In last week’s blog, we presented the automated Pathfinder system sheet and this week saw the first tabletop session with full use of the system, and all characters (except for a few familiars and like pets) have been converted to the new sheet.
Some of that conversion was done by players while we were present to observe. This conversion of the characters under observation served not just as a quick verification to ensure that everything worked properly this time, but also as a crucial indication of how the system is used, what adjustments need to be made and what additional features are highly desirable. While we can (and do) speculate on all of these, the proof of the pudding, as the saying goes, is in the eating.
In our analysis we have of course looked at the explicit feedback that some of you were kind enough to provide. Several of these points have already been addressed, like setting the default race to empty (instead of making everyone a dwarf by default), the addition of character alignment and range increments on attacks, and the need to make the (unnamed) bonus more explicit.
Other explicit requests have been planned in with coming updates. When we tackle classes, we will include the much requested features of automatic base bonuses for saves. As well as automatic base attack bonus calculation and a resolution for the awkward cohort experience value. It’ll also cover one of my own personal favourites that I was glad to see confirmed: a need to automatically calculate class skill bonuses. Having that feature will cut over half of my manual edits to skills when making a character.
But besides explicit feedback, we have also been looking at how the sheet was used, and those who participated may have heard us comment or ask about this or that during the conversion process to get more information. One observation we made was that everyone seemed to struggle with the bonus ability points gained every four levels — how should these be jotted down? Similarly, it became clear the ‘remove’ button on skills was awkwardly placed — too close to the button to open it, leading to accidental deletions. And seeing how feats and class abilities were entered also provided some very useful insight in how we should expand on these.
Some of these conclusions may seem rather obvious — especially with the power of hindsight. When working on something for a long time, however, such seemingly obvious conclusions may slip through, hence the need for these tests. And we will continue to use your feedback as a guide for the expansion of the Pathfinder sheet.
This week though, we had to take some time to catch up on some of our technical debt. A lot of that involves cleaning up code to allow us to develop more in the future, even if it is not directly visible on the site itself. For a list of changes and bugfixes that do impact your user experience, check out this weeks changelog and as always, please let us know if you have any feedback — every little bit helps!