A Review, and Looking Forward to 2024 and Beyond!

The site has reached a major milestone. The Guide to making Roll20 sheets is complete – taking around 130 posts to introduce people to the everything needed to create character sheets.

There are some official features that havent been covered (the charactermancer and jquery, mainly), but everything needed to make a character sheet from scratch – from the basic html structure up to including translations to internationalise your sheet – is now complete, and it’s time to look at what’s next.

Here are some things I want to do. Many of them are major, major projects that can’t be done in a week, and aren’t really conducive to showing progress reports, so I might start on them and then there be no apparent activity until they are completed. Monthly progress reports are more likely.

But I do plan to make some traditional RPG-style posts along the way, so hopefully it won’t be too inactive!

Here are the the things I’m thinking about right now.

Future Roll20 Projects

(Numbered for convenience, not to show priority.)

  1. The Universal Character Sheet: The roll20 forums get a a lot of requests for sheets of various games. A long time ago someone suggested a System-Agnostic sheet and then abandoned it. I’ve talked about creating such a sheet and raised it with the Roll20 devs and got permission. If I create this, it will be probably the biggest project you could imagine, taking many months. But the idea is to create a sheet that will cope with almost any game system. It won’t be as good as a sheet dedicated to a given system, but will provide a way for people to quickly get started with any game.
  2. Universal Chat Menus: My most successful script is in dire need of an overhaul and upgrade. It works (for Pro Users only) but there are some edge cases it needs to handle better, and the syntax needs upgrading. These are not simple changes, and likely need a complete rewrite.
  3. Versionator: One feature that should need less work is a system for handling changes to active character sheets – a version change system. There are ways to do this already, but everyone has to come up with their own solution, and sometimes very serious errors are made. A simple drop-in function with good documentation might make a big difference here. One feature of all my tools is their ease of use, and I’d like to bring that to a version change system.
  4. repeatingSum: Probably my most successful creation overall, which grants the ability to very easily perform various calculations with repeating sections. It has a few drawbacks though, and the syntax isn’t the best, so it could possibly do with a rewrite.
  5. Multiversal Sheet Worker: A long time ago, I created the Multiversal Sheet Worker system for quickly adding sheet workers to a character sheet with little work. See the comments in that thread from Wes. For coding novices, this is already an amazing tool, but needs some major improvements.
  6. Torg Eternity community Sheet: I created the Torg Eternity sheet, but it is not finished. Also the custom roll parsing system was introduced after I wrote the sheet, and the game’s very complex roll system would really benefit from that.
  7. Pendragon Universal Sheet: The King Arthur Pendragon system is one of my favourite games. The 6th edition just came out, but previous editions are still being used, and even within an edition people might use different systems (3rd-5th have at least 3 different battle systems and just as many land holding systems, all of which are important to play). I have a sheet for personal use that handles all these things for 3rd to 5th edition, in a very clunky way, and which does some things the current sheets don’t. But I’d like to streamline and universalise it even more – make it good for 1st though 6th edition, and handle a variety of house rules (like my incredibly simple Roll Up Dice system, and variant ideals), and of course make it available for anyone who wants to use it.
  8. Sheet Templating Guide: A guide to automating the creation of a roll20 character sheet. There’s a lot of code that is very similar and could be simplified. Templating programs exist to do this (and Scott’s k-scoffold using PUG is a great way to do this if you are ready to learn a new syntax). I might create a guide for templating.

So, those are my Roll20 concepts for now. The things I have had in mind but wanted to get the Guide done first. There will likely be other posts, but those listed here are all pretty big projects.

Other Projects

But now that I’m finished with the Guide, I want to look beyond Roll20 and to roleplaying more generally. Here are some things I have in mind.

  1. Game Reviews: There are a lot of game systems that have great game mechqanical ideas but which have largely been forgotten, like the already existing Trollbabe review. I plan to add a lot more.
  2. Game Concepts: There are a lot of roleplaying concepts that are pften misunderstood, like failing forward, railroading, and sandbox-play. I’ll do my best to explain some of these and show how to use them.
  3. Online Play: More tips on how to use Roll20, and maybe other VTTs (I have a lot of experience with MapTools and there are a few things I could bring over if there’s interest).
  4. Game systems: I’m fond of roleplaying, so I naturally have my own ideas for game systems. Some of these are house rules for various games (like various ideas for Pendragon, or the Dramatic Luck system), and others are systems of my own design (like Legends Never Die and Starscape) and games which draw heavily on other game systems (like The Carrington Effect). I’ll add posts for these and seek playtesting help – who knows what might develop here.

So, that’s a lot of things to do. I hope I have time! Let me know what you want to see most.

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