ACKS Tools: next step?

One of the lovely things about ACKS is that the math and algorithms are (usually) nice and logical, which makes them quite amenable to code.

I have some To Do items for the treasure generator (magic item plurals, more options like 1e gem generation, etc.), but most of them are little bite-sized projects to take the edge off when my perfectionist rage needs an outlet.

For the next tool, this is what I’m thinking about:

Dungeon. This would accept a dungeon level and a number of rooms, and fill each room with “trap,” “empty,” “monster and complete numbers and stat blocks and treasure,” and so on. It would NOT provide a map - just numbered rooms. If the same monster came up multiple times, it might add a lair. This would save you some work, mostly in the monster “1d6 + 1d12 + quantity + HD + treasure rolling” sense.

Since the data would be available, I could also have it list the total gold and XP values for the rooms produced. The Judge could then use that data to fill out (or cut back) the treasure a bit if needed.

Any thoughts? Pie in the sky feature requests? Other kinds of tools?

My big feature request for the dungeon tool is user-defined wandering monster tables. The ability to add custom monsters would be cool, too.

Don’t look at me like that. You asked for pie in the sky.

That’s doable. I will add it to the list. Note that the method by which it is doable is sub-par.

Par (or at least my version of par) would be server-side user accounts. However, that would require a lot of work to set up, and the work would be “authentication and security” work rather than “fun ACKS tool-building” work - i.e., the kind of programming I might do for a corporation, rather than the kind of programming I might do for me.

Sub-par is pure JavaScript: Your custom monsters and lists will be stored in your browser. You will be able to export/import them in a human-readable, copypasta format (for example, you could share custom monsters or lists in the forum). That’s kind of cheesy, but it wouldn’t require nearly as much work on my end, and the security required is fairly minimal.

For the price, I will happily accept sub-par. :slight_smile:

I love developers…when I don’t have to manage their change control regimen.

Do you normally have to mangle, er, manage developer regimens?

Hmm, JSON? Or is there some better way to bridge JavaScript and human-readable?

The browser-side storage will almost certainly be JSON; the copypasta format is more likely to be a series of lines (each with a colon-delimited key:value pair) in a textarea box. That will require some parsing, but very light-weight parsing, and will substantially reduce the JSON risk of a non-technical user failing to close a brace, include a non-optional comma, or mixing a quote-mark into a quoted string.

This won’t be in the first version, however: I am adding it to the list so I don’t unwittingly write code that makes it harder to add, later :-).

In my professional life, alas. Not actually part of my job description, but policy dictates this can’t be done by a developer, and we don’t have the resources to have a developer who doesn’t code or hire another FTE…you know how it goes. I much prefer administering machines to administering people.

I sliced up one of my hands earlier this week, so ACKS Tools (and campaign house rules work) is on hiatus.

I’ve actually gotten some programming done, but the energy toll of healing has been more than I expected - I just can’t maintain the spare-time coding and anything else.

Anyway, I’m not expecting a long hiatus. I just have to pause while I heal. Stitches come out Monday, no nerve or tendon damage, and I should be back to two-handed typing and my usual energy levels within a week or two of that.

In the meantime, my limited energy has to go into other stuff :-/