Help MW Tools!
Have you ever wanted to help mw with my generators? Would you consider it?
Here's a list of the projects I could use help on. If you think you have something to contribute - or just have an idea you'd like to share - please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's the idea: I want to replace the functional but ugly long lines of text that link to each of the generators with a block of six linked graphics. Each depicts something relating to its link: a dragon for the dragon generator, an adventurer (or group of adventurers) for the stat block generator, etc. I'll arrange them in a 3x2 format (3 across, two down), which seems to be the most visually appealing. Since I don't actually have that many generators, I'll also include a space for the soon-to-come wondrous item generator and the links page; the latter will be removed if and when I build another generator.
Of course, this plan has its problems. I don't want to use images that I don't have the rights to, nor do I want to use my own feeble illustrating ability. As a result, I nearly abandoned the idea, until I came upon a site with good pictures and a wonderful redistribution agreement: Dee Dreslough's site. Fortunately, it's wide-open: she allows the use of her artwork in nearly any form, with almost no restrictions. Unfortunately, she draws just one thing: dragons. I found two suitable pictures, a dragon (obviously) and a griffon-like creature for the race generator.
Here's where you come in. If you can draw/paint/Photoshop/etc. a nice picture for any of the other generators, please email me. I can't offer anything in exchange (I get nothing from the site, and it costs Thyle.net money each month!), but I'll recognize you on a separate 'thanks' page, showcase the uncropped version and/or link to your gallery there, and generally speak well of you. : )
The test page I'm putting together uses 120x120 pixel JPEGs at 72 dpi and 50% compression, but if you have a better idea, tell me so!
Believe it or not, finding bugs is one of the most important things a visitor can do for this site. Maintaining the integrity of the generators is my primary concern, and I can't catch all of my mistakes!
It can be mind-numbing, but basic data entry is key, especially for the dragon generator. If you want something entered now, this may be your best bet.
Note that I'm much more discerning now: I won't consider anything unless it's OGC. With the exception of the SRD, I won't add anything until I have the publisher's permission - even if it is legal for me to enter it anyway. I don't want to reduce the value of any d20 product by making it available here! On the other hand, many/most d20 publishers think of it as free advertising. Ambient, for example, has given permission to use both OGC and PI from the ENnie-nominated Gar'Udok's Librum in my dragon generator.
If you're interested, drop me a line and I'll give you the format I'll use and basic instructions/explanations. If you're familiar with basic scripting, you can write the code itself; otherwise, I'll just give you the basic layout and finish it myself. It's not hard, though longer ones can get boring quickly. Here's an example, the first half of the black dragon:
sub='Water'; AL='CE'; immune='acid'; if(age>=5) castL=Math.floor(2*(age-4)-1); if(age==1) size=2; if(age==2) size=1; if(age>=3&&age<=4) size=0; if(age>=5&&age<=6) size=-1; if(age>=7&&age<=10) size=-2; if(age>=11) size=-4; if(age==1) CR=2; if(age==2) CR=3; if(age==3) CR=4; if(age==4) CR=6; if(age==5) CR=8; if(age==6) CR=10; if(age==7) CR=13; if(age==8) CR=15; if(age==9) CR=17; if(age==10) CR=18; if(age==11) CR=19; if(age==12) CR=21; nat=age*3; die=(age*2)+'d4';
As you may have noticed, I don't host my site at all; it's hosted by Thyle.net. As a result, I have no actual expenses besides my own time, which is my gift to the community. If you really appreciate what I've done, want to support future sites like this, or just need to be separated from your money, I know of a good cause: EN World!
The ad I run on my main page is from EN World, a token way of showing my support for that site. If you'd like to run a similar banner, see the above link for instructions. It's painless!
Yes, I'm quite serious. There are several things I'd like to add to my generator but can't because they're closed products. Some are just waiting for the long approval process (ELH), but others have no plans to be added.
A great example are the gem dragons. Not only are they available for free at the Wizards of the Cost website, but Psionics Handbook information has been added to the SRD! What's more, the gem dragons are already in electronic format, removing the time needed to add them to the existing file. It would take seconds to complete, but hasn't been - and won't be - done!
The next time you bump into someone involved with the SRD at Wizards (at GenCon, for example, or in a chat room), please ask about this. Eventually, they'll give in...