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D20 Reviews/ENWorld Chat on June 12, 2002
On June 12, 2002, there was a moderated chat/interview of Chris Johanson (TwinRose) and Dee Peterson (Fractalwave) in ENWorld's D&D chatroom, with comments from a guest, Mystic Eye Game's Doug Herring (Mystic_Eye). This is the text of the chat.
<thatdarncat> Alright, Twinrose, would you like to introduce yourself please?
<TwinRose> Well, I want to thank everyone who made it, too ... It was kind of a scramble the last half-hour or so as people were contacting me and saying the java client wasn't working for them ... But I see some of them made it after all :)
<TwinRose> Well, my name's Chris, and I'm the founder and owner of Twin Rose Software.  I've been a software developer for about 10 years, professionally, and maybe another 4 years before that on an amateur and 'learning' level.
<AltReality> (Feel free to ask questions now, and we'll start forwarding them when it's time)
<thatdarncat> (Please ask questions, I only have so many perpared!)
<TwinRose> I've been an avid gamer since we used to play D&D right out of the red box in my fourth grade class, on the stairs at recess.. So D&D (and star frontiers, and gurps, and TMNT) have really been a focal point of my growing up life...
<thatdarncat> Could you tell us a little about your products?
<TwinRose> Hmm from the beginning?  A d20 publisher and I got into a discussion about a contractual work, basically a character and dungeon database that would become the building block for a 'storage' for their products... As time went on, I guess the money ran out, and I was left with the source code and not much to do with it.
<TwinRose> After spreucing it up a little, and making it more generic rather than product-specific, I got in touch with James here from RPGNow about independent sales.  He convinced me to change the name of the product and it became Campaign Suite.
<TwinRose> At the time, it was just a dungeon/treasure/basic character generator... but, the d20 system is really a living, breathing entity now ... and for everything added, there's been 10 new things from various publishers needed.
<thatdarncat> What has your biggest challenge been in developing Campaign Suite?
<TwinRose> OGL and D20 compliance.  Writing code is really the easy part, but writing the data-files in such a way that the code can interpret it, without being dependent on the data itself, and being able to maintain that ever-important 'clearly identified open content'.  That, and trying to explain how that compliance is important, as opposed to products that do things the OGL forbids.
<TwinRose> Let me know if anything gets cut off as I'm typing
<thatdarncat> will do
<thatdarncat> You've been working with publishers to create addons for their products in Campaign Suite. What's that been like?
* AltReality (hums the Joepardy themesong) hehe
<TwinRose> It's really hard to put into words.  Asside from one or two bad experiences, I've found that the publishers are just great.  It's heartening for me, because of some of my loftier goals, tos ee them willing to work with me and I try to put 110% back to helping them be happy with the arrangement.  Plus, I get to get them using my software in exchange for cool products in the mail :)
<AltReality> (It's cool TR, take your time) :)
<TwinRose> I can only type 95 WPM, give me some credit;)
<AltReality> hehe
<thatdarncat> So the typing problem is software related not hardware? :p
* Fractalwave laughs.
<thatdarncat> How many companies have you worked with now?
<TwinRose> 4 directly, with things in writing and/or in the works.. Plus a number of 'possible' commitments that I don't want to name specifically until somethings official.  Of those I'd say there are another 8 publishers.  Plus a couple where things fell through, sadly, but they may be revisited at a later time.
<thatdarncat> While he's typing there, Mystic_eye, would to introduce yourself?
<thatdarncat> oops :)
<TwinRose> ;)
<TwinRose> Doug can hop in, too;)
<Mystic_Eye> Sure
<Mystic_Eye> Hi all, I am Doug Herring, ther big clown at Mystic Eye Games
<Mystic_Eye> Chris approached me a few months back about adding our creature books to his software
<Mystic_Eye> I thought is was a great idea and we worked it out quickly
<Mystic_Eye> A real win/win for us both and hopefully, d20 fans as well.
<thatdarncat> Have you only done creature books? Or adventures as well?
<Mystic_Eye> So far just N&D 1& 2 but there is more to come
<Mystic_Eye> Sorry, Nightmares & Dreams
<thatdarncat> thanks :)
<thatdarncat> Alright
<Mystic_Eye> Chris is working on Mystic Warriors now and it will include the vitus system
<thatdarncat> What benifits do you see in having Campaign Suite addons for your products?
<Mystic_Eye> Well, as the software catches on it will give folks another great tool to make referencing our products easier.
<TwinRose> That I think will be important.  The 'custom' handling for Vitus will lead CS into a new level of 'custom points' where peole can write scripts for their own points.. And there's a lot of systems out now, and in the future, that will use differen tpoint systems.. (madness, wounds, psionics..)
<thatdarncat> <AltReality> <astralpop> Could I use Campaign Suite for other d20 games, such as Star Wars or Call of Cthulhu?
<TwinRose> Of course, though the 'stock' CS only comes with the SRD information.  Certain minor points might not be able to be used, because they aren't OGC at this time ... But, like I just mentioned with Vitus, once the 'custom handling' for points is installed - anyone should be able to add things like that very easily.
<TwinRose> And, of course, those same points would be able to support 'reputation' from Malls & Morons;)
<thatdarncat> :p
<thatdarncat> <astralpop> Can I add my own modules or user created information into Campaign Suite?
<TwinRose> Oh, yeah.  That's the strong point of the program.  It has customized menus and a very-easy to access expandable tree where you can reference tables, rules, modules, treasures... Nearly any aspect of your game right there.  That is the strongest point, I think, in that there are SO many d20 products out there and I've tried to make it flexible to accomodate just about anything.
<TwinRose> Granted, there have been some weird requests.  "My PRC requires that he have three magical tatoos on one arm, and that he can cast 3 non-cleric divinitions, OR he have green eyes."
<thatdarncat> oh my
<thatdarncat> <astralpop> Is Campaign Suite more of a Dungeon Masters tool rather than a players tool?
<TwinRose> That's a good question.  While personally, I focus on the DM tools - because in my personal games, I'm the DM - it's really easy for DMs to create their world information and share with their players if they are using the same software.  That, and the ability to create data expansions, is why I treid to make the import/open functions as easy and quick as possible.
<thatdarncat> Can you export only specific information to a file and send it to your players?
<TwinRose> Yes and no.  What I did was create 2 files, a 'campaign' file, which contains dm specific stuff and a 'config' file, which contains the feats, skills, races that would be used ... It helps seperate the data, but prevents a situation where exporting your data to your players becomes a chore.
<thatdarncat> <Cold_Beer> "Can CS be used with non-d20 games?"
<TwinRose> It would depend on the game.  The chargen rules and other features are flexible, but if you were using MERP table-references for scores instead of XdY+Z you might run into a snag.  There's no 'point buy' for feats (or, they could be advantages/disadvantages) for a Gurps type system ... At least, not yet.
<TwinRose> I'd like to have it where you can assign 'values' to certain things, positive or negative, and you could at that point use it for GURPS or .. whatever.
<thatdarncat> Are you planning to do something like that in the future?
<TwinRose> Yes, definately.  Some of my own 'designs' actually require something along the lines of Advantages/disadvantages... And I've heard a number of D20 supers games use or plan to use it.
<TwinRose> It also will increase the flexibility of the program, in that eventually I believe people will be able to create their own games from scratch.
<thatdarncat> <anon> What information comes default in Campaign Suite? ie SRD???
<TwinRose> Yep.  The published SRD, and some of the non-published after writing in for special permission (as long as I don't redistribute the SRD itself).  There's also a couple of free data expansions, one for Wild Spellcraft found on my site.  Tournaments, Fairs and Taverns will also be a free one, which I think will really show the 'chart management' features and make looking up various rules a snap.  You could say those come with it...
<thatdarncat> Cool :)
<TwinRose> Well, we're getting close to an hour in, so maybe we could take a moment and do some sort of trivia?
<thatdarncat> was just typing that
<thatdarncat> sure, steal my line :p
<TwinRose> ;)
<thatdarncat> what's the prize?
<Fractalwave> You were not..tdc. You're just saying that. ;)
<thatdarncat> was so, I had it typed all the way out to *drum roll*
* Fractalwave provides the drum roll.....................
<TwinRose> This will be for a paperbound copy of Nightmares & Dreams from Mystic Eye Games.  I'll start with the easiest question I came up with today, because it's my favorite one :)
<thatdarncat> alright
<thatdarncat> Here's how this works people:
<thatdarncat> I'll unmoderate the channel then twinrose will ask his question
<thatdarncat> as soon as someone gives the correct answer, I'll moderate the channel again
<thatdarncat> seeing as FDPJames is not here tonight, I don't expect any trouble :p
<thatdarncat> ready?
<TwinRose> Yeah :)
*** thatdarncat sets mode: -m
<thatdarncat> go
<TwinRose> Q: The true name of the Kendragon in "Scourge of the Wicked Kendragon" was...
<Cold_Beer> ...
<mar> bob?
<SkyKnight> Ummm....Ken?
<Leopold_> Phil
<Enrious> Queen of Lies
<Nightfall> Tasselhoof.
<Cold_Beer> Alvin?
<Celebdraug> fred
<Fractalwave> lol
<Falex> mickey Mouse
<Talath> Pikachu?
<Talath> Mario?
<Falex> Jester
<Talath> Luigi?
<Cold_Beer> Mike and the Mechanics?
<Baastet> Scourge?
<Velik> rumplestilscan?
<Falex> Kirupa
<astralpop> Scourage
<Talath> Ozzy Osbourne?
<Harlock> Meowth
<Falex> John
<mar> arthur?
<astralpop> kendragon
<Falex> Talath
<Wolf72> Anna Kournikova?
<Talath> Frank
<Veander> dragonfyre
<Baastet> Campaign Suite!
<Enrious> Barbiedragon
<Cold_Beer> Kieth Moon?
<Leopold_> Gary Gygax!
<Falex> Granny
* SkyKnight hopes there's a time limit on this. We could be here all night.
<Enrious> Bluffside
<mar> eric noah?
<Nightfall> Belagos.
<Leopold_> Morrus!
<TwinRose> Yikes, I thought this one would be easy for DL fans;)
<Falex> Jesus Christ!
<Nightfall> Orcus Mom!
* Fractalwave agrees with SkyKnight.
<mar> raistlin?
<Leopold_> Kittiera!
<Talath> Dave Arneson
<astralpop> takishis
<Velik> kender
<astralpop> spelling
<Fractalwave> Give em a hint???
<Talath> wait, he is a has been
<astralpop> tahkisis
<thatdarncat> I think they need one
<Leopold_> Kitteria
<SkyKnight> Yes, yes. A hint, a hint.
<Velik> !hint
<Cold_Beer> Sturm?
<Talath> Dalamar the Black
<Talath> Raistlin
<Talath> Goldmoon
<Talath> Tahkisis
<Velik> !hint
<astralpop> soth
<Falex> Cow
<Talath> Elminster?
<Nightfall> Caramon.
<AltReality> haha
<astralpop> gnome
<Falex> Mithrandir!
<Skarp_Hedin> Mapshaker?
<AltReality> Joe Bob
<Nightfall> Stenck!
<Wolf72> bupu
<mar> daramon?
<Cold_Beer> Elvis!
<Fractalwave> Might as well say Sponge Bob Square Pants...
<Veander> wanderfuss
<Falex> Vaeris
<Velik> I think the barbiedragon person should get it for originallity :)
<Celebdraug> weeeee Spongebob!!!!
<Talath> there is no name, just as there is no spoon
<Falex> Emilio Juan Carlos Diego
<TwinRose> Two of you are close lol
<Enrious> mapshaker
<Leopold_> Kitera
<Nightfall> Just a bunch of kenders in jail. :)
<Leopold_> Kittiera
<Leopold_> Kitara
* SkyKnight .oO (Since when is a "kendragon" from DL. I don't seem to remember that.... :)
<Leopold_> Kilana
<Falex> Cthulu
<Talath> Cthulhu?
<Wolf72> astral dragon?
<Talath> Azathoth?
<Kajal> Mapmaker
<Cold_Beer> Hastur.
<astralpop> Cthul'prah
<Cold_Beer> Hastur.
<Falex> oh yea
<Falex> Cthulu
<Nightfall> Tasselhoff Burrfoot.
<NiTessine> Mapshaker Wanderfuss
<Cold_Beer> Hastur.
<Talath> Shub-Niggurath?
<Talath> Yog-Sothoth?
*** thatdarncat sets mode: +m
<thatdarncat> woohoo :)
<thatdarncat> gimme a sec
<TwinRose> Oh man, 2 of you guys ALMOST had it.  
<Fractalwave> a winner?
<AltReality> haha
<thatdarncat> we do
<AltReality> that was nutty
<thatdarncat> <NiTessine> Mapshaker Wanderfuss
<thatdarncat> So, Ni, how long did it take you to find your copy of "Scourge of the Wicked Kendragon"
<thatdarncat> ?
<thatdarncat> :p
<Fractalwave> lol
<thatdarncat> msg AltReality with your address and we'll pass it along
<Fractalwave> about 4 mins to find it and the name
<thatdarncat> I think we've had worse
<thatdarncat> maybe
<AltReality> And you'll get a smal surprise in the mail in 6-8 weeks
<AltReality> small
<thatdarncat> kender sized?
<thatdarncat> Alright, back to the questions
<thatdarncat> <AltReality> Being that this software is mainly sold online. What are your concerns of piracy?
* Fractalwave grins and says nothing for the moment.
<TwinRose> I've got a lot of concerns about it.  I saw one site with a large number of downloads on it - in the neighborhood of 36k.  What was most upsetting about it was that it was a buggy version!  I've taken some steps, and already sent the feds on one guy plus have given out my share of warnings in email ...
<thatdarncat> Has that been a concern of publishers?
<TwinRose> Mostly, I report offenders to the TPA, a group of professionals I'm associated with (The Trialware Professionals Association) .. They have lawers and other folks on the team.
<Fractalwave> My turn...what gets me is that they're pirating something that costs about the same or less than a pair of jeans.
<TwinRose> SOme publishers, and other ones seem to just think 'noone really would bother'...
* TwinRose lets Fractal take up this one, she is very adamant on the subject.
<thatdarncat> Fractal? :)
<Fractalwave> It'd be different if the software was like...$400 or something. But it isn't. And people who are broke but want the software have more than once written an email where other arrangements have been made.
<Fractalwave> One person traded artwork for a license.
<thatdarncat> <Leopold_> Question: How do you deal with D20 Publishers Intelectual Property (IP or PI personal identity)? Is that going to be an issue in upcoming file releases? Are you getting permission from the publishers in the form of disclosures, PI releases, etc.?
<Mystic_Eye> BTW: This piracy goes beyond software to scanned copies of printed work as well
* Fractalwave nods to Doug.
<TwinRose> It does indeed.  I've seen people boldly proclaim how they set OUT to steal and give away d20 publishers work because "They just ride the WOTC gravy train anyway."
<thatdarncat> sorry, thought we were done there ^_^;;
<Fractalwave> Problem with the piracy subject is it's never done. ;)
<thatdarncat> No, it's not.
<TwinRose> To answer the question, though, I get permission in all cases.  If it's not OGC, I don't use it.  Besides, if I work with the publishers, then we can both make some extra money off the expansions or new code, and everyone is happy.  It means the program gets limitted sometimes, but that's only fair.  If I was publishing a book, I wouldn't use IP either, without permission.
<TwinRose> If I did, I'd be out of compliance, and could get an order telling me to stop using even the SRD.
<thatdarncat> <Veander> To what lengths have you gone to make Campaign Suite complaint with any particular license?
* Fractalwave contemplates adding the stupid hacker page to the site...
<TwinRose> In some cases great lengths.  For example, I've been programming a MUD for the past three years, and have really honed down my skills working with it.
<thatdarncat> stupid hacker page?
<thatdarncat> :p
<thatdarncat> cool
<TwinRose> BUT, it falls under the CircleMUD and DIKU licenses, so in theory any of the actual code I've done to it has become 'derivitive' of those licenses.
<thatdarncat> got a link to this mud for anyone interested?
<Fractalwave> yup
<TwinRose> So I've had to literally reinvent the wheel that I already invented in some cases, to use some basic skills I learned while mud programming.
<TwinRose> I can't even IMAGINE the desaster of finding myself under the DIKU and D20 licenses simultaneously.
<Fractalwave> telnet://www.wotmud.com:8086/
<thatdarncat> <Enrious> Question for TR - "What do you think of statements made by Ryan Dancey to the effect that the OGL would make it difficult to implement software using the SRD?"
<TwinRose> I've also spent in some cases twice as much time as I would need to to 'hard code' a rule to make it data-dependent instead, to keep my OGL and D20 compliance.  There's been a huge, heated discussion about it on the OGF mailing list that 'binary cannot clearly mark OGC' and all that.  Of course, some of those same people say PDF is also ivnalid, so what can you do?
<thatdarncat> that's right, those long pauses dont' mean your done talking about something, it's just your slow typing...
<Fractalwave> Lol...um, they do make it difficult. But not impossible. In fact R.D. has been involved in a discussion elsewhere on the subject.
<TwinRose> It is difficult.  VERY difficult.  But it's not impossible.  The faqs and legal statements by Wizards have said as much, and listed ways that it is possible.  People tend to forget those, in favor of a post somewhere on some forum by someone remotely connected - but those really aren't legal statements.
<Fractalwave> The end of the discussion had people proclaiming pdf was in violation of the license. I found that amusing, to say the least.
<TwinRose> I think that'd hurt a LOT of people if anyone made that statement official.
<Mystic_Eye> How can that be since the license and the body of work are part of the same PDF.
<Mystic_Eye> Distributed as one
<Fractalwave> Has to do with people taking the idea of derivative works to extremes.
<TwinRose> Well, they argue that if you open an EXE file in a hex editor you can't see the OGC .. (Well, ever look at a PDF in a hex editor?  That's their reasoning)
<Mystic_Eye> So then you could rip the back license page out of a book a nd have the same problem
<Fractalwave> And anything written with say...MS Access...is a derivative of MS Access to some people.
<thatdarncat> we'll always have the lunatic frindge
<thatdarncat> hmmm I'll have to run this through a spell checker to get all my spelling errors :p
<thatdarncat> next question?
<TwinRose> Yep, I'm good :)
<thatdarncat> okie
<thatdarncat> <KingOfChaos> How do you think your software will do against D&D E-tools?
<Fractalwave> I don't see it as in direct competition. Though others might.
<thatdarncat> <Hellene> question:: How many muds have you coded for?
<thatdarncat> ak
<Fractalwave> lol
<thatdarncat> didn't mean to post that just yet
<TwinRose> I think it will do better than it would have against the orriginally promised tools.  We really have something different, now.  E-Tools will of course draw in everyone wanting flashy graphics and 'core only' material.  (more)
<TwinRose> Campaign Suite is strong on the DM generators, and editablity and other, non-core D20 products.  If you want to use the Chupacabra template from N&D 2 (Mystic Eye Games), on your Canite,  I don't believe you'll see expansions for E-tools with that data available.
<Fractalwave> CS does a lot more than most people realize and it's growing daily. CS trivia...our users told us they didn't care about the graphics.
<thatdarncat> ok, you want to answer the hellene question quickly? :)
<TwinRose> Oh, sorry :)
<thatdarncat> no problem, was my bad
<TwinRose> Specifically coded for, on staff... 2... plus one that got rebuild from scratch after a ... small error involving a hard drive and someones pepsi..  I've done submissions to a number of muds, and made code public
<thatdarncat> ok
<thatdarncat> <Veander> What are your thoughts on an In-game combnat aspect to your program?
<TwinRose> From a hypethetical standpoint or an official one?
<TwinRose> Unless something changes in the OGL, I can't do one.  "Task resolution" is defined as "determining the success or failure of user input."  And it's forbidden ...
* Fractalwave let's TR do the official answer...
<thatdarncat> that's a nice clause
<thatdarncat> <Veander> Both
<TwinRose> However, in my DREAM world ... I'd LOVE to be able to do a combat manager... But until I come up with an advanced 'script' I don't think it's in the cards right away.  However, back when I was doing surveys, only like 7% of people felt a computer was appropriate at the gaming table anyway.
<thatdarncat> I make enough on the spot calls when I'm DMing that I could see how one would be difficult to use.
<thatdarncat> next question?
<TwinRose> yep :)
<thatdarncat> <astralpop> Could you further explain "determining the success or failure of user input" and why its forbidden?
<Fractalwave> lol...want me to pull the quote from the docs wotc distributes?
<thatdarncat> I'd probably kick you for flooding if you did :p
<AltReality> would the average person (non-programmer/game designer) understand it? heh
<thatdarncat> legalise *bleck*
<TwinRose> Well, I could get out my FAQ, but in essence it means that a user inputs some values .. And the program tells her if she 'succeeds' or 'fails'.  Maybe a DC check, maybe a hit roll, whatever.  Initiative and duration trackers I suppose aren't pass/fail, but that'd be a fine line I'd want to explore before doing anything with.
<Fractalwave> Here's the definition of an interactive game from the docs..."Interactive Game: means a piece of computer gaming software that is designed to accept inputs from human players or their agents, and use rules to resolve the success or failure of those inputs, and return some indication of the results of those inputs to the users."
<Fractalwave> That's not allowed.
<thatdarncat> too bad.
<thatdarncat> next question?
<AltReality> so a combat manager is out of the question? unless the player rolls the dice themselves? correct?
<Fractalwave> We could roll dice...just couldn't say that a roll of 17 wins in any giving situation.
<TwinRose> As long as they don't input the dice rolls, I believe that's correct.  Unless wotc changes their stance on the subject, but it's likely that may fall on something they have signed with Info
<AltReality> aahh..that makes sense..cool
<thatdarncat> What's the problem with a duration/init tracker?
<Fractalwave> It's the same concept...you're determining outcome of something.
<TwinRose> I'm actually thinking there might not BE a problem with it, but it depends if they consider 'winning' initiative to be resolving success/failure.
<Fractalwave> So there's a fine line.
<thatdarncat> as long as you don't roll initiative, just enter it
<thatdarncat> ?
<AltReality> hehe
<thatdarncat> say bob - 21 fred - 19 ravenous bunny - 17
<Fractalwave> But that makes something that's in the computer at the gaming table impractical.
<TwinRose> I'd actually have to talk to a lawyer on that one, or probably AV.
<thatdarncat> alright
<thatdarncat> we'll move on
<thatdarncat> <Nightfall> To Twin Rose, with the upcoming release of the Epic Level Handbook, how does your product intend to deal with such issues as Epic levels, epic feats and so on.
<thatdarncat> we'll do another trivia question after this
<TwinRose> Well, I assume that people should be able to add them in ... Unless there are 'advanced' rules.  I saw on ENWorld today that there is talk of putting the ELH high on the list for SRD release - that would be just fine with me :)
<TwinRose> If that is the case, then it should be a very smooth process of including it.
<thatdarncat> ok
<thatdarncat> got your question ready?
<TwinRose> Yep, I think so :)  
<thatdarncat> ok
<thatdarncat> same prize? or do you have something different for us this time?
<TwinRose> This one will be for a copy of the second Nightmares and Dreams;)  I have another one, for later, after a couple announcements and such :)
<thatdarncat> ok
<thatdarncat> ready?
<thatdarncat> set?
<thatdarncat> go
*** thatdarncat sets mode: -m
<TwinRose> Q: In what year did Dungeons and Dragons "3rd Edition" first see print, and who was the editor?
<Cold_Beer> ...
<Harlock> Meowth
<Cold_Beer> 1999
<Velik> 2001
<thatdarncat> oh, I know, I know!
<SkyKnight> 2001, Bill Slavisek
* thatdarncat jumps up and down
<Cold_Beer> ER...
<Fractalwave> lol
<SkyKnight> 2000, Bill Slavisek
<Velik> 2000 Bill Slavisek
<Ralanvor> 1999, Bill Slavesek
<SkyKnight> 2000, Monte Cook
* Fractalwave tickles tdc and reminds him that he can't answer.
<Enrious> 2000 Julia Martin, John Rateliff
* thatdarncat watches people rush off to google/their book shelves
<Skarp_Hedin> 2000, Julia Martin and John Rateliff
<Baastet> Queen of Lies
<thatdarncat> welcome back from your bookshelves En, Skarp
<TwinRose> rofl baast
<Enrious> 2000 Kim Mohan
* thatdarncat shushes Baastet
<chatdemon> 1983 frank mentzer
<Skarp_Hedin> Mine was on the floor next to me.
<Enrious> :) tdc, is it obvious ? :)
<Cold_Beer> Hanoi Xan?
<Velik> ME! 1986...house rules :D
<thatdarncat> keep guessing
<TwinRose> Hint: It IS something of a trick question;)
<Harlock> 1999 Julia Martin and John D. Rateliff
<thatdarncat> where's EGG when you need him? :p
<chatdemon> 1981 tom moldvay
<Baastet> 1998 Monte Cook
<Veander> John Rateliff 2000
<Enrious> 1995 Skip Williams
<thatdarncat> Julia Martin and John D. Rateliff are wrong
<Veander> oh
<thatdarncat> and no one has got the right date yet
<thatdarncat> the right year
<Harlock> 1978 E. Gary Gygax
<chatdemon> 1978 eric holmes
<Fractalwave> lol
<Cold_Beer> 1974, Gary Gygax
<thatdarncat> close chat
<thatdarncat> very close
<BPI_Jonathan> That person in that year
<Cold_Beer> 1973, Gary Gygax
<chatdemon> 77 eric holmes?
<Veander> Rob Kuntz 2000?
<Veander> lol
<Cold_Beer> 1975, Gary Gygax
<thatdarncat> nope
<Harlock> just give it to chatdemon.  1977 Chatdemon
<chatdemon> 1979 eric holmes, thats the answer
*** thatdarncat sets mode: +m
<TwinRose> Good job, Chat :)
<thatdarncat> message AltReality with your address and we'll pass it on
<thatdarncat> I think I'm going to have to stipulate easier questions in the future :p
<thatdarncat> we'll give TR a break
<thatdarncat> <anon> We see Fractalwave around the channel. What does she do?
<AltReality> he's gonna get something else in his mailbox.....return address 'from hell'  :)
<TwinRose> Alright, I thought it was easy;)  Technically, the current version is .. Just dungeons and Dragons, first printing by WOTC :)
<TwinRose> Hey, I had to find questions that would stump google, didn't I?
<thatdarncat> yes, but how many people have the original 3rd edition?
<Fractalwave> I color and do grammar checks on TR's writing. :) Actually, I did the website.
<AltReality> crayons rock.
<TwinRose> Well, that was indeed fun :)  I had a feeling that would stump people. ;)  I'll make the next one easier, I promise!
<thatdarncat> nah, she just invests in a lot of grey paint
<thatdarncat> :p
<Fractalwave> lol
<thatdarncat> <Baastet> Will Campaign Suite be getting better graphics any time soon?
* TwinRose sells pewter coloured paint for miniatures.
<Fractalwave> That depends on how you define graphics.
<thatdarncat> ok, an updated user interface?
<TwinRose> Soon?  Probably not.  I'll be adding handling where users can 'assign' graphics to characters, rules, notes, charts, whatever.. as though building a book ... And the map features are due for a revamp .. but I found in the past my users were keener on 'standard' windows with a low learning curve, and faster updates.
<TwinRose> The D20 system is hard enough to keep up with, without having to spend time on grpahics programming (which is very difficult, mind you) as well.
<thatdarncat> fair enough
<thatdarncat> <anon> How extensive is the mapping feature in Campaign Suite?
<Fractalwave> That doesn't mean we won't incorporate submitted graphics. If someone feels so inclined, we can work something out.
<TwinRose> It's really not very extensive at all ... There's LOTS of programs that do mapping out there, and they've been in business for years. I doubt I'd be able to touch them in the near future.  I'd rather focus on the things that people haven't done.  I've had a chance to work with Ed Diana from Nbos (Fractal Mapper) and we've discussed cross-compatibilty of our programs .. SOoo for the moment, the mapper is on the back burner.
<TwinRose> Mostly, in terms of graphics, icons and things of that nature would really help spreuce up the look.
<Fractalwave> The mapper is there more as support for the DM.
<thatdarncat> <Leopold_> Questions: Do you plan on working with other computer programs such as Role Playing Master, DMBuddy, and PCGen? If so what are you plans on this area?
<TwinRose> I'd love to, in fact.  There's a few tools out there, and I'd love to have cross imports->exports.  What I want to be careful of, though, is making sure people don't buy - say - N&D creature expansions .. then convert it to PCGen and distribute it free to people who downloaded freeware, and basically leaving us doing all the work... Especially since those expansions contain IP that the publishers might not like seeing be free all over.
<Fractalwave> There's been talk about coming up with a common xml dtd for the data. Not sure where people stand on that one or how viable that would be. Been a while since I looked.
<TwinRose> gnome-xml as I understand has some license issues that might not be compatible with OGL or D20, though, so I'd want to be careful.
<Fractalwave> yep
<thatdarncat> there's that piracy issue again
<thatdarncat> *rolls eyes*
<thatdarncat> You had an announcement or two TR?
<TwinRose> But, short answer : yes, I'd love working with the other software designers.
<TwinRose> Yep, I did :)
<Fractalwave> ...and the derivative issue as well.
*** Fractalwave ([email protected]=tLsrfu-79.49.219.149.troy.grid.net) Quit (Connection reset by peer.)
* AltReality salutes Fractalwave
<TwinRose> I'm not sure where to start, so I'll go with the one that was our brainchild, and then go into the one that will lead to my next giveaway :)
<thatdarncat> ok
<AltReality> (for those that arrived late)
* thatdarncat casts haste on TwinRose so he can type just that much faster
<Twinrose> We've been in discussion with the folks over at Thunderhead Games (www.thunderheadgames.com), and have done a little bit of reworking of some of Campaign Suites features to handle certain things.  We're going to be doing expansions based on their product lines.  Specifically, to start with, a Interludes: Brief Expiditions To Bluffside.  This contains a bunch of encounter charts, creatures, feats, a new race, PrCs... A little (more)
<TwinRose> bit of everything, which is an amazing find in an adventure supplement!  These will find their way into Campaign Suite, along with some of the charts (we'll hash out exactly what as we go into final development) that'll make a really nice play-aid for anyone running the adventure - or wanting to add the stuff to their campaign.
*** Fractalwave ([email protected]=RGoplr-15.49.219.204.troy.grid.net) has joined #dnd3e
<AltReality> welcomeback Fractalwave! :)
*** AltReality sets mode: +v Fractalwave
<Fractalwave> thanks
<AltReality> sure thing
<TwinRose> I went ahead with the THG announcement first because the other one was Fractals idea and I'd hate to talk about it with her gone (sorry for asside) there's more..
<TwinRose> The way THG has done some of their 'places' and things has lead to some new features for Campaign Suite, and I believe that soon we may be seeing an entire Bluffside expansion - with people, places, and everything ... But we'll see how Interludes does first;)
<thatdarncat> wow, nice
<thatdarncat> anything else?
<TwinRose> I think that with something the size of Bluffside, CS will really shine.  When you ahve 3 dozen inns, it's hard to sort through them all .. when you could just click an 'inn' tab, have them listed.. open them one at a time .. whatever :)
<thatdarncat> handy, I need to invest in a laptop.
<TwinRose> Well, yes :)  Twin Rose, as a company (not as a chat nick) is going to be getting into other forms of publishing.  To launch this, we're going to hold an adventure/module contest.  The rules will be posted on our site, but basically we'll want an adventure in Campaign Suite format, complete with treasure, creatures, storyline... Maps optional (since the mapper isn't all that great, of course)...
<TwinRose> The winner will get his or her adventure published in CS and PDF formats, possibly print depending on the amount of interest in the contest, and they'll receive a full percentage..  Runner up will see their adventure as a CS expansion for sale, and third as a free expansion ... At least, that's how I envision it... we'll have to work up ALL the legal details.
<thatdarncat> Just so people know, when Twinrose originally mentioned this contest to me about two weeks ago, he was going to be looking for settings.
<TwinRose> Yeah, hehe, but then about 2 days later someone ELSE announced a setting contest;)
<Fractalwave> It literally happened that way, too. Though you guys probably won't believe it.
<thatdarncat> I've got the logs to prove it
<thatdarncat> Where can people find more details on the contest?
<Fractalwave> No where, yet.
<TwinRose> There will be a sub-page on our page once we get the legal jargen hashed out...
<thatdarncat> alright
<TwinRose> Some people won't be eligible, if they were involved in this and that, or if they are related to me ...
<thatdarncat> any more announcements? or can we do the last trivia question?
<TwinRose> And I think some states have laws against contests.
<Fractalwave> We're debating a bit. Need to word it so if there's a large response more than one prize is handled by category, etc.
<TwinRose> Right, if we get a dozen futuristic adventures, and 50 fantasy ones, we may do categories.
<TwinRose> K, this next trivia question is for a copy of Interludes: Brief Expeditions to Bluffside (Print or PDF, winners choice!)  ...
*** thatdarncat sets mode: -m
<thatdarncat> go
<TwinRose> Queen of **** and Queen of ********
<Baastet> lol
<thatdarncat> lol
<Fractalwave> rofl
<astralpop> lies
<chatdemon> lies and spiders?
<NiTessine> Lies and Spiders
<Enrious> Queen of Lies and Queen of Spiders
<SkyKnight> Lies and Darkness
<Enrious> Lolth
<chatdemon> lies and the damned?
<TwinRose> K
<TwinRose> Put the m back on;)
<astralpop> thats not a question
*** thatdarncat sets mode: +m
<thatdarncat> <SkyKnight> Lies and Darkness
<thatdarncat> <Enrious> Lolth
<Fractalwave> hehe...hearts and spades...
<thatdarncat> ak
<TwinRose> Skyknight got it;)
<thatdarncat> didn't mean to copy en's there
<TwinRose> Hal wanted me to make this one an easy one;)
<thatdarncat> En, msg AltReality with your choice of PDF or Print and your address
<Fractalwave> It was.
<thatdarncat> errr
<thatdarncat> Skyknight
* Fractalwave pokes tdc.
<thatdarncat> sorry about that
<thatdarncat> :)
<thatdarncat> Haiku time
<TwinRose> Ack :P
<thatdarncat> TR, take your pick of coding or piracy :p
<Fractalwave> lol
<TwinRose> Oh man
* TwinRose scraps the haiku he had already made.
<thatdarncat> don't scrap it, post it for our enjoyment
<TwinRose> Time pulls you onward, endless spilling grains of sand...  Save what time you have.
<TwinRose> Now... coding or piracy .. hmmm
<thatdarncat> <AltReality>  ~A mirrored reflection of self, the petals are falling, A game at last is born~
<Fractalwave> lol
<TwinRose> Theft and lies abound, plundering the datastream, data is money
<thatdarncat> <Baastet> I must get sleep soon / I want my pillow badly / eyes close on thier own
<thatdarncat> cool :)
<thatdarncat> We've got one last traditional question here
<Fractalwave> What's your favorite color?
<thatdarncat> nope
<thatdarncat> Do you like eggrolls?
<TwinRose> For codign:  Digital artwork, dreams can be made reality, math is the wonder
<TwinRose> I been munching them since the chat began, I picked them up earlier ... I figured it would be a betrayal not to be eating them!
* Fractalwave edits codign to coding.
<thatdarncat> two for the price of one :)
<thatdarncat> cool
<thatdarncat> back to the serious questions then
<thatdarncat> <anon> How easy is Campaign Suite to install?
<Fractalwave> Very. Just click.
<TwinRose> Well, depends on the method of delivery - usually IE or Netscape will run it as you download it.. You click that you agree to the licenses (d20 and my own 'I'll nto give away my key') and let it run through.
<TwinRose> But I think most people are used to saying 'yes' to license agreements now, I can only hope they read and follow it.
<TwinRose> Of course, the free-trial can be exchanged as people will, but most people would want the most up-to-date trial version anyway.
<Fractalwave> Think the trial download is running about 2600 k. So doesn't take that long to download.
<thatdarncat> <anon> Any compatability problems with any windows O/s's?
<TwinRose> Fractal I think uses 2000 and XP ... I use 98 Se and ME because for coding I like to make things backwards compatible... I honestly have no idea how it works on CE.
<thatdarncat> I use 2000Pro and have no problems
<thatdarncat> <anon> Is Campaign Suite compatable with Linux or the Mac OS?
<Fractalwave> We've had a couple bugs crop up. One turned out to be printer specific.
<TwinRose> No, I'm afraid it's not.  I looked into getting compilers for those operating systems, but they were either VERY license heavy or else cost an arm and a leg.  Our site has about 2.2% non-Windows users, and it would take a LOT of sales to make up the expendature to make versions.
<thatdarncat> <anon> What tech support is available for Campaign Suite?
<Fractalwave> We can't say 24 by 7, though it almost amounts to that at times.
<TwinRose> I offer free tech support via email and messageboards.. and on a couple occasions through the phone.  Some people have taken this to extremes, though... (more)
<TwinRose> I've had people come to me with IE problems, or "my aol won't connect to the internet."  (How is he emailing me, and why?)   But for CS support I try to handle ALL problems as quickly and smoothly as possible.
<thatdarncat> <baastet> How long between updates of Campaign Suite?
<Fractalwave> There's usually a response within a few hours with a fix within a day if it's a bug. Only one or two have taken longer than that. And messages were going back and forth the entire time.
<Fractalwave> That depends on whether I hold Chris back any...hehe.
<TwinRose> Yeah, like the HP printer problem!  HP is the ONLY printer int he world that doesn't support 'banding' which makes for cleaner printouts ... And trying to get support for them as to why their hardware couldn't handle what every other hardware could was like pulling teeth :P
<TwinRose> If there's a bug or new submission or something, they can be as often as every day ... but between major updates, I'd say a week or two, depending on what's going on at the time.
<Fractalwave> Depends on how you define updates...there's small updates all the time.
<TwinRose> As I've said before, the d20 system is CONSTANTLY growing, and people are always pointing out something new.
<TwinRose> (There's feats thata ctually LOWER basic attack bonus!  I would never have predicted such a thing!)
<Fractalwave> We have some features that are released but not announced, as well.
<Fractalwave> In part, that's because we consider them to be in beta.
<TwinRose> Yeah, fractal gets mad at me sometimes.  I'll be 95% done with a new feature, ready to start testing.. find a minor glithc .. post the update, and the incomplete thing will be in there!  (oops!)
<thatdarncat> heh
<Fractalwave> Then I get to babble at him :)
<thatdarncat> so you two work very closely together?
<Fractalwave> For major changes and releases, yeah. Gotta try to coordinate the site and the program a tad every now and then.
<thatdarncat> kind of important
<thatdarncat> ok
<thatdarncat> I've got 4 or 5 more questions, then we can do your last trivia question?
<TwinRose> Sounds good to me :)
<thatdarncat> ok
<thatdarncat> <Veander> How well supported are templates in Campaign Suite?
<Fractalwave> lol
<TwinRose> For creatures, you click a single button 'template'... Choose the template... then you have a new creature in your database that is blended with the template.
<TwinRose> For races and characters.. You right click on the race.. choose 'add template'.  Pick your template and hit okay .. So 4 clicks?
<Fractalwave> including npc's
<thatdarncat> and adding new templates is simple?
<TwinRose> Yes and no.  The data entry is nice and smooth for it, but balancing them is really up to the player... there aren't any 'rules' for templates the way you might see for a whole creature.
<Fractalwave> I can do it and I don't have a clue what I'm doing. I mean, I don't play d20 games and am not that familiar with the products.
<thatdarncat> ok, next question? :)
<TwinRose> Certainly
<Fractalwave> I'm the "what happens if I press this button..." tester.
<thatdarncat> <anon> Does Campaign Suite offer any d20 conversion software? For converting 1st or 2nd edition into d20?
<TwinRose> At this time, no.  I've been talking with some folks who were heavily involved in Core Rules, and I don't want to make anything official sounding .. but they are looking to now support CS with all their world information ... and I believe they'll be doing a bit of conversion work.
<Fractalwave> Not as of now. And the license for the conversion process IS new.
<thatdarncat> ok
<thatdarncat> <Guest27882> With character creation, do you enter in all your calculated stats, or does CS do some calculation for you?
<Fractalwave> You can do whatever you like.
<TwinRose> That's a good question, with a tricky answer.  Campaign Suite does /not/ ship with character creation 'rules' included, because that violates the OGL.
<Fractalwave> You can tell it how to "roll" your character. Or can enter stats in.
<TwinRose> Instead, when you first go to create a character, it asks you how YOU wish to roll your stats.  It has a nice clean popup, and as you enter the data in, it tells you in verbose format what your rule is.  You can select up to 50d50+50 rerolling everything less than 50 and discarding the 49 lowest, if you want.
<Fractalwave> hehe
<Fractalwave> I did something like that.
<thatdarncat> munchkin :p
<thatdarncat> <noonereally> how well Does CS handle non-stackable bonuses?
<TwinRose> PirateCat did something like that earlier, he had 20d1 + 1 :P
<TwinRose> For the most part, it handles it well.  earlier today, someone found something in an older version where bracers of armor and ring of protection weren't stacking - it had them both as deflection bonuses - but in GENERAL I do my best.
<thatdarncat> <AltReality> With the lanuch of Never Winter Nights coming soon. How do you think the Campaign Suite will be used after its release?
<Fractalwave> and he fixes the stacking problems that are found rather quickly
<TwinRose> I'm not sure, to be honest.  I think that unless NWN replaces tabletop play, I should be fine.  BUT, for the first couple of weeks I wouldn't be surprised to see a drop because not all gamers have a lot of money to be buying multiple software applications in the same week.
<thatdarncat> ok, second to last question:
<thatdarncat> <Veander Ralanvor Leopold_> What is the future going to hold for Twin Rose Software?
<thatdarncat> <Taryna> I'd like to know about projects he is planning on working with in the future.  Dream projects, so to say.
<thatdarncat> asked by lots of people :)
<Fractalwave> Some are dream projects and some are a bit closer to reality.
<TwinRose> The future will be more and more improvements.. More data.. I'd love to see CS become a repository for OGC.. to have 'adventure skeletons' where people can input people/places/things to existing stories and hooks ... To see more hazards added to the ones included (mauve mold?) all for easy cut-and-paste into their adventures.  Dream project...
<TwinRose> Dream project would be an OGL system project, a full handbook for Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality Series.  If you aren't familiar with it, I highly recommend it.  It has everything: magic, good vs. evil, tragic heroes...
<thatdarncat> Ok, that's cool :)
<thatdarncat> Incarnations of Immortality was a favourite when I was a teen
<thatdarncat> <Hellene> question:  what do you enjoy most about designing your own reality?
<Fractalwave> Lots of things are discussed, too, like a version geared more to the player than the DM. Or a second product to do tabletop in game calcs. We don't rule anything out at this point.
<TwinRose> Well, when I FIRST got into computer programming, it was on a PCJr ... With basica... And the first thing I did was stat rollers and a little dungeon maker/printer... Soooo for me, this /is/ a dream project :)  Same goes for the MUD... the folks there have been great, and stuck through a lot of stuff with me ... (even when CS takes so much of my time) ... With that, I REALLY feel I've created my own reality.
<thatdarncat> cool
<thatdarncat> Ready for the last giveaway?
<TwinRose> Yep, I think so... This one is going to be for a free Campaign Suite registration key ...
<thatdarncat> Ok
<thatdarncat> Go
*** thatdarncat sets mode: -m
<Nightfall> test.
<TwinRose> What were the names of the kids in the orriginal "Dungeons and Dragons" cartoon show?
<Nightfall> Hank
<Fractalwave> lol
<Nightfall> Presto..
<Fractalwave> They gotta get all of em?
<Velik> jeeze chris
<thatdarncat> blame this one on Baastet :p she came up with the question
<Baastet> ^_^
<NiTessine> Diana, Bobby, Hank, Eric, Presto
* Velik booos Baastet
<Baastet> Missing 1
<thatdarncat> missing one Ni
<Enrious> Missing one
<Fractalwave> rofl
<NiTessine> Uni?
<thatdarncat> nope
<Nightfall> Sheila!
<Enrious> (Acrobat)
*** thatdarncat sets mode: +m
* Fractalwave notes that "Bob" made it into this answer.
<thatdarncat> Nightfall, msg AltReality with your e-mail address
<AltReality> hehe
<TwinRose> And real name (first and last) that's for my records
<AltReality> I never woulda got that one
<TwinRose> Ni, when/if you do get Campaign Suite, let me know and I'll send you a creature expansion for free since you got so close on that oen.
<Mystic_Eye> Getting late guys, I gotta go!
<TwinRose> Everyone thank Mystic_Eye for the book donations!
<thatdarncat> night Mystic_Eye
<thatdarncat> thanks for the prizes :)
* Fractalwave applauds.
<Mystic_Eye> No problem, Good job Chris and thanks everyone.
<thatdarncat> Ok, I think that's about it for tonight
<thatdarncat> Any last words from anyone?
<AltReality> Goodnight all :)
<Baastet> Night All
<TwinRose> Slight change on the last one.  NiTessine gets the Campaign Suite registration, so give your and full name to Alt :)
<TwinRose> And Nightfall will get the creature expansion :)
<AltReality> hehe
<thatdarncat> :)
<TwinRose> That's very cool, Nightfall :) *applauds*
<thatdarncat> yeah :)
<thatdarncat> Waiting on last words here :)
<TwinRose> I was just typing that, TDC :)
<thatdarncat> :p
<TwinRose> It sounds so .. Final .. The way you put it, though, I keep looking for the executioner :)
<Fractalwave> lol
<thatdarncat> lol
<Fractalwave> How about a cig and a last meal?
* thatdarncat puts the material components for "phantasmal killer" away
<TwinRose> I'd like to thank all of you who showed up, and all of you who have supported us and our work ... And I'd really like to thank Ryan Dancey for making the D20 System possible ... It's just a dream to be able to be working with these publishers, and everyone, and I feel really blessed.
<thatdarncat> Thanks for coming TwinRose, Fractalwave :)
<thatdarncat> It's been great having you
<Fractalwave> It's been fun.
<Baastet> Thanx guys!
<TwinRose> If you wanna go ahead and open it up, people might have some questions to throw around, and it always makes for fun free-for-all :)
<thatdarncat> I'll open the channel up in a moment, but first I want to post the upcoming schedule
<TwinRose> Thank you guys :)
<TwinRose> I feel privellaged to be about 1/3rd of a Full Monte :) hehe
<thatdarncat> Thank you for coming once again :)
*** thatdarncat sets mode: -m
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