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Project #1: Lankhmar: City of Thieves

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I was recently asked "hey, why don't you do a Project Update-style blog post so the community knows what you're working on?"

My reply was something along the lines of "I dunno, is that a thing? Am I supposed to do that? No one told me to do that!" But I glanced around the Blogs section here and sure enough, some of my fellow freelancers do exactly that. So here. We. Go.

I guess I'm one of the newer freelance conversion "developers" for Fantasy Grounds! I got the green light and thumbs up from the fine folk at SmiteWorks in the latter part of July to begin development of an official Fantasy Grounds version of Pinnacle's Lankhmar: City of Thieves setting. I own several of the existing settings for Savage Worlds here on Fantasy Grounds so I based my work on those initially. Within two weeks I was finished with version 1.0 of the Lankhmar setting. But over those two weeks my XML coding became more efficient with better coding practices. So I did a full revamp using the new knowledge and skills I'd picked up. For the most part, it still looked the same, just under the hood was coded way better so I felt better about letting anyone else use it.

As you can see, it looked identical to every other Savage Worlds setting. Everything contained within the Library Index itself because where else would it go? The current version of the Savage Worlds ruleset has some fugly windows too. A single dark-ish texture with black text. My eyes water every time I have to read anything for more than a few minutes. So I desperately wanted a better presentation, and was a little envious at the lovely Reference Manuals in all the 5E products I own on Fantasy Grounds. But I couldn't learn how to do that because all official 5E content is encrypted. So I commenced another week or two of probably being a total pain in the posterior until finally someone showed me how it worked so I would shut up and leave everyone alone about it.

Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration...

The good news is that I took all that brand-new Reference Manual knowledge and started back from scratch for a third revamp to deliver what I hope is the best-looking Savage Worlds product on Fantasy Grounds! It's much easier to read the text and navigating a single Reference Manual is easier than having multiple windows open on the screen, which has a direct effect on better RAM usage.

The final (well, so far) version has been submitted and is in the queue for the official Review process!

The other Savage Worlds developers took notice and you will soon see other products getting a Reference Manual revamp as well as many products going forward using it as the primary means of presentation for rule and setting content.

Thank you so much for reading and for your support! Happy Gaming!

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Updated October 18th, 2016 at 04:28 by Talyn



  1. GunbunnyFuFu's Avatar

    Looking great! Where did you learn your Reference Manual knowledge at? Any tips/websites to look at? I have no problem with library entries and such, but I'm brand new to Reference Manuals and would love to get proficient at coding them.
  2. Talyn's Avatar
    Once I was approved to be a community developer, I basically pestered the crap out of everyone working on 5E content until SmiteWorks finally sent me a copy of the 5E Basic Rules source code so I could learn how it was all put together. After that, just a little trial and error with the image sizes, etc. and learning a couple new tricks along the way.
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