you think this website could be added to the list of Scarred Lands links?
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by Big Mac » Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:29 pm

haazeven wrote:OK folks. Since 5E is now officially a thing for the Scarred Lands (thanks to the license and the kickstarter), we can start writing material for it (instead of screwing up with a ill-fated system).

So here is a document containing material that I wrote some time ago, in French, updated for D&D 5E and of course translated => https://scarredlandslite.wordpress.com/sanctuary/

Have fun reading and do not hesitate to give me your feedback ;)

EDIT: btw, Big Mac, do you think this website could be added to the list of Scarred Lands links?
I've added your website to the links sticky, but you might want to have a chat with the new owners of Scarred Lands, to see if they would like to buy any of the stuff you are writing. :)
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:26 pm

Thanks for the heads up ;) As far as contacting the owners of the scarred lands go, let just say that i had an update prepared for the site, and that i am waiting before releasing it :p
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by Tim Baker » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:28 am

In case you hadn't heard, the 5e Scarred Lands Kickstarter ends at 5 p.m. PST on 2-Feb-2016. It's already funded and includes several stretch goals. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/18 ... escription
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:49 pm

This is exactly why I did this stuff (and also why I did it for 5E :P )
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Sat Feb 06, 2016 5:40 pm

Update! A good 40-50 new spells and magic items, all with a nice backstory for the Scarred Lands! (well, at least I hope it is nice)

You'll find it *here* and I added a few notes *here*

Once the SLPG hits I will add a few more things (notably I need some rules about tattoos and runes), but otherwise this is a kind of "director's cut" of the material I did a while back at the Sanctuaire des Terres Balafrées. I did not convert everything, simply because not everything was worthy of being converted (I was a teenager then, and let just say that my ideas were not as good as I thought there were...)
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:37 am

I have started converting monsters from the different SL books to 5E ^^ I started with the small sourcebooks as it gives a better sensation of "I did something" than a huge books of mobs ;)

As it turns out, conversion is not that complicated thanks to the handy charts given in the DMG. I tried to keep the same CR as in the 3.X versions, or at least close, and give fun abilities to some of these monsters (of course, while still respecting the theme). Unfortunately, nothing is playtested, so we have to trust the table to provide a reasonable CR...

It's available here => https://scarredlandslite.wordpress.com/reliquary/

Enjoy ;)

And if there is a specific mob you need, do not hesitate to ask me, I may do it earlier ^^
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:35 pm

The 5E conversion of the Scarred Lands monsters is progressing slowly, but surely. Most of the small sourcebooks have received the 5E treatment, which makes around 40 creatures ranging from CR 1/8 to CR 22. Yes 22! Actually, there are three monsters at CR 20+, which were all quite challenging to portray (but I hope I gave them unique and interesting abilities).

You will notice that a few archetypes and humanoid races are missing. I am still not confident in writing templates for 5E, and humanoids, well, I prefer to see how the SLPG treats some of these before going further.

Anyway, enjoy!

*Link*

Next: Finish the small sourcebooks, then attack the mighty Creature Collections ^^
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by Tim Baker » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:31 am

haazeven wrote:The 5E conversion of the Scarred Lands monsters is progressing slowly, but surely. Most of the small sourcebooks have received the 5E treatment, which makes around 40 creatures ranging from CR 1/8 to CR 22.
Nice work! I can tell a lot of effort went into this. I like that you took the time to add Monsters by Type and Subtype and Monsters by CR indices at the back. You may want to consider adding page numbers and even link those page numbers back to their pages. I look forward to seeing the additions that you make.
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:53 pm

True, adding pages and link would be a great update^^ I'll see what I can do about it (best thing would be to generate it automatically, but I'm not sure how to do it... I will give it a try and see how it goes :P
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:51 am

I've found a way to do it, and it involves switching from OpenOffice to LaTeX (which is, on the long run, a rather good option given that OpenOffice crashes a lot with large documents, especially when there is a lot of column breaks...) The next version should have really nice indexes ^^
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by Tim Baker » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:03 am

haazeven wrote:I've found a way to do it, and it involves switching from OpenOffice to LaTeX (which is, on the long run, a rather good option given that OpenOffice crashes a lot with large documents, especially when there is a lot of column breaks...) The next version should have really nice indexes
Glad to hear it. I look forward to checking it out.
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:41 pm

The new version is now online ;) *direct link*

It features almost all monsters from the small sourcebooks, and a handful of monsters from the 3 Creature Collections ^^ I've put a separate chapter for unique monsters, animals and templates, and the indexes are by type and by CR (there is a small glitch somewhere in the alphabetical order but well, doesn't really matter.

Have fun!

EDIT: don't expect an update pretty soon, I'm going to be quite busy next months :P
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by Tim Baker » Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:29 pm

haazeven wrote:The new version is now online ;) *direct link*

It features almost all monsters from the small sourcebooks, and a handful of monsters from the 3 Creature Collections ^^ I've put a separate chapter for unique monsters, animals and templates, and the indexes are by type and by CR (there is a small glitch somewhere in the alphabetical order but well, doesn't really matter.
Very nice! Thanks for sharing this with the community. :)
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:00 am

You're welcome!

I'm currently working on a small program to automatize things, because monster creation has some very boring and mathy parts that a computer will do better/faster than me anyway^^ I'm not sure how long before it is ready, though...
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by Tim Baker » Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:32 am

haazeven wrote:I'm currently working on a small program to automatize things, because monster creation has some very boring and mathy parts that a computer will do better/faster than me anyway.
I like that you're thinking big. You should absolutely separate the data extraction from the visual presentation. That opens up so many doors later on.
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:12 pm

I have something that works^^ Of course it is far from wysiwyg (I'm working with raw text files, then I have a C++ program that creates LaTeX files, which are then compiled into a PDF, with indexes and such...), but it's works fine for now (I haven't checked legendary abilities and such so far, it will come in time...) And it is (relatively) less painful (I don't have to calculate DC, saves, hp and so forth, even the damage values are automatically adjusted to what they should be [more or less]). Right now I'm in the first Creature Collection, I will update when I advance a little bit more!
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by Tim Baker » Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:42 pm

haazeven wrote:I have something that works. Of course it is far from wysiwyg (I'm working with raw text files, then I have a C++ program that creates LaTeX files, which are then compiled into a PDF, with indexes and such...), but it's works fine for now.
Sounds like a solid approach. Have you considered using a scripted language, so you can more rapidly make changes and see the results, rather than having to go first wait on the compiler? Or are you set up using an IDE, so that compiling happens behind the scenes, essentially?
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:25 am

Currently, I'm using two different tools:

1) QtCreator for C++. Currently, I suspect there are still a few bugs here and there so I prefer to launch the C++ code directly from QtCreator (I can debug more easily). But one day, I hope, this will be simply an executable where I just have to click on it and magic! it works!

2) Texnicenter for LaTeX. Here, it's just a question of opening the LaTeX main file and compiling it. There should be a way to do it directly in the C++ program though, but to do that I have to have a look at where the different LaTeX executables are on my computer and what are the exact command lines. It's not a priority but it is something I will do at some point, because, if it can save me a step in the process, it's better XD

The thing is that sometimes, I end up with monsters going very high on the defensive or offensive side. While I don't mind a small difference in offense and defense, sometimes the gap feels pretty weird for some reason (especially defensive, I tend to overestimate the number of hit points and the AC of these things...) So when this happens, I have to tweaks the numbers a little bit so that it feels better (and then, re-run the whole thing again...) Now that I think about it, I should have a post-processing that adjusts these things automatically... Well, it's a work in progress as you can see ^^
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by Tim Baker » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:34 am

So if I'm understanding correctly, you're using QtCreator to build a Qt-based GUI, which you then use to convert the original Scarred Lands monsters into 5e versions. From there, you take the output and transform it into LaTeX? So you're not often recompiling your C++, because you've created a GUI tool, is that correct? If so, that sounds like a reasonable approach, and shouldn't require recompiling very often (as you mentioned, you only need to recompile when you're tweaking numbers).

Did you learn software development at a university? Self taught?
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:05 am

I learned programming in college, yes. And I rely quite heavily on it for my work actually, I'm doing numerical mechanics ^^ (I like programming a lot actually, otherwise I wouldn't have done what I did for this conversion...)

I'm not using the GUI tools from Qt yet (maybe in the future, not sure about that), I chose QtCreator because it can install/compile/run C++ code on Windows without too much pain. I'm using Linux at work, but I don't have a Linux computer at home for a couple of years now, so I'm doing with whatever I can with the Windows computer I have here ^^ Also, the Qt library is good for all kind of file and string manipulations (much better than the standard C++ lib), which is really useful for what I'm doing.

Essentially, now that the code is done, what I'm doing is writing text files that contain the description of monsters and/or special abilities (because they are plenty of abilities out there that I don't want to copy-paste over and over again), with special keywords to indicate where to put the damage, DC, etc etc. Then the C++ program crunches the numbers and transforms it in a LaTex file with the final numbers.

For example, here is a text file with a basic "Melee Weapon Attack" ability

Code: Select all

MWA#7
#5=Str
#6=5
#7=one target
$name=#1
$dmg=#2
$dmgd=#3
$dmgt=#4
$bba=#5
\textit{Melee Weapon Attack:} {#bba} to hit, reach {#6} ft, {#7}. \textit{Hit:} {#dmg}.
The first line is the keyword used to identify the ability, followed by "#", then the number of variables required to call it
Lines 2-4 define the default values of arguments #5 to #7, if they are not defined
Argument 1 is the printed name of the ability (i.e. Tail, Bite, etc)
Argument 2 is the total amount of damage it should do
Argument 3 the type of dice used for the damage
Argument 4 the type of damage (bludgeoning, acid, etc)
Argument 5 the ability used to calculate the attack and damage bonus
Argument 6 is the reach
Argument 7 is the type of target
The last line is the text that will be printed in the end

Then, in a monster file, I simply have one line to create the attack ability, for example

Code: Select all

action=MWA#Slam#0.3#8#b
With the first token (MWA) being the keyword of the ability, then all necessary arguments, separated by "#"

This will print, in fine, in the LaTeX file:

Slam: Melee Weapon Attack: +X to hit, reach 5 ft, one target. Hit: Y (Ad8+B) bludgeoning damage.

With X, Y, A, and B automatically calculated...


And more or less any ability can be created like that, so in a way, it is a kind of specific language for 5E monsters^^
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by Tim Baker » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:28 am

Very cool. I'm a software development manager, so I really dig simplifying our lives through the automation of otherwise mundane and repetitive tasks.
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Wed May 25, 2016 1:17 am

Update! I went back to the previous way of doing stuff (that is, just with *.tex files, but functions to autogenerate some common traits or actions like attacks, keen senses, stuff like that). Partly because I have already a huge chunk of work already done with this (I'm currently sitting on almost 150 monsters in that document, and I don't want to do the work twice).

But mostly because I spend too much time thinking about the syntax of the stupid files I have written rather than actually creating monsters (plus, the syntax can't handle complicated stuff, including abilities that for example deal damage of different types. It could with some work, but well, I don't think it's worth my time considering the syntax...)

So instead, I did a very small GUI that gives me the defensive and offensive CR based on hit points, AC, damage per turn, etc. I still have to compute these in my head, but at least I don't have to look at the stupid table anymore ^^ Also, the GUI gives me the dice-code corresponding to a certain target, so that I can calculate HP much more easily. It's simple, and it saves a fair amount of time ;)

I should be able to release an updated document relatively soon, maybe ^^
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by Tim Baker » Wed May 25, 2016 1:41 am

Sounds good to me. If it's helping you be productive, then by all means, stick with what you're doing! Thanks for keeping us posted.
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Re: Scarred Lands 5E Material

Post by haazeven » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:32 pm

The Creature Conversion project is slowly but surely progressing, and you can find the latest version ***here***

The monster count reaches around 180 monsters, including around 10 archetypes, and 6 diseases, with monsters from all official 3.X Scarred Lands sourcebooks, and the document itself has reached the 100 pages mark (wouhou!).

I've tried to streamline abilities as much as possible, copying abilities from the Monster Manual whenever appropriate (I think I still have a confusion over grappling attacks, but I will resolve that in a next iteration...) Also, I have removed NPC races for the time being, as I want to do something special for them...

Have fun!
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