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RE: [pcgen-xml] Examples

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  • Steven Bethard
    ... Why does the stat bonus occur at rank 1? Shouldn t it be assigned at rank 0 of a skill (so that a character with no ranks in Balance still gets their stat
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 5 6:06 PM
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      Some questions (hopefully I'm not repeating anything Keith asked):

      > <rank level="1">
      > <!-- Level 1 give a stat bonus -->
      > <effects>
      > <variable-bonus targetid="skill.balance"
      > value="$skill.balance.ranks +
      > $skill.balance.ranks.bonus +
      > $skill.balance.stat +
      > $skill.balance.misc +
      > $skill.balance.synergy" />
      > <variable-bonus targetid="skill.balance.stat"
      > value="$stat.dex.mod" />
      > </effects>
      > ...
      > </rank>

      Why does the stat bonus occur at rank 1? Shouldn't it be assigned at rank 0
      of a skill (so that a character with no ranks in Balance still gets their
      stat adjustment)?

      > <rank level="5">
      > <!-- level 5 gives a synergy bonus to tumble -->
      > <effects>
      > <variable-bonus targetid="skill.tumble.ranks.synergy"
      > value="2"/>
      > </effects>
      > </rank>

      How do we deal with synergy bonuses for things like Diplomacy? From the
      RSRD:
      "Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff, Knowledge (nobility and
      royalty), or Sense Motive, you get a +2 bonus on Diplomacy checks"
      I read this as a boolean OR, such that if you have 5 ranks in Bluff and 5
      ranks in Sense Motive, you still only get a +2 Synergy bonus to Diplomacy.
      Regardless of whether my reading is right or wrong :), can we support
      something like this?

      > <progression id="race.human">
      > ...
      > <rank level="1">
      > ...
      > <rank level="2">
      > <effects>
      > <variable-bonus targetid="skillpool.multiplier"
      > stacks="true"
      > value="-3"/>
      > </effects>
      > </rank>
      > ...
      > </progression>

      Just to clarify, but this means a player chooses a Race at each level,
      right? I assume this is to make monster levels/classes simpler...

      Also, is there a reason why you used 'value="-3"' here instead of
      'replaces="true" value="1"'?

      > <progression id="race.human">
      > ...
      > <add-entity type="feat" />
      > ...
      > </progression>
      > ...
      > <progression id="characterlevel">
      > ...
      > <add-rank type="class"/>
      > ...
      > </progression>

      Is the assumption with 'type' that any time it selects more than one item
      the user must make a choice? If this is the case, to specify that the user
      gets all the feats of a certain type, we would have to enumerate them all in
      <add-entity />s, which might be annoying for the weapon-proficiency feats...

      > <variable-bonus targetid="combat.to-hit.dagger.melee.prof-penalty"
      > value="-4"
      > stacks="false">
      > <prereq kind="feat"
      > key="feat.weapon-prof.dagger"
      > operator="<"
      > operand="1"/>
      > </variable-bonus>
      > <variable-bonus targetid="combat.to-hit.dagger.ranged"
      > value="$combat.to-hit.ranged +
      > $combat.to-hit.dagger.ranged.prof-penalty"
      > stacks="false"/>

      This reads a little weird to me. Is the prereq for the variable-bonus to
      apply, or not to apply? If it's for it to apply, should the prof-penalty be
      subtracted from the second variable-bonus value instead of added?

      Also, I would be inclined to have at least two types of prereq tags, one for
      entities and one for variables. The operator/operand syntax seems a little
      strange when talking about an entity. I'd prefer something like:
      <entity-prereq key="feat.weapon-prof.dagger" present="true" />
      for entities and:
      <variable-prereq key="skill.balance.stat"
      test="$val > 12 && $val < 15" />
      for variables. I think this approach would be more coherent with the fact
      that we've already defined variable-bonus as separate from add-entity.

      > <prereq kind="wield" key="2-handed"/>

      How do you intend this to be handled? That is, how do we know how to check
      "wield"? I can see how to check entity presence and variable values based
      on the data descriptions so far. Can this be done with "wield" too, or is
      this one of the things we'll have to leave to program logic?

      > <variable-bonus targetid="combat.to-hit.%.melee"
      > choice="feat.weapon-focus.%"
      > value="1"
      > stacks="true"/>

      You're right, this is icky -- we'd really rather the program not have to
      parse ids. I'll have to think about if there's a better way to do this...
      Without parsing ids, we need some way to specify correspondence between
      weapons and their combat values... Hmm...


      Steve
      _____

      You can wordify anything if you just verb it.
      - Bucky Katt, Get Fuzzy
    • Frugal
      ... It is a representation of the cooked XML. When I first came up with a schema that converted the LST data into XML everyone told
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 6 3:56 AM
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        <quote who="Keith Davies">
        > On Mon, Apr 05, 2004 at 02:41:20PM +0100, Frugal wrote:
        > Looking this over, is this intended as a representation of a cooked form
        > of the data (that is, after it's been loaded, how it might look in the
        > program)? The XML itself could be very much simplified for use in data
        > files and a translation between the two forms should not be particularly
        > scary... and the XML you've described below would require a fair amount
        > of sophistication for data entry.

        It is a representation of the cooked XML.

        When I first came up with a schema that converted the LST data into XML
        everyone told me that we could not possibly use that system as it was too
        system dependent. Are we now saying that the progression, rank, entity
        structures are actually Java structures that we map the high level XML
        onto? Or are we planning to map from high level XML to low level XML to
        java structures? I am getting very confused about what people actually
        want from this project.

        >> - I have not done any repetition on ranks other than usnig "all" as a
        >> catch all. We could have something like <rank min="x" max="y"> to
        >> indicate
        >> all ranks between x and y, or put s formula on it with $rank as an
        >> implicit variable <rank level="floor($rank/3)"> for "every 3 ranks
        >> starting at level 3"
        >
        > I've hit this one a few times and considered several possibilities.
        > Probably the simplest was to put min and max attributes on the effect,
        > and a formula that resolves to 'non-zero' on levels it should apply (for
        > instance, 'not($level % 3)' would trip on 3, 6, 9, ...).

        You are quite correct, not(x) will have far mroe effect than floor(x) ;O)

        If we have a formula we do not need 'min' and 'max'.

        "not($level % 3 == 0) && $level>6 && $level<20"

        >> <progression id="skill.balance">
        >> <name>Balance</name>
        >> <description>Long formatted description of balance skill text from
        >> SRD</description>
        >
        > What about a short description, the one-liners as on feats and spells?
        > I used the <desc> element to contain those, or 'brief' (in another piece
        > of work I'm doing).

        Yeah, that works. Or even nest them:

        <description>
        <brief>One line desc</brief>
        <detailed><h3>Description</h3><p>This is the long desc</p></detailed>

        >> <source page="Skills1.rtf"></source>
        >
        > I had this as a set of attributes (source namespace) on the entity
        > rather than a child element; style difference.

        It really make no difference.

        As a style question (and something I have just never "got"): Why use all
        of the namespaces? None of them make sense without the others so shouldn't
        they all be part of the same thing? Under what circumstances would a
        namespace consisting of nothing but 4 attributes be useful? I can
        understand the use of namespaces with things like Schema, XSLT, XSL-FO as
        they are all encapsulating different things and each can be use
        independently, or in conjunction with each other, but I can not see how
        this works with the PCGen namespaces.

        >> <attributes>
        >> <!-- Attributes are constants on an entity that are not numbers -->
        >> <attribute key="armour.check.applies" value="true"/>
        >> <attribute key="usable-untrained" value="true" />
        >
        > <attribute key='key.ability' value='stat.dex' />
        >
        >> </attributes>
        >> <types>
        >> <type>Dexterity</type>
        >> </types>
        >
        > Descriptive type used for classification?

        I did it this way for a couple of reasons:

        I did not see the point in having a 'key.ability' attribute as the stat
        bonus is explicitly encoded in the effects of the progression.

        I added the <type>Dexterity</type> so that the progression can be searched
        and indexed. If all entities (and progressions) have a series of types
        that describe them then we can search for all entities that have type
        'FEAT' and type 'FIGHTER', or type 'SKILL' and type 'Dexterity'. If we
        have half of this information in object specific attributes then this
        becomes more difficult.

        I have just noticed that all of the skills need <type>Skill</type> added
        to them.

        >> <ranks>
        >> <rank level="all">
        >> <!-- All levels give a +1 rank -->
        >> <effects>
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="skill.balance.ranks" stacks="true"
        >> value="1"/>
        >> </effects>
        >> </rank>
        >> <rank level="1">
        >> <!-- Level 1 give a stat bonus -->
        >> <effects>
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="skill.balance"
        >> value="$skill.balance.ranks
        >> + $skill.balance.ranks.bonus + $skill.balance.stat +
        >> $skill.balance.misc + $skill.balance.synergy" />
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="skill.balance.stat" value="$stat.dex.mod"
        >> />
        >
        > statmod($skill.balance.stat) instead, since it doesn't use Dex directly?

        I did not use this structure as it requires a statmod() function and the
        ability to lookup from $skill.balance.stat to 'stat.dex' and from there to
        an explicit number.

        I would much rather have a series of variables in the character object:

        stat.dex
        stat.dex.mod

        and then a formula:

        <variable-bonus targtrid="stat.dex.mod" value="floor($stat.dex/2)-5"/>

        > Hmm... no, you're more or less doing that... but it looks like you need
        > to be able to process the effects in arbitrary order.

        I am working on the assumption that the client can either set up
        dependencies on the variables and calculate them in order, or the client
        can set up a notification system such that variable 'a' is notified when
        variable 'b' is changed.

        > You had this in <rank level='1'> in Balance, but in <rank level='all'>
        > here. Was that on purpose?

        Nope, completely messed it up ;O)

        I had originally thought about putting the stat modifiers in the first
        rank for skills that were not useable untrained and in 'all' for untrained
        skills. After I sent it out I realised that 'all' was a really stupid
        place to put it, and it should go in the top level <effects> rather than
        under a rank so that if you have 0 ranks you still get the bonus...

        I am now undecided as to wether all the stat bonuses should go under the
        top level <effects>, or if the untraned=no skills should have their stat
        bonus under rank 1...

        >> <variable-bonus targetid="var.save.reflex.base"
        >> value="ranks.class.fighter/2"/>
        >
        > Should be ranks.class.fighter/3, no? And need values for Fort and Will.

        Oh, more than likely. I was doing this off of the top of my head and
        trying to remember the progressions rather than bothering to look them up
        ;O)

        Yes, you are right, Fortitude and Willpower bonuses also need to go in there

        >> <entity id="feat.toughness">
        >> <name>Toughness</name>
        >> <description>
        >> <b>Benefit:</b>You gain +3 hit points.<br />
        >> <b>Special:</b> A character may gain this feat multiple times. Its
        >> effects stack.
        >> </description>
        >> <attributes>
        >> <attribute key="allow.multiple" value="true"></attribute>
        >> </attributes>
        >> <types>
        >> <type>feat</type>
        >> <type>general</type>
        >> </types>
        >> <effects>
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="hitpoints" value="3"/>
        >> </effects>
        >> </entity>
        >
        > Is it necessary to indicate that the feat stacks? Or is that the
        > default?

        You are quite right, I put an 'allows-mutiples' attribute in, but I forgot
        the 'multiples.stack' attribute.

        >> <entity id="item.dagger">
        >> <name>Dagger</name>
        >> <attributes>
        >> <attribute key="wield" value="light"/>
        >> <attribute key="default-size" value="m"/>
        >> </attributes>
        >> <types>
        >> <type>item</type>
        >> <type>weapon</type>
        >> <type>melee</type>
        >> <type>finesseable</type>
        >> <type>ranged</type>
        >> <type>thrown</type>
        >> <type>simple</type>
        >> <type>standard</type>
        >> <type>piercing</type>
        >> <type>slashing</type>
        >> <type>dagger</type>
        >> </types>
        >> <effects>
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="combat.to-hit.dagger.melee"
        >> value="$combat.to-hit.melee + $combat.to-hit.dagger.melee.prof-penalty"
        >> stacks="false"/>
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="combat.to-hit.dagger.melee.prof-penalty"
        >> value="-4" stacks="false">
        >> <prereq kind="feat" key="feat.weapon-prof.dagger" operator="<"
        >> operand="1"/>
        >> </variable-bonus>
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="combat.to-hit.dagger.ranged"
        >> value="$combat.to-hit.ranged +
        >> $combat.to-hit.dagger.ranged.prof-penalty" stacks="false"/>
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="combat.to-hit.dagger.ranged.prof-penalty"
        >> value="-4" stacks="false">
        >> <prereq kind="feat" key="feat.weapon-prof.dagger" operator="<"
        >> operand="1"/>
        >> </variable-bonus>
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.range-increment" value="10"/>
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.critmult" value="2"/>
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.critrange" value="2" />
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.damage.die-size" value="4" />
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.damage.die-count" value="1"/>
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.range" value="10"/>
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.weight" value="1"/>
        >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.cost" value="2"/>
        >> <add-entity refid="eqmod.steel"/>
        >> </effects>
        >> </entity>
        >
        > The variable-bonus... does it apply to the entity being described, or to
        > the character/entity it is being applied to? With a feat, it looks like
        > it gets applied to the character, but with the dagger it... looks like
        > it gets applied to the character, but should actually be describing the
        > dagger. This is unclear to me.

        I am working on everything apliying to the character. I guess it is the
        difference between asking the character "how much damage do you do with a
        dagger" and asking the dagger: "how much damage to you do when weilded by
        the character". this is why all of the variables are prefexed with the
        item id.

        If you wanted to give a feat that increased the damage dice to a d6 rather
        than a d4 you would apply this to the character:

        <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.damage.die-size" value="2"
        stacks="true"/>

        or

        <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.damage.die-size" value="6"
        stacks="false"/>


        > Also, 'variable-bonus' looks deceptive. Is it a bonus to the 'real'
        > value of the variable (in which case there are rules about how they
        > stack, etc.) or is it a direct modification of the real value?

        It is a modification to the variable. I guess it is badly named, it should
        be named something like: <variable-modification>.

        I would say that the rules on <variable-modification> are:

        - If (there are any modifications that have replaces="true")
        then use the highest one
        else
        Take the highest modification that does not have
        stacks="true" or replaces="true".
        - add all of the modifications that have stacks="true"



        > Is this intended to be an 'intermediate form' (for instance, how it
        > might look after being loaded? The XML itself can probably be very much
        > simplified and the data translated to this form automatically without a
        > lot of scariness from a simpler form, something like
        >
        > <equipment id='item.dagger'>
        > <name>Dagger</name>
        > <types>
        > <type>item</type>
        > <type>weapon</type>
        > <type>melee</type>
        > <type>dagger</type>
        > <type>standard</type>
        > </types>
        > <effects /> <!-- how it changes the character goes here -->
        > <physical-info size='medium' weight='2' cost='2' />
        > <weapon-info>
        > <usage light='yes' finesseable='yes' ranged='thrown' />
        > <damage roll='1d4' critmult='2' critrange='2'>
        > <type>piercing</type>
        > <type>slashing</type>
        > </damage>
        > <ranged range-increment='10' max-increments='5' />
        > </weapon-info>
        > </equipment>

        as I said at the top of this email: I did not do any kind of high level
        XML as everytime I have suggested it over ht epast year someone has shot
        me down.


        > <!-- not sure how to indicate that it's made of steel, though your
        > '<add-entity refid="eqmod.steel" />' seems likely. I didn't include
        > it because it *looks* like it's supposed to be added to the character
        > who receives the dagger.

        This is the part where my "everything applies to the character" system
        falls apart ;O(

        > Proficiency is better determined and indicated by feats and class
        > abilities, not the item itself, I think. This may also be subject to
        > reclassification in different campaigns.
        >
        > <type>simple</type>

        I put the proficiency bonuses in the item because I did not want to go
        down the road of having to lookup bonuses from unrelated things.

        I guess that you can have a dagger.prof variable made up of the highest of
        weaponprof.dagger bonus, weaponprof.martial bonus and weaponprof.dagger
        bonus.

        >> <prereq kind="mult" operand="1">
        >> <prereq kind="alignment" key="lawful.good"/>
        >> <prereq kind="alignment" key="lawful.neutral"/>
        >> <prereq kind="alignment" key="lawful.evil"/>
        >> </prereq>
        >
        > I had this as
        >
        > <prereq min='1' max='1'>
        > <prereq kind='alignment' key='lawful.good' /> <!-- align.lg -->
        > <prereq kind='alignment' key='lawful.neutral' /> <!-- align.ln -->
        > <prereq kind='alignment' key='lawful.evil' /> <!-- align.le -->
        > </prereq>
        >
        > Basically, any time they nest, they implicitly form a mult-kind of
        > prereq... that's one only one that makes sense. After that you just
        > have to indicate how many of the child prereqs must be satisfied.

        I am 'implicit-phobic' I have been bitten by implitic too many times to
        trust it (or anyone else implimentation of it) saying that I missed out
        the 'operator="="' attribute ;O)

        Having used my prereq syntax in the current version of PCGen I know that
        it copes with all cases without needed other syntax.

        >> <ranks>
        >> <rank level="1">
        >> <effects>
        >> <add-entity refid="sa.literacy"/>
        >> <add-entity refid="skill.balance"/>
        >
        > Add 'skill.balance' to the character? As a class skill, you mean? This
        > isn't entirely clear to me.

        Yes. It isn't entirly clear to me now that I reread it. We are back to
        skills being a pain to implement.

        >> <add-entity refid="feat.weapon-prof" choice="club"/>
        >
        > I'd put these in a separate list ('monk weapon proficiencies') outside
        > the class and add them later, something like an 'invisible feat' as
        > they're currently used.

        Again, purely a style issue.

        > I would instead create a 'monk unarmed combat' progression that lives
        > outside the monk class. The monk class adds a rank in that progression
        > at each of its own ranks... then other classes can also do the same (a
        > monk-based prestige class could then say 'unarmed combat stacks with
        > that from monk' very easily).

        After I sent out the email I realised that doing the unarmed combat as a
        progression would be easier.

        the one thing I have not figured out how to do is replace the progression
        with a completely different one. Some of the complex monk classes/feats
        allow you to "use one size larger for unarmed damage", "use 1 size smaller
        for damage", "use this other progression for unarmed damage".

        > Incidentally, I would do the same with
        > spellcasters; each level of wizard adds one level of 'wizard
        > spellcasting', which in turn adds 'one level of wizard spells per day';
        > each level of sorcerer adds one level of 'sorcerer spellcasting', which
        > in turn adds a rank each of 'sorcerer spells per day' and 'sorcerer
        > spells known'.

        That would make spellcasting prestige classes a lot easier.

        --
        regards,
        Frugal
        -OS Chimp
      • Frugal
        ... Ermmm. Good, you passed the test, move along now, nothing to see here ;O) It should be a child of the progression/effects
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 6 4:34 AM
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          <quote who="Steven Bethard">
          > Some questions (hopefully I'm not repeating anything Keith asked):
          >
          > Why does the stat bonus occur at rank 1? Shouldn't it be assigned at rank
          > 0
          > of a skill (so that a character with no ranks in Balance still gets their
          > stat adjustment)?

          Ermmm. Good, you passed the test, move along now, nothing to see here ;O)

          It should be a child of the progression/effects rather than
          progression/ranks/rank/effects

          > How do we deal with synergy bonuses for things like Diplomacy? From the
          > RSRD:
          > "Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff, Knowledge (nobility and
          > royalty), or Sense Motive, you get a +2 bonus on Diplomacy checks"
          > I read this as a boolean OR, such that if you have 5 ranks in Bluff and 5
          > ranks in Sense Motive, you still only get a +2 Synergy bonus to Diplomacy.
          > Regardless of whether my reading is right or wrong :), can we support
          > something like this?

          Unfortunately the SRD authors did not right everything in pseudocode, if
          they had our life would be a lot easier. I believe that this has been
          FAQed to state that this in fact uses the other english usage of 'or'. You
          get the synergy bonuses for each and every skill with 5 ranks.

          In any case we can handle both cases:

          Do not stack:

          <variable-modification targetid="skill.diplomacy.synergy"
          stacks="false"
          value="2">
          <prereq kind="var" key="skill.bluff.ranks" operand="5" operator=">="/>
          </variable-modification>
          <variable-modification targetid="skill.diplomacy.synergy"
          stacks="false"
          value="2">
          <prereq kind="var" key="skill.sense-motive.ranks" operand="5"
          operator=">="/>
          </variable-modification>

          Do Stack:

          <variable-modification targetid="skill.diplomacy.synergy"
          stacks="true"
          value="2">
          <prereq kind="var" key="skill.bluff.ranks" operand="5" operator=">="/>
          </variable-modification>
          <variable-modification targetid="skill.diplomacy.synergy"
          stacks="true"
          value="2">
          <prereq kind="var" key="skill.sense-motive.ranks" operand="5"
          operator=">="/>
          </variable-modification>


          The only difference is the 'stacks="true"' or 'stacks="false"'.


          > Just to clarify, but this means a player chooses a Race at each level,
          > right? I assume this is to make monster levels/classes simpler...

          Correct.

          > Also, is there a reason why you used 'value="-3"' here instead of
          > 'replaces="true" value="1"'?

          absolutely none, it is just a style thing. I wanted to show that you can
          do things either way.

          >> <progression id="race.human">
          >> ...
          >> <add-entity type="feat" />
          >> ...
          >> </progression>
          >> ...
          >> <progression id="characterlevel">
          >> ...
          >> <add-rank type="class"/>
          >> ...
          >> </progression>
          >
          > Is the assumption with 'type' that any time it selects more than one item
          > the user must make a choice? If this is the case, to specify that the
          > user
          > gets all the feats of a certain type, we would have to enumerate them all
          > in
          > <add-entity />s, which might be annoying for the weapon-proficiency
          > feats...

          The assumption is that with <add-rank type="class"/> the client will look
          for all progressions with a <type>class</type> child element and ask the
          user to choose one. Likewise <add-entity type="feat" /> will look for all
          entitiess with a <type>feat</type>.

          I imagine that <add-entity type="feat,fighter"/> will look for all
          entities with a type of 'feat' && a type of 'fighter'.

          I guess we do need some way to add more than one entity at a time.

          <add-entity type="feat,weapon-prof,martial" count="all"/>

          to add all entities that have the 'feat', 'weapon-prof' and 'martial' types.

          <add-entity type="feat,meta-magic" count="2"/>

          To add any 2 meta-magic feats.

          >> <variable-bonus targetid="combat.to-hit.dagger.melee.prof-penalty"
          >> value="-4"
          >> stacks="false">
          >> <prereq kind="feat"
          >> key="feat.weapon-prof.dagger"
          >> operator="<"
          >> operand="1"/>
          >> </variable-bonus>
          >> <variable-bonus targetid="combat.to-hit.dagger.ranged"
          >> value="$combat.to-hit.ranged +
          >> $combat.to-hit.dagger.ranged.prof-penalty"
          >> stacks="false"/>
          >
          > This reads a little weird to me. Is the prereq for the variable-bonus to
          > apply, or not to apply?

          the prereq says: if you do not have the dagger proficiency then the
          prof-penalty is -4. I now realise that I forgot to put the replaces="true"
          tag in the variable-bonus.

          > If it's for it to apply, should the prof-penalty
          > be
          > subtracted from the second variable-bonus value instead of added?

          No, because the prof-penalty is either '0' or '-4'.

          > How do you intend this to be handled? That is, how do we know how to
          > check
          > "wield"? I can see how to check entity presence and variable values based
          > on the data descriptions so far. Can this be done with "wield" too, or is
          > this one of the things we'll have to leave to program logic?

          All of the prerequisites will need to be done in code, even the variable
          ones.

          --
          regards,
          Frugal
          -OS Chimp
        • Keith Davies
          ... Ah, okay. ... I think rank, entity, and progression are abstractions well-suited to representing RPG information. I think it s a difference in levels of
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 6 8:36 AM
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            On Tue, Apr 06, 2004 at 11:56:32AM +0100, Frugal wrote:
            >
            > <quote who="Keith Davies">
            > > On Mon, Apr 05, 2004 at 02:41:20PM +0100, Frugal wrote:
            > > Looking this over, is this intended as a representation of a cooked form
            > > of the data (that is, after it's been loaded, how it might look in the
            > > program)? The XML itself could be very much simplified for use in data
            > > files and a translation between the two forms should not be particularly
            > > scary... and the XML you've described below would require a fair amount
            > > of sophistication for data entry.
            >
            > It is a representation of the cooked XML.

            Ah, okay.

            > When I first came up with a schema that converted the LST data into XML
            > everyone told me that we could not possibly use that system as it was too
            > system dependent. Are we now saying that the progression, rank, entity
            > structures are actually Java structures that we map the high level XML
            > onto? Or are we planning to map from high level XML to low level XML to
            > java structures? I am getting very confused about what people actually
            > want from this project.

            I think rank, entity, and progression are abstractions well-suited to
            representing RPG information. I think it's a difference in levels of
            interpretation -- in my XML I say that particular things *are* entities
            or progressions; in your intermediate form they have been rendered *as*
            entities and progressions.

            Does that make sense? I hope so; I was up late last night.

            > > I've hit this one a few times and considered several possibilities.
            > > Probably the simplest was to put min and max attributes on the effect,
            > > and a formula that resolves to 'non-zero' on levels it should apply (for
            > > instance, 'not($level % 3)' would trip on 3, 6, 9, ...).
            >
            > You are quite correct, not(x) will have far mroe effect than floor(x) ;O)
            >
            > If we have a formula we do not need 'min' and 'max'.
            >
            > "not($level % 3 == 0) && $level>6 && $level<20"
            >
            > >> <progression id="skill.balance">
            > >> <name>Balance</name>
            > >> <description>Long formatted description of balance skill text from
            > >> SRD</description>
            > >
            > > What about a short description, the one-liners as on feats and spells?
            > > I used the <desc> element to contain those, or 'brief' (in another piece
            > > of work I'm doing).
            >
            > Yeah, that works. Or even nest them:
            >
            > <description>
            > <brief>One line desc</brief>
            > <detailed><h3>Description</h3><p>This is the long desc</p></detailed>

            Don't embed specific headings in it like this, I think. I can't think
            of *too* many cases where entities will be complex enough to have their
            own headings. The few that do would probably be better off with a more
            generic <h> -- that can be picked up and formatted as needed for
            whatever level it appears at. For instance, if we were dumping
            everything to HTML and each class gets its own page, we might make them
            <h2> (<h3> for nested ones); if they all go on a single page, they might
            be <h3> or <h4> (with corresponding values for nested ones).

            > >> <source page="Skills1.rtf"></source>
            > >
            > > I had this as a set of attributes (source namespace) on the entity
            > > rather than a child element; style difference.
            >
            > It really make no difference.
            >
            > As a style question (and something I have just never "got"): Why use
            > all of the namespaces? None of them make sense without the others so
            > shouldn't they all be part of the same thing? Under what circumstances
            > would a namespace consisting of nothing but 4 attributes be useful? I
            > can understand the use of namespaces with things like Schema, XSLT,
            > XSL-FO as they are all encapsulating different things and each can be
            > use independently, or in conjunction with each other, but I can not
            > see how this works with the PCGen namespaces.

            Different levels of abstraction, plus shared behavior. The meta
            namespace describes the structure of game entities and related
            information. It is used by the engine so it knows how to map the XML to
            the internal representation. A namespace for each rule set makes it
            explicit what rules are being loaded and how to map them -- and clears
            the way to having different games using the same element names (not
            loaded at the same time, probably -- though there'd be nothing making it
            impossible, I think it'd be way more trouble than it's worth). For
            instance, d20 <skill> and Hero <skill> look different, etc. Without
            using namespaces for this, we'll end up with <d20skill> and <heroskill>,
            or some ungodly creation that tries to merge the behavior for both.
            Source has common behavior regardless of game or system; it's not
            metadata (in the sense that it doesn't describe the structure of the
            data being manipulated), but it is data about where entity manipulation
            being read came from. It's not part of d20, it's not part of Hero, but
            it can reasonably be used by both.

            Namespaces are still useful and appropriate IMO, in other words.

            > >> <attributes>
            > >> <!-- Attributes are constants on an entity that are not numbers -->
            > >> <attribute key="armour.check.applies" value="true"/>
            > >> <attribute key="usable-untrained" value="true" />
            > >
            > > <attribute key='key.ability' value='stat.dex' />
            > >
            > >> </attributes>
            > >> <types>
            > >> <type>Dexterity</type>
            > >> </types>
            > >
            > > Descriptive type used for classification?
            >
            > I did it this way for a couple of reasons:
            >
            > I did not see the point in having a 'key.ability' attribute as the stat
            > bonus is explicitly encoded in the effects of the progression.

            We still present it, don't we? While functionally you are correct, I
            think there are expectations that it be easily presented.

            > I added the <type>Dexterity</type> so that the progression can be
            > searched and indexed. If all entities (and progressions) have a series
            > of types that describe them then we can search for all entities that
            > have type 'FEAT' and type 'FIGHTER', or type 'SKILL' and type
            > 'Dexterity'. If we have half of this information in object specific
            > attributes then this becomes more difficult.

            I was really hoping to get away from TYPE, but even so this is a better
            representation than the current concatenated string... and it might not
            be visible in data since this is an internal representation.

            > I have just noticed that all of the skills need <type>Skill</type> added
            > to them.
            >
            > >> <ranks>
            > >> <rank level="all">
            > >> <!-- All levels give a +1 rank -->
            > >> <effects>
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="skill.balance.ranks" stacks="true"
            > >> value="1"/>
            > >> </effects>
            > >> </rank>
            > >> <rank level="1">
            > >> <!-- Level 1 give a stat bonus -->
            > >> <effects>
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="skill.balance"
            > >> value="$skill.balance.ranks
            > >> + $skill.balance.ranks.bonus + $skill.balance.stat +
            > >> $skill.balance.misc + $skill.balance.synergy" />
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="skill.balance.stat" value="$stat.dex.mod"
            > >> />
            > >
            > > statmod($skill.balance.stat) instead, since it doesn't use Dex directly?
            >
            > I did not use this structure as it requires a statmod() function and the
            > ability to lookup from $skill.balance.stat to 'stat.dex' and from there to
            > an explicit number.
            >
            > I would much rather have a series of variables in the character object:
            >
            > stat.dex
            > stat.dex.mod
            >
            > and then a formula:
            >
            > <variable-bonus targtrid="stat.dex.mod" value="floor($stat.dex/2)-5"/>

            That's not a bonus, though, that's a calculation. If it were to be done
            that way, I'd rather see something like

            <variable key='stat.dex' />
            <function key='stat.dex.mod' calc='floor($stat.dex/2)-5' />

            > > Hmm... no, you're more or less doing that... but it looks like you need
            > > to be able to process the effects in arbitrary order.
            >
            > I am working on the assumption that the client can either set up
            > dependencies on the variables and calculate them in order, or the client
            > can set up a notification system such that variable 'a' is notified when
            > variable 'b' is changed.

            That can be done.

            > > You had this in <rank level='1'> in Balance, but in <rank level='all'>
            > > here. Was that on purpose?
            >
            > Nope, completely messed it up ;O)
            >
            > I had originally thought about putting the stat modifiers in the first
            > rank for skills that were not useable untrained and in 'all' for
            > untrained skills. After I sent it out I realised that 'all' was a
            > really stupid place to put it, and it should go in the top level
            > <effects> rather than under a rank so that if you have 0 ranks you
            > still get the bonus...

            I'd figured <effects> would only happen when it got applied. Untrained
            would never see it anyway.

            > I am now undecided as to wether all the stat bonuses should go under
            > the top level <effects>, or if the untraned=no skills should have
            > their stat bonus under rank 1...

            Mmm... I can see why you're doing this for skills -- in order to present
            a character's total bonus to the roll for each skill you need to know
            about both the character and every skill you want the roll bonus for.
            It seems to depart from the normal model, though; feats don't have
            effect unless they're applied to the character, classes don't have
            effect unless they're applied to the character, etc. Making skills
            behave differently here adds complication, I think, that isn't quite
            needed.

            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="var.save.reflex.base"
            > >> value="ranks.class.fighter/2"/>
            > >
            > > Should be ranks.class.fighter/3, no? And need values for Fort and Will.
            >
            > Oh, more than likely. I was doing this off of the top of my head and
            > trying to remember the progressions rather than bothering to look them up
            > ;O)
            >
            > Yes, you are right, Fortitude and Willpower bonuses also need to go in there
            >
            Fair enough; I know I elide things (don't put in all saves, etc.) and
            make mistakes on what I do put in. It's enough to show the structure, I
            just wanted to check.

            > >> <entity id="item.dagger">
            > >> <name>Dagger</name>
            > >> <attributes>
            > >> <attribute key="wield" value="light"/>
            > >> <attribute key="default-size" value="m"/>
            > >> </attributes>
            > >> <types>
            > >> <type>item</type>
            > >> <type>weapon</type>
            > >> <type>melee</type>
            > >> <type>finesseable</type>
            > >> <type>ranged</type>
            > >> <type>thrown</type>
            > >> <type>simple</type>
            > >> <type>standard</type>
            > >> <type>piercing</type>
            > >> <type>slashing</type>
            > >> <type>dagger</type>
            > >> </types>
            > >> <effects>
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="combat.to-hit.dagger.melee"
            > >> value="$combat.to-hit.melee + $combat.to-hit.dagger.melee.prof-penalty"
            > >> stacks="false"/>
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="combat.to-hit.dagger.melee.prof-penalty"
            > >> value="-4" stacks="false">
            > >> <prereq kind="feat" key="feat.weapon-prof.dagger" operator="<"
            > >> operand="1"/>
            > >> </variable-bonus>
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="combat.to-hit.dagger.ranged"
            > >> value="$combat.to-hit.ranged +
            > >> $combat.to-hit.dagger.ranged.prof-penalty" stacks="false"/>
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="combat.to-hit.dagger.ranged.prof-penalty"
            > >> value="-4" stacks="false">
            > >> <prereq kind="feat" key="feat.weapon-prof.dagger" operator="<"
            > >> operand="1"/>
            > >> </variable-bonus>
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.range-increment" value="10"/>
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.critmult" value="2"/>
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.critrange" value="2" />
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.damage.die-size" value="4" />
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.damage.die-count" value="1"/>
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.range" value="10"/>
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.weight" value="1"/>
            > >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.cost" value="2"/>
            > >> <add-entity refid="eqmod.steel"/>
            > >> </effects>
            > >> </entity>
            > >
            > > The variable-bonus... does it apply to the entity being described, or to
            > > the character/entity it is being applied to? With a feat, it looks like
            > > it gets applied to the character, but with the dagger it... looks like
            > > it gets applied to the character, but should actually be describing the
            > > dagger. This is unclear to me.
            >
            > I am working on everything apliying to the character. I guess it is the
            > difference between asking the character "how much damage do you do with a
            > dagger" and asking the dagger: "how much damage to you do when weilded by
            > the character". this is why all of the variables are prefexed with the
            > item id.

            Best watch this; characters in my design are not particularly 'special';
            the same mechanisms are used for other entities (such as equipment and
            whatnot -- adding an equipmod to a sword is much the same as adding a
            feat to a character).

            If you'll be prefixing the item ID to the variable modified, you'll need
            to parse it out at some point to determine the values. However, I have
            an idea.

            <variable-mod target='self' key='varname' value='n' />

            Hmm... actually, that doesn't make a lot of sense -- why would something
            need to modify itself? Most modifications would implicitly be to what
            the item is applied to... so.

            <variable key='varname' value='n' />

            defines the field (in concrete terms that'd be <cost> or <critmult> or
            whatever)

            <variable-mod key='varname' value='formula' />

            would describe (in part) what happens when you apply the modifier to the
            receiving entity:

            <equipmod id='eqmod.masterwork'>
            <variable-mod key='toHit' value='+1' />
            </equipmod>

            should (in theory) increase the toHit value of the item of equipment it
            is applied to... though in this case it should probably be treated as a
            bonus rather than a modifier.

            Oh, right -- we probably need to be able to piggyback effects, too.
            Adding one entity to another might modify the recipient so it passes an
            effect on to what *it* is applied to.

            > If you wanted to give a feat that increased the damage dice to a d6
            > rather than a d4 you would apply this to the character:
            >
            > <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.damage.die-size" value="2"
            > stacks="true"/>
            >
            > or
            >
            > <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.damage.die-size" value="6"
            > stacks="false"/>

            how would you increase the damage of a particular dagger, though?
            Create a new 'sharper dagger' entity?

            > > Also, 'variable-bonus' looks deceptive. Is it a bonus to the 'real'
            > > value of the variable (in which case there are rules about how they
            > > stack, etc.) or is it a direct modification of the real value?
            >
            > It is a modification to the variable. I guess it is badly named, it should
            > be named something like: <variable-modification>.
            >
            > I would say that the rules on <variable-modification> are:
            >
            > - If (there are any modifications that have replaces="true")
            > then use the highest one
            > else
            > Take the highest modification that does not have
            > stacks="true" or replaces="true".
            > - add all of the modifications that have stacks="true"
            >
            >
            >
            > > Is this intended to be an 'intermediate form' (for instance, how it
            > > might look after being loaded? The XML itself can probably be very much
            > > simplified and the data translated to this form automatically without a
            > > lot of scariness from a simpler form, something like
            > >
            > > <equipment id='item.dagger'>
            > > <name>Dagger</name>
            > > <types>
            > > <type>item</type>
            > > <type>weapon</type>
            > > <type>melee</type>
            > > <type>dagger</type>
            > > <type>standard</type>
            > > </types>
            > > <effects /> <!-- how it changes the character goes here -->
            > > <physical-info size='medium' weight='2' cost='2' />
            > > <weapon-info>
            > > <usage light='yes' finesseable='yes' ranged='thrown' />
            > > <damage roll='1d4' critmult='2' critrange='2'>
            > > <type>piercing</type>
            > > <type>slashing</type>
            > > </damage>
            > > <ranged range-increment='10' max-increments='5' />
            > > </weapon-info>
            > > </equipment>
            >
            > as I said at the top of this email: I did not do any kind of high level
            > XML as everytime I have suggested it over ht epast year someone has shot
            > me down.
            >
            >
            > > <!-- not sure how to indicate that it's made of steel, though your
            > > '<add-entity refid="eqmod.steel" />' seems likely. I didn't include
            > > it because it *looks* like it's supposed to be added to the character
            > > who receives the dagger.
            >
            > This is the part where my "everything applies to the character" system
            > falls apart ;O(

            I like the use of the steel equipmod, though; this is much better than
            'TYPE: STEEL'.

            How's this: change your targetid attribute to 'key' [which is safer
            anyway; ID should be unique in the system, which means that only a
            single character is being modeled (targetid *is* unique) or it isn't
            (and targetid is lying about this implication]. Give the variable-mod
            (or any other effect) an implicit target of 'the recipient'; this can be
            overridden (target='self') for those cases where you want it to be able
            to apply something (variable modification, equipment modification, etc.)
            to itself instead. So

            <entity id='item.dagger'>
            <!-- name, variable identification and initialization , etc. -->
            <add-entity target='self' refid='eqmod.steel' />
            </entity>

            Or for a truly nifty item:

            <entity id='item.dagger.steelbody'>
            <!-- name, variable identification and initialization , etc. -->
            <add-entity refid='eqmod.steel' />
            <!-- turns wielder into steel, oops... -->
            </entity>

            > > Proficiency is better determined and indicated by feats and class
            > > abilities, not the item itself, I think. This may also be subject to
            > > reclassification in different campaigns.
            > >
            > > <type>simple</type>
            >
            > I put the proficiency bonuses in the item because I did not want to go
            > down the road of having to lookup bonuses from unrelated things.
            >
            > I guess that you can have a dagger.prof variable made up of the highest of
            > weaponprof.dagger bonus, weaponprof.martial bonus and weaponprof.dagger
            > bonus.
            >
            > >> <prereq kind="mult" operand="1">
            > >> <prereq kind="alignment" key="lawful.good"/>
            > >> <prereq kind="alignment" key="lawful.neutral"/>
            > >> <prereq kind="alignment" key="lawful.evil"/>
            > >> </prereq>
            > >
            > > I had this as
            > >
            > > <prereq min='1' max='1'>
            > > <prereq kind='alignment' key='lawful.good' /> <!-- align.lg -->
            > > <prereq kind='alignment' key='lawful.neutral' /> <!-- align.ln -->
            > > <prereq kind='alignment' key='lawful.evil' /> <!-- align.le -->
            > > </prereq>
            > >
            > > Basically, any time they nest, they implicitly form a mult-kind of
            > > prereq... that's one only one that makes sense. After that you just
            > > have to indicate how many of the child prereqs must be satisfied.
            >
            > I am 'implicit-phobic' I have been bitten by implitic too many times to
            > trust it (or anyone else implimentation of it) saying that I missed out
            > the 'operator="="' attribute ;O)

            I'm not generally fond of implicit behavior... though in this case I see
            it as something of an 'explicit implicit' -- it's part of the defined
            behavior. Still, it doesn't *hurt* to say <prereq kind='mult'>, either.

            > Having used my prereq syntax in the current version of PCGen I know that
            > it copes with all cases without needed other syntax.
            >
            > >> <ranks>
            > >> <rank level="1">
            > >> <effects>
            > >> <add-entity refid="sa.literacy"/>
            > >> <add-entity refid="skill.balance"/>
            > >
            > > Add 'skill.balance' to the character? As a class skill, you mean? This
            > > isn't entirely clear to me.
            >
            > Yes. It isn't entirly clear to me now that I reread it. We are back to
            > skills being a pain to implement.

            yep.

            > >> <add-entity refid="feat.weapon-prof" choice="club"/>
            > >
            > > I'd put these in a separate list ('monk weapon proficiencies') outside
            > > the class and add them later, something like an 'invisible feat' as
            > > they're currently used.
            >
            > Again, purely a style issue.
            >
            > > I would instead create a 'monk unarmed combat' progression that lives
            > > outside the monk class. The monk class adds a rank in that progression
            > > at each of its own ranks... then other classes can also do the same (a
            > > monk-based prestige class could then say 'unarmed combat stacks with
            > > that from monk' very easily).
            >
            > After I sent out the email I realised that doing the unarmed combat as a
            > progression would be easier.
            >
            > the one thing I have not figured out how to do is replace the progression
            > with a completely different one. Some of the complex monk classes/feats
            > allow you to "use one size larger for unarmed damage", "use 1 size smaller
            > for damage", "use this other progression for unarmed damage".

            Hmm... this is one of those 'it's easy to design it this way from the
            front' sort of deals, where we make the association *between* the
            character and the class -- in RDBMS terms, something like

            Character
            |
            ^
            CharClass (this contains things like 'effective monk damage size', ick)
            v
            |
            Class

            But I'm not happy with *that*, either.

            It's a damn shame that the monk progressions aren't *quite* size bumps
            (at /n/ level you are treated as /x/ sizes larger than normal)...
            they're *close* in RSRD, IIRC, but not *quite* right. Dammit.

            Hmm... I think I'll note that for my campaign, actually; it'll simplify
            things.

            > > Incidentally, I would do the same with
            > > spellcasters; each level of wizard adds one level of 'wizard
            > > spellcasting', which in turn adds 'one level of wizard spells per day';
            > > each level of sorcerer adds one level of 'sorcerer spellcasting', which
            > > in turn adds a rank each of 'sorcerer spells per day' and 'sorcerer
            > > spells known'.
            >
            > That would make spellcasting prestige classes a lot easier.

            That's why <g>

            --
            Keith Davies I gave my 2yo daughter a strawberry
            keith.davies@... Naomi: "Strawberry!"
            me: "What do you say?"
            Naomi: "*MY* strawberry!"
          • Keith Davies
            ... To be more precise (at least about my design, which I think Frugal was trying to model), each race has or is a progression; the character (or creature)
            Message 5 of 12 , Apr 6 8:45 AM
            • 0 Attachment
              On Tue, Apr 06, 2004 at 12:34:40PM +0100, Frugal wrote:
              >
              > <quote who="Steven Bethard">
              > > Just to clarify, but this means a player chooses a Race at each level,
              > > right? I assume this is to make monster levels/classes simpler...
              >
              > Correct.

              To be more precise (at least about my design, which I think Frugal was
              trying to model), each race has or is a progression; the character (or
              creature) adds a rank in that progression and it (may) end up adding a
              class level. Specifically, the race is chosen once, ranks are added
              many times... he doesn't get to choose a new race at each level (which
              is how I first read your question).

              > >> <progression id="race.human">
              > >> ...
              > >> <add-entity type="feat" />
              > >> ...
              > >> </progression>
              > >> ...
              > >> <progression id="characterlevel">
              > >> ...
              > >> <add-rank type="class"/>
              > >> ...
              > >> </progression>
              > >
              > > Is the assumption with 'type' that any time it selects more than one
              > > item the user must make a choice? If this is the case, to specify
              > > that the user gets all the feats of a certain type, we would have to
              > > enumerate them all in <add-entity />s, which might be annoying for
              > > the weapon-proficiency feats...
              >
              > The assumption is that with <add-rank type="class"/> the client will look
              > for all progressions with a <type>class</type> child element and ask the
              > user to choose one. Likewise <add-entity type="feat" /> will look for all
              > entitiess with a <type>feat</type>.
              >
              > I imagine that <add-entity type="feat,fighter"/> will look for all
              > entities with a type of 'feat' && a type of 'fighter'.
              >
              > I guess we do need some way to add more than one entity at a time.
              >
              > <add-entity type="feat,weapon-prof,martial" count="all"/>
              >
              > to add all entities that have the 'feat', 'weapon-prof' and 'martial' types.

              If you're saying what I think you are here, I suspect it's backward --
              feats grant proficiency, but they're not the *only* thing that grants
              proficiency.

              > <add-entity type="feat,meta-magic" count="2"/>
              >
              > To add any 2 meta-magic feats.

              I think we need to specify some sort of query syntax to deal with this
              sort of thing... you're working around the edges of one, but we should
              do something more explicit. 'sides, I'll need it for extracting
              entities from the system to be written to file.

              > > How do you intend this to be handled? That is, how do we know how
              > > to check "wield"? I can see how to check entity presence and
              > > variable values based on the data descriptions so far. Can this be
              > > done with "wield" too, or is this one of the things we'll have to
              > > leave to program logic?
              >
              > All of the prerequisites will need to be done in code, even the variable
              > ones.

              Described in data, tested in code, you mean?


              Keith
              --
              Keith Davies I gave my 2yo daughter a strawberry
              keith.davies@... Naomi: "Strawberry!"
              me: "What do you say?"
              Naomi: "*MY* strawberry!"
            • Steven Bethard
              ... My preference is to have one XML standard that looks something like what Frugal s presented. This standard should be as
              Message 6 of 12 , Apr 6 9:36 AM
              • 0 Attachment
                <quote who="Frugal">
                > Are we now saying that the progression, rank, entity
                > structures are actually Java structures that we map
                > the high level XML onto? Or are we planning to map
                > from high level XML to low level XML to java
                > structures?

                My preference is to have one XML standard that looks something like what
                Frugal's presented. This standard should be as system-independent as
                possible, and as much as possible should map directly into Java objects. If
                this standard is still too low-level for people, I think we should allow a
                higher-level standard that can be mapped to this standard, but I think this
                step should be completely optional.

                I've been pushing to keep the one standard as simple as possible, which is
                why we discussed using just Entities and Effects for a while. I think I'm
                more or less convinced now that this very general approach won't work for
                D&D, and that we'll have to move to something that encodes a little more
                about the system into the code, like what Frugal's done.

                In general, I'd prefer that we never have elements or attributes named with
                something specific to one game system, so that we would never have:
                <progression id="skill.balance" usable-untrained="true" />
                or:
                <skill id="balance" usable-untrained="true" />
                but instead, something like what Frugal's done:
                <progression id="skill.balance">
                <attribute key="usable-untrained" value="true" />
                </progression
                This may be what Keith already intended, but it's hard for me to tell how
                the UML diagrams were supposed to translate into XML.


                Steve
                _____

                You can wordify anything if you just verb it.
                - Bucky Katt, Get Fuzzy
              • Frugal
                ... I think it is a fine enough distinction that it will not be relevent. ... I did not mean to imply that we would format the
                Message 7 of 12 , Apr 7 2:56 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  <quote who="Keith Davies">
                  > On Tue, Apr 06, 2004 at 11:56:32AM +0100, Frugal wrote:
                  >
                  > I think rank, entity, and progression are abstractions well-suited to
                  > representing RPG information. I think it's a difference in levels of
                  > interpretation -- in my XML I say that particular things *are* entities
                  > or progressions; in your intermediate form they have been rendered *as*
                  > entities and progressions.

                  I think it is a fine enough distinction that it will not be relevent.

                  >> <description>
                  >> <brief>One line desc</brief>
                  >> <detailed><h3>Description</h3><p>This is the long desc</p></detailed>
                  >
                  > Don't embed specific headings in it like this, I think. I can't think
                  > of *too* many cases where entities will be complex enough to have their
                  > own headings. The few that do would probably be better off with a more
                  > generic <h> -- that can be picked up and formatted as needed for
                  > whatever level it appears at. For instance, if we were dumping
                  > everything to HTML and each class gets its own page, we might make them
                  > <h2> (<h3> for nested ones); if they all go on a single page, they might
                  > be <h3> or <h4> (with corresponding values for nested ones).

                  I did not mean to imply that we would format the descriptions this
                  particular way, I just wanted to say that we can put arbitrary tags inside
                  the detailed description and <h3> was the only tag I could think of ;O)

                  I really must craft my examples with more care from now on. We all seem to
                  be able to infer a great deal of incorrect detail from each others
                  examples ;O)

                  Like you I can not think of any reason to have headings in a description,
                  but I can certainly see a use for lists, emphasis etc.

                  Out of interest what do people thin is the best way to allow an arbitrary
                  set of tags under a <description> tag ?

                  - Explicitly specify which subset of HTML tags we allow?

                  - include the XHTML schema and demand that the nested tags are all in the
                  xhtml: namespace?

                  - Can we even say "allow any valid XML content as a child of this tag and
                  do not validate it against the current schema"? and if we can do we want
                  to?

                  ...

                  Okay that was a bit too low level and detailed for the moment, but it is
                  worth remembering for a later date.



                  >> >> <source page="Skills1.rtf"></source>
                  >> >
                  >> > I had this as a set of attributes (source namespace) on the entity
                  >> > rather than a child element; style difference.
                  >>
                  >> It really make no difference.
                  >>
                  >> As a style question (and something I have just never "got"): Why use
                  >> all of the namespaces? None of them make sense without the others so
                  >> shouldn't they all be part of the same thing? Under what circumstances
                  >> would a namespace consisting of nothing but 4 attributes be useful? I
                  >> can understand the use of namespaces with things like Schema, XSLT,
                  >> XSL-FO as they are all encapsulating different things and each can be
                  >> use independently, or in conjunction with each other, but I can not
                  >> see how this works with the PCGen namespaces.
                  >
                  > Different levels of abstraction, plus shared behavior. The meta
                  > namespace describes the structure of game entities and related
                  > information. It is used by the engine so it knows how to map the XML to
                  > the internal representation. A namespace for each rule set makes it
                  > explicit what rules are being loaded and how to map them -- and clears
                  > the way to having different games using the same element names (not
                  > loaded at the same time, probably -- though there'd be nothing making it
                  > impossible, I think it'd be way more trouble than it's worth). For
                  > instance, d20 <skill> and Hero <skill> look different, etc. Without
                  > using namespaces for this, we'll end up with <d20skill> and <heroskill>,
                  > or some ungodly creation that tries to merge the behavior for both.
                  > Source has common behavior regardless of game or system; it's not
                  > metadata (in the sense that it doesn't describe the structure of the
                  > data being manipulated), but it is data about where entity manipulation
                  > being read came from. It's not part of d20, it's not part of Hero, but
                  > it can reasonably be used by both.

                  So the namespaces aer going to be more use for the "high level" xml, where
                  we can have data from Hero or D20. But when we have homogenised down to
                  the low level impolimentation XML they will not have as much relevance
                  because we will be useing the same set of rules and meta data for
                  everything so we will always be using the same elements.

                  >> I did not see the point in having a 'key.ability' attribute as the stat
                  >> bonus is explicitly encoded in the effects of the progression.
                  >
                  > We still present it, don't we? While functionally you are correct, I
                  > think there are expectations that it be easily presented.

                  Okay, I see where you are coming from on this one and you are quite
                  correct, we need to hold that data in such a way that it can be presented
                  to the user in the interface.

                  >> I added the <type>Dexterity</type> so that the progression can be
                  >> searched and indexed. If all entities (and progressions) have a series
                  >> of types that describe them then we can search for all entities that
                  >> have type 'FEAT' and type 'FIGHTER', or type 'SKILL' and type
                  >> 'Dexterity'. If we have half of this information in object specific
                  >> attributes then this becomes more difficult.
                  >
                  > I was really hoping to get away from TYPE, but even so this is a better
                  > representation than the current concatenated string... and it might not
                  > be visible in data since this is an internal representation.

                  I think we need something like a <type> tag, otherwise the only thing we
                  will have to differentiate a Feat <entity> from an Item <entity> will be
                  the fact that one has an ID that starts with "feat." and the other has an
                  ID that starts with "item.".

                  I think of them as a secondary index field in RDBMS terms. Something that
                  provides useful information about the record, but also allows index
                  searching.

                  > That's not a bonus, though, that's a calculation. If it were to be done
                  > that way, I'd rather see something like
                  >
                  > <variable key='stat.dex' />
                  > <function key='stat.dex.mod' calc='floor($stat.dex/2)-5' />

                  My only issue with calling the operation that gives a value to a variable
                  a function is that in a lot of cases there will be an arbitrary number of
                  functions that apply to the variable and they may or may not stack or
                  replace other functions.

                  As an example you have the following:

                  <variable key="armour_class"/>
                  <variable key="armour_class.armour"/>
                  <variable key="armour_class.stat"/>
                  <variable key="armour_class.deflection"/>
                  <function key="armour_class" calc="$armour_class.armour +
                  armour_class.stat + armour_class.deflection"/>

                  To give a standard Armour class of armour worn + dex_mod + deflection
                  bonus. Howver then the GM creates an item that give an "artifact bonus" to
                  armour class:

                  <variable key="armour_class.artifact"/>
                  <function key="armour_class" calc="$armour_class.artifact" stacks="true"/>

                  So that we can add an extra value on top of the existing value without
                  needing to know about all of the other calculations on the variable.

                  basically we have created a <variable> tag instead of implicitly creating
                  any variable mentioned and renamed <variable-bonus> to <function>. I must
                  confess that I have not been declaring variables in my examples, I really
                  should have been for clarity.

                  I have no problem with this. In some ways it is more descriptive.

                  >> > Hmm... no, you're more or less doing that... but it looks like you
                  >> need
                  >> > to be able to process the effects in arbitrary order.
                  >>
                  >> I am working on the assumption that the client can either set up
                  >> dependencies on the variables and calculate them in order, or the client
                  >> can set up a notification system such that variable 'a' is notified when
                  >> variable 'b' is changed.
                  >
                  > That can be done.

                  The couple of prototype code examples that Steve and I were kicking around
                  at the end of last year did exactly that.

                  >> I had originally thought about putting the stat modifiers in the first
                  >> rank for skills that were not useable untrained and in 'all' for
                  >> untrained skills. After I sent it out I realised that 'all' was a
                  >> really stupid place to put it, and it should go in the top level
                  >> <effects> rather than under a rank so that if you have 0 ranks you
                  >> still get the bonus...
                  >
                  > I'd figured <effects> would only happen when it got applied. Untrained
                  > would never see it anyway.

                  I guess that I was expecting to be able to apply 0 ranks of a progession
                  to a character.

                  So the client could look for all skill entities with the "allow_untrained"
                  attribute and add them to the character with 0 ranks when the character is
                  created

                  >> I am now undecided as to wether all the stat bonuses should go under
                  >> the top level <effects>, or if the untraned=no skills should have
                  >> their stat bonus under rank 1...
                  >
                  > Mmm... I can see why you're doing this for skills -- in order to present
                  > a character's total bonus to the roll for each skill you need to know
                  > about both the character and every skill you want the roll bonus for.
                  > It seems to depart from the normal model, though; feats don't have
                  > effect unless they're applied to the character, classes don't have
                  > effect unless they're applied to the character, etc. Making skills
                  > behave differently here adds complication, I think, that isn't quite
                  > needed.

                  I think we can handle this if we allow a progression to be applied to a
                  character with 0 ranks.

                  > Best watch this; characters in my design are not particularly 'special';
                  > the same mechanisms are used for other entities (such as equipment and
                  > whatnot -- adding an equipmod to a sword is much the same as adding a
                  > feat to a character).
                  >
                  > If you'll be prefixing the item ID to the variable modified, you'll need
                  > to parse it out at some point to determine the values. However, I have
                  > an idea.
                  >
                  > <variable-mod target='self' key='varname' value='n' />
                  >
                  > Hmm... actually, that doesn't make a lot of sense -- why would something
                  > need to modify itself? Most modifications would implicitly be to what
                  > the item is applied to... so.
                  >
                  > <variable key='varname' value='n' />
                  >
                  > defines the field (in concrete terms that'd be <cost> or <critmult> or
                  > whatever)
                  >
                  > <variable-mod key='varname' value='formula' />
                  >
                  > would describe (in part) what happens when you apply the modifier to the
                  > receiving entity:
                  >
                  > <equipmod id='eqmod.masterwork'>
                  > <variable-mod key='toHit' value='+1' />
                  > </equipmod>
                  >
                  > should (in theory) increase the toHit value of the item of equipment it
                  > is applied to... though in this case it should probably be treated as a
                  > bonus rather than a modifier.
                  >
                  > Oh, right -- we probably need to be able to piggyback effects, too.
                  > Adding one entity to another might modify the recipient so it passes an
                  > effect on to what *it* is applied to.

                  So we have a character entity that has a "masterwork dagger" entity that
                  has a "eqmod.masterwork" entity that gives a +1 to toHit

                  <entity id="character">
                  <add-entity idref="item.dagger-masterwork"/>
                  <entities>
                  <variable key="melee_attack"/>
                  </entities>
                  <effects>
                  <!-- give the character a +9 attack from somewhere
                  exactly where is not relevent for this
                  example -->
                  <function key="melee_attack" calc="9"/>
                  </effects>
                  </entity>

                  <entity id="item.dagger-masterwork">
                  <add-entity idref="eqmod.masterwork"/>
                  </entity>

                  <entity id="eqmod.masterwork" >
                  <effects>
                  <function key="toHit_bonus" calc="1" />
                  </effects>
                  </entity>

                  The <function> on the eqmod entity applies the effects to the entity it is
                  applied to (the item entity). So now we have an 'item.dagger-masterwork'
                  with a variable of 'toHit_bonus' that has a function that will return '1'.

                  So how do we go about determining that the attack bonus for the
                  dagger-masterwork is +10 (9+1):

                  <entity id="item.dagger-masterwork">
                  <add-entity idref="eqmod.masterwork"/>
                  <effects>
                  <function key="toHit_melee" calc="$melee_attack + toHit_bonus"/>
                  </effects>
                  </entity>

                  I am sure that we can come up with some better variable names than I have
                  used.

                  So as the item.dagger-masterwork entity needs to ask the parent entity for
                  any variables it does not know (in this case $melee_attack). Do we need to
                  ask the parent for all variables, or just the one we do not know ?

                  How will variables propogate? In the example of a weapon we do not want
                  the character to be affected by the toHit=+1 that the item has, but for
                  bracers of armour we want the armour bonus to affect the character... Do
                  we need a 'propogate="true|false"' attribute of function. If the entitiy
                  is asked for the functions that can affect a variable we only return the
                  ones that have propogate="true". The ones that have propogate="false" are
                  only used for calculations internally for that entity.



                  The other alternative would be for the client to ask "what is the
                  melee_attack for this character entity using this item entity" at which
                  point we need to have the character return a list of propogate="true"
                  functions that affect "toHit" from all child entities (recursively), plus
                  the list of functions that affect "toHit" from the specific item we are
                  interested in that have the 'propogate="false"' attribute.



                  the difference is that in the first case the item is being asked for a
                  variable and has to interrogate its parent entity, and in the second the
                  top level is being asked for the variable and is specifically asked for
                  the internal functions of a specific subentity that the client is
                  interested in.


                  >> If you wanted to give a feat that increased the damage dice to a d6
                  >> rather than a d4 you would apply this to the character:
                  >>
                  >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.damage.die-size" value="2"
                  >> stacks="true"/>
                  >>
                  >> or
                  >>
                  >> <variable-bonus targetid="item.dagger.damage.die-size" value="6"
                  >> stacks="false"/>
                  >
                  > how would you increase the damage of a particular dagger, though?
                  > Create a new 'sharper dagger' entity?

                  In this scenario you would indeed have to create a new item.dagger_sharper
                  entity. But then again if you apply an eqmod to an item you have created a
                  new item.

                  I consider entities to be immutable. If you add a subentity to an entity
                  you affect all instances of that entity. If you want to add a subentity to
                  only 1 instance of an entity then you copy the entity and give it a new ID
                  and apply the subentity to the copy.

                  > I like the use of the steel equipmod, though; this is much better than
                  > 'TYPE: STEEL'.

                  That is the way that the current LST data sets do it. In the Steel eqmod
                  it adds the TYPE:STEEL. They do it this way so that Admantine eqmod can
                  "REPLACE:STEEL", i.e. any item with the steel eqmod (and hence steel type)
                  will have the steel eqmod removed when the admantine eqmod is applied.

                  > How's this: change your targetid attribute to 'key' [which is safer
                  > anyway; ID should be unique in the system, which means that only a
                  > single character is being modeled (targetid *is* unique) or it isn't
                  > (and targetid is lying about this implication]. Give the variable-mod
                  > (or any other effect) an implicit target of 'the recipient'; this can be
                  > overridden (target='self') for those cases where you want it to be able
                  > to apply something (variable modification, equipment modification, etc.)
                  > to itself instead. So
                  >
                  > <entity id='item.dagger'>
                  > <!-- name, variable identification and initialization , etc. -->
                  > <add-entity target='self' refid='eqmod.steel' />
                  > </entity>
                  >
                  > Or for a truly nifty item:
                  >
                  > <entity id='item.dagger.steelbody'>
                  > <!-- name, variable identification and initialization , etc. -->
                  > <add-entity refid='eqmod.steel' />
                  > <!-- turns wielder into steel, oops... -->
                  > </entity>

                  That works.

                  Variable functions can either propogate or not, and entities can be
                  applied to the containing entity, or the top level entity.

                  So the target attribute has 2 options "self", or "top_level" where "self"
                  is the default (we are more likely to want to apply a subentity to the
                  current entity than the top level one, and this just makes it a bit more
                  explicit).

                  >> I am 'implicit-phobic' I have been bitten by implitic too many times to
                  >> trust it (or anyone else implimentation of it) saying that I missed out
                  >> the 'operator="="' attribute ;O)
                  >
                  > I'm not generally fond of implicit behavior... though in this case I see
                  > it as something of an 'explicit implicit' -- it's part of the defined
                  > behavior. Still, it doesn't *hurt* to say <prereq kind='mult'>, either.

                  Given that this is most likely going to be auto generated from the top
                  level XML I have not problem with demanding a fully explicit syntax.

                  >> the one thing I have not figured out how to do is replace the
                  >> progression
                  >> with a completely different one. Some of the complex monk classes/feats
                  >> allow you to "use one size larger for unarmed damage", "use 1 size
                  >> smaller
                  >> for damage", "use this other progression for unarmed damage".
                  >
                  > Hmm... this is one of those 'it's easy to design it this way from the
                  > front' sort of deals, where we make the association *between* the
                  > character and the class -- in RDBMS terms, something like
                  >
                  > Character
                  > |
                  > ^
                  > CharClass (this contains things like 'effective monk damage size', ick)
                  > v
                  > |
                  > Class
                  >
                  > But I'm not happy with *that*, either.
                  >
                  > It's a damn shame that the monk progressions aren't *quite* size bumps
                  > (at /n/ level you are treated as /x/ sizes larger than normal)...
                  > they're *close* in RSRD, IIRC, but not *quite* right. Dammit.

                  If we have a default progression referenced from the monk class
                  "monk.udam", could we do something like this:

                  Have a new progression "monk.udam.other" and then we have 3 possibilites:

                  1 - Replace the default progression. This is bad because we have then
                  changed the progression for _all_ monks

                  2 - Have some sort of <replaces old="monk.udam" new="monk.udam.other"> tag
                  such that whenever a value is to be looked up from the "monk.udam"
                  progression it is actually looked up in the "monk.udam.other" progression.

                  3 - Have the new progression use the replace="true" flag on all variables
                  and have some mechanism to ensure that you have the same number of ranks
                  in monk.udam.other as in monk.udam <add-rank key="monk.udam.other"
                  ranks="ranks(monk.udam)"/>

                  1 is right out, but what do people think about 2 and 3? They both have
                  their pros and cons.


                  --
                  regards,
                  Frugal
                  -OS Chimp
                • Frugal
                  ... Once again Frugal s bad examples strike uncertanty in to the hearts of all who look upon them ;O) I had worked it out in my head
                  Message 8 of 12 , Apr 7 3:02 AM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    <quote who="Keith Davies">
                    > On Tue, Apr 06, 2004 at 12:34:40PM +0100, Frugal wrote:
                    >> <quote who="Steven Bethard">
                    >> The assumption is that with <add-rank type="class"/> the client will
                    >> look
                    >> for all progressions with a <type>class</type> child element and ask the
                    >> user to choose one. Likewise <add-entity type="feat" /> will look for
                    >> all
                    >> entitiess with a <type>feat</type>.
                    >>
                    >> I imagine that <add-entity type="feat,fighter"/> will look for all
                    >> entities with a type of 'feat' && a type of 'fighter'.
                    >>
                    >> I guess we do need some way to add more than one entity at a time.
                    >>
                    >> <add-entity type="feat,weapon-prof,martial" count="all"/>
                    >>
                    >> to add all entities that have the 'feat', 'weapon-prof' and 'martial'
                    >> types.
                    >
                    > If you're saying what I think you are here, I suspect it's backward --
                    > feats grant proficiency, but they're not the *only* thing that grants
                    > proficiency.

                    Once again Frugal's bad examples strike uncertanty in to the hearts of all
                    who look upon them ;O)

                    I had worked it out in my head that each weapon proficiency was a feat.
                    You are right, each weapon proficiency is an entity. A feat entity may add
                    one or more weapon prof entities, but class progressions, items etc can
                    all add the weapon prof entity as well.

                    >> <add-entity type="feat,meta-magic" count="2"/>
                    >>
                    >> To add any 2 meta-magic feats.
                    >
                    > I think we need to specify some sort of query syntax to deal with this
                    > sort of thing... you're working around the edges of one, but we should
                    > do something more explicit. 'sides, I'll need it for extracting
                    > entities from the system to be written to file.

                    I keep veering toward and then away from XPath...

                    >> All of the prerequisites will need to be done in code, even the variable
                    >> ones.
                    >
                    > Described in data, tested in code, you mean?

                    Correct.

                    --
                    regards,
                    Frugal
                    -OS Chimp
                  • andargor
                    ... this ... should ... variable ... I ve been lurking for a few days, I find the discussion interesting. I m continuing to experiment with my own approach.
                    Message 9 of 12 , Apr 7 6:27 AM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      --- In pcgen-xml@yahoogroups.com, "Frugal" <frugal@p...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > I think we need to specify some sort of query syntax to deal with
                      this
                      > > sort of thing... you're working around the edges of one, but we
                      should
                      > > do something more explicit. 'sides, I'll need it for extracting
                      > > entities from the system to be written to file.
                      >
                      > I keep veering toward and then away from XPath...
                      >
                      > >> All of the prerequisites will need to be done in code, even the
                      variable
                      > >> ones.
                      > >
                      > > Described in data, tested in code, you mean?
                      >
                      > Correct.
                      >
                      > --
                      > regards,
                      > Frugal
                      > -OS Chimp

                      I've been lurking for a few days, I find the discussion interesting.
                      I'm continuing to experiment with my own approach. BTW, I do use
                      XPath a lot. It's slow in itself, but useful to hash XML data by
                      attributes for example.

                      As for the XML format aspect, it really doesn't matter what the
                      format is. A high-level XML file can easily be XSLT'd down to a low
                      level one.

                      I personally don't like mapping XML to engine-specific objects, but
                      if the XML can be transformed and reused in another engine, I really
                      don't care much.

                      To give you a sense of where I am right now with my own attempt:

                      - XML is of a very high level, similar to Doug's XML proposal in
                      PCGen main (I actually stole it for testing)
                      - Each XML tree is loaded and wrapped into a Javascript object. (ie.:
                      <skill>...</skill> becomes skill.xxx)
                      - I use only one attribute: "id". I hash it against the XML tree
                      (e.g.: skill["Diplomacy"].key_stat)
                      - I have a few API routines to the engine to load XML, print out
                      debugging info, copy/append/delete nodes (reflected in JS objects)
                      - A new PC is a copy of an XML tree template for a character
                      - Skills, feats, levels, etc. are added using object templates. I
                      copy the template and append it to the character
                      - All "common" d20 functions (e.g. calculating ability mods) are in a
                      common d20 JS library (pre-compiled on load, bytecode executed)
                      - I use Javascript code snippets for behavior for custom objects. E.g:

                      <feat id="Alertness">
                      <name>Alertness</name>
                      <method id="OnAdd">
                      <name>OnAdd</name>
                      <file>rsrd/alertness.js</file>
                      </method>
                      <method id="OnRemove">
                      <name>OnAdd</name>
                      <file>rsrd/alertness.js</file>
                      </method>
                      <method id="OnCheck">
                      <name>OnAdd</name>
                      <file>rsrd/alertness.js</file>
                      </method>
                      <method id="OnCalculate">
                      <name>OnAdd</name>
                      <file>rsrd/alertness.js</file>
                      </method>

                      </feat>

                      (it could have different files for each method, or a script directly
                      in this data using <script>)

                      In alertness.js:

                      OnAdd(oPC) { ... }
                      OnRemove(oPC) { ... }
                      OnCheck(oPC) { ... }
                      OnCalculate(oPC) {
                      applyBonus(oPC.skill["Search"].value,2,STACK);
                      applyBonus(oPC.skill["Spot"].value,2,STACK);
                      }

                      The applyBonus function in in the main JS library outside the engine.

                      It's fairly fast, as I compile JS on load and then only chain the
                      compiled functions and execute them.

                      Anyway, just giving you a heads up on what I'm doing.

                      Andargor
                    • (no author)
                      ... Hmmmm... I wonder how we can do things like Weapon Focus like this (I am ignoring for the moment the choice side of Wepon Focus and
                      Message 10 of 12 , Apr 7 8:07 AM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        <quote who="Frugal">
                        > So as the item.dagger-masterwork entity needs to ask the parent entity for
                        > any variables it does not know (in this case $melee_attack). Do we need to
                        > ask the parent for all variables, or just the one we do not know ?
                        >
                        > How will variables propogate? In the example of a weapon we do not want
                        > the character to be affected by the toHit=+1 that the item has, but for
                        > bracers of armour we want the armour bonus to affect the character... Do
                        > we need a 'propogate="true|false"' attribute of function. If the entitiy
                        > is asked for the functions that can affect a variable we only return the
                        > ones that have propogate="true". The ones that have propogate="false" are
                        > only used for calculations internally for that entity.
                        >
                        > The other alternative would be for the client to ask "what is the
                        > melee_attack for this character entity using this item entity" at which
                        > point we need to have the character return a list of propogate="true"
                        > functions that affect "toHit" from all child entities (recursively), plus
                        > the list of functions that affect "toHit" from the specific item we are
                        > interested in that have the 'propogate="false"' attribute.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > the difference is that in the first case the item is being asked for a
                        > variable and has to interrogate its parent entity, and in the second the
                        > top level is being asked for the variable and is specifically asked for
                        > the internal functions of a specific subentity that the client is
                        > interested in.

                        Hmmmm... I wonder how we can do things like Weapon Focus like this (I am
                        ignoring for the moment the choice side of Wepon Focus and concentrate on
                        the +1 to a certain type of weapon issue).

                        Weapon Focus gives the character a +1 untyped bonus to hit with a specific
                        weapon type eg. dagger.

                        The current LST syntax gives:

                        CHOOSE:WEAPONPROFS|SpellCaster.Ray|ADD.Grapple|LIST
                        BONUS:WEAPONPROF=%LIST|TOHIT|1

                        And then in the code to determine what the total to-hit bonus for a dagger
                        is the code gets the to-hit from the dagger, and then add a whole bunch of
                        modifiers one of which is WEAPONPROF=DAGGER|TOHIT|1

                        Is this acceptable for us? Do we want to say
                        - get the variable from the item.
                        - For each type in the item get any bonuses from the character for that item

                        i.e. we get the varible 'toHit' from the item.dagger. Then get all of the
                        bonuses from the character for each <type> the particular item has :
                        toHit.dagger
                        toHit.melee
                        toHit.simple
                        toHit.martial
                        toHit.steel
                        etc.

                        This should also allow us to do something like create a feat "Sharp Blade"
                        that gives the character 2d4 with a dagger rather than 1d4:

                        <entity id="feat.sharp_blade">
                        <effects>
                        <function key="die_count.dagger" calc="2" replaces="true"/>
                        </effects>
                        </entity>

                        So when we ask for the die count for a particular dagger we will get:

                        <variable key="die_count" value="1" />

                        From the dagger item and

                        <function key="die_count.dagger" calc="2" replaces="true" />

                        From the character (and its sub entities) due to that fact that the item
                        has the "dagger" type and so we know to search for functions that look
                        like "die_count.dagger".

                        Yey! Something we can not do in the existing system ;O)

                        --
                        regards,
                        Frugal
                        -OS Chimp
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