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Amazon Echo Skill

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:24 pm
by aPretzel
My work is encouraging us developers to learn how to publish Skills for the Amazon Echo. I've decided to write a Skill for Basic Fantasy. My initial idea is to have a character generator. If I have more time I'll probably include ways to lookup spells and game rules.

The issue is that the Echo is all voice controlled. My initial ask is for what you would say to the echo to get it to do what you want. I love stalking BF but I haven't played much so I'm sure I'd miss common phrases that a user might use.

The basic structure is this. "Ask <invocation name> to <do some action>." The technicals for starting a conversation can be found here ... nversation

I can have variables in the command as well. Here's some of what I've thought of.
Ask BF Helper to create a new character.
Ask BF Helper to create a {Class or Race}.
Tell BF Helper to roll a new {Class or Race}.
Ask BF Helper about {Spell or Rule}.

Here's another technical page from Amazon about variations. ... put%20Data

If you have any tips, suggestions, whatever to make the Skill more user friendly or useful let me know.

Re: Amazon Echo Skill

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:28 pm
by Guyon
So if you ask Ask BF Helper to create a new character, it will read off the stats?
Interesting, but writing a simple program will give you an entire character sheet printed out. Or storing a play list on your phone can get mood music out.

I am not putting the project down, but I don't see the potential for gaming. Also the reason I am not rich, since I can't see why it is better.

This is a very cool device. going to give Cortana a run for her money ;)

Best of luck

Re: Amazon Echo Skill

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:24 pm
by aPretzel
Heh, I don't see it taking off. It's mostly a learning experience for me.
The first iteration would just read off your stats. In the future it could email a PDF to you or something like that.

Re: Amazon Echo Skill

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:00 pm
by SerGavin
I don't suppose ot could read off saving throws or the grapple rules?

Re: Amazon Echo Skill

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:53 pm
by aPretzel
Yes, eventually. I'm starting with character creation, then character creation with a limit (race or class) then spell lookup and then rule lookup.

These are the phrases I've come up with so far for rules...
how does {Rule} work
tell me about {Rule}
explain {Rule}
So you could say "how does grappling work" or "explain grapple".

For saving throws do you mean as part of character creation or the rule for some attack?

Re: Amazon Echo Skill

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:59 am
by SerGavin
People in my group tend to not write down their saving throws, or they write down the wrong ones, or they don't update them when they don't level up. So could you get it to read off the saving throws for a certain class and level?

Re: Amazon Echo Skill

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:17 pm
by aPretzel
Totally. It could go something like "save vs. {type} for a level {number} {Class}."
I'll make some notes on other parses that could be used to look up the info.

Re: Amazon Echo Skill

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:48 pm
by SerGavin
That would be fantastic.

Re: Amazon Echo Skill

Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 3:02 pm
by Dustinian
I'd love to see some things that are a little more generic.

Here are my use cases (all from the GM perspective):
  • I need to make a big roll that may or may not kill a character, and I want no question of the impartiality of the role... Roll D20!
  • A no-name NPC takes on a life of his or her own, and I need to generate a name, but I don't want to stop gameplay to look up a name-generating table... Female elf name!
  • My players want to go to the tavern... Tavern name!
  • My players find a treasure, and I don't want to roll against the treasure table... Roll Treasure Type A!
I'm imagining this development would be fairly easy. You'd need the lists of "random" names in memory, then code to generate a random number and use that number to "pick" a name. For the treasure type, Echo would just need to follow the treasure generation rules from the Core Rulebook...

Re: Amazon Echo Skill

Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 5:12 pm
by Solomoriah
I have Python code to generate treasures. It's LONG... magic item generation has a lot of stuff to go through.