TGR and Other Stats

A year ago, I wrote up a very rough, basic game framework  called TGR — The Generic Rules — not a playable game, but something I could base TableMaster tables on, so there would be some degree of consistency in their references to various stats, monsters, etc. You can find them here: Stats, Races & ClassesMonstersSpells & Effects.

TGR has a basic set of character stats that cover most uses, but there are some interesting exceptions. Those generally apply to settings other than the classic “knights and monsters” fantasy setting.

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TGR: Spells & Magical Effects

The listing of spells for TGR is much vaguer than the stats, monsters, and so on. There is a table that generates spellbooks, true, but it’s rather an old one, and all of the spells listed in it are just names I made up on the spot, expecting the user to fill in the appropriate spells for their game system and their campaign.

A lot of TableMaster tables need some kind of spells. A trap might fire off something, a magical item could cast something else, and so on. This listing is, therefore, rather heavily skewed toward spells for those uses.

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TGR: Monsters

TGR, natually, has a list of monsters. It might be one of the most important lists, actually, because so many TableMaster tables refer to various inimical beasts. And, after all, the whole purpose of the TGR rules is to provide a framework for TableMaster results so you can convert them to your actual game system.

TGR monsters are primarily from Greek/Roman mythology, with bits of Persian, Arabian, Egyptian, and a few others, thrown in. There will probably be a few more added later, too. In addition to the named monsters here, any ordinary creature might appear in natural, giant, or prehistoric forms: lions, giant lizards, and cave bears would be obvious examples.

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TGR Character Stats, Races, and Classes

As described in yesterday’s post, Wintertree has a set of RPG rules. Unlike every other company’s rule set, though, this one isn’t intended to be actually playable; instead, it’s a framework for TableMaster tables to refer to, so that the user can more easily modify those tables for the actual game system he or she is running.

Today’s post is about the character stats and how those work, to the extent that anything in TGR works at all, plus the basic races and classes.

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The Wintertree RPG

Wintertree has a RPG!

No, you can’t play it.

Okay, let me explain: For many tables, it’s been necessary to refer to game stats of some sort, spells, effects, and so on. Given that I want the results to be usable with whatever game the user is running, and I don’t want to get sued by one of the more litigious companies (this was a particularly big hazard 20 years ago when some of them were first written) I’ve always just made something up as  I went along. Whatever stats a given table referred to might not be the same as what I made up for a different one the next time I was writing one.

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More about .SHOWFILE

Right now everything seems to be waiting for everything else. I’m waiting for the printer to finish the manuals, a couple of important emails to be replied to, and various other things that are hanging fire in as many ways, so there isn’t much that amounts to Wintertree news to talk about.

But it’s a great time to describe a few new wrinkles in the command .SHOWFILE (which was added, by the way, after those manuals were already at the printer).

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Everybody into the Boole!

There are three flavors of User Variables in TableMaster: ones with no variety specified (they were the originals), which are integers; Decimal variables, for floating-point numbers; and Text variables, for strings. There is actually a de-facto fourth kind, essentially Boolean variables.

George Boole was a 19th-century mathematician who formulated what came to be known as Boolean algebra, which dealt with variables having values of “true” and “false” rather than numeric values, usually represented as 1 and 0. If that sounds familiar — like the fundamental nature of digital electronics, from your watch to TableMaster — you’re right: it is. Most computer languages have some sort of Boolean variable. Delphi (which is basically Pascal, named for another mathematician) certainly does. And so does TableMaster … sort of.

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Sex, pluralism, and TableMaster

If you were expecting something either salacious or political here, sorry, it’s just about system variables and output formatting codes. I’ve spent the past few days adding more output formatting codes in order to get them into the manual before it goes to the printers. While I was at it, I added a new sort of system variable, too, to help with pronouns.

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Printing Irregular Plurals

TableMaster has a lot off output formatting codes that can handle a fair percentage of the plurals in the English language. From simple things like changing house to houses through complex ones like changing mouse to mice, plus control of everything from the location of possessive apostrophes to changing ‘is’ to ‘are’, there are a lot of them, and they can give handle a lot of variations in output. For example, “1 man is carrying a box and a bag” and “4 men are carrying boxes and bags” are both produced by the same line: “<1d6> m\en \r carrying \abox\s and \abag\s.“* It’s the six different output formatting codes that make all the changes automagically.

There are, however, some irregular plurals that are so uncommon that they’re not worth wasting a letter for a formatting code (there aren’t many left) to implement. For instance, it’s fairly unlikely that someone is going to want to pluralize corpus into corpora. Certainly they won’t be doing it very often. You can, however, handle that with a small custom table if you happen to have a need for an irregular plural that doesn’t have an output formatting code in TableMaster.

Read on to see how.

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