Talk:DQ Community Character Sheet

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Thank you for the detailed analysis of the bugs you found Struan - it is a big help! - Neil 09:29, 15 Mar 2009 (NZST)

Magic Naming Standards

Hi Neil, I started entering the details for a couple of colleges and found it a painful process, especially with Wicca which has half of its spells existing in other colleges. Opening discussion to see if we can find a resolution...

The spreadsheet includes all colleges in its dataset and some magic abilities exist in more than one college (sometimes with different attributes, sometimes not).

E.g. Walk Unseen is in E&E, Earth, Celestial (x 4 branches), and Wicca thus requiring 7 unique names.

To have the spreadsheet work smoothly and accurately, each instance of a magical ability needs to be uniquely named.

The abilities seem to have been uniquely named based on the order the colleges got entered, who was doing it, and their mood at the time.

I'm assuming we can't restructure the way magic works so that the abilities do not need to be uniquely named.

So can we have agreement on a standard naming convention to make the names unique?

  • Append (college) to the end of the name. Can get long and looks messy on char sheet.
    • Abbreviated version of College name may work better.
  • Apply Naming Convention that if two spells work differently or have different attributes then they should have unique names (E.g. Mind Cloak / Mind Shield). This means changing the names of lots of spells and rituals in the rules and then ensuring the spreadsheet can cope where the ability is identical in both colleges.

Each of these options has downsides. Can anyone think of a convention that will work better? -- Stephen 12:14, 18 Mar 2009 (NZST)

Another comment. From the point of veiw of the rulebook (and ease of play), it's probably OK to keep the same name across colleges if the effects are the same but stats (EM, BC, range, duration, maybe damage) differ. This doesn't help the issues with use in this tool. --Errol 13:09, 18 Mar 2009 (NZST)

You are absolutely right Stephen! Yes, the names have to be unique and some work has been done doing this, but other colleges have not been worked on. I think Mandos started doing that a good couple of years ago, and I've inherited the current state. There is no serious naming convention (given it is not edited by everyone and will almost never change) but the following convention seems to have been done so far:

  1. Add Talent / Spell / Ritual to a name to make it unique (eg Witchsight --> "Witchsight Talent")
  2. If that doesn't work (eg 2 same spells), use the College as a descriptor.

If someone does wish to enter data for a college, please let me know in advance, since it is very hard to merge versions together in Excel. (And i've just spent a couple of hours sorting out those exact naming problems for Wicca!) And also, it will help if you highlight any changed data in the MagicTables for any manual copying across that will have to happen later on.

I'll upload my version ASAP with fixed to outstanding bugs and the Wiccan stuff I've already done.
--Neil 13:20, 18 Mar 2009 (NZST)

Further to this: I notice that the changes haven't been consistent, eg "Evil Eye (Wiccan)" & "Wiccan Fear". (NB: Which do you prefer going forwad?) They could be changed, but that means when you "upgrade" your spreadsheet, you'll have to manually copy across the ranks for those entries. Hence they probably should stay as they are to reduce the impact.

--Neil 13:25, 18 Mar 2009 (NZST)

The inconsistency is one of the big things that bugged me. Hence the call for a standard. I think we should change all the existing variations now to follow the standard. Some spell names will change as part of the upgrade but it only needs to be done once.
Barring any better ideas may I suggest that where there is a conflict, a unique 2-letter college abbreviation is added to both spells:
Bardic: BA
Binder: BI
Illusion: IL
Mind: MI
Namer: NA
Air: AI
Celestial: CL / CD / CS / CX
Earth: EA
Fire: FI
Ice: IC
Water: WA
Necro: NE
Rune: RU
Witchcraft: WI

-- Stephen 14:17, 18 Mar 2009 (NZST)
Struan and I considered doing something like this for the Magics Index, but decided that the college-names-as-used were fine for what we were doing.--Errol 15:22, 18 Mar 2009 (NZST)

Usability vs Technical Properness

Note that the ability name is read by an end user on their final sheets. Adding 2-letter cryptic letters to the end will just confuse things and not help usability. While we COULD subsequently fix this (eg by having another large table that converts a unique magic ability key into a usable name), i do NOT recommend that; it just gets more messy; this is not a database. Also, making "everything" unique when they are in fact identical just means more data entry, so I wouldn't go down that route.
Regarding the importance of this: Was it the inconsistency in resolving conflicts that bugged you, or was it the fact that the data was wrong and was annoying to fix? ie, if all the data was in there with unique names when required, but some inconsistent (eg Wiccan Fear and Evil Eye (Wicca)), would it still bug you enough to want to spend LOTS of hours changing and entering all the new data, and in the process break existing spreadsheets? --Neil 15:46, 18 Mar 2009 (NZST)

I started following the current convention of renaming or appending the college in () but some of the names became very long and some of the renaming got a bit silly - E.g. Witchsight, Elven Witchsight, Wizardsight, Wiccansight, Celestialsight(Dark)...
I find a two character suffix much less intrusive or confusing than the full college name in brackets or renaming spells. Regarding the importance? I guess it depends whether your priority is minimal disruption for the pioneer users of the CCS or loading all colleges so anyone can use it.
I'm happy to help with the data loading if the later is your goal. - SM

Partial Suggestion Would it be useful to add an additional column to the Magic Table containing the user readable text seen on the printed Character Sheet? It won't achieve that much, but will allow the uniqueness of names without impacting what the user sees (which was one of the objections). Note though: You will STILL see the Unique name on the Ranking sheet. --Neil 10:58, 19 Mar 2009 (NZST)

Fine by me if you want to alter the spreadsheet to work that way. But IMO unnecessary. -- Stephen 11:35, 19 Mar 2009 (NZST)
That's good! I didn't want to do it, but was trying to cater for what people want to see. (if it encourages use) --Neil 12:06, 19 Mar 2009 (NZST)