The Combat Tracker is one of the most used and most popular functions in RPGSmith.
Outside of combat the interface can be used by the GM and players to view character and ally information such as Health, Buffs & Effects, visibile items, give items, and more.
During Combat the interface does all the above but also is used to establish and maintain turn order, display and hide combatants, gain instant access by the GM to monster commands, spells, abilities, items and a bunch of other stuff.
Initiative – This is a numeric value used to determine turn order in combat. All of these games are turn based, meaning PlayerA takes their turn, then PlayerB takes their turn, then a MonsterA takes their turn, etc. The initiative value is used to determine who goes 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.
PC – Player Character. This is a character controlled by a player joined to this campaign.
Combatant – Refers to Either a Monster or PC acting in this combat. Something with an initiative score that is tracked by this interface.
Turn – When a Player Character (PC) or Monster decides what to do when it is their time to act is referred to as a turn. “It’s this monster’s turn, then it’s that PC’s turn after that”, etc.
Round – A Round is when all combatants have taken their turn. After this occurs the next round starts and the combatant in the 1st position (highest initiative) typically goes again and all active combatants have their 2nd turn.
For the GM, on the right site of top row of Controls is a Gear Icon which, when selected, will display the configuration Settings for the Combat Tracker. These settings are per campaign so changing the settings for one compaign does not update other campaigns on this account.
The settings are broken down into different groups or columns that affect different aspects of the interface/combat.
PC Initiative Formula – As the GM this is where you specify the command used to set the initiative value for any Characters joined to this campaign. This command is a “Single Number Result Command,” meaning no text or ‘AND’ statements are allowing in this formula.
Roll Initiative for Player Characters – (Default is Unchecked) This settings toggles if the initiative value for Player Characters is set automatically when Combat is started, or if that value is initially blank to be input manually by the GM when Combat is started.
If checked, as combat is started the forumla or value specified in the ‘PC Initiative Formula’ field is used for each Character individually (using their unique character stats if part of the formula if applicable) and that value is set as their initiative value for this combat. GM Characters are not affected by this setting and a value is supplied automatically whether this value is checked or not.
Roll Initiative Every Round – (Default is Unchecked) When this is unchecked the Initiative screen is only launched automatically when combat is started (or manually if the GM selects the button to launch this). When this is checked, at the start of each round the initiative screen is launched again and new initiative values are set for each combatant, and consequently a new turn order is established. As when combat is initially started, the PC’s initiative value is either blank or set automatically depending upon the ‘Roll Initiative for Player Characters’ setting.
In-Game Round Length – (Default is 6) This is a numeric only field that allows the GM to identify a number of seconds a round lasts. This is used to calculate the “Game Time” metric by multiplying the number of rounds by this value. It is not used outside of this metric display.
Auto-XP Distribution for Deleted Monsters – (Default is Unchecked) Monsters may have a numeric “XP Value” associated with them. If this setting is checked, when a monster is deleted or removed from combat the “XP Value” associated with that monster is divided by the number of characters in this campaign, and each character will have this result added to the character stat identified in the ‘Character Target XP Stat’ setting.
Character Target XP Stat – (Default is Blank) This setting is only shown if the prior ‘Auto XP Distribute’setting is enabled. This setting determines to which character stat the XP value from the prior setting is added.
Character Target Health Stat – (Default is Blank) This character stat is used to create the visible ‘health circle’ shown in the Combat interface for characters and ultimately allows the GM to specify which Character stat should be used to track Character Health. Only specific character stat types can be selected to be used to track health, those types are: Number, Combo, Current & Max, or Value / Sub-Value.
Access Monster Details – (Default is Unchecked) This options controls whether the players can click on a monster in the combat tracker to see the Monster Details page for that monster. This also controls if they can see the Description & Stats section shown in the Monster Pane on the right of the Combat Tracker Interface.
Group Initiative – (Default is Unchecked) When combat is started each monster’s initiative value is calculated based upon the ‘initiative’ command associated with that monster. If the ‘Group Initiative’ setting is checked, the individual monster initiative command is ignored and all monsters in combat will use the same initiative score as calculated by the following formula.
Group Init. Formula – If ‘Group Initiative’ is checked, this field is displayed which allows the GM to set a ‘Single Number Result Command’ formula. When combat is started, this command is executed once and all monsters (non characters) are set to have an initiative with this result. The GM always has the ability to manually change an individual monster’s initiative value.
Auto-Drop Items for Deleted Monsters – (Default is Unchecked) When this is selected (checked) any monsters that are deleted from the combat interface will have all of their items dropped and would then show up as Loot for the Characters to pick up. Monsters ‘removed’ and not deleted from combat will retain their items.
Monsters are Visible by Default – (Default is Checked) This setting determines when Monsters & Monster Templates are added to the combat tracker, if they visible to the Player Characters by default.
Display Monster Roll Results in Chat – (Default is Unchecked) When the GM performs rolls for the monster (commands) do the results of those rolls show up in the Chat interface.
Show Monster Health – (Default is Unchecked) Toggles whether to display the monster’s health circle to the Player’s combat tracker interface.
See Monster Buffs & Effects – (Default is Unchecked) Toggles whether the players can see the buffs and effects associated with Monsters.
See Monster Items – (Default is Checked) Toggles whether the Players can see the Items Associated with Monsters.
The buttons located at the top and bottom of the combatants list allow the GM to control of the combat and perform various tasks.
These buttons are used to start and end combat respectively. When the GM Clicks to “Start Combat” a number of things occur:
Ending Combat does a number of thigs as well.
The ‘INIT’ button launches the initiative interface. This button (and interface) can only be displayed when Combat is in progress (Combat has been Started). This is the same interface launched automatically when combat is started. See more details provided in another section.
Prev Turn / Next Turn
Buttons located at both the top and bottom of the Combat Tracker are used to step the turn to the next combatant once the active combatant’s turn is complete.
If controlling the interface from a computer the GM can also use the keyboard’s SPACE BAR to advance to the next turn.
Launches an interface that allows the GM to quickly and easily add or remove monsters from the combat tracker. See section below for details.
The Dice button launches the Dice interface for the GM as it does from other screens.
This button expands out the Combat Tracker settings section as covered in a previous section. The GM can collapse this section by clicking the gear button again, or by clicking elsewhere not in this expanded section.
Round Counter – The Purple box displays which round is currently occurring. When combat is started this counter is initially set to “1”, after all combatants have had their turn and the order restarts again this number increments to “2”. The GM can click this and manually set the value if they so choose. This counter is reset to 1 each time the Start Combat button is selected.
INIT Count – This metric displays the Initiative value for the current combatant. As the next turn is selected by the GM this value changes to display the initiative value of the current combatant.
Game Time – This is a calculation of the Current “Round” value times the “In-Game Round Length” value set in the settings area which results in a value to display the In-Game Time spent in combat thus far.
This is display only and can’t be changed directly. As the next round is started this value is updated to show the new value.
< & > – These are duplicates of the Previous Turn and Next Turn buttons at the bottom of the interface.
END Combat – A duplicate of the End Combat button shown at the bottom of the interface.
With RPGSmith theire are 2 views to the Combat Tracker. There’s the view the GM has which posesses full control to manage, update, and control combat. there’s also the Players view to gain access to important information, stay informed of combat details, and even get access to perform action on their character.
Depending on what settings have been selected, the Combatants list for Player Characters may look different. With the various options in the settings section to hide or show Buffs&Effects, Health, & so forth the various columns may be hidden/removed from being seen by the PCs.
The combatants section lists the monsters and characters in order of turns starting and the top and moving down. When at the bottom, after all combatants have had a turn, the process starts again back to the top with a new round.
When combatants have the same initiative value as others, characters will act before monsters, when those match as well, alphabetically by name is used next to determine order.
The frame or background color for the combatants listed will have different colors to indicate various things.
The GM can perform a number of functions and commands from accessing the combatant row.
Selecting the health circle would launch a dialog screen to allow the GM to update the Health Stat for this Monster or Character.
Clicking on this section launches an quick popup interface that allows the GM to quickly change 3 different display aspects to the players interface
The details pane displays information for the currently selected Monster or Character. With this the GM can quickly access all kinds of needed information and perform even more actions.
During combat a Monster or Player Character may choose to not act and “Delay” their turn until they choose when to jump in, this would establish a new position in the initiative. To facilitate this function, the “Delay Turn” button is present on the details pane. When the GM selects this button a couple of things occur.
If the GM were to click this Delayed Combatant and click the “Resume Turn” button a couple of things would occur
This interface is used to set, update, or change the initiative for any combatants the GM would like. The GM can manipulate the initiative for a combatant a number of differnet ways in this interface:
All Combatants are listed 1st by initiative number, then by type (Characters before Monsters), then alphabetically by name. All Characters are shown with a manila background and Monsters are shown with a white background.
These buttons launch the interface to allow the GM to add or remove monsters from combat.
This will allow the GM to add both existing Monsters and deploy new monsters from Monster Templates and add those not only to the Monster Records list but also inject them into this combat tracker as well. Once selected, the GM will see a list of all the monsters, monster templates, & Monster Groups in this campaign and can quickly browse or search by name for the desired monsters, monster templates, or monster groups to instantly add to combat.
Not only can monsters be selected, but when monster templates are checked a quantity field is supplied to allow the GM to add as many to combat as they like.
Also on this screen is the option for the GM to determine if these newly added monsters are visible to the Players or not.
This is a simple interface to allow the GM to select the existing monsters in the combat tracker to remove from combat.
There is also a checkbox that allows the GM to specify if these should be ‘deleted’ instead of just removed.
The drop items interface allows the GM to quickly select which items from this Monster should be dropped and become loot for the Player Characters to browse and take. Items dropped from Monsters are placed into a loot piles named after that monster.
For example, if you have a monster named ‘Thug’ and 2 knives are dropped, in the loot interface these will show up as “Thug’s Drops”. And subsequent drops from this monster are also added to this loot pile. If all the items in this loot pile were collected or deleted, the loot pile is automatically deleted.