GrapevineLARP

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Printing and Saving Character Sheets and Reports

All the information Grapevine organizes is of limited use to a Storyteller if it remains in the game file. That’s where printing, saving and e-mailing documents come in. Grapevine offers literally dozens of different character sheets and reports in three different formats. This chapter describes how to select exactly the kind of output you want to create.

To begin, click the “Sheets & Reports” menu and choose “Print,” “Save to File” or “E-Mail.”  The corresponding window will load, selecting by default a report suited to the data you were previously viewing. If you are looking at a character sheet, for example, choosing to print will load a window prepared to print that specific character sheet. Choosing to save to file while viewing a list of rumors will load a window ready to save a Master Rumor Report for what you were viewing.

Choosing a Report

At the top of the window appears a dropdown list of the kinds of sheets and reports available. Choose from the following possibilities:

Character Sheets. The staple of every MET game, these documents describe individual characters in detail.

  • Action and Rumor Report. A document describing the actions a character takes and the rumors she receives for a given game date.
  • Character Equipment Report. A document describing all the items and rotes a character has.
  • Character Roster. A listing of the characters in the game.
  • Experience History. A listing of entries in a character’s experience point history.
  • Game Calendar. A summary of game dates.
  • Item Cards. A document describing the individual items you select, instead of describing all items belonging to one character as in the Character Equipment Report.
  • Influence Report. A detailed report of all the Influences in your game and who holds them.
  • Location Cards. A document describing the locations you select.
  • Master Action Report. All the character actions you select, compiled into a report that gives a detailed picture of what characters are doing in their downtime.
  • Master Rumor Report. All the rumors you select, compiled into a full report of the gossip flying around your game world.
  • Merits and Flaws Report. A listing of all the Merits and Flaws of the characters you select.
  • Player Point History. A document that includes a player’s contact information as well as a listing of her player point earnings.
  • Player Roster. A listing of the players in your game.
  • Plot Report. A compiled report of all the plots you select, including recent plot developments.
  • Rote Cards. A document describing all the individual Rotes you select, instead of only those belonging to a certain character, as in the Character Equipment Report.
  • Search Report. A report of the characters that meet the criteria specified in a search.
  • Sign-In Sheet. A listing of characters and players you can use to record who attends the night’s game session.
  • Statistics Report. A bar graph showing the outcome of taking statistics on a selection of your characters. It also lists all the characters who make up the statistics.
  • Vampire Status Report. This report describes all Status Traits and boons currently in play among the Vampires of the game.
  • Choose Template… This selection prompts you for a template file to open. Template files are the customizable blueprints for Grapevine output.

On the right side of the window is a frame labeled “Format,” under which appears three options:

Rich Text (RTF). Rich Text is a simple word-processing format. Saving documents in RTF format creates files that can be read and edited by WordPad or MS Word. RTF is not as nice-looking as HTML, but Grapevine can print it itself, even controlling the margins and page orientation given the right template. RTF documents are sent as attachments when distributed by e-mail.

HTML. HTML is the format used by web pages on the internet. It produces the best-looking output of the three options. Saving documents as HTML provides an easy way to put game information on your game website. Grapevine can only print HTML using the default web browser on your computer. HTML is an easy format to send through e-mail.

Plain Text. This is the simplest of the three formats. Plain text documents aren’t particularly pretty, but being small and simple they are well-suited to being e-mailed: any e-mail program in the world will read them. You probably don’t want to print in plain text format unless you have a truly ancient printer.

Selecting What to Generate

Having chosen a document type and a format, you must next choose what data Grapevine includes in the output.

At the top of the window, select the game date for which you want to create the sheets or reports. You may also enter a date here by hand.

Selection Tabs

The tabs that appear on the window change depending on what kind of report you select. On any tab listing characters, players, items, rotes, locations, actions, plots or rumors, you should select the entities you want to include in your output by clicking their names in the list. Selected entities will appear highlighted. Only those that are selected will be figured into the output.

Several buttons may appear that assist with the selection process:

  • Select All. Selects everything in the list.
  • Select None. Deselects everything in the list.
  • Select Only. For players and characters, this selects all data that is matched by the search selected in the dropdown list below the button.
  • Select Same Date. For actions and rumors, this selects the other actions or rumors that share a date with the selections.
  • Select Same Name. Also for actions and rumors, this selects the other actions or rumors that share a character name or title with the selections.

Searches & Statistics Tab

This tab appears only if you have chosen to report the results of a search or game statistics.

The Search dropdown and the option buttons beside it control which characters are queried for the report.

The Statistics options, which appear only for Statistics Reports, are identical to those used in the Statistics window. Most likely you will want to first create the statistics using the Statistics window itself, and then by clicking one of the output options, this window will load with the values you had just been examining.

Dates & Options Tab

This tab controls the range of dates included with certain reports and whether character sheets include additional data.

Use the “Date Range” dropdown list to choose the extent of a game calendar or an experience history or to choose what Plot Developments are listed in a Plot Report. The “Chronological Order” and “Reverse Order” options control whether the dates are listed earliest-to-latest or vice versa.

Depending on the report you’ve selected, other options may appear on this tab: Notes, Histories, Actions, Rumors, Equipment, Rotes and/or Locations. Selecting one of these options will include the corresponding data with the document; deselecting the option will exclude that data. In this way you can include a character’s actions and rumors with his character sheet, or hide sensitive notes information from appearing in a document.

Up to three formatting options may also be available:

  • Conceal all text marked ST Only. This controls whether text appearing between[ST] and [/ST] tags (by default) appears in the output.
  • Allow HTML tags in text. If you have chosen an HTML template, this option appears: selecting it controls whether HTML tags in places like the Notes field are applied to the output, or are displayed literally.
  • Save output to file and print with associated Windows program. This option appears if you are printing your output. If selected, Grapevine will not print your output directly: instead, it will save the output to files, and then it will ask Windows itself to print each. Templates created in MS Word, with RTF formatting too complex for Grapevine to understand, benefit from this feature: Windows will send the RTF to MS Word to be printed.

Printing

If you are printing RTF or Plain Text documents, choose the number of copies you want and use the “Printer Setup…” button to choose your printer. Then click “Print” to begin the job. A progress bar will appear at the top of the window to inform you of the progress Grapevine makes sending the information to your printer.

If you’re printing HTML, the work is done through your computer’s default web browser. Clicking “Print” will create the HTML output and then load it into your browser, where (if you have JavaScript turned on) a print dialog will automatically prompt you to print the document. You may have to adjust the print settings of your browser for best results. In particular, make sure your browser supports CSS style sheets. Adjusting the margins (one-inch top and bottom margins are best for item cards), removing headers and footers, and instructing your browser to print background colors may be other changes you want to make to your browser’s settings. Consult your browser’s help to learn how.

Saving to Files

A single “Save” button will begin the job of saving your output to files. If you are only saving a single document, Grapevine will prompt you for a filename. If you are saving multiple documents, Grapevine will prompt you for the folder in which to save them all. You may then specify whether you want to be prompted before any file is overwritten, or use the “Save Files Individually” button to specify a location and filename for each of them.