Fog of War Question

Non-bug comments, suggestions, and feature requests for BRPG and/or BGE
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GMDAN
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Fog of War Question

Post by GMDAN » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:27 pm

I have a question regarding the Fog of war feature. In D&D a torch has a 20' radius of light and an extra 20' of shadowy light.

So my question is, does the fog of war include the shadowy light? Cause a candle for example only radiates Shadowy light.

Do you also have the cone shape for of war feature for the Bulleye Lantern, although that would mean directing the cone by the player.

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Post by heruca » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:54 pm

Welcome, GMDAN.

If possible, I will have two distinct circles that unmask the fog of war layer. The inner circle (standard light radius) will unmask the fog completely, while the outer circle (shadowy light range) just makes the fog layer 50% transparent. So visually, it should be quite clear whether a target is in full light or shadowy light. Will that achieve what you want?

As to your second question, the light beam from a lantern will automatically move with the figure holding the lantern, and will point in whichever direction the figure is facing. What's the angle of a lantern beam in D&D? 60 degrees?
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Post by Halebop » Wed Nov 23, 2005 2:41 am

Fog of War will be one of the more useful features I think and what you have descirbed so far sounds great. I suspect many players like myself mostly play D20 and particularly Dungeons & Dragons. The rules for light and vision are kind of awkard from a Meta Gaming perspective but if your Fog of War can support them I would buy your product just for that feature!

Some characters/creatures have darkvision, meaning they require no light to see (A dwarf has a 60 foot dark vision capability)

Some characters/creatures have Low light vision, meaning they see further than normal. This effectively doubles the range of light sources for creatures like Elves, Gnomes and Half Elves.

Objects that cast light all have varying Bright and Shadowy light ranges. A torch for instances lights a 20 foot radius in bright light, but extends to 40 feet in "shadowy" light. Shadowy light entitles creatures to make hide checks and provides concealment bonuses in combat.

So while the light source may be held by a human and he might not see anything within the 40 foot total light radius, his Elvish companion might see a Dwarf in that same light some 60 feet away. So Fog of War would need to distinguish between not just light source stats but racial characteristics as well. Were the Dwarf a player, they could see the human and elf with or without the light source due to their Darkvision.

As you can see this is quite complex and directly impacts the usefulness of the fog of war for party based gaming in D20. One work around might be to "equip" each player with some sort of vision token that could be used to multiply a standard light radius to replicate Low Light Vision or apply Darkvision rules in no light. If tokens were customisable it would hopefully allow the fog of war to work for any ruleset...

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Post by heruca » Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:25 am

I think you might be overcomplicating things a bit, Halebop.

BRPG is and always will be system-generic, and thus won't alter the light radius depending on whether you are using D&D rules, or Gamma World rules, or whatever. You simply right-click on your token, select Light Radius from the popup menu that appears, and then from a secondary menu you select a number (of gridsquares or hexes) to specify the vision range.

Via a similar procedure, you would specify the type of light source: a lantern, torch, candle, etc, or even night vision (which could be a racial trait, or high-tech goggles, doesn't matter). Now the game has all the information it needs to determine visibility.

If Character A has an actual light source, what they see can also be seen by Character B, even if Character A is outside of Character B's light range. However, if Character A is using some form of night vision, what they see isn't shared with anyone else.

It's still up to the GM and players to determine the actual game effects of all this. An orc might be in a human's Shadowy Light range, but the distant Elf won't suffer any penalties if he wants to shoot that Orc with his bow, because he has darkvision.

I hope I'm making sense here. Feels like I'm rambling.
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Post by heruca » Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:54 am

OK, I see what you mean, now, Halebop. Thanks for the explainatory e-mail.

The solution is that for creatures with darkvision (or equivalent), I'll need to double the radius of any light source prior to unmasking the FOW layer. That way, the Elf in your example will see what the human can not, even though the human is the one holding the relevant light source.
Last edited by heruca on Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Guest

Post by Guest » Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:32 am

Wow, that sounds awesome ...

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Post by Halebop » Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:19 pm

Very cool. ...I'm going to have a closer look at that list of features and functions...

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Post by heruca » Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:24 pm

Great. The more people contribute on these forums, the better the game is going to be, and the better it will support your specific needs. So pick another feature and tell me how I can make it even better. I'm sure there's a lot of things I haven't thought of.
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Post by Guest » Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:11 pm

Thanks Heruca,

Its exactly what I wanted to hear. 50% of light radiance is perfect, that's what I use for my maps.

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Post by heruca » Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:18 pm

Does anyone know how lantern light is handled in D&D and/or d20? My rulebooks are in storage at the moment, so I can't look it up. Do they project a cone of light, or a circle? If a cone, what angle?

Also, should light radiuses be a perfect circle, or should they be converted to squares?
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Post by Halebop » Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:32 pm

Technically all "area of effect" (AoE) effects (hmmm, couldn't think of a better word) in D20 conform to the basic 5 foot grid so they are square rather than curved. However I know a couple of DMs who don't bother with that and use round shaped AoE, I suspect only because they always have and not because it makes better sense in D20. I personally use square shaped AoEs because all the combat rules revolve around squares and PC/Monster base positions. Perhaps you could add a toggle or selection menu for Round/Square/Hex AoE and Fog of War templates? I imagine its a tough algorithm to do "square" cones at various angles though...

Here are the light radius from from Dungeons & Dragons v3.5 (v3.0 doesn't use the Shadowy light rules)
  • Light Source..............Bright............Shadowy
    Candle.........................n/a..............5ft
    Everburning Torch.........20ft.............40ft
    Lamp, Common.............15ft............30ft
    Lantern, Bullseye...........60ft Cone...120ft Cone
    Lantern, Hooded.............30ft...........60ft
    Sunrod..........................30ft............60ft
    Toch.............................20ft.............40ft

    Spell.............................Bright.........Shadowy
    Continual Flame.............20ft............40ft
    Dancing Lights................20ft each....40 ft
    Daylight.........................60ft............120ft
    Light..............................20ft............40ft
I'll send you an image of "square" 60 & 120 foot cones. Did I just use an oxymoron?

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Post by heruca » Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:37 pm

Thanks for the info, Halebop. Very useful!

Yes, I think I'll add an option to use normal circles and cones, or square-gridded ones.
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Post by Halebop » Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:38 pm

As an aside and maybe a thought for a feature in the future it would be cool if you could hide/reveal an object or creature from nominated PCs. That way maybe you could reveal an invisible monster to just the player with See Invisible but keep it hidden from the others.

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Post by heruca » Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:40 pm

Good point.
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Post by dDemonicAngels » Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:07 pm

I can't believe you're discussing nightvision and invisible monster selected viewing. This is will really be fantastic.

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Post by GMDAN » Sat Nov 26, 2005 11:58 am

Here's another challenge regarding lights and shadows. What if we can set certain points on our map that block the light from passing.

For example, an adventurer is in a large room with many columns. He shines his bullseye lantern at the other end. He cannot see what is behind the column because it's blocking his vision.

A similar situation is when a door is open and you only want the character to see a narrow view inside the new room, unless he passes the threshold.

It would be a nice feature.

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Post by heruca » Sat Nov 26, 2005 12:33 pm

That should be entirely achievable with the GM's FoW painting tools. It's a little more work for him, but should be well worth the extra effort. It could also be the kind of extra touch that professional adventure modules will already have built in.
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rom90125

Post by rom90125 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:56 pm

will the demo support the complete FoW settings, as described here? I'm most interested in this aspect of Battlegrounds and would willingly pay for a tool that has a FoW as described in these forums.

Thanks.

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Post by heruca » Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:00 pm

That's the plan.

Worst case scenario is that most of the functionality will be there and the rest addressed in a free update shortly thereafter. I'd rather not do this, of course, but I also wouldn't want some of the finer details holding up the release of the whole product.
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Post by riddles » Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:36 am

Hi,

1st time post (followed the link on ENWorld and here I am).

With regards to FoW - would it be possible to switch it BACK ON after a certain length of time? Or even allow the GM to re-fog a previously exposed area?

I won't always want the PCs to have the history of what/where they came from...

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Post by GMDAN » Wed Nov 30, 2005 11:30 am

Riddles brings up a good point.

Fog of War in the traditional sense keeps whatever you've seen before active. But when you are in a dungeon, you should only see what your light source iluminates. Nothing else! Is that how the Fog of War feature will work in Battlegrounds?

GMDAN

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Post by Alisanos » Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:12 pm

It would be great if you could select how the FOW works. Option 1 could be "Persistent", where the players would see everywhere the players had been. Option 2 could be "Visible", where the players would only see what their eyes\light sources allow them to see.

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Post by riddles » Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:21 pm

Alisanos wrote:It would be great if you could select how the FOW works. Option 1 could be "Persistent", where the players would see everywhere the players had been. Option 2 could be "Visible", where the players would only see what their eyes\light sources allow them to see.
I like that one! Esp. if you're playing a horror rpg - very claustrophobic!

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Post by heruca » Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:26 pm

riddles wrote:Hi,

1st time post (followed the link on ENWorld and here I am).
Welcome, Riddles.
With regards to FoW - would it be possible to switch it BACK ON after a certain length of time? Or even allow the GM to re-fog a previously exposed area?

I won't always want the PCs to have the history of what/where they came from...
I may eventually add Persistence to the FoW, but for the initial release, characters can only see what is currently in light range, even if they've explored an area. This is probably preferable anyway, as it's more realistic. In humongous chambers, where your light source doesn't always reach a wall, I can imagine people getting disoriented or lost (which is at it should be).
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Post by heruca » Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:31 pm

Alisanos wrote:It would be great if you could select how the FOW works. Option 1 could be "Persistent", where the players would see everywhere the players had been. Option 2 could be "Visible", where the players would only see what their eyes\light sources allow them to see.
Welcome Alisanos. Nice to see the forum membership increasing. :)

What you described is probably exactly how it will work in a future version. Of course, that means the fog of war layer will have to be saved along with the rest of the game, or your explored area will have vanished when you pick up where you left off the previous game session.
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