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Miniature Library tool - Blogs - Pen & Paper Games
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Miniature Library tool

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This is an explanation of another way to load and save maps. Its not nearly as easy and friendly as the load/save map option, but the fact that it lets you load the map in chunks may give it some advantages. When you load a saved map, it removes everything else that was displayed. Sometimes you want that, like when you go into a building. At other times like when you explore a dungeon and the map is revealed room by room you might want to load it in stages. That second option is where this tool becomes useful.

The way it works is that first you fill out a spreadsheet that says what images to load and where to put them. Then during the game session you can select multiple images from the list you created and load them. It then adds all the images to the screen and positions them based on what you filled in. I figured I'd offer up some instructions on it in case we'd like to try it out.

Part 1: Finding the tool
To do this you'll need to look in the game tree, which is in the top left corner of the OpenRPG window. There should be something in it named "OpenRPG+ 1.7.1". Click the plus sign next to it to expand it. Then look for the "Templates" section and expand that, then expand the "Tools" section. Finally you should find something in there named "Create New Miniature Library Tool".

Double click the "Create New Miniature Library Tool" line and it will create a new node at the top of the game tree named "Miniature Library".

Part 2: Preparatory work
This is the hard step, filling out the spreadsheet with all the details for the miniature. To get to the spreadsheet Right Click the "Miniature Library" and choose the "Design" option. This takes you to the empty spreadsheet.

The "New Mini" button will add a new row for you to create a new miniature to add. If you have a row selected you can use the "Del Mini" button to remove that row. The "Add 1" button will add 1 copy of the selected mini to the map grid. The "Add Batch" button will add multiple copies of the selected mini to the map grid, you'll be prompted for the number to add.

When you add a new row there are 12 fields that can be filled in. Here's a quick rundown of what they mean:

  • name: This is the name that will be given to the mini when its loaded, its also the name you'll need to refer to when choosing the ones to load so be sure its descriptive.
  • url: This is the path to where the image for the mini is hosted on the internet.
  • unique: Does not appear to have any useful effect, best to just leave it at 0.
  • posy: This is the vertical coordinate for where the mini will appear on the map. You have to multiply the grid square by the grid height (default is 60) to have it placed correctly.
  • posx: This is the horizontal coordinate for where the mini will appear on the map. You have to multiply the grid square by the grid width (default is 60) to have it placed correctly.
  • hide: Set this to 1 to have the mini hidden when loaded, set it to 0 to have it shown. More often than not this will be set to 0.
  • heading: This is a marker for which way the character is facing. Its unnecessary in D&D so it should always be 0.
  • align: This sets whether the mini should be centered in a grid space (value of 0) or if its top left corner should be in the top left corner of the grid (value of 1). I'm pretty sure you'll always want this as 1.
  • locked: If the mini needs to be moved and you'd like to allow the click and drag set this to 0. If the mini is part of the background and click and drag needs disabled set it to 1.
  • width: If you need to scale the mini to a new size set the desired width here.
  • height: If you need to scale the mini to a new size set the desired height here.

The biggest trick to this is getting the posy and posx values correct. If you think of the top right corner as column zero and row zero, and count up as you move to the right and down you'd have the grid marked like this:

This puts the dwarf mini in column 4 row 2. These are the basis for the posx and posy values. You'll need to multiply these values by 60 before putting them in there though. So posx would be the column number times 60 (the default size for the grid squares), and posy would be the row number times 60. For the dwarf posx would be 240 (column 4 * 60) and posy would be 120 (column 2 * 60). His record in the miniature library spreadsheet should look like this:

Just as a note, if the miniature covers more than one grid square you find the column and row for its top left corner and calculate the posx and posy values for there only.

Once you have all that done you'll need to save it for use later. To do that right click the "Miniature Library" and choose the "Save Node" option. This will open a browse window to specify where on your computer to save the miniature library. Doesn't matter where you put it so long as you can find it again later. Incidentally this will work with anything else that is in the game tree; character sheets, quick reference sheets, etc.

Part 3: Using it on gameday
Ok so you've built a big elaborate map and saved it to a file. You'll need to reload it to make use of it again. Right Click the "Game Tree" entry and choose "Insert File". This will bring up a browse window to locate the file to use, find the Miniature Library from where you saved it before. Again this will work for any game tree node you've previously saved.

This should give you back the "Miniature Library" entry under the game tree. Double Click it to open it; alternately you can Right Click it and choose "Use", but the double click is quicker. It should give you something that looks like this, except with your miniatures listed inside:

There's a list of all your miniatures, it only shows the name you specified for them so hopefully you remember the names you gave them; a "Minis to add" text box; and 3 control buttons.

Now in the list you can select multiple entries in the list. Select the top entry to work with, then hold the Shift key and select another entry in the list; it will highlight all of the entries in between as well. Alternately you can hold down the Control key and click on multiple entries, each of the ones you click on will be selected.

Once you have one or more entries selected you can click the "Add" button to put them on the map. They'll be placed on the map exactly as described in the spreadsheet. The name specified for them will be the name showing underneath the mini on the map grid. If its set to be locked, hidden, or any other options they'll be applied. This is useful for character images since you'll want to see their names.

Once you have one or more entries selected you can click the "Add No Label" button to put them on the map. They'll be placed on the map almost as described in the spreadsheet. If its set to be locked, hidden, or any other options they'll be applied. The only difference is that they won't have a name showing on the map grid. This is useful for background images that don't need to have any name.

With either method of adding the minis to the map grid it will load as many copies as the number in the "Minis to add" text box. If that text box says 1 then only one copy of each selected mini will be added. If the text box says 5 then 5 copies of each will be added.

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