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Community Project: Update to 5th Edition

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Adam

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« on: (17:13:03/08-09-14) »
I've got an idea for something cool and I need your help to do it.

I've been doing a lot of work on Chummer5 and I recently got a feature request from one of the folks using it... to add in some of the gear from 4th Edition's Augmentation book, specifically in this case the weapon arms.  Would be cool and given that we haven't gotten the Augmentation counterpart for 5th Edition yet, it could be very useful.  But Chummer's data files really are supposed to just reflect 5th Edition content and as much as possible RAW.  Even so, it could be done with custom data files just like Ariketh has done with mentor spirits and traditions (really cool by the way, if you haven't checked it out you should http://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=17445.0).

But why do just the one piece? Why not do something more? Why not bring forth all the content from 4th Edition (and earlier if that's where we wanted to go) that would be useful in 5th? We could update Technomancer Paragons and Streams, cyberware and bioware, drones and vehicles, critters and more. But frankly it's too big a project for me to handle and I would need help from people who know 5th Edition and even previous editions better than I do.

So that's where you come in. I'd like to find a group of people who are interested and able to bring forward content from previous editions in a way that is balanced and fits into the 5th Edition official content. We'd reference the original sourcebooks and create custom xml files for use within Chummer which would be distributed with Chummer as custom content. Groups that want to use it could while groups that want to stick strictly with 5th Edition content could simply ignore those files and they'd have 5th Edition as written.  So think of it as one very big house rule.  :D

As I said, Ariketh has made a really good start of this but we need more. My hands are pretty full updating and fixing Chummer but I'll be glad to devote time towards adding features and functionality to support this project.

It's up to you... if this is going to happen, we need two things up front. First is people who are interested in this project so if you're one of them, please post here.  Second, we need to figure out what content should be brought forward.  I suspect that various people will have an interest in working on different parts so if there's something you're interested in tackling, say so.  Knowing XML would help a lot but knowing the rule systems is definitely important too... being able to update stuff from one edition to another in a balanced manner and in keeping with all the new stuff like wireless bonuses is going to be critical to this being a success.  So if we have different people with different skills they're bringing to this, that's cool too.
« Last Edit: (17:15:07/08-09-14) by Adam »

Lusis

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« Reply #1 on: (17:37:31/08-09-14) »
Sure, sounds cool.

I'll help with augmentations and/or weapons.
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Ariketh

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« Reply #2 on: (15:28:44/08-10-14) »
As I mentioned to Adam privately, I'm all for this project. And I'd like to contribute to the effort. My biggest concerns are not the XML so much*, as the conversion of hardware requiring wireless and non wireless bonuses, pricing differences, and other different stats (like accuracy for weapons).

It's going to require a great deal of work and will become obsolete as official books come out. I don't mind committing the time and effort as long as there is community support for it. IE: Is this something one or two people want or is this something a bunch of people want to see? If it's only a couple people, I'd be happy to help folks implement their own custom stuff. If there is a bunch of people I think Adam's proposal has merit and will commit the time to assist in getting it done.

*Incidentally, the XML is fairly easy to learn. Unlike some programming languages, XML is pretty self-describing. In some cases the Chummer wiki is helpful by providing examples.

-Ariketh

JD

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« Reply #3 on: (16:19:26/08-10-14) »
I think it's an absolutely genius idea. I won't promise anything, but I'll look at the wiki and see if that sort of work is something I could do.

Adam

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« Reply #4 on: (14:39:19/08-11-14) »
As several folks have volunteered and some are looking for guidance on how to proceed, it seems that the simplest need is a signout "sheet".

armor.xml
bioware.xml
complexforms.xml
critterpowers.xml
critters.xml
cyberware.xml
echoes.xml
gear.xml
lifestyles.xml
mentors.xml - DONE - Ariketh has already handled this file
metamagic.xml
metatypes.xml
packs.xml - Being handled in a separate thread.
paragons.xml
powers.xml
qualities.xml
spells.xml
streams.xml
traditions.xml - DONE - Ariketh has already handled this file.
vehicles.xml
vessels.xml
weapons.xml

But beyond picking a file and running with it, there's the matter of exactly what to do and how to do an update that Chummer can read. So here's a very simple run through of resources that might help and how create a custom data file.


=== Documentation ===

First there's the wiki.  It dates back to original Chummer and a few things have changed but the bones are still good. So here's two links, the first is to the page describing data files in general and the second talks about custom data files in particular.

http://chummergen.com/chummer/wiki/Data-File-Overview.ashx
http://chummergen.com/chummer/wiki/Custom%20Data%20Files.ashx

Beyond that, the data files themselves are very useful when you're wanting to see how something works right now. 


=== Example Conversion ===

As an example, I'll try to recreate Move-by-Wire from 4th Edition's Augmentation. At its heart, Move-by-Wire in 4th Edition is a combination of Wired Reflexes and Skillwires with a dodge bonus. 

Looking at those three items in 4th Edition and the available 5th Edition counterparts there are 6 stats that we'll need... essence cost, availability, nuyen cost, skillwires rating, initiative bonus, Reaction bonus, and dodge bonus. 

The essence cost of Wired Reflexes is the same in both editions and the essence cost of Skillwires dropped from 0.2 per rating to 0.1 per rating but we increased the number of ratings from 5 to 6.  Move-by-Wire used the same essence cost as Wired Reflexes and given how expensive it is essence-wise, it makes sense to keep the same rating so we'll say it's cost for ratings 1, 2, and 3 is 2, 3, and 5 essence.

The availabilities of both Skillwires and Wired Reflexes is exactly the same as in 4th Edition so it makes sense to keep the availability of Move-by-Wire as well so 12R/18R/25F it is.

Given the change from 5 ranks to 6 ranks of Skillwires between editions and that the 4th Edition Move-by-wire could be equivalent to the maximum rating of Skillwires, it makes sense to have each rating of Move-by-wire be equivalent to its rating times two in Skillwires. So rating 1 Move-by-Wire is also rating 2 Skillwires, rating 2 Move-by-Wire is also rating 4 Skillwires, and rating 3 Move-by-Wire is also rating 6 Skillwires.

The reaction bonus of 2 REA per rating point is pretty extreme in 5th edition given that things that increase Attributes are much more expensive than they used to be.  Within 5th this makes much more sense to grant 1 point of Reaction for each rating point just as Wired Reflexes does.

Nuyen cost gets a little messy as the costs changed a alot for both Skillwires and Wired Reflexes between editions. A good start would be to make sure that each rank of Move-by-Wire is a little more costly than the component parts (you are saving a litttle bit of Essence after all).  So I started with totalling the components and multiplying the result by 1.2.  With that formula, rating 1 Move-by-Wire costs 95000, rating 2 costs 275000, and rating 3 costs 405000 nuyen. Pricey but this is one of the top-end pieces of 'ware from 4th Edition.

Lastly there's the dodge bonus.  This is one of those things that completely makes sense as a wireless bonus.  In fluff terms, when your Move-by-Wire is able to coordinate with your local network to evaluate incoming threats it is able to assist in evading those threats.  As such, we'll give it the Wireless Bonus of granting +1 die per rating to tests made to defend against ranged and melee attacks.

Now that we've defined the effect we're intending for 5th, we need to implement it in the custom_cyberware.xml file.  To make this simpler, I'll start with the Wired Reflexes entry and then adjust it.

    <cyberware>
      <id>bea0ded3-821f-449c-9507-815088f68b86</id>
      <name>Wired Reflexes</name>
      <category>Bodyware</category>
      <rating>3</rating>
      <ess>FixedValues(2,3,5)</ess>
      <capacity>0</capacity>
      <avail>FixedValues(8R,12R,20R)</avail>
      <cost>FixedValues(39000,149000,217000)</cost>
      <bonus>
        <initiativepass>Rating</initiativepass>
        <specificattribute>
          <name precedence="1">REA</name>
          <val>Rating</val>
        </specificattribute>
      </bonus>
      <source>SR5</source>
      <page>455</page>
    </cyberware>

Given that this is a custom file and Chummer5 doesn't currently support translation for custom files, we'll remove the id tag. Changing the name is easy enough. We're keeping the same category and rating.  The essence cost of Move-by-Wire isn't a flat multiple of the rating but fortunately neither is Wired Reflexes so we can enter the fixed values directly.  And then we can do the same thing for the availability and cost.  We're keeping the same initiative bonus and Reaction bonus so we'll leave the bonus tag alone.  This is from a different book so we'll change the source tag to "AU" for Augmentation which was the book code used in 4th Edition and it was on page 40 of that book.  So here's our edited XML:

    <cyberware>
      <name>Move-by-Wire</name>
      <category>Bodyware</category>
      <rating>3</rating>
      <ess>FixedValues(2,3,5)</ess>
      <capacity>0</capacity>
      <avail>FixedValues(12R,18R,25F)</avail>
      <cost>FixedValues(95000,275000,405000)</cost>
      <bonus>
        <initiativepass>Rating</initiativepass>
        <specificattribute>
          <name precedence="1">REA</name>
          <val>Rating</val>
        </specificattribute>
      </bonus>
      <source>AU</source>
      <page>40</page>
    </cyberware>

You might be asking where the dodge bonus went... right now Chummer doesn't support wireless bonuses.  It will "soon" but not yet.  My intention is to add that as a <wirelessbonus> tag and to show these both in Chummer and on the character sheet.

We can put that into our custom_cyberware.xml file and then add the book entry into books.xml for Augmentation.  Copy that into Chummer's data folder and then start up Chummer. Go into the Options dialog, add Augmenation as a source and click Ok.  Restart Chummer and create a new character so we can go to the Cyberware and Bioware tab and add on our brand new Move-by-Wire.

Now for reference, PJ has been doing a conversion of the 3rd edition Move-by-Wire to 5th in this thread: http://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=16886

So that's the process. There are a lot of special tags especially once you get into the bonus tag but frankly the easiest way to deal with those is to look at other items that do what you're trying to do.  If you have questions or run into something that doesn't seem to have existing tags that will do the job, please let me know.


=== Existing Conversions ===

I got an email from Namikaze offering to contribute the work he'd been doing for converting 4th Edition Chemistry and Technomancer rules to 5th Edition.  So I want to include what he sent over so they can be used for anyone working on those sections.  The following is from his email:

 have come up with rules covering Chemistry, including methods for gathering and utilizing components.  Additionally, it gives these same rules to 5th edition-specific chemical items.  And I added more toxins, with more variations on the basic theme.

I also came up with some rules covering converting 4th edition advanced techomancer rules to 5th edition.  Admittedly, these rules will be superseded by Digital Trails when it comes out, but I've done my best to keep balance and such in mind.

Chemistry rules:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1P3D0_iE_vqQaCiyVrGHYbb65qjIZbHzvkAXday9LFyU/edit?usp=sharing

Chemistry items/equipment table:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1P57CpYenofTmKi7UrXVAtbWgq0jSsgUwehEOOMCObw0/edit?usp=sharing

Advanced techomancy rules:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Zx6TwEbohxG0xNXppKvBr6hNCanq3nHkDZ-tmLIGcFo/edit?usp=sharing


=== What to do Next ===

Ariketh made the very correct when he said that this project will be a lot of work and we do need to understand if this is something just a couple people are interested in or if it has broader community support for the idea.  So even if you can't help, at least letting us know that the idea is something you're interested in is a big deal.  And if you can help, please speak up because doing this is very definitely going to be a monster task for just a handful of people... probably too big to be a realistic project.  So what we need most is to understand whether we're just 4 people who are interested the idea or if there are more of us so we know if it's even doable and worthwhile.

Several of you have spoken up saying you're interested. Lusis said he's interested in helping with augmentations and/or weapons (that would be bioware.xml, cyberware.xml, and/or weapons.xml).  Ariketh has already taken care of mentors.xml and tranditions.xml. JD spoke up saying he'd be interested in helping. If you're just wanting to dive in and get started, go ahead and post claiming a data file you're wanting to work on. I can answer questions, help coordinate, and provide Chummer support but I really mean it when I call this a community project, ask if you need help understanding how to get started but I'm hoping the example above will help.
« Last Edit: (19:51:07/08-11-14) by Adam »

Ariketh

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« Reply #5 on: (18:55:45/08-11-14) »
I'll dive into the Armor conversions as soon as I get home from work. I'd also like to take a stab at the Streams and the Paragons, since they are functionally equivalent to traditions and mentors respectively.

Edit: And if you are interested in coding, but don't like a plain text editor, I've found Notepad++ to be invaluable. (Even if I only use the most basic features.)

-Ariketh
« Last Edit: (19:00:24/08-11-14) by Ariketh »

Adam

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« Reply #6 on: (19:55:13/08-11-14) »
I'll dive into the Armor conversions as soon as I get home from work. I'd also like to take a stab at the Streams and the Paragons, since they are functionally equivalent to traditions and mentors respectively.

Edit: And if you are interested in coding, but don't like a plain text editor, I've found Notepad++ to be invaluable. (Even if I only use the most basic features.)

-Ariketh

Just as another tool to try, I've been using Oxygen XML Editor for working with Chummer's XML files.

Adam

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« Reply #7 on: (19:58:41/08-11-14) »
And to pass it along, I received an email from Namikaze saying he was interested in working on the Streams and Paragons as well.

Ariketh

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« Reply #8 on: (21:05:32/08-11-14) »
And to pass it along, I received an email from Namikaze saying he was interested in working on the Streams and Paragons as well.

I will let him handle them, then. :) I'm sure the armor conversions will keep me busy enough for the time being.

-Ariketh

Ariketh

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« Reply #9 on: (16:13:30/08-12-14) »
In the process of converting Armor, I've run into a possible stumbling block. I don't want to duplicate conversions, but there are some cases (like the moonsilver line) that used to be individual purchases but are now a combined single purchase for the outfit.

I see two choices:
1) I could follow the precedent established by SR5 that piecemeal items get converted, if necessary, into a single suit/item. (Obviously this wouldn't apply to items intended to stack like the PPP stuff.)
2) Or, I could convert piecemeal items as is, even if the item already has an official conversion.

I'm inclined to favor option one. It follows the established example conversions between SR4 and SR5, cuts down on issues related to armor stacking, and makes armor conversions much easier. (Especially as it relates to social bonuses.) Second option requires a bit more work, but it allows more direct character conversions between editions. However, it also makes the SR5 armor stacking rules difficult to work with.

Thoughts?

-Ariketh

Adam

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« Reply #10 on: (17:58:01/08-12-14) »
In the process of converting Armor, I've run into a possible stumbling block. I don't want to duplicate conversions, but there are some cases (like the moonsilver line) that used to be individual purchases but are now a combined single purchase for the outfit.

I see two choices:
1) I could follow the precedent established by SR5 that piecemeal items get converted, if necessary, into a single suit/item. (Obviously this wouldn't apply to items intended to stack like the PPP stuff.)
2) Or, I could convert piecemeal items as is, even if the item already has an official conversion.

I'm inclined to favor option one. It follows the established example conversions between SR4 and SR5, cuts down on issues related to armor stacking, and makes armor conversions much easier. (Especially as it relates to social bonuses.) Second option requires a bit more work, but it allows more direct character conversions between editions. However, it also makes the SR5 armor stacking rules difficult to work with.

Thoughts?

-Ariketh

I tend to agree with option one.  While option two might enable some conversions, between the extra work and the armor stacking issues I just don't think it's worth it.

Ariketh

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« Reply #11 on: (14:42:52/08-15-14) »
Sorry for my lack of commentary / progress update. I haven't had as much time as I thought to work on the armor conversions. They are still in progress, however!

-Ariketh

KarmaInferno

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« Reply #12 on: (15:49:08/08-15-14) »
Would it be majorly difficult to have an option to filter gear and other options by edition/year?

Like an additional tag in each sourcebook entry? With a in-program selector to pick edition(s) or game years you want used for a particular character?


-k

Ariketh

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« Reply #13 on: (20:06:20/08-15-14) »
Would it be majorly difficult to have an option to filter gear and other options by edition/year?

Like an additional tag in each sourcebook entry? With a in-program selector to pick edition(s) or game years you want used for a particular character?


-k

Edition should be easy enough. We could tag the Book name in the custom_books.xml. That way when you select the viable books it will show you edition right off the bat. So it'd look like the following, with the untagged ones as official SR5 content.

Arsenal (SR4)
Magic in the Shadows (SR3)
Run and Gun

As far as year, are you talking about production year or in game year? But in theory, either could be appended either before or after the edition designation.

That said, I'm not sure how functional it would be. My custom SR3 & 4 mentors show regardless if the book is checked  in the options or not. I don't know if that's a bug/limitation with Chummer or if the custom files are intended to always show. But the custom entries have to have a valid book entry or it causes crashes, so it's not completely superfluous.

In a pinch, if you didn't want to use the custom data files, it's easy to fix. Close Chummer, pull the custom_* files from the data folder, and start Chummer. Chummer will have problems if a character with custom data is loaded and the custom files aren't present.

-Ariketh

Adam

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« Reply #14 on: (09:05:17/08-17-14) »
That said, I'm not sure how functional it would be. My custom SR3 & 4 mentors show regardless if the book is checked  in the options or not. I don't know if that's a bug/limitation with Chummer or if the custom files are intended to always show. But the custom entries have to have a valid book entry or it causes crashes, so it's not completely superfluous.

That's a bug in Chummer. I'll see what I can do to get it fixed quickly.