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Rogue Trader Generator Tools released!


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#1 TiLT

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 12:50 AM

Rogue Trader Generator Tools

RogueTraderGenerator1.jpg

 

Current Version: 1.06

Download links: Executable / ZIP Archive

 

Now that we've got that out of the way, let me talk a bit about the application itself. First of all, this represents a massive amount of work on my part. I've probably spent about 50+ hours on it, though that may be on the low side. It contains 7425 lines of code. Outside of my professional work, this is the largest piece of software I've made in my free time. It may look reasonably simple, but there's an enormous complexity beneath the surface.

 

While you can use this generator as a stepping stone before importing your final results into Word or Adobe Reader, the ideal way to use it is as a GM tool while playing the game. Let's say your players just decided to explore a brand new system. You hit Generate New System from the menus and quickly check the results. The generator itself has handled all of those pesky "the GM might decide to…" instances that the books are littered with, making educated guesses about what would be the smartest thing to do. 

 

The newly generated system is unnamed, representing an uncharted bit of space. Let the players name it! Right-click on the system and choose Rename. The system, as well as the planets, moons and asteroids inside will be renamed to match. You can do the same with just about any feature they'll come across. Did your players find a starship graveyard where one player's character (say, Mordechai) got killed, let them name it "Mordechai's Doom" if they want. The generator will let you keep track of this. Let them rename planets and Xenos as well. This should encourage them to explore. 

 

Once you start to get an idea about what each element in the system represents, write a description for those parts where you want to expand on the info presented by the generator. Right-click the element and click Edit Description. Here you can write whatever you want, and it will be included in the results on the screen. The idea is that you should be able to use this application alone to keep track of the systems the players explore, letting you make notes and adjustments as you feel is necessary during play and then saving the results to disk. Did your players find an Archeotech treasure? Just generate and add it to your system's workspace to keep track of it. Do you want this system to contain an additional Derelict Station? Not a problem, just add it to whatever zone you want. Do you think the 8 pirate ships in this system are a bit excessive? Delete a couple of them, or generate some of the more powerful ones again to see if the new results are more interesting. You've got a lot of flexibility to design the systems as you want them.  

 

If you prefer to export to Word or a similar text editor, use Export Rich Text Format (RTF) from the menus. This isn't perfect, and the tables in particular might get messed up slightly. These can be adjusted from your text editor though. 

 

To export to PDF, you have to jump through a few hoops right now. You should install CutePDF first. Once that is done, select Print from the generator and choose CutePDF as your printer. The result will be a perfectly formatted PDF. 

 

If you've got feedback or bug reports, let me know in this thread. If issues pop up, I'll fix them as quickly as possible and upload a new version. 

 

I hope you enjoy the generator. It was a lot of work, but I think it was worth it. :)

 

RogueTraderGenerator2.jpg

 

Update History:

 

1.06

  • Fixed a potential crash when adding system features after loading a saved workspace. 

1.05

  • Eldar voidfarer inhabitants no longer consume resources. 
  • Any habitable world controlled by the Eldar now has a 20% chance of being an Eldar Maiden World. These planets are always Verdant and have larger quantities of organic compounds, as shown on page 42 in Stars of Inequity. 

1.04

  • Fixed a bug that would instantly overwrite custom names for Lesser Moons and Asteroids. 

1.03

  • The generator now uses version 4.0 of .Net instead of 4.5. This should make it work on Windows XP with the latest service pack installed. It will not work on earlier versions of Windows than XP, and it will not work if you haven't got the latest service pack for XP installed. 

1.02

  • Fixed a bug where any weapon with the Primitive quality would also display the Flexible quality.

1.01

  • Removed the third-party library used for the About dialog and made a new one from scratch.
  • Fixed a design issue that was causing territories to not be generated 30% of the time when they should have been.
  • The Flexible trait no longer applies the Flexible quality to weapons that aren't Natural Weapons.
  • Adjusted the text in the rename window to more accurately reflect what it does.

1.00

  • Initial release

Edited by TiLT, 17 February 2014 - 02:11 AM.

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#2 TiLT

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 01:55 AM

My apologies, a missing file in the original release could cause the application to crash. Please download the following file instead and extract it to a folder of your choice.

 

Edit: With the forum upgrade finally allowing me to edit posts, I've moved the link to the first post above. :)


Edited by TiLT, 03 July 2013 - 02:15 AM.


#3 SirFrog

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 06:12 AM

I've been mucking about with this now for a while, and I really like the workspace layout and the creation of item and such. There's so much possibilities for customization, and it's a great tool for any GM.

The only real bug I've found is that clicking "About" causes the generator to crash.



#4 TiLT

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 06:25 AM

SirFrog said:

The only real bug I've found is that clicking "About" causes the generator to crash.

Sorry about that. You downloaded the standalone .exe before I discovered the bug. Downloading and extracting the new .zip-file fixes that crash bug. 



#5 SirFrog

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 07:16 AM

TiLT said:

SirFrog said:

The only real bug I've found is that clicking "About" causes the generator to crash.

 

Sorry about that. You downloaded the standalone .exe before I discovered the bug. Downloading and extracting the new .zip-file fixes that crash bug. 

Unfortunately, it doesn't. It crashes anyway.



#6 Inquisitor_VonDible

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 07:20 AM

simply phenomenal.  i thank you for all your hard work on this.



#7 TiLT

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 07:45 AM

SirFrog said:

Unfortunately, it doesn't. It crashes anyway.

It appears you are right. It works locally, but when I tested on a different computer, the application did indeed crash. I'll look into it. 

Btw, one thing I forgot to mention in the original post, and which may be too subtle for its own good: In the bottom left corner of the generator application, you'll find two checkboxes. "Display page references" is the most important one. It will show you where to find just about any rule that is referenced in the generator, displaying the book, the page number, and in some cases even the relevant section to look at on the page. This is extra handy here since I pull from so many different sources. 

The other checkbox is "Collate nodes". Its name is a bit counterintuitive, but what it does is to merge the node you've selected in the tree view with every single child node, then displays the results in the document viewer to the right. Clicking a planet with native species for example, will show both the planet and all the species at the same time instead of having to click each and every one of them. This can be handy for many purposes. 

 



#8 Musclewizard

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 02:44 AM

Wow, excellent tool.

Now if there's one thing I'd like to change it's the ability to move nodes around. For example after generating a system, a few ships and maybe a primitive xeno species it would be good to have the option to move the xenos into a child node of the primary biosphere and the ships into the outer reaches of the system.



#9 auer

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 09:56 PM

Thanks. It seems to be very useful.

My 2 cent: for ships/artifacts. It will be helpfull if the generator shows the exact datas like, hull  points, weapon damages etc. It is faster than manually search them from the book (especially for ships where is a lot of calculations)

 

Thanks again.



#10 TiLT

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 10:04 PM

auer said:

My 2 cent: for ships/artifacts. It will be helpfull if the generator shows the exact datas like, hull  points, weapon damages etc. It is faster than manually search them from the book (especially for ships where is a lot of calculations)

Sorry, but that's not going to happen. I very deliberately kept stuff like that out in order to not replace the books. I don't want to risk having my application used as a substitute for the books, as that would potentially hurt Rogue Trader and Fantasy Flight Games. This is why I spent so much time and effort on the page and book references. Since I don't want to reprint book information unless absolutely necessary, I instead make it as painless as possible for the GM to look up the relevant information in his books. 

What calculations are you talking about for ships, btw? If you're talking about the generated human ships, shouldn't you just look up a table, and that's it?


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#11 auer

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:23 PM

Ok I understand.

Calculations: Like hull point of the ship. Ok it has a basic values but it could be modify during the creation there are a lot of component, backgropund, etc that can change the original values. Or armor, void shield and so far. I know I can search from the book (or multiple books) but it is very slow, especially during game sessions.



#12 TiLT

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:21 PM

To be honest, the ship generator was a bit of a spur-of-the-moment thing. As I was adding ships from Battlefleet Koronus to starship graveyards and pirate fleets, I realized that the books don't actually contain many usable examples of complete Imperial ships that you can quickly throw against the players. I dug up the generator from the GM screen and just converted it directly. I might expand it in the future to also use Into the Storm and Battlefleet Koronus, as right now it only uses the core rules, which feels limiting. 

In any case, the original generator from the GM screen didn't calculate things for you either, so I never even considered that aspect. It would be a pretty massive job though, almost on par with the Xenos generator (and boy was that a gargantuan programming task! It's easily the most complex part of the application). I'm a bit worn out by the whole thing right now, so I can at least say that this isn't something I will prioritize in the short term. The thought will probably linger in the back of my mind though, so I might end up unable to resist, implementing it anyway. 

Having said that, I really don't see starship stats as being very complex from a GM's point of view (disregarding the challenges of implementing it in code). Most components are extremely specialized. There's almost nothing that will affect the stats of macrobatteries for example, and it's rare for anything to affect the speed or void shields of a ship than the engines and the void shields respectively. This makes it relatively easy to look up the stuff you need when you need it. Speaking of the things included in the current generator, there's almost nothing I can calculate that I don't already do. The biggest calculation is Space and Power, and those are already listed for you. "Calculating" the stats in this case, with the exception of Space and Power, will be almost exactly the same as reprinting the descriptions of every starship component and hull in the books, and that's not something I want to do. 



#13 Routa-maa

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:51 PM

Have only tested this beaty for 20 minute and I'm in love with it. Only one crash has happened, When I chose Help and tried to check About Rogue Trader System Generator.

But boy, oh boy. I have gotten nice systems, planets and native flora and fauna. Just with little tweaks I can make my players lives a living hell for Only War with this.

This is nice job and I hope that you can keep this updated for long time.


Muutokselle annamme Elämän, Elämälle annamme Muutoksen.

#14 TiLT

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 10:16 PM

Thanks! :)

I'll be fixing that About crash soon. I stupidly decided to use a 3rd party library for it, and it seems to not want to work outside of developer environments. That should teach me not to trust other people's code. ;) I'll be writing a quick approximation of it myself instead. 



#15 Toronus

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 08:31 AM

This stuff is AMAZING!!!! Excellent work!

If I have a wish then it would be a detailed (random) ship generator - like auer suggested. ;)



#16 SirFrog

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 10:03 AM

Ok, I'm going to post things I find in this program as I find them, so bear with me. All aren't bugs, but I'm sure you'd appreciate feedback.

  • Renaming window will always say "What name would you like this system feature to have?" even when you rename something else.
  • A lot of generated Xenos (both those generated under "Primitive Species" and those under general Xeno) seem to have the Flexible quality on their weapons, even on things like Hunting Spear or Heavy Club, which seems unlikely to say the least.
  • When a .rtf-file is generated, the stat tables for entries are larger than the page they rest on and stick out the side of the page.
  • When generating planets, there seem to be unusually few (read: mostly "none") Territories generated, even on large, hospitable planets.

Those are the only mechanical things I've noticed. There's always wonky things like beasts developing Resistance(Cold) on a Hot World or vice versa, but that's random generators for you.

Some other thoughts:

I'd like the ability to multi-select and delete several things at once, if possible. While I'm sure it can be dangerous, it's also incredibly annoying to remove those seven or eight ships you generated just now one by one. Mapping remove to the Delete key would also be nice

When generating random Ships, I only get Human vessels. I guess this is normal, you can't really "generate" Xeno ships like that, but generating a random vessel should cause a Xenos or Chaos vessel to appear every once in a while.

 

Now, I still love this software, but I hope you want to know about bugs and wonky things in it.



#17 TiLT

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 08:52 PM

Thanks for the very useful feedback! 

The renaming window and Flexible trait applying its quality to non-natural weapons are both bugs. I'll get rid of those as soon as I can. 

The RTF-file table size is a known issue that I wasn't able to work around. It's a bug in Windows Presentation Foundation actually, so I have limited means to deal with it. I tried to set the table columns to a fixed size, and while this worked in the application itself, the RTF tables were completely messed up afterwards. Had to revert it back to the old style. The good news is that this is easily fixed by hand in the generated files. Just resize the tables manually, and everything will be fine. 

The lack of territories is a nice catch. I just looked through the code and found the issue. It seems I made the assumption that a planet needed one or more landmasses to have territories. I'm not quite sure if that assumption is wrong or not (I think it's wrong), but this is most likely what you're seeing. There's a 30% chance that a planet with liquid water won't have landmasses, and in my generator that means it won't have territories either. I'll consider changing this. Feedback on this point would be appreciated.

If a beast develops Resistance (Cold) on a Hot World, that's probably not a bug. Whenever a territory has a Notable Species, I generate one additional Xenos just for that territory, though I don't highlight it in any special way (maybe I should?). These special Xenos are always the first ones to be generated, so if a planet has three Notable Species, the first three Xenos in the list are those three. They are affected by the territory they come from. A Hot World with a Notable Species in a territory with Extreme Temperature might well have Resistance (Cold). This means that the generator is assuming that this particular Territory is unusually cold for this planet. In other words, it's a feature, not a bug, and yes, the generator is incredibly detailed. :) I do suspect I need to communicate this behavior more clearly though. 

I wanted to map the Delete key but ran into some issues. I put that feature on hold in order to get the generator out. It's definitely something I want in there as I do agree with you. 

I didn't want to implement a ship generator that generates a completely random ship of a completely random species, partly because of what you mention (you can't generate a truly random Xenos ship in Rogue Trader yet), and partly because having the generator pick a random ship from a species didn't strike me as a particularly useful feature outside of pirate fleets. I mean, if you want your players to run into ships from a particular species, you're probably better off picking ships that are a suitable challenge for the group. I want the generator to improve games, not detract from them because the GM no longer adjusts results to suit his group's playstyle and power level. 

Multi-select is probably not going to happen as that will open up a whole can of worms when it comes to complications and potential bugs, and it would make the interface more confusing. 

 



#18 SirFrog

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 03:17 AM

TiLT said:

The RTF-file table size is a known issue that I wasn't able to work around. It's a bug in Windows Presentation Foundation actually, so I have limited means to deal with it. I tried to set the table columns to a fixed size, and while this worked in the application itself, the RTF tables were completely messed up afterwards. Had to revert it back to the old style. The good news is that this is easily fixed by hand in the generated files. Just resize the tables manually, and everything will be fine. 

When you get around to making the Help-file work properly, you should probably mention this.

TiLT said:

The lack of territories is a nice catch. I just looked through the code and found the issue. It seems I made the assumption that a planet needed one or more landmasses to have territories. I'm not quite sure if that assumption is wrong or not (I think it's wrong), but this is most likely what you're seeing. There's a 30% chance that a planet with liquid water won't have landmasses, and in my generator that means it won't have territories either. I'll consider changing this. Feedback on this point would be appreciated.

If a beast develops Resistance (Cold) on a Hot World, that's probably not a bug. Whenever a territory has a Notable Species, I generate one additional Xenos just for that territory, though I don't highlight it in any special way (maybe I should?). These special Xenos are always the first ones to be generated, so if a planet has three Notable Species, the first three Xenos in the list are those three. They are affected by the territory they come from. A Hot World with a Notable Species in a territory with Extreme Temperature might well have Resistance (Cold). This means that the generator is assuming that this particular Territory is unusually cold for this planet. In other words, it's a feature, not a bug, and yes, the generator is incredibly detailed. :) I do suspect I need to communicate this behavior more clearly though. 

I guess these two are tied together. A beast living on a Hot World who's had its territories bugged out could probably generate quite a lot of weird talents.



#19 TiLT

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:12 AM

SirFrog said:

I guess these two are tied together. A beast living on a Hot World who's had its territories bugged out could probably generate quite a lot of weird talents.

They aren't tied together, and the territories don't bug out. The extreme temperature / notable species combo is working as intended. I specifically programmed it to work that way. 

As for the Help file, I'm not sure if there's much point in it, and it can be a lot of work for something most people probably won't use. I'll think about it. 



#20 TiLT

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 01:43 AM

Version 1.01 released

My players are coming over today for another session of Rogue Trader, so I decided to get this out of the way. I'm using the application too. :) Here are the changes in this version:

 

- Removed the third-party library used for the About dialog and made a new one from scratch. 

- Fixed a design issue that was causing territories to not be generated 30% of the time when they should have been.

- The Flexible trait no longer applies the Flexible quality to weapons that aren't Natural Weapons. 

- Adjusted the text in the rename window to more accurately reflect what it does.

 

 

Keep the great feedback coming! I'll save the big new features for later, but tweaks and bugfixes are going to be released relatively rapidly.

The download link for this new version is the same as for the old version. Since I'm no longer using the third-party library, feel free to delete the old version. 






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