Lesson #15: .lst - Domains ( Part 1, The Basics)

By Eric C Smith (Maredudd) and Andrew McDougall (Tir Gwaith)

File(s) Covered: *_domains.lst

LST Standard : 6.0.0

Tags used:

DESC , SPELLLEVEL:DOMAIN SOURCEPAGE ,


The domain file is a simple text file with one 'Domain' per line. There is only one domain specific tag in PCGen so most of the heavy work in building domains is in the global tags you will use. In this class I will go over both the domain specific tag as well as a few of the global tags, organized into two lessons: The Basics, Lesson 15, covering the tags required to create the basic functionality of a domain, and The Domain Powers, Lesson 16, that will cover the more advanced tags that will be used to add the 'Domain Powers' to your domains. Unfortunately, there are so many variations of global tags that can be used in any data file, including the domain file, that it is impractical to go over them all, but I believe that the examples I will be using in these two lessons, in conjunction with the PCGen documentation, will give you a jump start on building your own domains.

For those of you that have gone through the previous LST Classes, some of the global tags will be repetitive. feel free to skip those portions if you like. These classes are being written for the new LST-coder, so there will be some overlap, but a student of the classes does not need to take them in order.

To help you better understand how to put this file together, I will be using several domains as examples, three drawn from the Revised Standard Reference Document (RSRD) and one I have made up for this class in order to more completely demonstrate a few specific global tags. The domains we'll look at from the RSRD are Law , Trickery and War , as well as the new domain of 'Poetry'. Our new domain is presented below in the standard RSRD format so you can follow along.

Example Domain

Poetry Domain

Granted Powers: You add all Perform skills to your cleric class skills and automatically gain the ability to Scribe Scrolls at 3rd level . You cast mind-affecting spells at +1 caster level, and is graced by Great Intelligence every four levels to a maximum of 20th level. If you have a charisma score of 12 or greater you may use Ventriloquism once a day as a spell-like ability.

Poetry Domain Spells

  1. Hypnotism : Fascinates 2d4 HD of creatures.
  2. Suggestion : Compels subject to follow stated course of action.
  3. Geas (Lesser) : Commands subject of 7 HD or less.
  4. Modify Memory : Changes 5 minutes of subject’s memories.
  5. Song of Discord : Forces targets to attack each other.
  6. Irresistible Dance : Forces subject to dance.
  7. Hold Person, Mass : As hold person, but all within 30 ft.
  8. Charm Monster, Mass : As charm monster, but all within 30 ft.
  9. Hold Monster, Mass : As hold monster, but all within 30 ft.

The Poetry Domain is a little overdone, but I wanted to demonstrate a number of global tags. I would not recommend using the Poetry Domain in your campaign, unless of course you believe the pen is mightier than the sword . . .


Without further adieu, lets jump right into the lesson.

NOTE: The general conventions used within this class can be found on the LST File Class Style Guide .


<Domain Name>

This is the name used for the domain. There is no specific tag associated with this entry and it must be the first entry on the domain line. So, our example domains lines will begin simply enough with the following entries:

Example:

War <tab>

Poetry <tab>


DESC

Now we are getting to the 'fun stuff'. This tag is a global tag and is used to provide a simple explanation, or as Professor Baraks calls it, the 'flavor text', of the powers granted to the cleric by the domain. These powers can range anywhere from granted feats, spell-like abilities, or enhancements to any number of skills and abilities. If you are creating a domain based upon your favorite source book, you can generally find this information identified as the 'Granted Powers' in the domain block. For the Poetry Domain listed above and the War Domain, found in the RSRD, the DESC tags are reproduced below:

Example:

War

DESC:Free Martial Weapon Proficiency with deity’s favored weapon (if necessary) and Weapon Focus with the deity favored weapon.

Poetry

DESC:You add all Perform skills to your cleric class skills and automatically gain the ability to Scribe Scrolls at 3rd level. You cast mind-affecting spells at +1 caster level. and is graced by Great Intelligence every four levels to a maximum of 20th level. If you have a charisma score of 12 or greater you may use Ventriloquism once a day as a spell-like ability.


SPELLLEVEL:DOMAIN

In the domain file this tag provides a list of bonus spells, and their levels, that the cleric is granted access to by the domain.

There are two types of argument regularly used with this tag, used in pairs in a pipe (|) delimited list. These arguments are the domain spell level slot, appearing as <domain name>=<spell level> , and the name of the spell that fills that level slot. Together, the string of arguments will look like this: |<domain name>=<spell level 1>|<spell name 1>|<domain name>=<spell level 2>|<spell name 2>|<domain name>=<spell level 3>|<spell name 3> . . .

Using this format, and looking at the spell list for the War domain, we would code the first level War domain spell this way: <War=1|Magic Weapon>, with the complete list of spells codded as seen in the complete example below.

Looking at our sample domain as defined above, the second example below shows how we would code the domain spells for the domain of Poetry.

Oh, and one more thing. When listing a spell you MUST use the name used at the beginning of its entry in the spell.lst file and NOT its output name. The Poetry domains 3rd level spell, Geas, Lesser is a good example. The rsrd_spells.lst file has 'Geas (Lesser)' as the name of the spell with its output name being Geas, Lesser . Other incarnations of the SPELLLEVEL tag use comma-delimited data and including a comma in the domain's spell list will cause PCGen to ignore the spell reference, thereby not granting access to that spell as a domain spell.

Example:

War <tab> . . . <tab> SPELLLEVEL:DOMAIN|War=1|Magic Weapon|War=2|Spiritual Weapon|War=3|Magic Vestment|War=4|Divine Power|War=5|Flame Strike|War=6|Blade Barrier|War=7|Power Word Blind|War=8|Power Word Stun|War=9|Power Word Kill

Poetry <tab> . . . <tab> SPELLLEVEL:DOMAIN|Poetry=1|Hypnotism|Poetry=2|Suggestion|Poetry=3|Geas (Lesser)|Poetry=4|Modify Memory|Poetry=5|Song of Discord|Poetry=6|Irresistible Dance|Poetry=7|Hold Person (Mass)|Poetry=8|Charm Monster (Mass)|Poetry=9|Hold Monster (Mass)


SOURCEPAGE

This tag is as simple as it looks. It identifies the page within the source material where you can find the specific description, powers, and spells for the domain you are creating. It takes free-form text but most often you will find it in one of two forms. If your source material is an OGL book the format is usually SOURCEPAGE:p.<#> . If you are working from an online source, such as the RSRD, you would use the filename, so your tag would look like SOURCEPAGE:<filename>.

Since I have created the Poetry Domain from scratch there is no 'source', so there is no SOURCEPAGE tag required, but many functions and filters in PCGen use it, so it is good to include it. Therefore, I will include the tag with an N/A for the source page. The War Domain on the other hand comes from the RSRD and therefore would use the SOURCEPAGE tag per the example below.

Note: There are three other SOURCExxx tags ( SOURCELONG , SOURCESHORT and SOURCEWEB ) that will be covered in a separate class so we will not be covering them here.

Example:

War <tab> . . . <tab> SOURCEPAGE:SpellListI.rtf

Poetry <tab> . . . <tab> SOURCEPAGE:N/A


Conclusion: The Domain File Entry

My domain entry now looks like this (all on a single line.):

Poetry

DESC:You add all Perform skills to your cleric class skills and automatically gain the ability to Scribe Scrolls at 3rd level. You cast mind-affectng spells at +1 caster level and is graced by Great Inteligence every four levels to a maximum of 20th level. If you have a charisma score of 12 or greater you may use Ventriloquism once a day as a spell-like ability.

SPELLLEVEL:DOMAIN|Poetry=1|Hypnotism|Poetry=2|Suggestion|Poetry=3|Geas (Lesser)||Modify Memory|Poetry=5|Song of Discord|Poetry=6|Irresistible Dance|Poetry=7|Hold Person (Mass)|Poetry=8|Charm Monster (Mass)|Poetry=9|Hold Monster (Mass)

SOURCEPAGE:N/A


Well, that's everything you need to add new domains to your campaign, albeit, only the most basic of functionality will exist. You may have noted a number of abilities are included in the DESC tag that this domain entry doesn't implement. To see how to implement these abilities we will move to the LST File Class #16, Domain Powers .

Maredudd