Monday, September 14, 2009

"Fun" with the integrated Parser and SSPX

I needed some sample data so I decided to scrape all the RPGA least I found a bug in the process.


Olodrin said...

I've got a quick question for you: when this thing is done and I want to use it, how will it work? Will I be able to indicate the book I want to parse and then the tool will autoomatically pull and parse that resource, or do I have to request each item/spell/class/whatever and plug it into the parser one by one? I'm a little stuck on what SSPX does.

J said...

In Compendium Scrape mode, the parser requests the name of a source book (from a list provided by wotc). When you select the source book it then offers you a selection of Powers, items, npcs, rituals, traps, etc. By default these are set to yes if the compendium says they exist for the source book selected.

The user can toggle them to No if they do not want a particular class of information. They could also be toggled to Yes and it will try to get information but it shouldn't find any (because the Compendium told the parser none exists).

When it actually runs, it extracts the information into files based on type. All the powers go into powers.txt, all the npcs go into npcs.txt, items go to armor.txt, weapons.txt, equipment.txt, mi.txt, and so forth.

Once the extraction is complete, you have to return to parse mode and then add the files to your module instructions along with the usual required module data (temporary path, name, FGII data directory, image directory, thumbnail, etc).

Now when I say "source book" it's what WOTC calls a source book. In the case of the RPGA adventures, each adventure is a source book (thus I chose to scrape each into a separate directory). It sounded like a good idea, until I realized just how many "source books" comprise the RPGA collection.

Olodrin said...

Ah, excellent! That will reduce a week's worth of painstaking work to about an evening's worth, much of which I imagine will be SSPX querying the Compendium.

Thanks for the run-through.

J said...

Well remember you can only get what is available in the compendium. That covers a lot of stuff, but several things are missing.

Poisons, templates, alternate powers, diseases, and familiars are all missing off the top of my head. Also don't forget all the reference and rules text is completely absent.

Olodrin said...

Fair enough; I've been hunting for poisons and traps in the magazines.