Monday, February 13, 2012

BoL Gameslate Design Dairy 2: Character Sheet User Interface...

After a week of fiddling with the thing, the design for the Character Sheet section of the Player Suite is complete...

A few changes of note since the last post. First, I've come to the realization that trying to get a free flowing design for both portrait and landscape is a fool's errand with an interface as complex as this one. I spent a great deal of the last week trying to design the sheet in three dimensions: as a graphic design; a UI design; and finally, web design. As a result, something that I can usually knock out in three hours took me probably triple that in actual work hours. It will still be flexible in both formats, I'm just going to have to code two CSS sheets for it and insert some code to detect orientation and switch between the two.

Now a description of the inner workings of the sheet:

In the upper right corner we have the three icons for changing modes between (in order from left to right) the Player Suite, the GM Suite and the actual BoL Rulebook. The Rulebook, it should be noted, will not be a simple PDF of the Legendary Edition, but a searchable web standards setup, more akin to BoL: the Offline Web Edition. All text, no pictures, just what you need to learn the rules. Also, as it will be in HTML, it will be a simple matter for you to add house rule pages to it, using a special interface found in the GM suite.


Just below the Gameslate Menu, we have our BoL Attribute List. The numbers are editable, of course, and some of them will feed directly into other parts of the sheet. Your Lifeblood maximum, for instance will automatically adjust based on your strength. They will also take adjustments, so selecting the Cerulean Strength Boon will add 1 to your Strength (or remove it when you take the boon away) and it they can also be temporarily boosted by spells, alchemy or items, turning bright orange when the stat is being artificially boosted or lowered.


This box, located underneath the Attributes, will list all of the current gear being carried by the character. Double tapping an item will bring up a quick info box on the item, while pressing the backpack in the bottom right corner will open up the Backpack Editor, which allows you to move things to and from your backpack and create new items.

The Grimoire item is the one exception to the double-tap info rule, in that when you double tap it, it takes you to the Grimoire editor which allows you to create and use spells and alchemy items.


This box, right beneath the logo and really part of a larger Bio section with everything under it, is a workhorse box for saving, recalling and deleting characters from the database. By pressing the small button to the right of your name, you can do all of those things. Each character is saved under the name you type in the Name area, which can be edited simply by tapping it.

Beneath it, you can choose your heroic background. By tapping the 'Of' you get a selection of backgrounds from BoL to choose from. Together with the name you get something like 'Thongor of Valgard' or Balthazar of Cerulea' or the like, and this also determines what boons and flaws you get to choose from.

As with most of the other options, we will include a database editor to allow you to add or modify these options as needed.


This box is really a display box, and tapping it take you to a small editor that allows you to add, subtract, or modify careers, even making up completely new ones if you like. You can also change the background picture to that of another class (all the ones in the book will be included). Again, for those who wish to, you will also be able to add pics of your own using the GM Data Editor.


Right under your Careers are your Boons (in red) & Flaws (in red brown). Double tapping the box brings up an editor that allows you to add or subtract them.

Because of the wide variety of boons and flaws, the only ones that will actually do anything will be those that add to attributes. Those that add bonus or penalty dice, or have other, more roleplay oriented effects will rely on the players and GM to implement them (as when using the Die Roller).


As with Boons & Flaws above, except that it is strictly a list and has no other effects outside of RP.


The furthermost third of the screen is dedicated to the most active variables in the game. It contains:

The Die Roller Button
By clicking the double dice, the die roller comes up (more on that later).

The Arcane Point Indicator
The moon shows, graphically how many AP you have left, as do the numbers below it. Tapping the moon reduced the number by 1, while tapping the sun increases it by one.

Lifeblood Indicator
The character silhouette represents how many LB you have left graphically, as the number do to the right of it. Tapping the silhouette reduces the total by 1, while tapping the cross adds one.

Hero Point Indicator
the number represents the remaining HP total. Tapping the triskele brings up a selection box which give you a selection of options for Hero Point use, which reduces your Hero Point amount, and to add Hero Points back.

Weapon Select
Tapping the box give you a drop down populated by your available weapons, selection of which determines damage in the Die roller. the small axe to the left can also be pressed to generate a random damage number for instances when you don't need to roll to hit to do damage.

Armour Select
Tapping the box give you a drop down populated by your available armours.  The small shield to the right is tapped to generate your damage reduction based on the armour you are wearing.


This box pops up whenever you use the dice. Difficulty is set using a drop down and then the player selects whatever Attribute, Combat Attribute and Career they will use in the roll in the same way, the numbers being drawn from those on the main character sheet. And yes, you could use all three, even if the game, as written only allows the use of two. This is to allow room for GM fiat.

You also select the number of Bonus and Penalty dice you will be using. Again, you can select as many as the GM desires for flexibility reasons, although you will normally only pick one.

The results section shows you your original roll, the bonus and/or penalty dice rolled and then figures out the final two dice to take. the result is added to the totals of the Attributes selected above, compared to the difficulty and then a result generated from Catastrophic Failure, Failure, Success and Mighty Success. By pressing the Hero Point button to the right, you can reroll the dice on a failure, turn a success into a Mighty Success or turn a Mighty Success into a Legendary Success.

The completed character sheet UI is a few days late, but the next one, the Backpack Editor, should go quicker and be ready by Friday. Let me know what you think about the format, in the meantime...


  1. I love the weapon results section.

  2. What the heck! This thing is for real! Great work.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Thanks, guys. Work is apace and I should be finishing all the HTML and CSS progamming in the next week or so. After that, Ryan will get to work on hooking the front end and back end together and we should have a functioning player suite pretty soon thereafter.

  5. Did this project die? Very interested in this if you completed it as there are no good online sheets for BoL.

  6. Nope. Still ticking, but the fact that it is a real test bed for all sorts of system ideas as well as a product for sale means that it is taking time. We are really looking into what makes the format most useful for a hybrid TTRPG/Digital medium.

    As an example, we first attempted to use web based languages with a bridging framework like Phonegap instead of native APIs in order to make it easier to implement on all devices. It became clear that the functions of the hybrid format really pushed what you could do with HTML5, CSS and Javascript beyond what they were really designed for. So we decided to switch to native APIs and this means rebuilding the backend and even some of the front end.

    So, in the spirit of experimentation and getting it right, it is taking way longer than expected. But I want it to be done correctly, because, if we can get the right mix of elements, I expect this to be an excellent alternative to the standard TTRPG publishing model.