Author Topic: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation  (Read 479 times)

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Offline Boromir

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In my current installation, I have a lot of modified files in my installation:
  • 79 Professions in Configuration/Professions
  • Changes to Skills.xml, Groups.xml, & Categories.xml in Configuration
  • Changes to EquipmentModifications in files the Configuration/Realms
  • Character and Adventure records in the Confuration parent directory
I'm working towards additional spell lists, weapons, NPCs (in Creatures) to support particular adventures, and critical tables in the future.

When I do an update of ERA, there's a possibility that at least some of these changes will be overwritten if I update in-place.  So my suggestion is, could you establish a convention that when there's a "*-mod.xml" (for example), that is read after the standard one, and never be overwritten?

What I am doing now is copying my changes to backup files, but the manual process is error prone.


Offline Voriig Kye

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Re: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2021, 11:51:32 PM »
All files that are not included in the base product will not be updated. There is no need for a special file name. The installer is just a bunch of files that are uncompressed where you tell it to.
If you have custom professions, races, they will stay there, and they always have priority over the ones included in the packages.

With the proposed change in how Groups/Categories/Skills are defined, you might need to tweak your files once and then future installations should be safe.

Realms might be a problem since the file you are editing is the same as the one provided, but we can see if something can be done about it.

Offline Boromir

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Re: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2021, 03:54:43 AM »
OK, the only thing left then that might conflict is where I've changed the sample  professions (Fighter and Mage).

Offline Twistor

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Re: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2021, 07:19:39 AM »
Currently, you could make a variant of the sample professions instead. You can name the profession (within the variant file) the same as the profession's normal name and it will overwrite the original profession's parameters in ERA. That way, you don't need to make modifications to the sample professions. It works for professions from ERA expansions too.
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Offline Boromir

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Re: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2021, 09:06:15 AM »
I'm now using a git repository on Github, and can easily copy it back in to the installation directory, so I think I have all the risks of updating covered now.  You can check out all my current profession modifications with RM2CII skills there: https://github.com/code-moth/Rolemaster-ERA-mods.  I like the suggestion though to "overload" the example profession names though - thankyou.  I'll do that too.

I am in the process of adding a few extra critical tables as the next step; there's not many needed because ERA with all its packages (which everyone will need to make all my mods work) actually provides very good coverage.   I could add some too from Spacemaster - that actually won't be that much extra effort. 

The techniques I used to make the RMC/RM2 professions discussed above could also be used to make Spacemaster 2 professions as well, if anyone cares.  It will mean a very long collection of skills unless Voriig Kye implements the optional/ignored skills functionality discussed in https://ironcrown.co.uk/ICEforums/index.php?topic=20273.0.

I'm considering whether to add a few attack tables as well, and perhaps a spell list or two from the companions.  ERA-with-all-packages doesn't really need it because of the immense range it already provides, but the fact that it enables it makes it appealing to try it out.  Anyone have any favourite spell lists from the out-of-print companion they sorely miss?

Offline Hurin

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Re: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2021, 09:20:58 AM »
Anyone have any favourite spell lists from the out-of-print companion they sorely miss?

Which ones are out of print? I think 2 is... are there more?
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Offline Nightblade42

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Re: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2021, 01:20:15 PM »
Aren't RMCII-RMCVII all out of print?  As well as the RM2 Elemental Companion, Spell Users Companion, Alchemy Companion & Oriental Companion?

I mean, I've got copies of all of them. But I think you can only buy them used.  I'm pretty sure ICE hasn't re-released any of those, iirc…

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Offline Voriig Kye

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Re: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2021, 01:41:28 PM »
While it's greatly encouraging to see interest in community content for ERA, please before adding the different professions, spell lists, etc. to a public repository, check that there is no IP conflict with ICE nor the original authors of those materials.

Offline jdale

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Re: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2021, 02:32:00 PM »
Everything that ICE has the rights to is available on https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/461/Iron-Crown-Enterprises so you can always check there.

For RM2 companions, I'm only seeing RMCI, the Oriental Companion, and Sea Law.
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Offline Nightblade42

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Re: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2021, 04:21:11 PM »
Well it's good to see that Oriental Companion is back in print  :D  That's awesome!

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Offline Voriig Kye

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Re: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2021, 04:39:54 PM »
Everything that ICE has the rights to is available on https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/461/Iron-Crown-Enterprises so you can always check there.
For RM2 companions, I'm only seeing RMCI, the Oriental Companion, and Sea Law.

But even if ICE does not have the rights to publish the book, for the same reason they don't (requires approval from all authors in each book), those authors could come and claim they don't agree with their material being distributed freely in a Github repo for ERA. I realize the chances for that are slim to none, but wanted to point them out beforehand.

What might be doable (not sure who to ask) would be that for each individual confirmation that an author agrees to have their material in ERA, we could offer the files without risking copyright issues.

Offline jdale

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Re: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2021, 09:14:02 PM »
It wasn't my point to suggest it's ok to publicly post material that ICE isn't publishing, only to answer the question about which books are still available. In general if ICE isn't publishing something, it's because ICE doesn't know how to contact the authors. If we knew how, we'd much rather work something out with them so we could do so.

If you have created things that include ICE IP, ICE would prefer those to be submitted to the Vault rather than being distributed elsewhere. For anything else it's best to work things out with ICE first.
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Offline Boromir

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Re: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2021, 10:05:11 PM »
This brings us right back to the background effort to contact all the authors, as listed in the thread https://ironcrown.co.uk/ICEforums/index.php?topic=11282.0
As I've been discovering it's actually really difficult to find these remaining lost authors, but I am trying to do my bit to help (small success so far).  Seeing these lost Companions back in print would be great; at the moment we just have ebay.  I'd love to be able to just buy the full set of additions for RM2 for ERA.  This has been a labour of love to create these mods, but I'd rather not have to make them if I could buy the material in ERA. 

The data I've used for the professions is not the same as making available material ICE is not publishing.  This data has existed in character generation spreadsheets on the internet for ~30 years - one in particular covers both Rolemaster 2 and Spacemaster 2. It is going to be built in to every one of the available fair-use RM2 character generator programs/spreadsheets.  I will just leave it at the creation of RM2 professions-only then, and not make further mods to do with combat and spells available; this seems like a RM community loss for the time being.

I am happy to do more of the "leg-work" contacting lost authors, but need help from the ICE "old guard" on clues to those individuals - some of their names are not very distinguishable.  I've reached out for that help.

Offline Boromir

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Re: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2021, 05:13:42 AM »
After further consideration, I've made my repository private, so it will no longer be available.  I don't need the grief here - I was just repackaging already-available fair-use character generation material so their functionality (RM2) was available in the up-to-date tool provided in ERA.

There's a rich tapestry of alternative rpg systems available these days, and if Rolemaster is to thrive it needs a community/approach that welcomes further development and innovation. 

Offline Voriig Kye

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Re: ERA Customization: updating in a heavily modified installation
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2021, 12:13:46 PM »
I'm sorry we can't offer more support to your efforts, be sure we always keep RM2 in mind to try to allow as most content as possible over to ERA. And your work on locating lost authors might just give us the push to offer more.