Marvel Heroic RPG MapTool framework – minor update

Just a quick post to let anyone who’s using my Marvel Heroic RPG framework know that you’ll probably want to re-download it. @SenatorChatty discovered that my Build Character macro totally left off the part where it’s supposed to ask you to pick specialties for your hero! Oops.

It’s fixed now. Thanks Christopher!

Earlier post on this topic – click here.

– Michael the OnlineDM

Marvel Heroic RPG – MapTool Framework – Second Draft

The blog post about my first draft can be found here. You can download the new framework right here!

Over the weekend, I had some time to improve my MapTool framework for the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game. @MattHawke provided the key assistance: He showed me how to use custom frames to create a very, very useful character sheet.

Frames in MapTool include the Selection frame (which holds the buttons with various macros for each token), the Chat frame (which shows the output of the chat window and macros), and the Campaign frame (which holds macros common to everyone in the campaign). You can also create your own frame to hold whatever you want.

The syntax for doing this is surprisingly simple: You just use the frame roll option, followed by the name you want to give this new frame (held inside quotation marks inside parentheses). You then fill up your new frame, largely using HTML. Since I wanted to create a frame called DataFile (the Marvel RPG name for a character sheet), I used the following code:

[frame("DataFile") : {

From there, I used a bunch of HTML to fill the frame:

 <title>[r:getProperty("Name", MyToken)] ([r: getProperty("RealName", MyToken)])</title>

The other awesome MapTool function that @MattHawke showed me is the macroLink function. This lets you create a link to a macro within your HTML frame. The macroLink function lets you provide the linked text, the function that’s linked to, and the people to whom the output of the function should be displayed.

This allowed me to make the DataFile frame into the entire character interface. My goal is to make it so that players will never have to use the Selection window except at the very beginning of the session, to open the DataFile frame. After that, all of the stuff they can do can be done via links in the Data File itself.

I also decided it would make my life easier if I created a library token to hold all of the macros, and then simply call those macros from the Data File.

I know that other MapTool frameworks already do a lot of cool stuff with custom frames; I never really understood them until now. This is a much better way to use a character sheet, rather than looking at the pop-up window that MapTool uses by default. I’d love to re-work my D&D 4e framework to take advantage of this, but man, that would be a lot of work at this point! For now, the Marvel RPG fans are the ones who will benefit.

Please check out this updated framework. It’s light-years better than what I started with in the first draft. Feedback is invited!

– Note that you’ll need to set your stack size in MapTool to at least 4 in order for this framework to work properly. I personally set mine to 10. This is an option in the pop-up window that opens when MapTool first starts. The default stack size of 2 doesn’t cut it.

– Michael the Online Dungeon Master

Marvel Heroic RPG – MapTool framework – First draft

Among the big, exciting news in the world of role-playing games this past month was the release of the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game from Margaret Weis Productions. Cam Banks (@boymonster on Twitter) was the design lead, and by all accounts he and his team had done a fantastic job with the game.

I’m not a comic book guy myself, so I wasn’t really planning to do anything with the game. However, I was asked by a couple of folks on Twitter (@MattHawke and @SenatorChatty) if I would be willing to put together a Marvel RPG framework in MapTool so that they and others could play the game online.

Hmm, intriguing! This is the closest I’ve come so far to doing “commission work” in role playing games (although I’m not getting paid or anything like that).

One stumbling block was that I did not own the PDF for this exciting new game. Now, it was only $12.99 on Drive Through RPG at the moment (now marked down to $9.74 for DM’s Day through March 7), but still. If I wasn’t going to play the game myself, I didn’t really want to have to pay money to do commission work.

Inspiration struck, though: Why not ask the game’s creator if he’d like me to put this together as a service to the online Marvel RPG community, and in exchange he could provide me with a copy of the PDF. Brilliant! Cam, being the awesome guy that he is, agreed.

And thus, the OnlineDM framework for the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game was born. You can download it right here.

How does it work?

I’m calling this particular version 0.11. It’s not at all polished yet, but it does work. Some instructions:

– The framework was created in version 1.3.b86 of MapTool, but it should work in any later version, too.

– There are three tokens: One for a hero (which can also be used for villains), one for The Watcher, and one for the Scene.

– The Hero token has all kinds of properties that will pop-up on a mouse-over; the Watcher and Scene are more limited, naturally.

– To build a Hero token, click the Build Character macro on the token itself and enter the various characteristics

– To build a dice pool, either click the Build Dice Pool macro or click the individual add/remove dice buttons

– To roll the dice pool or clear it, click the button labeled as such

– There are buttons to add and remove plot points from tokens (or from selected tokens if the Watcher wants to award them from the campaign panel)

– There are also buttons to set Stress, Trauma, Assets and Complications

Click to enlarge to see the framework's features in action

Room for improvement

Admittedly, this is not very pretty yet, and there are things I’d definitely like to tweak.

– Following a suggestion from @MattHawke, I’d like to use a custom frame instead of the pop-up character sheet to hold all of these properties. It really needs more formatting.

– In the dice pool building macro, I’d like to have drop-downs to pick the actual Distinctions and Powers and so on, rather than just typing in a number of dice

– And I’m sure that play-testing will reveal lots of things that need improvement!

Still, this version should be functional for play. All you really need are the dice pool and doom pool macros.

So, try out the new game and try out my framework – and let me know what suggestions you have for improvements!

– Note that you’ll need to set your stack size in MapTool to at least 4 in order for this framework to work properly. I personally set mine to 10. This is an option in the pop-up window that opens when MapTool first starts. The default stack size of 2 doesn’t cut it.

– Michael the OnlineDM