Home of the Grapevine LARP Administration Utility

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When will a version of Grapevine come out for the New World of Darkness?

Much to my regret, my enthusiasm for Grapevine has been completely spent. Therefore, I will not be creating another version of Grapevine for the new system. I apologize to all the users of Grapevine 3.0 who may have been counting on me for a new program, but creatively speaking, my heart has moved on to other things.

2. I have questions about the source code you released…

I provide the source code as-is, and I do not offer help understanding it or modifying it. I apologize.

I don’t believe the Grapevine source code is very good anymore: not only is it written in an obsolete language (Visual Basic 6.0), but it’s also an archaelogical marvel. I began writing Grapevine after my freshman year of college, and its amateurish architecture reflects my skill from that period. Over the years I jury-rigged and patched the code for more and more features and Mind’s Eye releases, but I could never find the time to fix the fundamental weaknesses that came from my freshman-level design.

If I were to find the passion again to write a new Grapevine, I’d write it from scratch. That’s what I urge you to do. Let my code show you how it’s been done before: but instead of grafting new pieces to this Frankenstein, take your chance to build a strong new system using today’s technology.

3. I’m having trouble downloading or installing Grapevine.

If your antivirus program is giving you problems, try installing the version of Grapevine with e-mail support disabled.

Otherwise, I usually can’t help with this kind of problem. Hundreds of people have successfully downloaded and installed Grapevine. There doesn’t seem to be any common theme among the exceptions. But I can offer a few suggestions.

If you’re having trouble downloading, try a different web browser if you have one available on your computer. Sometimes Netscape’s technique and Microsoft Internet Explorer’s technique seem to get different results. Alternatively, just wait a day or two and try again. Like all servers, this one has its “off” days.

If you’re having trouble installing, make sure you’re using a program like WinZip to unpack the file (unless you use Windows XP, which can unpack it automatically). Using an old unzip utility is the closest thing to a common problem I’ve seen; every other problem seems to be unique. Try uninstalling, re-downloading, and reinstalling. If that fails, seek out your nearest computer-savvy LARP player and offer XP for her assistance.

4. I have a question about Grapevine 3.0…

Did you know that the Grapevine User’s Guide is included with Grapevine 3.0? Look in the Grapevine program group in your Start Menu. Click the User’s Guide shortcut. It’s also online (see the sidebar at left) if you need it.

5. Are you planning a Mac / Unix / Windows CE / PalmPilot version?

Not at present. I don’t own most of those platforms, let alone development packages for them. Plus, I don’t really have time to completely reprogram Grapevine in a different language. Sorry!

6. How can I add my own character types, like Aberrants or Highlanders or Boffer Fantasy Characters?

Unfortunately, you can’t. That’s a feature so complicated that it’s not even planned for the next version of Grapevine. But don’t think it’ll never happen; I just don’t see it happening soon.

If the character type you want to add is part of a published MET supplement that I haven’t gotten to yet, rest assured I’ll get to it in the next version. Otherwise — or in the meantime — I encourage you to try to adapt the Mortal or Various character types to your needs. If you customize the menus and character sheets, they can become very flexible.

7. Are you planning a version for tabletop instead of LARP?

Because tabletop games rarely demand the administrative effort a LARP demands, I plan no tabletop version. But that doesn’t mean you can’t hack Grapevine to track tabletop characters!

Your character has 4 dots in Strength, 3 in Dexterity and 4 in Stamina? Give him Brawny x4, Dexterous x3 and Robust x4. Or edit the menu files to include the Physical Traits Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina. Grapevine is meant to be used creatively!

8a. Why don’t you make it so that Blood / Rage / Gnosis / Glamour / Banality / Willpower is linked to Generation / Tribe / Breed / Auspice / Seeming?

Grapevine is an Administration Utility, not a Character Generator. Grapevine keeps track of and organizes your data, but is not designed to make sure you construct data according to the game rules.

8b. Well, why isn’t it a character generator?

Two reasons. First, the work. I don’t want to program logic specific to every clan, kith and tribe. Not only do the layers of rules add up quickly in complexity, but consider that many games change those rules: all the logic has to be mutable by house rules.

Second, I don’t in any way want Grapevine to replace any of the Mind’s Eye Theater books. If I write a character generator so good that you don’t need to look at any of the books to make a character, White Wolf’s lawyers might look sideways at me… a prospect that fills me with more dread than does the World of Darkness!